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Ash Wednesday, Lent and Easter

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This year Rev Ian McGrath will be looking after the Ash Wednesday service. As most who attend are retired, we have decided to hold the service at 12.30 pm. Not only will this mean that those who are older do not have to drive at night, it also gives opportunity for those working nearby to join over their lunch period. If you wonder why we vary these things from time to time, it’s because our primary purpose is to communicate the faith and we need to explore how to do that in the best possible way and time.

Lent is an opportunity for those who meet in home groups to focus on a common theme and for those who are not part of a regular home group to join others for the period of Lent to reflect on the Gospel together.

This year I am inviting you to join in linking with the Diocese of Bathurst to hear six great speakers discuss six biblical characters and, following the 25-minute video, discussing together the questions provided. If you are not in a home group, you can ask to join in one existing group for the Lenten period or you can invite a group of friends to join you. Alternatively, you can join Rev Ian McGrath on a zoom group. With this group you will need to watch the video at home prior to the discussion and then join with Ian via zoom for the discussion. You will need access to a computer, smart phone or TV with YouTube accessibility. The other possibility is to upload the videos from YouTube to a USB prior to the meeting to show through your TV. Any problems with my explanations, please phone Ian on 3844 3808.

I will receive an email once the videos are live, together with links to the questions prior to Ash Wednesday and they will be forward to you. The topics and speakers are:

  • “Thomas”: Rev Simon Manchester
  • “The woman at the well”: Rev Lynda Johnson
  • “James”: Rev Dr John Dixon
  • “Mary Magdalene”: Mrs Bec Choi
  • “Nicodemus”: Rev Pete Stedman
  • “Mary, the mother of our Lord”: Mrs Alison Whalley

The Easter week begins with Palm Sunday. I have raised before and will do so in my report to the Annual General Meeting the problem that we, in the Anglican Church, have in bringing young people through from childhood to adult faith. This is an issue that we, as a Christian community, need to address and we all need to face the possibility that adjustments to the way we do things may need to be considered. The reason I raise this is that studies have shown that children who are involved in some way in the church services are far more likely to stay in the church as adults than those who are taught in an entirely separate way.

With this in mind, I have asked Jacky Norman to look with others at Palm Sunday and recommend to me ways in which that service in particular can be household friendly, incorporating in some way the needs of both the young and adults. If you have any suggestions, then please share your thoughts with Jacky. Obvious suggestions would include a procession with palms in which the children are involved, a children’s video on the ride into Jerusalem and children’s involvement in the prayers and perhaps a reading. Anyway, we are working on it and I would appreciate constructive ideas.

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