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Vicar's Musings for Ordinary Sunday 17

26 July, 2015

What a week we have had as a parish! This has been the first Parish Mission at St Peter's Eastern Hill in twenty years. In the middle of all our mission activities a few people have kindly enquired how I am travelling personally. My reply has been: "exhilarated and exhausted at the same time." I think many of our congregation are feeling the same. The Mission has, without a doubt, been a team effort and a lot of hard work; but equally we have been abundantly blessed by the teaching and enthusiasm of our Missioner, Bp Stephen Cottrell.

There are many people to thank. More than two years ago Bp Graeme and I formed the Parish Mission oversight committee, which made sure over the years that the conceptualising and planning was on track. Three organising committees have directed the Mission outreach events, and these dear folk have worked tirelessly to ensure that every detail is considered: the business leaders' dinner on Wednesday, the children's play on Saturday, and the launch of the Lazarus Centre coffee cart today. Over the week we have also shared in the most inspiring liturgies, from the Mass for Our Lady of Walsingham, to the big orchestral Sunday Masses, and the three weekday Mission Services. Each service of worship has been so lovingly planned and led by the music team, the servers, the clergy and other members of the congregation. And behind the scenes a small army of staff and volunteers have been beavering away at all the other essentials: the hospitality committee, the morning tea team, the florists, the welcomers and sidespeople, the parish office, the Bookroom team, the sacristy and grounds team, and the coffee cart workers.

Our sincere thanks go also to Bp Stephen, of course, who has been such an inspiration to so many this week, from the catholic clergy who gathered on Monday and Tuesday in Ballarat and at St Peters, to the business leaders on Wednesday, and the excited children looking for the Green Sheep yesterday.

Ultimately our greatest thanks must go to God, for the abundant grace he has bestowed on us as a Parish this week. It is an ancient grace that is bestowed on those who walk humbly with God, a grace that is given through the divine mysteries of the Mass, as Thomas Aquinas expresses so beautifully:

O sacred banquet,
in which Christ is received,
the memory of his passion is renewed,
the mind is filled with grace,
and a pledge of future glory given to us.

The Rev'd Dr Hugh Kempster

Illustration for Ordinary Sunday 17 Musings

Bp Stephen with the Vicar, Dr Reilly and Prof. Harper at the Business Leaders' Dinner.

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