Weekly Updates

This week's newsletter here.

what's on this week

Sunday morning - weekly worship engaging with the ancient faith and its radical heart of grace at 10 am followed by morning tea.

Wednesday- newsletter deadline, send to nucnewseditor@gmail.com

Wednesday and Friday - Op Shop sorting.  Come from 9-12 and help sort the treasure from the trash.  First picks and free morning tea, too.

Friday - Op Shop open from 4 30 to 6.

Saturday morning - Op Shop open from 9am til 12pm, Frilly's from 9:30 til 11:30am and the Mulch Pit Community Garden open indefinitely.


The practice of discernment

Element - fire
energy and passion, warmth and creativity, change and dynamism

Colour - red
exploring, mystery, inspiration and intuition

We are a community that acknowledges, accepts and shapes change and encounters the sacred.


Dig into Matthew's Gospel with an Expert


Report from Camp - Creating Sunday morning (Part 1)

We gathered at 9 30 in the main shed at Riyala campsite, around two tables pushed together and covered in blank newsprint. We threw a metal biscuit tin full of crayons out across the blank field. There was a cup in the middle of the papers, bursting with bright bouganvillea and red and yellow croton leaves.

The first question to the group circled around the tables was to confirm that we felt confident to start with a truly blank page. We were creating a special gathering time without any props, prompts or prior thinking. Everyone said, "Yes!"

Then we asked ourselves, "What do we want to feel at the end of our gathering time?" The answers included - connected, at peace, belonging, happy, part of community, and connection to nature. The follow-on question was, "What do we want to know at the end?" We said we wanted to know belonging and community.

We filled the pages with everything at hand and what we could imagine doing together to arrive at these visions. What was in that place and in that moment that we could use creatively to get to where we wanted to go?

We divided into two groups and "worked it." One group would focus on getting us into the gathering time, the other on taking us out of it. We would trust the process and meet in the middle...

Here's what emerged.

The gathering group drummed us into the gathering area, a clearing down the track a bit from the shed. Far enough away to be special, but close enough and accessible to all abilities.

A couple of people from that group greeted everyone at the entrance to the clearing, and invited us to take 2 pieces of smashed pottery with us as we simply entered the space and were to just be there for a bit, looking, smelling, sensing, feeling, being there.

Part of the setting was a drum circle of 3 drummers and two people pouring water from one vessel to another. People walked, danced, sat and took it all in, bringing themselves to the space and the moment. 

When everyone had gathered, we were invited to move in closer around the drumming circle. A blank tile was placed on the ground by the drummers. We were invited to put our shards onto the tile. A pattern emerged as we created it collectively. We were asked to step back and, while the drums played, look at the creation from different angles. When the drums stopped a couple of times, we were to pay attention to this new perspective on the creation.

We were led in singing, Jubilate Deo, a lively and rich Taize community chant as a round.

We listened to a reading about the universe being about energy, not structure.

This was the end of the first half, the coming in.

A second installment of the story, the going out half, will be here soon.




A discernment story

Here is a personal story about the practice of discernment.

Perhaps it could be described as ‘history remembered’ rather than ‘history recorded’, as past events seem to lose their hard edges and meld into a soft collection of interwoven memories.   As a community, Nightcliff has always held to the ideal of supporting a personal journey of meaning-making, without judgement or prejudice.  Mostly this happens, but sometimes our shadow side is never far behind us.

I experienced this shadow side on one occasion when I was grappling with what Spinoza coined as pantheism.  This is the notion that all is God, all is sacred, all is divine, even the dodgy bits.  There is nothing more, there is nothing less to the sacred.  It’s a simple equation.   When I shared with some about the resonance this held for me, I was told, the church had settled that heresy centuries ago.

Now I am a firm believer that all philosophic thought is current, no matter the age or circumstance from whence it came.  Prophets of the human condition have been calling out for millennia. From Epicureus to Derrida, from Augustine to Seneca, from  Plato to Satre.  For me, all have some value, all are part of the struggle for understanding our place of participation in the universe.

My journey continued nonetheless, a little exasperated at the time perhaps, but continued all the same.  The notion of pantheism eventually gave way to notions of panentheism, which gave way to notions of emergentism, which has given way to .... I dunno, it’s a work in progress!  But on reflection, it has been through the practice of community life at Nightcliff that has been the major  shaper of my deepening sense of an abiding Other, a mysterious Other, a unitive Other.  I think, the living out of our relationships reveals most of how the sacred is present to us, as we take responsibility for care of the world and care for our local and global communities.

My hope is that we all have the grace to support each other on this journey;  I sense it has the power to transform all of us in our desire to bring peace, justice and co-operation to our little corner of the world.



Annual General Meeting reflects practices

On Sunday, 21 March NUC held its annual general meeting and used the opportunity to reflect further on our practices.

Reports will soon be posted here.


This is where we...

tell discernment stories