Into Training Next Kangaroo Ground

Sixty adults enrolled for a term of Saturday training days in mission-shaped church and new monastic expressions. The course is hosted by Hoppers Crossing Uniting Church, Victoria. I led two sessions on their first Saturday .

The Baptist Union invited sixteen ministers in cutting edge mission situations to a retreat at a Salesian centre in the hills beyond Melbourne. Whether they are with Communicare or café, a school or arts chaplain or a congregational minister - they are the salt of the earth who bear the heat and burden of the day with grace. I led sessions on leadership, discernment, and sustaining spiritual disciplines and had a private consultation with each. I hope some will adopt a soul friend and a rhythm of life for the first time.

A day at Footscray with Dave Cook, a former Open Gate volunteer. He works for Anglican Overseas Aid and will shortly visit Solomon Islands. His spiritual formation is rooted in Transfiguration Monastery and its nearby urban skete. We talked about Holy Island and the Community of Aidan and Hilda. He reminded me that the Christian desert fathers removed themselves from crowded places in order to move from the ego- to the God-centred life, yet their elders welcomed those guests who went to great lengths to search them out. Maybe, he thought, CA&H's centres would mostly be in mainland places but CA&H would leave elders on the island who would be sought out.

NEXT, is a year's university course for young people sponsored by Whitley College. They have made a group covenant. They commit to considerate, responsible, punctual, honest, mindful and listening ways. I had the joy of reminiscing about 'next moments' in my life's journey as a follower of Jesus, a church planter and a new monastic.

Joel McKerrow (a performance poet), is a contributing lecturer. He drove me to his home at Kangaroo Ground where I supped with his wife Heidi and their infant Aidan. I had two nights in a chalet in the grounds, and kangaroos played before my eyes. Joel invited his friends and fans to an evening in the painted mud brick chapel on Celtic Christianity. What a privilege!

Posted at 16:17pm on 3rd March 2015
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