Avril at Romsey

… and Lancefield and Riddells Creek and Mount Macedon

Sermon for the Presbytery Retreat

Luke 13:10-17

I love Facebook. I resisted it for years, until I finally succumbed to keep in touch with my classmates from Bossey, once the World Council of Churches had seen enough of us and sent us all back to our countries of origin. I’ve discovered, since signing on, that Facebook hosts quite a nice little Uniting Church ministerial community. It’s where I find out what Peter and Cynthia are doing; what movies Charles has been watching; how Tony’s family is; how Marion’s settling into her new house; how life in Queensland is treating Blair. It’s also a place where colleagues can share resources that they’ve found useful, which is how I was sent an article called “No Rest for the Holy: Clergy Burnout a Growing Concern”.[1] Continue reading


August 20, 2010 Posted by | Life, etc. | , | 5 Comments

The ‘real’ meaning of Christmas?

There have been so many articles in newspapers and magazines over the past few weeks about “the real meaning of Christmas” that I wanted to have my say, too. This is the sermon I preached at Riddells Creek and Mount Macedon Uniting Churches on the 20th of December.

Luke 1:39-56

I think that this fourth Sunday of Advent is my favourite Sunday, not only in Advent, but in the whole Christmas season. Of course, Christmas Eve, with its sense of tiptoe anticipation, is wonderful. On Christmas Day we celebrate the coming of God as a baby, and there are few things in the world more exciting than the arrival of a baby. But despite all the anticipation and joy of these days we can lose sight of the absolute unlikely wonder of what happened at Christmas. The birth of Jesus can become cute, rather than a radical overturning of everything we thought we knew. The story and the song that we hear today are different. There are many places in the community where we can hear the story of the birth in the stable, see the baby in the manger. But it’s only in churches that we hear Mary singing her song of liberation. It’s the Magnificat, and all that it implies, that makes Christmas Christian. Continue reading

December 24, 2009 Posted by | Ministry | , , , | 1 Comment