MINUTES OF NUMURKAH – NATHALIA PARISH COUNCIL MEETING
18th FEBRUARY 2016
8.00PM HOLY TRINITY NATHALIA..
Welcome and Opening Prayer – Rev’d Sally Boothey
Present – Rev. Sally Boothey Wendy Watson, Bev Leaf, Norma Shepherd, Nola Smith, John Stammers, Judy James, Mary Muntz, Lou Hamon.
Apologies – Brian Devenish, Keith Schier, Rob Elliott.
Minutes of meeting held 28th January 2016 were confirmed.
Moved Norma Shepherd, 2nd Bev. Leaf.
Business arising from the minutes
- Antiques Roadshow – later in the year.
- Workshop led by Rev. Geoffrey Poliness 27th February 2 – 4.30pm.
- Hall Hire Charges, advise funeral directors after new carpet laid.
- Parish Centre storm damage. Nothing further to report.
- St George’s altar damage – Jeff Gittens contacted, awaiting his response.
- Toilets – Barmah and Wakiti Creek – pending.
- Strategic Issues. Discussed in General Business.
Inwards: 1. Registrar: Year Book.
- Shire: Street stall permit.
- ACT for Peace.
- Wendy Lovel MP: Petition re singing carols in schools.
Outwards: 1.Financial Returns.
Moved John Stammers, 2nd Nola Smith.
RECTOR’S REPORT TO PARISH COUNCIL – February 2016
Over the past month, we have entered the season of Lent and the Ash Wednesday services had attendances comparable to last year. Similarly Shrove Tuesday.
There was no interest shown in the proposed Lenten studies from either St George’s or Holy Trinity, so they are not going ahead. The booklets and CD may be used as a stand-alone look at the psalms with the study group at Joan Harding’s home during the year.
From 3rd to 6th February, I was leading the pre-ordination retreat in Benalla for candidates Maryann Leonard and Christine Page. Although this entailed extra work in preparation, organization and facilitation, it was an honour to be on this part of their journey and the Ordination Service itself was a joyous occasion. The homily I gave was well received and Bp John asked that it be placed on the Diocesan website – so it is.
At the same service, I was formally commissioned as Director of Vocations and will now be responsible for ensuring that protocols and processes are observed when people enquire about ordination. There is usually a 2 year discernment process, which it will be my job to oversee, and the monthly ordination training days at Wangaratta will probably continue. The selection panel will meet towards the end of the year. The diocese has, at present, 2 ordinands in training, 2 ‘enquirers’ and one ordinand having some time out.
The following week, after Ash Wednesday, I attended an Anglican Conference at Trinity Theological College in Melbourne. It was strongly recommended by the bishop to all clergy and, although only clergy from Shepparton and Numurkah-Nathalia attended from Wangaratta Diocese, it was a worthwhile experience. The theme was ‘Life in Abundance’ and the sub text was mission and evangelism. There were a number of workshops to choose from as well as wonderful Bible Studies and three addresses from keynote speaker Bp Stephen Pickard. The international guest was the Rev’d Professor Stephen Bevans, a Roman Catholic priest who was appointed by the Vatican to the Commission on World Mission and Evangelization at the World Council of Churches. The presenters all had excellent credentials and were very well received. There were delegates from around Australia as well as New Zealand. (The church is a small world and I caught up with several clergy from my past)
This conference had been immediately preceded by a Youth and Mission mini conference, whose ideas and frustrations were passed on in the main conference. This too was helpful. The frustrations were the ‘rigidity’ of the institutional church and the lack of authenticity in the church structure and some Christians. The push was for more flexibility in worship structures, a greater visible presence through social media and an energized church with authentic leadership (less pomp?) and an enthusiastic and bold proclamation in word and deed of the gospel. I translate this to be a desire to strip away some of the unnecessarily constraining things of the Institutional Church to allow more spontaneity and authentic response. The Christian Church, even the Anglican Church, someone said, should be a ‘movement’ not an institution. Maybe these are prophetic words.
All of the workshops I went to talked about ‘mission’ and ‘evangelization’ being pretty much the same thing. One leads to another. The ‘saying’ and the ‘doing’ are intertwined and both stem from and lead to worship and praise of God. There were no practical solutions or take away examples – but there was discussion time between delegates and ideas and practices were shared. No-one had ‘the answer’ and everyone I spoke to or heard from was simply doing their best to engage with the community in which they found themselves in a way which expressed God’s love, compassion and mercy. There was genuine, realistic acknowledgement that pretty much the future of the Anglican Church (and probably others too) was in God’s hands.
Of the workshops I attended, “What does Evangelism look like in Australia 2016’ led by Bp Garry Weatherill, was most helpful. Among other things, Bp Garry said that Evangelism was ‘sweeping the path’ and allowing the Holy Spirit to do God’s work. In other words, ensure that there are no barriers for people, get ourselves out of the way if needs be and ensure that our own lives witness Christianity authentically to others.
That means that people must know what their faith is, and know their story (the Christian story). He recommended the catechumenate as worthwhile. Doing leads to belonging which leads to believing. Faith is caught not taught.
Anglo-catholics, he said, have to stop pretending the diocese is the unit because people are congregational. Ie empower people to evangelize in their own communities. Empower and protect the laity – be responsible for the stewardship of the gifts of our people. Remember the job is for all Christians, so don’t create barriers with other denominations etc. Have the humility to learn from each other.
The next most helpful workshop, led by The Reverend Dr Don Saines, was called ‘Learning to live together for mission’ and it emphasized that we learn best together. It was a talk on ‘how adults learn’.
Basically, in order to truly understand and incorporate something into our lives, we need to get beyond ‘surface learning’ such as memorizing for exams or receiving information, and move to ‘deep participation’. Our response to learning is greatly affected by the environment, and we best consolidate, explore and make meaning when we discuss with others. Relational learning and opportunities to go deeper occur when we gather around a meal and talk.
Younger people/families, are looking for an experience, not facts.
I think aspects of both these presentations give us insight into how to think about our own missional and evangelizing endeavours.
A summary of the ideas gleaned from our planning afternoon has been given out. The second planning day on 27 February, will put some vision and mission statement structure around our strategic plan.
This is the work of the Holy Spirit that we seek to support, assist, prepare for and so we must be open – but also realistic. I am confident that Rev’d Geoffrey Poliness will facilitate this afternoon for good and practical outcomes.
Thank you to everyone who is, again and still, working so hard in the parish. Like the rest of the Church, the future is in God’s hands (and hasn’t it always been!), but the present is ours to rejoice in and make meaning in.
This quote is from Pope Paul II, and they seem good words for a blessing.
May God be with us all and enable us to
“Remember the past with gratitude:
live the present with enthusiasm:
and look forward to the future with confidence.”
in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Rectors Report moved: Rev’s Sally, 2nd Mary Muntz.
Cheque Account 1616.68
Investment Account 0.79
Holy Trinity Ladies‘ Guild 799.17
Holy Trinity Strawberry Festival 259.53
Holy Trinity Diocese of Wangaratta 243.82
Betty Daniel Term Deposit 8133.74
Accounts payable 161.32
Moved W Watson, 2nd Bev Leaf.
GST Business – Move that the following fundraising activities be input taxed.
Hall Hire: Nil.
St George’s Warden’s Report
- Parish Centre carpet replacement awaiting advice from insurer.
- Altar damage – pending.
- Parish Centre downpipes – pending.
Holy Trinity Warden’s Report
- White ant activity detected.
- Fire equipment checked.
- Wall crack opening.
Holy Trinity Ladies’ Guild.
- World Day of Prayer 4th March
- Morning Coffee 11th April.
- Multi Prize Raffle.
Mother’s Union Report.
- Lady Day 16th March
St George’s Ladies’ Guild.
- No report.
Only one deb expressed interest.
- Strategic Issues. Report of workshop on 14th February tabled and discussed.
- Palm Crosses. Orders for 4155 received, with six new buyers.
Meeting closed 9.02pm with the Grace.
NEXT MEETING: THURSDAY 17th March 2016. Numurkah.
Minutes confirmed ……………………………………… Date ………………………..