What Is Church For?

[In the New Testament, Church is] what happens when the news and presence of Jesus, raised from the dead, impact upon the human scene, drawing people together in a relationship that changes everyone involved, a relationship which means that each person involved with Jesus is now involved with all others who have answered his invitation, in ways that are painful and demanding but are also lifegiving and transforming beyond imagination.

Rowan Williams, quoted in Moynagh  "A Church For Every Context."

Desire Part One

Ignatian spirituality is very strongly a spirituality of desire. God inspires each of us with particular desires and those desires which are deepest in us are therefore the same desires that God has for us.

God Loves You

God's love for you is the first, primary, basic fact about you. Here are three ways in which we can try to process this, on the surface, uncontroversial idea

• Theologically
– What does it mean to say this as a Christian?
•Spiritually / Experientially
– How do I come to know this at increasingly deep levels of myself?
• Transformationally
– God’s love is transformational – the best evidence is the life transformed into Christlikeness
 
 
St John of the Cross

Caravan and the God Shaped Hole

I came across an interesting article this week, written by the redoubtable Barney Zwartz in The Age. I was struck by this quote:

"The really liberating thing is that I didn't have to believe anything in advance. It's just a practice, and if it leads to a deeper life, then it will be obvious in the doing of it.''

Bachelard rediscovered that glimpse, and it deepened. In 2006 she was ordained an Anglican priest, and two years ago launched the Benedictus community in Canberra, an ecumenical group for whom meditation is at the heart of worship.

Summer season: Movie Night and Cafechurch The Demo

Hiya Everyone

I hope you have all found somewhere cool to hide today. Only another 7 or 8 hours until things change - though it will probably take a while for our house to cool down.

* Movie Night *

I have to tell you, I'm not feeling a lot of love about the movie night... Also, I'm wondering if doing it that last week of Jan is a good idea, with Cafechurch The Demo and Caravan.

Cafechurch Email for January 2014

Hi Everyone!

I hope you are having a good summer, and, if you are in Melbourne today, that you are enjoying, or have somewhere airconditioned to hide from, the heat!.

Here is what is coming up for Cafechurch over the the next little bit:

Saintly Abolitionism

“And may that Power enthroned on high!
He whom Christians ye adore,
Root in your hearts humanity,
And trampled human rights restore.”
— William Lloyd Garrison, 'Hymn 7'

Saints and Slavery (Part II)

Saint Nicholas of Myra (AD 270-343)

“But the Lord who loves humankind, who never wishes his own creation to become hostage to sin, sent him a holy angel — I mean the godlike Nicholas — [… who] became a most ready resource for their defence, and he saved them, though they were already being led away to a death of profligacy” — Michael the Archimandrite, ‘Life of Saint Nicholas’

Saints and Slavery (Part I)

There are a number of saints who can offer Christians inspiration for abolitionism. Two of these were of the same family and resisted the institution of slavery in different and significant ways.

Saint Gregory of Nyssa (AD 335-395)

"As therefore in the life that we hope for there will be neither disease, nor curse, nor sin, nor death, so slavery also along with these will vanish away." — Saint Gregory of Nyssa, 'Against Eunomius', Book X, §4

Australians and Modern Slavery

Slavery is a universal phenomenon. It stretches far back into human history and spreads itself indiscriminately across every culture. Tragically, it persists to this day. Statistics are always difficult to find (because modern slavery necessarily exists on the fringes of society), but David Batstone (2010) in his book “Not for sale” conservatively estimates that there are thirty million people presently trapped or born into slavery — a state in which a person is owned by another person.

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