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White Australia Has A Black History

White Australia Has A Black History

Monday, 29 June 2015

The Bishop came seeking reassurance ....

On the last Sunday of June each year in the church calendar, we remember the giants of the Christian tradition, Peter and Paul.  There are many churches name for one, other or both men.  As Advocates will understand, we are named for St Paul.  The Editor of this blog picked up this morning the Facebook post from St Peter's, Eastern Hill in Melbourne - one of that city's oldest churches. St Peter's website tells us this about themselves:

St Peter's is a place of soul-stirring liturgy, challenging preaching, fine music,
concern for issues of justice and peace - and it is a place of warm care
and welcome: a community gathered in the name of the Lord.

So The Editor wondered on Facebook if an old friend from St Peter's, West End in Townsville had a comment to make.  She did.  Below is the Facebook post with Jenny's comment.

Constantine Osuchukwu should like this. While we were celebrating our Patronal Feast at St Pauls Anglican Church, Bakery Hill in ‪#‎Ballarat‬ yesterday on the Feast of Sts Peter and Paul. They were celebrating too at St Peter's Eastern Hill in Melbourne. My friend, Jenny Stirling, might like to update on goings on at St Peter's, West End, Townsville.
Savouring the moments at yesterday's St Peter's Patronal Festival . . .
Like · Comment ·   · 1
  • Jenny Stirling Yes we celebrated St Peters patronal feast yesterday- the bishop came seeking reassurance that at least one church understands the importance of children in the congregation. Things are dire in NQ. I cannot but think that new wine needs new wine skins.
    Unlike · Reply · 1 ·

Three things are important from Jenny's comments:
  1. The importance of children in the congregation.  The presence of children means younger parents - not merely the presence of the aged and ageing.
  2. Things are dire in NQ.  Well, Jenny, I won't contradict you there except to say that you are not alone. There are hosts of locations across this continent where the presence of Anglican Christians can be said to be dire - in churches and in communities.
  3. New wines need new wine skins.  All communities - whether of faith or not - need regeneration and refreshing to be alive and survive and continue into new generations.  Christians profess that they have a fresh message to give and to live - but how often do we seem to be trotting out the same old wine skins week after week; trotting out ancient platitudes instead of seeking new ways of speaking to the hearts and minds of the 21 Century. 
As a postscript The Editor takes the liberty of reminding fellow Christians of the famous words attributed to Saint Francis of Assisi ---

Preach the gospel, 
and - if necessary - use words.