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The Gippsland Anglican
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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 1254, Bairnsdale, 3875Tel: 03 5144 2044Fax: 03 5144 7183
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The Gippsland Anglican
and theEditor cannot necessarily verify anymaterial used in this publication. Viewscontained in submitted material arethose 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, cost-ings and enquiries, including about in-serts in the newspaper.For Sale Classifieds:Parishes can advertise items for free, for sale at prices up to and in-cluding $100. Send details by email tothe Editor.
Abbey open day1Healing conflict3Bairnsdale safety4 AWA feature5-8 Graduations9Top students10 GFS camp for kids11Children’s ministry12 Anam Cara13Elizabeth Alfred14Listening process15 Faith issues16 Parish news17 Literary reviews18 Diocesan calendar19Parish news20
Letters to the Editor
Dear Editor,Recently I filled in a ques-tionare handed out at ourchurch which purported toexamine what the congre-gations thoughts about re-ligion in general reallyarea. I noted that, al-though many of the ques-tions were important, whatI consider the most impor-tant question was notasked: “Why do I, as anindividual, support theChurch?” Perhaps, since this ques-tion is impossible to an-swer in a simple yes or noform, that was the reasonit was left out. Since I be-lieve it to be the most im-portant, also possibly themost controversial, then Iwill try to outline my rea-sons.How did religion begin inthe first place? Stone Ageman could not write.Therefore he had to relyon word of mouth for in-formation. The most unre-liable method known toman, as any policemanwho has had to gather evi-dence of a simple butdeadly road accident fromsix separate witnesses willattest.He also had to relatewhat information he couldgather to his own experi-ence of life. An experiencewhich was limited by thenumber of people belong-ing to his own immediatetribe and the limited geo-graphical area his tribecontrolled. This is com-mon, even in this modernworld, for a limited few.Questions that asked ex-planations of dreams, vi-sions, how did it all start,are complicated even intoday’s world, with four- orfive thousand years of in-formation to draw on.The result was that any-one in the tribe who couldanswer such questions,even though in most caseshe had to make them upinto some believable story,found themselves in a so-cial position of importance.The ancestor of the mod-ern day priest was, in fact,the local witchdoctor.Today, 200 years afterthe birth of the steam en-gine which made travel somuch easier, coupled withthe printing press and theintroduction of modern ed-ucational services, infor-mation is so much morereadily available and gen-erally more accurate. Isthe the reason why ourchurches find it difficult tofill their pews compared to50 or more years ago?To those who dismiss thisquestion as inappropriate,I would ask why is it thateven today there are peo-ple who still refer toCharles Darwin’s work as atheory? I realise, withpleasure, many in thechurch recognise Darwinmay not have been 100per cent correct in detail,but he was on the rightteam without doubt. Whyhas the church taken solong to recognise this??Society needs social or-ganisations such as thechurch can provide. In thepast, the church has beena major force in unitingpeople together. Eventhough it has also beenguilty of at times disunit-ing them.The church has a socialrole to play, it always hasas far back as the StoneAge. That role is stillneeded today. But thechurch must enter the 21stcentury. Stories that wereappropriate 2000 yearsago, do not cut much icetoday.I do not pretend to knowhow the church should goabout this. I have been aregular member for mostof my 84 years but havespent the past at least 30years, hoping against hopethat I would live longenough to see it flourishonce more. Instead I see itslowly dying.I remember one well-known politician who,when asked what wouldthe church say about thematter being discussed, hereplied, “The Church, theyare yesterday’s people” and that was 20 years ago.I believe there are manyin the congregations whowould agree with this let-ter in principle, if not indetail.Sincerely,Graham Budd,Moe.
Dear Editor,A number of columns in
The Gippsland Anglican
(one which was reprintedin
, August 12,2011), authored by theBishop of Gippsland, JohnMcIntyre, have counte-nanced the issues of theday. Specifically, illegal im-migrants (asylum seek-ers), the Carbon Tax,support to Aborigines andwelfare contributions.Bishop McIntyre has notconfined himself to the penbut has also used the pul-pit for these and other po-litical issues.Rather than adopt theprecepts of leadership,Bishop McIntyre has re-sorted to the harangueand the denunciative in hiscolumns.The position of the Bishopof Gippsland is a leader-ship position appointed bythe Gippsland Bishop Ap-pointment Board. Leader-ship defined as the activityof leading a group of peo-ple or an organisation, orthe ability to do this. In itsessence, leadership in anorganisational role involves(1) establishing a clear vi-sion, (2) sharing that vi-sion with others so thatthey will follow willingly,(3) providing the informa-tion, knowledge and meth-ods to realise that visionand (4) coordinating andbalancing the conflictinginterests of all members orstakeholders.(http://www.businessdic-tionary.com/definition/leadership.html)Bishop McIntyre’s politicsare from the political leftand he has a right tothose.However, in denun-ciating political conserva-tives, and I am one, andtheir views, he has abro-gated his leadership func-tion in the GippslandAnglican community.Invoking God’s name todenounce those who holdopposite but reasoned, bydint of experience, views,is an ecumenical slur. Hehas used such epithets asunchristian, uncaring, in-excusable, a selfish dere-liction of duty, scare tacticsand deceit, unthinking,cynicism, cynical exploita-tion, genocide, devoid of principles, easily exploited,unjust and slaughter.When invoked with ‘Christ-ian’ obligation, those epi-thets are intemperate,inaccurate and insulting.Bishop McIntyre has se-lectively used ‘fact’ to suithis arguments; ‘facts’ thatfail the test of scrutiny.In his field, Bishop McIn-tyre is highly regarded.Perhaps he should haveremained in his comfortzone, because, while hemay be doctrinally pure,he has failed to bring allhis flock to willingly coop-erate with him to achievehis outcome. Continuedharanguing does notachieve his desired out-comes; it merely hardensthe resolve of those of uswho have beliefs contraryto his.In an era of intense politi-cal debate and instability,Bishop McIntyre has takensides and polarisedtheGippsland Anglicancommunity. Where is theseparation between Churchand State?Also failing the leadershiptest was the Bishop Ap-pointment Board. Theyfailed to carry out due dili-gence because they didnot take into account thecharacteristics of the Gipp-sland constituency, be itAnglican or the commu-nity; they knew BishopMcIntyre’s politics, person-ality and the potential toengender controversy.Bishop McIntyre and theBishop Appointment Boardshould note that successfulleadership requires inclu-sion, ownership and anaffinity with its Gippslandconstituents; not alien-ation.Yours sincerely,Bill Westhead,Warragul
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