Dear Friends in Christ
Greetings from the Melbourne CSI Church and I trust that this email finds you at the best of health and cheer.
On the 30th of May 2016 I will complete 17 years of ordained ministry and 24 years of parish ministry and I want to thank God for his sustained guidance all along the last years. It is almost a year since I came to Melbourne and I want to thank all of you for the support provided in ministry especially for your prayers. The services of Sunday the 5th June is where I envisage to use as an occasion of thanksgiving and I specially invite all of you to be present.
The Melbourne Mar Thoma Church convention will be held from 27th to 29th May and I will preach on Reformation Spirituality as we prepare to celebrate 500 years of Reformation. Do uphold me in prayer. Rev. Tat Hein Lee will celebrate at the combined service in St. Matthews on the 29th and I am sure it will be a great blessing.
Kindly note the following dates in your diary
June 12th Sunday the Men of the Church is organising a men’s BBQ and that will be after the Church service for which all the men with their families are most welcome.
June 13th Monday we hope to initiate the preparations for the next Confirmation classes. I normally do that with a One Day Retreat with the people who are preparing to be confirmed. Everyone above the age of 14 who are keen to be a communicant member may kindly join us for the retreat. This would look at the basic tenants of the Christian faith and if there are others interested to participate they would be most welcome.
July 1-3 we are getting set for the VBS. Arun Eleyas and family from New Zealand will give us the lead and I hope and pray all our children would be able to attend and be blessed. We would also need help as volunteers and teachers.
July 1-7 is the South Asia Christian Youth Network Conference in Kathmandu Nepal and there is still room for two young people from the Melbourne CSI to attend.
July 25-21 would be dates for our first exposure visit from Melbourne CSI to the Diocese of Petersborough in Oxford UK. Even as Anju and Priya are getting ready to represent us let us continue to uphold them in our prayers
Please note that this year’s family retreat will be from September 16-18 and we hope all the families will be able to attend. Kindly mark your diaries and let Manoj know so that we could do the logistical arrangements well in advance.
The CSI Day and the St. Matthews Day will be jointly celebrated on the 25th of September at a Combined Service and I request all of you to mark the day.
Our Harvest Festival will be on October 2nd and not only should we ensure our participation but also we should be able to bring as many friends as possible to make it a meaning event.
We also expect to do a Musical Evening on Old Melodies on the 15th of October and we will all work together to make it a memorable evening.
Our next Anniversary falls on November 6th and that will be a special thanksgiving service,
We are also getting set to have our new Bishop of Melbourne Paul Barker consecrated and installed on November 12th and we hope to have him lead our Carol service this year. Preparations for the Carol rounds are also setting off.
Special Matters of Thanksgiving
Please be informed that the process of reinstating the parish status of St. Matthews is progressing well and I am sure that would be a historic step we would be able to participate in.
It is with great joy that I let you know that the Sydney CSI Congregation has found a place for worship. The service at the new venue in the Uniting Church in West Epping began in May and we hope to haveSunday services every week with an Ecumenical Service on the second Saturday.
The Adelaide CSI Congregation has also got a new place of worship assigned and the worship at St. Philips Anglican Church Galway Avenue in Broadview will begin on the 4th of June.
We also hope that the CSI Synod will send achans to these places at the earliest.
I had a very fruitful break last month and a detailed report could be read in or website on the Vicar’s Report page.
Looking at the Future
It would soon be time for our next Annual General Body to meet. It should be an occasion of thanksgiving looking back at the way the Lord is guiding us. It should also be a serious occasion of stock taking, looking at our mistakes and weaknesses and finding ways to correct them. It should be an opportunity to dream about the practical ways of growing as a congregation.
The Budget is not a few figures and numbers. It is a vision statement and a dream for the future. Even as we have started the discussions for the budget 2016-17 please do share with us your dreams and ideas for us as a church and if there are programmes that you wish to be added into our plan and scheme of things do share those with us.
Healing of relationships and Reconciliation should be one major focus in our next step look at ways of expanding the borders of our existence. We should also strive in prayer to make the church a relevant space and experience to all who are part of the same.
Pastor is Just a Call Away
I do know who busy and stressful each of your lives are but still be reminded always that I am just a call away and would like to spend time in each of your homes sharing your joys and challenges and praying with you. We will fix mutually convenient times and will meet.
Prayer for June
Even as we prepare for June and enter into winter here our prayer is
Be our experience as a family and as church
The Rev’d. Vinod Victor
St. Matthews Anglican Church Ashburton & Melbourne CSI Church
334, High Street, Asbhurton, Melbourne,VIC 3147, AUSTRALIA