Friday Evening June 27, 7.30pm at the Conference Room, St Andrew's on the Terrace - The Fourfold Journey of All in Christ - Cost $10.00
Saturday June 28, 10.00am - 4.00pm, St Theresa's Parish Hall, Plimmerton (Parking in James St) - Four Critical Questions and Practices for the Journey
A Professional Development Day for Spiritual Directors (and others in related ministry) - BYO Lunch, AM & PM tea provided - Cost $30.00
Enquiries to Andrew Pritchard: firstname.lastname@example.org (04)9046764
Tui Motou - the Independent Catholic Magazine - interviewed Alexander Shaia in its June edition.
Interview: The Gospels are texts about individual and community transformation, not a ‘newspaper record’ of the life and times of Jesus of Nazareth. Michael Fitzsimons talks with author Alexander Shaia about how the Great Story is more about the Jesus in us than the Jesus of history.
Alexander Shaia comes to town in late autumn, keen to shed a fresh light on the Great Story of the Gospels that we are so familiar with, in a sense too familiar with. He grew up in Birmingham, Alabama, the third son of Lebanese immigrants and still retains a Semitic outlook.
“I grew up in a Lebanese village, living in the old ways, right in the middle of an industrial city in the American south. The gift of this was to grow up seeing the Christianity of my ancestors, the same as it has been for more than 900 years, brought from a mountain village in Lebanon, recreated in Birmingham. My father’s family is the family of Maronite priests in this village, and nine of our last 11 generations have included priests called Alexander...."
Dr Alexander Shaia
I have had the opportunity twice now to be part of retreats where Dr Alexander Shaia has been the retreat director. The first was during July 2011 in Auckland where he was addressing the biennial meetings of the Association of Spiritual Directors (ANZ) and the second was last week at Pa Maria, Wellington CBD where he offered a two day retreat for local spiritual directors.
On both occasions Alexander, a liturgist, psychotherapist, theologian, spiritual director and genuine nice guy, has impressed me as a man of deep Christian faith and with great communication skills. Another of his qualifications, something that deeply informs his ministry, relates to the fact that he is first generation Lebanese with Maronite Christian roots. His intuitive feeling for and understanding of Semitic cultures is a great asset. He is essentially a commentator on the Gospels and he has coined the term Quadratos for the four questions being asked (and answered one by one) in the Gospel texts. Thus:
You may enjoy viewing Dr Shaia's presentation style and some of his wisdom in a video offered by Spiritiual Directors International which is on the Inspirational Resources page of this website.
While he will return to the US shortly, Dr Shaia talks of returning to NZ and Australia for further ministry and time among the people down under.
This is a place where we can discuss mentoring, ministry and what we have found helpful for sustaining our inner lives and good relationships.