Thanks for your patience and understanding with the absence of last week’s Ponderings – I appreciate having had more time to focus on the dissertation. I may not have made quite as much progress as I might have liked, but it’s more progress than I would otherwise have had, so that’s good!
The last couple of weeks have been pretty busy, all told. The day after my last Ponderings went out, I joined Bishop Paul and Robyn White for an incredibly memorable mini roadtrip, first up to the spectacular Lake Tyrrell in the Mallee, where I was seen to be walking on water (and unlike my namesake, not falling in!), and we shared a beautiful breakfast on the shore (combined with Morning Prayer), and then on through the beautiful wine region of South Australia towards Goolwa, where we met up with Fr Lyndon and Rachele Sulzberger and greatly enjoyed their company. I had a wonderful time with all of these lovely people, and have also fallen in love with the superb driving roads in this wonderful country!
Upon my return to Brunswick, Bishop Lindsay was getting his final preparations ready for his well-deserved holiday. He’s still away, but will be back early next week, hopefully refreshed and ready to take the helm again. In the master’s absence, I have taken residence in his study, and have spent the majority of most days ploughing through with writing my dissertation for my Master’s degree in Reconciliation and Peacebuilding. I must say, it’s amazing how attractive almost any other activity seems when you’re supposed to be writing a 20,000-word document…
So far, everything else in the day-to-day life of the parish seems to be running on apace, with some wonderful priests stepping in to cover the daily Masses. I’ve enjoyed serving with them, and hearing their individual styles of preaching and leading Mass. Speaking of our services, Sunday morning’s Mass saw Fr Chris Mostert leading and preaching for the full service. It was a lovely service, and despite the awful weather (which threatened to drench the serving party and choir at the start of the service) we had a good turnout. The choir were on very good form, and led us in a beautiful rendition of one of my favourite hymns – “Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence” with a soaring descant, and then the “Benedictus” from Gabriel Fauré’s “Messe Basse” during Communion.
On Sunday evening, we had Albert Young with us on Sunday evening to preach on 2 Corinthians 5:11 – 6:2. He did a very good job explaining some of the intricacies of quite a complex reading, explaining that we are called to be ministers of God’s reconciliation, and that the only way it is possible for us to fulfil this calling is through the Cross of Christ, through which we have been made righteous. I even managed to get him in a cassock and surplice for the occasion – he even says he enjoyed the experience!
One thing to note is that Mary Harris, one of our churchwardens, is currently in hospital following surgery. I’m told the surgery went well, so I’ll ask that you pray that she has a speedy and comfortable recovery, and is back with us soon.
I’ll keep it short for this week, so for now all that remains is for me to wish you a good week!