ARCHIVES

Encouragement for the Journey – 28/08/11

Greetings fellow traveller,

It is Monday morning; I am sitting at a table in the Muffin Break Café in Auckland Hospital. I am waiting for my daughter, who has an appointment. While having a cup of coffee (not the best coffee I have had) I look around the café, I imagine people are here for various reasons, and there is the hospital staff some dressed in their uniforms, while others are patients and then the visitors along with the café staff. It is a surreal place, some people are talking, with heads close together and that pensive look, others with huge mounds of food before them, then there are those sitting with that far away look in their eyes, just staring into space. Hospital café’s are strange places; people coming and going, each person carrying within them, their own thoughts and concerns. Perhaps it’s my imagination, but there seems to be a different energy in a hospital café to others cafes. It’s like there is a communal pain and loss that cannot be covered over, it is very near the surface. Grief is present.

The presence and expression of grief comes in many different ways and forms, and is a valid part of our humanity. From my experience, the Church has never been very good at being a container for the expression and holding of grief. Yet our gospel was born within grief and Jesus teaches by example that he too wept in grief at the death of a friend.

Here at St Aidans today we farewell Ian and Judith McIntyre, each of us, will hold our own thoughts and memories of Ian and Judith’s life and presence among us. They have individually and together touched many of you deeply with their life and love. Our grief is felt and yet we embrace them deeply with our love and wish them well on the next step on their journey of life. Ian and Judith our love, prayers and peace go with you and your family.

Meanwhile Peace

Alf

August 28, 2011 in Ministry Team's Blog by

Comments are disabled for this post

Encouragement for the Journey – 21/08/11

Greetings Fellow Traveller,

Last Wednesday I took another funeral, whenever I take a funeral I am reminded that there is so much more to a person’s life, than can ever be fully known. For we always see through darkened glass, the shadows hiding the light.

If we will, but, pause for a moment, listen and see, we will be amazed at what we may discover about our inner world, and then in conversation with another, if we are patient and suspend judgement, we may catch glimpses of their world, this will always surprise us. How we respond will be a new story ready to be told……..

This may also apply to the cosmos and the world in which live and have our being. It too waits, silently at times to show us its beauty and wonder. How will we see?

Today we welcome members of Pilgrim Productions and their play…..

Through the centuries, drama, music, art and poetry have been valid vehicles to express spirituality. Each is a different medium speaking to our human condition, transcending the religious, ethnic and cultural divisions present in our world.

Through these expressions, we humanoids seek to make meaning of our lives, our world and universe. Life is a continuous journey of unlearning, learning and discovery, this requires we remain ever open to being surprised by life……..

May our worship this morning, in particular the drama offer you a new experience to be surprised by life. May your capacity to be an instrument of peace and compassion be increased in our ever changing world and cosmos. I leave you with this poem from John O’Donohue, called Fluent:

I would love to live
Like a river flows,
Carried by the surprise
Of its own unfolding

Meanwhile Peace in our ever unfolding cosmos

Alf

August 21, 2011 in Ministry Team's Blog by

Comments are disabled for this post

Encouragement for the Journey – 14/08/11

Greetings fellow traveller,

Today we continue with our theme of peace. Archbishop Oscar Romero was assassinated in 24 March 1980 while he was saying mass in San Salvador.

This prayer / poem is an expression of his spirituality of peace and peace making

A Future not our own

It helps, now and then, to step back
and take the long view.
The kingdom is not only beyond our efforts,
it is beyond our vision.

We accomplish in our lifetime only a tiny fraction of
the magnificent enterprise that is God’s work.
Nothing we do is complete,
which is another way of saying
that the kingdom always lies beyond us.

No statement says all that could be said.
No prayer fully expresses our faith.
No confession brings perfection.
No pastoral visit brings wholeness.
No programme accomplishes the church’s mission.
No set of goals and objectives includes everything. 

This is what we are about:
We plant seeds that one day will grow.
We water seeds already planted, knowing that they hold future promise.
We lay foundations that will need further development.
We provide yeast that produces effects beyond our capabilities. 

We cannot do everything
and there is a sense of liberation in realizing that.
This enables us to do something,
and to do it very well.
It may be incomplete, but it is a beginning, a step along the way,
an opportunity for God’s grace to enter and do the rest.

We may never see the end results,
but that is the difference between the master builder and the worker.
We are workers, not master builders,
ministers, not messiahs.
We are prophets of a future not our own.

Meanwhile Peace

Alf

August 14, 2011 in Ministry Team's Blog by

Comments are disabled for this post

Encouragement for the Journey – 07/08/11

Greetings fellow traveller,

With this being Kids N All Sunday, I thought I would write a longer Encouragement for the Journey for you to take away and reflect upon for the coming week.

Today is Peace Sunday; it is usually celebrated on the nearest Sunday to August 6th, which is the anniversary of the dropping of the Atomic Bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Peace is a fascinating concept; it embodies many different aspects, and is present within all religions. The root of the word peace is present in the Hebrew word Shalom and the Arabic word Salaam and embrace the ideas of:

completeness, wholeness

safety, welfare, health, prosperity

quiet, tranquillity, harmony

contentment, peace,

friendship

Each of those words contain much more, than we could ever hope or imagine all contained within the word peace.

I recall a night in 1967 when as a young police officer I watched a convoy of troops travelling through Liverpool to the ferry en- route to Northern Ireland. My colleague and I offered options, of how long they might be there, little did we know it would be many years, with the loss of over 3000 thousand lives mostly civilians. It took over forty years for the British Army to finally pull out of Northern Ireland. Even today, there is still sectarian violence upon the streets of Derry and Belfast. Yet, in the midst of what seems an unsolvable problem, new hope and life is present and peace is growing.

A glimpse of this growing peace was evident in a remarkable piece of television when the BBC screened a meeting between a former Northern Ireland Protestant paramilitary and the widow and brother of a man he was convicted of murdering.

These ‘Facing the Truth’ meetings were chaired by Nobel Peace Prize winner Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who led the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in South Africa. During the filming, Tutu said: “We had some extraordinary moments in the week or so that we were here, where it was like something divine had intervened, and it was exhausting but eminently exhilarating. I think human beings are incredible …”

During these ‘Facing the Truth’ meetings, there was an opportunity for the victims and / or families to confront either the perpetrator or someone associated with the organization that had sanctioned, planned and accomplished the killing or injury. It was a time to hear each other’s stories, the effect that one person’s actions had on another, to understand and offer a response for ones actions that caused so much pain and suffering in the lives of another human being. It also gave an opportunity for coming to terms with the past in a way that is morally respectful and advances the cause of reconciliation and peace.

It may be a cliché, but our world continues to evolve at an ever increasing rate of change. We find ourselves living in a very divergent community, with varieties of multi faith and ethnicities present. The social and religious implications for this divergent community will continue to challenge community and religious leaders for the foreseeable future. We may think the streets of Northern Ireland are a far cry from the streets of the North Shore of Auckland. Yet, we are not immune from human behaviour motivated by prejudice and fear fuelled by misunderstanding.

This then raises the question how to do we respond with a Christian gospel which calls us to be peacemakers, with reconciliation, truth and justice at its heart, to those who are very different to us in their faith and ethnicity? A way is through increased understanding of each other’s faith and cultural practice.

I wrote towards the end of my article in this month’s newsletter:

‘I personally believe, unless we are intentional about understanding our neighbours who practice their faith differently to us, we are unconsciously erecting walls that divide us. Instead we need to be bridge builders of understanding, that seek to span our differences over which we may walk to meet each other and join hands in reconciliation and compassion.’

What more can be said, may we seek to practice what we believe. I leave you with this quote:

“Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius — and a lot of courage — to move in the opposite direction.”
– Albert Einstein.

Meanwhile Shalom, Salaam, Peace

Alf

PS. You can begin this journey of bridge building, seeking the common ground of peace by coming out and participating in our Sunday Evening Gatherings ‘Understanding our Neighbours.’ Tonight at 6.30pm in the Lindisfarne Lounger we have a representative from the Jewish Faith sharing with us.

August 7, 2011 in Ministry Team's Blog by

Comments are disabled for this post

close window

Service Times & Directions

Weekend Masses in English

Saturday Morning: 8:00 am

Saturday Vigil: 4:30 pm

Sunday: 7:30 am, 9:00 am, 10:45 am,
12:30 pm, 5:30 pm

Weekend Masses In Español

Saturday Vigil: 6:15pm

Sunday: 9:00am, 7:15pm

Weekday Morning Masses

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday & Friday: 8:30 am

map
6654 Main Street
Wonderland, AK 45202
(513) 555-7856