Preserving the traditions of old for the disciples of today!
Many people can describe transcendent moments in nature where they feel deeply connected to something bigger than themselves and Forest Church is a way to explore that connection within community
Forest Church is a fresh expression of church drawing on much older traditions when sacred places and practices were outside – but it is also drawing on contemporary research that highlights the benefits of spending time with nature in wild places.
Forest Church isn’t just normal church happening outside, instead it attempts to participate with creation. And it isn’t just a fellowship group doing an outside activity, we aim to learn, worship, meditate, pray and practice with the trees, at the spring, along the shore....
For many the spiritual journey is most easily followed in nature; along the shore, through the forest, over the mountain – as well as in the garden and the park. Markers along the journey include moments of captured wonder: the perfect sunset, a sacred place, the sound of a waterfall or the taste of freshly harvested produce shared with friends. It feels natural to give thanks or say ‘wow’ and somehow find that the experience includes something of the divine.
Throughout the ages people have walked this path with the Mystic Christ and have found a meaningful expression of their spirituality, finding inspiration and structure through the rhythms of the seasons, the characteristics of plants and animals and the sacredness of place – along with the wisdom of the scriptures and the pattern of prayers. Down to earth spirituality of the everyday with Christ at its compass prompting action for peace, justice and ecology.
Communities of the Mystic Christ is a place for spiritual travellers of all traditions interested in exploring Jesus the Christ as a living reality and mystical guide through ancient practices and contemporary thought and experience. It will provide community interaction as well as resources to practice spirituality for everyday patterns, stages of life and rites of passage. Together with these, will be reflections on the works of the mystics that explore the Mystic Christ.
This site and its communities are for anyone who wants to explore this journey. It will draw heavily on Christian mystical tradition and will encourage a personal encounter with Jesus. It will also explore who Jesus is through the eyes of different Christian and non-Christian spiritual traditions. But even with these roots deep in the wisdom of the past something new is happening; a seed is sprouting and what it will become will depend on the people who choose to journey together in this new community and the creativity and passion they bring.
We, the founders and vision bearers of the Communities of the Mystic Christ come from a variety of Christian traditions, churches and cultures. As such we express our heritage in many diverse ways and welcome the diversity of others in exploring who Christ is for today. We believe we are called to express this heritage afresh in each culture, place and time, discovering the moves of the Spirit’s dance among us. We do not know the patterns this will form and so we are travellers on a journey in which we seek to cherish the old but discover the new and often unexpected work of the Spirit of Christ in all creation. We invite you to be our companions on that Journey whatever spiritual path you follow as we seek those discoveries together. We all have spiritual wisdom to share and all have much we can learn from each other as travellers together in both the world within and the world without.
"The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.
For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles."
In the late 1800's there was a great performer named Jean Francois Gravelot. He was known as "The Great Blondin." He was a "daredevil" of sorts; a tightrope walker specifically.
One of his greatest stunts, involved walking a tightrope high above the world famous Niagara Falls. Blondin performed this death-defying feat more than once, adding elements of difficulty each time. Once he even carried his manager on his back!
Blondin was quite the showman, he had a knack for engaging the crowd, stirring the suspense and excitement. Upon completing one attempt, he asked the crowd if they believed a second attempt would be a successful one. The crowd unanimously agreed it would. Always looking to better his last great feat, Blondin now asked the crowd if they believed he could cross the falls on the tightrope while pushing a wheelbarrow. Having seen his previous stunt, and how seemingly easy it was for him, the crowd had no doubt he could pull off this new, more difficult one. Again, the response was unanimous, the crowd had no doubt "The Great Blondin" could do it!
Blondin was ready to attempt this amazing feat that only he could do, but before he set out on the rope, he had one last question for the crowd: "Which of you will ride in the wheelbarrow?" The crowd was frozen, still, silent. Not a single man or woman responded to his challenge...
All of those people witnessed Blondin cross the falls on the rope. They gained first-hand knowledge of his abilities. They had a well founded belief that he could perform the more difficult stunt. Yet, when it came time to act on those beliefs, they were silent...still. They did not trust him.
Many of us have seen what God can do, and we believe (faith)... when He calls us to "ride" with him (trust), will we sit silent? Will we stand still?...
'There is no such thing in anyone’s life as an unimportant day.'
~ Alexander Woollcott
“There is beauty in the world. There is no reason for it to be here. If it’s all biology, all eating and getting eaten and the strongest devouring the weakest, then it’s madness. Nothing more than madness. It’s dying and drowning, and all love is illusion. But there is love, you see. Poor, weak, and broken love—a sign of something from a distant land.”
― Michael D. O'Brien, Strangers and Sojourners
My goal in life? I want to cross the finish line with nothing else left to give for my Lord, hearing those words: "Well done, good and faithful servant, enter in!"
“We have come from God, and inevitably the myths woven by us, though they contain error, will also reflect a splintered fragment of the true light, the eternal truth that is with God. Indeed only by myth-making, only by becoming 'sub-creator' and inventing stories, can Man aspire to the state of perfection that he knew before the Fall. Our myths may be misguided, but they steer however shakily towards the true harbour, while materialistic 'progress' leads only to a yawning abyss and the Iron Crown of the power of evil.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien
'Because true belonging only happens when we present our authentic, imperfect selves to the world, our sense of belonging can never be greater than our level of self-acceptance.'
~ Brené Brown
'There are two basic motivating forces: fear and love. When we are afraid, we pull back from life. When we are in love, we open to all that life has to offer with passion, excitement, and acceptance. We need to learn to love ourselves first, in all our glory and our imperfections. If we cannot love ourselves, we cannot fully open to our ability to love others or our potential to create. Evolution and all hopes for a better world rest in the fearlessness and open-hearted vision of people who embrace life.'
~ John Lennon
"Kommt alle zu mir, die ihr mühselig und beladen seid! Ich will euch erquicken.
Nehmt mein Joch auf euch und lernt von mir; denn ich bin gütig und von Herzen demütig; und ihr werdet Ruhe finden für eure Seele."