Vicar's Musings for Easter 4
26 April, 2015
St Peter's Parish Mission - Reflect, Respond, Renew — July 19 to 26
A parishioner said to me recently, "what will be the outcome of the Parish Mission; what are we investing in?" It is a good question but I have no answer yet; I don't know. That may sound a bit evasive, but let me explain. Bishop Stephen Cottrell's useful little book Hit the Ground Kneeling: Seeing Leadership Differently (2009) encourages us to challenge the common idiom and leadership practice to "hit the ground running." Ultimately it is Christ's Mission, and we need to listen carefully for instruction and direction. It is vital that we create the space as a faith community to listen to the still small voice of the Spirit. That is how I see the week that Bp Stephen is with us in July; a time to listen and to reflect.
That being said, there are certainly concrete outcomes I am hoping for. My prayer is that we will indeed reflect together as a community, listen for God's voice, and then respond to what we hear. I am sure we have all experienced the inspiration of a conference or mission, and how quickly that vision can fade. I was delighted recently to come across a memento of the 1965 Parish Mission signed by the Missioners: +Theodore McCall (then Bp of Wangaratta) and Stan Goldsworthy (later Bp of Bunbury). There was a very clear response expected of parishioners: (1) to be absolutely regular each Sunday morning at Mass (2) to spend at least 5 minutes each day in prayer, and to undertake some systematic Bible reading (3) to cultivate the habit of brief prayers or recollection at odd times during the day (4) to give serious thought to my part in the mission of the church not only by almsgiving, but in some practical manner in the world in which I live and work.
As we reflect on Christ's call, and respond to what we hear, we are likely to enter into renewal: a renewal of our personal faith, a renewal of our church community, and by God's grace a renewal beyond ourselves in the wider church and city. That really is the ultimate goal of our Parish Mission, and we are here today at St Peter's as a direct result of previous priests and parishioners who had a similar goal. So please block out the week of 19th to 26th July in your diary, start thinking who you might invite along to the events, and if you would like to help with the organising or by giving a donation do talk to the clergy after Mass or contact the Parish Office (ph. 9662 2391 or firstname.lastname@example.org).
The Rev'd Dr Hugh Kempster
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