WAR MEMORIAL CATHEDRAL St Boniface is a Dedicated War Memorial Cathedral; a wonderful stained glass window has been inserted in the East Annex. moreMany new and exciting events occurring at the Cathedral in 2016, Please see our "Events" page, which will be updated with full particulars as soon as they come to hand. more
Our Cathedral community seeks to be a welcoming community of faith. We come from many different parts of the world and many different backgrounds but we journey together.
Oranges and lemons, say the bells of St. Clement's. See the bells from the nursery rhyme at our cathedral
St Boniface is available for wedding ceremonies
St Boniface is available for baptism ceremonies
Fresh flowers, beautifully arranged, are a continual blessing at St Boniface.
Revd Stewart and Revd Sarah still maintain their passion for their olive plantation. In 2012 the oil, St. Boniface Olio Verde Novella won a gold medal at the Royal Perth Show and the trophy for the Best Boutique Olive Oil in Western Australia. Proceeds from the sale of this premium quality first pressing olive oil goes to St Boniface.
It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I live now in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. Galatians 2:20.
Christ Jesus, whose glory was poured out like perfume, and who chose for our sake to take the form of a slave: may we also pour out our love with holy extravagance, that our lives may be frangrant with you. Amen
Gospel Reading: Luke 7: 36-8: 3
Pewsheet 12 June 2016 St Boniface Cathedral
Some questions to ask as we read today’s Gospel and reflect on the characters in the story
How does the Pharisee see?
1. Himself as superior. Did he realise what he was doing when he refrained from offering Jesus those customary courtesies? Of course he did. The little put-downs flattered his pride.
2. Jesus as inferior. When he saw Jesus he saw someone who didn’t assert himself in the face of those put-downs, who didn’t seem to notice or react to that hysterical display by that crazy immoral woman. He questioned the type of religious figure Jesus was and saw him as certainly fit to be ridiculed.
3. The woman as even more inferior. You could never ridicule or condemn a woman like that too much.
How does the woman see?
That her life has been messed up, seriously, and that she is a sinner. She also knows she had a deep aching need to love and to be loved. At some stage in Jesus’ visit to this town, he gave her the love she needed. And the dam wall in her heart broke and she saw that she has to express this love to Jesus, abundantly, extravagantly. Did she see the looks of ridicule going round the table? Not at all. She was too focussed on Jesus.
How does Jesus see?
With love, both the crazy woman and the self-satisfied Pharisee. And to both he reaches out in love.
Now, how do I see?
29th May 2016 Pentecost 2B, 1 Kings 8:22-23, 41-43;
Psalm 9:1-9; Galatians 1:1-12; Luke 7:1-10
The story of the healing of the centurion’s slave is a story found in Matthew and Luke and, with a slightly different flavour, in John. In John’s version it is a man described as an official who came to Jesus begging him to come and heal his son. In Matthew it is a centurion who asks Jesus to heal a servant. In Luke’s version the servant is described as a slave and it is not the centurion who asks Jesus to heal the slave but some elders of the Jews. In Matthew and Luke the same words are spoken by the official or centurion, “I am not worthy to have you come under my roof.” In all versions the key message is of faith. “Not even in Israel have I found such faith” are the words spoken by Jesus in both Matthew and Luke.
What really caught my attention when I compared the different gospel accounts of this story is the Lukan emphasis on the intercession of others. Intercession not once, but twice:
First the elders of the Jews came to Jesus, asking him to come and heal the centurion’s slave;
second, other friends of the centurion came when Jesus was not far from the house with the message from the centurion of his perceived unworthiness, and asking Jesus to “only speak the word and my servant will be healed”
Let me get back to intercessions in a moment. I just want to sidetrack on worthiness or unworthiness.
The centurion is described by the elders as a worthy person and although gentile, loves the Jewish nation and has built their synagogue. However the centurion sees himself as unworthy. Does Jesus see this man as unworthy because he is not of the same faith, the same culture? Of course not! He sees someone he loves, is willing to die for, and someone he is very willing to listen to.
We also have the opening verses of Paul’s Letter to the Galatians. The Galatians have heard from other preachers who have come through their area, and who were convincing the Galatians that if they were circumcised they would be worthy of salvation. A little surgery. A few weeks of pain. Then they’d be worthy. Then, who could question them standing before God?
But, God’s favour and love doesn’t work like that. Our worthiness cannot be bought, and our unworthiness cannot be shed by our own efforts, no matter how costly and painful.
The thing is I’m profoundly aware of my unworthiness; I am human I recognise my shortcomings and my failures.
There is nothing wrong with a balanced sense of humility. But if I let my sense of unworthiness get on top of me I can get overcome with my own disappointments with myself and end up in a spiral of depression.
You may have heard this week the statistics that show the suicide rate is twice that of the road toll nationally. There are many reasons for suicide but in my experience of working with suicidal people the bottom line is a sense of worthlessness, of unworthiness.
This is when prayer and the intercession of friends are so important.
In most parishes I have been involved with, there is an active prayer group. I know that is so for the cathedral and I find it very reassuring to know that people are praying for me – interceding on my behalf.
In the Diocese we have a prayer diary, and every month every parish or community is prayed for, using the prayers that the particular parish or community has asked us to pray. Through our faith we know that God hears our prayers and will answer them, maybe not in the way we want, but certainly in the way we need.
Jesus and the centurion are usually identified as the key figures of this story, but maybe the people who speak of the centurion’s character and his faith are equally the heroes of this story.
They prompt me to think about all the many ways that the threads that connect me to Jesus are often woven by friends. It is not just me and Jesus. It is me and Jesus and this community that helps me stay connected to Him.
Specifically, Luke’s tale puts me in mind of the season in my life when my needs and my story were being carried to Jesus by my friends.
Ironically, it was not my great faith that made this possible; it occurred during a season of very shaky faith, a season when my friendship with Jesus, not to mention anything that might be called my “prayer life,” withered.
I was at a really low point in my life. My daughter had just left home and I was very busy with my job - too busy!
I became ill with a bad bout of bronchitis and had to have a month off work. The doctor wanted to put me in hospital because I was supposed to stay in bed and there was no one at home to look after me. Thank God I had some wonderful friends who came around at breakfast time, lunch time and dinner time with a tray of food, beautifully presented, with a flower and a bible verse.
During that time of enforced bed rest and the love and care of my friends I had time to reflect on my life. In hindsight I know that my faith did not totally evaporate because like the Centurion I had friends faithfully connecting me to Jesus, over and over. My prayer life would later blossom again precisely because of these friends’ prayers for me, when I could not, or would not pray.
My faith was sustained in large measure because I had circles of friends who could see my need and respond in faith and with practical help.
When I had recovered I went back to church, with my friends and was so welcomed by this new community at St Andrew’s Church in Subiaco that I felt immediately at home. It was at St Andrew’s that I met my wonderful husband Don and 15 years later, in 2005, I was ordained priest here in the Bunbury Diocese.
Yes, this story in Luke is a story of great faith, but it is also a story of great faith that takes its shape when the believer’s community connects the believer to the Lord. Even a man of such deep, surprising faith as the Centurion relied on his community to help enact that faith. Something similar probably goes for the rest of us too.
I am currently preparing someone for confirmation and this week the topic was Living as a Christian. The prayer at the beginning of the text is “God, the giver of life, whose Holy Spirit wells up within your Church: by the Spirit’s gifts equip us to live the gospel of Christ and make us eager to do your will.”
This reminded me of the Mission Statement for the Diocese, “We are a Diocesan Family growing into the likeness of Jesus all owning the ministry of Christ.” Do we own the ministry of Christ? How are we living as Christians in our everyday lives? Are we using our gifts to do God’s will and live the gospel of Christ?
During our Cursillo 4th day gathering last Tuesday we talked about the ways we lived as Christians in our everyday lives. There was some wonderful feedback of the way people walked beside others, showing the face of Christ, helping them in practical ways, praying for other people. There are so many ways we can be involved in everyday evangelism. Everyday evangelism is one of the strategies in the Bishop’s vision for the diocese
The need for community is most profound when we try to bring about God’s kingdom a little more in our own backyard.
I can list countless ways in which I am like the Centurion who is being connected to Jesus through communities of friends: through those who pray for me.
But there is another list I want to make: the stories in which I am like the friends, the elders. I want to be able to tell you stories in which I have carried the faith and doubts and needs of others to the Lord.
I can think of a few stories. I have been known to pray for people, to listen to people. But I am thinking that list of stories is too short. What the tale of the Centurion is prompting in me this year is an impulse to pause and give thanks for those who have been there for me in my own life, and the commitment to be a bit more intentional about taking up the role of the friends who reach beyond themselves to bring their friend to Jesus.
I challenge you to do the same.
I am tremendously humbled to have been appointed Dean of Bunbury. I gratefully thank the Bishop and the Cathedral Chapter for having confidence in me to undertake this ministry of leadership. I am excited for what lays ahead, both for my own minisry in this place and the ministry of the cathedral.
On behalf of my family, I thank the Cathedral Parish and clergy for the warm welcome we have received upon our arrival. The work done on the Deanery is so appreciated. The new kitchen, patio paving and fencing is wonderful.
I want to acknowledge my predecessors Stewart and Sarah and for the wonderful work and ministry they have undertaken over the past few years. I especially thank Stewart for the progressive work he has done in defining the difference in roles between Cathedral Parish Priest and Dean of the Cathedral. The culmination if his vision and work was seen in the revised Cathedral Statute passed by Synod last year. For this foundation which he laid, I thank him.
I thank the Reverend Karon Austin, to be made Canon of the Cathedral today, for the locum work she has done during the interregnum. Karon has been preparing for my arrival over the past few months in so many different ways which has made the transition from one parish to another much easier. Thank you Karon for your kindness and friendship.
As I start my ministry here in the Cathedral I do acknowledge that it will be a period of transition. Periods of transition trigger a wellspring of emotions - from concern and fear to excitment and joy. But we recognise that in the mnidst of this transition, God is in our midst: attentive, caring, present. God tends us with patience and care, leading us in hope through the wilderness to the joys of the promised land. As part of this new beginning, I also recognise that I am not Stewart, and Stewart is not me. So I will naturally do things differently because I have been gifted by God in differnt ways to Stewart. Different is not worse or better. Different is just not the same. I pray that you will be gentle and forgiving with me as I learn what it means to be a Dean of a Cathedral.
God bless us as we begin this journey today together.
Each month St Boniface allocates a Mission to which our mission envelopes and donations are directed. We will be putting notices in the pewsheets and on the web to let you know where the money is going to be directed to and the work of that particular mission.
Our Mission of the month for June 2016 is Nungalinya College. Nungalinya is a Combined Churches Training College for Indigenous Australians. The College is situated in Casuarina, a northern suburb of Darwin, Australia’s gateway city of the North. Nungalinya College is a Registered Training Organisation (RTO) under the Australian Quality Training Framework (AQTF2010) delivering Nationally Accredited Qualifications in the Vocational Education and Training (VET) Sector, NTIS number 0168.
Courses at Nungalinya are for Christian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (ATSI) men and women. All students must be over the age of 18. All people wanting to study at Nungalinya must be sponsored by their church community. The College wants to help ATSI Australians be strong leaders, get good jobs and work well, and serve God in their church and community.
Nungalinya provides courses in the following areas:
Literacy and Numeracy courses aimed at assisting Indigenous people in their life situation and in their understanding of the Bible.
Theology Courses that address the unique nature of Aboriginality and Christianity. They are designed to develop personal faith and equip people for practical Christian ministry.
Music and Media courses that teach practical skills in recording and performance while developing discipleship and creativity for church communities.
Cross-cultural Awareness workshops that are available to non-Indigenous Australians who work with Indigenous people.
Nungalinya College has scope to deliver the following qualifications.
Certificate I in Education and Skills Development
Certificate II in Creative Industries (Media)
Certificate II in Music Industry
Certificate III in Christian Ministry and Theology
Certificate IV in Christian Ministry and Theology
Indigenous people come from all over Australia to study at Nungalinya College. However, because of their location, the majority of students come from communities in the North, the Sea People, or from the Deserts of the Centre, the Desert People.
They have asked that we pray for them as well as support this ministry financially:
Pray for Jude Long as she teaches the first subject of the Certificate III in Christian Ministry and Theology in Alice Springs from 13-17 June.
Pray for wisdom as we experiment with offering the course in the Centre.
Give thanks for the volunteers who come and work at the college.
Pray for safety and productivity for volunteers arriving over the next month.
Pray for the staff as we finish off another very busy term – for good health, energy and enthusiasm for their work.
Pray for the move of AuSIL to the Nungalinya site that the renovations will be completed in time and the move take place smoothly.
Give thanks we have found weekend hosts from Term 3. Continue to pray for a new Development Officer and for Jude Long as she juggles the additional load until one is appointed.
Corner Parkfield St & Cross St Bunbury WA Ph 9721 3970
Cathedral open every day
Office hours 9.30am to 11.30am weekdays (except Wednesdays)