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Vicar's Musings for the Third Sunday in Lent

19 March, 2017

"Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. He fasted forty days and forty nights, and afterwards he was famished." (Matt. 4:1-2)

How is your Lenten fast progressing? I love the Evangelists' commentary on Jesus' condition after forty days of fasting in the wilderness, recorded in both Matthew's and Luke's gospel: "afterwards he was famished." On Thursday we will be exactly halfway through the forty fast-days of Lent. "But that's not half way" I hear the mathematicians mutter, "and what's more there are forty-six days between Ash Wednesday and Easter Day." That's all true, but in our tradition Sundays are always a feast day, even during periods of fasting, and there are six of them in Lent. So, once a week we are permitted a little respite from our Lenten asceticism. Next Sunday, however, to celebrate the halfway mark we are allowed even more respite; a pre-Easter party if you like. The Fourth Sunday of Lent is therefore known as Refreshment Sunday

This year we will mark Refreshment Sunday, 26th March, with two celebrations:
1) Launch of the Choral Scholarship Appeal, 1:00pm in the Parish Hall. Next Sunday, following High Mass, we will launch the 2017 Choral Scholarship Appeal. You will be able to speak with our Director of Music, Andrew Raiskums, hear some of our current choral scholars perform, and learn about ways you can support our vibrant musical community. The choir plays an essential role in maintaining the high standards of sacred music that we enjoy. Our current choral scholarship program includes a small stipend for singers, as well as comprehensive mentoring and collegial support. In exchange, the choral scholars commit to sing regularly at High Mass and at annual performances such as Tenebrae and Messiah. We are now in need of funds to maintain the current choral scholarship program and with your help to create additional music scholarships. Do join us for this celebration of choral music at St Peter's Eastern Hill.

2) Visit of the Hon. Alex Chernov and Melbourne University Choir, 6:00pm. The former State Governor of Victoria, the Hon. Alex Chernov, will be our guest speaker at the 6:00pm service of Evensong and Benediction next Sunday. He will be speaking about the experience of being Governor, from the perspective of his Anglican faith. We will also be blessed at the same service with a visit from the Melbourne University Choir.

It will be worth making a day of it next Sunday, and coming to church for both these celebrations. I do hope you can join us.

The Rev'd Dr Hugh Kempster

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St Peter's Eastern Hill, Melbourne Australia.

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