Vicar's Musings for Ordinary Sunday 29
21 October, 2012
When I was training to be a priest in the 1990s, at St John's Theological College in Auckland, we had Wednesday classes in Practical Theology. It was there that I first came across the phrase "hatch, match and dispatch." It is a rather colloquial (but accurate) way of describing three central components of priestly ministry: baptism, marriage and burial. The Sacraments and services of the Church cover all of life, from our birth to our death, and are powerful symbols of God's intimate care for us at all times. As the Psalmist put it so beautifully (139 & 23): "For it was you who formed my inward parts; you knit me together in my mother's womb" and "though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil ... surely your goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life."
On Friday we celebrated the life of a parishioner who has served God faithfully at St Peter's since the 1950s: Majorie Churton. Sue Wuttke gathered a choir, Peter Bryce pulled together enough servers for a Requiem Mass, Liz Prideaux arranged the flowers, Helen Drummond and a number of others ensured that we had an abundance of refreshments afterwards. Although a sad day, it was also a wonderful celebration of Marj's life and a coming together of the St Peter's community in a time of grief.
This week the Parish Office has also been buzzing in preparation for the seven weddings that will be held next month at St Peter's; two more than we had altogether in 2011. And what about the hatching? Well, we've been busy there too. At today's 9.30am service three St Peter's families will bring their children for baptism: Aiden Boonlue Stranieri, Sloan Ern Nelson Cornish, Sadie Olivia Nelson Vatnsdal, and Philippa Audrey Parkes. It is going to be quite a celebration!
In the midst of all the busyness Bishop Graeme dragged your Vicar off to the Cistercian Abbey at Tarrawarra for a short retreat; what a blessing that was. As I reflect on the week that has past, Edward Carpenter's beautiful poem "The Lake of Beauty" comes to mind:
Hatch, match, and dispatch ... in prayer. Encouraging signs of faithfulness and growth for our wonderful faith community of St Peter Eastern Hill.
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