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Vicar's Musings for Advent 2

10 December, 2017

Last weekend we celebrated Advent Sunday; the beginning of the New Year for liturgical Christians. With torrential rain hammering down on the church roof, our Musical Director, Andrew Raiskums, conducted the St Peter's Choir, Gloriana Choir, and the St Peter's Chamber Players in a remarkable performance of Handel's Messiah. The audience's spontaneous and unequivocal response to the final "Amen" was an immediate standing ovation. A number of parishioners, as well as those in the audience I'd not met before, made the point of telling me afterwards: "this year's Messiah was the best yet." My thanks to Andrew, the soloists, the choristers, and all the musicians; O what a night!

Today, at both the 9.30am and 11.00am Masses, we will be marking a new beginning in the Christian journey for three baptismal candidates: Chout Mabor and Manas Chol (Family Mass) and Gordon Ng (High Mass). Please pray for the candidates and for their parents and godparents: Toma, Majur, Adut, and Abraham; Susanna, Ray, and Lina.

This week has seen a profound new beginning for our nation: the passing into legislation of the Same-Sex Marriage Bill. While acknowledging that the Anglican Church is not yet of one voice, the St Peter's Parish Council, along with the staff and a vast majority of parishioners, celebrate Friday's historic parliamentary vote in favour of marriage equality. This change to the laws of our land will have a real impact on the lives of our LGTBIQ parishioners, family and friends; some of whom are already married, and some of whom have long awaited the outcome of this week's vote so that they can finally plan their own weddings.

Here at St Peter's we continue to pray for and work towards to a more just and genuinely inclusive community, both within and beyond the Church.

Ubi caritas ...
Where charity and love are, God is there.
Christ's love has gathered us into one.
Let us rejoice and be pleased in Him.

The Rev'd Dr Hugh Kempster

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