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Vicar's News - 26 April 2020

Another week of these historic but difficult and isolating times passes, and although the signs of the nationwide suppression of the virus appear good, the financial implications of this shutdown will no doubt be felt for years to come. That is certainly the case here at St Andrew’s where the loss of the receipt of envelope giving has further devastated our income. You are encouraged to use the facilities of direct deposit or credit card, if possible, to ensure the regularity of our income.

We are especially mindful of those who have lost their jobs because of the corona virus pandemic and those who have had their work days reduced at this time. This includes our clergy and musicians. We have had to suspend the contracts of some of our wonderful musicians due to our lack of funds. I, too, will be part-time from next week so our on-going clergy availability will be limited to:

Ian (0421 321 321) – Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday.

Michelle (0403 642 178) – Monday, Friday, Sunday.

Angela is on extended leave, and the Parish Office phone and email are diverted to me.

Wednesday is our regular ‘catch-up Zoom meeting’ and everyone is encouraged to connect in by internet or phone. There are now direct links on our website front page so you can easily connect with us all for a chat @ 10.30am every Wednesday.

Work is starting next week on the upgrade of Church Street outside St Andrew’s and on the replacement of the roundabout on the corner with St Andrew’s Street. This will reduce available parking whilst the work is carried out but, fortunately, that is not a significant issue at this time.

Our Communion Packs will be ready this week, so don’t forget to let Ian know if you would like one dropped in so you can partake of communion while watching our services.

Brighton Grammar’s ANZAC Service in the Lady Chapel is linked here.

Easter and ANZAC

The story of Easter always fits well with any form of serious business. It has space for personal and domestic grief and death, and offers promise of life beyond grief. It expands to meet the large seasons of the human heart, the stages of life's journey and the vulnerability of the natural world in which we live. It also offers hope that we and our world might one day be transformed.

The Easter story is serious and far reaching enough to embrace reflection on large catastrophes bushfires and coronavirus.

So Easter fits well with Anzac Day. Or perhaps we should say that Anzac Day fits well with Easter. Anzac Day recalls matters of life and death, tragic events. So many young men and women have died in conflicts among and within nations – in wars and in supposed peacetime.

Much of what was said by generals and politicians, and what was written on gravestones for the consolation of relatives and the reassurance of the people, has been taken from the Easter story. 'They died that others might live.' 'They made the supreme sacrifice.' 'Their death was not in vain.'

Grief needed to be housed in the Easter story. But Easter also tests the meanings we find in great loss and disaster. It challenges any easy consolations we may find or offer to others, especially our temptation to describe people's deaths as useful to others and to minimise the suffering and lasting harm caused by natural catastrophes and wars.

In the Easter story the connections that link death, in its various forms of loss, ageing, catastrophe and grief, with life and meaning are much more mysterious and complex.

Despite the chocolate eggs, Easter does not sweeten the death of Jesus. It remains a brutal, degrading, dismembering, dirty affair. The presence of a crucifix with the tortured corpus of Christ hanging on it, is the only starting point for thinking about what rising to life might mean. There are no shortcuts.

To ignore the casual brutality, pain, death and diminishment of war by depicting it as an adventure for young soldiers, is judged as cheap nonsense when set alongside Easter. Anzac Day is first of all the remembrance of painful death and of the loss of so many people and of so much promise.

Nor does Easter canonise good intentions. Jesus' acceptance of death for the benefit of others was important, but by itself it did not give meaning to his life and death.

Choice and good intentions are never sufficient to give meaning to any one's life. Ultimately meaning and life are given, not chosen. The heart of the Easter story is that God raised Jesus from the dead. That was a gift.

So too in the Anzac story, it may be comforting to say that young soldiers died that others may live, but that comfort is too easy. They may have died with this hope, but no straight line ran between their intention and the outcome.

To give of ourselves is a good and encouraging thing to do, but our gift has its meaning when it is reciprocated by an unexpected and greater gift. In Christian faith any confidence that the path we have chosen will lead to life comes from the conviction that God has given us life.

Both Easter and Anzac Day make a claim on us. We should never give up on life, our own or the life of any human being, no matter how hopeless it seems to be. Both these days encourage us to acknowledge the reality of our world, including the full extent of the grief and loss we suffer, of human malice, of the horrors of war.

We deny or downplay these things because we are afraid of them.  But if we appreciate life as a gift to be gratefully received and lived fully, we do not need to be afraid. We can then respond generously to the needs of our world. 

At Home @ St Andrew's

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我们又度过了在历史上非常困难的封闭的一周。尽管在全国范围内抑制新冠病毒的迹象似乎很好,但毫无疑问,这种隔离所带来的对财务的将会影响未来的好几年。圣安德烈(St Andrew's)就是这种情况,奉献信封的减少进一步损害了我们的收入。我们鼓励您使用直接存款或信用卡的方式,以确保我们收入的稳定性。


Ian (0421 321 321) – Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday.

Michelle (0403 642 178) – Monday, Friday, Sunday.

Angela is on extended leave, and the Parish Office phone and email are diverted to me. Angela 延长了休假,教会办公室的电话和电子邮件的处理由我负责。


Easter and ANZAC

复活节 澳纽军团日
















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