On Saturday 21 March 2015 members of Strathalbyn Parish, together with folk from as far away as Renmark and Christies Beach met with Bishop Michael Langrish at Mount Barker to consider a biblical model for the mission of the Church in rural areas.
Bishop Michael who is a former Bishop of Exeter, an English diocese which includes many rural communities in Devon, described the kind of situation which is faced by the Church in many country villages there as more and more people move away from the cities to live in the country. Surprisingly the situation there is not dissimilar to that which we experience in our country towns.
In order to meet the challenge which this new situation brings he presented us with a biblical model based on the history of the people of Israel and the story of the development of the Church as it spread from Jerusalem into all the world. This was then illustrated by reference to the way in which the Church was brought to England in past centuries and then to Australia in more recent times.
We came away with a great deal to think about and to share with our fellow parishioners in the weeks ahead.
This year’s World Day of Prayer service was held on Friday 6th March in the Strathalbyn Catholic Church and hosted by the Anglican ladies. About fifty people took part, representing the Uniting Church, Church of Christ and the Lutheran, Catholic, Baptist and Anglican churches.
Jan Payne welcomed everyone and led the service. Expanding on the theme, “Do you know what I have done to you?” a bowl, jug, towels and twelve pairs of sandals were placed near the altar (see above). Because the national bird of the Bahamas is the Flamingo, two large birds were also part of the display.
A DVD showed many aspects of life and the scenery in the islands.
The guest speaker, Eileen Smith from the Anglican Church spoke of the hidden poverty and the hardships which exist in the apparent paradise. She then described the radical way in which Jesus showed his love to the disciples.
The amazing amount of $401.00 was raised for ongoing work in various centres.
Following the service those present shared in the fellowship of a cuppa and a chat and thus concluded a night which also provided plenty of food for thought.
Many thanks to the Catholic ladies for all their help with the change of venue made necessary by the renovating at the Anglican Church.
This year the Strathalbyn Inter-Church Council took on the challenge of providing the entertainment following the annual Christmas Pagent. A large crowd was present on the lawns beside the Angas River for a concert featuring local artists before the evening concluded with a fantastic fire-works display. The organisers and performers deserve our thanks for the effort they put into the arrangements for the evening.