Month: April 2021

New Parenting Podcast Out Now

In this Parenting Session, parenting expert and mother of two, Rachel Schofield explains how to use Giggle Games. These games help a child adjust to a new sibling, assist to settle squabbles between children and build lasting sibling bonds. The podcast contains great tips on what games to play and the effectiveness of Giggle Games to help children in dealing with issues.

Healing Our World

A reminder that the ‘Healing Our World’ retreat at St Clement’s Conference Centre in Galong, NSW will take place from October 5 to 8. ‘Healing Our World’ is an Australian Ecumenical response to global health crises drawing on:

1. Laudato Si’ – On Care for our Common home

2. Fratelli Tutti – Fraternity & Social Friendship

3. The Economy of Francesco- A response to the world’s inequalities

4. The United Nations Decade on Ecosystem Restoration.

To Register or express interest, email the centre at: info@stclement.com.au or phone at 02 6380 5222.

Climate Changes Everything

Climate change is a serious issue for the entire planet, but especially for those nations in the developing world. Wealthier countries like Australia have a responsibility to protect the poorest and most vulnerable among us. There is a notion that relying less on fossil fuels will have an immediate and negative impact for people living in poverty. This video challenges that view and argues that our changing climate will have more of an impact on those at the margin.

Majellan Family Prayers

Families often face a range of challenges and experiences. But a meaningful prayer life will help get your family through the tough times. So, ‘toughing it out’ is the theme of this week’s Magellan Family Prayer. If you are interested in more prayers for your family, a great resource can be found in Renee Bartkowski’s ”Family Prayers for Daily Grace’. Click below to find out more.

Committing to a higher power

Committing to a higher power
I was recently re-watching the American political drama series, The West Wing. In one episode the White House chief of staff, Leo McGarry (played by John Spenser) who is a recovering alcoholic offers comfort to the deputy chief of staff, Josh Lyman (played by Bradley Whitford) during a period when Josh is suffering with PTSD.

McGarry tells Lyman this story: There was a guy who one day when walking along a footpath fell down an open manhole and was trapped in a deep trench. Several people walked by and, despite his calls for help, none paid him any attention.

Eventually a friend of his came along and, recognising his pal he called, “Hey Harry! Can you give me a hand? I am stuck in this trench and can’t get out!”
Harry immediately leaps down into the trench. His friend looks at him incredulously and sputters, “Harry, what are you doing? Now we are both trapped!”

Harry turns to his friend and says, “Hey! It’s ok! I’ve been down here before, and I know the way out!”

The point of the story was that McGarry, as a recovering alcoholic, knew exactly what it was like to suffer mental anguish and hopelessness. As someone who had found a ‘way out’, he could offer Lyman empathy, support, and direction as Lyman tried to navigate his depression.

The potency of the Easter story is that Jesus has been there before us. He has suffered the worst that life can dish up; and has, not only found a way out, but has become our ‘way out’. His death and resurrection are the guarantor that, as the Psalmist proclaimed, “The Lord hears when I call out” (Ps 4:4).
The Easter story is neither a simple sop for broken hearts, nor an empty reassurance that God will rescue us from our troubles. As today’s gospel demonstrates, Jesus was raised still bearing the wounds of his suffering.

God did not spare Jesus the cross despite his “agony in the garden.”
Similarly, the character of Leo McGarry in The West Wing was a “recovering alcoholic.” He was not cured of his alcoholism. Through his participation in Alcoholics Anonymous, McGarry had committed his alcoholism to a “higher Power” and, thereby, found the strength to “not take the next drink”. But he also found the wisdom and charity to offer Josh Lyman the support he needed to begin the process of recovery from depression and hopelessness.

For us too, the story of the resurrection is one that can bring hope and encouragement; but by committing ourselves to the “higher power” of the actual person of the resurrected Jesus, we can find the strength to begin a new journey of recovery – to find a way out.

And more! In bringing our sufferings to Jesus, we also find the wisdom and the charity to empathise, support and lead others who need a “way out” of the darkest trenches of the human condition.

Ian J Elmer
© Majellan Media 2021

You beaut, Summer is here

As this year has progressed, Summer has sparkled like a pinprick of light at the end of a very long tunnel. Summer will be different. Summer will be special. Summer means freedom and sunshine and travelling further than five kilometres and being together at the end of a difficult year.