Avril at Romsey

… and Lancefield and Riddells Creek and Mount Macedon

Sermon: People of Yesterday and Tomorrow

John, the Anglican priest at Charlton, invited me to preach at St Martin’s afternoon eucharist. I met John when I visited Charlton after the 2011 floods with the Victorian Council of Churches’ Emergency Chaplaincy team, when both his house and the church had been flooded. We bonded over Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and it was lovely to go back up and see the refurbished church. Plus, John bought me pizza and gave me a copy of What would Buffy Do? The Vampire Slayer as Spiritual Guide!

Sermon for Charlton – 14th of October 2012

Mark 10:17-31

When I asked John what he wanted me to preach on this afternoon, whether on a theme or on any particular one of today’s lectionary readings, he suggested that I preach on the passage from the gospel which he described as: ‘always a tough one to preach on’. And it is! I looked back to see what I’d said on this passage three years ago, the last time the lectionary gave it to us, and discovered that I hadn’t said anything about it – I’d preached on the reading from Job. But, since John asked me, let’s spend some time pondering today’s gospel passage. Continue reading


October 16, 2012 Posted by | Ministry | , , , | Leave a comment

Sermon: The Question of Divorce

Sermon for Riddells Creek and Mount Macedon

7th of October 2012

Mark 10:2-16

One of the criticisms frequently made of Christianity is that it’s patriarchal, that it perceives women as second-class human beings. I believe that some parts of the Church are guilty of this;[1] but looking at the way Jesus is portrayed in the gospels we can see that that’s not how Christianity started. One of the things that we can be certain we know about Jesus is that he radically challenged the patriarchy of his times. Today’s reading is just one example of that. Continue reading

October 10, 2012 Posted by | Ministry | , , | Leave a comment

The Biblical Bathsheba and Her Afterlives

Sermon for Romsey Uniting Church, 29 July 2012

2 Samuel 11:1-15


Today, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to put on my historian’s hat. Today our reading from the Hebrew Scriptures, from the second book of Samuel, tells the story of David’s seduction of Bathsheba and his decision to murder her husband, and it does not contain a single mention of God. It’s next week, in the second part of the story, that the Prophet Nathan will tell David how YHWH feels about his actions. Today we just have the tale of those actions, and what I want to do is take us on a quick tour of how this story have been told and retold over the centuries, asking whether there is in that history any lessons for us today. Continue reading

July 27, 2012 Posted by | Ministry, Slightly Higher Culture | , , , , | Leave a comment

Sermon for Pentecost: We are not left alone.

Sermon for Romsey and Lancefield Uniting Churches
Pentecost, 27th of May, 2012

Ezekiel 37:1-14
Acts 2:1-21
John 15:26-27, 16:4b-15

Today we celebrate the gift of the Holy Spirit to Jesus’ disciples at Pentecost, the event that we remember as the birth-day of the church. Today is a day of loud and joyful celebration, coloured red for the Spirit in the liturgical calendar, as we envisage a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and divided tongues, as of fire. In the Gospel according to John the Spirit is given to the disciples quietly, behind closed doors, as Jesus breathes on them; when Luke tells the tale the uproar is so extreme that bystanders think that the disciples are drunk. Continue reading

May 29, 2012 Posted by | Life, etc. | , , , , , , | Leave a comment