THIS SUNDAY @ CHRIST CHURCH
ADVENT III (Also known as GAUDETE SUNDAY) – December 15th
8 a.m. Holy Communion (Book of Common Prayer)
Our first Mass of the day. A said Mass (without hymns), this is a peaceful and prayerful service, said according to the rites of the 1662 Book of Common Prayer.
10 a.m. SUNG MASS
Our main Parish Mass, this service is full of music, with hymns, motets, and voluntaries all being part of it, as well as a sermon about the Bible readings, the opportunity to receive Holy Communion, and with refreshments served afterwards. The celebrant is assisted by a full serving team. This Mass is celebrated according to the rites in A Prayer Book for Australia.
– Celebrant: Bishop Lindsay Urwin OGS, Vicar of Christ Church Brunswick
– Preacher: Albert Young, Student Pastor at Christ Church Brunswick
5 p.m. Informal Evening Worship
Held in the Vicarage, this is a more informal style of meeting to praise God, which includes a time of sung worship, followed by Bible study, discussion, and prayer, and then (for those who can stay) some tasty food and a time of fellowship.
CHRISTMAS EVENTS AT CHRIST CHURCH:
Tuesday 17 December
6 pm: Carols & Jazz with the musical talents of Michelle Nicolle and the Brunswick Rogues Choir.
Santa will be in attendance, and we’ll have a free sausage sizzle to sweeten the deal!
Wednesday 18 December
6 pm: Carols at Stewart Lodge
Come and sing some of your favourite Christmas Carols with our friends from Stewart Lodge and with folks from churches around Brunswick.
Bring festive headgear and a plate of supper!
Stewart Lodge is located at 85 Stewart Street, Brunswick
Friday 20 December
5 pm: Christmas Fundraiser in aid of the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre
Featuring a whole host of musical performances in and around the church grounds, and all for a very worthwhile cause, this evening will be one to remember!
Sunday 22 December
6 p.m. A relaxed family carol service with the Cantabile singers
Refreshments in the church garden
Tuesday 24 December – CHRISTMAS EVE
11 pm: Community Carols in the church, followed by our Midnight Mass at 11:30 pm
Come and sing your favourite Christmas carols by candlelight, and stay around for our first service as we celebrate the birth of the child who would do so much to change the world.
Check out this video from the Diocese of Melbourne
about Growing Christian Communities!
Sacred and Open
Christ Church and the fountain garden are generally open throughout the day to allow any passing by to ‘come and see’, explore the building, to make use of it to sit and reflect and to pray, or just for a bit of peace!
The church garden with its attractive fountain provides a restful space in the midst of busy Brunswick.
Bishop Lindsay Urwin, parish priest at Christ Church, writes:
We so much want to welcome you to the Christ Church website! Our website, like our life together is a work in progress, and it will just give you a little taster of what our life is like and about who is at the centre of all that we are and seek to be and do. That ‘who’ is Jesus.
The question ‘Who is Jesus?’ has tantalised the world for two thousand years, and still does!
I think it’s just true that the more a person seeks to know Jesus, the more he or she realises that there is still more to know. A relationship with Jesus is more like an adventure than a settled thing, and yet, once you begin to take the idea of it seriously, the more you are drawn to him, or at least that has been my experience. And then you start to plan you life and change your views under his influence and guidance. What he wants becomes the measure of what you think is right or wrong, and doing what he wants becomes central to your actions.
Of course working out what Our Lord (for that is what we call Jesus) wants is not always easy in the specifics, but what you can know is that he wants your life to be surrounded with, and motivated by love. Actually, three loves: love of God, love of your neighbour (and your neighbour also includes the stranger) and love of yourself.
People who are not yet Christians, or who are starting out on the exploration of what it might mean to be Christian, might easily accept that Jesus of Nazareth was a wonderful teacher in his day, but find it confusing, even a bit weird to imagine it’s possible to have a contemporary relationship now with someone who lived 2,000 years ago.
That possibility rests on his identity. If he was simply a human being like all of us, then it is indeed impossible. But what if in the midst of being one of us, he is also divine? What if he is heaven sent? What if his coming, and the purpose of his coming was to reveal what God wants for his world, what he wants for you? What if what he says is the nearest thing to Truth that there is? What if the story of his rising from the dead is true? What if the promise that he would fill his followers with his Spirit is as true and possible now as it was for the first followers? What if his promise of mercy for our mess ups is a promise from God himself?
How does a person discover the answer to these questions; discover whether Jesus is who he and the Church claim him to be? It is certainly important to apply our minds to these teachings, but it is more than that. These are truths that are known and discovered to be true in the heart. Think of how you ‘know’ that a person loves you or that you love someone. That knowledge can change your life, but it’s a knowledge that in the old days we used to say, can ‘blow your mind’. That is not to to say that its mindless ,or irrational, but rather that it’s more than the mind can know.
Discovering the truth about Jesus can only come if a person opens both their heart and their mind to the possibility; be willing to enter the Mystery. The Church, our Church, is a community of people opening their mind and heart to the possibility of these things, and getting on with living as if they are true.
Well whatever you make of Jesus at this stage in your life, it’s amazing to think one life could have had such an influence on history, on art, on literature, on education and legal systems, on social understanding and the landscape of just about every village, town and city in this land. Buildings made for worship of this man were among the first to go up in Melbourne!
For us at Christ Church this all matters very much. For us, it’s not just the story of an historical figure, but of someone we love, whom we try to worship, follow and serve.
Good disciples of Jesus are learning the three ways of loving I have already mentioned. Notice I said learning! We are a community unafraid to admit our need for ‘L’ plates! These can never be removed from the back or front of a disciple of Jesus. There is always more to discover about the Lord and about the demands and joys of love.
So the Church is a community of love helping to create a civilisation of love. If you make a decision to ‘come and see’ at Christ Church it is our hope and our intention that you will indeed experience some of that love.
Lindsay Urwin OGS