Today is a sad day as we farewell Leonie Dekker from our staff. I have found Leonie to be a faithful and friendly co-worker. There have been times of embarrassment for me, when I have been discussing something with Leonie and expressing a desire to have a poster that would depict something in particular and then have Leonie swing the screen around to me and ask, “Something like this?” It was exactly what I wanted. How could she do this so quickly? At times I worried in case Leonie was reading my mind, but she said she didn’t. In so many ways we were on the same page and shared one focus for the parish. So, I thank God for Leonie and wish her well in the future. I’m sure such a creative and energetic person will not be retired for long.
This provides us all with the task of a future without Leonie. What does God have in store? I am sad that Leonie is leaving, but I have a sense of excitement about the future. In the next edition of The Melbourne Anglican you will see an advertisement for a Children’s and Youth Worker for All Souls. This advertisement has been circulated widely. If you know of somebody who might be interested in this role please pass on the information to them.
Anglican clergy are expected to say the daily office (ie daily prayers and scripture reading). Each day I read the following and it excites me:
As we rejoice in the gift of this new day,
so may the light of your presence, O God,
set our hearts on fire with love for you;
now and for ever.
When I consider the God whom I serve, how can I stay sad for long? May God set your heart on fire as you seek to serve him today and in the days ahead.
Thom Rainer published this during the week …
Baby Boomers Are Returning to Church
The rebellious generation may become the religious generation.
Baby boomers, those born between the years 1946 to 1964, are becoming more involved in church.
One of the most significant longitudinal studies (a study over many years) ever done provides a treasure trove of information for church leaders.
This discovery is the major finding from the latest wave of data collected from the Longitudinal Study of Generations, which was originally developed in 1970 at USC by then-assistant professor Vern Bengston. His successors have collected a ninth round of data in this 45-year study. The research was funded by the John Templeton Foundation.
Here is the gem in the study: One in five boomers have increased their religious and church activity in the past few years.
Don’t take that statement lightly. Among the boomer generation, 20 percent are becoming more receptive to faith and church. That’s approximately 19 million boomers when the percentage is applied to the entire generation.
The study cited three major reasons for this shift:
1 Boomers have more time, and they want to use that extra time pursuing a more meaningful life, including church.
2 Boomers are becoming more aware of the brevity of life and are seeking answers to questions they had not previously asked.
3 Boomers are more aware of the fragility of life. They don’t have the young and healthy bodies they once had. Such an awareness is driving them to find more meaning in the lives they do have.
Be ready to welcome them at All Souls.
Like me you must have been so pleased to hear that the boys in Thailand trapped in a cave had been rescued. On Wednesday last the Herald Sun had the headline “World’s Prayers Answered.” Prayer was mentioned on the front page of a daily paper. I had also noticed that many a TV news presenter had also said something along the lines of the boys being in our thoughts and prayers. In the emergency that these boys faced many people turned to prayer.
The cynic in me might ask what people meant by prayer – wishful thinking, positive thoughts – which might well be prayer, but to whom are the prayers addressed?
Archbishop Glenn Davies of Sydney wrote recently, “Prayer in the presence of God is the appropriate response of those made in the image of God, who know they fall short of the glory of God, yet who rest upon his promise of forgiveness when they stand before their Maker.”
I am certainly one who dreams of futuristic outcomes, wishes to understand the present and reflects on times past. Prayer for me, however, is communication with the living God. As I commence I seek to put my relationship with God in a positive place, which I do by confessing my sin, and then I feel free to go on and discuss various things with God and make requests of him.
I prayed for the safe evacuation of the boys from the cave and then upon hearing that all were rescued we offered thanks to God and prayed for their future good health.
God is always ready to hear from us, but our fallen state means that we have to confess our failings to him, seek is forgiveness and then proceed with adoration, thanksgiving and requests.
Bless you as you pray.
All Souls Sandringham