SERVICES NEXT SUNDAY:
Sunday 24th February – SEXAGESIMA (7th Sunday in Ordinary Time)
Join us in celebrating the love of the Lord and enter the mystery of his presence!
8 a.m. Low Mass (1662)
10 a.m. Sung Mass, followed by refreshments
Celebrant and Preacher: Bishop Lindsay Urwin OGS
5 p.m. Informal Healing Service
Preacher: Fr Matthew Dowsey
Prayer for healing with the laying on of hands and anointing will take place at a gentle and quite informal service.
If you, or someone you know would benefit from these gifts from Christ, then come along, or encourage them to come along. These gifts are based on the teaching of Scripture, and were evident in the life of the early Church. They are a thing of beauty and strength.
For more updates from the Parish’s events, head over to the News and Events page. We also have an archive of updates about our events, so give that a look, too.
Christ Church and the fountain garden are 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.
The icon of the Annunciation in the Lady chapel is a particular place for prayer and prayer requests can be left there.
The church and garden are generally open by 7 a.m. and closes when Evening prayers end at 6.30 p.m.
Bishop Lindsay Urwin, parish priest at Christ Church, writes:
We are delighted 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 what a marvelous thing that in the past weeks even in Melbourne with all its attractions, distractions and secular mindset so many folk will have gathered in churches and in parks, in halls and in schools to hear and sing about the mysterious story of his birth, and of his visitors – angels and poor shepherds and wise men – who made their way to the stable in Bethlehem.
Here at Christ Church our annual JAZZ and CAROLS around the fountain courtyard was again a crowd puller as was Midnight Mass by candlelight. Our ‘pop up’ crib service was its usual holy chaos on a very warm Christmas Eve.
From my point of view the great thing to notice is that the stable had no doors and no locks. Everybody was, and continues to be welcome to draw near to Jesus. As surely Mary beckoned the shy shepherds who perhaps wondered whether their arrival was welcome, so she continues to encourage us to draw near. In those days, Jesus was to be found in a manger, a place generally filled with hay ready for eating by the family’s animals. Now we ‘feed’ on him spiritually in other ways – through discovering his message of hope in the Bible, through receiving his strengthening presence in holy communion, and in our life together in the Church, imperfect though we be.
In the early days of Christianity someone who was not a believer but who looked on from a bit of a distance described what was then this new group of people as worshipping Jesus ‘as if he were God’. It’s something of a jumping of catagories, even a surprise to come to a conclusion that God, who can seem so remote and unknowable, ‘reveals’ himself in this way. And yet, what better way to give us an understanding of who he is and his purpose for us than to become one with us, to literally get under our skin, experience our life?
The Christmas story ends happily with a safe delivery and a roof over the heads of Mary and Joseph and Jesus. But just as the story of every newborn continues so did his. And what we did with this ‘God with us’ is tragic. Crucifixion and death. Yet the Bible teaches that this itself was within the mysterious purposes of God. He loves entirely and consistently and in so doing overcomes the ‘old order of sin and death’. What a mystery it is, and no short letter of introduction to a website can do it justice. It’s a life time, more than a life time’s worth of contemplation, worship and reflection.
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 three ways of loving – the love of God, his for us and ours for him; the love of neighbour, and the love of self. 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 civilization 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