Friday, June 30, 2006

Hey and other random thoughts

Hey ... Did someone mention the "H" word on Wednesday night...?

Some cool links to check out at the moment.

Aimee is another newish catholic who is thinking deeply about her faith and its practice.

We are continuning to pray for Bryan.

Alan Creech has continues to write great stuff at the moment. And his comments about our community and the Eucharist provide a wonderfully stimulating discussion on Wednesday night.

Oh. And at the moment I am reading "Christian England" (But Volume 2. The link is for volume 3) by David Edwards. Great read.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Living in community

One of the biggest gifts I have been given by my brothers at New Norcia is access to their Reading Room. One book I have recently borrowed is “Engaging Benedict: What the Rule can teach us today” by Laura Swan.

Here an excerpt read recently at the community.

Good Monastics value the greater good of the community: actively seeking to build and protect the members as well as the community as a whole. The health and well being of each individual member strengthens the whole. It takes healthy members to make a health community. There is always a delicate balance between personal needs and the needs of community that create and perpetuates a healthy, forward moving atmosphere.

Benedict’s good monastic yearns to develop the fine skills of building loving, trusting, and enriching relationships, especially with those people we ae not naturally attracted to. The community member does not need to argue, but trusts the process of community living or community discernment. With open, honest relationships there is no room for gossip, grumbling and the formation of political camps.

The good monastic is a deep listener. This kind of listening encompasses the fullness of our being. True listening involves an active response. It is listening into being. Deep listening is fed and supported by quality silence. Silence supports our growth in self-awareness, discernment, and simple confidence in ourselves. We come to know ourselves primarily in our silence and solitude. The monastic heart makes careful use of words; words can give life or destroy it through our anger, jealousy or vindictiveness. Words are used carefully in support of the relationships.

The good monastics prayer is passionate and sincere, simple and to the point. The monastic heart is immersed in prayer in a total wayof life. Gentle compassionate prayer cultivates and sustains a yearning for prayer.

And so goes on this wonderful wisdom. If only we could live this out …

Monday, June 26, 2006

A slightly late "Who am I?"

It all started for me with a resignation/firing. I'd been the youth minister at St Phillip's (the Anglican church Chris and Coralie attend) for about 18 months and was really starting to struggle with a conflict of cultures. Most churches I'd been involved with had youth that were eager to get involved and be active (this was in my Sydney Evangelical days of course). However there seemed to be a trend at St Phil's that the youth minister did/ran everything for the youth and the young people just attended. Anyway lets just say my resignation started with a comment from my 'boss' along the lines of, "This isn't really working is it? Your leaving would probably be for the best," and all went downhill from there.

I returned to my former church (one with distinctly Sydney Evangelical Anglican leanings) but maintained contact with Chris et al via the notorious regular Wednesday night 'bible study'. As you've probably read this group slowly transformed/developed into the Transfiguration Community you know.

From the time I started meeting with these guys until a couple of years ago I was single (and my family all live in Sydney) so the community became my family. Although I don't think I could claim any person to be father or mother ... more brothers and sisters on the same journey.

In the time between then and now I've been received into the Catholic church (in New Norcia), considered becoming a monk (in New Norcia), met and married my beautiful wife Linda (in New Norcia) and for some reason been drawn even closer to this crazy community that is also my family in Perth. I love them all and have valued their input in my life more than I think any of them really know.

Matt J (Burrfoot)

Sunday, June 25, 2006

A Long Post - Our History

Thankyou for all of your comments and thoughts.

It is great to know we are connected to a world wide family of faith – and this has been a real blessing of the virtual community of faith – knowing we are not alone and hearing others struggles and having “Ah ha!” moments.

In response to Alan’s comment – here’s a quick and incomplete history of the community.

Chris and Coralie married in the March of 1997. Jason and Rachel married in the November of that same year. Sometime in 1998 we started having a Lenten bible study at Chris and Coralie’s place, with a few other people including Jason and Rachel and local Anglican youth worker Matt (We all attended various Anglican churches at this point). The study continued after Lent and Michelle joined – as she said after Chris cooked her a curry for dinner!

The next 6 years witnessed the usual round of people coming and going and book based bible studies (you know the sort – 15 days with Luke, Be a better person by 200 Days in Micah’s world etc ). But community life was forming. We had a quiet day. We went bowling together. The boys started walking and breakfast on a Saturday morning. The girls went swimming. Birthdays, Good Friday, Easter and other celebrations began to happen more and more as a group. We all enjoyed a drink. Significantly it was during this period that Chris, Jason, Matt and Besty visited New Norcia for a retreat and developed a relationship with Dom John. Many more visits and much teaching followed. This would prove to be a determining factor in developing our corporate spirituality and practice.

Over time, by 2001 Chris and Coralie had two children and bible study had become contemplative. (but that story is way to long to recount here …). Candles. Icons. Lectio Divina. Ignatian Meditation. Compline. Journaling. Story telling.

The community was quite fully formed at this stage, with Pete being added to our number. At this stage Chris was called, and then received, into the Roman Catholic Church in 2002.
(I have written more about this here.)
Matt followed him in 2003. (On the Same page as Chris').
The other remained happily Anglican or what ever they were…

In 2004 we had our first community retreat at New Norcia and spent time reflecting on the
San Edigio Community. We felt a gentle push from God to formalise ourselves and so Transfiguration was formed. Our new life consisted of praying Vespers together once a week and otherwise we continued as we were – although more closely bound by a name.

Now with four kids and seven adults (Matt and Linda married in 2005), Wednesday nights can be busy and noisy. But we share a meal and each others lives and try not be too hard on ourselves. We always pray – generally Roman Compline – and still meet in various groupings through the week. I suppose after Benedict, our biggest influence is the Taize community – meeting together in trust despite, but respecting, any church discipline differences we may have, and honouring our shared values of silence and community. (Not to mention red wine…)

Any questions??

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Who am I?

A little note: We won't be updating this site until Sunday because its still visitors week.
So go on - be brave.
Leave a comment.
Leave a story.
Leave a credit card number!

I'm sitting here typing to the sounds of Gregorian Chant - very calming ... I am a God-lover, wife, mother to two very energetic, slightly warped but very loveable children. I teach singing, never shut up and whilst my children love my cd's and the songs i write now, I'm sure that in a few years they'll be saying I am so yesterday!

I sing with four georgous girls in a band called Iris and we are currently recording an album. We are an acapella group who all happen to love God and good music. Hence a lot of our repetoire is secular...Oops! Should I say that? We are lucky to also have creative people who write for the group so a hefty amount of what is on the album is original. If anyone would like to order a copy u can do it through me. Because some of us are mothers there are a few songs about the journey we are taking down that path and all that entails...

This community started, in my view, out of a bible study that met in our house on a weekly basis. Most of those members are still part of what essentially is a community. We decided a few years ago to rename what we really had become over the years ... We are the Transfiguration Community and we still meet on a weekly basis starting with a meal then some lectio or compline said at the end of the night.

Because a couple of us "marrieds" have had children the dynamics changed and so we are always adjusting what we do and the length of time we do it! The nights are not late and it works best to have a communal dinner! Some of the community also meet for breaky on a sat. morning at a cafe with the kids in tow and then do shopping at the Re Store afterwards. We all journey together rejoicing in others happiness and grieving together at sorrows.

I love them and they are my family...


Some of the community going to Split Enz:

Monday, June 19, 2006

Who am I?

How did I become a part of this community? My name is Michelle (GooveyM) it all started with a "do you want to stay for dinner?" from Chris. I went to church with Coralie- Chris's wife before they were married and she gave me singing lessons one evening just after they were married after a lesson Chris popped his head through from kitchen- I stayed for tea and bible study- that was the eventful night that Chris would prefer to forget- sorry Chris!! hee hee. I have been a part of the group since then 9 years ago- we have had a few people come and go over the years but the community as we are now has been together for most of the journey since then- Matt's wife Linda joined the community about a year ago and a Coralie & Chris' children Noah 4 and Eliza 6 and Jason and Rachaels children Lauren 2 & Benjamin 6months have also joined us along the way and are a large part of our community.
Great to hear from all of our visitors hope you get to know some of us a bit better too.
Michelle :)

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Tell Us Who You Are!

This week is community visitors week!
As you visit us, leave a comment.
Perhaps tell us where you live and how you found out about us.
Community members this includes you!
We will bring all of our visitors to our Community prayer over the next few weeks.
Bless you.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Goings on

Lovely review of our community over at Kairos Kisses by our friend Andrew Dowsett.
Andrew and his family spent 6 months in Perth last year and of course we only go to know them as they were about to leave ... but we miss them, and their little ones.

Most of the community are excited about going off to see legend Australsian Band Split Enz this Friday night. Some great photosof the Eastern States gig here.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Weekend highlights

(1) My son and daughter fighting in the car as we drove home after Noah (aged 4 ) looked his sister straight in the eye and said "Jesus and ME made the world - not you".
Well you can imagine what came next...

(2) Sitting reading the paper Eliza (aged 6) bringing me a lebanese bread and wine-in-a-pottery-cup communion.

(3) Trinity Sunday and, for a change, a sit down lunch, followed by a swim and then ... um ... report writing!

Thursday, June 08, 2006


Someone stole my bike...

Lord, have mercy.