The Rector Writes – studies and thanks; Easter General Vestry and Rescue 116 crew

As I write I am approaching the end of a twelve week part time course in Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) which was based in Cork. It has been very intensive and exhausting but a rewarding experience and it will hopefully be of great practical benefit in my day to day ministry. Although I have not yet received my final assessment, it is likely that I will be recommended for a further unit of CPE in the future. However, that is very unlikely in the short term as all courses in Ireland have been booked out
for the coming 12 months! I am extremely grateful to have been afforded this opportunity which would not have been possible without the assistance of a number of people; Patricia Stewart who provided emergency pastoral cover, Alan Rhodes who assisted with Sunday Services, Caroline Kennedy who helped out with Wednesday morning Services and Rev. Bruce Hayes who covered two mid week Holy Communion Services. To them all I wish to say a big ‘Thank you’. I must also acknowledge the sponsorship of the United Dioceses in covering my course fees.

Over the coming weeks culminating in Easter, the Church will also be transforming itself from the traditional self-introversion and austerity of Lent to the celebration of the central festival on which the Church is founded. The resurrection event which is Easter is the single most important festival in the Chrisan Church’s year – it is so important that it convinced the early Church (which was predominantly Jewish) to move their Sabbath from Saturday to Sunday. In this way, it can be argued that as Christians we celebrate Easter every week of the year but with a particular emphasis on Easter Sunday itself. It is also for this reason that the Sunday after Easter is often referred to as “Low Sunday” as it marks the return to a normal routine after the “high” of Easter Sunday.

This year, our Easter General Vestry is scheduled for the Sunday after Easter Day. In its own way, this annual meeting of Church members will be far from normal as it is deemed to be a triennial – in other words it happens once every three years. At this meeting, besides the routine election of a Select Vestry, Church Wardens and Glebe Wardens, there will be elections for three Diocesan Synods delegates (and three supplementals). There will also be elections for three Parochial Nominators (and three supplementals) – those who are entrusted on behalf of the parish with the task of selecting a new Rector should a vacancy arise. All of these roles are essenti al to the continuity and smooth running of our parish and it is very important that as many parishioners as possible actively participate in the process.

In recent times it has often been said that we are living in a “world village”. Advances in technology – particularly communications technology – have made it possible to observe events and communicate with friends and family at the
other side of the world as if they were in our own front rooms. It has also allowed the remote operation and controlling of equipment in dangerous conditions. However, the unfortunate result of this is that it can lead to unrealistic expectations regarding the application and use of such technology as there are still many circumstances where people have to put their lives at risk to provide assistance and ensure the safety and welfare of others. Such a circumstance led to the crash of the Coast Guard Rescue helicopter 116 with the loss of all four lives on board in the early hours of Tuesday 14th March.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of Dara Fitzpatrick, Mark Duffy, Paul Ormsby and Ciaran Smith.

With every blessing,

John.

Rev’d John Tanner, tel: 01-2893154 / 086 3021376

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