For a number of years, parishioners have attended a weekly Lenten Discussion Group, initially at Our Lady of Perpetual Succour (Our Lady’s) and then together with Our Holy Redeemer as Surrey Hills Wattle Park (SHWP), which has provided an opportunity for people to meet, reflect on a scripture reading and take part in thoughtful and animated discussion. This year began as usual, with coffee and a 90-minute meeting, at Our Lady’s Meeting Room – with three gatherings before lockdown came along.
Keen to link with and support local community groups the Discussion Group planned to share a meal in the Parish Meeting Room, prepared by the Asylum Seekers Resource Centre’s Catering group. Meeting together to view lecture series such as Fr Daniel O’Leary’s Spirituality DVD’s was another way to engage with topics of interest.
The Discussion Group shares information about diocesan and local parish activities including, more recently preparation for the Plenary Council, which was attended by some group members. Since COVID lockdown, the Discussion Group continued to meet via Zoom during April, May and June with up to 13 people online fortnightly. A typical meeting involves a Gospel reading, reflection, and discussion of topical articles sent prior to the meeting.
2020 discussions have included:
- How to be a church in lockdown
- The community’s need for the celebration of Eucharist
- Where do we find God when the churches are closed?
- What might attendance at Sunday Mass look like after lockdown?
- How do we celebrate God’s presence in our ordinary lives?
Members are mindful of the need to find new and varied ways of sharing our faith with parish families and the wider community. Learning how students are taught religious education at school could be another opportunity for us to engage with families so we all speak the same language! Maybe, post COVID, we could establish a parish library where books are borrowed and returned.
The group will resume via Zoom on Wednesday, 2 September continuing our faith journey by reflecting on Daniel O’Leary’s book An Astonishing Secret -The Love Story of Creation and the Wonder of You.
New members are always welcome along with any ideas for discussion topics.
For further information or to register your interest for the above, please contact the Surrey Hills Wattle Park Parish Office on 9890 2510 or email email@example.com