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Vicar's Musings for Ordinary Sunday 3

27 January, 2013

This week's musings are drawn from the Vicar's report to Vestry, with the aim of keeping parishioners up to date with matters discussed at Vestry and contributing towards a culture of openness and transparency in the management of the parish.

Christmas. I must begin by saying how much I enjoyed my first Christmas at St Peter's. The Children's Mass is such a wonderful way to open our celebration of the Incarnation, and thanks must go to Katherine Barnett and her team for the beautiful pageant and musical accompaniment, as well as to John Taaff for his years of service in the role of St Nicholas, and to Phil Stranieri for stepping in at such short notice on the day due to John's bad back. Midnight Mass was then such a joy as the St Peter's community all worked together to create an exquisite act of worship: servers, choir, clergy, flower arrangers, working bee attendees and those in the pews. Thanks in particular to those with leadership roles who helped to make everything run so smoothly: Peter Bryce, Adam Blackmore, Andrew Raiskums, Sue Wuttke, Rhys Arvidson, Wardens, other Vestry members and all the team. The 8am B.C.P. service was simple, but had a particular beauty of its own and was also well attended. Finally the 10am High Mass brought the Christmas celebrations to a magnificent conclusion, with a number of the choir and serving team returning after their midnight duties. Then a week later the church was filled again for the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols. The choir really did us proud; we were blessed!

Lenten Courses. There are two Lenten Courses planned. Bishop Graeme and his son Jonathan will be taking a group through their book Beloved Father, Beloved Son on Sunday afternoons following High Mass. I will be running a Wednesday lunchtime course based on an excellent book by the new Dean of Grace Cathedral, San Francisco, the Very Rev'd Dr Jane Shaw, entitled A Practical Christianity: Meditations for the Season of Lent.

New Initiatives. A group has formed this week, led by Cindy Cheng, to look at how we might better reach out to our neighbours who are apartment dwellers. There are some great ideas emerging from this group, including running a "Mainly Music" children's group, and finding ways to friendship and assistance to the local Sudanese refugee community.

Assistant Curate. On Sunday 3rd February, Fr Samuel will be commissioned at the 8am, 9.30am and 11am services. There will be an opportunity to meet Fr Samuel and his marriage partner, the Rev'd Jasmine (Jazz) Dow, after the services and also at two parish gatherings. The first get together is at Carol O'Conner and Philip Harvey's place on Saturday 9th February (the guest list is already full for this gathering) and then at 7pm on Shrove Tuesday, 12th February, Di Moseley and Doug Savige are hosting drinks and pancakes at their place for Fr Samuel and Jazz; all are most welcome to attend but please let Kosta know in the parish office if you are coming. Jazz will commence her PhD studies this year at Trinity Theological School, and will also serve as Chaplain to the Canterbury Fellowship at Trinity College where she is being commissioned on the evening of Sunday 3rd February.

Christian Education and Spiritual Growth
We are blessed to have Bishop Graeme on the staff of St Peter's, with particular responsibility for Christian Education and Spiritual Growth in the parish. He has pulled together an exciting program for 2013:

  • Institute of Spiritual Studies. There are brochures at the back of church detailing this excellent series of lectures and other events, or you can view the program online http://web.stpeters.org.au/iss/2013/
  • Parish Retreats. Our two parish retreats this year will be held at Palloti College, Millgrove, on 26th-28th April (weekend) and 6th-8th May (weekday). These will be silent retreats, the first led by Bp Graeme and the second by myself.
  • Trinity Certificate of Theology and Ministry. I would highly commend this course to any interested parishioners. Unit 1 "Experiencing Faith Through the Bible, Worship and Music" begins on 21st February, so there is still time to book a place. Contact the office or talk to Bp Graeme after mass.

The Rev'd Dr Hugh Kempster

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