From the Vicar
Weekly messages from Ray
The new year has begun in the midst of the ongoing pandemic sweeping the world. Holiday times been affected by the Omicron variation of COVID, and this has impacted on planned holiday travel, meeting with families and friends and even in church attendances at Christmas and since. I am conscious that there are people within our parish wary or reluctant to attend church while parents of young children are preparing for the vaccination of children over five and who are getting ready and probably excited to attend school for the first time. Please keep in your prayers, reflections, and mediations all those in need and reach out offering the unconditional love of God wherever you are able.
Cricket and tennis are two sporting events that take place in Summer. Both have been affected in different ways and have consumed, I suggest, a disproportionate share of media attention at the expense of other important issues. The plight of the refugees held in detention in hotels for years resurfaced and I for one cannot fathom the reasons why they are still held. Their detention is repulsive and an abuse of power by the federal government and stands in stark contrast to the ethic of Christian love we are called to extend to those without a safe abode in their country of origin. I would like to hear your thoughts as to how we can act as a parish community at this time on this issue.
The incumbency committee of the parish will meet shortly to prepare a parish profile for information for a potential new priest. I am offering two meetings of the wider parish to provide input, St James on 30 January at 6 pm following the 5 pm Eucharist, and All Saints at noon following the 11 am Eucharist on 6 February. Please come along and share your thoughts.
I commend to you the following reflections and reading from blogs and websites.
Bob Geldof writes in the Guardian how Desmond Tutu taught us all the true meaning of greatness.
I would like to share with you a short video from 700 Year 5 students in Darebin schools who participated in the Fourth Darebin Schools’ NAIDOC Yarning Conference. The video highlighted the students’ and the schools’ commitment to taking action to heal Country by doing the little Long Walk (a tradition of the Yarning Conference – and marching for justice around their school and community), watching a film by the Wurundjeri Woi wurrung Land Management team, Narrap, and planting indigenous species at their schools through Council’s Rewilding program. https://youtu.be/VWh9EYeo_cA
As I mentioned in one of my earlier messages, I have been in a quandary as to how best to maintain safety for the congregation when we meet in person, while including and caring for all, regardless of vaccination status. The Diocese of Melbourne has now mandated the provision of separate services for both groups of worshippers. Here is a thoughtful discussion from the combined Anglican Theological Colleges, Ridley College, Trinity College and the University of Divinity.
The monthly newsletter of Anglicare Australia, Aspect, is always a valuable read, giving news of this national Anglican agency’s actions in relation to issues of social justice and fair treatment, and the need to care for our most vulnerable people. This month’s issue discusses the need to tackle ageism, a long-term problem in Australia, embedded in our social practices, attitudes and policies. Anglicare calls on the government to scrap its implementation of regulatory steps that could see charities shut down if they act or speak in ways that are critical of the government. Anglicare continues to push for a basic universal income arguing that subsidies during the pandemic have shown us that a secure basic income can change lives for the better.
You can access this newsletter by subscribing free at Aspect Newsletter – Anglicare Australia
Rev’d Canon Dr Ray Cleary AM
Locum Vicar, All Saints
A lifelong advocate for many of the most disadvantaged groups in society