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Vicar's Musings for Ordinary Sunday 33

15 November, 2015

Next week is the Annual Meeting of the Parish, and we will meet for worship first as a parish at 10am (please note the change in time) for a combined High Mass, with children's activities. We are blessed to have as our preacher for this Mass the Rev'd Dr Sarah Bachelard. An article from a couple of years ago published in the Sydney Morning Herald, written by Barney Zwartz, describes something of Sarah's journey into a contemplative expression of faith:

Anguish drove Sarah Bachelard back to religion — a familiar path but one with some modern twists. As a young scholar, she studied theology at Oxford University, seeking to fulfil the "glimpse" of God she had seen while growing up Anglican. "I was an academic soul, and thought the way to make it real was to study it, but that didn't work so I left the church for 10 years." She worked for the Senate in Canberra, but "a broken heart and painful, frightening anxiety" led her to begin meditating to recapture her spiritual side. "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 [in 2011] launched the Benedictus community in Canberra, an ecumenical group for whom meditation is at the heart of worship (to read more see this link...).

As well as preaching at our 10am service next Sunday, Sarah will be leading a seminar the previous day, Saturday 21st November from 9.30am to 12.30pm, here at St Peter's for the Institute of Spiritual Studies. This seminar will explore the metaphor of ‘ground' which is used of God, and the ways in which the metaphor opens up a theological understanding which goes beyond the notion of God as a ‘super-person'. Sarah will connect this with contemplative spiritual practice. Not to be missed!

Prayer and contemplation will always lie at the heart of any growth a church may experience. As we seek to understand what Catholic Evangelism, and "growing in God's love" might mean for us here at St Peter's, we need to keep a life of prayer at the heart of all we do as individuals and as a church community. Pray for me as I pray for you.

The Rev'd Dr Hugh Kempster

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