30 August 2016
Special Note - scroll down to see the discounted price for the Spring Retreat later this month.
This month Tess Veenker begins our newsletter with a reflection on Spring - thank you Tess.
As we once again slowly flow into the season of Spring the wisdom of the Sufi Tale may speak to us of our own life as we journey again from the hibernation of Winter to the wonder of something new silently stirring within our very Being.
The Story of the Stream
A stream was working itself across the country, experiencing little difficulty.
It ran around the rocks and through the mountains.
Then it arrived at a desert.
Just as it had crossed every other barrier, the stream tried to cross this one,
but it found that as fast as it ran into the sand, its waters disappeared.
After many attempts it became very discouraged.
It appeared that there was no way it could continue the journey.
Then a voice came in the wind.
“If you stay the way you are you cannot cross the sands,
you cannot become more than a quagmire.
To go further you will have to lose yourself.”
“But if I lose myself,” the stream cried, “I will never know what I’m supposed to be.”
“O, on the contrary,” said the voice,
“if you lose yourself you will become more than you ever dreamed you could be.”
So the stream surrendered to the dying sun.
And the clouds into which it was formed were carried by the raging wind for many miles.
Once it crossed the desert, the stream poured down from the skies, fresh and clean, and full of the energy that comes from storms.
(From the Sufi Tales)
Life’s journey has once again lead us along its mountainous and rocky paths. We have arrived at deserts both hot and cold and have felt the fear of becoming totally stuck and lost in its quagmires of winter.
But now as the skies turn blue and tiny new buds of life emerge from seemingly dead trees and bushes. Our hearts are once again attuned to the gentle murmurings of the breeze, inviting us to something more, something new – can you not hear it?
Can you feel its energy? Can you sense its hope? For something new is silently bubbling within – inviting and daring us to say ‘yes’ – to surrender in trust to its flow…
As our world also in many places seems to be lost and overwhelmed by a quagmire of wars, violence, fear...
May we pray that this dark season too will soon become transformed through the power of the wind towards a new season of hope... peace… new beginnings…
Building Bridges in Schools Program
Wednesday 7 September: 7.30 to 9.30pm
Please join us as we celebrate the students’ participation in the Building Bridges in Schools program. This evening will honour the students’ inter-faith and inter-cultural exchange, where they have sought to build trust, understanding and mutual respect across religious and cultural differences through dialogue and sharing life stories throughout this year.
1 Birch Street, Springvale
Enquiries and RSVPs to Ann Lock
Click here for more information about Building Bridges.
Building Bridges is run through WellSpring Centre and is thankful for the support from the Victorian Multicultural Commission.
The unusual "against all the odds" story of Eugene Veith's life,
Launch of Jill Manton's New Book
Sunday 18 September: 2.30 to 4.30pm
Ashburton Baptist Church
10 Y Street Ashburton
An Ordinary Bloke:
The Making of a Modern Mystic
will be launched by
Rev. Tim Costello AO (CEO, World Vision Australia)
RSVP by 12 September
Click here to download a flier in PDF format.
A Contemplative Circle
Wednesday 21 September: 10am to 12.30pm
(Facilitators: Chris Page and Marg Loftus)
A Contemplative Circle: Reflecting on our Inner Life (drawing on Parker Palmer’s bestseller, 'A Hidden Wholeness: The Journey toward the Undivided Life') is a place to explore one’s inner life with others through readings, poems, symbols, story and conversation.
Drawn from ancient and contemporary wisdom, it is a deeply spiritual approach to identifying our ‘inner landscape’.
Throughout the year our outer landscape, such as ocean, mountain, desert, forest and the seasons will be used as metaphors and images of our inner life.
Cost: $28 (full); $22.50 (members/concession).
Click here to book and pay online.
Spring Retreat: 'The Gifts of the Desert'
SPECIAL DISCOUNTED COST (Limited Numbers): $270 (all retreatants). Please book by 12 September.
Friday 23 to Sunday 25 September, Wantirna
(Facilitator: Marg Donald)
This will be a beautiful retreat focussing on the 'Gifts of the Desert' but at present the numbers are too low for it to be viable. As a once off gesture for this retreat we are able to offer a discounted rate with the hope of enabling more people to attend. See the attached flier for more information.
WellSpring retreats offer time and space for silent prayer, rest, reflection, worship, reflective artwork, and spiritual direction in restful surroundings with single room accommodation. A deposit is required at the time of booking.
Art materials are provided for those wishing to express their prayer in this way.
The theme offered this weekend will be ‘The Gifts of the Desert.’ In the peaceful bush surroundings at Wantirna there will be space to reflect on the desert experiences of our heart and the gifts we may discover there. The days will consist of morning and evening prayer together with most of the day free time to do whatever you wish.
Spiritual direction is offered each day and art materials are available for those who enjoy reflective artwork, but this is quite optional. All are warmly welcomed to these two days.
Download a flier here.
Cost: $270 (all retreatants)
Click here to book and pay online.