Baptism

It is a steep climb down into our church baptistry! It is only three steps, but they take you down deep fast! I am curious if it was based on another architectural/theological feature of baptistries – that there should be three steps to represent being baptised, “in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit,” or whether they just wanted more room to move in the baptistry! There is a wealth of fascinating architectural detail in baptisteries. In her Read more…

Being Baptist

Each time I filled in the hospital admission papers, for giving birth, I was asked, “What is your religion?” and each time I would get into trouble with the Baptist chaplain because I wrote ‘Christian’ – not ‘Baptist’ – so she never found out that I was there. (I would be forgiven after she had a cuddle of the new baby!) The correct answer to the question, however, was ‘Christian’! My religion is Christian – not Baptist. Far more significant Read more…

Aboriginal Sunday

Dear Friends, Last Sunday we held Aboriginal Sunday, a day Yorta Yorta man and Aboriginal leader, William Cooper, called on the Australian Church to observe, on the 26th January 1938, to be in solidarity with Aboriginal peoples. And yesterday, on Australia Day, Common Grace sent out a list of the 10 best ways to engage on January 26. It’s a thoughtful list, but the one that most struck me was #5 – Observe 65 seconds of silence, one second for Read more…

One service. One area of service. One small group.

Dear Friends, As I write this, bottle rockets are raining on the office roof launched by very happy and excited SMAD campers! 😊 It is wonderful to see (and hear) the programme happening again – even amid the concerns of Covid – and to see Penny able to be here and her and Ally and Andrew (and so many others) running it so ably for the tenth year in a row! It has also been wonderful to have John and Read more…

Happy Three Kings Day!

Dear Friends, Happy Epiphany! Or Happy Three Kings Day! Today is the Feast of Epiphany – celebrated in the church worldwide as the day the magi visited the Christ Child (Matthew 2:1-12). The word ‘epiphany’ comes from Greek and means ‘manifestation’ or ‘appearance’, and can refer to either the appearance of a divine being, or of the revelation of the basic nature of something or some essential truth. The early Christian church used it to refer to the revelation of Read more…

End of the year

Dear Friends, The final Sunday to Sunday for 2021! So much to think about. So much to give thanks for. And so much to pray and hope for you all and for us as a community in 2022! Most of all I am grateful for the faithful presence of God (God who we remember and worship as Immanuel, God with us, at this time) and all of you who remind me of the faithful presence of God, in your prayers Read more…

Joy!

Dear Friends! There was lots of joy to go around on Sunday! Joy in the beautiful music (thank you to James and our talented and burgeoning choir!), joy in giving to Communities@Work, joy in prayer (I loved the quote from Rebecca’s Baptist women friends!), joy in flower arranging (and stewarding and teaching our children and youth – don’t forget to be in touch, joy seekers! 😊) and even joy in simply entering the church building!   Another impetus for joy Read more…

Arm of God

On Sunday Jeanette preached on peace and one the beautiful words of Isaiah 52:7-10, “How beautiful upon the mountains a the feet of the messenger who announces peace.” But she also gave us a new way of thinking about the end of this passage, “The Lord has bared his holy arm…and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God.”  “The arm of God,” she said, “is holy not just because anything belonging to the Lord Read more…

new life and hope

While I was looking for pictures of jacaranda trees for Sunday’s slide show, I came across this story about the jacarandas of St George and Sutherland Shires in Sydney – https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-11-19/the-story-behind-the-jacarandas-in-sydneys-south/13638852   In 1952 Sister Irene Paxton who ran a maternity hospital began giving jacaranda trees to young mothers, asking them to plant them in their backyards and watch them grow, as they watched their children grow. The name of the maternity hospital was Jacaranda Hospital! For the people of St Read more…

Good news!

Would you like to hear some good news for a change? Do you know someone else who would like to hear good news for a change? This Sunday is the start of Advent; the time of preparing for the birth of Christ into our lives and into our world. It is good news for a change! And it is good news for a change – news that brings transformation to us and through us! Over the next four weeks, in Read more…