St John's Cathedral is home to a community which seeks to bring the best of Anglican tradition into dialogue with the issues and needs of our day.
We strive for open-minded conversation, seek to practice inclusion, and reflect on how we might see our beliefs put into action. We want this to be a place where people are encouraged to seek God and progress their own spiritual journeys.
The Cathedral itself, a renowned Brisbane landmark, serves as a magnet, where diverse people gather to worship, celebrate, seek solace, converse and learn.
“Christianity tells a big story. It allows us to see our own story in a new way.”
Alister E. McGrath, If I Had Lunch with C.S. Lewis: Exploring the Ideas of C.S. Lewis on the Meaning of Life
If Jack Niles had his way humans would be called Homo Narrans (Storytelling Human) rather than Homo Sapiens (Wise Human). This is because he understands that the unique human characteristic is the use of narrative. We use narrative to capture and create meaning.
Religion is the vehicle we use to put ourselves in touch with the Big Story, the narrative that captures how we relate to the whole of history; to Being itself. The Big Story helps us understand our purpose. It makes ultimate sense of our personal story.
Lent provides the opportunity to explore more deeply the way the faith shapes our personal story.
As you enter Lent 2016 you might like to hold these three questions in your heart:
Who am I?
What is my ministry?
What would make it better?
We trust that the Lenten program outlined in this brochure will provide the opportunity for you to deeply ponder these questions. As well as providing opportunities to meet we have gathered together some reading resources that are intended to assist discover how the Big Story ‘allows us to see our own story in a new way.’
We pray that the worship events will enable us all to engage with the faith story and will assist to prepare to renew our Baptismal promises at the Easter Vigil.
As always we commend to you the particular focus which is walking the journey from Palm Sunday, through Holy Week to Easter.
We pray that your Lenten pilgrimage will be a blessing.
For that one moment, ‘in and out of time’, On that one mountain where all moments meet, The daily veil that covers the sublime In darkling glass fell dazzled at his feet. There were no angels full of eyes and wings Just living glory full of truth and grace. The Love that dances at the heart of things Shone out upon us from a human face And to that light the light in us leaped up, We felt it quicken somewhere deep within, A sudden blaze of long-extinguished hope Trembled and tingled through the tender skin. Nor can this this blackened sky, this darkened scar Eclipse that glimpse of how things really are.
In 2017 ABM has suggested three different projects for our support, all of them with the theme of Educating our Partners for a Brighter Future. The use of the term partners is significant, because each of the projects enables and empowers people the help themselves.
The first of the projects we will support during March, Church growth in the Philippines, includes support for the training of Lay Pastors in the Episcopal Church of the Philippines (ECP). Over recent years, the ECP has built social ministry and development alongside evangelism to the people of the Philippines. In at least one diocese, social ministry has extended to having the people assist with the restoration of their church.
With a recurring shortage of ordained ministers, the ECP now plans to strengthen the churchmanship of the faithful through training so that they might support the clergy in their work. The Lay Pastors' Course which will enable students to help clergy maintain existing liturgical services throughout all congregations on Sundays.
As well as nurturing the people of the Philippines through the ministry of the Word, the ECP has a strong social ministry which offers loving service to human needs. Through organising response in times of disasters, church members become more aware and responsive to people in need. There is also a strong focus on social transformation, through which the Church intensifies its campaign against human rights violations. Through this work, guidelines and policies will be established to respond to growing issues of child abuse by forced labour and trafficking, especially in the far south. The ECP also strengthens reforestation programs by setting up nurseries in all dioceses.
All of these projects help build vibrant congregations through training and social development.
The church of St John the Evangelist in Nambaran, Tabuk City, Kalinga, north of Manila, is one of the many churches which strives to be a transforming agent among its people. Given that we share the patronal saint of this church, maybe we might also share the vision.
The Lenten Appeal for these projects needs $25,000 in 2017. Can we find at least $1,000 towards realising this goal?
the gift of pastoral care
by Rev'd Sue Wilton
To follow Christ is to be called each day to love one another as we are loved. Yet it is so easy for our motivations to become mixed and our attempts to show love become disempowering where we try to fix things for others, give advice, or ‘sort them out.’
The power of skillful pastoral care lies in being aware of ourselves and able to lay aside what we think we know, leave our judgments behind and acknowledge that the other is a mystery to us. When we do this, deep listening can occur. When we truly hear one another, we begin to also truly see one and communicate the immense hope and promise of God that we are not alone.
The poem below by an unknown author captures the essence and healing potential of true pastoral care.
When I ask you to listen to me and you start giving me advice, you have not done what I asked.
When I ask you to listen to me and you begin to tell me why I shouldn’t feel that way, you are trampling on my feelings.
When I ask you to listen to me and you feel you have to do something to solve my problem, you have failed me, strange as that may seem.
Listen! All I ask is that you listen. Don’t talk or do – just hear me.
Advice is cheap; 20 cents will get you both Dear Abby and Billy Graham in the same newspaper. And I can do for myself; I am not helpless. Maybe discouraged and faltering, but not helpless.
When you do something for me that I can and need to do for myself, you contribute to my fear and inadequacy.
But when you accept as a simple fact that I feel what I feel, no matter how irrational, then I can stop trying to convince you and get about this business of understanding what’s behind this irrational feeling.
And when that’s clear, the answers are obvious and I don’t need advice. Irrational feelings make sense when we understand what’s behind them.
Perhaps that’s why prayer works, sometimes, for some people – because God is mute, and he doesn’t give advice or try to fix things. God just listens and lets you work it out for yourself.
So please listen, and just hear me. And if you want to talk, wait a minute for your turn – and I will listen to you. - Author Unknown
Throughout Lent we have the opportunity to explore how the Big Story is touching and shaping our lives through the use of The African Bible Study Method. Each week we will explore how the Sunday Gospel reading is touching our lives and inviting us to live the faith more deeply.
Each week is a stand alone experience. You are welcome to dip into this program as you can.
Sundays March 5, 12, 19, 26. April 2 and 9
3.30pm to 3.45pm Darnell Room
Wednesdays March 8, 15, 22, 29, April 12
7.30am to 8.30am Cathedral
10.00am to 11.30am Darnell Room
(N.B April 5 replaced by Wasting Time with God)
pilgrim: a course for the christian journey
Turning to Christ
Every Tuesday during Lent: 10:30am-12 Noon
Pilgrim is a course which explores the great issues of faith not through persuasion but participation in a pattern of contemplation and discussion in the company of a small group of fellow travelers. This course will explore the questions baptismal candidates are asked, and over six sessions, Turning to Christ aims to help you discover your own answers to these questions, wherever you happen to be on your faith journey. All resources for this course will be provided at no cost.
In recent years a special part of the Lenten Journey here at St John’s has been Nocturnes. Each Friday evening during Lent, at 9pm, the building calmly resounds with the sound of thirty minutes of reflective seasonal choral music. This is followed by the intimate liturgy of Compline, where music and words gently bring the day to a close. Please join us for Nocturnes this year, featuring some of Brisbane’s favourite choral ensembles.
March 3The Cathedral Singers
March 10Choir of St John’s Cathedral
March 17St Stephen’s Cathedral Schola
March 24 In Ecclesia
March 31 Canticum
April 7 The All Saints’ Singers (All Saints’, Wickham Terrace)
stations of the cross
The tradition of moving around The Stations of the Cross to commemorate the Passion of Christ began with St. Francis of Assisi. The Stations are a series of 14 images depicting the journey Jesus undertook on the day of his crucifixion. As we enter into this journey with him we stop at each "station" to meditate on the events depicted and to say prayers. During 2016 there will be the opportunity to walk the Stations together on each of the Fridays in Lent and each day in Holy Week. The service begins at 1.10pm. On Good Friday Stations will follow the Noon Liturgy.
Journey to the Centre (and back again)
In the midst of our busy lives the labyrinth offers a time for reflection and renewal, a time to pray, or just “to be”. Walk it with an open mind and an open heart. Make the journey in to the centre and return to the world refreshed.
St John’s labyrinth is a 7 circuit modified Chartres pattern, a canvas labyrinth created by Cedar Prest of Adelaide, and contains at its centre the symbol of St John, the eagle. In Lent and during the year we offer 'group' walks where you can join with others in a themed walk with prayer/meditation cards.
Sunday 5th March & Sunday April 2nd after 9.30am service (approx 11am)
World Labyrinth Day
Saturday 6th May, 9.30-12.30pm
Come and be a part of a rolling wave of peaceful energy as the world turns. The event bring together people from all over the planet in celebration of the labyrinth as a symbol and tool for tolerance, healing and peace.
Friday 24th March – 7.30pm with candles illuminating the darkness and prior to Nocturnes.
wasting time with god - with dr rhyl hinwood
Wednesday 5th April 9.30-11.30am
Dr Rhyl Hinwood is a professional sculptor with over 40 years experience, which have included many prestigious commissions, such as the ceramic Australian Coat of Arms for the House of Representatives Chamber in the new Parliament House,Canberra. Rhyl has carved several portrait heads in the benefactor’s gallery of St John’s Cathedral, and is the designer and sculptor of the thirteen monumental statues for the West End façade. Rhyl has executed many works with religious themes, and will talk about her art and the meaning-making process of sculpture. The morning
begins with a time of prayer and reflection in the North Chapel.
mystics, theologians & god-botherers
The Rev'd Jonathon Inkpin speaking on John O'Donohue @Evensong, Sunday 2nd April, 6pm
Down the ages there have been those who enlighten us with a fresh vision of God. These are the voices that stir our imaginations; shake our comfortable perceptions and whose lives witness to the Spirit in their time. Continuing this series from 2016, we seek to revisit the teachings of some of those who have shaped our tradition in radical ways and see how they may speak afresh to us today. After the service we gather in the West End of the cathedral to share a discussion with the guest preacher over refreshments.
Priest, Poet, Philosopher and Visionary Grounded in a profound connection with the mystery of being in silence, word and creation, John O'Donohue (1956-2008) helped enflesh Celtic spirituality for the contemporary world, thereby touching the lives and imagination of millions, many estranged from the Church. His emphasis on the mystical flame of faith and inclusive theology contrasts with what he saw as the 'manufactured coherence' of so much that passes for religion and its 'frightened functionaries'. In doing so, his work continues to challenge us to receive beauty, seek depth and express love in language which resonates with body, mind and soul.
Silence. Song. Bread. Wine
Wednesday 8th March, 6:00pm
On the second Wednesday of each month all are welcome to share in a contemplative Eucharistic service featuring music, poetry and silence. This year guest musicians will play at each of these services to allow the gift of music to enhance our worship as we encounter God in the stillness, and in the bread and wine. The theme of the March service is God’s story, Our story and will again feature the music of Taize with guitar accompaniment. The service commences at 6pm, but those who would like to meditate before the service are welcome to arrive from 5:30pm to enjoy the silence in this beautiful space .
In Australia we are experiencing a rise in extreme bushfires, droughts and floods. Globally 2016 was the hottest year on record, and we are on the verge of catastrophic climate change.
When we release greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, these gases hold the heat of the sun, which result in these climatic changes. Shockingly, Australia has the highest carbon emissions per person of all developed countries. Our great challenge now is to safeguard the integrity of creation, and sustain and renew life of this earth.
Together, taking small but important actions, we can dramatically reduce our carbon footprint.
Join with us, and challenge yourself, family or organisation to take a CARBON FAST during the 40 days of LENT, or integrate some of these changes to permanently reduce your carbon footprint.
Download our Carbon Fast Calendar and Six Steps here.
Find more details on Facebook and use the following hashtags – #doingjustice, #carbonfast and #justwater2017
Why carbon fast during Lent?
Our modern world, can be demanding, relentless and caustic. The way we are living is deeply, perhaps irreparably, harming and polluting our beautiful planet and home.
For Christians, the period of Lent recalls the challenges and temptation which Jesus experienced during 40 days in the wilderness, and on God’s purpose in our lives.
Lent is a time of deep reflection and spiritual practice. A time to reflect and pray over words, and take actions we don’t normally think about: penance, fasting, abstaining, sacrifice and conversion.
Lent is a time to be converted to God. Through carbon fasting we seek to practically reduce our own polluting carbon footprint.
More importantly we seek a spiritual conversion, from the damaging and shallow demands of our current consumerist culture, towards a reverence for all of our wondrous creation.