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Encouragement for the Journey 28/4/2013

Encouragement for the Journey

Greetings Fellow Traveller, 

I began writing this week’s Journey, early on ANZAC morning. There is a strange but comforting stillness in the air, which contributed to a respectful silence. Even the birds were silent, perhaps engaged in their own act of remembrance. It was an opportunity for me to reflect, remember and read some of the war poetry of Wilfred Owen (Poet and Officer who was killed November 4th 1918 while leading his men across the Sambre – Oise Canal in Northern France.)

Later on ANZAC day, I attended the Commemoration Service at the War Memorial Hall, Northcote. I, like others was surprised by the large number of people who took time to gather together and remember, including a large percentage of young people and children. Like other ANZAC Services there is that poignant moment as the Last Post is played, the reciting of “Binyons Ode” and then Reveille. Who can tell what is taking place within the human heart and mind of each person who attended that gathering.

In recent years ANZAC Day is increasing in importance within our Nation’s psyche. There appears to be an ever growing sense of national pride, community and belonging. I am sure one day social research will be undertaken to actually quantify and qualify this renewed interest in ANZAC day. Whatever the reasons, we will continue to remember them……

I leave you with this poem from Wilfred Owen :  At a Calvary Near The Ancre

(Note: A “Calvary” is a statue of the crucified Christ; these crucifixes are erected at many crossroads in France. Ancre is a river of the Picardy province in France. Owen served with the British Army at the Battle of Ancre November 13 – 18 1916 which was part of the Battle of the Somme. )

One ever hangs where shelled roads part.

In this war He too lost a limb,

But His disciples hide apart;

And now the Soldiers bear with Him.

 

Near Golgotha strolls many a priest,

And in their faces there is pride

That they were flesh-marked by the Beast

By whom the gentle Christ’s denied.

 

The scribes on all the people shove

And bawl allegiance to the state,

But they who love the greater love

Lay down their life; they do not hate.

 

– Wilfred Owen

Meanwhile Peace

Alf

 

April 28, 2013 in Ministry Team's Blog by

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Encouragement for the Journey 17/4/2013

Encouragement for the Journey

Journey picture  ex Ben C.Greetings Fellow Traveller

The theme for our Café Church today is:

Re – charging / Re – creation

Because we are human we will have moments when we experience feeling absolutely empty, when there is nothing left physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually to give. A number of descriptions describe this experience, one in particular stands ‘running on empty.’ The tank within has run dry, yet, often we attempt to keep going.

We know intuitively that we need to re –charge to experience a re – creation of our soul. We will each do this in different ways. One size does not fit all.

For some, it is time alone walking along the beach, while for others, playing music works, for others it is yoga or meditation…. Whatever works, we need to practice regularly to ensure we don’t irrevocably cause further injury to our complex bodies.

There is an aspect to ‘running on empty’ that often gets ignored, namely, our personal awareness and perceptions, which are clouded at the best of times. Anthony De Mello has a wonderful quote:

“You see persons and things not as they are, but as you are.” 

When we are in the need of re – charging / re –creation

Our view of other persons, things, indeed ourselves is seen through tired and very weary eyes. It is in these moments, if we suspend judgment, we may become aware that our vision is blurred and we are not seeing things as clearly as we once did. It is time to re-charge / re – create and experience renewal of soul.

I use the word ‘Soul’ not in a religious sense or as an object of immortality. In seeking to describe ‘soul’ I am aware there are various descriptions offered. I offer you the following from Thomas Moore in his book Care of the Soul: “Soul’ is not a thing, but a quality or a dimension of experiencing life and ourselves. It has to do with depth, value, relatedness, heart and personal substance.” 

So when we talk of re-charging / re – creating, it is simply a holistic caring for our soul, so our life may have depth, value, heart and personal substance. That to me seems highly recommendable and essential for living in these days.

Meanwhile Peace

Alf

 

April 28, 2013 in Ministry Team's Blog by

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Encouragement for the Journey 10/3/2013

Encouragement for the Journey

Greetings fellow traveller, 

I am writing this in a cafe situated in Terminal 4 at Heathrow Airport waiting for my flight back to New Zealand. One of the interesting aspects of travel is participating in the energy mix of cultures and ethnicities which forms a continuous flow of humanity through an international airport.

No matter what our ethnicity, culture or religious practice or no religious practice may be, we all share a common humanity. I also find it interesting to wander around airports and see what I can discover. I was not disappointment for at Terminal 4, I discovered the Inter – Faith Prayer Room. Upon entering, I saw an open carpeted space, with a couple of men bowed in prayer and facing Mecca in the Islamist Tradition. Walking past their space I found an area with chairs in rows, a lectern and table which had a sign on it saying, Christian altar please respect.

I spent some time there enjoying the silence; it was a very special moment, to reconnect with my soul. Then on my out I noticed the following prayer on the wall

A Prayer for People of All Faiths 

Lord of all creation, we stand in awe before you, impelled by visions of the harmony of man. We are children of many traditions, inheritors of shared wisdom and tragic misunderstandings, of proud hopes and humble successes. Now it is time for us to meet, in memory and truth, in courage and trust, in love and promise. 

In that we share …

…let us see the common prayer of humanity;

In that in which we differ…

…let us wonder at the freedom of man;

In our unity and our differences…

…let us know the uniqueness that is God. 

May our courage match our convictions and our integrity match our hope. 

May our faith in your bring us closer to each other. 

May our meeting with past and present bring blessing for the future. Amen 

I find this prayer invites me to re – consider what is important and also acknowledge that those of another faith will see things differently to me yet we each share a common humanity and have an opportunity to work together for peace and reconciliation.

 

Meanwhile Peace

Alf

 

April 28, 2013 in Ministry Team's Blog by

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