Fiftieth anniversary of the dedication of the church building

On 18 December 2011 St Philip's celebrated the 50th anniversary of the dedication of our church building, and the 30th anniversary of its consecration. (In May 2007, the Parish celebrated the 50th anniversary of the laying of the foundation stone for the church hall by Bishop Burgmann on 5th May 1957.)

The Bishop of Canberra and Goulburn, the Rt Revd Stuart Robinson preached and presided at a special Eucharist at the 10am service. We were delighted that many guest joined us — people with a past association with St Philip's, including former St Philip's clergy and their descendants. We were also joined by members of the Anglican Historical Society and guest singers.

The Dinka and English language congregations of St Philip's joined forces for this service and the church was full.

Readings

2 Samuel 7.1-11,16
The Song of Mary (Magnificat), sung as the hymn Tell out my soul!, Timothy Dudley-Smith, 1926-
Romans 16.25-27
Luke 2.26-38

Music

The service included a special music program, sung by the St Philip's Singers:
Introit for Advent, melody Philip Nicolai (1556-1608) arr. Philip Ledger, tr. GR Woodward (1884-1934)
Anthem was In praise of God, by Francis Couperin (1688-1733, arr. Hector Berlioz.
"If God before us" from Messiah by GF Handel, with Katie Cole, soprano.
Let the whole Creation cry, adapted from Psalm 148 by Stopford Bourke, to music by Jay Alhouse.

Hymns

Hail to the Lord's annointed, James Montgomery (1771-1894)
He's a mighty God! (led by the Dinka members)
The church's one foundation, Samuel John Stone (1839-1900)
Joy to the world, Isaac Watts (1674-1748) based on Psalm 98

Praise-filled brunch!

We shared scrumptious brunch in the courtyard after the service. During brunch, members of our Dinka congregation sang and danced joyfully in praise of God.

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Dinka dance
Dinka dance

Prayers on the fiftieth anniversary

The response for the prayers was sung in Dinka:

response Translation: "O Lord, open our lips, And we shall declare your praise. O God, make speed to save us, O Lord make haste to help us."

Gracious God, today we give thanks for this building and the fifty years that it has been dedicated to your worship—a Jubilee.

Your people Israel were to consecrate the Jubilee year and proclaim liberty throughout the land, to all its inhabitants (Leviticus 25:10).

We pray, asking mercy and strength for your people in many lands who do not have the freedom to meet in worship.

We pray, asking that captives of all kinds may be set free—political prisoners, asylum seekers in detention, victims of human trafficking, child soldiers, inhabitants of labour camps, people captive to addictions and illnesses—we mourn for their captivity and yearn for their freedom.

For the Jubilee year, you told your people that land could not be sold permanently, for it belongs to you and we are but tenants of it (Leviticus 25:23). Teach us to tread softly upon the earth and to cherish it as a jewel entrusted to our care.

Everliving Father, hear our prayer, as we rededicate this place and ourselves.
Be present with us when we gather here
   to praise your Name,
   to ask your forgiveness,
   to know your healing power,
   to hear your Word,
   and to be nourished in the sacrament of bread and wine.
Be present we pray, to guide, to enlighten and to bless your people.

Lord Jesus, make us in this place a temple of your presence and a house of prayer.
Be near us when we seek you.
Draw us to you, when we come alone and when we come with others,
   to find comfort and wisdom,
   to seek support and strength,
   to rejoice and give thanks.
May we be at one with you and with each another.

Holy Spirit, open our eyes, our ears, and our hearts,
   that we may grow closer to you in joy and in difficulty.
Be with us in the fullness of your power
   as new members are added to your family,
   as we grow in grace through the years,
   when we come together in love and marriage,
   when we turn to you in sickness or need.

God of power and love,
   stir up within us a vision for the future.
Help us to discern our gifts and dreams.
Remove our fears and all that stifles and disables us.
Grace us with the wisdom to discern the path that leads to fullness of life in Christ.

We recall our patron, Saint Philip, whose invitation to ‘come and see’ Jesus speaks to us of our life as a parish in this community.

May we, with all your saints, be brought to a joyful resurrection and the fulfilment of your kingdom, not only in the age to come but here, now, in this place.

After the prayers, we sang:

responseGlory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be: world without end. Amen.
Praise the Lord. The Lord's name be praised.