Dear members and friends of St. Peter's,
You are invited!
Pauline wants to entertain us! She is very kindly opening her house for lunch on Sunday, 17th of July, starting at 12 noon. Soups, bread and some pies will be provided (including pea soup for a pie floater – do your searches if not familiar - for those who will dare!). You are invited to bring either a bought or made dish to share for the main course, but don’t stress over this. We always have plenty! Parents, feel free to bring a bike for the kids to ride as a driveway and large secluded area has recently been cemented. Also a fold-out chair. There will also be an opportunity for those interested to go for a short, pleasant afternoon nature walk to a nearby beach or playground (weather permitting). Numbers are needed for catering and compliance purposes. If you wish to attend please reply to this email, or see Sunday’s bulletin for further details regarding how to accept the invitation. Thank you Pauline for this initiative in helping to get people reconnected as COVID restrictions lift. We hope to have more of such gatherings in the future.
Russia - Ukraine war
I have been asked to provide some resources on the current Russia - Ukraine war. On June the 14th of this year Pope Francis, who has condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine, was reported in Politico (and widely in the media) as stating that in some ways the war was ‘either provoked or not prevented’. He went on to state “Someone may say to me at this point: but you are pro-Putin! No, I am not,” Francis said. “It would be simplistic and wrong to say such a thing. I am simply against reducing complexity to the distinction between good guys and bad guys, without reasoning about roots and interests, which are very complex.”
Regardless of one's view of Francis, I believe that he has here accurately articulated that there are complex roots and interests that have led to the current situation which is proving especially disastrous for the Ukrainian people, with major wider global implications. For those wishing to transcend the ubiquitous propaganda and explore this, I offer the following recent presentation by the highly credentialed political scientist and international relations scholar Dr John J Mearscheimer. If you wish to skip the opening introduction and formalities and get straight to the presentation, forward to the 10-minute mark. The presentation itself goes for a bit over 50 minutes and then there are questions. Towards the end of the presentation, Mearsheimer evaluates the risks of a protracted war and why he is not optimistic of a very quick end to the conflict. (Note: If you wish to increase the speed of the presentation click on 'Settings' at the bottom of the YouTube presentation, then click on playback speed, then select the speed. However, increasing the speed significantly can reduce one's ability to fully absorb and reflect upon the material presented, which may not be advisable for those not overly familiar with the content).
In sharing the above, I wish to emphasise that there are many aspects to the Biblical teaching on war and peace, with the political being just one. We as Christians are called by our Lord to be peacemakers. Some traditional prayers of the Church have not only included prayers for peace but also for ‘those things that make for peace’. War, like so many disasters, can show us, individually and collectively, the urgent need for repentance and to be right with God through the saving mercies of our Lord Jesus Christ and prepared to meet Him. See for example Luke 13:1-5, or the invading foreign superpower kings in the Old testament such as Nebuchadnezzar and Cyrus who God calls ‘My servant’ to, at various times, bring both judgement and liberation. This would make an excellent topic for a study at some stage.
Last Sunday's sermon was based on Luke 8:26-39 which is about an out-of-control man riddled with the demonic who is freed and transformed by Jesus. This naturally raises questions, which were addressed in the sermon, about the demonic today. In addition to going into and drawing on our very rich Lutheran heritage, I also mentioned the psychiatrist and author Dr Richard Gallagher. I apologise as I said that the name of his book was ‘Unexplained World’. In fact, that was a show that he was interviewed on. However, that may be a blessing in disguise as that enables me to now share the interview with him on that show. Note the very calm, non-sensationalist but thorough and 'well-thought-out' way that he responds to the questions. This is a man who knows his subject and who also knows the various boundaries that need to be kept in place. I encourage that you not be too put off by what may appear initially to be his dry demeanour but to listen carefully to what he actually says.
We are seeking nominations or expressions of interest regarding a delegate to represent our St Peter’s Lutheran Parish at the 2022 District Synod at Croydon, Melbourne, from the evening of the 30th of Sept until around noon on Sunday 2nd of October. For further information, please speak to Parish Chair Kim.
While I made an apology above for an error regarding a book title, I make no apologies for sharing the material of substance via these mailouts. I have been pleasantly surprised and heartened by numerous people who inform me that they both appreciate the substance of the material shared and that they do access it. Praise God for the beneficial aspects of modern communication!
God’s richest blessings to you all, dearly loved and treasured by Him.
Saint Peter's Lutheran Church, Hobart.
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