Last weekend, over three nights, our worship centre at All Saints in Arthur Street hosted a series of open-air movies under the stars, together with a barbeque and other refreshments. Particularly at the 6.30 pm 'family' showing, a good audience was present, enjoying Up, Lion King and Toy Story 3. We hope this may be a regular feature, maybe twice a year, as we enable All Saints to develop its life and ministry to the community.
All Saints is in some ways like a platypus: it easily goes unnoticed. Changes of time, activity and orientation at our other two parish worship centres has also seen it drift somewhat, especially after its regular members declined to make any time and worship changes in the 2013 parish review. For the 8 am regular worship time has clashed with the much bigger centre of St Luke's and there has been no clear focus for the future. With considerable faith and courage, All Saints congregation has however now launched themselves into a new time slot - 4.30 pm on a Sunday - and begun establishing new links and a refreshed profile for its surrounding community. Its hall is now certainly well-used during the week. It offers hospitality to both the Toowoomba Coptic and Greek Orthodox worshipping communities and it is a delightful setting for a wedding. Time will tell but we had a very encouraging gathering for worship at the first 4.30 pm service last week. Led by its current dynamic centre wardens, we hope it can therefore continue to claim its growing identity as 'Toowoomba's Village Church'.
In its remarkably unhelpful article on the Church of England's belated decision to move for female bishops, Catholic Online (15/7/14) makes one of those knee-jerk denominational reactions which do little credit to the wisdom of its own tradition, never mind the complex truth and relationships of ecumenical life. As a leading Roman Catholic communication channel, it is a disappointing response and one which must, at the very least, make many Catholics cringe. Whilst the article rightly raises the ecumenical challenge contained in the emergence of female bishops in the Anglican Communion, it vastly overstates the continuing divisions, ignores the nuances and other positive dynamics of Roman Catholic ecumenism, and, above all, fails to understand that the journey of Christian unity is not a one-way street. Perhaps, like other instinctive Christian reactionaries, the author feels a sense of betrayal as the Church of England stumblingly implements a very Catholic principle of doctrinal development to help ensure historic Christianity remains credible and alive in the changed context of the contemporary world...
Jo Inkpin is an Anglican priest serving as Minister of Pitt St Uniting Church in Sydney, a trans woman, theologian & justice activist. These are some of my reflections on life, spirit, and the search for peace, justice & sustainable creation.