After Holy Week services which culminated in the Good Friday liturgy at St Mary’s and Christ Church we shared in the joyous celebration of the resurrection of our Lord, first at St Mary’s on Easter Eve and then at St George’s and Christ Church on Easter morning.
We were delighted to welcome Paquita Wise to our service at Christ Church last Sunday and to hear about the caring ministry of the Pantry Club which is based at 2 Chapel Street, just across the road from the Church. The Pantry Club supports members of the community who are financially struggling by supplying basic food for a minimal membership fee, which in turn will cut down their expenses. The Pantry Club, by nature, empowers people as it offers its members the opportunity to further help themselves and their families and households, rather than to simply provide a ‘handout’ or ‘quick fix’. The Pantry Club is now being supported by our gifts of food and other necessities which are dedicated before the Eucharist each fourth Sunday of the month. We were also able to make an immediate contribution to the ministry of the Pantry Club as Eileen Smith presented Paquita with a cheque for $300, the proceeds of the Harvest Festival Auction.
As a result of the adoption by the Diocesan Synod of the ORDINATION OF WOMEN TO THE OFFICE OF DEACON CANON 1985 of the General Synod it is now possible after thirty years experience in other Australian dioceses for a woman to be ordained Deacon in this diocese. We are therefore delighted that Margaret Holt has been accepted as a candidate for ordination and will be made Deacon at the Cathedral of St John the Baptist, Murray Bridge on Saturday 22 April.
The ecumenical World Day of Prayer service in Milang this year was held at St Mary’s on Friday 3 March at 7.30 pm. The service was hosted by the women of the congregation and we were fortunate that Margaret Holt was available to share her experience and insight in the sermon. This year’s focus was on the Philippines and the challenges faced by Filipino women, so we were delighted that some of the members of the local Filipino community were able to share in the service with us. The evening concluded with supper which included some very authentic Filipino dishes.
We had nearly a hundred people come on Shrove Tuesday to the Memorial Gardens for free pancakes and drinks. Nearly $500 was donated to support the Pantry Club which helps those in need. Thanks to the Inter-Church Council members from all the churches and Lions who helped make the evening a great success.
On the fifth Sunday of the month the various congregations of the Parish usually join together for a combined service. On Sunday 29 January, instead of being at one of the churches in Strathalbyn, Meadows, Langhorne Creek or Milang, the service was held at the Blackwell’s home in Lake Plains and followed by a barbecue lunch in very pleasant surroundings.
The various congregations were well represented and a number of members took part in the readings and in leading the prayers. The theme of the service was that we should give thanks for the blessings we have received, that we should care for the environment and share with those in need.
Most of those present were able to share in the wonderful lunch which between courses included the auction of the harvest gifts to raise funds to support the ministry of the Pantry Club in Strathalbyn. Afterwards there seemed to be no hurry to leave but eventually we had to drag ourselves away and return to everyday life
Welcome to IlKoo Kym Nelson who was baptised at Christ Church Strathalbyn on Saturday 10 December by Fr David Smith. He was accompanied by a large number of the members of his extended family and welcomed by a number of parishioners who were delighted to be able to attend. At the conclusion of the service the Mothers’ Union gave him a present to mark this joyous occasion before we all went to the Parish Hall for morning tea.
On Sunday 30th October, parishioners from all the parish centres gathered in Barry Potts’ shed for the quarterly combined Eucharist. Not only was the setting unusual, surrounded by Barry’s collection of farm tractors, but the intention of the Eucharist was the Blessing of the Vines in the Langhorne Creek Wine Region. We gave thanks to God for the wonderful area in which we live and prayed for the coming vintage and those involved in the work of the vineyards and wineries. We also remembered those in other parts of the world who need our prayers and help.
Following the service we enjoyed a shared lunch with a selection of roasts especially cooked for the occasion.
This year the boxes are being sent to Mongolia and the members of Ladies Fellowship got together in September to bring the various items needed to pack the Shoeboxes. Each box contained Something to love; Something to wear; Something for School; Something to play with; Something for personal hygiene; and Something special.
As Fr. Peter Carlsson was in Strathalbyn at the time he came to bless the items and boxes, offering that the Diocese would pay the $9 freight cost for each shoebox from the Mission Fund.
After the boxes had been filled, labelled in the categories: Boy or Girl, 2-4, 5-9, 10-14 years old and a label inserted sending love from Strathalbyn Ladies Fellowship, they were delivered by Raelee, Keven, David and Eileen to a drop off point in Goolwa ready for their onward journey and personal delivery by Samaritans Purse to the children for Christmas.
On Sunday 31 July we met at Christ Church for our fifth Sunday combined Eucharist and welcomed Steve Bengtsson from the Bible Society who spoke about about the history of the Bible Society in Australia.
Next year the Bible Society will be celebrating two hundred years of ministry in Australia, having been inaugurated at the instigation of Governor Lachlan Macquarie in Sydney on 7 March 1817. The Bible Society is the oldest continually operating organisation in Australia.
Following the service we shared lunch in the hall and welcomed Ian Morely who gave a presentation about this year’s Bible Society project, Get the Word Out in South Africa.