Parish News

With God in creation – an outdoor service in Belair

“God’s creation is beautiful and we are called to be stewards of it and live in harmony with it,” said Theo McCall, Chaplain at St Peter’s College.

Musicians from Holy Innocents Belair provide the soundtrack to the outdoor service.

He was addressing a combined Outdoor Service for the parishes of Belair and Coromandel Valley in the Belair National Park on Sunday 24 October 2021

It was a wonderful opportunity to experience ourselves as a significant part of God’s vast creation, to thank God for it, to acknowledge the fellow-creatures with whom we share this magnificent home, and to pray for its care and preservation.

Theo took us back to the beginnings of the universe to make the point: ‘It is incredible that we are here at all, on this beautiful planet, Earth, which itself is such a fountain of life’.

The gospel reading spoke of Jesus healing blind Bartimaeus: ‘Jesus . . . woke people up; he opened their eyes . . . We are called to see clearly the damage we are doing to creation and to hear the prophetic call to change our ways’.

Theo gave the example of St Francis: ‘When we reach a place of being in a beautiful relationship with God, when we praise God with everything we think and everything we do, then our eyes are opened to notice the rest of God’s creation doing the same thing’.

Steve Daughtry, Martin Bleby, Theo McCall and Wendy Morecroft (left to right) in their nature-themed vestments.

Many expressed their appreciation of this special event. “The liturgy was really inspirational, with its various parts coming from different sources and joined together with great thoughtfulness’,” said one. “I felt it was wonderful and very moving. It was lovely to see so many people worshiping together and talking and eating together—a great collaboration,” said another.

Music was expertly provided by musicians from Holy Innocents Belair, relayed through their good sound system.

Steve Daughtry, Martin Bleby and Theo McCall wore the “gum tree” vestments beautifully crafted some years ago by Joan Roper and women of St John’s Coromandel Valley — the first time they have been worn as a set together — and Wendy Morecroft wore the nature-themed stole made for her by the women of Holy Innocents.Truly, as Theo said, citing Paul’s letter to the Romans (1:20): “God’s divine nature is seen through the things he has made.”