Sunday 18th November
8.45 am Mt Victoria Morning Servicer Tim McIver
 10.30 am Blackheath Morning Service Tim McIver

1st Reading: Exodus 12:1-30
 2nd Reading: Matthew 6:19-34

Prayer leaders
St Peter’s:
St Aidan’s:

Rector’s Weekly News Article

Discrimination

The last few weeks you may have seen in the media the ongoing controversy regarding a letter which was signed by the heads of a number of Anglican schools in the Diocese. The letter was written to affirm the right of Anglican Schools to hire staff in accord with Anglican beliefs.

I don’t mean to go into all the details of this particular issue here. It’s a complicated one and even the Archbishop has apologised for the unfortunate and unintended consequences of the letter (though he did not apologise for what it was actually intended to say). In this article I just want to say a few things about discrimination.

Discrimination has become a dirty word in our society. There is good reason for this. When we think about discrimination we immediately think about people being denied opportunities because of their gender or some other physical attribute about which a person has no control. It seems therefore that to discriminate based on those things would be wrong and unfair. This however is not always the case.

Discriminating against someone because of a physical attribute over which they have no control is not always wrong. The important factor is not whether they have the power to change but rather whether the physical attribute is relevant to task at hand.

If someone was applying for a job as a bus driver the colour of their skin has no bearing whatsoever to them doing that job. It would obviously be wrong to discriminate based on skin colour in this case. However, if the person applying for the bus driving had been born blind, well that would be quite different. It would be quite appropriate in this case to discriminate based on this person’s ability to drive!

Many people would argue that a teacher in a Christian school is simply a teacher and that what they believe and how they conduct themselves outside of school hours is irrelevant and therefore not appropriate grounds for discriminating. This view fails to understand the purpose of Christian schools. While I can’t speak for purpose of all church based schools, it is safe to say that religious schools exist so that children might be educated in accord with the teachings and beliefs of that religion. It is not possible for a Christian school to be Christian if the staff are not Christian. It is not possible for a school to be Anglican if the staff to do not hold to Anglican beliefs. If a person does not live in accord with Christian beliefs then they are not qualified for the job of a Christian educator. Schools must be allowed to hire people based on criteria which are highly relevant to the position.

Many people outside the church are outraged by our desire to employ Christians in particular roles within church organisations. The presumption is that whether you are a Christian or not is not a big deal and doesn’t really effect anything. They cannot understand why we don’t simply believe the same things as the average person on the street. We must not forget that our job as Christians is not to follow the world and seek to appease them. Our job is to be light and salt in the world. Of course we believe different things to those who believe there is no God.

Pray for our schools and particularly the heads of our schools. That they might stand firm in believing the things that Christians believe and not be swayed by the pressures of this world.

Yours in Christ, Tim
 

Blackheath Parish Women’s Event – Saturday 24th November at 2pm “A Window into Worship”. Jodie McIver will be the very special speaker.

 Toys’n’Tucker for 2018 is on again. Flyers will be available soon. Leave any non-perishable food items or toys at the back of each church. Collection day will be Thursday 13th December.

Care & Share Support – if you or someone you know needs this service at any time please contact Judy Dyer, Judith Finney or Carol in the church office.

OTHER MEETINGS

* Prayer meeting at St Peter’s each Sunday at 8am
* Teens Bible Study Group meet during school term every Sunday during the service at St Aidan’s Blackheath.
* 1st Sunday of month 9.30am  Prayer Meeting at St Aidan’s
* 3rd Saturday of month 8.30am Prayer Meeting at St Aidan’s
* Tuesday  Playcentre St Aidan’s –  10am
* Thursday
Kids’ Club St Peter’s Hall 3.15-4.30pm
* Friday
Imprint Youth   (High School age group)   St Aidan’s Hall 7pm-9pm
* St Peter’s Church Committee meets second Thursday of each month 4.30pm in the hall.
* St Aidan’s Church Committee meets fourth Thursday each month 3pm
* 1st Tuesday
of each month – Women’s Business 7.30pm St Peter’s Hall Mt Victoria
* Men’s Coffee Morning 1st and 3rd Friday at 10am Check News sheet for venue
* Care and Share 2nd Friday of each month at 10.30am
* Growth groups meet weekly in Blackheath, Mt Victoria and Hartley.  Further details under Ministry/Growth Groups

     Sunday 25th November
    Bible Readings
    1st Reading: Exodus 12: 31-51
     2nd Reading: Matthew 7:1-34
    Prayer Leaders
    St Peter’s: David Doyle
    St Aidan’s: Judith Finney

PRAYER POINTS

Colossians 4:3 “Pray for us, that God will open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ”

 # Our Church Family Pray that the joy of Christ would remain prominent in the hearts of those now in aged care facilities – Shirley McDonald & Irene Komcincko both at Martyn Claver, Mary Broome in Morven Gardens, John Aitkens at Wahroonga, Jessie Macaulay in Pitt Town and Claire Jones in Bathurst. Pray for Warwick & Sue Atkinson, also Dagmar & Hugh Rees, Bill & Trishy Smith and Sue Groves as they all deal with health issues.
# Pray for Care and Share’s ministry and for the outreach service they provide.
# Pray for our Growth Groups, seven in all, meeting somewhere in the Parish each day of the week during school terms. Pray for the leaders as they study and help all who attend to see the gospel message clearly.
# Pray for the Men’s Coffee Morning and the Ladies Coffee Morning both held in Mt Victoria for the whole Parish and for the monthly Women’s Business Group held in St Peter’s hall and the Monthly Morning Tea at Hartley in the Lolly Shop, as we reach out to others in the community.

Our Sunday Ministry # Pray for Tim as he brings us God’s Word that by the Holy Spirit, the Word will challenge and change us. Pray for all who visit any services that they will feel welcome and seek to learn more.
# Pray for all who enrich our worship through song, Bible readings, prayers, provision of morning and afternoon teas, supper, and the welcoming of the newcomer.
# Pray for Michelle Seers making Jesus known in her various roles. Pray for her health and wellbeing. Pray for the many situations she has in the Parish overseeing activities with women and young people.

Our Committees and Parish Council # Pray that our meetings will see us thanking the Lord for guidance, growth and provision. Please pray for the provision of someone willing and able to fill the role of Parish Treasurer as work commitments for Peter  have made him unable to continue into the future.

The World
# Pray for the Lord’s mercy in the provision of peace in the midst of the pain and suffering of war, the peace that only faith in Jesus can bring. Pray that our governments in Australia will choose to lead us in Christ honouring ways.

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