Eremos Magazine - Current Issue

Magazine No 138 [ March 2017 ]

...a way of participating consciously in that unifying and healing energy of divine love so sorely needed in our broken and divided world and threatened planet.

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Inside this issue

IN MEMORY OF HER: Jacquie Pryor 1945–2016 By Frances MacKay


IMMANENCE: Manifestations Of The Divine In Everyday Life By Anne Deane

LIVING IN THE GROUND OF 'ONEING': The Wisdom Of Julian Of Norwich By Kerrie Hide


ON THE EDGE: A Standing Pilgrimage At Tathra Beach, Part One By Jan Morgan and Graeme Garrett

ON WRITING A HISTORY OF WARRUWI, An Aboriginal Community In Arnhem Land By William Emilsen

THE WARRUWI STORY: A Cross-Cultural Celebration By Carolyn Emilsen



The beginning of another year is always an opportunity to take stock. This year the death of Jacquie Pryor and the challenge of composing a fitting tribute for her have inevitably led me to reflect on the unfolding Eremos story, from its beginnings until now. Eremos is not just an organisation, but also a community, although as Peter Newall once remarked, its members may never meet each other face-to-face. I found myself adapting the question asked
by Sarah Bachelard at Benedictus recently: ‘What is our vocation now as an Eremos community?’

From the beginning, Eremos has recognised that Australian spirituality is often expressed through our writers and artists. Anne Deane’s interview with Emel Jurd – whose striking painting graces our cover – reflects Emel’s sense of art as a spiritual practice mediating the divine presence in all things and connecting us with all that is. The potential of art to heal and reconnect is also recognised by Rob O’Brien who tells us how he combines mandalamaking
and mindfulness practice in working with people in school and community settings.

Eremos has always stressed the importance of spiritual practices because they encourage what I call participatory ways of knowing. As Bruce Wilson once said, ‘The truth of God is the experience of God – not words about [God]’. For our writers, these practices may be drawn from our Christian tradition, but are often enhanced by other traditions. Some writers have developed their own practice. Jan Morgan and Graeme Garrett’s ‘interspiritual’ practice
of ‘standing meditation’, described in ‘On the Edge: A standing Pilgrimage at Tathra Beach’, draws on Western theology and traditional Aboriginal spirituality.

They proclaim that ‘the chorus of voices that cries out to us and invites our participation in its collective song is not restricted to human voices’. This is echoed in the last lines of Lisa Jacobson’s powerful poem, ‘There Are Stones that Sing’, where she says: ‘If you ask black fellas, they’ll point down/ to stones that sing and rivers/ vibrating underground’.

An interest in Aboriginal spirituality has always been part of the Eremos journey. However, Christian mission among Aboriginal people has not always had good press. It is therefore interesting to hear another slant from William and Carolyn Emilsen. William says that an important part of the Methodist Mission’s motivation in working among the Warruwi people involved ‘doing reparation’ (‘making atonement’) and teaching skills for selfsufficiency, while Carolyn suggests that ‘The Warruwi Story’ is one of cross-cultural cooperation, resilience, survival and hope for the future.

I have left Kerrie Hide’s article on Julian of Norwich’s concept of ‘one-ing’ until last because of the inclusiveness and radical optimism of Julian’s vision expressed in those familiar words, ‘All will be well. All manner of thing will be well’. Julian shows us a way of participating consciously in that unifying and healing energy of divine love so sorely needed in our broken and divided world and threatened planet.


Frances MacKay

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