It’s a big weekend at St Philips!
This afternoon at 3pm, Dr Simon Towler will be joining us to explain the proposed Voluntary Assisted Dying legislation currently under discussion in the Western Australian Upper House of Parliament. This is a very emotive issue. I have been reading and studying it at some length this week and I am feeling emotional about it.
The purpose of this time is to glean information and facts. It is not to champion a position, shoot the messenger or ‘wedge’ the Vicar. (though all those things might be quite entertaining).
Simon will give us information in as dispassionate way as possible. He will explain how the issue came to be introduced, how the legislation was developed, what the particular consultative bodies are, how the process would operate if passed, any review processes, how very ill people die now, its adequacy and any possible improvements. He will take as many questions as there are from the floor.
In the weeks following Simon’s presentation I will present information on the traditional Christian understanding of the human person and some of the issues that any new legislation will struggle to address, that may cause concern and are worthy of discussion before the genie gets out of the bottle.
The fact is that we live in a secular society. No one, apart from a few religious people, seems overly interested in religious positions on the nature and behaviour of the human person. Why? Because people no longer live under the authority and lordship of God.
I just say this as we come to a topic that will require much charity and grace.
On another very significant note . . .
The annual carols programme that St Philips has supported under the guiding hand of the MacPhersons and Gary Davidson will not be run by us in 2019. Whether they will be on at all is up to the Town of Cottesloe.
This is largely due to some very exciting news for John and Ellie. Their eldest daughter Aimee is having a baby in Melbourne and is very keen to have her parents nearby. We celebrate this exciting event with the Macs.
As we have looked at our music resources, and all that is involved with carols followed by the Christmas services, it is all way beyond us.
Having prayerfully pondered this as a staff and Parish Council, and consulted widely, we believe the time has come to honour the
25-year commitment of those who have toiled so hard to make Jesus known at Christmas [thanks be to God] and declare this to be the laying down of St Philips involvement in the event permanently.
Twenty five years is an unprecedented act of loving commitment. It is my view that it is time to bury the seed and give it some time to perhaps let a new thing emerge.
The carols team, staff, Parish Council and Town of Cottesloe have discussed this and are agreed that now is the time.
On a personal note, I would have loved just one more carols event by way of celebration, but there is no celebration to trump a new grandchild. Perhaps it might be fitting to get ‘Carol’ in the name somewhere – if it is a girl, that is.
We are planning an event to honour the journey before John and Ellie head east. We will keep you informed.