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The Gippsland Anglican, June 2011

The Gippsland Anglican, June 2011

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Published by Colin Thornby
The Gippsland Anglican, June 2011
The Gippsland Anglican, June 2011

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Published by: Colin Thornby on Jun 02, 2011
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Volume 108, Number 5June 2011Published in Gippsland Diocese since 1904
The Gippsland Anglican is your award winning newspaper: Most Improved Newspaper (ARPA) 2001; Best Regional Publication (ARPA) 2003; Best Social Justice Story Highly Commended (ARPA) 2004.
Spotlight on agedcarepage 8Turn the cheek fordignity
Page 3
Aboriginal ministryroles engage otherspage 11
A Covenant to heal
By Jeanette Severs
THE Primate of the Anglican Church inAustralia was a special guest speaker at the36th annual Synod of the Anglican Diocesein Gippsland, held in Drouin parish fromMay 13 to 15. The Most Reverend DrPhillip Aspinall spoke at the SynodEucharist service on May 14 and, later thatmorning, spoke about the Covenant current-ly being debate and discussed in theAnglican Church. The AnglicanCommunion Covenant is reproduced onpages 4 and 5 of this issue of 
The Gippsland Anglican
. Study notes and a question andanswer guide are available through the reg-istry office, the diocesan website and fromGeneral Synod’s website.In discussing the Covenant, Dr Aspinallencouraged all Anglicans to become con-versant with its contents and intent. Hereferred to the longstanding office of theAnglican Church in Australia to debate anddiscuss, over time, any changes in legisla-tion with the intent to listen to each otherand achieve unity in purpose. He referred todivorce and the ordination of women as twocases in point, both being a decision thattook many years of discussion and goodintent to achieve agreement and unity in thenational church, from a consciousness andtheological perspective.Dr Aspinall then stated this same open-ness to listening and dialogue was neededas the Anglican Church in Australia and,indeed, worldwide debated whether peoplewho are in an openly homosexual relation-ship should be ordained. He said it wasimportant, as Australians, to bring ourexperiences of reconciliation, respectful lis-tening and addressing our differences to thedebate.“The way we conduct ourselves as achurch and in the communion of churcheshas an effect on our mission,” he said in hisaddress to Synod.“The idea of a Covenant for the AnglicanCommunion emerged. Australia has askedeach diocese to consider the Covenant,keeping in mind three key ideas:Communion, Dispersed Authority andAutonomy,” the Anglican Primate said.In describing Communion, Dr Aspinallsaid the foundation of all Christian life andthe church is the reconciliation of all peopleto God and with each other, in Christ.“Anglican churches are a family of com-munion that share in each other’s life.”In referring to Dispersed Authority, DrAspinall said the Anglican family of churches has no centralised authority.“Authority is shared or dispersed. The dio-cese has the bishop and synod; a parish haspriest and parishioners; nationally, theGeneral Synod or a diocese chooses toadopt a policy. Internationally, decisionmaking is even more dispersed becausedecisions made by the Archbishop of Canterbury or at Lambeth, for instance, arenot binding or can be imposed on any per-son, bishop or diocese against their will.”“However, Autonomy, meaning self gov-erning churches, does not mean completelyindependent,” said Dr Aspinall.“Rather we are interdependent as our deci-sions and actions in the family affect othermembers of the family.”Dr Aspinall’s view is that the Covenanthas the ability to help heal and strengthendivisions within the Church.“The Covenant offers an Anglicanism thatis more than local and should help us todeepen our faith and commitment to eachother, should promote courtesy, respect,love, sharing and bearing each other’s bur-dens. It will enable us to stay engaged withother churches. It also does express anAnglican understanding of authority,” DrAspinall said.“The Covenant involves a framework andvehicle for dealing with disputes. TheCovenant does not constitute or invent newforms of authority, rather it reinforces thebest ways for resolving disputes involvingpatient listening, respectful debate and dis-cerning consensus.Dr Aspinall described the Covenant as auseful tool for Anglicans to work out whothey are.“The Covenant should help clarify the dif-ferences and similarities between Anglicansand between Anglicans and other religionsand churches,” he said.“Differences and conflict can be negotiat-ed, respecting that we have been reconciledto God and each other through Christ..”Dr Aspinall pointed out criticisms havebeen raised the Covenant is very legalisticand controlling. Since then the Covenanthas been reworked to encourage discern-ment among decision making.Other criticisms focus on a risk of creatinga new centralised authority body with newpowers and that the Covenant tries to sup-press conflict, does not celebrate diversityor enable discussion; that signing theCovenant will exclude those not prepared to‘toe the line’; that the Covenant is tooinflexible.Dr Aspinall stated that while there mighthave been truth in some of the criticisms,the Covenant had since been reworked sig-nificantly and these concerns had beenaddressed. He said the Covenant alsoincluded mechanisms for amendment overtime.“The Covenant will enable better commu-nication and commitment to each other. Itoutlines our shared heritage and helps us tomove forward,” Dr Aspinall said to thelarge crowd of parish representatives atSynod. He encouraged every member of Synod to return to their parish and encour-age other parishioners to study and discussthe Covenant; then to contact their Bishopwith their concerns and views about theCovenant.“Based on the history of the AustralianAnglican church, we can contribute to thedebate to form the Covenant by bringingour experience of reconciliation and build-ing respectful relationships. We can helpreconcile differences within the Church,”Dr Aspinall said.“If the Covenant had been in Lambeth(Conference 2008) I hope it might haveenabled the Anglican Church to betterencompass the views of those who didn’tattend. The Covenant should help us to stayengaged with each other as we seek toexplore and sort out our differences,” heconcluded.At the next General Synod of the AnglicanChurch in Australia, a motion will be putand if it is seconded, the Covenant will bedebated and as a result of the debate, if themajority of those present vote in agreement,the Covenant will be accepted and signed.However, dioceses are able to act independ-ently of each other and the national church.But, he said, the Covenant does enableAustralian Anglicans to more deeply dis-cern and discuss our differences and simi-larities.ABOVE: A festival of Aboriginal culture and a flag raising ceremony was held atThe Abbey of St Barnabas at A’Beckett Park on Tuesday, May 31, duringReconciliation Week, May 27 to June 2. Respected Gunai/Kurnai man, Les‘Bluegum’ Cooper raised the Australian, Aboriginal Australian and Torres StraitIslander flags. Mr Cooper was a member of the committee in 1967 to choose thedesign and colors of the Aboriginal flag. Holding the Aboriginal flag (above), MrCooper called for a new flag for Australia, a flag that did not encourage division; aflag with only the Southern Cross on it. “We are all one people living in this land,and we need to live under one flag; we can all live together under the SouthernCross,” he said, describing his vision for unity as Australians.Photo: J. Severs
All one people underthe Southern Cross
2Our Diocese - 36th Annual Synod 2011
June 2011
The Gippsland Anglican
The Gippsland 
Price: 90 cents each$25 annual postal subscriptionMember of Australasian Religious PressAssociationMember of Community NewspapersAssociation of VictoriaRegistered by Australia Post.Print Post Number 34351/00018
The Gippsland Anglican
is the officialnewspaper of and is published byThe Anglican Diocese of Gippsland,453 Raymond St, Sale, Victoria, 3853,www.gippsanglican.org.auEditor: Mrs Jeanette Severs,PO Box 928, Sale, 3850Tel: 03 5144 2044Fax: 03 5144 7183
Email all p
arish reports, all articles,photographs, letters and advertisementsto the Editor.Photographs should be jpeg files.Articles should be .doc or .txt files.Advertisements should be PDF files.Printed by
Latrobe Valley Express P/L
21 George Street, Morwell, 3840All contributions must be received bythe Editor by the 15th day of the monthprior to publication. Contact the Editor todiscuss variation to this date. The Editorreserves the right of final choice and for-mat of material included in each issue.
TheGippsland Anglican
and the Editor cannotnecessarily verify any material used in thispublication. Views contained in submittedmaterial are those of contributors.Advertising Rates:$6.80/cm deep/column black & white.Color is an extra $130.Contact the Editor in the first instancefor all advertising submissions, costings andenquiries, including about inserts in thenewspaper. All advertisements should bewith the Editor by the 10th of the monthprior to publication.For Sale Classifieds:Parishes can advertise items for free, forsale at prices up to and including $100.Send details, including contact name andtelephone number, to the Editor by 10thof the month prior to publication.
Covenant to heal1Primate’s sermon to Synod 3Covenant as proposed4-6Activity page for childrenSpotlight on aged care8AWA service for women9Cathedral all-inclusive10Cup of tea vital11Help to learn English12MU supports families 13Presidents charge14-1Diocesan calendar1Aboriginal trust fund18Call for mediation19Abbey pictorial20
The Right Reverend John McIntyreAnglican Bishop of Gippsland
IN coming to this diocese, I expressed clearlymy commitment to be an inclusive church. Thismeans all are welcome in our church simply be-cause they are God’s children. In an inclusivechurch, nothing should prevent anyone frombeing part of our life and ministry. Gender, race,ethnicity, sexuality, class, power, wealth or anyother possible criterion by which some maywish to differentiate between people, can neverbe the basis for determining whether or not aperson will be part of the life and ministry of our church.I pray everyone who professes faith in JesusChrist will continue to know they are welcomein our churches as brothers and sisters in Christ.I pray everyone who does not profess that samefaith will nonetheless experience our churchesas places of grace, welcome, refuge and nurture.I place inclusivity as a primary call on thechurch because I see it to be at the heart of Jesus’ ministry. He went out of his way specif-ically to include those who others saw as sin-ners to be excluded. His approach to those whowere offended by his inclusivity was to wel-come them as well, but not on the basis they de-termine who is not welcome.The only people excluded in Jesus’ scheme of things are those who exclude themselves be-cause they do not want to be a part of a com-munity which includes those they think shouldbe excluded.This irony is made clear in the Parable of theProdigal Son, better described as the Parable of the Two Sons. At the end of the story, the fatherpleads with the older son to join the party inwhich the younger son, whom the older son dis-approves, is already taking part. A question isleft hanging in the air. Will the older son acceptthe gracious invitation or will he reject it be-cause he wants the younger son to be excluded?He may exclude himself but the father will notexclude him, just as he has not excluded theyounger son.The clue to unravelling the parable is God’sgrace. This is why the church must above allelse be inclusive. The desire to exclude marks alack of grace. It is not true to the heart of theGod of grace and it leads tragically to self-ex-clusion.To be inclusive as church means, of course,that people with significant differences of opin-ion on a whole range of matters are sittingalongside each other in all kinds of contexts inour diocese. All I can hope for is that we will bewilling to listen to each other across those dif-ferences.For this to happen we must take seriously thateach person of faith is open to the urging of God’s spirit in her or his life and is trying to liveout what he or she understands it means to be achild of God. We will not always agree on whatthis means, but we can agree to trust each otherto be open to hearing what God is asking of us,and we can be willing to discuss our differenceswith respect and openness.This side of the fulfilment of the reign of God,we will continue to see ‘through a glass darkly’about all manner of things and to disagree onwhat it is God is saying to us about a range of matters. This is simply a reality of our life to-gether.Yet on one matter of disagreement the inter-national Anglican Communion seems to wantto deny this reality. Tragically we have isolatedthe issue of human sexuality as a basis for divi-sion among us right across our Communion. Alarge part of the cause of this division is our re-fusal to discuss with grace our disagreementsabout the place of homosexual people in the lifeof the church.With a patent lack of grace, we have failed toagree to trust each other as sisters and brothersin Christ, who are each open to hearing whatGod is asking of us. We have determined not todiscuss this matter of difference between uswith respect and openness. We have caused painto homosexual people by discussing them as atopic, rather than simply accepting them as peo-ple. In short, we have failed to take seriouslywhat it means to be an inclusive church.We have answered in the negative the questionthat hangs in the air at the conclusion of theparable of the two sons.Recently, Bishop-in-Council agreed to begina listening process in the diocese to hear the sto-ries of homosexual people who are strugglingto find their rightful place in the life of thechurch. Here is our chance to begin to turn thisdiscussion around in the life of our diocese. Iencourage everyone to be a part of the listeningprocess as a sign of our commitment to beingan inclusive church.
All one people in church
Money is the root of all evil
. No,
of money is the problem. Money can be your Masteror your Servant. A deposit with the Anglican Development Fund cansolve the problem. It enables you to control your money and not letit control you.You can
for yourself 
and let your money be a
tothe Anglican Church in Gippsland at the same time. The currentinterest rates for deposits in the
und forGippsland Diocese are:
3.75% At Call 4.75% Term Deposits to $20,000 5.00% Term Deposits $20,000 
The period for a term deposit is 12 months with a minimumamount of $100.Consider also there are
No Fees or Charges
operate yourAccount with the ADF. Access to your money is only a phone callaway.Open an Account with the ADF today. Phone us on (03) 51442044 or write to The Registrar at: PO Box 928 Sale, Vic. 3850, or youcan drop in to the Diocesan Registry at 453 Raymond Street,
Sale, toopen your Deposit Account with us.
Note: Neither the Anglican Diocese of Gippsland nor the Anglican DevelopmentFund
Gippsland is prudentially supervised by
. Contributions to the Fund donot obtain the benefit of depositor protection provisions of the Banking Act 1959.
ABOVE: The Honorable John Delzoppo, Chairman of Synod Commit-tees, Bishop John McIntyre, President of Synod, and Ms Rowena Arm-strong AO QC, Chancellor of Synod, concentrate on the business of theDiocese of Gippsland. John Delzoppo was attending his 40th Synod inGippsland Diocese this year.Photo: Jeanette SeversParish contributors please note: Due to the extensive coverage of Synodin
The Gippsland Anglican
, articles and photographs submitted for thismonth are being held over for possible inclusion in the July issue.Editor
John sits on 40th Synod
June 2011
Our Diocese - 36th Annual Synod 20113The Gippsland Anglican
Turn the cheek for dignity
FOLLOWING is the sermon spoken at the GippslandSynod Eucharist, by the Most Reverend Phillip Aspinall,Archbishop of Brisbane and Primate of the Anglican Churchin Australia. The sermon is based on Matthew 5-7: Sermonon the mount.THE famous ‘Sermon on the Mount’ runs through chap-ters five, six and seven of Matthew. The sermon has beencalled ‘winged words’. It has been seen as ‘a canon withinthe canon,’ a summary of the Christian faith because thesewords are powerfully representative of the whole Christianview of and approach to life.But for all that, the sermon is not without its difficulties.Some of these words could easily be responsible for FFruce, I think it was, saying the bible is a most difficult book not because of the bits I can’t understand, but because of thebits I can.The sermon teaches us, for example –‘If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out’ (5.29).‘Do not swear at all’ (5.34) in contrast to Article 39 of ourArticles of Religion which has it ‘… that Christian Religiondoth not prohibit, but that a man may swear when the Mag-istrate requireth …’The sermon tells us ‘not [to] resist one who is evil’ (5.39)which seems to undermine the very basis of decent society.You are to ‘give to him who begs from you’ (5.42) but, asLuther construed it, not necessarily exactly what he asks for!‘You must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect’(5.48).You are not to be angry; show not even a desire to retaliate;feel no hatred; be entirely and wholly pure.‘Hear these words and do them,’ says Jesus. Simple.Straightforward. Unqualified. Clear.But they’ve given rise to perhaps more gymnastics by in-terpreters down the ages than any other passage in scripture.The medieval church saw the sermon as a counselof perfection which it expected only monks to ob-serve who were living outside the real world. Theimplication being that those who had to deal withthe realities of day to day life couldn’t possibly liveby such a code and survive.The Reformation dispensed with this double standard andregarded the sermon as setting down uncompromising stan-dards for all Christian people, who would of course fall shortof such impossible expectations and fall back on the grace of ustification by faith.In the 19th century, scholars argued that Jesus wasn’t set-ting down rules for behaviour, but rather exposing inner prin-ciples and attitudes, fundamental inward dispositions. So thesermon was about renewal of the inner life rather than ethics:who we should
rather than what we need to
.I am more convinced by Tom Wright’s circumvention of these gymnastics with a decent dose of historical context.The sermon, he says, is a challenge to Israel to be truly Israel:to be true to her identity and vocation as the people of God.Israel longed for God’s kingdom to come and was ready tostruggle and fight for it. Israel hoped she would be vindi-cated in a national victory, her enemies, including her occu-piers, would be overthrown, the land returned and she wouldsee God.But in Jesus’ view, Israel was on the wrong track. As thebeatitudes set out, the kingdom belongs to the poor in spiritand will be inherited by way of meekness, not through phys-ical battles against armed enemies; not through anger where justice means nothing more than vengeance. Humility andgentleness will inherit the kingdom, says Jesus. Mercy is forthe merciful, not the vengeful; for the peacemakers and thepure of heart.First and foremost, the beatitudes call Israel to discover hertrue vocation by following the way Jesus sets out, rather thanby aligning herself with other would-be leaders.Israel was meant to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world, but had lost her saltiness and hidden her light fromthe nations round about. Jesus calls Israel to be her true self,by following his agenda, rather than the path she was on.‘You have heard that it was said … but I say to you …’ Thegreat antitheses are a kind of radicalization of the Torah, theold law, going to the heart of it. Israel is not going to be hertrue self by multiplying and refining rules to be followed.She will only discover her true identity by integrating heartand action in a single loyalty. That basic idea still finds ex-pression in our own call to prayer in the daily office inAAPB: ‘Let us pray with one heart and mind.’Such an integration, such a discovery, Jesus is saying, willproduce a very different way of being Israel.According to this way, an accused person will reconcilewith an accuser on the way to court; alienated friends willreconcile on the way to the Temple.If you are commandeered by a Roman soldier to carry hispack for a mile, you will be surprisingly generous rather thancomplain and retaliate. The state’s enemies are not neces-sarily enemies of God and Israel must learn to love them andto pray for them if she is truly to be like her heavenly Father.Love and mercy are the code for the true people of God.The ones who live like that are the ones who will be vindi-cated. Relationships are to be characterized by forgiveness,not by insisting on saving face or maintaining the upperhand.Jesus sets this very different approach over against the cur-rent way Israel is treading which he saw would lead to dis-aster. Above all Jesus’ pleads for Israel not to follow the pathof violent resistance.‘Do not resist evil,’ he says: an inexplicable command if viewed as a moral instruction. But understood historically asa plea not to align themselves with the military resistancemovement - it makes perfect sense in the overall context of the sermon.The sermon is a call to Israel to resist in a different, less di-rect way. ‘Turn the other cheek,’ says Jesus. To be struck onthe right cheek with the right hand means being struck withthe back of the hand – a sign of contempt by the aggressorand of humiliation for the victim. To ‘turn the left cheek also’is not to be a doormat: it’s to insist on one’s dignity, to de-mand equality with the assailant. It is quiet, strong, dignifiedassertion. Peacemaking.The way of Jesus shuns showy religious observance. Godwill not be bribed or manipulated by long prayers, ostenta-tious almsgiving, attention-grabbing fasting. That’s not whoGod is. That’s an idol who can be conned or persuaded intogiving what one wants. But God is Father and knows whathis children need. Those who truly relate to God as Fatherwill be vindicated. They need not be afraid. But those an-gling for land or national restoration or ancestral rights willbe disappointed.The whole way Jesus sets out can be summed up very sim-ply in a basic rule of thumb: whatever you want others to doto you, do that to them.Jesus ends the sermon with a grim warning: the only wayfor Israel to avoid personal and national disaster is for themto change direction and follow his way.The house built on the rock, in 1st century Israel, wouldhave been heard as a reference to the temple. If Israel will notchoose Jesus’ way their most precious national institution isitself at risk. His later turning over the tables in the templeenacts the consequences the sermon tries to avoid.In its historical context the sermon confronts its listenerswith a stark choice. The people of Israel can stand overagainst their enemies, isolate themselves from them, strug-gle and battle with them, exercising the politics of coercion,power and control and hope Yahweh will vindicate them be-cause they are pure.Or Israel can take up the alternative set out by Jesus markedby meekness, non-violence, mercy, peacemaking, reconcili-ation, forgiveness, generosity.To what extent does this choice still confront us today? Inpersonal and institutional life? In our families: in our deal-ings with children, spouses, parents? In congregational life?In our dioceses? In the life of the national church? In the in-ternational Anglican Communion?I tend to think the choices before us are just as stark as theywere for Israel in Jesus’ day. The temptation to secure ourown position is just as great now as it was then. The risks toour institutions and in our personal lives are just as marked.And the urgency is just as pressing.And yet, from time to time, and, I dare say, even in thisSynod you will catch glimpses of the transforming work of the Spirit among us, of the better way. It is not yet too late.‘Everyone who hears these words of mine and acts on themwill be like a wise man who built his house on rock. … Andeveryone who hears these words of mine and does not act onthem will be like a foolish man who built his house on sand.… and great was its fall.’Amen.ABOVE: Archbishop Phillip Aspinall, Primate of the An-glican Church in Australia, speaks at Drouin.Photo: Jeanette Severs
This year Anglicare Victoria will be called upon to help more than2,000 families in the Gipsland region. Families who have been leftvulnerable by spiralling household costs, rental pressure and otherthings out of their control. Families like Ava’s who are at breakingpoint because of their financial crisis.
Phone 1800 809 722 or visit www.anglicarevic.org.au
‘you will catch glimpses of the transformingwork of the Spirit among us ,,, it is not too late’

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