Emmanuel Community National Gathering

“I have called you by name, you are mine”

With great joy in being together, the Emmanuel Community National Gathering was held from 18 – 21 January at the beautiful Benedict XVI Retreat Centre in Grose Vale, NSW.

To participate in these days of prayer, formation, and fellowship, approximately 110 members and children of the Community travelled from many areas of the country, including Melbourne, regional New South Wales, and Queensland. Fr Christophe joined us from overseas, ministering together with Fr Josh in both word and sacrament.

The theme of our long weekend was taken from Isaiah 43: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are mine.” Each morning we joined in a time of praise followed by rich, insightful teaching. Christophe began by challenging us to understand and embrace more fully the multidimensional reality that God’s call has upon each one of us.  LOut of love, we have been created by God, redeemed through Christ, adopted as children, conformed to Jesus, and sent forth for others. Steve and Annie’s teaching and testimonies focused on the fact that we are created for God’s glory. As we draw close to God in prayer, we are healed and transformed and so that we can be channels of God’s healing grace to the world. In the final teaching, Fr Josh and Anna examined our call to service, its importance, its nature within the Emmanuel Community, and the attitudes of heart that help us to live generous, humble, and fruitful lives.

Highlights of our time together included daily Mass, sharing groups, Eucharistic Adoration through the night, and listening to testimonies about our missions during 2023. The witness and enthusiasm of our recent World Youth Day pilgrims was especially beautiful. Another special joy of the weekend was found in the children and youth of the community. We especially appreciated the entertaining and diverse range of gifts–singing, acting, dancing, cubing, impersonating–on display during our Talent Show!

On Sunday, we concluded our weekend together. We set out for home with grateful hearts, stronger bonds of fellowship, a renewed call to service and a desire to live our call to be Emmanuel, God-with-us, in the world.

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