Brisbane

Once it was described as the largest city in the southern hemisphere. Its skyscrapers are people friendly at street level, individual in style and offer each resident a bay window view of its parks and river. This city is coming alive. I booked in to a B&B near the river to sightsee between two engagements.

The first was at St. John’s Cathedral. This masterpiece of a building is now surrounded by skyscrapers which, in a stroke of genius, reflect and magnify the masterpiece. The cathedral congregation is known for its works of justice, but members also ‘Waste Time With God’ once a month on Wednesdays. On my visit we ‘wasted time’ with reflective Celtic spirituality. People brought copies of books I have written over the years and asked me to sign them. They were informed, motivated and snapped up the literature. Our host, Canon Nigel Leaves, dislikes the stage-managed ego-centred confrontations between new atheists who make-believe that science replaces religion and archaic Christians who make-believe that the Bible is a science book. He gave me his book on this theme. My approach, that Celtic Christianity is holistic and does not divorce science from religion was, I trust, helpful.

A participant, Richard Mason, drove me around the sites for the rest of the day, including the University of Queensland and the heights of Mount Coot-Tha. Next day I took the Catamaran the length of the city-side river and stopped off as the spirit moved. The following day Jan Brown put me up overnight and took me to the Diocesan Day Retreat Centre at Brookfield where I led a Quiet Day on Sacred Space, Sacred Rhythms, Sacred Future. Nearly fifty highly motivated people came. These included the three Northumbria Community members who care-take in return for accommodation and who sustain daily prayer, and Professor Charles Ringma, who lectures in Asian theology at Brisbane as well as in the Philippines. We discussed the relevance of Celtic models of mission in Asia as well as the West.

Judy drove me the 90 minutes back to Carboolture. I preached there twice on Mother's Day, giving them a Spiritual Mother's Blessing from the Brigid Cloak that a CA&H mother,Kathy Day, made and sent me just before my UK departure. Then the church prayed for Judy and my faith journey to W. Australia. A member has paid for her to come to the wilderness retreat and lead part of it with me. We drove back to Brisbane Airport for a five hour flight to Perth and to further adventures. Fasten your seat belts.

Posted at 01:29am on 9th May 2015
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