Category Archives: Announcements

An invitation to Holy Week

Welcome to…

Easter

… is it all about bunnies and chocolate eggs or is it about the redemptive sacrifice of Christ?

This Easter I thought I’d give you something to consider that might give a
different flavour to Holy Week. In the Gospel of John, the journey of
Jesus and his beloved friends together displays an increasing flavour
of intimacy from when he first meets them and they begin travelling and
learning together. You get the sense, I think, that one by one, as the
relationships between them get more intimate, they begin to know, to
recognise who it is that has come amongst them. Jesus himself admits
his own identity, he tells us he is the Son of his Divine Father.

 

But in the week they enter Jerusalem, this week, he does a series of
remarkable things – he suggests to his disciples that they could enter
into the very same intimate, familial relationship with the Divine that
he has. In fact, at their final meal together on Thursday before his
arrest that evening, he welcomes each of them into his Father’s
household by washing their feet – acting not as the master of the
house, but as a servant. At the foot of the cross, on Good Friday he
gives his most Beloved Disciple (who is the exemplar for the community
of what discipleship truly is) to Mary as her son and Mary to him as
his mother.

Finally, having promised the coming of a spirit of great comfort who
will dwell among them (and within them), just as the Shekhinah – the
Presence of the Divine – dwelt in the Temple, he bows his head and
gives over his spirit. This great work draws his beloved friends into
this divine loving relationship. Some traditions have the Gospel of
John ending right there, with no mystery of the resurrection, no
post-resurrection teaching and no ascension story. I think when you see
the scope of what Jesus accomplishes at the moment of his death, you
could easily see why the rest of the Gospel could be just a kind of
tidying up.

From this perspective (and this is not, I stress, a mainstream
perspective) the great Mystery of Easter, is not about death and
resurrection (as beautiful as those themes are) and not about a
sacrifice of the Lamb of God to take away the sin of the world. The
Mystery of Easter is the formation of a great, rambling, loving
household of brothers and sisters who dwell in God as God dwells in
them. That household continues to this day, you are a part of it and
Easter is a sacred call to recognise – just as the disciples recognised
– who it is that has come amongst you.

So, this Easter, the big thing our little parish is doing is a great,
big, rambling meal. We’re holding an Agape Feast at my house this
Thursday. I will welcome everyone by washing your feet. We’ll join
together in prayer and in sharing a cup and some bread as a part of a
meal. We’re asking everyone to bring some food to share. There will
good conversations, much merry-making and maybe even some drinking, who
knows?

Please join us! Come and step into the parish household for a night and
experience some Johannite hospitality. Meet us, let us meet you and
open your Easter weekend with warmth and good company. Details at the
bottom of this email.

If you can’t make it along, please accept my humble blessings on this
most holy season. Holy week has a very strong, sacred energy wound into
it, so no matter what you’re doing, please make some time each day for
quiet and let your soul unwind into the transformative potential of
Easter.

With love,
Father Tim+

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Passion Sunday & April Services

Venerated as Passion Sunday in the Old Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches, the fifth Sunday in Lent is set aside in those traditions for the presentation of Mary of Egypt (344 – 421), prostitute and saint.

Born in Alexandria, Mary leaves home very young, and finds a life fulfilled in insatiable passion, exchanging sexual favours and spinning flax, to keep herself. One day, entering the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, she hears a voice that instructs her to cross the river Jordan, and receive peace. Thus she goes to the monastery of St John the Baptist, and is received into the river.

Upon baptism, she renounces her earlier life of great passion, and becomes a wild-woman hermit, entering the vast desert wilderness. Meeting Zosimas of Palestine in the desert, many years later, naked and unkempt, she manifests great clairvoyance as she recounts her life story to him. He returns a year later to the exact spot, at her instruction, to find that she had died, and the power of the story of her baptism, and the transformation that baptism symbolises, is preserved by him through the oral tradition, and is passed down to us, to this very day.

In her memory, and as a call to presence the passion baptism in our own thoughts and practices, in Lent, this Sunday at 15 Francis St Darlinghurst, a blessing of dried fruit will take place after the Divine Liturgy. In honour of the day we celebrate the Eastern Rite Eucharist, compiled by +William Mar Thomas Behun, of the Apostolic Johannite Church.

Please come and join us at this special time of the Christian calendar, in Lent, to sample the influence of the eastern traditions and the eastern forms, present with us in the practices, the myth, and the lifeblood, that forms the Apostolic Johannite Church.

Service – Oriental Rite Eucharist 6:30pm

Modelled on the style of service celebrated in Eastern churches like the Coptic or Syrian Orthodox, Reverend Tim+ Mansfield will lead the congregants in a service that is both ceremonial and contemplative. It features silent prayer and chant and the sharing of the Body and the Blood in the form of bread and wine.

Services – for April 2011
note these services are subject to change. Please check our Facebook page for updates and information:
http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=4518114805

Sun 17 Apr – Palm Sunday, 6:30pm

Contemplative Eucharist
And parish council afterwards. 

Thu 21 Apr – Maundy Thursday, 7pm
Maundy Thursday
Service with footwashing  (see John 13:1-17) to commemorate the Last Supper.
Contact Tim+ Mansfield for location details.

Fri 22 Apr – Good Friday, 7pm
Tenebrae
A chanted service of light and darkness.
Contact Tim+ Mansfield for location details.

Sat 23 Apr – Easter Saturday, 11:30pm
Johannite Eucharist
Midnight Paschal Mass. Lighting of the Paschal candle. Includes chanting of the Exsultet, an ancient, beautiful hymn.

We follow all services and gatherings with some conversation, hot drinks and snacks. Please come along and bask in the hospitality and fellowship so willingly shared, at the Parish of St Uriel the Archangel.

 

 

Reminder: Centering Prayer one-day workshop – Mar 2011

This Sunday, a one-day introduction to Centering Prayer…

 

This is a final reminder to attend our one-day introduction to the Christian meditation technique known as Centering Prayer. Arising from the Trappist monastic tradition as a way to introduce non-monastics to contemplative prayer, Centering Prayer focuses on a gesture of inner surrender. The technique is simple to learn, easy to fit into a busy life and practical. It doesn’t require commitment to traditional Christian doctrine, but it is also very compatible with the heart of the Christian tradition.

This one-day session gives you all you need to get started with Centering Prayer, including:

  • Centering Prayer and the practice of intentional silence, discovering wordless communion
  • theory and method of Centering Prayer
  • handling thoughts during prayer time
  • carrying Centering Prayer into daily life

There will be several opportunities to practice Centering Prayer together and the day finishes with an optional contemplative eucharist service.

Meditation cushions, stools and chairs are provided at the venue but if you have a favourite seat for meditation feel free to bring it along.

We’d love to see you there.

Connect

After you’ve registered, consider joining at the corresponding Facebook event so you can connect with other attendees.

Food

To keep the costs low, we are only providing some snacks and tea & coffee. Please bring your lunch with you. If you’d like to bring food you can share, that would be great.

Money

We are accepting donations to help cover hall hire and other costs. If you’d like a suggestion, $20 would certainly help out. Please bring cash with you on the day.

Date

Sunday, March 20, 2011 from 9:30 AM6:00 PM

Location

The Buddhist Library

90 – 92 Church St, Camperdown

Sydney, New South Wales 2050

 


Will you be attending? Attend Event

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March Services

The month of March brings several changes to both our service announcements and our schedule of events for the Parish of St Uriels, Sydney. Below you will find a summary of our March activities, bringing to you opportunity to join our community in different modes, in different places.

Services

Sunday 6 March
Unitarian Chapel 15 Francis St, Darlinghurst
Sophianic Eucharist – 6:00pm
Pelagius Day
With unique doctrines on free will and original sin, the ascetic Pelagius is celebrated as a saint in the Apostolic Johannite Church. Come join us in chant, prayer and song as we turn our awareness to the presence of the Divine, taking the time to richly embrace the presence of Pelagius amongst the body of our church, formed in the grace of the saints.

Sunday 13 March
Unitarian Chapel 15 Francis St, Darlinghurst
Johannite Eucharist – 6:00pm
Service for Ash Wednesday

Remember, O man, that you are dust, and unto dust you shall return.

Ash Wednesday marks the first day of Lent, and includes the sacramental imposition of the ashes of palm leaves combined with the oil of Catechumens on the forehead. You are very welcome to join us for this solemn welcome to the season of Lent, honoring the energy of repentance and solemnity worthy of the 46 days preparation for Holy Week and Easter.

Sunday 20 March
Buddhist Library 90 Church St, Camperdown
Contemplative Eucharist – 6:30pm

The service this Sunday will be the Contemplative Liturgy, written by our very own Reverend Tim Mansfield. The service alternates engagement and stillness, provoking a meditative attitude and the cultivation of deeper perceptions. The service features prayer and contemplative practice, including a period of silent meditation, as well as sharing of the Body and the Blood, in the form of bread and wine.

Sunday 27 March
Unitarian Chapel 15 Francis St, Darlinghurst
Vespers – evening prayer – 6:00pm

Vespers is the evening prayer in the Divine Office, the Office being the hours that are kept by clergy, monastics and layfolk, setting space for praying at regular intervals throughout the day. The word comes from the Latin vesper, meaning “evening.” Vespers is an incredibly beautiful way to richly embrace the close of the day, please come and join us as we together engage in psalm, chant, meditation and prayer in full bodied recognition of the coming of the night.

Special Events

Sunday 20 March
Buddhist Library 90 Church St, Camperdown
Introduction to Centering Prayer – 9:30 – 6:00pm

Alicia, Tomek and Tim offer you the opportunity to join them for a one day introduction to Centering Prayer.  It’s entry by donation, bring your own lunch. The workshop will be followed by a contemplative eucharist. Please see this website for all details: http://cp-mar2011.eventbrite.com/

Sunday 27 March
Unitarian Chapel 15 Francis St, Darlinghurst
Afternoon with Tom Dünser – 1:00 – 5:00pm

Tom is a member of the community of the Friends of Bernadette Roberts – a one-time Carmelite nun who now writes of her experiences of no-self. Tom will speak with us about his own experiences in her community, and we together will discuss the ways this might reflect in our own experiences. Please see this website for more details: http://sydneyintegral.org/integral-spirituality/ We follow all services and gatherings with some conversation, hot drinks and snacks. Please come along and bask in the hospitality and fellowship so willingly shared, at the Parish of St Uriels.

Centering Prayer one-day workshop – 20 March

You are invited to attend … 

Centering Prayer one-day workshop – Mar 2011

 

This is a one-day introduction to the Christian meditation technique known as Centering Prayer. Arising from the Trappist monastic tradition as a way to introduce non-monastics to contemplative prayer, Centering Prayer focuses on a gesture of inner surrender. The technique is simple to learn, easy to fit into a busy life and practical. It doesn’t require commitment to traditional Christian doctrine, but it is also very compatible with the heart of the Christian tradition.

This one-day session gives you all you need to get started with Centering Prayer, including:

  • Centering Prayer and the practice of intentional silence, discovering wordless communion
  • theory and method of Centering Prayer
  • handling thoughts during prayer time
  • carrying Centering Prayer into daily life

There will be several opportunities to practice Centering Prayer together and the day finishes with an optional contemplative eucharist service.

Meditation cushions, stools and chairs are provided at the venue but if you have a favourite seat for meditation feel free to bring it along.

Connect

After you’ve registered, consider joining at the corresponding Facebook event so you can connect with other attendees.

Food

To keep the costs low, we are only providing some snacks and tea & coffee. Please bring your lunch with you. If you’d like to bring food you can share, that would be great.

Money

We are accepting donations to help cover hall hire and other costs. If you’d like a suggestion, $20 would certainly help out. Please bring cash with you on the day.

Date
 

Sunday, March 20, 2011 from 9:30 AM6:00 PM
Location
 

The Buddhist Library 

90 – 92 Church St, Camperdown

Sydney, New South Wales 2050


Will you be attending? Attend Event

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Third Sunday in Advent – Contemplative Eucharist

Please come join us on Sunday 12th December, as we gather together to engage in contemplative practice, blended with liturgy.

The Contemplative Eucharist takes the essentials of eucharistic celebration, and intertwines the contemplative practice of centering prayer, allowing that we might still our mind, and attend to our heart, and engage more deeply with the sacramental mystery always present in communion.

In this third week of Advent, we're invited to recognise the coming of the messenger, to set aside our ordinary mundane concerns to allow the joy and bliss of the celebrations of the coming of the Light to arise and be present within our awareness.

As we read in the introduction of the Secret Book of John:

"A little child appeared before me in the light.
 I continued looking at him as he became an old man
 And then he changed again, becoming like a young man.

I didn't understand what I was seeing,
But the one likeness had several forms in the light,
And these likenesses appeared each through the other
And the vision had three forms."

Source:
http://www.gnosis.org/naghamm/apocjn-davies.html

We understand that many layers may be present or 'seen', in our each moment, but that we might attend to them more closely and understand the mystery contained within, a little more deeply.

The Contemplative Eucharist graces us with an opportunity in this time of preparation for the coming of the light, of Christmas, to engage with more presence in the practice of contemplation, seeking to enrich our understanding of that Divine transformation which we celebrate, the coming of a change herebefore unknown on earth, that which is the celebration of the birth of Christ, in the Christmas feast. 

Service – 6:30pm
The service this Sunday will be the "Contemplative Liturgy", written by our very own Reverend Tim Mansfield. The service alternates engagement and stillness, provoking a meditative attitude and the cultivation of deeper perceptions. The service features prayer and contemplative practice, including a period of silent meditation, as well as sharing of the Body and the Blood, in the form of bread and wine.

We follow the service with some conversation, hot drinks and snacks. Pleas come along and join the discussions, sharing in fellowship and hospitality. 

 

Advent Sunday

I Kings 1:40:  And all the people came up after him, and the people piped with pipes and rejoiced with great joy, so that the earth rent with the sound of them.

Advent comes from the Latin word ‘adventus’, meaning ‘coming’. It is a translation of the Greek word ‘parousia’, which is used to refer to both the coming of the Messiah, and the Second Coming, of Christ. The Western Christian liturgical year begins, on this day. Advent started in the Frankish church during the dark ages as a penitential season, in preparation for the Nativity, but when the Roman expression of it came to the fore a century later, it became a season of joy, and the sense of somberness was lost, in time.

There are ways to get it back, however.  Perhaps seeing it as a different type of penitential season is the key.  There are two main ways of penitence, the via negativa (the way of eschewing dross from one’s life), and the via positiva (the way of taking on new things to enhance one’s spiritual life).  Lent and Advent can be seen as two halves of the same coin.  Lent is a time of giving up, a time of austerity.  It is along the via negativa.  Advent, however, can be penitential in the sense of taking on things in a penitential way.  Doing good deeds for others (preferably in secret), working in a soup kitchen during the season, praying for people you know on a daily basis during the season, singing Christmas carols at a nursing home…these are all things we can do to both be acts of penance and also build our spiritual lives as the holidays approach.

Please come along and join us in liturgy, prayer and song as we welcome in the Advent season with a sense of joy and anticipation, this Sunday.

Service – 6:30pm

The service this Sunday will be the “Johannite Gnostic Divine Liturgy”. The service alternates engagement and stillness, provoking a meditative attitude and the cultivation of deeper perceptions. The service features prayer and chant, and the sharing of the Body and the Blood in the form of bread and wine.

We follow the service with some conversation, hot drinks and snacks. Please stay and and share some time and company.