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Vicar's Musings for The Transfiguration

10 February, 2013

A kind soul said to me this week: "I get the sense that things are really starting to take off at St Peter's." Well, it's early days, but there are certainly some encouraging things happening in the parish at the moment. As you can see elsewhere in the pew sheet, Cindy Cheng and her team are planning to launch the new St Peter's Playgroup next month. This is a great initiative aimed at reaching out to the increasing number of parents living in the inner city. On Thursday night we had the inaugural meeting of the Communication Committee, chaired by Rachel Ellyard. As well as starting to look at some of the practicalities of communication in the parish, such as the pew sheet, the website, social media and so on, we had a great discussion around our understandings of "outreach" and "catholic evangelism" and the role of the committee in such endeavours. Fr Samuel Dow was commissioned last week as Assistant Curate and he has certainly hit the ground running: preaching an excellent opening sermon on Sunday, meeting with parishioners, helping with the liturgy for Ash Wednesday, organising a Lenten study course, celebrating his first Mass and speaking at the Parliamentary Prayer Group.

We have a lively Lenten Programme this year too. You might like to make sure you have all these dates in your diary:

  • Shrove Tuesday, 12th Feb: 7pm, drinks and pancakes at Diane & Douglas' place and a chance to meet Fr Samuel. Please register at the parish office.
  • Ash Wednesday, 13th Feb: 7.15am and 1.15pm Mass with imposition of ashes; 6.15pm High Mass followed by a simple Lenten meal.
  • Thursday, 14th Feb: 7:30 pm in the Hughes Room, the first week of "Finding a Voice", a Lenten course based on the film "The King's Speech" in the Hughes Room, led by Fr Samuel.
  • Saturday, 16th Feb: 9.30am I.S.S. Lenten Quiet Morning, led by Helen Edmonds and Josie Gregory, both experienced in chaplaincy and spiritual direction.
  • First Sunday of Lent, 17th Feb: the launch of Bp Graeme and Jonathan Rutherford's new book Beloved Father, Beloved Son in the hall following High Mass.
  • Wednesday, 20th Feb: 12:00 noon in the Vicarage, led by Fr Hugh, a Lenten course based on the book A Practical Christianity, by the Very Rev'd Dr Jane Shaw, Dean of Grace Cathedral, San Francisco.
  • Sunday, 3rd March: 1:00 pm in the Hughes Room, led by Bp Graeme & Jonathan Rutherford, "Keep the Conversation Going"; the first of the Lenten reflections on their book Beloved Father, Beloved Son.

Finally, wonderful news from Fr Sam Ata, a Solomon Island priest who has been living in the Vicarage since October. He handed in his doctoral dissertation this week, and on Thursday flew back to be with his family and see his youngest grandchild who was born while he was here in Australia. As far as we know Fr Sam's family have not been affected by the recent earthquake, but our thoughts and prayers go out to the Solomon Islanders that have lost homes and loved ones.

The Rev'd Dr Hugh Kempster

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