From the Chaplain
The Season of Easter and the journey to Pentecost.
The Easter theme of new life and new possibilities is before us. For Christians, Easter is not simply a belief in something that happened once in history. In the formal liturgy of the church Easter is a six-week journey towards Pentecost. It is the beginning of new a way of living, living life in the ‘Presence of the Risen Lord’. Interestingly, as much as the birth of Jesus is a beginning, it is in the death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ where the lived Christian experience truly begins to take shape. The fifth book of the New Testament, Luke Acts of the Apostles, shares this experience with us.
Those of us who are part of the western tradition of Christendom will have attended special Easter services over the weekend, the eastern Orthodox tradition will celebrate Easter this weekend. I enjoyed celebrating the liturgical observances of ‘The Lighting of the New Fire’ at dawn, the lighting of the Paschal Candle, the Renewal of Baptismal Vows’, and the celebration of the ‘Easter Eucharist’ with the people of the parish of Kapunda.
Along with these Easter celebrations, many more of us will have enjoyed gathering with family and friends, exchanging gift mainly in the form of chocolate symbols of new life and new beginnings. My family also celebrated the birthdays of my father-in-law and my grandson, both April 1 babies. Four generations gathered to share and celebrate with each other. Pulteney still calls Term 2 the Easter term. Such traditions remind us that our faith is an intergenerational, life long journey.
Many Christians struggle to understand or articulate confidently exactly how it is that Jesus’ death and resurrection saves us from our sins. The meaning of Easter is complex and challenging, and rightly will always have mystery and lifelong revelation at its heart. Word and concepts like ‘atonement’, ‘penal substitution’, or ‘satisfaction theory’ are used to try and more fully understand, but it is highly contested, and Easter thinking has changed and continues to change over time.
An important focus of Easter is to think deeply about what does the ‘Presence of the Risen Lord’ actually mean in our everyday lives and for me the nature of forgiveness has been a recent focus of reflection. Christians are an Easter people, a people of the New Testament. We make know to those around us the ‘Presence of the Risen Lord’ in our lives by behaving like forgiven and forgiving people.
Being forgiven means that relationship that are diminished or damaged by mean spirited behavior, can be strengthened and restored. While forgiveness may never erase the hurt we feel, it has the capacity to free us from the oppression of hurt and enable us to more fully lives our lives with compassion and joy. Much secular therapy, some of it very expensive, can at best achieve a similar outcome.
We experience the ‘Presence of the Risen Christ’ when we rebuild relationships broken by thoughtlessness and selfishness. We experience the ‘Presence of the Risen Christ’ when we repair the damage done to relationship by careless gossip and slanderous conversation. We experience the ‘Presence of the Risen Christ’ when we challenge and counteract oppression, injustice and discrimination by changing behaviors that harm and demean the humanity of others.
In all these acts, acts of kindness, generosity, and integrity the people of God live out the ‘Presence of the Risen Christ’ and open the door for others to access God’s continuing forgiveness.
Preparing for Baptism, Reception to Communion, Confirmation
Beginning in Term 2 students at Pulteney will be given these focused opportunities to explore their spirituality and faith. Please contact the chaplain if you have anything you wish to discuss.
The Pulteney Community continues to be generous in its regular contributions. The Magdalene Centre provides food and household resources to hundreds of disadvantaged individuals and families.
Many people are including mini toiletries. These are greatly appreciated, especially toothpaste. I know these are a great help and confidence booster to young homeless people getting ready for interviews.
Donations can be brought to the Chapel Foyer. Baskets have been labelled so that we can sort and care for your donations.
Chaplaincy Contact 2018
phone 8216 5512, 0434 297 879 or contact the school office