Saint John’s is a vibrant forum for education, the arts, culture and public discourse. It is a place to gather in a relaxed and enjoyable environment, to share inspiring worship, and grow in spirituality.
The timeless beauty of Gregorian chant is treasure for the whole church. With origins over a thousand years old, its influence on the musicals traditions of the west is profound. The meditative and curative qualities of chant are known across traditions and recognised the world over. Seemingly at times on the verge of extinction, again and again new generations have rediscovered its prayerful beauty, musical complexity, and spiritual aesthetic. The workshop was an enjoyable and rare musical offering, under the instruction of Gary Ekkel, the Director of Music at Newman College at Melbourne University.
Guest soloist Ewen Bramble, Associate Principal Cello with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra and founding member of the Benaud Trio, recently performed Haydn’s stunning Cello Concerto in C major. Under the baton of Orchestra 21 Artistic Director Raymond Yong, the concert also included a performance of Moments of Falling by Australian composer Stuart Greenbaum, the Simple Symphony by Benjamin Britten, and Mozart’s Symphony No. 29 in A Major.
Sacred Garden highlighted the musical colours and textures of the harp, flute, recorder, drums and percussion. Presenting contemporary interpretations inspired by the music of the Medieval and Renaissance, the performance included fragments and entire sections of music from these eras. Musicians David Jones, Michael Johnson and Megan Kenny improvised around these themes, creating a special spontaneity to their performance. The various pieces were introduced during the concert, which included discussion about the instruments and performance techniques.
Saint John’s families spent a few fun filled days by the sea at the Annual Parish Camp on the weekend of 17-19 September. The venue was the Philip Island Adventure Resort, situated in beautiful rural coastal surroundings near Cowes. A wonderful program was planned for all ages, catering for the active, creative and adventurous, and those who simply wanted to relax with friends. More information on the camp can be downloaded at Download the Parish Camp information brochure
Saint John’s presented a session for parents and educators on Saturday 2 October between 9.30am to 3.30pm. The cost is $20 with a light lunch provided. The day is designed for parents and teachers wanting to help their children discover the presence of God within. The approach draws on a successful program operating in Queensland schools.
Saint John’s celebrated Saint Francis, the Patron Saint of animals and the environment, at a Blessing of the Pets service on Sunday 3 October. A wonderful procession of animals attended – dogs and cats, guinea pigs, rabbits, and reptiles.
Saint John’s celebrates the rising of Spring on Sunday 5 September with a performance of The Lark Ascending by Ralph Vaughan Williams during the 9.30am Eucharist. Violinist Dasha Moloksher, a member of the Australian National Academy of Music (ANAM) orchestra, will present this hauntingly beautiful tribute to the gift of new life. A wonderful moment to share with friends and family!
Fr. Frank Brennan, Jesuit priest and committed advocate for human rights, was the visiting Preacher at Saint John’s on Social Justice Sunday. Recently Chair of The National Human Rights Consultation, Frank has worked tirelessly for others for over 30 years and has won a number of human rights awards. He was the founding director of Uniya, the Australian Jesuit Social Justice Centre.
Frank has also written extensively on aboriginal land rights and, in 1995, he was awarded an Order of Australia for his services to Indigenous Australians. In 1998, he was named a Living National Treasure, during his involvement in the Wik Debate.
As part of its Globe Cafe program for international students, Saint John’s presented an African Dance Night on Friday 10 September, 6.30pm – 10.00pm. It was an unforgettable night as we danced and danced. Even people who had never danced, danced. There was a great band and wonderful fun was had for all – young and not so young alike.
Saint John’s hosted a superb concert of Brahms and Schubert Lieder, including Zigeunerlieder and Der Hirt auf dem Felsen, on Sunday 30 May. Featuring Sally Anne Russell and Felicity Baldock, with associate artists Phillipa Safey and Andrew Boyle, it was a stunning performance, received with great applause from the audience.
Saint John’s hosted a Workshop in Godly Play, ‘A day for Storytelling, Wonder and Art’ on Saturday 22 May, presented by Jeanette Acland. It was a most inspiring day as Jeanette shared her talents and stories with us. Further details from Leah McMeekin. Saint John’s Children and Families Coordinator on 0437 778 113.
Saint John’s this year hosted the annual ACU Keble Mass – the annual commemoration of the Anglican Catholic Revival. The preacher was the The Rev’d Canon Dr. Colleen O’Reilly, the Vicar of Saint George’s Malvern. The service was held on Friday 16 July, with a warming supper to follow.
A Lady of Letters tells the story of Irene Ruddock, a woman who is not afraid to speak, or rather mind: she writes letters to her MP, the police, the chemist – everyone she can, to remedy the social ills she sees around her. Written by Alan Bennett in 1987 for BBC television, as part of the Talking Heads series, in this production Miss Ruddock will be portrayed by Stephanie Daniel, a professional actress originally from the UK, who spent some years working in Germany and Canada before arriving in Australia 25 years ago. Stephanie has worked extensively in theatre, television, films, radio plays and as a narrator of audio books.
A three-week series for parents and educators on encouraging the spirituality of children. Sessions explored spiritual development in children, and how the wider world can shape, and often thwart, children’s spiritual lives. Presentations were by leading psychologists and educators.
Well-known artist and long-term friend of Saint John’s, Bishop John Bayton presented a magnificent selection of works for sale at an exhibition at the Malvern Town Hall on Monday 3 May 2010. The Rev. Tim Costello, CEO of World Vision, opened the exhibition. The proceeds were shared between the Al Alia Hospital in the Gaza
Strip and the Saint John’s East Malvern Foundation, with each receiving over $17,000.
Saint John’s hosted a Meet the Candidates Forum for those standing for election in the Higgins electorate on the 21 August Federal election. Organised in conjunction with the East Stonnington Ministers Association, all the local candidates were present to speak about their policies and take questions from participants. Over 150 people participated in the event held in Saint John’s Parish Hall.