Themes and activities from previous years (5th Sundays were "action days")
Clean up Australia day was our opportunity to thank the park for hosting us for two years, before moving to Hydes Creek.
There we entered Lent by contemplating the ecological message of the sermon on the plain. Then it was palm Sunday, Easter, and We then engaged with the proposition that God is in all things: all of life; and the good and the “bad” (or at least the inconvenient for humans).
Finally on World Environment Day we mourned and celebrated the end of regular programmed ecofaith gatherings for the time being, and went ad hoc.
2010, more or less...
Feb 7: The two Genesis creation stories still live today: which will you choose? Dominion vs serving.
Feb 14: (Valentines Day). Love. God, self, and all our neighbours
Feb 21st Aunty Em (Emily Walker) is a Gumbanggyir elder, a Christian, and a very “earthed” woman. She will share her story and maybe some poems.
Feb 28th: Call me chicken! Exploring Pastor Joseph Tauer's parable. You can read it here or watch it on youtube here.
March: Drawing on excerpts from Worshipping Evolutions God
The evolution creation story: humbling and affirming.The Fall? Original Sin versus Inherent Needs. A bit about brains. Exploring insights from the sciences about what we really need. Sin as what we do when our true needs aren’t met, and finding good news in this context.
April: Easter of course- Jesus' version, not Paul's. Then Jane takes the helm, followed by humility and footwashing with Rachel, and finally a visit to Nell's wonderful garden (as it turned out, in pouring rain!)
May: Creation Spirituality. Matt Henry guides us through the positive, negative, creative and transformative aspects of Matthew Fox’s creation spirituality.
June: Saving the World- why bother. What’s in it for us, our neighbour, and God?
July: Sex and relationships: in evolution, in Old Testament, the New Testament, and now.
Aug: We ended up doing another month on sex and relationships!
Sep: We moved back to the park, and to mornings, to welcome spring and celebrate the Season of Creation (in a week). It was also Faith. On Earth!
Oct:Kevin & Lowanna from Kombu reflected on their lives, and food. The 5th Sunday "serving the garden" was a working bee at Nell's.
Nov: biodiversity, and the 5 leaf eco awards.
Dec: putting it all together, and Christmas!
Why are we here? (Why is life here)
Aboriginal eco-faith with Aunty Em Walker (rescheduled for later)
Why are we here? (why are humans here)
March (lead up to Easter, critically revisiting the traditional stories of salvation)
1. (some) humans at the expense of animals (Noah)
2. Abraham at the expense of the Canaanites + Intnl Women's Day
3. obedient Jews at the expense of disobedient ones and slaves
4. Jesus' alternatives: rejecting, not fulfilling "sacrifice"- you forgive
Maundy Thurs- naming our fears, sorrows, deaths
Easter Sunday- new life. Evolution as a history of resurrections. Our life as a series of resurrections.
Doing instead of don'ting. Jesus as a do-er not a donter.
Matt led- why are we here (as individuals)
Group reflection: how has ecofaith challenged/affirmed us? Will we keep meeting?
World Environment Day- the groaning of creation. Romans 8 today.
Jane: You are wonderful and the Earth is hiring
Beauty 1 & 2.
we stopped keeping track for the rest of the year!
This page gives you an idea of what we do (when we meet, which is quite ad hoc) , you might also like to read why.
Our regular gatherings aim to foster a community which encourages the pursuit of our divine passions during the week, and allows God to feed us on our journeys.
So we gathered for a combination of breathing exercises, contemplation, input, prayer and sharing, with some simple singing at times. There may be children's books or stories, and the children either sat with us or played in the park and very shallow creek next to us.
Then we talk informally over food and drink, and people wandered off as it suits them.
The format for each Sunday varies a little, but here is a typical example. Everything is an invitation, not an expectation.
Breathing. A time of gentle breathing and movement, to help us connect with the place and our bodies in it.
Acknowledgment: Of the Gumbaynggirr and their ancestors, living here with God for tens of thousand of years before Jesus or any of the world religion's leaders were born. Of the creatures who lived here before them, and which we still hear around us. Of the God who was here from the formation of the earth, and remains here with us all: beyond us, one with us, within and amongst us.
Often a reading and a "kids" book or story
The five-eight directions contemplation/prayer A time to reflect on the theme for the morning, using the past (East), the present (North), the near future (West) and our legacy when we are gone (South). An invitation to explore the theme with the others gathered (the centre). We might add up (humility/awe), down (earthing, courage), and "around" (the group).
Share around the circle: Our names, and perhaps something that occurred to us in the 5 directions.
Maybe a reading or a simple song
God is beyond us; one with us (or became one of us); within us; amongst us
or God is love. The world is loved. I am loved. Help me love. Help me receive love.
A reflection, 5-10 mins, sometimes more.
Option for 10 mins
either wander alone, praying and contemplating.
or in pairs, deep listening for 5 mins each.
Eating and drinking.