Last week, Donald shared a story about a child who turned up at a service to light a candle (here). Using physical objects such as candles to symbolize prayer is an ancient practice, and one that we at Sanctuary used to do. For the last two years, however, in accordance with government guidelines requiring that we minimize movement and have no shared objects, our prayer stations have been packed away. But now that restrictions are easing, it’s time to reinstate them. Continue reading “Prayer stations”
John | Group reflection: Intimate grounded presence
Tonight we reflected on John 21:19-31, the story of the Risen Jesus appearing to the disciples as they were fishing. We spent time sitting with the reading and then chatted about our responses: in particular, the sense that after all the chaos and trauma, Jesus helped the disciples “move on and find the fish”, and how much we too need to rest in his intimate, grounded presence. Continue reading “John | Group reflection: Intimate grounded presence”
A child walked in
Alison is on leave until Monday 2 May. In the meantime, here’s a little god-moment which happened to Donald on a recent Tuesday. He writes:
I was ‘filling in’, presiding at the 5.00pm service at the local Anglican church. It was a Tuesday, with a congregation of three present. The Gospel reading of the day, according to the lectionary the rector uses, was Jesus putting a child in the midst of the disciples. Continue reading “A child walked in”
Guided meditation: Jesus washes his disciples’ feet
A guided meditation. (Listen.)
Tonight, we are not physically gathered in a room. We cannot pass the peace with hug or handshake; we cannot wash each other’s feet. But our imaginations are not confined. So tonight, allow me to lead you in a guided meditation, and just as our Lord reaches out to us, let us meet one another in the communion of the Holy Spirit. Continue reading “Guided meditation: Jesus washes his disciples’ feet”
17 | conditions #Lent2022
The gardener answered, “Leave it alone, sir, for one more year, until I dig around it and manure it. If it bears fruit next year, well and good; but if not, you can cut it down.” (Luke 13:8-9)
I’ve lost count of how many fruit trees we have all up, but it is more than 60. Most of them are more than ten years old now, mature, established and annually bearing fruit. A few slower growing varieties, especially nut trees, are still taking their time. Continue reading “17 | conditions #Lent2022”
16 | small campfires #Lent2022
Paul writes, “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” (1 Thessalonians 5:11)
I look around at our little community and beyond, often seeing so much that is difficult to bear. Sickness, heartache, misunderstandings, long, tired weariness. How do we keep going? Continue reading “16 | small campfires #Lent2022”
Slow reading: The prophet Amos and 26 January
Today is 26 January. It’s a day of formal ceremonies and concerts; festivities and fireworks; citizenship oaths and wattle seedlings; parades and parties; lamb on the barbie—and even WA is invited! Workplaces will be closed, pubs will be full, and our favourite swimming hole will be a sea of flags printed on towels, bikinis and stubbie holders, as people celebrate the construct we call Australia. Continue reading “Slow reading: The prophet Amos and 26 January”
When you pray, move your feet!
Sanctuary’s taking a summer break. This month, many of us are on leave and outside every day, so here’s a little something from the archives on praying while out for a walk.
Prayer is a way of deep listening. Yet when our minds are busy and distracted, we cannot listen well; and so we need methods to still our minds. One of these is to go for a walk. The repetitive rhythmic movement, and the regular intake and exhalation of breath, can help us find that still centre: the space where we notice the spirit bubbling up and gently prompting us. Continue reading “When you pray, move your feet!”
Consider the sky: Lectio divina in creation
Sanctuary’s taking a summer break. This month, many of us are on leave and outside every day, so here’s a little something from the archives on prayerfully considering the sky in dialogue with scripture.
In Christian understanding, God is immanent. This means that, while God cannot be contained by anything, yet God is present in all things. In other words, creation is a sacrament: a sign of God’s presence which has an effect. Continue reading “Consider the sky: Lectio divina in creation”
Sanctuary’s taking a summer break. This month, many of us are on leave and outside every day, so here’s a little something from the archives on prayerfully considering creation: a practice some call ‘sensio divina’.
‘Do I not fill the earth?’ says God (Jer. 23:24b).
Our ancestor Jacob woke from his sleep and said, ‘Surely God is in this place, and I didn’t know it!’ (Gen. 28:16). Like Jacob, people have sensed God’s presence in creation for millennia, and perhaps this is why Jesus so often prayed outdoors. What follows is a simple grounding exercise to help you observe God’s presence in the place where you are. Move through the steps in order, or float between them: they are just a tool. And remember, like all spiritual exercises, it gets easier with practice. Continue reading “Consider creation”