Independent Church of Australia
The Independent Church of Australia is an esoteric metaphysical
church with an eclectic background. It draws its ritual
and liturgy from both Roman and Protestant Christianity and
its teachings have been inspired by New Thought and theosophical
traditions, especially the Unity School of Christianity
and the Christian Community founded by Rudolf Steiner.
The church was founded in 1969 in Perth by the Revs. Mario
Schoemaker (1929–1997) and Colin Reed (1944–1999). Two
years later they created the church’s educational arm, the Institute
of Metaphysics. Emphasis is placed upon the understanding
of Jesus as a God who took on human form and who, having
Encyclopedia of Occultism & Parapsychology • 5th Ed. Independent Church of Australia
783
passed through death, now inhabits the spiritual atmosphere
of the planet. Each member nurtures the ‘‘Christ within’’ and
the church teaches that each possesses an essential divine nature.
Each person is seen as growing towards a mystical unity
with God. Worship is focused on the weekly celebration of the
Cosmic Mass (similar to that in the Christian community) and
a spiritual healing service.
The institute offers a full curriculum providing students
with knowledge of metaphysics (including the metaphysical interpretation
of the Bible), psychic experience, mysticism, and
the Christian mysteries. Over the years, a group of more advanced
students have arisen, and in 1988 Schoemaker founded
the Order of the Mystic Christ in which students were encouraged
to develop their psychic abilities and attain a mystic vision
of Christ. The spiritual practice of the order includes a set of
chants and meditations. The order is centered in Melbourne
and those members who reside in the area gather twice a
month, and all members engage in a program of study and
spiritual practice.
The church is currently headquartered in suburban Melbourne
at 32 Trevallyn Close, Montrose, Victoria 3765, Australia.
Schoemaker, who emerged as the major teacher of the
group prior to his death, wrote several books, including The
New Clairvoyance and A Short Occult History of the World, and left
behind a number of tapes of his talks and classes. The church
has expanded to include congregations across Australia and
New Zealand, and now has one congregation in the Netherlands.
Its website is found at httpwww.ica.org.au.
Sources
Independent Church of Australia. httpwww.ica.org.au.
March 23, 2000.