Thursday, January 6, 2011

Farewell to Robert Trumble

Not all of us at St Mary's will remember Robert Trumble.  He and Joan worshipped at St Mary's for many years, and made a huge contribution to our community.  A few years back they moved over the Kew, and have been worshipping at Holy Trinity Anglican church.  Robert passed away in his sleep earlier this week, and his funeral will be at Holy Trinity (corner of High and Pakington Streets) at 11am on Friday January 6. 

Please pray for Joan and the family at this time.  Their children are Simon and Christine.

Robert came from a large family of 8 brothers and sisters, of which he was youngest and the last surviving child.  He was a renowned musicologist and author.  A gentle and committed Christian, Robert had an inquiring mind, and included among his extensive library many works of theology, with pencilled marks on most of the pages.

Robert's  father, Hugh Trumble, was a well-known Australian cricketer, and test captain, who retired from test cricket in 1904!   Robert was truly the last of his generation, whose father was born before St Mary's old blue stone church had even been built.


Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Unborn Paradox by Ross Douthat - NY Times

"This is the paradox of America’s unborn. No life is so desperately sought after, so hungrily desired, so carefully nurtured. And yet no life is so legally unprotected, and so frequently destroyed."
Read the whole article by Ross Douthat from the New York Times: The Unborn Paradox.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Condolences for Al-Qiddisin Church in Alexandria and Copts everywhere

I write to express my profound sorrow beyond words, and to extend condolences to the families and friends of the 22 martyrs killed and to more than 90 people who were wounded in the bomb attack on Al-Qiddisin (The Saints) church in Alexandria on New Year's Eve.

I also extend my condolences to the whole Coptic people, and the Coptic church and its leaders, including a community of over 100,000 Copts living in Australia.  As an Australian Anglican priest, I wish particularly to express my support for Pope Shenouda at this time, and also for  Bishop Suriel of the Diocese of Melbourne and Affiliated Regions, and for Father Tadros, Vicar General of the Diocese of Sydney and Affiliated Regions.  These leaders carry a weighty burden of care for their people, as they prepare to lead them in celebrations of Christmas this Friday, January 7, 2011.

So many have been deeply affected by this shocking atrocity, which targeted peaceful worshipers in a way intended to exact maximum casualties. People came to pray, seeking peace for the new year ahead, and were instead subjected to an inhuman act of cruelty and hatred.

The Alexandria attack is the worst in recent memory of a series of assaults on Copts and their places of worship.  Indeed the year of 2010 began with a shooting massacre of Christian worshipers outside Nag Hammadi Cathedral on January 7, the occasion of the Coptic Christmas Eve.

Although this latest attack has been denounced by Egyptian authorities, it has taken place in a climate of growing official discrimination against the Christians of Egypt, including against converts to Christianity.

I deplore the lack of freedom of religion in Egypt,  the authorities' apparent unwillingness to protect the indigenous Christian minority and its places of worship, and the lamentable track record of the Egyptian justice system in securing criminal convictions against those who have targeted Christians for attack.  I call upon Egypt's leaders to respond to these abuses honestly and with integrity, without making excuses or indulging in denial.

I also deplore the complicity of some Middle Eastern community leaders and media organizations, who have inflamed a climate of incitement against indigenous Christians, one of the worst recent examples being the interview of Mohammad Salim Al Awa by Ahmed Mansour on Al-Jazeera TV, which went to air on September 115, 2010.  This interview made repeated outrageous and false allegations against the Coptic church and its leaders, which have subsequently even been invoked by Al-Qa'ida in connection with deadly attacks on Christians elsewhere in the Middle East.

The Copts are the direct continuation of the indigenous Christian community in Egypt, founded by St Mark.  They have maintained a faithful witness to Apostolic Faith in Christ through two thousand years of trials and persecution.  I am confident that this latest attack will not shake their will to maintain this witness in their ancestral land.  In the spirit of Matthew 10:42, I call upon Christians throughout the world to offer compassion, practical support and prayers for the Copts, which they sorely need at this most painful of times.

Farewell for Ken and Allison Thompson

A farewell and commissioning service for the Thompsons, St Mary's link missionaries to Cambodia, will be held this Saturday, January 8th at 4pm. Location is 63 Wiseman Road, Silvan, Melways 123 G5. It will be outdoors at the Thompsons' farm, so there is plenty of room. Please bring your own picnic blanket, chairs, picnic, plates, cups, food, meat etc. There will have a BBQ set up for those who want to cook meat and water and cold drinks are provided, Everyone is welcome.