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Vicar's Musings for Ordinary Sunday 20

20 August, 2017

In the lead up to September's postal vote on marriage equality, I want to celebrate the contribution that people from the LGTBI community make to our parish. Thank you for supporting us in good times and bad times. Thank you for your fellowship. The coming weeks may be challenging, but I want to affirm that our church community is a safe and inclusive one, and that you are needed and valued. Please feel free to contact me via e-mail (vicar@stpeters.org.au) or mobile (0488 960 022) if you need support over the coming weeks.

St Peter's Eastern Hill has a long history of being an intentionally inclusive parish. You may recall a recent resolution, at the 2015 Annual Meeting of the Parish, which was passed without a single opposing vote: Welcoming congregation (Changing Attitude Australia). Noting: (a) That Changing Attitude Australia was established to move forward the debate about human sexuality in the Anglican Church and beyond; (b) That Changing Attitude Australia has invited parishes to identify themselves as 'Welcoming Congregations'; this designation is intended to signal that the congregation is one where gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex people can be guaranteed a welcome; that this Annual Meeting confirms our St Peter's membership of Changing Attitude Australia and reaffirms our wish to be designated as a 'Welcoming Congregation'.

The coming months provide further opportunity to demonstrate support for our LGBTI sisters and brothers. Here is a reminder of the key dates:

Thursday, Aug. 24 - cutoff to enroll to vote or update your enrolment details
Tuesday, Sept. 12 - voting forms start being sent out
Wednesday, Oct. 11 - requests to a replace damaged or lost form closes
Friday, Oct. 27 - we are strongly encouraged to return our forms by this date
Tuesday, Nov. 7 - final deadline to return forms
Wednesday, Nov. 15 - survey results released

Also for the diary: the Rev'd Dr Keith Mascord will be keynote speaker at an SSM Theological Forum, to be held at St Peter's on Saturday 7th October, 11am to 4pm. All are warmly invited to attend. In 2016 Dr Mascord was refused a renewal of his licence as a priest in the Sydney Diocese, because of his public support for marriage equality.

The Rev'd Dr Hugh Kempster

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St Peter's Eastern Hill, Melbourne Australia.

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