Another week has passed and I hope it’s been a good one for you!
It’s certainly been a good week in the life of the Vicarage. One of the highlights was Sunday evening, where Albert Young, a theological student at Ridley College and ordination candidate, came and led our Meet Up @ 5 session on Bible Study. It was very interesting indeed, and introduced us to the “S.O.A.P.” method of individual study – a mnemonic, standing for Scripture, Observation, Application, Prayer – as a way of helping us to overcome the difficulties and distractions of studying the Bible. The time of worship and prayer together was superb, the discussion groups were lively, and the food was delicious!
Don’t forget: our final Meet Up @ 5 session in this series will be this Sunday at 5pm in the large room in the Vicarage. The speaker will be Peter Carolane from Merri Creek Anglican, and he will be speaking on St Paul – it should be great, so don’t miss out!
The previous day, Saturday, had been a very full day, starting with Mass at 8am, followed by the service for the consecration of the new Bishop of Gippsland, Richard Treloar – it was a splendid service, full of music, ceremony, and affection…clearly, Bishop Richard is well-loved by a lot of people!
The day continued in the vein with further large outpourings of affection as a crowd of folk representing all different parts of our longstanding and devoted churchwarden Mary Harris’ life came together to celebrate her 70th birthday in our Parish hall. Fr Philip Newman gave a speech at the party, which was very appropriate, as he had given the speech at Mary’s 21st birthday, so he’s known her for a fairly long time! Bishop Lindsay (who has not known Mary for quite as long) then proceeded to pray and give thanks for Mary’s long service at Christ Church (40 years!). The celebrations were lovely, and the caterers laid on a fantastic spread of food…I was very full by the end!
And after that? The usual Saturday evening ‘hidden’ task of preparing the church for Sunday, followed by Evening Prayer.
Sunday morning was also very full, with a lot of us decamping after Mass to the parish hall for tea, coffee, and a lot of cake, including a very special cake (which we had successfully kept a secret) for Mary’s ongoing birthday celebrations. The Mass itself was very good, with Bishop Lindsay preaching an interesting sermon, among other things, contrasting St Mark’s account of the Feeding of the Five Thousand with the preceding section of the Gospel which speaks of King Herod’s banquet – how Jesus’ approach to catering and hosting was so different to Herod’s. Herod’s ended with the murder of John the Baptist you might remember. We captured the sermon on camera, so if you’re interested in listening to it (or listening to it again, for those who have already heard), just click here.
So far, this week has been a lot quieter in the Vicarage, which has allowed me to focus on preparing a booklet for the liturgy to be used in the Provincial Chapter and Retreat of the Oratory of the Good Shepherd (the religious order that Bishop Lindsay belongs to). It can seem to be a bit of a tedious job, with all the formatting and recalcitrant tabs one has to deal with, but at the same time, the slower pace can be very good for reflecting on the words we say and the Psalms, and finding deeper meaning in it. Nevertheless, it will be very good to get it done and off my “to do” list!
And finally, look forward to next week when Bishop Lindsay will begin his next series of Little Lessons’ which will be about the Creed – given how good the last ones on the Eucharist were, I’m looking forward to reading these from week to week.
Hope to see you Sunday!