Agape is a Greek word that means 'love feast' and describes the unselfish love of one person for another wherever there is a gathering with food to be shared in a ceremony.
2014 sees the ninth year since Open Sanctuary came to birth. Simplicity, stillness, and friendship in a true spirit and practice of inclusive ecumenism continue to mark the character of the community of Open Sanctuary. In a world of rapid change the physical qualities of OS can seem like a tangible anchor yet the spirit of the place is one of expansion and liberty. The sense of ancient presence pervading the place has a numinous quality that draws us naturally into a contemplative stance. It reminds us that simply to be is enough. It teaches us about the ‘isness’ of God and our incapacity to attach names, images, words to that ultimate reality. And yet we delight in words as well as silence as we share our own reflections, poems and prayers.
This summer has been kind to us in that we have not had fires or extreme heat as yet in our area. Nevertheless as it dries out and no rain falls so we are recalled to the reality that so much of this vast country is desert and many are in true drought. Sometimes our interior ecology matches the exterior and we can feel parched as we long for water for the land. Recently, walking the streets of inner city Sydney,I felt that there was a voice of lament crying out from the land; the voice of creatures suffering extreme heat, fire and destruction of habitat. And this voice came amidst the crush of so many people, shops and ‘stuff’. We must continue to speak out to those who are presently shaping the policies that will in turn shape our common future. Writing to local politicians at all levels of government is always a good course of action.
At the same time it is good to be grateful for the abundance we know in this place. Our region is growing literally in food security as more people become involved in market gardens. We are blessed to have the capacity to grow and procure such a high quality of fresh food.
So, please some along and celebrate with us as we share our Agape Meal and in the weeks and months to come as we gather together at Open Sanctuary.