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Showing posts from 2005

Tonga

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I have been in Tonga now for 5 days at the launch of Youth Yeah! A celebration of young people and ministry among young people in the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia. The actual launch was on the Sunday, and was a large affair. Every group there performed two items, and there were groups from Tikanga Pakeha (European descent in New Zealand) Tikanga Maori, Tikanga Pacifika in New Zealand, Samoa, Several different groups from Fiji, plus each parish in Tonga. A Free Wesleyan group also came to take part and participate. There were speeches from Claude Fong-Toy, the Diocesan Youth Co-ordinator for Polynesia, and from the Anglican Bishop in Polynesia, Rt. Rev. Jabez Bryce. It took about three hours, and was a great way to start the year. The job now is to publicise what has happened, and to make the best use of this year as possible.
On the Monday our two speakers were not able to come (from New Zealand) so I was asked to run the two hour session on what is Youth Yeah…

Off To Tonga

I am off to Tonga tomorrow for the launch of our Youth Yeah! Should be great fun, but hard work too. 6am Eucharist every morning except Sunday. And no food when we arrive or before we leave and we are flying Pacific Blue - a no frills airline with no food except what you take with you or buy on board.

the importance of all this for me is that we have an opportunity to get the church as an institution, and for the leaders within this church to take young people and ministry among young people seriously. Sometimes it feels like I am pushing stuff uphill. And I am realistic about this coming year, but it is an opportunity. For me this is the test of how any church takes seriously the Gospel - are thy willing to live that gospel out among young people, and to take those young people seriously? You can have all your future church stuff you like, but living out this stuff is what matters. And unless we are willing to take young people seriously, anything we do is for the short term and comfo…

Anchor Me

Anchored deep
With brown robed sisters and brothers
Breathing devotion and sand-papered lives
Knowing I am home
And yet not realising

Walking the streets in holy places
Prayers said at Greyfriars, Carceri, Portiuncula
Praying with Francis on Via Francesca
Where the leper showed him the Christ
Anchored deep

In seminars and reading
As I am opened to Clare’s polished soul
And Bonaventure leading us into the heart
Comes a dawning sense that I am part of this
Small world loving movement
Anchor drawing me down

Before the crucified one
Within the circle of brothers
I open my eyes to find I am marked
I do not to choose this
I simply choose how to live it
Anchored in the Tau

How we use people in the church.

One of the reasons I stopped blogging was I found out I had been removed from a committee I had been part of for the last two years. It is a committee of some significance and clout, and it was very ego boosting to be removed. It was also a committee that was trying to do some really interesting things – to create a vision of us as the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia being one church expressed across the three tikanga, instead of being three separate churches who get together to squabble over the cookies every now and then. So it was very ego deflating to be removed, and also really sad, I enjoyed the two weeks I spend at the meetings.
But what really annoyed or angered me was that no-one saw fit to tell me. I found out in the minutes of the group who made the decision. You would think that being a church we might have some clues as to how to care for people. But no. Not a one. There has been some surprised that I might be angry. So why didn’t I blog. I was just…

what has been happening - a quick run down

So, what has been happening? I have been a wee bit busy, Last week I was away most of the week at a PADYS meeting. PADYS are the Professional Anglican Diocesan Youth Staff from each of our 7 dioceses. This group has come together well over the last three years, and although I still get really frustrated at times I look forward to and enjoy our times together. We met at a beach house in the Keneperu Sounds at the top of the south island. Very relaxed and enjoyable.
Around that I have been working on collecting up collects (pardon the pun) for our Youth Year. These are supposed to have been written by young people from across our church. Sadly this has not happened as well as it was hoped, and even more sadly nothing was done on this project while I was away. I hadn’t realised that, so was a little too relaxed about it all. Now it is just rush rush rush! And all too late to meet the deadline of being used this weekend which is the beginning of advent (the four weeks before Christmas, and…

Franciscan News

A piece of news. A couple of weeks ago I learnt that I had been elected as Minister Provincial for the Third Order, Society of Saint Francis in New Zealand, Solomons and Vanuatu. I am really humbled by this, and somewhat at a loss to know where to begin with it all. But at the same time I am looking forward to seeing how that pans out and where it all goes.

People, people, people

Kia ora

I read this blog the other day. Hirini is Kaihautu for Te Maara, the Rangatahi Ministry School within the Anglican church here in Aotearoa. What struck me was his love of the church. It struck me because I don't share his great love. Most of the time I find the institutional church very frustrating. So to read of his love shook me a little.

As I read on though, you discover it is not the institution he loves. It is the people, and their great love for the mission of God. I was reminded of a speech I heard earlier this year. It was by Bishop Philip Richardson speaking about Bishop George Connor at his translation to be Bishop of Dunedin. He was commenting on Bishop George's pedantic adherence to the rules. His comment was that this came from Georges care for people. By paying attention to the process, people were not hurt as much. The bottom line is that Bishop George cares for people.

Soem times it is easy for me to let my frustration overwhelm me, and for me to stop seei…

Headship

I just had a really interesting conversation (in spiritual direction) about headship. Basically, someone is coming to see me to sort out were he stands in a safe environment. I get to listen and ask questions to help him. The topic today was headship in the family.

We came to a point of describing headship as the responsibility (of the man) the ensure the relationships within the family and especially with the wife are such that they communicate well, love each other, and make decisions for the best of all the family. (My words completely) Part of this is honouring how God speaks through the other, and not just thinking that the head is the only one God speaks through. In essence it is about love. We both marvelled that Ephesians is used to justify appalling abuse of women and children by "good" God fearing men.

In the end this was about leadership. What is leadership and how do we as leaders exercise it. Too often in my view leaders think they have the answers, make deci…

Praying with all the Saints - Us and Them, or We

An odd things happened this morning as I prayed. I use a form of daily office to get things going. It is designed for groups of people, so uses "we". I usually change this to "I" etc.. Today I left it as "we", and became conscious as I prayed that it was really we. I do not pray alone, but with all those who have prayed over the ages (the saints) and with all those who will pray today, particularly my Franciscan and Anglican brothers and sisters. It was a profound experience, that took me out of my prayers and my needs, and into this intangible but real community.

I think I will keep using "we" and join all the saints, living now and departed, in "our" daily prayer.

Just before I left for overseas I attended a theological hui on "communion" Timely for us Anglicans as the Anglican Communion tears itself apart. One of the speakers talked about "communion" taking us out of an "us and them" metality, and into a …

Mission and being Politically correct

Another wee quote, which again says something to my wee rant below. It comes from a summary paper drawn from a Forum on Ministry Training run in Febrauary this year.


"Without adequate study of the controlling forces of society, we may act to save people out of the world but not effectively redeem the world i.e. triple bottom line
Proclamation that is not contextualised in realities of society is ineffective."

So in relation to the National Party's statements, what are the controlling forces in our society, and how do we redeem them? Surely that is what we need to be moving towards in "church" and particlaulry in our work with young people.

that will do. 3 posts in one day. Exhausting stuff.

Are You Real?

This came through on daily dig a few days ago. In a small way it offers something of what lies behind my comments below.


Are You Real?
Kallistos Ware

The isolated individual is not a real person. A real person is one who lives in and for others. And the more personal relationships we form with others, the more we truly realize ourselves as persons. It has even been said that there can be no true person unless there are two, entering into communication with one another.
This idea of openness to others could be summed up under the word love. By love, I don’t mean merely an emotional feeling, but a fundamental attitude. In its deepest sense, love is the life, the energy, of God in us. We are not truly personal as long as we are turned in on ourselves, isolated from others. We only become personal if we face other persons, and relate to them.




political correctness

I have been annoyed by some of the National Party statements lately - not a hard thing to do really.

Dr. Wayne Mapp's attack on the politically correct work on no smokign in pubs. I thougth it was about the health of those who work and drink in pubs, and the cost of the ill helath on the economy (and on them) Wayne clearly needs to get out and have a few more drinks in pubs filled with smoke, as they mostly still are in Britian and Europe. I have to say Ireland was a breath fo fresh air. And then he had a go at the PPTA for their stance on the treatment of gays, transgeneder and transexual staff and pupils. Political correctness he calls it.mHaving seen as a teacher the harrasment and abuse some pupils and staff are subjected to, I would have thought it was about caring for people and ensuring they are not abused or harrassed. Sadly, we live in a political climate where people just don't count.

Simon Power's comments about traffic fines for dangerous and speeding drivers rei…

More Reflections while sitting in LAX

One of the comments that was made at one of the sessions at Iona was from a Church of Scotland minister. She had worked as a University chaplain for a while. In the session she talked about how she had brought students up to Iona and the profound affect that experience had on them. Her comment was that they now lived out that experience in their lives as Doctors and Lawyers and business leaders etc… It reinforced some of my previous reflections on the importance of what we do among young people, and also made me realise that we have nothing like Iona. I am hoping to bring some young adults to Israel and Taize in 2007, and I would hope that that would have a similar affect. The trouble is that it is so expensive and such a long distance. But it does confirm this growing conviction that has stirred in me over this last two month.

On the day before Bonnie arrived, I spent the day with Peter Ball, my equivalent for the Church of England. Our conversation ranged over many things. Two intere…

Pilgrimage in Iona

Pilgrimage in Iona
(20 October 2005 after walking the wild peat bog on Iona)

I passed some tourists on my way here
hunched down against the weather
scurrying along to return to warmth and comfort
following the clearly marked road
hoods held low against
blocking the wind and rain
blocking the bog and rock
hands laden with bags of goodies
tokens of their time here.

I passed the shops and centres
leaving behind the known and comfortable
found my gate immersed in mud and dung
and began my pilgrimage.
I face the wind with empty hands
and eyes open
heading to a known site
with vague notions of a route
ready to be lost, buffeted,
baptised in the windswept bog.

Some would say this is an empty hard land
wet and difficult
to be travelled with care occasionally
only when the need was large enough.
As I wander determinedly into the wild
I know this place as thin space,
God’s eternity
leaking through as the brown wet leaks into my boots
sticking to me as the peat bog crawls up my trousers
ch…

Thin Spaces – Pilgrimmage on Iona

Today, Tuesday, we pilgrimmaged over the island of Iona. We visited “thin spaces”, spaces where the space between the here and now and the eternal is very thin. We visited the site where Columba landed with his twelve monks. We walked across the heather laden hills, with thick wet peat bog beneath our boots. Some was in silence. Some was busy chatting with the neighbour, the scenery lost amidst the talk. And with each step came the realisation the 1500 years ago the Irishman Colum Cille walked this land, prayed in these spaces, began his redemption in this place.
The thinnest place was the hermit’s cell, out on it’s own amongst the crags and bog. A place where people have come to pray, to be, to be slowly sanded by the wind and the divine.
I have realised as I have thought about thin spaces that the Highlands were also thin spaces for me. And my sadness is that I did not get to stay or to walk in them, but just drove through and around them. Experienced from a car is not the same as fee…

Reflections on my first full day at Iona

Tonight Richard the Warden of Iona, and Malcolm, one of the community members spoke to us about the Iona Community. I found the session really interesting, partly because like the Third Order, Society of Saint Francis, they are a dispersed religious community, and partly because they commented briefly about Corrymeela, which I have been to about 3 weeks ago.
Iona is a community of people that live by a common rule of life that has four basic headings: I will have to blog those later. One of the works of Iona is the Abbey, on Iona Island, which is run by staff and volunteers for the Iona Community. Currently only one community member is present at the Abbey.
Some comments that resonated;
The work of Iona Community is whatever our members are doing. Some are doctors, some ministers, some song writers and liturgy writers, some youth workers etc… While none would say they do these things because they are members of Iona, their work becomes the work of Iona. So too for us Franciscans. I think…

Travelling in the Highlands and Glasgow.

After leaving Brechin, we journeyed to Creif. We went there to do the Famous Grouse whiskey tour. We missed this by about 15 minutes, so decided to stay in Crief and do domestic things like watching. Thursday morning we went back to the famous Grouse, where we learnt about whiskey production and Bonnie had her first (and probably last) glass of whiskey. It was a great tour. Then we journeyed on to Killen, in an area called Breadlabaine. My interest in this is that my mother’s father’s family sailed out to New Zealand from Novia Scotia (with a wee free Pressy group) on a ship called the Breadalbaine. We went to a museum, where we learnt about the clans, and the Campbells and McGregors in particular.
This area had been actively involved with the two pretenders. I learnt that when Bonnie Prince Charlie announced he was returning and called on the clans to support him, the clan leaders tired to dissuade him. But his charisma carried the day. At he end he returned to France to his comfortab…

Brechin – home?

One of the only places I was certain I wanted to visit was Brechin, a small town in Pict country, near Aberdeen and Perth. (I guess it is Perthshire) The first official recorded entry for a Hebenton was here in 1680’s. My great grandfather was born here, and moved from here to go to Ceylon to work as a coffee planter in the late 1850’s. He sent his 5 eldest children (of 12) back here to live with his sister and go to school etc….
I had a great two hours hunting through the 1861 and then 1851 census for my family’s entry. I found my great great grand father and his daughter for 1861 really quickly. This was after my great grand father had left, and my great great grand mother had died. He and Susan (his daughter) had moved into his brother’s house at 109 High Street. We of course went to see this and photograph it. I found nearly every other Hebenton in 1851, but not my family.
Bonnie and I then wandered about, discovering that Brechin has an old tradition that everything closes at 1pm o…

Days of Battles:

Monday we left Edinburgh, through the new city, and on to Falkirk. One of the things happening in Britain is that the canals are being reborn, and are increasingly being used by holiday makers and others. The Falkirk Wheel is a recent addition to the Scottish canals to quickly move boats up and down 20 – 30 meters, instead of having to slowly go through a series of locks which would take at least on hour, probably more. Quite a site and well worth a visit. I discovered later that Falkirk was the site of William Wallace’s great defeat, and the beginning of his end.
You can go for narrow boat rides up the wheel and along the canal before returning, but we chose to go to Bannockburn, the site of Robert Bruce’s great victory over the English.
I found this a fascinating place. Partly I love history, much more so than Bonnie. But I enjoyed learning some of the story around Bannockburn, Robert the Bruce, and William Wallace of Braveheart fame. We kind of did it back to front really, finishing …

Edinburgh

As luck or God would have it, we ended up in a B&B about 15 mins walk into the Royal Mile. The royal mile is the street that runs from Edinburgh Castle up on top of its crag, down to Holyrood palace on the flats. It is the oldest part of Edinburgh. On the Saturday night we walked in to town, finding a nice café that did dinner, desert and coffee £7. Then a quiet beer in the oldest pub in Edinburgh, or so the sign said.
Edinburgh is where J.K. Rowling lived when she wrote Harry Potter. As you walk around and learn something of the history you quickly see how Harry Potter came to be. Scotland burnt over 3,000 woman as witches in the witch burning years, and most places have some kind of witches tour happening. Edinburgh burnt more than their fair share. J.K. sat in the Elephant House café while she wrote Harry Potter 1, a really nice café that overlooks the Greyfriars cemetery (of Greyfriars Bobby fame – the dog that wouldn’t leave his master, and stayed at his masters grave until he…

The Drive North, Hexham and Hadrian’s Wall.

Friday morning we got into our wee car and headed north, hoping to get to Edinburgh. Such are dreams. We eventually got to Hexham, just below Hadrian’s wall. What a nice spot. We found a nice B and B, explored the town and found a nice pub for dinner. The next day we went to the Abbey and discovered it was Wilfred’s see. St. Wilfred introduced the Benedictine rule to his monastery in Hexham, and he championed the Roman cause at the Synod of Whitby which sought to unify the British Church under one ecclesiastical system. Wilfred won the day, and the British Celtic Church slowly faded into history. He is not my favourite saint. Some history tells how he got caught up in his own importance at the end, probably why he was so keen on the more hierarchical and pontificating (no pun intended) Roman system. It was an interesting yet disturbing experience.
The we drove up to Hadrian’s wall at Once Brewed (just down the road from Twice Brewed.) Legend has it that Once Brewed was a youth hostel r…

England with Bonnie:

It has been a while since I last blogged. Largely I blame my wife.
Bonnie arrived on Wednesday 5th October, and it has been full on ever since, with no time for sitting down at this wee beasty writing blogs. So what have we been up to? This is what I am willing to share. I might reflect on some of this is a separate blog.
Bonnie’s arrival was a nightmare. I was going to be there early, so I went to the bus stop for the bus from Hemel Hempstead to Heathrow. It was well over half an hour late. I had been told I could buy a ticket from the driver. I couldn’t, and as it drove off without me, Bonnie texted me to say she was through customs (they had arrived ¾ hour early) and where was I? So much for my relaxed time at the airport, checking my emails, getting a coffee, being there when she arrived. I was not a happy man. But my aunt came to the rescue and drove me down. Thank God for aunts. I still glare at the national express busses whenever I see one.
That out of the way, and wanting to max…

Travelling the Virgin

Travelling the Virgin
(On the way from Holyhead to Hemel Hempstead on “Virgin Trains”)

Window seat in unknown carriage
opposite the woman in pink
deaf and blind to all around
immersed in her Ipod and book.
I retreat into my laptop
randomly gazing at England
passing by my window.
It’s too bright on the other side
and the blinds are down.
We pass through Ashton.
Through my ear plugs
Ikon praises the dance
that builds community
and makes me whole.
I am drawn into the Celtic spirit
Centred, slowed down
This small God moment.

Long seedy grass blown back
by our relentless journey to Euston:
muddied work site fenced in by barbed wire
berry laden trees hedging over wire barrier
undulating English pasture and neatly ploughed fields
rivers, towns small and large
concrete creations stamped into the earth
narrow boats and caravans parked waiting
the next urban escapee.
Each picture passes by to Ikon’s mellow tunes
surrounded by greens and browns,
and songs of sweet deliverance

Woman and chi…

Jonny Baker in Ireland

Over the last couple of days in Dublin I have had the chance to spend some time with Jonny Baker, world famous emerging church guru, who works for CMS England. He was over to do some work for David Brown, Church of Ireland Youth Officer (Anglican) with ordinands, and then running a training day for youth leaders. WE spent about 2 hours talking over dinner on Thursday night, and then I went to the training day yesterday, followed by a pint or two afterwards (as you do!)
We share a lot of common concerns really. His observation is that much of worship today is situated in two extremes, dead boring dry liturgical tradition, which is inaccessible to so many, and the Hillsong 40 minute worship is singing tradition with the preachy bit which is great to start with but over time for many is just too “thin” and unhelpful. Like me, only he is doing a lot more work on this than I am, he is seeking to find ways to allow the liturgical tradition to reconnect with the emerging post modern culture,…

Reflections on Ministry Among Young People, and Corrymeela

I have had some really interesting conversations and experiences while in Ireland particularly.

One of these was being driven back from Corrymeela to Belfast by Ivan Cross, a youth worker for Corrymeela in Belfast. We spent about two hours driving back down. He works with groups of young people helping them develop some basic life skills that they might begin to move out of a sectarian world view and have more options really.
One of my questions to him was what affect did he think Corrymeela had had over the last 40 years. His response was that that was hard to judge, and that it would be easy to think not much given the entrenched sectarian views on both sides, which seem to be entrenching even further given the results of the last election, where the UDP (Paisleys party) and the Sinn Fein both increased their vote and number of seats in the UK Parliament. However he thought it has played a huge role in making things as hopeful as they are. He noted the number of people who had been as…

Pinch and a punch for the first of the month.

So what has John been up to?

Monday I went down from Portadown to Dublin. I spent a few hours here, doing email, finding food, checking out ferry and train options for sunday, adn workign out how the city works. Then at 6pm, off to Westport. I was met at the train by the Diocesan Youth Worker (very very part time, worked 90 hours in his first year). Steve is a delightful guy, and he and his wife Orla looked after me really really well. Highlights included the rural life museum, and going to Matt Malones for a couple of guiness' and a live Irish jam. What fun.

Wednesday I went on the train to Galway. The weather was aweful. And to make matters worse I failed to note the signs pointing to the Information Centre, and walked the wrong way, only to get caught in some seriously wetting rain. I nearly gave up in disgust, but after finding the Info Centre, and getting a B&B with a lovely Catholic couple in a B&B called "St. Clares" I settled into enjoying the city. In the …

Northern Ireland

I have been in Northern Ireland now for 4 days. It has been fascinating.

On Thursday my host, David Brown, the Church of Ireland (Anglican) Youth Director, took me for a wee tour of Belfast. Shankhill, Falls Road, along the "Peace lines" where there was rioting, shooting and protest last week. It feels hard and brutal. The murals are so sad. Republican areas fly the Irish flag (which includes the Protestant Orange) and the murals are largely of their glorious dead, and the IRA and Sinn Fein. Loyalist (Protestant) areas are bedecked in red white and blue, little pendants flying zig zagged down the street, like a party, only not. And Union Jacks on every pole. It was oppressive as an NZ republican. And so many of the murals are for the various Paramilitary groups, and depict armed masked men point an automatic weapon out at the viewer. Kids grow up seeing these. It is so sad. In the face of all that I can only say I found Belfast harrowing. The divisions are so deep. It is so h…

More of Geneva:

More of Geneva:

Today did not quite happen as expected. Everything takes longer than I expect. I did bus to France to post my packages home. It seemed wrong to catch a bus into another country. But fun. I have sent all my Taizé stuff home and the WCC material as well. Nearly 2kg worth. Then Michael and I went for coffee, a harder thing than expected.
We bussed back to the Ecumenical Centre, where I visited the book shop, thinking the world day of Prayer for Peace service was happening. I thought it was at 12noon, but it was really 12.30. So I sat outside, began reading a book of memoirs by one of the Corrymeale founders, and ate the chocolate bar my family sent over with me in the sun. Lovely.
It was nice to be in a service again. This week is the first time I have not been in regular community prayer since I arrived nearly 4 weeks ago. But I would describe it as stilted liturgy. The kind I think Simon is talking about (see one of the comments down below) I had the same experience last t…

Geneva

Geneva
I have now been in Geneva for two days, mostly doing study leave stuff and also being a tourist.
But first, Taize! Saturday and Sunday were very hard. It was really hard attending services for the last time. I have so enjoyed being here, worshipping in this way. And to know that this could be the last time I was attending each of the services, maybe ever was a very disturbing thing. And saying goodbye to people who had become friends and who I know I will never see again was sad. And finally, I was almost the last to leave. And that felt profoundly lonely. But also good. I appreciated the time in the afternoon in the church journaling and praying. It was a good way to finish.

So now Geneva. What a beautiful city, and so much here.
Monday I went to World Council of Churches. I discovered that the General Assembly next year has a youth focus, and that churches have been asked to nominate young people to come as delegates. The youth person is really struggling to get nominations, and …

Thoughts about Taize

Here are some random and initial thoughts about my time in Taize

The sense of welcome and coming home I felt even as I arrived and saw Casa there, and the welcome signs. There was so much still uncertain, and yet, I felt welcome and at home. At peace I think I would call it. It was just so good to be here.
And then going to night prayer at 8.30, having rushed down some very welcome simple dinner, and first breathing in the sights and the sound of the singing, being embraced by that, and almost floating in that, and then looking up straight ahead to Brother Alois, the new Prior sitting only meters away, and realising that only 3 ½ weeks earlier, in this most sacred place, in this service of worship that is so soaked with the presence of God and the sense of God’s peace, Brother Roger was murdered, there, only meters in front of me, and in front of all these brothers, gathered peacefully, and in front of all those young people, gathered for prayer at the beginning of their week searching …

Phew

Phew
What an amazing few days.
Friday was an intense day with Francis. I went up to the Hermitage, where you can feel the presence of Francis and his early brothers. I walked the hour UP the road, and once I arrived I sat and prayed and wrote poetry there for a couple of hours.
After I came back I revisited the lower basilica of St Francis, and his tomb, which has five of his most faithful friends buried around the outside edge. It was an amazing experience to be in their presence twice in one day. I finished by praying before the crucifix, arms outstretched, as Francis encouraged his followers to do. An odd thing to do with hundreds of tourists around, but amazing. I mean, who knew me anyway!
Dorothy, Anne and I were going to try and have a Eucharist at the Franciscan Ecumenical Centre, but failed to raise anyone, so had an informal one at a local café. The quirky thing was when we got back from dinner we discovered an Anglican Eucharist nearly finished in the chapel at the guest house w…

Assisi Three

Today has been huge in so many ways.

We three set off down the hill after morning prayers to find San Damiano. It is about 1.5 km out of town down a steep hill, though olive groves. This wee church was where Francis heard the crucified Christ ask him “to rebuild my church” He took this literally, and rebuilt not only the run down San Damiano, but also several other churches in the Assisi region.

San Damiano became the place of residence for Clare and her followers, and so is significant for the second order as well. The Poor Clares as they are called moved to the new basilica when Clare died, and the OFM friars now fun the site. Unlike the basilicas up in the town proper, tourists don’t tend to go here. It is a simple little church, which a replica of the crucifix that hung there in Francis and Clare’s time. (The real one hangs in The Basilica of St. Clare) It was deeply moving to pray there, and in the various other rooms and chapels from Clare’s time. To be in the place where these as…

Assisi in word

Yesterday Dorothy Brooker, Anne Moody and I (all having been at IPTOC) travelled from London through Rome to Assisi.

Once we arrived at the guest house of St. Anthony, we wandered down to the Basilica of St. Chiara (Clare). The crucifix that Francis and Clare prayed before, and which so shaped their lives is in one of the side chapels in the Basilica. It was a profound thing to pray before it as well. We then enjoyed the jazz being played, the café lifestyle, and finding places that Dorothy and I had been to on previous trips, like Casa Papa Giovanni Guest House. After and early night, we had a good night sleep.

So good I failed to hear my alarm this morning, and so ran out of time to do much online. Hence the pictures alone on the last posting. I barely got those up.

Today we went to the Basilica of St. Francis. This was an interesting experience for me. To cope with the number of pilgrims coming to be near the remains of the saint, Brother Elias, at the Popes instruction, built two bas…

Assisi

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Travel Log

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This is just going to be a travel log.














Since I arrived nearly two weeks ago I have mainly be in Canterbury. Some highlights of my
time there have included both the tour of the
Cathedral, and then a candlelight pilgrimage around the Cathedral with reflections and prayers at various important places. Our final service was in the undercroft, and our new Minister General was commissioned. She is the Rev Dorothy Brooker from NZ, the first woman to hold this post.

It was also good getting a broader vision for what we as Franciscans can be and do.

I really enjoyed getting to know other Franciscans from around the world, and from the other orders.

I would also have to say going to Whitstable on the coast, for Fish and Chips on Friday night and a pint was pretty cool as well.

Yesterday I came up to Staines, near Heathrow. Today I went into London, and met up with Lydia, a young woman from Tauranga who is over here on her big OE. We voted, and did our bit to keep the evil blue horde at bay. We visited…

Franciscans and liturgy

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I have now been in England for a week. I am attending the Inter-Provincial Third Order Chapter of the Society of Saint Francis. I am one of three people from the New Zealand and Melanesia Province. There are also three from the Provinces of Europe, the America’s, Australia and Africa. This is also a joint meeting with our First Order brothers and sisters. We pray together, have input together, eat together, study scripture together, but meet in our separate orders.

The Third Order is an "Order" within the Franciscan Family. It comprises people who find the life of Saint Francis attractive, and feel a call or vocation to live by the principles he lived by.
We are a dispersed community of women and men, some married, some single, living in our own homes and doing our own jobs. We are a community in that we pray for each other, we meet when we are able, and we encourage one another in living and witnessing to the Christian life. We are a community in that we share the greater cal…

Here I am away again

The reason for the silence is that I am now on study leave, and have been struggling to get everything doen that needed to get doen before I left.

I am currently in England at the International Centre for Franciscan Studies in Canterbury.
My timetable for the next 9 weeks looks soemthing like this:


Week One
Wednesday August 24
Fly to London

Friday August 26 – September 4
Attend the Inter Provincial Third Order Chapter of the Society of Saint Francis. I am one of three New Zealanders attending.

Week Two
Tuesday Sept 6 to Friday Sept 9
Fly from London Heathrow to Rome, and then train to Assisi with the two other New Zealanders.

Saturday Sept 10
Train to Rome
Stay overnight

Week Three
Sunday Sept 11
Fly Easy Jet from Rome to Geneva; and then catch the TGV to Taizé in France

Sunday Sept 11-18
in Taize

Week Four
Sunday Sept 18
return to Geneva


Monday Sept 19 – Wed 21
In Geneva

Wed Sept 21
Fly Easy Jet flight To Belfast

Week Five
Thursday Sept 22 – Sunday Oct 2
In Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland hosted by D…