The Messenger

St George the Martyr, Goodwood

August, 2022

Dear Friends

WELCOME TO OUR AUGUST ISSUE of the Messenger. Winter is always a busy time here in the gardens, pruning and preparing for spring. We are also trying to remove a persistent weed near the rear entry to the hall that has taken weeks of works – my thanks to the dutiful gardeners who help out on Tuesdays. We are always looking for more help there. But gardens are like our own spiritual lives, they need constant care, and often the hard work is only seen after a winter of problems.

At long last we have a new guide to the Church. This is a small folded A4 sheet for the information of visitors, that they can take away (hopefully after a gold coin donation). I have attached a copy of the inside showing the layout for those who want to see it.

On Sunday 17 July we had the Rev’d Dr Joan Riley, the principal of St Barnabas College, to preach for Catholic Renewal Sunday. It was the same week as the 16 year’s mind of the Fr Edmund Randall, a former warden of St Barnabas’s. Fr Ed was a well-known figure in the diocese and nurtured a generation of students, before retiring to Wangaratta, where I knew him as a venerable figure of the Cathedral as Canon Theologian, who also taught Latin to one of my servers and loved having pizzas with them. It was good to renew our link with the College, which trains most of the clergy in the Adelaide Diocese.

I was away for a few days in July, firstly to preach at St Mark’s Fitzroy in Melbourne and secondly to attend the induction of the new vicar of St Peter’s Eastern Hill in Melbourne. St Mark’s is a fine church in our tradition, slightly older than us having been founded in 1849 with the church building started in 1855. It was at this church that the late Dom Michael King founded the Benedictine monastery that relocated to Camperdown some years later. Fr Stuart Soley, the present vicar, is doing a fine job of upholding the traditions and social outreach of the Catholic movement.

The induction at St Peter’s marks a new stage for that parish as Fr Michael Bowie becomes its Vicar. This has been the great shrine parish for Melbourne, the leading Catholic parish, with a great tradition of liturgy and music. I was trained to say mass by one of its vicars, Fr Geoffrey Taylor. Fr Michael is from Christ Church St Laurence in Sydney; I was at university with him when we were both servers there. As a result, there was also a good attendance from that parish at the induction. Christ Church St Laurence now has its boys at two of the great shrine churches in Australia: St Peter’s Eastern Hill and our own parish.

Covid Restrictions

We are very conscious of the need to maintain good hygiene during this time of increased covid infections. Please be sensible with your health and come to church only if you are well. For the time being weekday masses will only be at the nave altar to allow people to have plenty of space.

Organ Appeal

I have not been updating you of late about our organ appeal. As I mentioned earlier, we need to refurbish our organ. We had agreed to one contract with one builder but unfortunately that company has now ceased trading. We have approached two other builders for quotes for the job but are still waiting.

From the Registers

On 4 July John Brougham died, just short of his 80th birthday. I first met John when he started bringing his uncle, Colin Holmes, our retired organist, to church when Colin was no longer driving. One of the first things I was warned about in the parish when I arrived was never to go driving with him: sound advice I found out. John then continued to be part of the parish, until his own failing health with dementia stopped his driving, and then his niece Cheryl started bringing him. John was also a talented organist like his uncle and was smartly dressed every Sunday for mass. May he rest in peace.

The ashes of John and Margaret Berridge were also interred in the columbarium during the month, the first time I have had both husband and wife interred together.

The Café

The new café, Hey George, opened for limited trading on Tuesday 2 August. They are still waiting for the supply of some essential equipment such as fridges before they can start cooking properly. However, it is open on Tuesday to Saturday mornings at the moment, and there is a wonderful SALA display of art there at present. The lengthy refurbishment has been trying for the parish, and I thank people for their patience.

Our best wishes to our organist, Sarah Clay, who will be taking leave at the end of the month to visit family in England. We will be having Chris Wainwright as our locum for the period. Chris was an organ scholar here some twenty years ago, and we welcome him back to the parish.

Our monthly study was on the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham. This famous shrine in England is the premier Anglican shrine, and dates from before the Norman Conquest, so nearly a thousand years. It was re-founded a century ago after being destroyed during the Reformation and remains a popular place of pilgrimage. We have one of the most beautiful carvings of the shrine here, a gift to us from the Sisters of the Community of the Servants of the Holy Cross, who taught at our school in the 1940s.

The Lambeth Conference, the gathering of Anglican bishops from around the world, has now started in England. There will be a study on the importance and unimportance of this at our next Sunday Study, on 28 August

Finally, I have enclosed another good reflection by Fr Stephen Freeman for your contemplation.

The first Sunday of August is one of our Soup Sundays, so come along and join us for a warm bowl of soup after the 10 am mass on Sunday.

God Bless

Fr Scott

Finding God Amidst the Noise

If I say one hundred prayers a day in the silence of Katounakia and you say three prayers amidst the tumult of the city and your professional and family obligations, then we are equal. St. Ephraim of Katounakia

I ran across this small quote recently and was struck by its insight and typical Orthodox generosity. The kindness of the saints is among their most encouraging aspects. It also echoes a theme that I frequently meditate on the hiddenness of the spiritual life.

There is a theme of hiddenness in the teaching of Christ, indeed, across the whole of Scripture. We can see it in the sayings regarding the Kingdom of God in which it is compared to a lost coin or a buried treasure or a pearl of great price. It is something that requires searching out, digging up, or even selling everything in order to have it. The Kingdom of God is something that you don’t know but is worth everything in order to know. To know it, however, we must ask, seek, and knock.

Much of our life is spent doing something else.

The theme and reality of hiddenness has two sides (or so it seems to me). The first is the side of becoming a seeker. It is the fundamental stance of a pilgrim (rather than a tourist). It has a way of organizing everything around it. For example, one insight that I gained over the years of my education was the central importance of the “question.” When I was in high school, I cannot say that I had any major questions. I thought I had major answers and lived my life accordingly (“teen wisdom”). For two years between high school and college I accumulated more answers, lost them, and began to acquire questions. Those questions, far from refined, gave me an inner burning that fuelled certain aspects of my college studies as well as my seminary years that followed. Eight years after seminary, my questions, more refined by eight years of ordained ministry, propelled me into the doctoral program at Duke. The answers that began to mature during that period resulted in my conversion to Orthodoxy a decade later. The trick now is to continue to nurture the questions rather than imagining that, having entered Orthodoxy, I found all the answers. Nothing less than the Kingdom of God, embodied and lived, can be the “answer.” I should add that the “answer” is not a matter of more information. We are not saved by information.

The second side of hiddenness is found in the answers themselves. The Kingdom of God has this aspect of hiddenness not because of some pernicious desire of God. The hiddenness exists in order to nurture within us the proper disposition of the image of God. We fail to understand that God Himself seeks, asks, and knocks. We are the lost coin, the lost sheep, the treasure hidden in the field, the pearl of great price. God leaves everything in order to come among us and “find” us. His commandment to ask, seek, and knock, is similar to the commandment to be like God. It is, I think, what love does.

The great perversion of our consumer lifestyle is to substitute shopping for seeking. Our passions (traditionally described as: self-love, gluttony, lust, love of money and greed, sadness, acedia (sloth & dejection or apathy and boredom anger, fear, vainglory, and pride) create a counterfeit sense of seeking. The passions cry out to be fed and and satiated. However, they are disordered (for a variety of reasons) and generally only draw us deeper into a maw of darkness and addiction. We frequently imagine asceticism to be an unusual application in our life. What we imagine to be “self-denial” is, in fact, little more than a proper effort to live a life that is truly conformed to our nature. We cannot seek the true food of the soul until we find the soul’s true hunger.

Finding the soul’s true hunger is as much to say, “finding the soul itself.” The soul is not the passions. Neither is it anything we immediately think of. Some would say, “We hunger for Jesus.” That is absolutely true, but the “Jesus of the passions” is often something that is quickly substituted for the truth. Back in the days of the Jesus Freaks, it was not unusual to hear someone say, “I don’t need drugs anymore – I get high on Jesus.” That was delusional and created any number of false paths.

The patriarch, Jacob, in the Old Testament, spent the better part of his life avoiding the true question of his soul. He stole his brother’s birth right and fled his wrath. Though he was the heir of the promise, he sought to find it somewhere else (working for his father-in-law, Laban). It was not until he decided to return home and face his brother, and to face whatever God would have of him, that the “question of his soul” came into focus. The last night before crossing the river and coming before his brother, he was met by an angel (or a manifestation of Christ?). He wrestled with him all night declaring, “I will not let you go until you bless me!” He was “blessed” when the angel withered his thigh. But in the wounding, he received a blessing – a new name – that of Israel (“he who wrestled and prevailed”). Jacob did not know that he was Israel until he came face to face with the question: “Will you bless me?”

Jacob wrestled with God. St. Ephraim of Katounakia wrestled with his “hundred prayers.” We wrestle with whatever the day brings to us, including its “three prayers.” Whatever we do in the course of the day, it is good that we not lose ourselves amidst our distractions. Do the thing that truly matters, the “one thing needful.” We need to speak to God and ask the question. And keep asking, seeking, and knocking, until we find the right question.

God awaits us.

Fr. Stephen is a priest of the Orthodox Church in America, Pastor Emeritus of St. Anne Orthodox Church in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. He is also author of Everywhere Present and the Glory to God podcast series.

Sunday Services

                    8.00 am    Mass

10.00 am    Solemn Sung Mass

Weekday Services

Monday                       Fr Scott’s Day Off

Tuesday      10.00 am    Mass,

followed by gardening

Wednesday   8.00 am    Mass

Thursday    12 noon     Mass

Friday          8.00 am    Mass

Saturday       8.00 am    Mass

Consider giving to the church; our bank details are

BSB 105033 account 151992640

Please put “offering” in the description if that is the purpose.

August

         1       Holy Men and Women of the Old Testament

         4       John-Baptist Vianney, the Curé d’Ars, Spiritual Guide, 1859

         5       Oswald, King of Northumbria, Martyr, 642

         6       THE TRANSFIGURATION OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST

7       PENTECOST 9

         7       John Mason Neale, Priest, Hymn Writer, 1866

         8       Dominic, Friar, Founder of the Order of Preachers, 1221

         8       Mary MacKillop of the Cross, Founder of the Sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred Cross, 1909

         9       Mary Sumner, Founder of the Mothers’ Union, 1921

       10       Laurence, Deacon at Rome, 258

       11       Clare of Assisi, Founder of the Minoresses (Poor Clares), 1253

       13       Jeremy Taylor, Bishop of Down & Connor, Teacher of the Faith, 1667

         14          PENTECOST 10

       16       MARY, MOTHER OF OUR LORD (from 15)

       20       Bernard, Abbot of Clairvaux, Teacher of the Faith, 1153

       20       William and Catherine Booth, Founder of the Salvation Army, 1912 and 1890

         21          PENTECOST 11

       23       Mary, Queen of Heaven (Octave festival)

24       BARTHOLOMEW, APOSTLE AND MARTYR

27       Monica, Mother of Augustine of Hippo, 387

         28          PENTECOST 12

       28       Augustine, Bishop of Hippo, Teacher of the Faith, 430

       29       BEHEADING OF JOHN THE BAPTIST

       30       John Bunyan, Spiritual Writer, 1688

       31       Aidan, Bishop of Lindisfarne, Missionary, 651

September

1       CONSECRATION & DEDICATION OF CHURCH, 1903

2       THE MARTYRS OF NEW GUINEA, 1942

         3       Gregory of Rome, Teacher of the Faith, 640; Eliza Darling

         4        SUNDAY IN OCTAVE OF CONSECRATION & DEDICATION OF CHURCH, 1903

         4       Translation of St Cuthbert

         6       St Michael of Colossae

         8       BIRTH OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

         9       Charles Fuge Lowder, Priest, 1880

       11       PENTECOST 14

       13       John Chrysostom, Bishop of Constantinople, Teacher of the Faith, 407

       14       HOLY CROSS DAY

       15       Our Lady of Sorrows

       15       John Oliver Feetham, Bishop and Bush Brother, 1947

       16       Cyprian, Bishop of Carthage, bishop and martyr, 258

       16       Ninian, Bishop of Galloway, Apostle to the Picts, c432

       16       Edward Bouverie Pusey, Priest, Tractarian, 1882

       17       Hildegard, Abbess of Bingen, Visionary, 1179

       18       PENTECOST 15

       19       Theodore of Tarsus, Archbishop of Canterbury, 690

       20       John Coleridge Patterson, First Bishop of Melanesia, and his Companions, Martyrs, 1871

       20       Andrew Kin Taegon and the Martyrs of Korea and the Pacific

       21       MATTHEW, APOSTLE, EVANGELIST AND MARTYR

23       Ember Friday

       23       Thecla, Virgin 1st C.

       24       Our Lady of Walsingham

25       MICHAEL AND ALL ANGELS (from 29)

       26       Wilson Carlile, Priest, Founder of the Church Army, 1942

       27       Vincent de Paul, Founder of the Congregation of the Mission (Lazarists) 1660

       28       Wenceslas, Prince, Martyr, Apostle to the Czechs, c907

       30       Jerome, Translator of the Scriptures, Teacher of the Faith, 420

Our website

www.stgeorgesgoodwood.org

Address for correspondence

The Parish of St George the Martyr,

The Rectory

34 Angus Street

Goodwood, SA, 5034

ear Friends

BESIDES THE RAIN, June gave us the wonderful theological feasts of Pentecost, Trinity, and Corpus Christi, to reflect on the nature of God. Our faith expects us to use our God-given brains to explore the mystery of God. That is one of the reasons we try to to have a study here on the last Sunday of every month, to allow us to deepen our understanding of the love of God.

On Trinity Sunday we had Fr Roger Kelly join us to preach. Fr Roger is a member of the religious order, the Order of the Good Shepherd, and is also the chaplain to the Benedictine oblates of the dispersed Community of Christ the King – I am the South Australian chaplain.

Last week we had our study on the Creeds. Anglicans use three Creeds, the Apostles (which we have for Evensong and baptisms), the Nicene (which we have on Sundays, and beautifully sung at 10 am) and the Athanasian (which we say every year here on Trinity Sunday). These creeds unite us with the Church throughout the world. The Apostles and Nicene Creeds are used by both the Western and Eastern churches, the Athanasian developed in the Middle Ages in the West and as a result is only used by Western churches. These Creeds help to ensure we all have a common understanding of what the faith is, not only through the world but through time. When churches stop using their creeds then they lapse into individualism. But we are Catholics, and we hold the faith that comes to us in common with the other churches, and the Creeds are essential in holding us together.

At the end of this month, the Lambeth Conference will start in England. This is the gathering of all Anglican bishops around the world to discuss the needs of the Anglican church, and happens around every ten years, although the last one was in 2008 when around 670 bishops gathered. It’s always a fractious gathering, as Anglicans come from around the world with different needs and attitudes. We remember this gathering in our prayers.

Owing to the failure of our application to receive money to help plant trees for the Queen’s jubilee we have started a replant of the garden bed along the south side of the church. We have moved two of the crepe myrtles and a camellia, and I will see if they survive the moves. We need now another crepe myrtle to plant, and a red oak. It is a busy season in the grounds, with roses to be pruned as well as many other plants.

I have never heard back from our local MP, Steve Georganas, about our grant, despite follow up emails and a parishioner also ringing his office.

During the month we also put up new signs on the corner of Goodwood Road and Angus Street – the old one was a little out of date after twenty years’ service.

Pentecost Display

My thanks to Emily Harding for her display of our church plate for Pentecost. Although we do not have a huge collection of plate, it still represents one of our treasures that we like to share.

Covid Restrictions

All covid restrictions have now been lifted. The sacraments are now offered in both forms, the consecrated bread and wine. However, there is no obligation to receive the chalice if you would wish to continue to receive the bread only. Intinction of the bread in the wine is not allowed, however.

Food Distribution – Items wanted

As you are all aware there is a basket near the front entrance of the church, for food to be placed and distributed to those in need. Over the last years, food has been donated to Anglicare for distribution to families in need, Hutt Street centre for the homeless and even The Salvation Army, again for distribution to families in need.  The items required are in the form of non perishables. The usual suspects e.g., breakfast cereals, dried pasta, pasta sauce, spreads, vegemite, peanut butter, baked beans, soup, instant coffee, tea bags, biscuits, toiletries etc.  Think basic food items. Please, if donating make sure items are well within the expiry date.  Any item outside the expiry date, even close, (e.g. a couple of weeks) will not be used, due to distribution guidelines.

From the Registers

We had two funerals here in June: Margaret Berridge and Peter Pitfield. Margaret, who died on 3 June, was the widow of John, as student at our school who only died three months earlier, and they were married here in this church in 1953. They moved to the Riverland and both died in Loxton, but returned to this church to be buried.

Peter died at home on 6th June, ten days short of his 90th birthday and eight days short of his 70th wedding anniversary to Liz. He had been a stalwart of the congregation for many decades since his arrival in Australia as a ten-pound Pom in 1964. A carpenter by trade, he was Mr Fix-It at the church, helping with the constant repairs that a building like our needs. He was also one of our servers at 8 am for many years. May he rest on peace and rise in glory.

St Benedict’s Day

On Saturday, 9 July at 11 am we have our annual mass in honour of St Benedict, when our Benedictine Oblates renew their vows. All members of the parish are welcome to join us. Mother Lesley McLean will be the guest preacher.

Catholic Renewal Sunday

A reminder that we have this feast, to celebrate the witness of John Keble, who protested at the threats to the Church from liberal developments in both politics and theology, in the 19th Century. John Keble is best remembered for the sermon he preached in Oxford. This sermon, considered by some to be the beginning of the Oxford Movement, the Catholic revival within the Anglican tradition, was delivered on the 14 July 1833. We celebrate the anniversary of Keble’s famous sermon every year on the Sunday after it, this year being 17 July. Our guest preacher this year will be the Rev’d Dr Joan Riley, principal of St Barnabas’s College in Adelaide. We will have a shared lunch to follow.

Reflection on Beauty

Dom Gerard Calvet, OSB, who spoke of the “two entry doors” of beauty and the intellect where the Church is concerned:

..one enters the Church by two doors: the door of the intelligence and the door of beauty. The narrow door… is that of intelligence; it is open to intellectuals and scholars. The wider door is that of beauty… The Church in her impenetrable mystery as the bride of Christ, the Kyrios of Glory, has need of an earthly epiphany (i.e. manifestation) accessible to all: this is the majesty of her temples, the splendour of her liturgy and the sweetness of her chants. Take a group of Japanese tourists visiting Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. They look at the height of the stained-glass windows, the harmony of the proportions. Suppose that at that moment, sacred ministers dressed in orphreyed velvet copes enter in procession for solemn Vespers. The visitors watch in silence; they are entranced: beauty has opened its doors to them. Now the Summa Theologica of St Thomas Aquinas and Notre Dame in Paris are products of the same era. They say the same thing. But who among the visitors has read the Summa of St Thomas? The same phenomenon is found at all levels. The tourists who visit the Acropolis in Athens are confronted with a civilisation of beauty. But who among them can understand Aristotle? And so, it is with the beauty of the liturgy. More than anything else it deserves to be called the splendour of the truth. It opens to the small and the great alike the treasures of its magnificence: the beauty of psalmody, sacred chants and texts, candles, harmony of movement and dignity of bearing. With sovereign art the liturgy exercises a truly seductive influence on souls, who it touches directly, even before the spirit perceives its influence.

Octaves (non-musical)

Have you ever entered St George’s on a day that appears to have no liturgical significance and wondered why certain candles and lamps are alight? The answer is that you have come into the church during an octave, a period of eight days that is an extension of a particular feast day. This extended period allows time for further reflection upon that feast and what it represents.

The observance of the octave has ancient roots. Its beginnings may be traced to the Jewish practice that holds the number seven as being of marked importance. Early Christians developed this concept by adding an “eighth” day associated with Sunday, the day of the Resurrection. Octaves first appeared in the 4th century when celebrations of eight days were held to mark the erection of certain basilicas. Around the same time, octaves were formally introduced into the church’s worship to honour major feasts such as Christmas, Easter and Pentecost. Later octaves were granted to the feast days of certain important saints. Blessed as we are at St George’s with numerous shrines of saints, we have many opportunities in our church to keep up this old tradition by the lighting of candles and a lamp before the shrine of a particular saint for the duration of their octave.

We also observe the octaves applied to various church seasons, the latest being one of the most ancient of all the seasonal octaves, that of Pentecost. No additional candles and lamps were lit around the church during this period but the colour for Pentecost – red – continued as the liturgical colour with the priest wearing red vestments for all of the week following the day of Pentecost itself.

Emily Harding

With acknowledgement to Liturgical Arts Journal.

Finally, I have enclosed a good reflection by Fr Stephen Freeman for your contemplation.

Keep warm and remember to wear a thick coat when you come to St George’s!

God Bless

Fr Scott

Healing the Soul and Unbelief

22 June, 2022 ·Fr. Stephen Freeman

I have long been convinced that “believing” is grounded in something other than intellectual activity. I am simply unimpressed by most of the intellectual arguments that I see regarding both belief and unbelief. In both, I hear so much that is unspoken, and even much that is likely hidden from the speakers themselves. That being the case (if I am right), then conversations about belief require great patience and not a little sympathy.

We live in a world that is packed with meaning – at least – that has been the human experience for longer than recorded history. We do not know, for example, what the cave paintings left by our prehistoric ancestors mean, but we can be assured that the paintings had a meaning at the time. Indeed, their paintings are a strong reminder that we have ever-so-much in common with them despite the vast differences in civilization that separate us. We do not know what the paintings mean, but we know something of the urge to paint.

The Church describes human beings as made in the image of the Logos. On that basis, we are sometimes hymned as “rational (logikos) sheep.” Human beings think and speak. There is a relationship between the thing that we perceive (say, an Auroch) and its depiction (a wall painting). The walls of the caves are covered in logoi, “words,” if only we knew how to read them!

When human beings speak, we inadvertently offer a world-beyond-the-world. There is the experience (my vacation), and there is the telling of the tale (“you won’t believe what happened on my vacation”). Were someone to insist that only the thing-itself mattered (“therefore, I don’t want to hear about your vacation”), the world would soon collapse into a muteness that even the animals transcend.

I believe that a common element within human experience can be suggested by the word “transcendent.” It is an experience of beauty, of goodness, of wonder, that goes beyond itself. It demands poetry and art, songs and symbols. And despite our love of technology and the giftedness of our machines, it is the transcendent that speaks most fluently to our lives. We get out of bed in the morning because of transcendence (or so I believe). The loss of transcendence is something akin to death.

With the experience of transcendence comes our effort to express it. We reach for words, for images, for symbols, for anything that suggests what we want to say. And, strangely, transcendence wants expression. We can only suppose that early humans found animals to be filled with wonder. Animals live, breathe, eat, multiply, but they also supply food. Their strength and their skills provoke admiration.

Much the same could be said of the stars. Our modern experience of the night sky is greatly limited, having become but a poor hint of its natural brilliance and wonder. The first time I saw a night sky in the high desert I was almost frightened. You could have read a book by the light of the Milky Way. When the Moon appeared, it loomed with a brightness I had never imagined. The stars we group together as the signs of the Zodiac were obvious: they begged to be named and observed.

All of these early observations suggested to our ancestors a world of meaning. Creation does not just exist: it is patterned. Seasons resonate with plants and animals and suggest their own reckoning.

In our modern period we see far less of the sky and animals, much less the plants and the movement of the seasons. Our houses are much the same temperature year-round. We are, instead, observant of a meta-world, the narrative of the endless news cycle, driven by disaster, fear, speculation, and distraction. Our advertising (always present) bathes us in oil, sugar, salt, and sex while promising an endless supply of dopamine.

I am struck by the preponderance of unbelief in our day and time. Frequently, the “problem of evil” is cited as an overwhelming obstacle to belief. I think of this in particular when I consider that antiquity was dominated by far more suffering on a daily basis than our present age. Our lives would seem magical in their easy dismissal of childhood diseases, our caloric intake, and the unending variety of all things offering themselves for consumption.

If, as I believe to be the case, we are created for wonder and transcendence, then it would seem that we are malnourished and suffer from starvation in our souls. If everything that troubles us within the “problem of evil” were to miraculously disappear, or even be diminished for the greater part, it would do nothing to nourish our souls. In a certain manner, we live in a vegetative state in which our “needs” are met while our true hunger is ignored.

The “belief” that is native to the human soul is among the casualties of the modern life-style (in all its aspects). We are not particularly nurtured with awe and wonder, but by the consumption of pleasure and the avoidance of pain. Our pleasure/pain principle has created a shallow culture. In short, we do not suffer well (as in somehow becoming better, more compassionate people), nor are our pleasures remotely sublime. Two words: reality tv. We have become a people among whom the cheap-shot versions of atheism easily prosper.

I have an aside that is worthy of note. I have been particularly struck over the years of my pastoral ministry at the abiding interest in the Church within the ever-shrinking community of young couples who are starting families. My experience is anecdotal, such that I can point to no statistics. But those conversations point me in the direction of transcendence. Few things in our modern lives are as primitive as childbearing. Indeed, there are more opportunities today for various iterations of “natural” child-birthing than there were 40 some-odd years ago when my wife and I were having our first. Equally of note is the inherent transcendence involved in the conception and birth of a child. It is risky, and involves a strong awareness of vulnerability. So much can go wrong. To raise a child attentively, is (and should be) awe-inspiring. They are examples of transcendence embodied.

The experience of belief begins, I think, with the experience of transcendence, the questions of meaning and significance. It is a conversation that struggles to find its way in a sea of commodities and mundane pleasure. We are not immune to the transcendent – but simply distracted.

In Jesus Christ, we confess, Transcendence became flesh and walked among us. He is the Gateway to seeing the fullness of all that is. To see this, of course, involves the healing of the soul. Beauty, Truth, Goodness are medicinal balms. It is a medicine that drips from every leaf, is painted across the sky, rests in the bosom of everyone we meet, and dwells secretly within our own heart.

In this day and time, we may largely be doing a ministry of “triage,” healing those souls that are given to us, and tending to our own wounds as well. Take time to breathe, to listen, to look, to look beyond, to yearn, to do something beautiful, to love, to forgive.

May God have mercy on our souls.

Fr. Stephen is a priest of the Orthodox Church in America, Pastor Emeritus of St. Anne Orthodox Church in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. He is also author of Everywhere Present and the Glory to God podcast series.

Sunday Services

8.00 am    Mass

10.00 am    Solemn Sung Mass

Weekday Services

Monday                       Fr Scott’s Day Off

Tuesday      10.00 am    Mass,

followed by gardening

Wednesday   8.00 am    Mass

Thursday    12 noon     Mass

Friday          8.00 am    Mass

Saturday       8.00 am    Mass

Consider giving to the church; our bank details are

BSB 105033 account 151992640

Please put “offering” in the description if that is the purpose.

July

1       Coming of the Light, First Missionaries to the Torres Strait, 1871

         1       Henry and John Venn, Priests, Evangelical Divines, 1797 and 1813

         3       PENTECOST 4

         6       John Fisher, Bishop of Rochester and Thomas More, Scholar, Martyrs, 1535

         9       BENEDICT OF NURSIA, Abbot of Monte Casino, Father of Western Monasticism, patron of Europe, c550 (from 11)

10       PENTECOST 5

       13       Sydney James Kirkby, bishop, pioneer of outback ministry and the Bush Church Aid Society, 1935

       14       JOHN KEBLE & THE FOUNDERS OF THE OXFORD MOVEMENT

       15       Bonaventure, Friar, Bishop, Teacher of the Faith, 1274

       17       CATHOLIC RENEWAL SUNDAY

       18       Elizabeth Ferard, first Deaconess of the Church of England, Founder of the Community of St Andrew, 1883

       19       Gregory of Nyssa, and his sister Macrina, Deaconess, Teachers of the Faith, c394 and c379

       20       Margaret of Antioch, Martyr, 4th Cent.

       20       Bartolmé de las Casas, Apostle to the Indies, 1566

         22          MARY MAGDALENE

       23       Bridget of Sweden, Abbess of Vadstena, Patron of Europe, 1373

         24          PENTECOST 7

         25          JAMES, APOSTLE AND MARTYR

       26       Anne and Joachim, Parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary

       27       Brooke Foss Westcott, Bishop of Durham, Teacher of the Faith, 1901

       29       Mary, Martha & Lazarus, Companions of the Lord

       30       William Wilberforce, Social Reformer, Olaudah Equiano and Thomas Clarkson: Anti-Slavery Campaigners, 1833, 1797 and 1846 & all Social Reformers

         31          PENTECOST 8

August

         1       Holy Men and Women of the Old Testament

         4       John-Baptist Vianney, the Curé d’Ars, Spiritual Guide, 1859

         5       Oswald, King of Northumbria, Martyr, 642

         6       THE TRANSFIGURATION OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST

7       PENTECOST 9

         7       John Mason Neale, Priest, Hymn Writer, 1866

         8       Dominic, Friar, Founder of the Order of Preachers, 1221

         8       Mary MacKillop of the Cross, Founder of the Sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred Cross, 1909

         9       Mary Sumner, Founder of the Mothers’ Union, 1921

       10       Laurence, Deacon at Rome, 258

       11       Clare of Assisi, Founder of the Minoresses (Poor Clares), 1253

       13       Jeremy Taylor, Bishop of Down & Connor, Teacher of the Faith, 1667

         14          PENTECOST 10

       15       MARY, MOTHER OF OUR LORD

       20       Bernard, Abbot of Clairvaux, Teacher of the Faith, 1153

       20       William and Catherine Booth, Founder of the Salvation Army, 1912 and 1890

         21          PENTECOST 11

       22       Mary, Queen of Heaven (Octave festival)

24       BARTHOLOMEW, APOSTLE AND MARTYR

27       Monica, Mother of Augustine of Hippo, 387

         28          PENTECOST 12

       28       Augustine, Bishop of Hippo, Teacher of the Faith, 430

       29       BEHEADING OF JOHN THE BAPTIST

       30       John Bunyan, Spiritual Writer, 1688

       31       Aidan, Bishop of Lindisfarne, Missionary, 651

 

Address for correspondence

The Parish of St George the Martyr,

The Rectory

34 Angus Street

Goodwood, SA, 5034