Parish Magazine December 2009

Document Sample
Parish Magazine December 2009 Powered By Docstoc


      The Parish Magazine
        December 2009 – January 2010 edition
                        Number 803

           The Anglican Parish of Epping
                  Saint Alban the Martyr,
                3 Pembroke Street, Epping
                Saint Aidan of Lindisfarne,
             32 Downing Street, West Epping

                   The Season of Advent
               The Festival of the Holy Nativity
         Christmas Day with the Season of Christmas
    The Feast of the Epiphany with the Season of Epiphany

    From the Editor

                    Advent already, that time of great expectation and excitement… “Lo. He is
                    Our year has slipped away and so at this time a special thanks to all our
                    contributors. It is hoped that you, our readers, have enjoyed the magazine and
                    the many and varied topics we have covered these past twelve months. It is not
                    an easy task deciding what and what not to include. What might and what will
                    interest our eclectic range of readers. We must do something right because
                    there is so much positive feedback.
                    Special thanks as always to Fathers John and Ross, the Wardens and
                    administrators for their support and of course to Peggy Sanders our proof
                    reader, without these fantastic people things just would not be the same.
                    Believe me, the parish is unbelievably blest...were that other parishes able to
                    claim such quality.
                                                          To contact us:
                                                   Telephone 9876 3362
                                           Post Office Box 79, Epping NSW 1710
  Our Vision:                               Email
    To be                         Our clergy may be contacted at any time on 9876 3362
       a                       Saint Alban’s Church is open daily for private meditation
Worshipping,                         Our parish library is open during office hours
Recognisably               Meeting rooms, various sized halls and other facilities are available
  Anglican,                                 Please contact the parish office
 Multi-racial,      Published by The Anglican Parish of Epping, 3 Pembroke Street, Epping 1710,
   All-age,         Australia and printed by Saint Laurence Press, Christ Church Saint Laurence,
 Gathered,          812 George Street, Sydney 2000, Australia. Copyright rests with the
  Christian         contributor. No work may be reproduced without express permission of the
                    copyright holder. All works reproduced herein are acknowledged.
                    Thank you to the authors of the various articles in this magazine, contributors
“a city on a hill” of photographs and our proof-readers. The next deadline for February 2010
                    edition will be Friday 8 January 2010. Contributions may be left at the parish
                    office or emailed to Alternatively post them to 43
                    Henry Bayly Drive, Mudgee NSW 2850

                    The Parish Magazine does not reflect the opinions of Clergy, Churchwardens or
                    Parish Council in any official manner. It is published to assist parishioners in
                    their understanding of the parish. It is an understanding for all contributors to
                    agree to the publication of their name as the author of their contribution.
                    Front Cover: “Nativity” by David Gerard 1460-1523. Taken from Full Homily Divinity
                    webpage at 1105 hours on 19 November 2009. Note the cattle in the stable. None of the
                    Gospels mention any animals other than the sheep of the shepherds. It is accredited to Saint
                    Francis of Assisi for bringing cattle and the like into the stable.

           Page 2                                                                    The Parish Magazine
                              Advent and Christmas Services

Sunday 29 November—1st Sunday of Advent
          6.00pm—Saint Alban Celebration of Advent Carols

Sunday 13 December—3rd Sunday of Advent

          10.00am—Saint Alban Sunday School Pageant
                               (A plate for the after party would be

Sunday 20 December—4th Sunday of Advent
          7.45pm—Saint Alban Nine Lessons and Carols of Christmas          For unto you
                             (Refreshments follow in the Parish          is born this day
                              War Memorial Hall)
                                                                           in the city of
Thursday 24 December—Christmas Eve
                                                                            a Saviour,
          6.00pm—Saint Alban A Family Christmas Celebration                  which is
                              ( With Christingles for the children)      Christ the Lord
          11.00pm—               The Choral Festival Eucharist of the
                                 Nativity with Incense
                                                                            chapter 2
Friday 25 December—Christmas Day
                                                                             verse 11
           8.00am—Saint Alban Choral Festival Eucharist
           8.30am—Saint Aidan Festival Eucharist
          10.00am—Saint Alban Festival Eucharist

  Leading up to Christmas, normal services are held as
   listed in the Weekly Newsletter, or you may refer to
                 page 6 of this magazine.

   From Christmas to the end of January, services are
    limited to normal Sunday morning services only.

          For further information please telephone
                          9876 3362

Advent, The Festival of the Nativity and Epiphany               Page 3
The Rector’s Letter

             Christmas is upon us once again. It is a joyous time for most of us. Love is the
             most important theme of Christmas, for as Christina Rossetti has written in her
                      “Love came down at Christmas,
                      Love all lovely, love divine;
                      Love was born at Christmas,
                      Star and angels gave the sign.

                      Worship we the Godhead,
                      Love incarnate, love divine;
                      Worship we our Jesus:
                      But wherewith for sacred sign?

                      Love shall be our token,
                      Love shall be yours and love be mine,
                      Love to God and to all men,
                      Love for plea and gift and sign.”
             As 1 John 4.16 says, God sent his essential being of love into the world in the form
             of his son:
                     “God is love, and those who live in love live in God, and God lives in him, live in love.”
             While it is very easy to say we should love, as God has loved us, it is very hard to
             put that into practice, particularly with those we have difficulty liking or
             understanding or whose experience we do not share. Our world is crying out for
             love, both emotional and spiritual. It is very easy for us in the generally comfortable
             society in which we live, to love those whom we like, but what about the people in
             the slums of Kolkotta (formerly Calcutta), filthy, poor and mostly non-Christian?
             What about the people of Afghanistan, war ravaged and manipulated, or the
             devastated people of The Sudan, wracked by injustice and drought? What about the
             drug addicts and prostitutes of Darlinghurst, the Aboriginals living in the squalor of
             some of the camps in Central Australia? Where can we share love in their lives?
             Can we just say: “It’s all their fault” or, “If they all became Christian then their
             problems would be over”? Is it just a question of “out of sight out of mind”?

    Page 4                                                                          The Parish Magazine
It is not as easy as that. The problems of the world are difficult to solve. Jesus said
the poor would always be with us. He also said, however:
        “Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the
        foundation of the world; 35for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you
        gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36I was naked and
        you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited
        me. … “Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of
        my family, you did it to me.” (Matthew 25:34)
Nearly twenty-five years ago in the midst of a terrible drought in Africa, the
worldwide television programme “USA for Africa” sought to show a little love to
the disadvantaged of Africa by releasing the song “We are the World”, to raise
money for them. The song was written by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie and
the words of the song, which are quoted in part, are just as relevant today as they
were back then.
        “There comes a time when we heed a certain call. When the world must come together as
        one … and it's time to lend a hand to life… We are all a part of God's great big family
        … Love is all we need. We are the world, we are the children …It's true we'll make a
        better day, just you and me. … Let us realize that a change can only come when we
        stand together as one.”
The words of both this song and Rossetti’s carol, still remind us that love came
down at Christmas, not just for you and me, but for everyone, “the least of these
who are members of my family”. The more we show love, the more we will come
                                                                                    “There comes a
to see that change can only come when we stand together. This Christmas, as we time when we
enjoy the season and the love we share, let us all, in some special manner, seek to heed a certain
bring love into the lives of someone less fortunate than ourselves. Let us work          call.”
towards bringing in God’s kingdom of love in all its fullness.
                                                                                                      1985, Michael Jackson and
This year I have chosen to review three Christmas CDs, each of which I purchased                      Lionel Richie, Mijac Music/
on my recent travels in France and Britain.                                                           Brockman Music Warner-
                                                                                                      Tamerlane Publishing Corp.

The first CD is, “Les Grans Noelz Noveaulx, Cantiques mellificques et triomphantes
chansonnettes”, French Renaissance Christmas Songs, Ensemble Alegria, disques
Pierre Verany PV78998111, 1998.
This is a recording, as it says, of French Christmas songs, with some instrumental
pieces thrown into the mix for good measure. It is Renaissance music played on
period instruments and sung in the manner of the day. If you like Renaissance
music, this is a recording for you. The music is well played and sung. The music is
unknown to me. There are none of the traditional pieces of Christmas music with
which we may be even vaguely associated. This is very esoteric. There is no “Silent
Night” or “Ding Dong Merrily on High”. It is not for congregational singing, as we
know it. It is on the borders of the religious and the secular. Most of the music has
been taken from a book printed in the middle of the Sixteenth Century.
The second is also French, “Nativite”, Les Petits Chanteurs de Saint-Charles,
Versailles, Rejoyce Records, JOYPCSC01, No date of production. This is a
recording of unaccompanied pure young voices, with what appears some added
male voices to give their singing some depth.

Advent, The Festival of the Nativity and Epiphany                                                     Page 5
The Rector’s Letter concludes

             Again this recording is of music that many of us would find unknown. It differs
             from the previous CD and it is more like the carols and songs of Christmas that we
             are used to, but without any accompaniment. It is all a capella. While it is beautiful
             music, for me it lacks variety.
             The third is English. It is called, “Mosaic, Noel! Carols for Advent and Christmas” . The
             Choirs of St Peter’s and St Lawrence the Martyr, St Albans, UK, Rite Records,
             0011, 2008.
             If you are looking for Christmas music that is both well known and unknown, then
             this is the CD for you. It is well produced and recorded. It is very accessible. It is
             not a CD that will win worldwide music competitions, but one that will delight the
             hearts of the lovers of more traditional Christmas carols and music. It is lively and
             has a good spread of styles.
             Each of the CDs is worthy of purchase. It just depends upon one’s musical likes
             and dislikes.
             On behalf of Christine and me, I wish you love of unimagined beauty this holy

                                                                  John Cornish


                                       Our Weekly Services

                         Weekdays at Saint Alban

                         7.00am              Holy Eucharist—Wednesday
                         10.30am             Healing Eucharist—Thursday
                         5.00pm              Evening Prayer—Monday to Friday

                         Sunday at Saint Alban

                         7.00am              Said Holy Eucharist
                         8.00am              Holy Eucharist with Hymns
                         10.00am             Choral Eucharist
                         6.00pm              Evening Service

                         Sunday at Saint Aidan

                         8.30am              Holy Eucharist with Hymns

    Page 6                                                                    The Parish Magazine
                               Special thanks to special people

             We give very special thanks to all the
           people who make our parish what it is…
          Choirs and Organists and Musicians,
      Conveners of all our groups and our Archivists,
         Denise Pigot and her band of Helpers,
         Servers and Crucifers and Boat Carriers
                       and Acolytes,
      Cleaners and Polishers and Flower Arrangers,
          Side-persons and Welcomers and Tea
                   and Coffee Makers,                                    “I merely think to
                                                                          do it….however
      Gardeners and Handypersons and Caretakers,                            it is done, by
       Scripture Teachers and Sunday School Staff,                         someone who
                                                                         has little time but
       Wardens and Councillors and our Treasurer,                        finds the time for
      Lay Assistants and our Clergy, Visiting Clergy,                         me.” anon
        Honorary Clergy, Preachers and Speakers.

                    Thank you so much…
             we hope the Spirit that is this Season
              is with you and all whom you love.


The parish office is closed between Christmas and New Year. January is
               our quieter time with the office open on a
                            reduced timetable.
          Details are available within the Weekly Newsletter.

                     Clergy are available at all times.
                         Telephone 9876 3362

Advent, The Festival of the Nativity and Epiphany                 Page 7
   The Butcher’s Backyard

                   (A second article from former parishioner Nigel Hubbard. The parish acknowledges
                   with appreciation the contributions made by Nigel, now and in times past.)

                               Neighbour. n. One whom we are commanded to love as ourselves and
                               who does all he knows how to make us disobedient.

                               Ambroise Bierce, The Devil’s Dictionary, (1911)

                   Most people, at some time, find themselves in conflict with their neighbours.
                   Chamber Magistrates, police, local government officials devote much of their time
                   to resolving disputes concerning issues such as property boundaries, barking dogs,
  “Real estate     dividing fences and noisy parties.
    caused         Almost a century ago, Saint Alban’s Epping found itself in an unpleasant dispute
 paddocks and      with one of its neighbours. This was Charles Krust, a butcher in Oxford Street. The
                   Krust family were of German origin. Charles Krust’s father, Christian, a native of
orchards to give   Wiesnberg near Heilbronn escaped the repressive atmosphere of his homeland
    way to         during the Metternich era before 1848 and came to live in the village of Ryde.
  residences”      Although he rejoiced in the political freedom, he experienced other problems. He
                   could only write in florid Gothic script ornamented with curlicues. This happened
                   even when he wrote his name. When he signed a petition in favour of incorporation
                   of Ryde into a municipality, the signature was interpreted as Zriftrim Ruyt. When a
                   group of citizens produced a counter petition against incorporation he was
                   persuaded to sign that too. Perhaps he did not wish to offend anyone! Christian’s
                   son, Charles, became well established as a butcher with premises in Glebe Street

                   During the early decades of last century Epping was making the often painful
                   transition from a small rural community to a dormitory suburb. In March 1910,
                   Town and Country Journal included an article which reviewed progress. Epping’s
                   growth was described as ‘very gradual at first’ but ‘as with most places on the
                   northern line the expansion has been very marked of late years’.(2) Almost every
                   year was bringing real estate developments as paddocks and orchards gave way to
                   residences. Saint Alban’s had a sale of some of its own land, which at one stage
                   extended some 315 feet (approximately 130 metres) up Oxford Street. Some of this
                   land passed into the hands of Charles Krust, ‘the well known butcher who intends
                   building a butcher’s shop on the land recently secured by him in Pembroke Street’.
                   (3) Presumably the correspondent of The Argus meant Oxford Street. At all events
                   Krust’s appearance in Epping was delayed by some years.

                   The location of Krust’s shop in Oxford Street can be easily identified in a
                   photograph reproduced in two local history productions.(4) The photograph was
                   probably dated about 1910 or 1911, not 1907 as the caption suggests.(5) It was
                   reported early in 1910 that Krust ‘our old North Ryde friend’ was taking over
                   Walker’s Butcher Shop. The local paper greeted his arrival with enthusiasm. ‘Mr
                   Krust is one of the oldest butchers doing business in the district. For over thirty
                   years he has been established in Ryde and has a high reputation throughout the
                   trade as a buyer of the best cattle and sheep at Homebush.(6) Krust was also noted

        Page 8                                                                   The Parish Magazine
as an experienced pig farmer and slaughterman.

Within a year Krust and his ecclesiastical neighbour were in sharp conflict. The
problem may be summarised as an offensive matter in Krust’s backyard with bad
drainage. The Birralee Tennis Club who leased the church court made a complaint.
The Churchwardens interviewed Krust who promised the matters would be recti-
fied. This undertaking was not kept to the church’s satisfaction.

It should be noted that the evidence available gives only the church’s point of view.
‘Pools of stagnant water’ had been a serious problem in Epping for some years. The
Argus had previously noted, ‘Although Epping is regarded as a healthy place there
are filthy drains...which during hot weather must be a menance to public health...the
gutters are unformed and the the water from the residences stagnates and becomes
very objectionable’.(7) Charles Krust was contributing to an existing problem but
was clearly not the originator.

Today Krust’s buildings house “kenny’s gourmet kitchen”. Recently the writer
                                                                              “...a time when
visited the backyard of the premises and found it to be larger than expected and
closely adjoiniung Saint Alban’s War Memorial Hall. I tried to envisage the extent of
                                                                              stagnant pools
the problem, imagining a time when stagnant pools would have combined with      would have
butcher’s trim and refuse.                                                    combined with
The controversy raged for some months. The secretary of the parochial council butcher’s trim
made frequent use of the sub-heading ‘Krust Nuisance’ in the minute book (8)    and refuse.”
Eventually the church reported Krust to the Inspector of Nuisances, a Shire official.
Mention of the dispute ceased after June 1912 when it was reported as being in the
hands of Hornsby Shire. Presumably it was satisfactorily resolved.(9) It is easy to
trivialise such disputes, particularly with the perspective of time but they can be very
painful and distressing to the people involved.

There was an interesting postscript. More than forty years later Saint Albans was
able to purchase a small parcel of land from Krust’s old property to enable the
construction of the War Memorial Hall. By then the controversies of 1911-12 had
been quite forgotten.

1.      Philip Greeves, A Place of Pioneers (1970), Krust family file, Butchers –Ryde District file, Local Stud-
        ies, Ryde Library
2.      Town and Country Journal, 10 March 1910
3.      Cumberland Argus and Fruitgrower’s Adovate (hereafter CA) 5 October 1905
4.      Walter Hazelwood, A History of Epping (1964) facing p77., anon. Epping Presbyterian Church 1894
        -1994 (1994) p 20
5.      For discussion of this photgraph see Lawrence Hazelwood, Rex Hazelwood Photographer (1995), p 6,
        n 12
6.      CA, March 1910
7.      Ibid 26 October 1907 and 23 November 1907
8.      Parochial Council Minute Book, 1911-1912
9.      Charles Krust, with family members, operated several butcher shops. He died on 29 November 1942, aged
        91 years

Advent, The Festival of the Nativity and Epiphany                                                                  Page 9
      The Proclamation of Christmas

                       Some billions of years having passed since the creation of the
                       world, when, in the beginning God created heaven and earth,
                       Some thousands of years from the salvation of mankind when
                         the family of Noah survived the flood, Nineteen centuries
                         after the promise was given to Abraham, the father of our
                        faith, Seventy generations after Moses brought the children
                       of Israel out of bondage in Egypt, A thousand years from the
                           anointing of David as King over the chosen people, in
                          fulfillment of the times and years and months and days
                                  discerned by the vision of the Prophets—
Based on the                In the course of secular history, in the one hundred
traditional text              and ninety-third Olympiad, Seven and one half
from the Roman
Martyrology, for           centuries from the founding of the City of Rome, In
liturgical use at            the forty-second year of the reign of the Emperor
either the                 Octavian Augustus, while the whole world enjoyed a
Midnight Mass
of Christmas or
                            span of peace, In this sixth and final age of human
the Liturgy of the                             achievement—

Sourced from                Jesus Christ, eternal God and Son of the eternal
Full Homily Divinity
website at                  Father, wishing to consecrate the whole world and
1827 hours on
18 November 2009
                           all time by His blessed presence, conceived as man by
                             the overshadowing of the Holy Spirit, after nine
                            months of growth in the womb of His mother, was
                           born of the Virgin Mary in Bethlehem of Juda, and
                                      for our salvation became Man.
                           Now in our own time this marks the Nativity of Our
                             Lord, Jesus Christ, after the manner of all flesh.

            Page 10                                                The Parish Magazine
             Sacraments and Rites within our Parish

                     The Rite of Reconciliation
 At this time of the year, there are those who may wish the Rite of Reconciliation.
      Please call the parish office to make arrangements with the duty Priest.

              Communion in the home or hospital
Those who are unable to join the various congregations over the Season of Advent
  or Christmas may have the Sacrament of Holy Communion brought to them.
     Please call the parish office to make arrangements with the duty Priest.

                   Receiving the bread and wine
  At this time there may be those visiting families or friends and who would like to
    take the Sacrament of Holy Communion. Our parish is one which practices
inclusion and so all wishing to are welcome to join us at the Holy Table when called
                                    upon to do so.
                    Please allow your conscience to be your guide.

            The Sacrament of Baptism and the
        Rites of Confirmation and Holy Matrimony
 Our parish welcomes those who wish to be baptised, confirmed or married within
our church. Should you like to do so, please call our Rector who will meet with you.

                  In Appreciation

                                North Ryde
                      (a Guardian Funeral provider)
                           Telephone: 9887 2244
  For their wonderful financial support in the production of our
            Parish Magazine and Weekly Newsletters

Advent, The Festival of the Nativity and Epiphany                                      Page 11
When is Christmas? - with Father Ross

                      I have often been asked why we celebrate Christmas on 25 December.
                      No date is given in the Bible though we get the impression it must have
                      been during a northern winter. Also, why is it that there is such
                      agreement among the churches over the date while they disagree over
                      the date of Easter. It seems strange.
                     From the 4th century it has been the accepted practice to celebrate
                     Christmas on 25 December but reasons vary concerning the origins of
                     the practice. There were some who have tried a theological method to
                     find the date. In the ancient world the movement of the sun was
                     considered significant, e.g. the equinox and the solstice. The
                     argument was that significant events must be linked to the activity of
                     the sun. So people concluded that the true date of Easter must be 25
                     March, the Spring equinox. They argued that as Jesus was the Son of
                     God, he must have led a perfect life. So they concluded that his
    conception must have occurred on the same date as his death – 25 March. Calculating the
    normal pregnancy to be nine months, that gives you 25 December as Christmas Day.
    Simple isn’t it.
    Another explanation is that Christmas took over the date of a previous pagan festival.
    Emperor Aurelian decreed in 274 that 25 December would be the celebration of dies
    natalis solis invicti – the birth feast of the unconquered sun. This was based on the view
    that as the year proceeded into winter so everything reverted to death. With the new year
    comes new life. However, though 25 December was believed to be the longest night –
    the winter solstice - the sun in fact did not die – he is the unconquered sun. With
    Constantine coming to power, he established Christianity as the religion of Rome and the
    festival of the unconquered sun was easily passed over to the Son of God.
    But then things took a strange turn. We have the rise of the Arian heresy which claimed
    that Jesus was not fully God. Arian claimed that if Jesus was begotten of the father, there
    must have been a time when the Son was not. At the Council of Nicea, Arianism was
    vigorously opposed by Chrysostom who argued for the full divinity and full humanity of
    Christ. One remnant of that debate is the phrase in the creed which claims, “Jesus is
    eternally begotten of the Father”, which implies that Jesus himself must be eternal. At the
    council, Jesus’ divinity was affirmed but so were the details of his humanity. So all the
    information surrounding his birth took on a new significance. Mary was declared to be
    the theotokos, the God-bearer and Christmas took on a new meaning in its power to
    affirm the humanity of Jesus because it celebrates his birth day.
    These arguments are very old, and the church has moved on. But something as
    insignificant as the date of Christmas takes on a deeper meaning. The fact is, Jesus was
    born on a particular day to one particular woman – Mary. It was a human birth but no
    ordinary child. The baby in the manger is the Lord of Creation – who can understand it?
    And yet, as the writer to the Hebrews reminds us, because Jesus shared our humanity, it
    guarantees he will understand us when we bring our needs to him in prayer. So besides
    all the rest, Christmas reminds us again of the true nature of the God we worship and
    Have a great Christmas!

   Page 12                                                            The Parish Magazine
                                                              Rediscovering Advent

       This article has been sourced from the website of Full Homily Divinity (managed by a
       group of Church of England Priests within country parishes) sourced at 1656hours on 18
       November 2009).
 We need to rediscover Advent and all the importance of the lesser, yet significant
 occurances. There is much more than the Christmas event of the Birth of Jesus.. In
 fact, Christmas itself is impoverished. The Church has appointed twelve days for
 the celebration of Christmas, from December 25 through January 5. Those days
 include important feasts, including Saint Stephen the first martyr, Saint John the
 Evangelist, the Holy Innocents, and the Holy Name, which help to illuminate more
 fully the meaning of Christmas. If the celebration of Christmas ends after dinner on
 December 25, we lose those great days and the mysteries they unfold. Moreover, by
 celebrating Christmas from the beginning of December on, we override Advent and
 lose it. And this is a terrible loss. Advent sets before us the powerful unfolding of
 God's plan for all of history, a plan that culminates not in the first
 coming of Christ, but in his second coming. Without Advent,
 Christmas is all too easily reduced to a sentimental story about a baby,
 and even Good Friday and Easter are in danger of losing their meaning.
 Christmas is the celebration of the mystery of the divine Redeemer who
 dwelt among us on earth. But he is truly the Redeemer only if he comes
 again to judge the world and establish for ever his new creation. Pascha,
 i.e., Good Friday and Easter, is the celebration of the mystery of the
 divine King who reigns from the Cross and rises from the dead on the
 third day. But he is truly the King only if he ascends the throne
 prepared for him by his Father from the beginning of time, the throne
 of his eternal Kingdom which will not be fully realized until the end of
 When Advent is swamped and washed away by the premature
 celebration of Christmas, we lose something more: we lose the gifts of
 expectation and anticipation. Modern western society is a culture of
 instant gratification. We are unwilling to wait for anything and in
 refusing to wait we also lose much of the value of the thing desired. If we can have
 anything we want, whenever we want it, everything is cheapened and nothing is of
 much value. On the other hand, waiting patiently gives us an opportunity to reflect
 on the meaning and value of the things we desire. Indeed, it enhances the value of
 those things, for nothing is more valuable than the thing that is out of reach, and
 few possessions are more prized than the ones for which we have longed and
 waited. Furthermore, the truth is that, in spite of our desire for instant gratification,
 and in spite of the fact that we live in a time of abundance of every sort, we cannot
 always have what we want or, more importantly, what we need. And in such
 circumstances, what we need more than anything else is hope. In C.S. Lewis' Narnia,
 it was always winter but never Christmas before the return of Aslan. It was, in
 certain ways, a very unhappy time, but it was also a time in which the citizens of
 Narnia found that they could survive, if only they could hold on to their faith, with
 the hope that Aslan would return someday. Hope nurtures faith in a way that instant
 gratification never can. Had it been the other way around, always Christmas, a time of
 unending gift-giving and continual parties, faith, as well as hope, would have been
 in jeopardy. For when a time of darkness or danger returned, no one would have
 been prepared to deal with it, no one would have had the inner resources to face it.

Advent, The Festival of the Nativity and Epiphany                                               Page 13
                    As Saint Paul writes, "we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces
                    endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces
                    hope." (Romans 5:3-4) Advent is the Church's time of learning to live through the
                    darkness, learning to grow in the hope that sustains faith. Rediscovering Advent
                    thus becomes a project of the greatest importance.

                    The season of Advent looks back, to a time before the birth of Christ, to show us
                    how the people of God learned hope in ancient times. And then the season of
                    Advent looks forward, far beyond the birth of Christ, to the true object of our faith,
                    the King who comes to conquer the darkness, restore creation, and establish his
                    Kingdom for ever. We see in the stories of ancient Israel and in the writings of the
                    prophets a world very much like our own, a world of people rebelling against God
                    and finding themselves lost in darkness again and again. The prophets also show
                    how God has a plan, not only for his people Israel but for the whole world--a plan
                    that extends beyond the birth of Jesus Christ in Bethlehem. The coming of the
                    Messiah then, at a remarkable moment of peace in the ancient world, was not the
  “Advent is the    completion of God's plan. Nevertheless, it was the turning point, the critical sign
church’s time of    which assures us that there is reason to hope. And so, in Advent we recall the
 learning to live   ancient prophecies and signs which led to the birth of the Messiah, and we look
   through the      forward in hope, applying those same prophecies and signs to the world in which
    darkness”       we live, in hope and faithful anticipation that the same Messiah, Jesus Christ, will
                    come again as he promised.
                    We cannot hope to reverse the commercial hijacking and premature celebration of
                    Christmas which has played a major role in the near demise of Advent, so we
                    should not waste our time trying. What we can do is rededicate ourselves to the
                    observance of Advent in our churches and in our homes. Through the years the
                    Church has developed many resources for this, so we do not need to reinvent
                    Advent. We just need to rediscover it.

                                            Across the kilometres…
                                  We have readers in all parts of God’s world.
                                  The United Kingdom, Japan, America, New
                                 Zealand, the South Pacific, Asia and of course
                                  the four corners of this great land, Australia.
                                      At this time we send greetings for the
                                    Celebration of the Birth of the Christ Child.
                                    Keep safe, enjoy the Season, look toward
                                  2010 with renewed faith and enthusiasm and
                                  remember us in your prayers, as we will you,
                                                    in ours.

          Page 14                                                                 The Parish Magazine
                                                                   The Notice Board

                  Looking for that special Christmas gift?
Our book-stall at Saint Alban’s Church, which is open each Sunday to coincide
with our 10.00am Holy Eucharist, has a wide and varied range of books ideal for
gifts for all ages.
There is also a good selection of Christmas cards ideal for sending to special

                           Just at Christmas helpers
Every year the number of visitors increases at Christmas Festivals. In keeping with
our rich tradition of welcoming all, we appreciate the help of extra people. If you
can assist could you please let the parish office know as soon as possible for
rosters to be drawn up?

                             Flowers for Christmas
Families often like to gift flowers at this time to remember those who have passed.
If you would like to do this then please contact the parish office.

                  Groups are in recess until February 2010
It is customary for our many groups and activities to go into recess at this time.
Especially with many away on holidays. Keep an eye on the weekly newsletter for
recommencement dates.

                       Congratulations to John Noller
The parish is delighted to announce the appointment of John Noller to that of
Parish Reader. John joins Ian Burrows and our Diocesan Readers Ruth Shatford
and Ken Bock in an important part of ministry to the parish.

                Doctor Ruth’s famous Christmas Puddings
Do not forget to order (or maybe order more!) of these famous and much sought
after Christmas delights. Yes, they have found their way to Mudgee and one is
even going to California!
At $30.00 each, these make a delightful gift, not to mention the perfect end to the
Christmas meal.

                              Family Vigil Service
The Rector has received requests for a Saturday evening vigil service for those
who may find Saturday evening an alternative, or in addition, to Sunday. Father
John is willing to initiate the monthly service commencing in February 2010.
If you would be interested in this extra service, either as an informal Eucharist (in
our tradition) or an informal Evening Service (again in our tradition) please let the
Rector or the parish office know.

Advent, The Festival of the Nativity and Epiphany                                       Page 15
Saint Nicholas of Myra—his Feast Day is 6 December

          There is a real saint behind the American Santa Claus and similar characters who
          appear in other cultures in December. In fact, we would maintain that the real
          Nicholas was a far more appealing and impressive figure than the kindly, but rather
          limited gift-givers who have displaced him in the popular imagination. Nicholas was
                                      born in Asia Minor, in the city of Myra, around the year
                                      260. The many wonderful stories (legends?) about
                                      Nicholas tell us a great deal about the saint and are
                                      undoubtedly founded in reality, but one of the less well-
                                      known events in his life really sets forth his significance
                                      as one of the foremost of the saints of the Church:
                                      Nicholas was one of the 318 bishops who attended the
                                      very first ecumenical council of the Church, the Council
                                      of Nicaea in 325. Furthermore, while we know relatively
                                      little about the daily deliberations and interactions of the
                                      members of the Council, we know the details of one very
                                      dramatic encounter at the council. The Council was
                                      called to address the critical question: Who is Jesus? A
                                      priest from Alexandria, Arius by name, was at the center
                                      of the controversy because of his claim that Jesus was
                                      fully human, but not actually divine. Jesus, Arius insisted,
          was "like" God, but he was not God. A deacon of Alexandria, Athanasius,
          vigorously championed the orthodox view that Jesus is truly God, one in
          "Substance" (or "Being") with God the Father, as well as truly man. The council
          had been called by the emperor Constantine, who had put an end to the persecution
          of Christians, but not before Nicholas and other members of the Council had
          suffered imprisonment and physical suffering. Nicholas himself was regarded as a
          living martyr. The debate in the Council was heated and Nicholas took an active
          part. Having suffered for the faith in the face of threats from without, Nicholas was
          not about to stand idly by when the faith was threatened from within. And, in a
          particularly heated moment, Bishop Nicholas boxed the ears of the heretic Arius. In
          that act, Nicholas demonstrated the essential connection between faith and life,
          between believing and acting. The bishops of the Council did not condone the
          violent act and disciplined Nicholas, but in the end they affirmed the orthodox view
          and condemned the heresy of Arius.
          The connection between believing and acting characterized everything Nicholas did,
          even when his methods, as at the Council, were not entirely exemplary. His
          empathy with victims of misfortune and disaster and his generosity, no matter what
          the cost to himself, established his fame and made him one of the most beloved
          saints of all time. When an impoverished father was on the verge of selling his three
          daughters into prostitution, Nicholas came to the rescue with sacks of gold to
          provide dowries for each of them to be able to marry. When innocent men were
          condemned to death, Nicholas intervened with the authorities and secured their
          release. When a wicked innkeeper killed three lost boys, chopped them up, and
          pickled them, Nicholas discovered the crime and restored the boys alive to their
          mothers. When a ship was floundering in a storm and about to sink, Nicholas
          calmed the storm and saved the lives of the sailors. Whenever possible, his good
          deeds were performed in secret and, needless to say, they have continued long after
          his death.

    Page 16                                                              The Parish Magazine
The stories about the saint have led to many customs for keeping his feast, and
have also led to alterations in his personality. While the details vary, it is the custom
in many countries for children to leave their shoes outside of their doors when they
go to bed on December 5, the Eve of Saint Nicholas. Some leave notes for the
saint, some leave carrots and hay for his horse, to be sure that he will stop at their
house. Sometimes assisted by a boy named Black Peter, Saint Nicholas leaves fruit
(usually an orange) and candy and other treats in the shoes--unless the children are
undeserving, in which case a lump of coal is all they get. The origin of this custom
lies in a version of the story of the gold which was left for the impoverished girls.
The gold was an anonymous gift that Nicholas tossed through a window in the
middle of the night and it landed in the shoes or stockings of the girl for
whom it was intended. An orange is a good look-alike symbol for a lump
of gold. When they can be found, gold-foil-wrapped chocolate coins also
serve the purpose well. In time, and as it migrated to new lands and
languages, the name of Saint Nicholas, and also his character changed.
The German Sankt Niklaus and the DutchSinterklaas became the
American Santa Claus, whose mitre became a floppy elf's hat and who lost
any semblance of a bishop of the Church. In other places, he lost his
name entirely and became simply Father Christmas. This was, perhaps,
inevitable in a predominantly protestant culture that cared little for saints.
American Episcopalians contributed to this movement via the influence
of one of the most popular Saint Nicholas stories, Clement Clark Moore's
A Visit from Saint Nicholas, now more popularly known as The Night before
Christmas. Moore was a professor at the General Theological Seminary in
New York. Though the jolly elf of the poem is still called Saint Nicholas,
he is otherwise very much the prototype of the modern Santa Claus, who
gives gifts at Christmas, rather than December 6, the feast day of the
Whether gifts are given on Saint Nicholas Day or Christmas Day, this
holy and kindly saint can inspire the way we keep both days. He reminds
us that generosity and self-sacrifice are central to our faith as Christians and care
and concern for children, the poor, and all who are in danger or need is a particular
responsibility of Christians. A visit from the saint on his day, or perhaps on the
Sunday nearest if he is to be remembered in a parish observance, can include gifts
and special treats for children. But it would enrich the feast a great deal if
participants in these celebrations also brought gifts to be distributed to those in
need--toys for the children of needy families, food for the hungry, blankets and
clothing for the poor and the homeless, scarves and sweaters for sailors, cards for
those in prison, and perhaps a contribution to organizations that work to free those
who have been wrongly accused and imprisoned.

This article and the accompanying artworks was sourced from Full Homily Dvinity website on 18
November 2009 at 1852 hours. 

Advent, The Festival of the Nativity and Epiphany                                               Page 17
History of the Labyrinth

                     The origin of the first Labyrinth is unclear, however, it is known that these unique
                     patterns date back thousands of years and have been associated with many religious
                     traditions. Throughout the ages the Labyrinth has been represented in many forms
                     and associated with different religious practices.
                                  For thousands of years, the Labyrinth has been found on coins,
                                  vessels, walls and the floors of religious buildings, most often in a
                                  religious or sacred context. Much of the original significance of the
                                  Labyrinth has been lost in time, though this enduring symbol has
                                  survived to the present day.
                                  Labyrinths have been rediscovered in an age where pilgrimage is seen
                                  as a way of drawing nearer to God through self-knowledge and
                                  meditation which are believed to be vital to the process of peace of
                                  mind, healing and reconciliation with God.
                     The most celebrated Labyrinth is to be found on the floor of Chartres Cathedral in
                     France where it is believed to have been used as a meditation aid by those making a
                     symbolic journey. It is believed to date back to medieval times and is surrounded by
                     many legends of its powers and significance. Being a complex pattern, it is not
                     surprising that many have found geometrical and mathematical significance in its
                     Today we regard the labyrinth as having no special or supernatural power of its
                     own. It does, however, provide a unique and engaging framework for personal
                     meditation. It may also be regarded as a piece of human art that draws us closer to
  Neil Nyholm,       God just as religious icons are regarded as divine or sacred works of human hands.
the writer of this
      article,       The labyrinth is a meditation aid that enables pilgrims to undertake a short reflective
                     journey by walking a sacred path whilst reflecting, praying or listening for the quiet
 is a nephew of      promptings of the spirit. Most pilgrims seek to walk a Labyrinth at a church or
our parishioners     retreat house. They can be found in a growing number of cathedrals such as
 Dawn and Alan       Norwich Cathedral, Norfolk and Grace Cathedral in San Francisco.
     Nyholm          Wooden finger labyrinths are another way to experience the pilgrimage in the
 and worships at     quietness of the home or chapel. Taking time out in the day to trace the labyrinth
   the Anglican      with your finger provides another way of becoming more closely drawn into the
     Parish of       mystery of God.
 Camberwell, a       The use of the labyrinth is growing in popularity among Christians seeking a deeper
    Melbourne        spiritual experience as it can be used in the quietness and privacy of your own
      suburb.        home. There are many ways to use the labyrinth and no two people will have the
                     same experience using it.

                     It is recommended to approach the labyrinth as one would commence a spiritual
                     journey, with an open mind and a prayerful desire to spend time with God. Using a
                     finger labyrinth is as easy as placing it on your lap or a table in front of you and
                     commence the journey be tracing the path with your finger from the outside to the
                     centre. You can pause along the way to reflect, listen and spend time in silence so
                     that you can connect with how God is leading you on your life’s journey.
                     When you reach the centre, spend time in this sacred space to pray and share with

           Page 18                                                                  The Parish Magazine
                                                                   The Parish Registers

                                      Holy Baptism
                 Ryan Ashan OLEGASEGAREM on 22 November 2009
                    Annika Kathryn FAHIM on 22 November 2009

                                   Holy Matrimony
        Prasad GANESHALINGAM to Naomi WATSON on 7 November 2009

                              The Faithful Departed
                    John Joseph COUCH on 24 September 2009
             Edward (Ted) Simmons SWINBOURNE on 4 October 2009
                   Dorothy Joyce PRAGNELL on 21 October 2009
          Geoffrey William Theodor (Theo) JACKSON on 12 November 2009

God your concerns and feelings. You may care to dedicate each petal of the rose to
some issue you would like to pray for: family, peace, those in need, etc.
Then begin the outward journey by retracing your steps along the path to the outside
edge. This is where we begin our mission of ‘going out’ to the world. During this
phase you may want to call on God to strengthen you for life’s journey and to
empower you to show love to others. Left on display in your house, the labyrinth is a
constant reminder of your sacred journey.
     A Labyrinth Prayer

     As I make my Labyrinth journey,
     Teach me Lord,
     To see myself as I really am;
     A pilgrim in this world,
     A Christian called to love and respect;
     Let my conscience be clear,
     My conduct without fault,
     My speech blameless,
     And my life well ordered.
     Help me to remember that true happiness comes from you;
     Lead me safely through the troubles of this life;
     So that I may join with you in the endless joy of Heaven.
     Grant this through Christ our Lord, Amen.
More information is available from the web site: or
search “Labyrinth”. Wooden Finger Labyrinths can be purchased from Neil Nyholm
on 03 9546 1922 or 0418 365 893 or e-mail:

     Advent, The Festival of the Nativity and Epiphany                                  Page 19
     Christmas customs and traditions in Australia

                       The heat of early summer in Australia has an impact on the way that Australians
                       celebrate Christmas and on which northern hemisphere Christmas traditions are
                              In the weeks leading up to Christmas houses are decorated; greetings cards
                              sent out; carols sung; Christmas trees installed in homes, schools and public
                              places; and children delight in anticipating a visit from Santa Claus. On
                              Christmas Day family and friends gather to exchange gifts and enjoy special
                              Christmas food.

                              The Beach—Many Australians spend Christmas out of doors, going to the
                              beach for the day, or heading to camping grounds for a longer break over the
                              Christmas holiday period. It has become traditional for international visitors
                              who are in Sydney at Christmas time to go to Bondi Beach where up to
                              40,000 people visit on Christmas Day.

Santa arriving at the beach  The Music—The tradition of an Australian Christmas Eve carol service lit
by boat. Image courtesy of   by candles was started in 1937 by radio announcer Norman Banks. This
the National Archives of     outdoor service has now been held in Melbourne every year since then.
Australia: A1500, K26950.    Carols by Candlelight events today range from huge gatherings, which are
                             televised live throughout the country, to smaller local community and church
                             events. Sydney's Carols in the Domain has become a popular platform for the
                             stars of stage and music.
                             Some uniquely Australian Christmas carols have become popular and are
                       included alongside the more traditional carols sung at carol services and at
                       Christmas church services: John Wheeler's The Three Drovers is perhaps the best
                       known of these. Many light-hearted Australian Christmas songs have become an
                       essential part of the Australian Christmas experience. These include Rolf Harris's
                       Six White Boomers, Colin Buchanan's Aussie Jingle Bells and the Australian Twelve
                               Days of Christmas.

                               The Flowers— There are many native Australian plants in flower over the
                               Christmas season. A number of these have become known as 'Christmas
                               plants' in various parts of the country, including Christmas bells, Christmas
                               bush and the Christmas orchid.

                               When Europeans first arrived in Australia they were delighted that they
                               could pick wildflowers resembling bells and bright green foliage covered in
                               red or white flowers to use as Christmas decorations. This was a huge
                               contrast to the bare trees and dormant gardens they had left behind in
Denise Greig, Blandfordia
nobilis - Christmas bells.   The Food—Christmas in Australia comes at the beginning of summer and
Image courtesy of Australian many people no longer serve a traditional hot roast dinner. Cold turkey and
National Botanic Gardens:    ham, seafood and salads are often served instead. It has even become
                              acceptable to serve the traditional Christmas plum pudding with cold
                       custard, ice cream or cream. Pavlova, a meringue base topped with whipped cream
                       and fresh fruit, and various versions of the festive ice-cream pudding have also
                       become popular Christmas desserts.

             Page 20                                                                 The Parish Magazine
The Films— Bush Christmas (1947) starring Chips Rafferty and the remake Prince
and the Great Race in 1983 (with Nicole Kidman), and Miracle Down Under starring
John Waters (telecast as Bushfire Moon) are insights into the early Australian
Christmas culture. Many television series have used Christmas episodes to explore
the changing culture of Christmas in Australia.

The Children's Stories—Australian children grow up enjoying traditional
Christmas stories such as Clement Clarke Moore's 'Twas the Night Before Christmas
and Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol, but children's authors and illustrators are
beginning to create truly Australian children's Christmas literature. One favourite is
Wombat Divine by Mem Fox, while a more recent addition is Aussie Night Before
Christmas by Yvonne Morrison.
                                                                                      Cover of Wombat
The Traditional Owners—Indigenous Dreamtime stories obviously do not Divine by Mem Fox.
include Christmas. However, this date in the calendar coincides with other seasonal Image courtesy of
changes. In Arnhem Land, Northern Territory, Yolngu Aboriginal people will                   Mem Fox.
observe the last season of their six-season cycle. Gudjewg, the wet season, begins in
late December. Many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities include
Christian groups within them which celebrate Christmas. The Ntaria Choir at
Hermannsburg, via Alice Springs, Northern Territory, has a unique musical
language from mixing the traditional vocals of the Ntaria women with Lutheran
chorales - the hymn tunes that were the basis of much of J.S. Bach's music. Baba
Waiyar, a popular traditional Torres Strait Islander hymn, is featured on Lexine
Solomon's debut album This is Woman (2003) - showing the influence of gospel
music mixed with traditionally strong Torres Strait Islander vocals and country

Significantly, Torres Strait Islanders celebrate the 'Coming of the Light' on 1 July,
the day the London Missionary Society landed at Erub Island in 1871.

Modern Indigenous Christmas celebrations are beginning to take on elements of
traditional Indigenous culture. The Department of Conservation and Land
Management in Western Australia offers a Christmas celebration by organising
activities which encourages people to join in Christmas bush activities with
Nyoongar guides.                                                                               Celebrating the
                                                                                          Coming of the Light
This article and all photographs was sourced from the Australian                              at Kemus on the
Government Culture Portal.                                                                  anniversary of the at 1601hours on 18 November 2009                         arrival of the London
                                                                                           Missionary Society
                                                                                               on 1 July 1871.
                                                                                               Darnley Island,
                                                                                                  Torres Strait.
                                                                                               Image courtesy of
                                                                                           Aboriginal and Torres
                                                                                           Strait Islander Studies
                                                                                                Unit, University of

Advent, The Festival of the Nativity and Epiphany                                        Page 21
The Parish in photos


             Top left—The Right Reverend Greg Thompson, Bishop of Northern Territory
             (and past member of our congregation) visited recently. He is with (left to right),
             Margaret Pearson, Father Ross and Stuart Armsworth.
             Top right—David Wheatley and Bruce Wilson in discussion at Choir Camp.
             Bottom left—”Kiddies Korner” designed and developed by Tristram Fieldhouse
             is a big hit.
             Botom right—Bishop Greg meets up with Michael Gumbley.

   Page 22                                                             The Parish Magazine
Top left— Dr Doug Carruthers at Choir Camp. He takes photos and sings as

Top right—Bruce Wilson tickling the ivory at Choir Camp.

Bottom left—Getting ready for rehearsals at Choir Camp.

Bottom right—Our Choir Director, David Wheatley doing just that... directing.

Advent, The Festival of the Nativity and Epiphany                               Page 23
Parish Directory

 Rector                      The Reverend John Cornish
                             BBus, Dip Tech (Public Admin), BTh, Dip Min
 Associate Priest            The Reverend Ross Weaver
                             BA, Dip Ed, BTh (Hons), BSocSc (Hons) MCouns
 Honorary Priests            The Reverend Dr Alan Friend MSc, PhD, ThL
                             The Reverend Valerie Tibbey ThDip
                             The Reverend Paul Weaver BA, BD, ThL, AMusA
 Licensed Lay Readers        Ian Burrows, Ken Bock (Diocesan), John Noller,
                             Ruth Shatford (Diocesan)
 Lay Assistants              Godfrey Abel, Sue Armitage, Stuart Armsworth, Max Boyley,
                             Noel Christie-David, David Crawford, Margaret and Robin
                             Cummins, Allan Griffith, Jill Gumbley, Anne Lawson,
                             Tony Malin, Michael Marzano, Marion Martin, Jan McIntyre,
                             Richard Moon, Jane Noller, Margaret Pearson, Lachlan Roots,
                             Peggy Sanders, Bill Sheather, David Tait, Amanda and Kim
                             Turner, Sarah Weaver, Damika Wickremisinghe
 Servers                     Navin Abel, Vikki Armsworth, Stuart Armsworth,
                             Ian Burrows, Anita Christie-David, David Crawford,
                             Corinne Deall, Linda Deall, Sarah Deall, Edward Findlay,
                             Anna McCurdy, Jan McIntyre, Michael Marzano,
                             Emma Noller, Jane and John Noller, Sarah Simpson,
                             Yogaraj Thiyagarajah, Penelope Thompson, Phoebe Thompson,
                             Prudence Thompson, Naomi Watson, Mark Wright
 Parish Administrator        Denise Pigot
                             Telephone 9876 3362,
                             or by email
 Parish Councillors          Sue Armitage, Doug Carruthers, Glyn Evans, Malcolm Lawn,
                             Anne Lawson, Micah McCurdy, Frances Quan Farrant, Peggy
 Parish Nominators           Robin Cummins, Peter Deall, Derek Jones, Jan McIntyre,
                             Ruth Shatford
 Synod Representatives       Jill Gumbley, Jan McIntyre
 The Church Wardens
          Saint Alban’s      Jan McIntyre (9438 4940) - Rector’s Warden
                             Ruth Shatford - People’s Warden
                             David Tait - People’s Warden
             Saint Aidan’s   Bill Sheather (9873 5106) - Rector’s Warden
                             Ken Bock - People’s Warden
                             John Boyd - People’s Warden
 Choir Director              David Wheatley
 Acting Choir Director       Anne Price
 Organists                   Chris Wagstaff and Rosemary Blake
 Caretaker                   Tristram Fieldhouse

Shared By: