Thursday, March 30, 2006


Last night we continued our study of the movie Chocolat, but the highlight was the before!

Michelle's birthday celebrations, Jason's fantastic Chili, and time spent watching some little cartoons from Monsters Inc and Madagascar with the kids. Fabulous.

A good meal, wine, beer, movies, children, friends and a celebration. Not to mention some silence, prayer and laughter.

Perhaps, I'm wrong, but it seems from my reading of the gospel that Jesus was fond of these things too.

And I reckon he was there last night.

Prayer is to see God in any person, or in any creature, with whom we come in contact ...
Prayer is the smile, the look of the eyes which conveys to the other the greetings of the heart, which tells the other, known or unknown that they are not a stranger, but recognised as a brother or sister



Monday, March 27, 2006

Catholic Roundtable

In Kentucky, a cool gathering happened this weekend.
A group of “emerging” Christians have been meeting to discuss catholic practices and spend time praying the hours and been in community. In the words of Bryan Sherwood they “prayed Evening Prayer together and spent the rest of the evening sharing our “story”; telling a bit about how we’ve been drawn and influenced by the ancient church.

Sounds great to me.

In a land which seems to be frightened of ancient Christianity, where the new is always better, events of this type are vital. It stops communities like ours feeling so alone, and also enables us to be challenged and gifted by others stories and experience.

Looks like they also ate some super food!

This is a conversation well worth keeping your eyes on. I suspect updates will br made at Bryans site above, at the great Alan Creech’s site, and also at my new friend Antony’s site.

God Bless

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Community- definition

Like Chris mentioned we are doing a Lenten study Christ and the Chocolaterie based on the movie Chocolat. We spent two weeks watching the movie and began the study this week. I’ll be honest and say that I have only just finished reading the introduction to the study and this paragraph struck me as I feel it really rings true to us and who we are as community:

The word community is often used to describe a group of people who just happen to be thrown together by geography or interest. True community, however, is far deeper – and quite rare. The following definition is based on the writings of Dr M. Scott Peck… “We define community as a group of people who, regardless of their backgrounds and beliefs, have been able to accept and transcend their differences, enabling them to communicate effectively and openly.”

I hope that through this study and our continued sharing of our lives together we may continue to group as a community. Thanks to the community for accepting me and welcoming me and allowing me to be who I am and share my life with you.
God Bless
Shelle :)

Friday, March 24, 2006

iTunes Knows All, Reveals All

Instructions: Go to your music player of choice and put it on shuffle. Say the following questions aloud, and press play.

Use the song title as the answer to the questions. NO CHEATING.

How does the world see you?
Jerry, Stand up.
Something for Kate.
Hmmm. “Quit your job” and “Once upon time you were crazy”.

Don’t really understand the message here…Will I have a happy life?
Coloured Rain
“Yesterday I was a young boy…til you came along there was nothing but an empty space”
Better. True if seen from the divine perspective…

What do my friends really think of me?
Good cop, Bad Cop
Everything but the Girl
“I don’t want to feel this way, won’t somebody take away this feeling”
Well I hope not…

What do people secretly think of me?
The Word
Sara Groves
Thankyou to all my friends!

How can I be happy?
Man in the corner shop
The Jam
Should I BE the man in the corner shop, or should I date him?

What should I do with my life?
Old John Robertson
The Byrd’s
What the..?

What is some good advice for me?
Joni Mitchell
Thanks Joni…… I think.

How will I be remembered?
In France they kiss on main street
Joni Mitchell
I haven’t even been to France!

What is my signature dancing song?
Ben Lee
I don’t dance. Good choice.

What do I think my current theme song is?
Artificial Energy
The Byrds
Yep, that about sums it up!

What does everyone else think my current theme song is?
Cindy of a thousand lives
Billy Bragg
Ummm, do I appear schizophrenic?

What song will play at my funeral?
I'm Only Dreaming
The Small Faces
Lets hope so!

What type of men/women do you like?
King Jesus has a Garden
Kings College
Looks like celibacy for me!

What is my day going to be like? .
Oh Santa
Vege Tales
It’s March for goodness sake!

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Wow interesting findings

Who Should Paint You: Salvador Dali
You're a complex, intense creature who displays many layers.There's no way a traditional portrait could ever capture you!


Giving and Taking (or the Art of Chocolate)

We finally got to the first study of our Lenten book "Christ and the chocolaterie". (Click for a review). Only a few of us last night, but a good chat and think nonetheless. The main issue, as per the post title, was giving up. We thought, and watched, as people struggled with their humanity, their desires and needs, and the "requirements" of the pre-vatican 2 French Catholic church.

Got really interesting as we discussed what we could, and will give up, and why! But we all seem to have adopted the more modern approach of life change, or taking on a practice, for Lent.- some more prayer, others less stress, others spiritual reading (You go boy!)

On another, more secular note by far, I was very happy to recieve Donald Fagen's new album "Morph the Cat". Donald explains helpfully: "There’s nothing sexier than the Apocalypse. I suppose you could call this album Apocalypse Wow.”
Cool grooves, dark themes, humour, history, death, mayhem and despair.
Very nice.

Bless you.

Sunday, March 19, 2006


Well it seems

Who Should Paint You: Salvador Dali
You're a complex, intense creature who displays many layers.There's no way a traditional portrait could ever capture you!

From the looks of it I'm not too easy to capture.


Friday, March 17, 2006

Who should paint you?

Who Should Paint You: Gustav Klimt

Sensual and gorgeous, you would inspire an enchanting portrait..
With just enough classic appeal to be hung in any museum!

Thursday, March 16, 2006

New Listening

I got home yesterday to find my latest music purchase "From the Six Corners" by The Players had arrived. Cool. Funky UK urban soul.
I am a happy camper!

And finally we are famous! The Brisbane Catholic diocese has used our communities story as a part of their Lenten Resource site. Check it out here.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Going green and community

One my of goals for Lent was to eat less meat and better quality food over all.
So we’ve taken up buying our fruit and Vege from “An Organic Experience”, our meat from “Meatlovers” and loads of fantastic European products from the “Re Store” (Which has the added value of avoiding many additives which have been banned overseas, but are still in loads of Aussie foods…)

Too early to say if we feel better physically yet, but it is nice to go to a store where people know you, give the kids a chocky, and there is no awful background music…

Stay away from those Supermarkets I think. They’ll do your head in. Not to mention your body.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Christ and the chocolaterie

A bit breezy today - Please don't be upset...

For Lent, we have begun using "Christ and the Chocolaterie", by Hilary Brand. It is a study guide to the movie "Chocolat" and picks up many Lenten themes. In my spirit of Lent, we are going slow and not pushing ourselves. We are taking two weeks just to watch it, and then we'll gradually work our way through the text.

The movie is set in Pre-Vatican 2 France, a bastion of conservative Catholicism. Fasting is to be practice hard and fast. To give into temptation is a sin. We must suffer for Christ. etc etc.
The whole community lives a penetential 6 weeks before Easter comes, and are "Free again".

Surely this is to miss the point. To be fruitful, fasting should be part of the re-orientation process, which I believe is what Lent is all about. (As in "Turn away from sin and be faithful to the gospel...). We should (In an ideal world) each fast from what binds us, to drop its attachment, and see its power over us. But we are so self indulged that any sort of moderation - whether it be in eating, drinking, exercise, technology, sex - seems foreign to us.
Perhaps even dangerous.

And I include myself here. I don't WANT to fast. Or give anything up. I like to eat and drink. And be merry. But I love God more. And if I am serious about entering into God's mystery, then history shows (and my limited, flawed experience tells me), fasting is helpful

On another note, the Irish Jesuits rock. Pray as You Go is an awesome site. Daily reflective mediations on the Gospel of the Day, one for each day of Lent.
I have been using the End of the Day prayer each night before sleep. It is fab

Monday, March 06, 2006


I finally got my self a copy of “Emerging Churches” by Gibbs and Bolger. It’s a good read. At this point in our communities journey it is good to read that we are

(1) not alone in doing the small community thing and
(2) that the issues we face are the same that others have, and continue to face.

But, perhaps it’s just me, but I run into problems with this sort of thing. The minute we put something down in print we give it a pseudo endorsement, both of the subject of the text and of the authors as knowledgeable about the issue. I would hate to think that others new to the movement or whatever we call it, feel this book sums it up.
New communities (new monasticism, emergent church, missional communities, take your pick really…) are all “emerging” (whatever that means) because we are on the way to something – a new way of being church. By definition we can’t be there yet and not many people I know think they have got it all worked out anyway!

That said, and the fact that I was sad there was so little of Oceanic groups mentioned (although they do state why…). This book is terrific in analysing the present state of the movement by allowing emergent church leaders to tell their story and offering their opinions. It avoids being too academic and I loved the bios of the contributors- many of whose blogs I read. I can really, really recommend it.
5 people are lined up to borrow mine!

Which leads me to hidden-ness. Did I feel we needed to be in there? Have those communities mentioned in the book noticed people beating down their doors to
“Have a look”? (Nothing can disturb a community’s life more! Look at the changes Taize has had to make over the years to accommodate their visitors). What will the long-term ramifications of this book be to these communities spiritual growth? How missional and open can you be and still maintain a communities integrity and strength of life? How many awesome communities were not listed? Should they have been?

Turning to our community’s monastic foundations, I think of all the little known monks and nuns through the years who have been hidden away, and yet whose prayers and mere presence have been powerful forces in the world.
We will never know who they are, no matter how intune with God they are, but they make the way clear before us.

I think this is what I wish for our community.
To be hidden, not drawing attention to our selves, getting on with being Gods people in our context, but still being open to the next challenge, the next person.

But I still check the blog stats to see how many people are checking us out!

Oh Vanity!

Saturday, March 04, 2006

A Go Slow Thought

All good things start small and get smaller.

Dan Berrigan

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Ash Wednesday

Remember you are dust, and to dust you shall return.

Turn Away from sin, and be faithful to the gospel.

God is gracious and merciful...slow to anger, rich in kindness and relenting in punishment,"