20 May 2012 (Sun):
Stephanie Dowrick has been one of the authors whose books I have enjoyed reading when I first chanced upon one of her books a few years ago. When I realized that the dates which I was available to visit Sydney allowed me to attend one of the interfaith services led by Reverend Dr Stephanie Dowrick, I decided to schedule a visit to the interfaith services.
The interfaith services was held on 20 May 2012, on the very same day when I arrived in Sydney when I visited Sydney in May 2012. The interfaith services in Sydney are held at 264 Pitt Street, Sydney 2000, Uniting Church, on the 3rd Sunday of each month. I learnt that the Uniting Church at 264 Pitt Street is housed in a beautifully restored neo-classic building.
Before the service, there was a chance for people to sing together for an hour before the monthly sevice. This is intended to deepen participants' experience of prayer through music. I had missed the singing session because I did not realized it was taking place even though I was just nearby the church that day.
Nevertheless, when I attended the interfaith service, it turned out to be a positive experience. I felt welcomed. Reverend Dr Stephanie Dowrick spoke on the topic titled "Transforming our views". In this talkm she reminded us of "our power to contribute to a kinder, more tolerant world" One of the members of the congregation shared about personal reflection on the topic of sharing compassion.
To listen to Reverend Dr Stephanie Dowrick speak on the topic of Transforming Our Views, please visit http://www.stephaniedowrick.com/blog/stephanie-dowrick-on-youtube-transforming-our-view/
Some of my learning points from the service were:
1) Do not dishonour the positive efforts that we make no matter how small it may seem.
2) Remember to give ourselves due credit for the good work that we do.
I also remember the Sarum Primer prayer that was recited during the service.
"God be in my headOne of the members of the congregation had generously and kindly baked cakes for everyone who were at the service. The cakes were shared at the end of the service. Many thanks to her kindness and generosity!
and in my understanding
God be in my eyes
and in my looking
God be in mouth
and in my speaking
God be in my heart
and in my thinking
God be at my end
and in my departing"
At the end of the interfaith service, I had the opportunity to speak with Stephanie Dowrick. In addition, I have managed to get a copy of her latest book, Everyday Kindness, and had it autographed. It was a wonderful delight and surprise!
Somehow this simple attendance at my first interfaith service was in some ways positively transformative. Many thanks to everyone at the service for his/her kindness and fellowship.
Uniting Church in Australia
Pitt Street Congregation
264 Pitt Street, Sydney, NSW 2000.
Also visit: Sydney, May 2012: A time to heal and to be inspired