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High Mass on St Peter's Day

Vicar's Musings for Ordinary Sunday 14

7 July, 2013

They say a picture speaks a thousand words ...

What a truly wonderful Patronal Festival we had this year. The church was full, the liturgy beautiful, the South American mass setting outstanding, Bishop John's words challenging, and the luncheon delicious. Our sincere thanks are due to the team of parishioners who worked so hard to make it all happen: Andrew Raiskums, Sue Wuttke, Peter Bryce, Adam Blackmore, David Morrell, Bruce and Natalie Kellett, Helen Drummond, Anne Bennett, Rhonda Mach, Katherine Barnett and Josie Gunning to name but a few. Thank you everyone who pitched in to make the occasion such a success, and to our photographers Hannah Kempster and Andrew Wuttke. The day was not without its challenges, however. Our organist, Rhys Arvidson, rang me at 6.33am to say he has been in hospital over night with suspected appendicitis. A mad flurry of phone calls ensued as you can imagine. At 10.29am a former St Peter's organist, John O'Donnell, arrived and the service went off without a hitch ... Dei gratia.

July is a busy month at St Peter's, and I'd like to highlight some special events: TODAY — baptism of Bishop Graeme's granddaughter, Willow Elizabeth Rowberry, at the 11am High Mass. Our prayers are with Willow, her parents, godparents, and of course her grandparents, as she is welcomed into the family of the Church.

SUNDAY 14th JULY — celebrating South Sudan Independence Day. Next Sunday at the 9.30am service, we will join with parishioners Majur, Elijah and their families in marking the second anniversary of the newest nation in the world: the Republic of South Sudan. Diocesan Youth Worker, Fr Daniel Nyieth, will join us in the sanctuary, and Community Worker, Mading Malak, will join a panel to talk with us about refugee life in Australia. Following our service refreshments will be prepared and served by our South Sudanese friends. Later in the day all parishioners are warmly invited to St Patrick's Cathedral, at 2pm, for a Melbourne-wide celebration of this historic occasion that symbolises liberation from oppression for so many Sudanese people. At St Peter's we are a church that welcomes refugees and asylum seekers and seeks to journey with them as they settle into a new home; this is a small way we can demonstrate it.

SUNDAY 21st JULY — visiting preacher, the Rt Rev'd Garry Weatherill. We are blessed to have Bp Garry visit us at St Peter's in two week's time. He has preached from our pulpit previously, but this is the first time since his appointment to the episcopate in Ballarat. When I invited Bp Garry to preach, he especially asked if he could join us at the feast of St Mary Magdalene, so we will translate her feast day to Sunday this year.

SATURDAY 27th JULY, 9.30am — Jewish story-teller, Donna Jacobs Sife. The Institute for Spiritual Studies has a rather special visitor from Sydney this month, the professional storyteller Donna Jacobs Sife. She draws from Jewish and other world folklore and sacred traditions to tell stories of justice, conflict, fear and humanity. As a storyteller, she has travelled the world working with communities in conflict; recently working in Israel, Palestine and South Africa. Donna is also School Program Director for Together for Humanity, a multi-faith, anti-prejudice educational organisation. She has been a regular columnist for the Australian Jewish News, and has also written for The Age and the Sydney Morning Herald. She has published numerous short stories and poetry. You can find out more about Donna on her website and listen to podcasts of some of her work on ABC radio. This will be an event well worth putting in your diary.

The Rev'd Dr Hugh Kempster

The tenor

South Sudan Independence

Bishop Gary Wetherill

Donna Jacobs Sife

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