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Eremos Magazine - Current Issue

Magazine no 134 [ March 2016 ]

Have you ever wanted to know more about restorative justice?

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Inside this issue

DONALD WHO? IN APPRECIATION OF A M ALLCHIN by Alan Cadwallader
BALANCING COMPASSION AND REALISM IN OUR TREATMENT OF ASYLUM SEEKERS by Frank Brennan
REPENTANCE AND FORGIVENESS IN A SECULAR CONTEXT by Anne Hudson
THE MARK OF RECONCILIATION: NOTHING IS LOST by Sarah Bachelard
SPIRITUAL DIRECTION AS PEACE-MAKING by Sally Longley
WOMEN STANDING STRONG ADDING BEAUTY TO THE WORLD by Linda Turton
ON SIMPLIFYING YOUR LIFE by Jorie Ryan
ROLAND ASHBY’S (ED) ‘HEROES OF THE FAITH’ reviewed by Frances MacKay

Editorial

Welcome to our first issue for 2016. One of the founding briefs for Eremos was that it would encourage the exploration of spirituality in an Australian context. So we invite you to take a contemplative look at the cover image. There is something surreal I think, not only in its beauty, but also in knowing that the effect is produced by dust from the red centre of our land covering vegetation along our coastal edge.

Like many of us, Alan Cadwallader comes from Celtic stock. His beautifully written and multilayered ‘Donald Who?’ pays tribute to the man who ‘brought an integration to my life and faith for which I had
been fumbling’. As you read Alan’s tribute to Donald Minchin, perhaps you will be reminded of people who have profoundly influenced your faith journey.

As I write this editorial, doctors and church leaders are risking prosecution by demanding that children who have been brought to Australia for medical treatment not be returned to Nauru. The inclusion of Father Frank Brennan’s ‘Balancing Compassion and Realism in our Treatment of Asylum Seekers’ is thus very timely. He argues, ‘Once you have locked the door, there is no need or justification for maintaining a chamber of horrors inside the house to deter unwanted visitors.’

Have you ever wanted to know more about restorative justice? In ‘Repentance and Forgiveness in a Secular Context’ Anne Hudson reflects on her experience as a forum sentencing facilitator. She concludes, ‘Hearing and responding to someone else’s story can bring healing, reconciliation and transformation for all involved.’

With Sarah Bachelard’s ‘The Mark of Reconciliation’ we move to a theological reflection on the themes raised in the above pieces. She refers to a God ‘that is whole-making, welcoming, encompassing God – not the dualistic, condemning and excluding God of religious nightmare’.

Sally Longley suggests the contribution spiritual direction to peacemaking. She says, ‘This is a countercultural work and we often need companionship in resisting the current world climate of fear and hostility that pours into our living rooms through the media.’

The next two writers, Linda Turton and Jorie Ryan, reflect on their experience at the Eremos Spring Retreat conducted by Susanna Pain at Leura in October last year. Through the collage she had created and the poem she had written, Linda reflects on gender and identity, while Jorie allows the natural setting and poetry to help her discern God’s purpose for the next part of her life.

Roland Ashby’s Heroes of the Faith reminds us of our need for heroes. The fifty-five contributors to this book were asked to select someone who had inspired them and to describe how this person had shaped their beliefs and life.

Enjoy!

Frances MacKay

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