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The Gippsland Anglican - March 2012

The Gippsland Anglican - March 2012

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Published by Colin Thornby
March 2012 edition of ‘The Gippsland Anglican’
March 2012 edition of ‘The Gippsland Anglican’

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Published by: Colin Thornby on Mar 12, 2012
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Volume 109, Number 2March 2012Published in Gippsland Diocese since 1904
The Gippsland Anglican
is your award winning newspaper: Best Regional Publication Silver Award (ARPA) 2011; Item or Feature thatshows the most originality Highly Commended (ARPA) 2011; Best Social Justice Story Highly Commended (ARPA) 2004; Best RegionalPublication (ARPA) 2003; Most Improved Newspaper (ARPA) 2001.
Local students andteachers visit Gahinipages 10 & 11Discussing Esther as a role modelPage 4Jesus Christ hereand now in Bruthenpages 12 to 14
By Jeanette Severs
TWO Gippsland menreceived awards onAustralia Day, January 26,2012. Peter Vranek, of Avon parish, received theAustralia Day Citizen’sAward presented byWellington Shire Counciland the Local CommunityAward for Citizen of theYear presented byStratford Lion’s Club. Geoff Bell, of Morwell parish,received the CommunityServices of the Year Awardpresented by Latrobe CityCouncil.Peter and his wife,Denise, are members of Holy Trinity Anglicanchurch in Stratford and arewell known for their activi-ty in the parish, especiallythrough the thriving opshop. Peter, in particular, isresponsible for renovationsand maintenance of the opshop.He grew up in Maffra buthas lived in Stratford formore than 50 years. Peterand Denise raised two chil-dren, Tony and Josephine,have four grandchildrenand have always con-tributed their time andenergy to the community.Peter was a plant operator,scaffolder, rigger andfarmer before he ‘retired’ to become even moreinvolved in the Stratfordcommunity.He was completely sur-prised to received theawards. “It was a shock and agreat honor to receive bothawards,” he said. “I have been getting a lotof congratulations and peo-ple keep telling me theawards are well deserved,even people I don’t know.But the biggest honor I’vereceived is a letter fromBishop John McIntyre con-gratulating me.” Peter was nominated byBrendan Lee, a foundingmember of Stratford LionsClub. Brendan commendedPeter for his many years of dedicated community serv-ice including 36 years as amember of Stratford LionsClub, serving twice aspresident as well as beingregularly on various com-mittees and initiating manyfundraising activities. Hehas provided emergencyassistance over a consider-able period to disabledpeople which is ongoing;has been president of, andremains a driving force of Gippsland WoodcraftGroup; was involved inLandcare and Beefchequeuntil he retired from farm-ing; began aNeighbourhood Watchgroup in the northern areaof the town; and, throughhis membership of theStratford CommunityRepresentatives Groups,has worked with WellingtonShire to improve footpathsand wheel chair access forelderly and disabled peo-ple.Peter was an active advo-cate for the developmentof independent living unitsin Stratford until the causewas taken up by theUniting Church and has, ona number of occasionstaken on an advocacy rolefor elderly and or disabledpersons, such actions gen-erally unknown to others.He assists the Stratfordprimary school by provid-ing woodwork lessons forinterested children and,when asked by the schoolprincipal, makes variousitems of equipment for theschool. For 12 years hecontributed hundreds of hours of voluntary serviceto Diabetes Australia.Using his woodwork skills,Peter has crafted anddonated many items forvarious organisations toraffle for funds andupgrade of the entire HolyTrinity op shop building,including lining, shelvingand plumbing, is a testimo-ny to Peter’s diverse abili-ties. Peter contributes sev-eral hours each week involuntary service throughthe op shop.Also at Holy Trinity,Peter’s woodworking skillsare evident in the gardenseat built and donated tocommemorate 20 years of Peg Rule’s garden bustours and in the HonourBoard on the church wall.He has also completednumerous woodcraft orhandyman jobs over time.The Stratford Men’s Shedwas, in cooperation withthe Wellington Shire, start-ed by Peter in 2010 and isan ongoing testimony toPeter’s persistence in com-pleting an important activi-ty for so many retired menneeding mateship and aregular pastime. His dedi-cation and exampleencouraged others tobecome involved and helpto achieve their newvenue. The ‘shedders’ arenow involved in a numberof community projects.Peter regularly assists eld-erly people in need of vari-ous repair work in theirhomes.Brendan stated theimpressive account of com-munity assistance, givenso freely by Peter Vranek,is an example of contribu-tion which makes Stratfordsuch a popular place inwhich to live.Geoff Bell, of Morwell, isanother humble man whohas contributed much inhis lifetime to his commu-nity. Geoff grew up inABOVE: Geoff Bell, of Morwell, stands in his prolific vegetable garden with his AustraliaDay award.Photo: Jeanette Severs
Humility of these menawarded
continued page 20
2Our Diocese - Missions and Ministries
March 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.
 Aust. Day awards 1Diocesan focus3Esther a role model4 AWA songJanet WallisColor-in pictureGonski reportNew leaders9Gahini report10,11Bruthen parish12-14Diocesan calendar15 New bishops1Ultreya1MU news1Reviews18,19 Abbey progress2
Letters to the Editor 
Closure of AWA
Dear Editor,I was one of the very for-tunate Anglicans to travelon nearly all the bus tripsorganised by AnglicanWomen of Australia Gipps-land group. I did miss thevery first trip to Canberra.It was under the leader-ship of Joan Chynoweth,wife of Bishop Chynoweth.The bus trips were a greatopportunity to get to knowthe bishop’s wife and theclergy wives at a commonlevel.The second trip was toPhilip Island. I liked thesetrips because they werewell planned and wereover two, then three,nights. One could leavethe cat, dog, chooks orhusband well set up forthose few days. We musthave travelled all over Vic-toria in that time and sawsome wondrous sights.The House of Wheels wasone of these.A lot of shopping wasdone, as the bus trip wasclose to Christmas. Wehave met up with manyrelatives along the way.A fun thing to do was tocount how many peoplecalled ‘Betty’ travelled onthe bus each year. Therewere usually five: BettyGoodwin, Betty Yeates,Betty Works, Betty John-son and Betty Luxford. Wedid take a photo of them,one trip.I think it was on the longtrip to Mildura we knittedsquares to make rugs.Boy! Could some of theladies make those knittingneedles fly. Little woodendollypeg dolls were sold onone trip. One lady knittedtiny Christmas puddings touse as Christmas decora-tions, just superb.Two ladies were greatfootball fans. One bar-racked for the ‘bombers’ (Essendon) and the otherwas a one-eyed ‘magpie’ (Collingwood) supporter.They waved their scarvesaround with great prideand would leave them onthe seat as we left the bus,so they could find theircorrect place on return.One day, the temptationgot too much for some of the passengers and ontheir return, the twowomen found the fringe of the black and white scarf all tightly plaited andwound around the armrestof the seat, much to greatmerriment!On all the trips, Merryl,Pat and all the clergywives looked after us verywell and we made longlasting friendships.What a privileged era tolive through - AWA - theAnglican Women of Aus-tralia. Thanks for the holi-days, the good coachcaptains, the planning,love and care, girls. I amsorry it has come to anend.Sincerely,Betty LuxfordStratford
Dear Editor,Mr Westhead (
The Gipps-land Anglican
February2012) made some inter-esting comments aboutBishop McIntyre’s leader-ship style. Let me takeissue with him as heseems to have distortedthe role with how it isdone.While I agree in essencewith his definition of lead-ership I think church lead-ership has differentparameters to businessleadership. Church leader-ship also includes what isoften called ‘servant lead-ership’. I see this as aleader working with othersto help them achieve theirgoals, whatever they maybe. This is done throughteaching, training and gen-erally encouraging andequipping them for thistask.Where I do take issue isthat it is also the role of the leader to challenge theexisting values and ideasof the people. Without it,we run the risk of continu-ally doing and being thesame. This is good if whatwe are doing is right. If not, then we need to bechallenged about our viewsand, if need be, changethem to better fit the re-sponse to the challenges of the day. It is in discussionof differing views that thediocese is able to formopinions and a common vi-sion. The bishop’s role as aleader is to provoke thatdiscussion.This will cause anxietyand distress, especially if one is from the ‘other side’ of politics. Many of us donot like to have our atti-tudes and ways of livingchallenged. Let us face it;the Gospel is about chal-lenging the comfortable tobring comfort to those whoneed it. This will bringpeople who think differ-ently into opposition to thebishop’s ideas. Sometimes,I wonder if this oppositionis because one may notwant to examine one’s ownlife in the light of thegospel and bring about thechange required. We arehappy the way we are,thank you. The bishop isobviously passionate aboutthe views he holds. Iwould sooner that thanone who ‘toes the partyline’ for the sake of keep-ing the peace.As regards the separationof Church and State, canwe separate them? We arecalled to live out our faithin our lives. The State ispart of our lives. The veryfact we are Christianmeans we must care forthe poor, the disadvan-taged, speak out for themarginalised. Often thatmeans being involved inthe ‘State’. The politics of the day is a place wherewe can and need to be in-volved to bring about thechanges necessary to as-sist them into a better life.Being new to the diocese,I cannot speak for theBishop Appointment Boardand their decisionmakingprocess. I would hope theydid take due diligence inthe background check of our bishop. Perhaps theysaw the diocese neededsomething new or differ-ent. Perhaps in BishopMcIntyre they saw this wasthe leader the dioceseneeded at this point intime.I may not always agreewith the bishop. But I dosupport his action and hisrole as a leader to chal-lenge us; to look to our at-titudes so we can changethem if we need. The morewe are willing to be openand discuss these issues,the more unified as a dio-cese we become and thebetter we can serve ourLord.Sincerely,Tony Wicking,Rector,St John’s Bairnsdale
Dear Editor,I am replying to Mr West-head’s letter in the Febru-ary edition of 
TheGippsland Anglican
. Iwould like to start bythanking him for his letterand you for publishing it.The letter was clear andwell written, expressing MrWesthead’s concerns andhis personal position. I be-lieve it is important that allmembers of our dioceseshould be free to expresstheir thoughts and beliefs.Mr Westhead defined therole of the Bishop of Gipp-sland, rightly, as that of aleader. He summarised therole of a leader as estab-lishing a clear vision andco-ordinating and balanc-ing the conflicting interestsof all members of the dio-cese. This shows us aleader who is working withthe people he is leading.This is true, but I believe itis incomplete. A leadershould also extend andchallenge the understand-ing and actions of the peo-ple he is leading. A leadermust create a climate of growth; this growth will in-evitably involve change.Change is always chal-lenging. As the leader of our diocese, our bishopmust and does create a cli-mate where each of us candeepen our spiritualgrowth. This helps us all togrow in our relationshipwith Christ and our under-standing and love of oth-ers.I do not see how this nec-essary faith activity can beseparated from political is-sues. Bishop John has en-couraged us to commit tocertain morally based po-litical issues but he has notpushed a particular politi-cal party. Both faith activ-ity and political issues arewith us all the time and in-fluence us every day of ourlives.Mr Westhead seems tohope we in the Churchshould always live in totalagreement with eachother. I can only see thisleading to complacencyand spiritual stagnation.It is only through beingchallenged that we areforced to examine our-selves and so to grow inthe love of God. We comefrom different life experi-ences and backgrounds,which helps form our be-liefs and also our politicalallegiances. I hope therewill never be total agree-ment across the diocese.Bishop John is leading usby challenging us. I, forone, need to be chal-lenged. Mr Westhead’s let-ter has challenged me towrite this response.Sincerely,Carolyn Raymond,St Mary’s Morwell
Personal view
Dear Editor,Mr Bill Westhead’s letterconcerning Bishop John’sleadership has promptedme to review many of theviews expressed by thebishop in
The Gippsland  Anglican
and other publi-cations. I would like tomake a personal commenton three matters raised inthe letter.I cannot endorse BillWestheads’s view that ourbishop has abrogated hisleadership. There aremany models and forms of leadership, not one set of precepts, as the letter im-plies. The dictionary defini-tions quoted seem to applyto business managementand are not entirely appli-cable to a pastoral rolewithin the church. I wouldexpect all church leader-ship to be assessed ac-cording to a scripturalmodel of servant leader-ship, as exemplified byJesus himself. A very de-manding model indeed!I cannot accept Bill West-head’s view that BishopJohn’s views are entirelyleftwing. They seem to bequite wide-ranging and Ifind criticism of both sideof politics. Our bishop doescertainly have and expressstrong views on social jus-tice issues and such viewswill always have politicalimplications and will not beendorsed by everyonewithin the church. Person-ally, I have not agreedwith his views on all mat-ters, but I am pleased to
continued next page
March 2012
Our Diocese - Missions and Ministries3The Gippsland Anglican
OUR current DiocesanStrategic Plan comes to aclose in 2013. It is timenow to begin to reflect onwhat the key focus will befor our coming five-yearstrategic plan for 2013-2017.In our current plan,
 Jesushrist, Here and Now for ippsland 
, for clear and ob-ious reasons the centralocus is on Jesus Christ whois central to our faith. TheHere and Now’ aspect is anemphasis on the immediacyand urgency of our mission.For Gippsland’ emphasisesour commitment to localaction as a priority, and ourunderstanding of God’sgrace towards us and thecommunities of which weare a part in Gippsland.Because our current planhas challenged us to be in-tentional, focused and ac-countable in ministry andmission, we can look backwith thankfulness on manynew initiatives that havetaken place across the dio-cese. For example, oneparticular focus of the planhas been on ministry withchildren and young peopleand their families. Two in-dicators of the success of the plan are the growingnumber of 
Mainly Music 
groups, and the recent ap-pointment of Richard Lan-ham in Youth and FamilyMinistry; he is employed atthe cathedral and with adiocesan-wide brief. Thereare many more stories totell.The emphasis on ‘TheJourney Inward’ and ‘TheJourney Outward’ has alsogiven us a balanced ap-proach to ministry and mis-sion, recognising our needto become more Christ-likein all we are and do as we join with God in God’s workin the world. Only by en-gagement in ministry andmission will we becomemore Christ-like and onlywhen we grow in Christ willwe be effective for God inministry and mission.Under our current plan, ithas been good to see peo-ple willing to take risks andtry new things. For me, TheAbbey has been a bench-mark of our commitment asa whole diocese to look atnew ways of engaging inministry and mission asGod’s people in God’s worldas part of the plan. It hasbeen risky and we have ex-perienced a few set-backs,but the vision continuesand grows. As it grows, ithas drawn more and morepeople into its excitement,from within and outside thechurch.Behind the scenes, struc-tural and financial decisionshave been taken to alignour processes and financeswith the priorities of ourstrategic plan. This meansour dreams are not limitedby the constraints of struc-tural inefficiencies and thatfinancial bottom lines areheld in perspective.My first task in comingback into the diocese afterlong service leave has beento ask the clergy to begin toreflect with you all on whatmight be the central focusof our new strategic plan.Bishop-in-Council has al-ready set aside a date inApril as a planning day.Time will be spent at thecoming session of Synod tofurther our exploration of where God is calling us tofocus in ministry and mis-sion in the five years from2013.The more people are in-volved and the wider thediscussion ranges, thegreater the possibility wewill together discern arightthe will of God; and thehigher the ownership of theeventual plan. I encourageyou to be involved in yourparishes in the praying, re-flecting and discussion nec-essary to arrive at our newplan.In writing to the clergy, Ihave suggested we beginour reflections around oneof the central themes of theGospel of Mark, which is theGospel we are readingthrough on Sundays thisyear. That theme issummed up in some keymoments in the Gospel,one of which is when Jesussays to a paralysed man: “So that you may know theSon of Man has authorityon earth to forgive sins” … “I say to you, stand up,take your mat and gohome” (Mark 2.10-11). TheGospel writer then tells usthe people were amazedand glorified God when theman did just that. Could itbe their amazement here isdue to their realisation thatGod has placed into humanhands the authority onearth to forgive sins?The clear focus on the ‘Son of Man’ in the Gospelof Mark is certainly a focuson what Jesus does as aman. This, in turn, indicatesthe authority we have ashuman beings in Christ toact for God in God’s world.It also indicates the respon-sibilitywe have to act forGod in God’s world. In part,at least, this is the respon-sibility to forgive, preciselybecause wrongdoing in theworld is only overcome byforgiveness.Could this mean God sim-ply want us to becomemore and more human interms of the humanity of Jesus and that this is ourmission for God in theworld? Could this mean atrue focus on Jesus is sim-ply a clear focus on
human being, the personwho is most fully human?Could this mean becomingmore Christ-like is essen-tially becoming more trulyhuman? With this under-standing, is the key focus of the ministry and mission of the church to affirm our hu-manity and the humanity of all others?I would suggest this isworth contemplating as astarting point for our newplan. I encourage you topray, reflect and discuss aswe begin to shape a strate-gic plan for 2013 to 2017,centred again on JesusChrist, the Son of Man.
from previous page
have a bishop who doeschallenge us to thinkdeeply and respond ac-cordingly about issues of ustice from a Christianperspective. I am uncer-tain from Bill Westhead’sletter whether he is un-happy with the views ex-pressed or whether hebelieves a bishop shouldexpress no views at all.Would he accept a bishopwho expresses only right-wing or conservativeviews?I agree the separation of church and state is an im-portant principle, which isenshrined in our constitu-tion. But this principledoes not mean the churchshould make no commenton social or political issues.I quote from Bill Wallis’sbook
God’s Politics
, alsoquoted by Kevin Rudd inhis 2007 essay,
Faith inPolitics
: “Religion . . is notto be ideologically pre-dictable or loyally partisan. . .faith must be free tochallenge both right andleft from a consistentmoral ground”.Martin Luther King alsoobserved: “The churchmust be the conscience of the state, but never itstool”.Sincerely,Lloyd H George, Sale
Dear EditorIn February’s issue of 
TheGippsland Anglican
, a con-tributor to the letters pagemade comment on a per-ceived left wing bias in thecontent of our bishop’s col-umn. Bishop John was de-scribed as resorting to ‘theharangue and denuncia-tive’ and ‘abrogating hisleadership function’. Hewas also accused of de-nouncing those who holdopposite but reasonedviews.I wonder whether termssuch as ‘left wing’ and ‘right wing’ are useful infurthering debate. Don’tthey become weapons todiminish opponents andcloud rather than clarify is-sues?We do live in fraught andunstable times and for pre-cisely this reason thebishop needs to speak witha clear, prophetic voiceabout issues of the daywhere justice and fairnessis undermined. He is notalone. In February, TrinityCollege is hosting theSambell lecturer in Pas-toral and Public Theology,Reverend Dr Ray Cleary,who is leading a forum ti-tled ‘The Public Domain,the Church and Justice’.Try as I might, I cannotsee our bishop as an ha-ranguing demagogue.Even less can I see him asdenouncing those who holdviews at variance with hisown. Certainly, he chal-lenges some aspects of public policy with vigor;public policy pursued byboth sides of politics buthis vehemence is directedat the idea, never theholder of the idea.What are the options?Should the bishop be soconscious of not offendingthat he avoids contentiousissues or homogenises hiscolumn so it offends noone and, in so doing, saysnothing worth reading?Inevitably, forthright anddirect expression of opin-ion will challenge somepeople’s sensitivities. Isn’tthat what engagement of the church in the life of theworld is meant to beabout? In challenging us,the bishop invites us tolook anew at longheld atti-tudes. Sometimes his chal-lenge will result in change,sometimes it won’t.Jesus wasn’t too fussedabout offending people:the money lenders in thetemple and the law-drivenPharisees, to name twogroups. Above all, he wason the side of the under-dog, the marginalised andsometimes said somerather unpalatable thingsthat offended the religiousestablishment of the day.Our bishop seems to likethis model and I urge himnot to stop being challeng-ing and forthright. If hedid opt for a more guardeddiscretion, he would beselling us and selling him-self short. As people of theGospel, we are entitled tothe principled leadershipthe bishop offers.Sincerely,Sue Fordham,St Peter by the Lake,Paynesville
Begin to focus onnext strategic plan
Right Reverend John McIntyreBishop of Gippsland

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