Under the banner, “Into the Future: Building for eternity following the way of Christ” the Anglican Parish of St Mark’s Deloraine celebrated its 150th Birthday, 1859 – 2009, on 28 March. It was a great weekend.
The faithful lives and ministries of men and women, boys and girls, was remembered with gratitude and affection through worship, personal testimonies, a magnificent historical display and a beautiful specially produced A3 sized magazine ‘Saint Mark’s Times 1803-2009’. Fantastic! Congratulations to all concerned. We also prayed God’s blessings through the beautiful new rectory and we pray for a rector to lead the parish into the next 150 years.
- A precious memory of Joyce Blazely’s: “Grace is the undeserved and unearned presence of God in our lives”. This was Bishop Blackwood’s reply to her question, “What do we mean by grace?”
- Also, two parishioners, a married couple, remembering kneeling together to pray a commitment asking Jesus to come into their lives, in front of the TV broadcast of the Billy Graham crusade. Praise the Lord!
- The history reminded us that the Parish’s purpose was to proclaim the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.
- Knowing laughter greeted a marvelous recollection of an eminent layman who comforted a rector struggling with criticism from parishioners upset at changes being introduced, with these words, “The good Lord couldn’t please everybody. You’ve got no hope!”
- Carlyle shared, “Bishop Blackwood introduced me to Christ.”
- As the current President of the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge (SPCK) Australia, I was delighted to discover that SPCK supplied the first Prayer Book to the Parish.
- The family links through the generations were of real encouragement for us to follow Jesus and to keep on following Jesus.
At worship on Sunday we asked that as St Mark’s Deloraine moved “Into the Future”, the opening words of The Gospel According to Mark would continue to be the Parish’s words and life in their community: The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
May it be so in the transforming love of the Holy Spirit.