Rector’s Weekly News Article
Postal Survey Results
This week saw the release of the marriage survey results. I’m sure you’ve seen them, but just in case... 80% of voters cast a vote. 61.6% of those voted YES (that the definition of marriage should be changed) leaving 38.4% having voted NO.
I’ve heard the word resounding used quite a lot to describe the result. Though I think resounding is a bit much, 61.6% is a very clear majority. For those of us who thought the postal vote was a good and important way to prompt a national debate and conversation, it is certainly time to acknowledge that the people of Australia have called on the government to redefine marriage. It is very reasonable for everyone to expect that our politicians will now legislate accordingly.
For those of us who voted no, this does leave us in a slightly complicated position. We must respect our democracy, government and the will of its people. At the same time we still do not agree with the majority. This is and always will be very normal in any group of people. In exactly the same way as about half the country is always disappointed after each election.
There is still much ink to be spilled as our politicians work out how to redefine the States view of marriage while maintaining the right of all Australians to adhere to their conscience and beliefs. This postal vote was never about deciding what all people should think and believe. At the same time we also don’t want to stick our heads in the sand and pretend that nothing has changed. As the State now uses the word and concept of marriage differently, we will need to be careful about the way we use the word and teach on the reality of marriage.
We will of course come under increasing pressure to just give in and get with the times. The time is over for lobbying the government to maintain the historic and biblical view of marriage, but the time for believing Gods word has not finished. Marriage will continue to be what it has been since Adam and Eve. We must simply now acknowledge that our understanding of what marriage is will be completely different to our Nations’ understanding of marriage. Love is complicated, beautiful and diverse. For our Nation the lines have been blurred and the distinctiveness of this unique and special relationship lost.
Yours in Christ, Tim
Halloween and Spring Festivals
Good morning and welcome to Church. It’s great to have you here especially if you’re new or visiting. We’d love to meet you after church over a cup of tea.
It’s been a cold winter but now it’s season for everyone to come out of their winter slumber. Though to be fair, as I write this the forecast for Sunday is not looking particularly agreeable or spring like!
St Peter’s held their Spring Fair a couple of weeks ago which was a great success. There were a good number of locals and visitors around all day who we got to meet and chat with. It was great to see people from all over the parish come and support St Peters.
On Tuesday I also noticed many children wearing costumes and wandering around the town (with their parents to be fair!). I hadn’t realised that Halloween was once again upon us. I think I wrote a more detailed article last year about what our attitude to Halloween should be. I’m certainly not a big fan but I should concede that my opposition is likely based just as much around my own cultural biases as it is about a deep theological point. What is helpful to remember about Halloween is that it be a helpful reminder to us Christians that it is a festival that was originally meant to help us remember the dead. It is no coincidence that it coincides with All Saints Day. Whilst we Anglicans do not subscribe to the teaching that Saints are a separate and special category within Jesus’ church, we certainly do believe that there is much to learn from those Christians (Saints) who have gone before us. We remember the dead not because they are ghosts or they scare us, rather we remember them for how they lived and because through Jesus they will one day live again.
Finally, yesterday Blackheath will have celebrated the Rhododendron Festival. St Aidan’s hosted the Combined Churches Festival of Flowers. Once again it is a good opportunity to welcome people into our Church and celebrate the beautiful world that our God has made. This year the flower display will be centred on the theme of ‘Truth’. In some ways ‘truth’ really should be a pretty simple topic. One would think it is pretty black and white. In the end though, ‘truth’ can get very complicated and messy indeed. The search for truth only becomes simple when we realise that the truth is not a concept but a man.
Yours in Christ, Tim.
St Aidan’s Church Committee will meet on Thursday 23rd November at 3pm.
Blackheath Parish Council will meet again on Tuesday 28th November in St Peter’s hall at Mt Victoria at 7.30pm.
Christmas Carol Services.
Sunday 10th December – Hartley. 7pm
Friday 15th December – Mt Victoria. 6.30pm BBQ, 7pm Carols.
Saturday 23rd December – Mt Wilson. 7.30pm
Sunday 24th December – Blackheath 10.30am morning service.