Pentecost 5

Sunday Sermon 14.07.19 The Right Reverend Cameron Venables

At the end of a difficult day, or a draining week, or an unrelenting month… we might naturally heave a sigh, and ask ourselves what we’re expending our energy on, and what it’s all about? In the Gospel reading this week we hear about a lawyer who asked Jesus what life was all about and instead of giving a clear and unequivocal statement Jesus asked him what he thought the answer was according to Jewish belief. Now, four hundred and forty years before Jesus the classical Greek philosopher, Socrates, is remembered pioneering this way of using questions to stimulate critical thinking… to the degree that it is sometimes called Socratic debate, or Socratic method………

Pentecost 4

Sunday Sermon 07.07.19 The Right Reverend Cameron Venables

When I was growing up the names of people and places described in Bible readings sounded exotic and strange. They were characters in a story set in a context very different to my own. The Old Testament reading today, from the Second Book of Kings, could do this because there’s a mighty warrior called Naaman, who worked for the king of Aram, and there are the romantically named Syrian rivers Abana and Pharpar. Now, I have never met a man called Naaman, and my contact with royalty has been limited… so this story does sound a bit exotic. But, I have met many people in Toowoomba over the last two years who have escaped persecution and violence in Syria. Christians who have lived and studied in Damascus, and who now call Toowoomba home. So, when I go to the supermarket, or a particular church, I am now likely to meet friends with Arabic names like Malek and Yousef… but, not Naaman. At least not yet! ………

Pentecost 3

Sunday Sermon 30.06.19 The Right Reverend Cameron Venables

When I was at Primary school all the students and staff would gather in the hall for assembly each week. In the same hall we’d also do gymnastics, choir, and musical productions. So, there were climbing ropes hanging from the ceiling, gym mats stacked in a corner, and a well-used piano next to the door. At assembly the piano was played by a teacher called ‘Miss Lawrence’ and she consistently had her hair up in a ‘bee hive’ style, that none of our mums sought to emulate. But, Miss Lawrence could really play that piano…

Pentecost 2

Sunday Sermon 23.06.19 The Right Reverend Cameron Venables

I’m pretty sure that you and I go to church for all kinds of reasons. We look forward to seeing people that we like and love, and to spending time with them. There may even be opportunity to meet and make some new friends. Sometimes in the hurly burly of busy living we may simply look forward to being in a cared for space, while articulating the familiar words of prayer and song. But, more than satisfying our need for human friendship, or a comfortable place, I hope we also anticipate some form of encounter with God? ………..