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Anam Cara Community
A Community of Prayer and Support for the Inner Journey into God

The Anam Cara Community
The Anam Cara Community is a Christian community, rooted in the historic faith. We recognize and celebrate the many and varied expressions of the Christian tradition within the Anglican Communion, and in our sister churches. We also recognize and celebrate the wisdom of other religious traditions, and seek to understand and learn from their experiences. We acknowledge the importance of the traditions and wisdom of Australian Indigenous spirituality, particularly the understanding of the link between spirit and earth. The Anam Cara Community is a contemplative community, committed to the understanding that God calls us to make an inner journey the end of which, ultimately, is union with God. We celebrate the ways of prayer, prayerful reading of scripture, worship, spiritual direction / soul care, reflection and silence. While we value the contemporary, we also value the historical wisdom drawn from the mothers and fathers of the tradition. The Anam Cara Community is a community of the Word. Jesus, the Word, is communicated to us through the texts of the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures, in which we seek truth, wisdom, nourishment, correction and guidance. The Anam Cara Community is a community committed to equality, peace and justice making. We believe that response to Godʼs call to the inner journey is a call to make peace and work for justice. The Anam Cara Community is a community of renewal and reformation. We hear Godʼs call to make all things new, and to continually examine our expression of faith to determine what supports, and what hinders our growth in God, and our service of the world. The Anam Cara Community is an open community. We are open to all, and undertake to work co-operatively, respectfully and transparently with parishes and other ministries in the Diocese. The Anam Cara Community is a dispersed community. Whilst we do not live together, or even close to one another, we acknowledge that we are sisters and brothers, and fellow pilgrims.

‘Anam Cara’ means ‘soul friend.’ A soul friend walks with you, accepts you as you are, and helps you to deepen your relationship with God.

History In June 2007, the Anglican Diocese of Gippsland’s Bishop in Council endorsed a proposal to establish a new community within the Diocese of Gippsland. The Anam Cara Community brings together existing ministries in a new form for our Diocese and yet, it is also something that has been practiced for centuries throughout the church. The Community is a ministry of the Anglican Diocese of Gippsland offered to the whole church. Today the Community has associates within the Diocese of Gippsland, throughout the rest of Australia, and scattered across the world. Associates Individuals who wish to become members of the Community are known as Associates. Associates commit to regular prayer, Bible reading, worship, and to walking in the steps of Jesus, as they are called. Associates may be from any Christian community, or from outside. The Communityʼs Leadership structures exist to serve the Associates, and others who may choose to access resources provided by the Community.

Leadership The Community is led by a group of Servant Leaders. We hear Jesus’ words as the commission for the way we undertake leadership: So Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers in this world lord it over their people, and officials flaunt their authority over those under them. But among you it will be different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must be the slave of everyone else.” (Mark 10:42-44 NLT) Each our our Servant Leaders accepts responsibility for certain tasks within the life of our Community. These tasks may be responsibility for organising events in a geographic area, administrative responsibilities, providing soul care, liaising with others, facilitating communication, and undertaking ministries of prayer, teaching, and discernment. Our Servant Leaders are led by the Community Soul Carer, who is the chief servant leader of the Community. The Community Soul Carer is appointed by the Bishop to guide, support, lead, teach and inspire the Community, and the associates within it. We understand our Soul Carer to hold

an important place within our Community, to have much responsibility and to be in need of our love, support and prayer. The Leadership Group is responsible to the Bishop of Gippsland and the Synod of the Diocese of Gippsland for the good order of the Community. Aims To promote a life of prayer through silent contemplation, meditation, reflection on Christian scriptures and other spiritual writings; To promote the growth of small groups throughout the Diocese, focusing on the inner journey; To provide retreats, workshops and worship occasions; To provide guidance and creative ways to awaken the individual journey; To produce an annual calendar of Community ministries; To produce a regular reflective newsletter; To provide a directory of spiritual directors / soul carers; To be associated with the vision for A’Beckett Park; To be a self-funded community as a result of annual subscriptions paid by Associates.

Community Prayer
God of the journey " creating " present " making us whole We bless you for your abiding throughout our pilgrimage in this Anam Cara community. You have loaned us, one to another, for this life season: " to taste of your joy " to explore the mystery that is you " to share the moments of discovery That we may experience your peace, and be both blessing and blessed. You walk with us through our wilderness when we cannot feel you near, " and cause the dry deserts of our hearts to bloom. You transform the darkness of our despair to brightest dawn " and throw open for us once more the light of day. You hold us up in the river of life when we are drowning, " and carry us safely to shore. As we seek to know you more deeply, " And to love you more fiercely " encounter us in our silences " confront us in our wanderings " refine us in our becoming, " and fit us to be soul friends " " to each other " " to ourselves " " to seekers and searchers after you. As Christ shared his life, love and knowledge with others healed the sick, " comforted the troubled, " and bound up the broken hearted, As he spent time alone with you: " basking in your loving presence " being strengthened for his ministry " resting for a while, apart, so may we increasingly resemble him " " our beloved " our redeemer " our guide. May our community grow and flourish, as we travel this road in Christ’s steps, and as you draw others to join us on this path. In the strong, the healing, the gentle name of Christ we pray. Amen.

What we do
Events. The Community holds a program of quiet days each year. These are spread across Gippsland, and are a combination of days led by associates and invited guests. Quiet Days are advertised on the Community’s website, and take in a wide variety of themes. All are welcome. An annual service of thanksgiving and commissioning is held at St Paul’s Cathedral in Sale on the Saturday prior to the Sunday before Advent Sunday. Newsletter. The Community’s newsletter, Waterholes, is published six times a year (three short and three long issues). It contains reflections, reviews, poetry, support for the inner journey, and provoking articles. Submissions are welcome. Website. The Community’s website is a resource for all associates and those interested in the inner journey. All printed material produced by the Community is available at the website, together with regular news, notice of events, reminders, and resources. An email list is available to allow the Community to communicate rapidly. www.anamcara-gippsland.org Soul Care (Spiritual Direction). The Community is supported by a number of soul carers / spiritual directors, who have been trained, and whose call to this ministry has been discerned. Soul care is available to all associates and to any other interested person. Some soul carers have special areas of ministry, particularly to those who experience themselves as outsiders, or who are on the fringes of the church. Mentoring. The Community’s servant leaders are committed to mentoring and caring for new associates. Retreats. The Community holds occasional retreats, and often provides leadership and resources to outside bodies who wish to hold retreats. Prayer, resources and support. The Community seeks to provide prayer, resources and support to all associates. Those who have any needs to do with the inner journey are encouraged to contact us.

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The circle depicts the soul journey into God, inner circles and outgoing lines speak of making a journey within and without. The lines make up the sign of the cross, the central Christian symbol. The inner circles are an Aboriginal symbol for ‘meeting place’. We have received permission to use this symbol from the local elders, as they understood what it means for us as a contemplative prayer community.

Eastern Region Gatherer: Heather Toms - sale@anamcara-gippsland.org, 03 5199 2711 Southern Region Gatherer: Colin Thornby - southgippsland@anamcara-gippsland.org, 03 5658 1086 Gatherer: Sue Hopkins - sue@anamcara-gippsland.org Western Region Gatherer: Marion White - westgippsland@anamcara-gippsland.org, 03 5623 3216 Gatherer: Carolyn Raymond - latrobevalley@anamcara-gippsland.org, 03 5191 8343 Creative ministries Liaison: Jo Inglis - jo@anamcara-gippsland.org Website www.anamcara-gippsland.org, email: colin@anamcara-gippsland.org Joining the Community, and soul care referrals Anne Turner - anne@anamcara-gippsland.org, 03 5144 1914 PO Box 691, Sale VIC 3850 Retreats, workshops, quiet days and worship events Jane Macqueen - jane@anamcara-gippsland.org, 0411 316 346 Communications (Website and Newsletter) Colin Thornby - colin@anamcara-gippsland.org, 03 5658 1086 Treasurer Kate Campbell - treasurer@anamcara-gippsland.org Servant leaders Kate Campbell, Sue Hopkins, Jan Huggins, Jo Inglis, Jane Macqueen, Carolyn Raymond, Heather Toms, Anne Turner, Brian Turner, Marion White, Colin Thornby

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