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Tuesday 21 July 2009
From their FAQ:
What is Sophia and what does it offer?
It is a purpose built spiral shaped centre on Cross Road, Cumberland Park in Adelaide, South Australia.
We have a public library and a beautiful garden. People of any religious or spiritual tradition are welcome here and a wide ranging programme is offered, generally from February to December.
Why is the centre named Sophia?
In late 1990 when our new building was almost complete a group of Dominican Sisters discussed how we might name this new space.
Many names were suggested until someone said “Let’s name it Sophia”. A resonance of recognition was felt in the group.
We had recently rediscovered the vibrant personification in the Hebrew scriptures of SOPHIA, Woman Wisdom. She is the “breath of the power of God, and a pure emanation of the glory of the Almighty ...She is but one [and] she can do all things”. [Wisdom 7:25,2]
We had uncovered and reclaimed the Sophia imagery in the Christian scriptures. The texts tell us that Jesus had come as Sophia’s envoy, as Sophia’s child, as Sophia-God made flesh among us.
We were also aware that Sophia was a name for Divinity for peoples beyond Judaism and Christianity.
Sophia is a truly inclusive name for the Divine Mystery that moves among creation and beyond.
And so the name SOPHIA was chosen.
What specifically does Sophia offer?
We have a full calendar of events with regular activities like creative writing, singing and dancing, workshops, counselling, social justice activities, celebrations and programs related to feminist psychologies, spiritualities, theologies and scripture studies. People come here as volunteers to assist in running the centre and they also come to use the library and to enjoy a quiet reflective space.
How does Sophia operate?
Sophia has a co-ordinating team of three women, a team of ten volunteer staff members and many casual volunteers. Volunteers assist with administration, finances, planning and marketing and there are women and some men who offer courses and workshops. A Core Group provides advice and support to the co-ordinating team and there are working groups focused on the future of Sophia, the development of the library and Sophia’s finances.
How is Sophia financed?
Income is generated from memberships, course and workshop fees, special events, Angel Fundraising, hire of Sophia’s space and donations . The Dominican Sisters also provide financial support to Sophia through a staff stipend, supplying and maintaining the premises and a subsidy to Sophia’s operations. While we are grateful that since 1991 the Dominican Sisters have provided financial support, Sophia needs to be self financing. We are seeking to increase Sophia’s income and a capital fund has been established and needs to grow to the point where income from that fund can support Sophia’s operations.
When will Sophia become financially self-sufficient?
Sophia is now seeking to become financially self-sufficient by the year 2010 and you are invited to contribute to the capital fund which has been established with that aim in mind. By building the capital fund it will provide an investment income by 2010 sufficient to support Sophia’s core activities.
Since Sophia is a women’s spirituality centre is it open to men?
Any other questions?
Please contact Sophia on (08) 8373 3781 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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