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Vicar's Musings for Ordinary Sunday 23

10 September, 2017

Today at the 9.30am Family Mass we welcome Theodore Joseph Gestier Adams, who comes to be baptised. It is a joy to share in this special day with parishioners Chloe and Naomi, Leonard, and all the extended family and friends. As Anglo-Catholics we value and know well the profound significance of liturgical celebration. Our feast days and holy days are treasures handed down from generation to generation; some with their beginnings in the first centuries of the church, and others more recent in origin. At the start of this month we honoured the lives of the New Guinea Martyrs, 12 Anglican missionaries who were killed in 1942 during the Japanese invasion. One of our parishioners, Jan Gordon-Clark, sent me this heart-felt reflection on the service: "Listening to [Fr Greg's] sermon and the intercessions about the Martyrs of New Guinea brought back a strong memory of mine from my early childhood. I went to school at St. Michael's Grammar School, which was run by the Community of the Sisters of the Church (CSC). As a very small Junior School student, I clearly remember the Sister Principal of the time telling us about the martyrs of New Guinea, who died for their faith. This stunned me, as I thought any martyrs of the church came way back in the early centuries, the ones we were told about in Divinity. But martyrs in the 20th century? After this (this must have all happened after the War), we had the annual school fete, and all the proceeds were sent to the fund to build Martyrs' Memorial School in Dogura. Amazing, and an important part of our history and our church history"

Next Sunday, 24th September, is what our lectionary terms an "Ordinary Sunday". But like today, with the Theodore's baptism, it will far from ordinary! Firstly, it is our annual Stewardship Sunday, when we take time at all morning Masses to reflect on parish giving; both financially and through our gifts of time and energy. September is the end of our church financial year, so the 2017-18 envelopes will be at the back of church for those who prefer this method of giving. Then after the 11am High Mass in the parish hall, Dr Stephen Duckett, will lead a discussion: "Theological Reflections on Euthanasia". Stephen is Health Program Director at the Gratten Institute, and in his spare time is writing a Master of Theology thesis in the area of Euthanasia or Assisted-Dying. We are blessed to have him lead this discussion and I hope you can join us for what promises to be a most informative event. Thirdly, we will be blessed at 6pm Evensong, with both the Victoria Welsh Male Choir leading worship, and an address from the much-loved Australian political cartoonist Leunig. Not to be missed!

The Rev'd Dr Hugh Kempster

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