Rector’s Reflections for 11th Sunday after Pentecost (16th August 2009)

Do I hear the odd OINK from time to time? The annual distribution of Flu virus aka the Ekka, is over and we should all be able to get back to a normal life. Carmel and I escaped to the country and attended a multicultural food festival. Great fun, but a real blast from the past. The stall holders at the RNA would never have got away with the way things were done.
That raises the matter of changing standards. The church is just as involved as anyone else. We have had to adopt different protocols about how we interact with children, women, and the general public. While one can make a case for each of the changes individually, together they constitute a significant burden.
For instance; if I want to employ a youth worker in the parish there are eleven different forms to be completed and seven pages of questions that must be asked of the candidate. Unfortunately there is not a list of answers. Evaluating the answers is left to us. So much for objective selection criteria. Just what has been achieved after such an exercise is not clear. We are told that we must not discriminate; yet the questions seek grounds for discrimination. In a desperate struggle to avoid predatory lawsuits we are digging ourselves in deeper.
The rising fear of risk, and the distrust that it has engendered in society has a long way to go. These things take a couple of generations to work through a culture. The damage we have done thus far is becoming apparent. More is to come.
The Gospel is about another model for human relationships based not on fear but on love. And not just human love, which we all know to be fragile, but on God’s love. God’s love demonstrated in the incarnation crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ, sealed in our Baptism which makes us part of the risen Christ and therefore part of each other as well.
For a world desperately seeking a way out of the impasse of conflict and retribution the Good News is, Jesus is the way, the truth and the life.

Do I hear the odd OINK from time to time? The annual distribution of Flu virus aka the Ekka, is over and we should all be able to get back to a normal life. Carmel and I escaped to the country and attended a multicultural food festival. Great fun, but a real blast from the past. The stall holders at the RNA would never have got away with the way things were done.
That raises the matter of changing standards. The church is just as involved as anyone else. We have had to adopt different protocols about how we interact with children, women, and the general public. While one can make a case for each of the changes individually, together they constitute a significant burden.
For instance; if I want to employ a youth worker in the parish there are eleven different forms to be completed and seven pages of questions that must be asked of the candidate. Unfortunately there is not a list of answers. Evaluating the answers is left to us. So much for objective selection criteria. Just what has been achieved after such an exercise is not clear. We are told that we must not discriminate; yet the questions seek grounds for discrimination. In a desperate struggle to avoid predatory lawsuits we are digging ourselves in deeper.
The rising fear of risk, and the distrust that it has engendered in society has a long way to go. These things take a couple of generations to work through a culture. The damage we have done thus far is becoming apparent. More is to come.
The Gospel is about another model for human relationships based not on fear but on love. And not just human love, which we all know to be fragile, but on God’s love. God’s love demonstrated in the incarnation crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ, sealed in our Baptism which makes us part of the risen Christ and therefore part of each other as well.
For a world desperately seeking a way out of the impasse of conflict and retribution the Good News is, Jesus is the way, the truth and the life.

Rector’s Reflections for 10th Sunday after Pentecost (9th August 2009)

Today we welcome the Revd. Dianne Black as celebrant and preacher. Dianne is well known to many at Manly. Carmel and I will be in Mundubbera for the weekend, returning Monday evening.
MU is admitting two new members today, which is also Mary Sumner day. The Mothers Union, called MU here in Australia these days, has been providing vigorous essential ministry to the Anglican Communion. All over the world the particular insights of Mary Sumner have led women to minister to women in a manner that directly addresses their needs. In Africa, Iraq The Pacific Islands and Australia the ministry has been diverse and targeted. Children and mothers needs feature in the agenda, but the concerns have been wider, embracing the whole community. Spiritus, now the community care arm of the Diocese of Brisbane, started life as the District Nursing Association, organised by the Mothers Union in Milton parish.
It is good to know that people are still attracted to the MU ministry and we congratulate Kay and Edie as members today.
I got it wrong! He did not finish up on the BBQ as reported last week so we should be able to Say G’day to Pedro at our 4th October PARISH PICNIC.
Trevor has another mate at Muldoolun, Charlie the Carpet Snake. Last Sunday we were given a description of Charlie. Evidently he is big enough to lift the roof on the shed and slither in under the iron. In winter he coils up around the chimney. I wonder what other amusements await us at Trevor’s country seat.
Remember the Season of Creation we will observe in September. Being green is not just a mater of fashion, nor is it just for “people who like that sort of thing”. It is a spiritual matter that has been dangerously ignored since the industrial revolution.
We cannot continue to ignore it. The biblical relationship between humanity and the rest of creation is that of interdependence. We are part of the creation, not discrete from it. Our interaction with the rest of creation matters, and because we have the power to make great change, we have great responsibility to ensure that change is beneficial to all, not just our species.
Plan to be part of the Season of Creation 9.00am all through September.

Today we welcome the Revd. Dianne Black as celebrant and preacher. Dianne is well known to many at Manly. Carmel and I will be in Mundubbera for the weekend, returning Monday evening.
MU is admitting two new members today, which is also Mary Sumner day. The Mothers Union, called MU here in Australia these days, has been providing vigorous essential ministry to the Anglican Communion. All over the world the particular insights of Mary Sumner have led women to minister to women in a manner that directly addresses their needs. In Africa, Iraq The Pacific Islands and Australia the ministry has been diverse and targeted. Children and mothers needs feature in the agenda, but the concerns have been wider, embracing the whole community. Spiritus, now the community care arm of the Diocese of Brisbane, started life as the District Nursing Association, organised by the Mothers Union in Milton parish.
It is good to know that people are still attracted to the MU ministry and we congratulate Kay and Edie as members today.I got it wrong! He did not finish up on the BBQ as reported last week so we should be able to Say G’day to Pedro at our 4th October PARISH PICNIC.
Trevor has another mate at Muldoolun, Charlie the Carpet Snake. Last Sunday we were given a description of Charlie. Evidently he is big enough to lift the roof on the shed and slither in under the iron. In winter he coils up around the chimney. I wonder what other amusements await us at Trevor’s country seat.
Remember the Season of Creation we will observe in September. Being green is not just a mater of fashion, nor is it just for “people who like that sort of thing”. It is a spiritual matter that has been dangerously ignored since the industrial revolution.
We cannot continue to ignore it. The biblical relationship between humanity and the rest of creation is that of interdependence. We are part of the creation, not discrete from it. Our interaction with the rest of creation matters, and because we have the power to make great change, we have great responsibility to ensure that change is beneficial to all, not just our species. Plan to be part of the Season of Creation 9.00am all through September.