There is all the difference in the world between lives that are merely conformed by moral effort to the shape of Christian ‘virtue’ and those that are transformed through responsiveness to God’s living reality. It is a commitment to the journey of transformation that shapes everything we do at Benedictus.
As part of this commitment, we offer a range of opportunities to reflect and grow in self-knowledge and to share the journey with others, including reflective and spiritual practice groups, reading, walking and fellowship groups. More details are below and inquiries about any of our Benedictus groups are welcome on firstname.lastname@example.org
What we plant in the soil of contemplation, we shall reap in the harvest of action.
‘L’Chaim’ is a Yiddish toast meaning ‘to life!’, and the aim of this group is to reflect on participants’ everyday experience in order to discover more life-giving ways of being in the world.
L’Chaim involves a structured reflective practice approach. We support one another in this work of reflection – not offering advice or ‘fixing’ one another – but seeking to listen deeply and be open to the possibilities that are already present to transform us. Over time, we begin to relate to unhelpful patterns with greater freedom. This group meets fortnightly.
Spiritual Practice Group
Daily meditation … a weekly walk around the lake …
mindful eating … fasting … spiritual reading …
an intentional Sabbath …
Do you have a regular spiritual practice … a rule of life? Or sense the need to develop one?
Would you like to be encouraged in your commitment to practise, explore and share its fruits?
Our Spiritual Practice Group meets monthly to encourage one another in practices for intentionally opening ourselves more fully to God.
Theology Reading Group
Our Theology Reading Group is committed to reading and discussing Christian theology in conversation with and in the light of our own experience and spiritual quest.
Topics and texts are chosen according to the interests of members, and we have explored themes such as God and suffering, the theology of prayer and theological method. The group meets fortnightly in term time and new members are welcome.
Contemplative Photography Group
Our group explores photography as a contemplative practice. It’s all about seeing and photographing the world in fresh ways, to reveal richness and beauty that is normally hidden from view. Instead of emphasizing subject matter or the technical aspects of photography, the contemplative approach teaches us to see clearly, and make images based on fresh perceptions.
We try to gather physically in Canberra each quarter (following a rough seasonal pattern). In-between times, we take on a different practice ‘topic’ each month, connecting via email and sharing the results in pictures and words on our blog. If you are interested to be part of the group, please let us know via email to email@example.com.
Benedictus Walking Group hopes to meet from March to November during 2023, on the 2nd Sunday of the month (or as advised), 2-4pm. We aim to find easy walks to maximise inclusive participation and discover “local delights” across Canberra in a contemplative way, listening to one another and the natural wonders we encounter. We may organise a longer day trip into a nearby national park one weekend in the cooler months, depending on interest.
Fellowship through Books
Fellowship through Books is an opportunity to read and discuss books from a range of traditions and reflecting a wide engagement with the spiritual life. Examples of books explored so far include The Wisdom Jesus by Cynthia Bourgeault, Walden by Thoreau and Break this Bread by Sarah Miles. Meetings are monthly on Sunday afternoons and online participation is welcome. Members suggest books they would like to read and a schedule is agreed.
Music & Poetry Group
Music and Poetry Group is an on-line opportunity for members to share and explore poetry and music selected by members of the group. Gatherings are fortnightly on Thursday evenings.
Zoom Sandwich is a relaxed on-line gathering that meets weekly on Fridays at 12.30pm for conversation and company over lunch. Anyone is welcome – join by clicking on the link on the Benedictus home page.
A group of Benedictus members who live on the Southside of Canberra meet monthly to meditate and connect. The group meets monthly on a Sunday afternoon at the Tuggeranong Neighbourhood Centre.
Home Groups & Local Chapters
Currently, we have one Zoom home group and two local chapters of Benedictus. There is a monthly gathering of Benedictus members on the Southside of Canberra, and another in Melbourne. Please be in touch if you would like to make contact with these groups. There is scope to form other groups, both on and off-line, in Canberra and beyond. Small home groups offer a way of connecting with other members of the community on a regular basis for conversation, sharing and support. Groups can develop in their own way and frequency of meeting, in accordance with the wishes of members. If you are interested to be part of a home group, please let us know.
In ancient times divers plumbed the sea in search of a rare shellfish sought after for its rich purple dye. ‘Diving for the purple fish’ – Kalchaino – became the Greek expression for plumbing the depths of one’s own wisdom.
For several years, our Kalchaino group offered young adults an opportunity to learn to listen and know themselves more deeply, and so to engage the challenges and possibilities of their lives from a more aware and integrated place. Kalchaino is at present suspended, but the approach and themes explored can be discovered on our Kalchaino blog.