Welcome to this collection of some of my thoughts (blog ), and valued thoughts of others (resources), concerned for human belonging and well being.
Events and papers I have presented along the way are also archived.
The way these thoughts and ideas have been put into action at Oasis, Flinders University may be found in the sister website, travellingchaplain.com, and the story of how Oasis came into being may be found in the book, An Improbable Feast.
At the heart of all this lies the germ of an idea – that the underlying means of achieving human belonging and human flourishing across lines of difference might be found in recovering traditional hospitality, informed by Nouwen’s concept of making space:
Hospitality… means primarily the creation of a free space where the stranger can enter and become a friend instead of an enemy. Hospitality is not to change people, but to offer them space where change can take place. It is not to bring men and women over to our side, but to offer freedom not disturbed by dividing lines. It is not to lead our neighbour into a corner where there are no alternatives left, but to open a wide spectrum of options for choice and commitment. It is not an educated intimidation with good books, good stories and good works, but the liberation of fearful hearts so that words can find roots and bear ample fruit. It is not a method of making our God and our way into the criteria of happiness, but the opportunity to others to find their God and their way. The paradox of hospitality is that it wants to create emptiness, but a friendly emptiness where strangers can enter and discover themselves as created free; free to sing their own songs, speak their own languages, dance their own dances; free also to leave and follow their own vocations. Hospitality is not a subtle invitation to adopt a life style of the host, but the gift of a chance for the guest to find their own.
Henri Nouwen. Reaching Out: The Three Movements in the Spiritual Life.
(1975 Doubleday. New York) p 68.