4.30 pm, Christ Church Strathalbyn, Crib Service
7.30 pm, St George’s Meadows, Eucharist
7.30 pm, St Mary’s Milang, Eucharist
9.30 am, Christ Church Strathalbyn, Eucharist
On Saturday 20 October 2018 Deacon Margaret Holt who is a member of the Third Order, Society of St Francis made her vow to live a consecrated life öf simplicity, chastity and obedience to Christ after the example of St Francis and St Clare”.
Her vow was received by the Bishop of The Murray, Bishop John Ford during the celebration of the Eucharist at which the sermon was given by the Provincial Minister of the Society of St Francis, Third Order in Australia, Bishop Godfrey Fryar.
The service was held at Christ Church, Strathalbyn and was attended by many of Margaret’s friends from the Parish, the Third Order and the wider Church community.
“All Christians are consecrated to God through baptism. However, God calls some to a more definite living out of their baptismal vows through a life marked by prayer and service. This life is usually lived with others also motivated in the same way.
“A traditional way in which this more intensely consecrated life has been lived is through taking religious vows. In the Benedictine tradition these vows are stability, conversion of life and obedience. For the mendicant and other orders which came later these vows are usually expressed as poverty, chastity and obedience.
“People with these vows usually live together in community, sharing their life with other similarly vowed religious. Each community (or congregation or Order) has a particular characteristic – its charism – the thing which God has called it to do and equipped it for. Some are mainly contemplative. Their members work mostly within the monastery or convent and have ministries such as running a guest house or making and selling handcrafts. Others are more active, and more likely to be working in the wider world around them.
“All these communities are sustained by regular times of prayer together, forming part of the rhythm of day, and giving shape to the work and other ministries.
“In every age there have been new forms of community life which have kept some traditional elements of the life, but have also added new features in response to different needs in the world around them. These days the movement known as “New Monasticism” is one of these new forms. Each community is different but they include commitment to prayer, social justice, evangelism, and to living with each other in community. These communities usually include single people and married couples and perhaps families.
“Another form of consecrated life is that of living as a consecrated single person. This is essentially a “hidden life” – without any distinct dress or title.
“The Anglican Church in Australia has an Advisory Council formed of leaders of the “traditional” forms of community as well as representatives of the wider church. This Council, although mainly concerned with the “traditional” forms of religious community life, also has an interest in single consecrated life and is currently considering providing some form of networking of “new” forms of community life and the possibility of official acknowledgement for such communities.”
The Strathalbyn Branch of the Mothers’ Union celebrated 120 years at its meeting on Tuesday 8th May at St George’s Meadows.
The first Mothers’ Union was formed in 1876 by Mary Sumner in Old Arlesford, in the south England. By 1885 it was a diocesan organisation in Winchester and quickly spread across England and then internationally as women migrated. In 1896 a Central Council was formed and in 1925 central headquarters were established in London. The Union received a Royal Charter in 1926 – the first granted to a religious and a women’s organisation. Until the 1970s, divorced women were excluded from membership.
The first Australian Mothers’ Union was formed in Cullenswood, Tasmania, in 1892, closely followed in South Australian 1895 when introduced by Lady Victoria Buxton and Dorothy Harmer – the wives of the Governor and the Anglican Bishop. Within five years there were 49 branches with 1,350 members across the state.
By 1904, Unions had been established in all Australian states. In the early 1900s, the Union frequently co-operated with other Christian women’s organisations, and sometimes the National Councils of Women, in campaigns for political and social reforms. Early activities included, for example, campaigns for the provision of sex education for children, censorship of films and the Bush Nursing Service. Its national journal, Mothers in Australia (from 1945 Mianza and from 1960 Mia, Mia) was established in 1917. The Union’s literature includes reams of advice about child rearing. While promoting Christian women’s influence in the wider society, the Union did not support the idea of working women.
Source: The Australian Women’s Register
The following news item appeared in the pages of The Mount Barker Courier and Onkaparinga and Gumeracha Advertiser on the 17th December 1897.
“The Governor and Lady Victoria Buxton being on a visit to Strathalbyn, the opportunity was taken of asking her ladyship to attend a meeting in the institute on Monday afternoon for the purpose of establishing a branch of the Mothers’ Union. Although only a few hours’ notice had been given a fair number of ladies attended the meeting, and the Rev. A. Wheeler, the incumbent of Christ Church, presided. Lady Victoria Buxton gave a touching address on the objects and work of the society, remarking that although the society was worked on church lines that was not a barrier to any mother joining the union.”
On Wednesday 24 January the Bishop commissioned the Reverend Daniel Irvine as an Assistant Priest in the Parish of Mount Barker, a ministry which will also extend to the churches in and around Strathalbyn. Jasamine will continue as Bishop’s Secretary and Registry Clerk. We are looking forward to welcoming them both to Strathalbyn.
On Sunday 21 January the Bishop visited Strathalbyn to confirm three young people during the usual Sunday morning Eucharist. This is quite a milestone as it is seventeen years since the last Confirmation was held in the Church. The confirmees were supported by their families and sponsors who joined the congregation for morning tea in the hall at the conclusion of the service.
There was a good roll up of parishioners for the combined fifth Sunday Eucharist at St Mary’s Milang. The celebrant was the Rev’d Alex Stone who was assisted by Deacon Margaret Holt. Organist was Marlene Potts and the readers were Kate Gibson and Brian Landseer.
We had hoped to share a barbecue lunch in the Soldiers Memorial Gardens but the strong north wind and total fire ban resulted in transferring the meal to the Institute Supper Room across the road.
While the meat was being cooked at a nearby parishioner’s home we were able to catch up on the latest news and share a drink, according to individual tastes. We were delighted at this time to find that an invitation to the local Uniting Congregation to join us for lunch had been accepted and our gathering took on an ecumenical flavour.
Of course there was plenty of food for everyone, whether sausages, patties, salads or sweets; and good conversation as well; so there was no hurry on anyone’s part to make an early departure.
The Good Shepherd Church Hall was filled to capacity on Saturday evening, 7th October by folk from all of Strathalbyn’s churches who met together, not only in good fellowship, but for a good cause- the support of the Strathalbyn Churches Bookshop.
This year marks the fortieth anniversary of the bookshop which began in 1977 trading half a day a week in a Church foyer on the main street. It moved to the current shop premises in 1991.
As well as stocking new and second hand religious books the shop keeps a collection of cards and gifts and its photo kiosks make digital photo printing available in our country town. Photocopying is also available.
A good number of friends from the church and other community organizations gathered at the Anglican Church Hall on Tuesday 20 August to wish Val Ball a happy and contented life in her new home at Malvern. We enjoyed a very pleasant afternoon tea together and presented Val with a beautiful arrangement of flowers. In the wider community Val is remembered as active in local government as the first female elected to the Strathalbyn Council, as Mayor and as Senior Executive of the Local Government Association. She was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia in the 1998 Australia Day Honours for her service to local government and the community.