There are many paths to the awareness of God, the Divine, Enlightenment, and many lanes within each broad highway. On the journey, it is possible to get lost, diverted, lose interest, believe ‘it’s not working’. Travelling the path with others is useful as it allows for some guidance, and others with whom to discuss the ups and downs, as well as just to accompany us on the way. At Kenmore-Brookfield Parish we have a range of spiritual and contemplative practices, including services, prayer groups, study groups, individual guidance, and quiet afternoons, which help the journey along.
Contemplative Evensong is a half-hour service of quiet music, song, prayer and poetry, around the theme of a contemporary reflection on the Gospel reading for the week. The objective is to wind down after a busy week, with time to sit quietly in contemplation with God, to grow closer to God, and to reflect peacefully on some of the challenges and blessings of life. This is presented through a face-to-face service at Holy Spirit, Zoom Evensong, and an emailed service sheet for those at home.
Every third Saturday, a Eucharist service, in a beautiful, relaxed, contemplative style, is held. Five o’clock is a good time for people who find it difficult to make a morning Eucharist.
Third Saturday of the month 5.00pm
Healing Prayer Service
A peaceful, deeply spiritual service for those who seek prayer, or perhaps healing, for themselves or others close to them. It is an opportunity to speak confidentially one-to-one with one of the team, to sit in meditative silence, to light a candle of prayer, to seek laying on of hands, to experience comfort and reassurance in this deeply spiritual liturgy.
First Wednesday of the month 6.00pm - 6.45pm
As members of the World Community for Christian Meditation (WCCM), we use single-pointed mantra meditation. We meet weekly in a group, listen to a teaching talk and/or read a brief teaching by Fr Laurence, meditate for 25 minutes, then finish with a poem. We have all found that meditating in a group helps us to focus and sustains us as meditators. As members of the WCCM we have access to all of the teachings and resources of The Community.
Monday 6.30pm - 7.30pm
Guided Group Prayer, open to anyone who would like to join in praying for people beyond our own back fence - people in all parts of the world beset by suffering of all kinds - illness, war, oppression, disaster. Our loving God wants our participation in saving and co-creating his kingdom on earth. Our prayers are ‘Compassion in action’ in the most vital work of prayer for our beautiful world and its people.
At present there is one Bookclub connected with the parish which meets monthly to read contemporary spiritual books, such as the writings of Richard Rohr, e.g. Falling Upwards, John Bradley, Singing Saltwater Country, and Sr Frances Teresa OSC, Living the Incarnation. The objective is to explore our spiritual journeys within an on-going small group through the stimulus of contemporary writings chosen by the group as a whole. These books should challenge our perceptions and understandings of our relationship with God and our society and/or offer alternative answers to life’s knottiest problems.
First Tuesday of the month
Three or four days per year we hold a Saturday half-day Quiet time of reflection in the beautiful grounds of the Holy Spirit Church in Kenmore. Speakers, such as Dr Patrick Oliver, are invited to lead us in quiet reflection on our growth towards God. The half-days usually consist of several short talks by the presenter, with time to wander the grounds in silence. A rolling afternoon tea helps to make the time relaxing and refreshing.
Events throughout the year
Short series of presentations on the lives and teachings of historical and contemporary mystics, e.g. Dame Julian of Norwich, St Teresa of Avila, Teilhard de Chardin, and Thomas Merton have been offered within a framework of quiet times and afternoon tea for contemplation and some quiet discussion times. These will be continued in 2023.
Spiritual Direction is a recognised ministry of the (Anglican) church. It is a relationship between two people with the Holy Spirit as the ‘director’. The trained companion assists the other to recognise how God is active in their everyday life, and how to respond and grow in their relationship with God.
In this parish, several trained Spiritual Directors look forward to offering this ministry to others. It involves deep contemplative listening with deep respect for the ‘directee’ and their relationship with God.
“The first Christians ... understood that contemplation is an essential, universal element of the human condition. Martha and Mary are sisters, two complementary dimensions of the person, not just two personality types. Without Mary’s stillness at the centre, sitting at the feet of the teacher and listening, we become like Martha, irritable, complaining, discontented, distracted…. Contemplation is not an escape from one’s life’s work. It is a part of our work and helps us to do the other part better. Mary and Martha are like two chambers of one heart. They don’t just complement one another; they need each other to realise fullness of life.”
- Laurence Freeman OSB, WCCM