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The Gippsland Anglican, February 2012

The Gippsland Anglican, February 2012

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Published by Colin Thornby

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Published by: Colin Thornby on Jan 31, 2012
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Volume 109, Number 1February 2012Published in Gippsland Diocese since 1904
The Gippsland Anglican
is your award winning newspaper: Best Regional Publication Silver Award (ARPA) 2010; Item or Feature thatshows the most originality Highly Commended (ARPA) 2010; Best Social Justice Story Highly Commended (ARPA) 2004; Best RegionalPublication (ARPA) 2003; Most Improved Newspaper (ARPA) 2001.
AWA about unitingChristian womenpages 5 to 8Bairnsdale honors theemergency services
page 4
Leongatha parishhosts Bishop Alexispage 9
Cowes parish supports youth
IN 1868, when the township of Cowes was established,the Church of England Reserve at the corner of Thompson Avenue and Church Street was at the edge of the township. Since then, the shops have extended upthe hill from Western Port, well past the Church of England Reserve, which now is more or less inthe middleof the town and opposite two important civic buildings,the Cultural Centre and the Heritage Centre.Both these buildings are set well back from the foot-path. As is St Philip’s Church, opened in 1870, and theparish hall, built by volunteer labor and opened in 1935.(Volunteering must have been different in those days;anyone missing a working bee was fined 10 shillings).The setback of these four public buildings means thereis an oasis of green in the centre of Cowes and space foroutdoor activities, whether sitting comfortably watchingthe world go by or enthusiastic young people invitingtheir peers to a sausage sizzle.The holiday season begins with ‘Schoolies Week’, whichis a very mixed blessing in holiday areas. The fast foodand bottle shops do a roaring trade. The people who arepaid to pick up rubbish work overtime; and many morepeople pick up rubbish. We listen with some apprehen-sion every time the fire siren sounds.No, Schoolies Week is not an easy time for the localcommunity, but we receive very positive help from theStudent Life and Red Frog organisations. Both thesegroups of young people have free access to all thegrounds and facilities at St Philip’s and do a splendid jobcaring for their peers. They also find the time to provideother more conventional forms of Christian ministry.Just after Christmas, the Theos team from ScriptureUnion set up their drop-in centre at the parish hall. Onceagain, there was food available plus various games, aband and some comfortable couches to sit on, relax andtalk. Once again, it is young people caring for otheryoung people and doing a job others cannot do. Of course, what the rest of us can do is provide the facilitiesand encouragement.Contributed by Margaret HancockABOVE: Youth at a sausage sizzle held by Red Frog forthe many who attended Schoolies Week on Phillip Island.Photo: Student Life
A better life onshow atAbbeyopen day
THE Abbey of St Barnabasis the setting for aSustainability Open Day onEaster Saturday. Held atRaymond Island, the openday will begin at 10am onSaturday, April 7, finishingat 4pm.Participants will hear pre-sentations and demonstra-tions of practical ways tolive a more sustainable life-style.Leader of the AbbeyEnvironmental Taskforce,Ann Miller, has organisedactivities about competentcomposting, sustainablegardening, water, reduce-reuse-recycle and newfrom old (clothes andwood).Other activities will helpparticipants understandhow good design can saveyou money and the bene-fits of bicycle power. Morehands-on activities willteach cooking by the sunand jam and preservemaking.Activities for childreninclude learning about thefood that is all around us.For enquiries, contact Annon telephone 0427 445866or email tarkaan@net-space.net.auFurther information aboutthe Abbey of St Barnabas,on inside pages.
2Our Diocese - Missions and Ministries
February 2012
The Gippsland Anglican
The Gippsland 
Price: 90 cents each$25 annual postal subscriptionMember of Australasian ReligiousPress AssociationMember of Community Newspapers Association 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 1254, Bairnsdale, 3875Tel: 03 5144 2044Fax: 03 5144 7183
editor@gippsanglican.org.auEmail all parish reports, all articles,photographs, letters andadvertisements to 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, 3840 All contributions must be received bythe Editor by the 15th day of the monthprior to publication. Contact the Editor to discuss variation to this date. TheEditor reserves the right of final choiceand format of material included in eachissue.
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-Graduations9Top students1GFS camp for kids11Childrens ministry12  Anam Cara13Elizabeth Alfred14Listening process1Faith issues1Parish news1Literary reviews1Diocesan calendar19Parish news2
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
The Age
, 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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February 2012
Our Diocese - Missions and Ministries3The Gippsland Anglican
Dear friends
,HOW do we live together as Chris-tian sisters and brothers in com-munity, when we recognise manystrengths and many frailties, differ-ence of opinion and of interpreta-tion? It is a question facing theAnglican Church internationally anddioceses and parishes near and far.The Anglican Communion hassought to face this question in thedevelopment of the
: how do we belong to-gether when we disagree on mat-ters which are vital to us? How willwe relate to each other when wedisagree? How will be worship to-gether when our disagreementsare paramount in our minds? Howwill we continue to serve Christ andChrist’s Church when all else seemsto be tumbling around us?It seems to me, we do have a re-sponsibility to take care in ourwords and action when we dis-agree. Our words and actions caneither make this disagreementworse or better; the choice is ours.At a local level, we experience thisin parish conflict over everythingfrom how money is spent to per-sonal conflicts between those whowould otherwise seek to worshipand work together.Conflict might also be a very pos-itive force. Some of the most im-portant reforms in history, such asuniversal suffrage and abolition of slavery, have only emerged andbecome the norm after many yearsof conflict and determination on thepart of a small group of people. It iswhat we do with our difference andtensions that matters.Indeed, it could be said that achurch without conflict might be achurch where nothing much is hap-pening to conflict about! Or whereonly one voice is heard! Yet I sus-pect if we sometimes thought morecarefully about something as sim-ple as how we speak to each other,we might avoid a great deal of un-necessary heartache.
Covenant Commitments for Chris-tians in Times of Tension,
distrib-uted last year to parishes inGippsland is a one page documentwith some excellent and very prac-tical guides for acknowledging ten-sion and conflict and for restoringgood relationships. I commend it toyou for your reflection as we begina new year together.The Anglican Covenant couldtherefore be seen to be an expres-sion of what is already true.Covenant is the nature of our rela-tionship in Christ. God in Christhas brought us into a relationshipof covenant; a covenant which Godwill not break and we are not tobreak.Covenant is also the nature of ourrelationships with each other inChrist; we share a life together not just a set of beliefs or statutes.We also have guideposts. The tra-dition of our Church, the Scripturesgiven us from within that tradition,our capacity to think and reasonand debate. With all these, it be-comes possible for new ideas toemerge and for such exploration totake place. Diversity of opinion can,after all, be seen as a sign of ahealthy community committed toseeking, but not always possess-ing, truth.If we want a Church that is open,caring and just in all its dealings,then we need to ensure our con-versations, our debate and our re-lationships are also managed inthis spirit of openness and care and justice.The end goal does not justify anymeans. Rather, how we go aboutdiscussion and dialogue is actuallypart of the end result: the truth of God in our midst.With peace and shalom,The Venerable ArchdeaconHeather MartenVicar General of Gippsland Diocese
Covenant Commitments for Chris-tians in Times of Tension
is avail-able from the Registryorwww.gippsanglican.org.au
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How will be worship together when ourdisagreements are paramount in ourminds? How will we continue to serveChrist and Christ’s Church when all elseseems to be tumbling around us?
Caring to heal the conflict

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