The Community of Aidan and Hilda in Norway is named Anamcara.
Visit their website at www.anamcara.no
A linked web site hosted by Lars Verket is http://www.keltiskfromhet.no
The Community in Norway is led by Sven Aasmundtveit.
The Community Prayer Rhythms are published as
The Board of Anamcara – the Community of Aidan and Hilda in Norway – launched its first Handbook in Norsk at its recent meeting. This includes a calendar of people who have modelled Christ, with a short biography, Bible readings and prayer, compiled by Pastor Mecky Wohlenberg. It also received reports from the recent Caim Council meeting in UK, and from Ray Simpson, and discussed issues and plans. Following this Pastor Frode Fjelbraaten took his vows as a Voyager. He was joined by his wife Elen and their eldest daughter Kristiana, his co-pastor and church elders.
An intensive week-end course to enable thirty tested Christians begin the work of a medvandrer was held at Dvergsnestangen, a Christian holiday and conference village by the sea near Kristiansand. Different churches and countries use various words for spiritual guide/friend/director/companion. This Norwegian word suggests someone who walks with us at our own pace on our spiritual journey. It was led by Ray Simpson, who included workshops on clarifying the role and approaches of the medvandrer, spiritual fitness training, discernment, whole life discipling, and how to develop work-life-prayer balance. The conference explored how two Christians who commit to follow a Way of Life could meet as Companions on the Way, under the safeguarding framework of a dispersed community or a local church. Resources were outlined, and Frode Fjeldbraaten introduced spiritual direction resources in Norway. Most people present expressed a desire to grow into ‘wise spiritual parents’: some would be used informally in their natural settings; others would be used on a more formal basis.
Those who wish to find a medvandrer should consult Sven Aasmundtveit or Frode Fjeldbratten.
As part of Coptic Bishop Thomas’ preaching tour of Norway about fifty people met in the Church House at Grimstadt to meet him. These included members of The Community of Aidan and Hilda (Anamcara) who had gone on pilgrimages to Egypt. Bishop Thomas explained that, in contrast to western churches which often cut short times of prayer to fit the pressures of the clock, the Copts often continue until they have fully entered into an aspect of worship and are ready ‘from the inside’ to emerge into a next section. They also can teach us to enter into seasons of spiritual discipline or experiment. For example, Bishop Thomas felt he should spend forty days closely observing people in the city, and write down what he thought Jesus’ feelings would be as he observed these people. ‘We think there is a connection between Copt and Celt which we, too, need to connect with’, said the host, Tom Martin Berntsen, ‘ and tonight we have Copt and Celt with us’. He asked Ray Simpson to speak. After outlining the early Irish and British connections with Christian Egypt, Ray said that the western church had then become far removed from the purity of the desert traditions. But now, after all these years, a new interest in the desert was evident among people who were sick of the flabbiness of western Christian society.
The British TV programme ‘Extreme Pilgrim’ had just featured an Anglican priest who was floundering in his faith, but who rediscovered it on a visit to the hermitage of Saint Antony of Egypt. And that week the Bishop of Liverpool had suggested on radio that the account of Jesus’ desert temptations should be required reading for all the USA’s presidential candidates. Ray said that the Bishop of Woolwich (south London) had said ‘Help us bring the desert into the city’. ‘How do we do that?’ he asked. Bishop Thomas said that we have to create a desert space inside ourselves, for we are temples of God, and then go into the city with this desert space. In the physical desert we bring the people to God in prayer. In the city we bring God’s love to the people.