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Vicar's Musings for Easter 4

26 April, 2015

What a blessed Holy Week and Easter we had this year. One of the many highlights for me was simply sitting and praying before the altar of repose, after the Maundy Thursday liturgy. Another was the Easter Vigil, when Rhys, Victoria, Matthew, Tye, Mary, Anjelina and Alice were confirmed by our regional Bishop Philip Huggins. Thank you to everyone who worked so hard over the Triduum: the musicians, the servers, the sacristan, the verger, the florists, the gardeners, the hospitality team, the polishers and cleaners, those in the office, the children's ministry team, the welcomers and sidespeople, and my fellow priests. It was truly leitourgia, a "work of the people."

After Easter I was blessed with a week's annual leave to visit my family in New Zealand. My mother is doing well after a hip replacement in January. I also met my youngest grandchild for the first time — Reuben — and was with the family in the Bay of Islands to hear the exciting news that their offer on a dairy farm in Kaikohe had been accepted.

Today is John Taaff's last week as Vicar's Warden. Words hardly suffice to thank John for the fourteen years of service he has offered to the parish in this role. They say that no one is irreplaceable; it's not true ... John is! It is not possible to replicate the particular way that John has built up the position of Vicar's Warden at St Peter's Eastern Hill over the years. As Dr Stephen Duckett takes up the position over the coming month, we will all need to give Stephen the room to make the job his own.

Another retirement this month has been June Fleming, after some 26 years as Secretary of the Cell of Our Lady of Walsingham. Last week the Cell had its first monthly meeting back on Saturday morning, after several years on Sunday evening. Liz Prideaux has kindly agreed to take up the role of Secretary, and our prayers are with June as she prepares for upcoming surgery.

Bp Stephen Cottrell's visit is shaping up well. Fr Richard has formed the Business Dinner planning committee and has handed the chair over to Stephen Duckett while he is on pilgrimage in Europe. Cindy Cheng is chairing the Children and Families group, planning an outreach play "Where is the Green Sheep?" The Social Enterprise Committee is working towards the Sunday launch of barista training at "The Hill", which will then turn into a coffee cart venture (perhaps on a plaza in front of the church by the wayside cross). Now that Easter Day is over, the liturgy committee will be focusing its efforts on the Combined High Mass on Sunday 19th July and the three weekday Mission Services that Bp Stephen has requested. The air tickets for Bp Stephen and Mrs Cottrell have been paid for by a number of stakeholders: St Peter's Eastern Hill, St James King Street, and the Dioceses of Ballarat, Grafton and Brisbane. In lieu of an honorarium for each speaking appointment around the country, Bp Stephen asked that we pay for Rebecca's air tickets. The St Peter's contribution to the air tickets has been around $2,800, with the other stakeholders contributing in total $4,500. The Cottrell's accommodation in Melbourne will be at Bishop's Court, thanks to Archbishop and Mrs Freier, at no cost to St Peter's. The remaining funds raised in the parish will primarily go towards: a new sound system in the hall (the current one is totally inadequate, which is an ongoing issue for ISS talks and other such meetings; budget - $2,000); camera and recording equipment so that Bp Cottrell's talks can be recorded and made more widely available (part of a parish Communications agenda that we have been talking about for a long time; budget — $2,700). This all totals $12,000, with around $5,500 already received. Donations can be made by putting an envelope into the offertory plate on Sunday, clearly marked as "Parish Mission"; or to make an EFT payment contact the Parish Office on (03) 9662 2391 or sphoffice@stpeters.org.au.

The Rev'd Dr Hugh Kempster

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