Avril at Romsey

… and Lancefield and Riddells Creek and Mount Macedon

Moments in Ministry: An occasional series

The Intern Phase is meant to be a time of intensive learning about ministry. After the Mount Macedon Service in the Park a few weeks ago, one thing I have learned is that it is best not to have communion in a place frequented by magpies. (Breaking bread with a mother and baby magpie hovering at my shoulder was somewhat nerve-wracking.) Also, using a picnic table as the communion table is very hard on the knees. (I had to kneel on one of the immovable bench seats in order to preside.) 

Service in the Park

After the service I joined some of the children of the congregation on the play-equipment. Since I’m much taller than any of them and have much longer legs, I could take the stairs three at a time and swing over fences that they found to be barriers. The children decided this was unfair. Or, as three-year-old Robbie put it to his mother, “God is cheating!” I am profoundly worried about the future theological development of any child who thinks that I am God.

Last weekend I went to the Victorian Council of Churches’ AGM. The VCC, unlike the Uniting Church, gives people titles on their name tags, maybe because of the wide variety of titles bestowed on people by the various member churches. This means that I was “Dr’ on my name tag. Twice I was addressed by someone as “Doctor” and both times I literally looked around to see who the person was talking to. No one calls me “Doctor,” with the single exception of the Blood Bank staff when I ring to make an appointment. It felt a little weird. Almost unAustralian.

Caro Field guest preached at Riddells Creek and Mount Macedon a few weeks ago. Now, I like Caro. I have fun when she comes to stay and I’ve only heard good things about the services she takes. But maybe she’s just a little too good? With great glee the members of the Riddells Creek and Mount Macedon congregations told me that Caro not only led a good service and preached a good sermon, she also sang! Caro is a member of the Melbourne Chorale – of course she can sing! Humph. The praise of my congregations was so great, and the contrast with my own absolute inability to hold a tune drawn so strongly, that I told them I didn’t think I’d turn up next Sunday.

Most exciting moment of my time here in the Macedon Ranges so far – last week I got ducted heating! Romsey now has natural gas. No more buying huge gas bottles for the heater on the wall; no more need to light a fire; no more sitting at my computer wearing several jumpers and a pair of gloves. So very, very happy!

And of such moments my Intern Phase is made.


May 12, 2008 - Posted by | Ministry


  1. I’m only sorry you’re not “Dr Jones.”

    Comment by Olivia | May 12, 2008 | Reply

  2. Thanks Avril, it’s always nice to have a fan club 🙂

    I’m sure your congregations are glad that you didn’t make good on your threat not to turn up the next Sunday, (even though it must have been very tempting with that toasty warm new ducted heating just to stay at home and enjoy the warmth).

    and I still can’t get over the fact that you are Damien’s cousin… I feel like I’ve been transported back to Tasmania, where everyone is related to someone I know!

    Comment by Caro | May 14, 2008 | Reply

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