Monday, September 22, 2008

Synod Opening Worship at St Michael's

from w
Sunday afternoon Peceli and I went up to Melbourne for the opening worship for the Synod of Victoria and Tasmania of the Uniting Church. About a thousand people packed into the attractive old (once upon a time Congregational) space. A building about 140years old I think. I used to go to this church when I was about 18 as it was like a breath of fresh air. Nowadays there is a kerfuffle as the current clergyman, Dr Francis Macnab, has announced in the media last week that he has gone kind of New Age in his old age! Throwing out much of the Bible and traditional views of most Christians. So it ironic for the Uniting church (which is mainstream though with liberal elements) to have the worship there. The Moderator made a beaut faux pas in welcoming everyone to St Francis church instead of St Michael's church! So Dr Macnab is now a saint, I wondered.

Anyway the afternoon went splendidly with an orchestra and choir from Albury, symbolic gifts from our Aboriginal Congress friends from Geelong, migrants, and people from many towns and cities. The organist Rhys Boak was amazing when he played the 'Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves' from Nabucca.(I have the piano music of it but there are six sharps to sort out!) The organ music was stunning.

There was a genial spirit in the air, positive vibes, a sermon about being engaged with the communities where we live, and of course beaut songs by John Bell and Robin Mann as well as a token old Methodist hymn 'O for a thousand tongues to sing'. My comfort zone.

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