New Stories

Julian of Norwich

posted 11 May 2020, 17:27 by Peter Harney

Julian of Norwich, who is remembered in the name of the Julian hermitage at the Archer, was celebrated during the week by Christian churches.  Kevin McDonnell wrote the attached reflection.

The Planting of the Great BBQ Wall of the Archer

posted 23 Apr 2020, 03:35 by Peter Harney

 Earth Day, April 22nd saw the resident brothers’ community of the Archer planting the brick wall that overlooks the BBQ gathering space which was for many years the home of the above ground pool.  As the sun rose at 6am we gathered and watched a video of John Philip Newell speaking about John Muir one of the first environmentalists who was born in Scotland in 1838 .He lived most of his life in the USA where he promoted the preservation and protection of old growth forests and life’s many species.  We then planted the wall and garden with plants that will, in time, cover the wall with colour and vibrant life.  We finished with a reflection on Earth Day prepared by Kevin McDonnell.  When the Archer re-opens we will celebrate this new gathering space with a BBQ and pizza.

PH (April 22nd, 2020)

Morning Star

posted 11 Dec 2019, 14:51 by Peter Harney

We gathered as Archer Mountain Earth Community for our final Agape for 2019 to reflect on the Christmas Story in the light of the Universe Story using the image of the Star.

We looked at the traditional Christmas story and at the scientific story - both holding power and mystery.

We recalled that: when Jesus was born in Bethlehem, wise men from the east came asking:  “Where is the infant.  We saw his star as it rose and have come to pay homage.”  Brian Swimme opened up for us the mystery of the beginning of the universe with a burst of energy some 13.7 billion years ago and the emergence, some 200 million years later, of the first stars formed from basic elements.    We marvelled at the transformational process that occurs within stars, requiring enormous sacrifice for new complexities of life to emerge.  Swimme challenged us to participate in that transformation with a sense of mystery as to what we can give birth to through our sacrifice.

Deidre Ni Chinneide’s Celtic music inspired us as we sang “ May your bright little star, your light from afar teach us the meaning of love."

Our reflection time focussed on:   What do I need to sacrifice to be transformed? What does the Archer Mountain Earth Community need to sacrifice?  What do we as Australians need to sacrifice?

Our sharing time lead into a ritual where we sketched our insights onto wooden stars and contributed these to our Christmas tree of light.  We prayed our closing blessing:

May we be Joy to those who are burdened
May we be Hope to those with weary hearts
May we be Gift to those who are forgotten
May we be Peace when all around is confused
May we be Love when mistrust divides
May we be expressions of the Christmas Spirit unfolding in our world.  


Dream Baby Dream

posted 10 Nov 2019, 23:34 by Peter Harney   [ updated 11 Nov 2019, 20:06 ]

Our November Agape was quite unique as Jules helped us explore our voices as a celebration of the universe and an experience of community.  We had been reflecting on the Uluru Statement from the Heart in earlier Agapes and were very excited by the Spinifex Gum campaign for a ‘voice to parliament’ . Their rendition of Dream Baby Dream moved us greatly and although we hadn’t tried choir singing before we were all keen to join our voices to the campaign to support the aspirations of First Nation Peoples for a Voice enshrined in the Constitution. While our rendition for Dream Baby Dream is amateurish our passion to be in solidarity with First Nation People and our desire for reconciliation in Australia is strong and unending!  We hope you enjoy our singing efforts and join your voice also with all seeking a First Nation Voice enshrined in the constitution. Check out the professionals on

Our song.mp4

Celtic Wisdom- Journey to the Heart

posted 28 Oct 2019, 02:20 by Peter Harney

The Archer Mountain Earth Community was delighted to welcome Deirdre Ni Chenneide to offer two experiences – October 19 a Celtic Retreat Celtic Wisdom – Crossing the Threshold Home and October 20 a concert A Celtic Journey of the Heart

The retreat explored the earth community from the perspective of Celtic wisdom.  Some memorable quotes were:

The breeze at Dawn has tales to tell you ..
Don’t go back to sleep. People are going back and forth across the doorsill, 
where the two worlds touch.  The door is round and open .
Don’t go back to sleep.                                       

The Celts do not build temples to their God because they believe that the Great God cannot be contained in a building.  They worship outdoors.

Though travel is slow on the journey,
you will move through its grey valley and come out 
again on the meadow where light, colour and promise await to embrace you.
The brightest moment is when the soul of 
absence gradually changes in to a well of presence.
“The heart opens to its new beginning, home 
To the source from which its first breath was borrowed.  
John O’Donoghue

Let us see…earth as an original monastery.
The creatures and trees as our spiritual teachers. 
The elements as are our spiritual directors.
The mountains and the flowers as our saints.
The seasons as our scripture text. 
The forests as the original cathedrals and mosques and 
Liturgy that arises from the original hymn of creation. 
Christine Valtners Paintner – The Souls Slow Ripening.

New Lands
At each new land
There is a cross,
A place to stop 
And scan direction.
It is here you will be tempted
To remain
The same old story
Of a self that was,
Cornered by its frame.

Take my hand little one,
Let you walk on the inside.
Saved from that.
Which blocks your journey
To this Good House of Hope        
d ni chinneide


posted 10 Oct 2019, 04:43 by Peter Harney

The #AussieBirdCount is a great way for us to connect with the birds in our backyard no matter where our backyard happens to be — a suburban backyard, a local park, a patch of forest, down by the beach, or the main street of town.

You can count as many times as you like over the week, as long as each count is completed over a 20-minute period. The data collected assists BirdLife Australia in understanding more about the birds that live where people live.

For more information and to register go to

Retreat and Concert: A Celtic Journey of the Heart

posted 17 Aug 2019, 16:01 by Peter Harney

For more information, please click on the attached flyer.

How can you Support the Uluru Statement from the Heart?

posted 8 Aug 2019, 04:34 by Peter Harney

Sign the Petition in support of the Uluru Statement from the Heart


Write to your local State and Federal MPs stating your support for the Uluru Statement from the Heart.


Dean Parkin’s TEDx Talk

Available on Youtube under the title

‘The Uluru Statement from the Heart – an idea whose time has come.’


Peter Harney on behalf of AMEC

Some Thoughts on Wisdom from an Elder

posted 4 Aug 2019, 16:05 by Peter Harney

Wisdom - is the synergy between what we learn when we keep open our eyes open, our minds open and our hearts open. It is important that it is all three and in particular our hearts.

What would I tell a younger version of myself on leadership:

1.  Your health (physical, mental, emotional and spiritual) wills always be your best ally in the journey of leadership

2.  Whatever you train at you will get better at - be mindful of the shadow side to this
3.  Don’t be afraid to take risks
4.  Don’t over coach
5.  Be aware of the seduction in leadership - success can have an evil edge.
6.  Be the leader you wish you had.
7.  Certain things can catch your eye but pursue only those that capture the heart
8.  Find a leadership soul mate and take time to talk about leadership and in particular your own leadership.
9. What is the “Catholic” part of what you are trying to lead. Try and understand what this “Catholic” means to you
10. Find enjoyment

Role Leaders
* Identity - this can’t be allocated to just one other  person - it is the soul of everything that happens in the institution
* In care situations student protection is important- it is our single greatest responsibility
* inclusion - we are always the gatekeepers and who we enrol says everything about us and what we value

A  Thought:
If you want to exclude more have more rules


Michael Senior on retreat at AMEC

The Archer earth speaks to us

posted 4 Jul 2019, 20:31 by Peter Harney   [ updated 4 Jul 2019, 20:33 ]

The Archer earth speaks to us from its quiet natural heart if we have the ears to hear and the eyes to see. Stunning in its beauty! 

Image attribute: Ray Cox (Thank you Ray for sharing)

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