Christian Life Community
Christian Life Community Wellington offered Fr Michael Hansen sj’s five-week retreat in daily life ‘Inner Peace in Friendship with Jesus’ over August and September. A group of 30 people – including through Zoom – met every Sunday afternoon at the Home of Compassion, Island Bay. The retreat was a grace-filled experience for participants and givers.
An unexpected blessing of Covid lockdown was the use of Zoom and Teams for Christian Life Community groups to meet online. The experience many of us have had with this technology encouraged the community to continue to offer this as a way to meet for those unable to attend in person due to distance or illness.
We are confident we can offer this ‘hybrid’ retreat form again in 2023.
Joshua men’s retreat
Forty-two men of Joshua Catholic men’s fellowship groups from Palmerston North and Wellington gathered for a retreat on Saturday 29 October at the Home of Compassion, Island Bay. Titled: ‘Peace, hope and healing through Jesus’, Brendan Malone led the retreat.
Brendan, a father of five who lives in Canterbury, is noted for his online Christian social commentary and podcasts. He began by outlining the ‘crisis of uncertainty the world is living through’. He said, that existing traditions and institutions have been ‘attacked and displaced’ by an ideology that promotes the idea of ‘self before all else’.
Brendan contrasted objective truth ‘giving rise to communal obligations and resulting in individual rights’ with subjective truth ‘promoting radical individualism which results in self-gratification’. People move from being made in the image and likeness of God to creating ourselves in our own image.
He said the Good News calling us to be ‘salt and light’ is more relevant than ever before. ‘This leads to the self-giving love like Jesus showed us on the cross. We are made for friendship and called to build authentic communities based on Christ,’ he said. Communities have a ‘sacramental’ aspect which relies on self-giving love. ‘The family is one such community. Communities are always imperfect because they involve people but are the only way to go.’
Brendan reiterated that Christians can find Christ in the chaos by being open to goodness, the truth, and the beauty of creation. ‘The more we participate in God’s life, the more we heal and grow.’