Parish Connections, October/November 2014


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Newsletter of St James' Anglican Church, King Street, Sydney, Australia

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CONNECTIONS OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2014 PARISH Public Theology in Australia Dr Anthony Jensen The man who beat God – Ron Williams, a private individual who brought the successful action in the High Court rejecting Tony Abbott’s controversial school chaplaincy scheme, was given this title in a recent newspaper headline. In response, David Zyniger of Melbourne University summed up the zeitgeist of the relationship between state and theology: ‘The Church is declining greatly in terms of its biblical influence with a shift to a more socially driven gospel, the biblical message of sinners in need of a Saviour seems to be diminished.’ This raises the question as to whether the church in this secular age should have a say in public life and indeed whether it has anything of relevance to say and add to the economic debate. Taking the position that the way society organises itself is a moral matter and the church has a role in the pursuit of justice, equality and human rights, I want to explore what this socially driven gospel or public theology might mean to Australia and look for practical manifestations of its presence, and focus on what might be a Christian manifesto for a radically different society. To do this we might heed what the influential philosopher Ivan Illich, the late Jesuit and the author of Deschooling Society, said: “The answer to the question cannot be found at the level at which it is asked.” In the field of commerce we find acknowledged in a textbook that business ethics are based on the golden rule of ‘Do unto others what you would have them do to you’. While the book did not reveal where that insight came from, as Christians we know it is the fundamental tenet of Christ’s teaching which has its basis in the second great commandment, ‘Love your neighbour as yourself’. We are indeed our brother’s keeper and we continued overleaf


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PUBLIC THEOLOGY IN AUSTRALIA continued are failing in this regard when we examine the key issues threatening the world community. Two of the major issues facing the world today are global warming, due to the combustion of fossil fuels, and economic instability, brought about by inequality of wealth in the world generated by a flawed corporate business model. Humankind seems to create problems it is unable to solve; we seem to be caught between a rock and a hard place. What we learnt from the Davos Forum this year is that the 85 richest people globally own more wealth than half the world’s population and yet 1.4 billion people on this planet are without a toilet. It is clear that the neo-liberal trickle-down model of economic growth has failed us. In addition the public reaction to the latest Federal Budget in Australia might also elicit the question – are we doing more of what got us into this situation in the first place? Ethics understanding is one of the five key learning outcomes taught in business schools, and the message is that when business and ethics collide it is business that should give way; we understand that society has a set of goals that extend beyond business concerns and sanctions must be brought to bear when these norms are transgressed. We are at this place now and therefore need to ask the question at a deeper level as spiritual leaders have rejected free-market capitalism: the former Archbishop of Canterbury, Pope Francis and Archbishop Jensen (no relation). Why would these spiritual leaders be so opposed to free-market capitalism? Pope Francis (Cardinal Bergoglio) wrote in 2009: ‘The social and economic crisis, and the consequent increase in poverty, has its causes in policies inspired by those forms of neo-liberalism that consider profits and the laws of the market economy as absolute parameters, to the detriment of people and nations.’ The Pope in addition called for ‘profound changes in the structures that respond to the legitimate aspirations of people for true social justice’. This social gospel has its origins deep in Hebrew revelation and the thirst for justice and equality in the redistribution of land and the prevention of a permanent underclass. The Jewish Torah, arguably one of the most radical pieces of literature ever written, institutionalised the pursuit of equality through land redistribution and the freeing of slaves based on the concept of the fifty year jubilee. In our modern era the rise of industrial revolution in the late nineteenth century based on the egotistical, political and economic theories of political Liberalism gave rise to what became known as the first social question – the exploitation of working people. This resulted in a strong response from the Catholic Church as the norms of society were being transgressed by business. Pope Leo XIII promulgated the first social encyclical Rerum Novarum in 1891, a document that rocked the Italian Establishment. This was seen as a new beginning, a new path in the teaching of the church on social matters. In the first instance it is a robust defence of the inalienable dignity of workers. Secondly it argued that society was in need of being completely rebuilt from its economic foundations. It called on the Catholic laity to join in that task of ‘labouring for the common good’ by practising brotherhood and sharing. Rerum Novarum became a wellconstructed socio-economic treatise with the addition of a number of papal encyclicals during the 20th century. This became known as the “Third Way”, a public theology that sits between the selfishness of political liberalism and the class struggle of socialism, both of which were rejected. It placed the intrinsic rights of labour before the rights of capital while emphasising the complementariness of both. In promulgating the right of workers to participate in ownership, advertising Have you ever considered advertising your business in Parish Connections? Please contact Isabella on 8227 1301 or for advertising design criteria, quotes and copy deadlines. next edition The next edition of Parish Connections will be published on Friday 28 November. Deadlines (advertising & editorial): Monday 17 November. Contact Isabella on 8227 1301 or PAGE 2 ST JAMES’ PARISH CONNECTIONS OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2014


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PUBLIC THEOLOGY IN AUSTRALIA continued management and profits the Pope instructed the Catholic laity to reject the capitalist model and start co-operatives in Italy, which is why the movement is so strong there today. Co-operatives were seen as the way towards inclusion and integral human development – a way towards ‘connected capitalism’. What is not widely known though is that at the heart of Australia’s social compact of the early 1900s were the values of equality, inclusion and dignity upheld by Rerum Novarum. These found their way into the major institutions regulating working life in this country. The concept of the basic wage was laid down in the 1907 Harvester Judgement in the Federal Conciliation and Arbitration Court (the basic wage would keep a man, his wife and children in frugal comfort). The ethos of this was lifted from a paragraph in Rerum Novarum by the ruling judge, Justice Higgins, who had taken it to study in the Blue Mountains the weekend before his decision. This became the cornerstone of the tripartite social compact between industry, the trade unions and the state from the early 1900s. The Australian worker became the first in the world to no longer be a factor of production but had the right to live with dignity. Almost a century later, under the threats posed by globalisation, there were calls in the Christian community for a fresh start for economic reform to address inequality and exclusion. The new stance would be holding the position of ‘a faith in Christ’. In response to the rise of individualistic neo-liberal economic doctrines the Catholic Church published in 2004 a Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church that summarised the Church’s teaching on social issues and laid down a blueprint for public theology. It focused on the as it were golden rule of mutuality: personal and institutional transformation based on building a civilisation of love or, as we might refer to in the business school, reciprocity and otherregarding behaviour. What is very clear is that it outlined a need for a radical personal and social renewal capable of ensuring justice, solidarity, honesty and openness. It argued powerfully that only love can transform the human person. The Compendium called for building a civilisation of love that is the ‘loftiest and most noble form of relationship possible between human beings’ and one grounded in solidarity. This book has become an important and courageous foundation of the social gospel and public theology for the next millennium as it advocates social love as the antithesis of egoism and individualism where selfishness is seen as insidious and resulting in the undermining of an ordered society. With the arrival of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) and the Occupy Wall Street movement raising the issue of the effects of the minority in undermining the pursuit of the common good for the majority, the church is again responding to the failure of the market. We found important clues in the “God or Mammon” seminar held by St James’ in the autumn of 2012. On that afternoon a group of high-ranking Anglican clergy from around the world discussed the consequences of the GFC, greed and the prophetic role of the church. What was distilled were very simple but profound insights: ‘profit must not have a value in itself’, the importance ‘to work for the common good’ and ‘justice is love made public’. Significantly the issue of the Jubilee also resurfaced as a way of dealing with the bloated debts and rising inequality of developed and underdeveloped countries. There is now the realisation that we have had overdependence on one form of business model and other inclusive models such as co-operatives and mutuals are now needed to distribute wealth and extend the reach of democracy. This year’s Federal Budget raised stark choices for Christians. Ivan Illich directs us to ask a deeper question as to how we might balance the Budget. Should it be by the exploitation of the poorest sector of the economy or can we find an alternative by pursuing the common good? Do we rely on the individual pursuit of self-interest or do we emulate the business philosophy of Dick Dusselorp who founded Lend Lease and pioneered in Australia his own “third way” of shared or connected capitalism in the 1950s? His biographer records that he based the business on the golden rule of ‘Do unto others as you would others do to you’. He invited workers to share in ownership, profits and decision-making and turned the construction industry on its head. Lend Lease was a very successful example of how practical, ethical men do rebuild society from the bottom up by the principle of sharing. His philosophy was described by one of his workers: “He made money like a capitalist and distributed it like a socialist” and “if there were a hundred Dick Dusseldorps in Australia it would be a very different place”. Dr Anthony Jensen is a parishioner at St James’ and a tutor in the Business School of the University of Sydney. PAGE 3 OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2014 ST JAMES’ PARISH CONNECTIONS


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colin’s corner From S. JAMES’ MONTHLY CHURCH MESSENGER, NOVEMBER 1914 Continuing the theme: 100 YEARS AGO have been reduced and incomes have been shortened. To add to the burden the tramway fares in the City section have been doubled on Sunday, so that City Churchgoers have been penalized badly. All this has diminished, to some extent, the attendance at our Congregational Breakfast. The Committee have kindly taken these facts into consideration and have determined, with the assistance of the Wardens, to make an experiment of a sixpenny breakfast. By a reduction of condiments and other luxuries, we hope that we may still run the Breakfast on financial lines. Perhaps the lower price may induce several others, who shrink from the expense to patronize local industries. The Breakfast provides a splendid opportunity to our communicants of welcoming new members, drinking hot coffee with old ones, and while we have such a strong body of deacons and deaconesses serving tables there ought to be a warm response. On other Sunday mornings, of course, the breakfast in the Crypt will still be ninepence. But on the third Sunday of the month, so long as numbers are sufficient, the Committee hopes to furnish the same sumptuous fare without any diminution of its rigid substantiality. Sixpenny Congregational Breakfast — A debate has been going on for some time among our Breakfast Committee as to what charge should be made for our Congregational Breakfast in S. James’ Hall on the third Sunday of the month. Hitherto ninepence has been considered a fair price to defray the cost. During the last couple of months, however, most folks have been hard hit by the war and other inevitable expenses. Salaries PARISH DIRECTORY THE PARISH OFFICE PHONE FAX WEBSITE OFFICE E-MAIL WHO’S WHO AND HOW TO CONTACT THEM Level 1, 169–171 Phillip Street, Sydney, NSW 2000 8227 1300 9232 4182 8227 1303 (m 0419 018 225) 8227 1304 (AH 9410 3077) 8227 1305 8227 1306 8227 1308 8227 1311 8227 1300 0407 017 377 8227 1300 8227 1302 8227 1301 8227 1312/0412 295 678 RECTOR The Reverend Andrew Sempell associate RECTOR The Reverend John Stewart DIRECTOR OF ST JAMES’ INSTITUTE The Reverend Martin Davies HEAD OF MUSIC Warren Trevelyan-Jones ORGANIST Alistair Nelson business MANAGER Ian Milne counselling@St james’ William Suganda Loretta King Pastoral Care Coordinator Chris Cheetham SECRETARY/OFFICE ADMINISTRATOR Dianne Ward ACCOUNTANT Michelle Chan Communications & MEDIA Isabella Woods PARISH CONNECTIONS EDITOR Isabella Woods VERGERs Graeme Reid Juris Balodis PAGE 4 ST JAMES’ PARISH CONNECTIONS OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2014


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The Reformation: God’s plan, or just good luck? Some theological, political and economic perspectives on Luther and the Continental Reformation An address to the Union, University & Schools Club History Group, 10 September, 2014 Come the Reformation, Comrade! Around twenty-seven years ago I was accused of being a Marxist when I suggested that the Continental Reformation in the sixteenth century was, in part, the result of economic and political factors in the German states. The context for these comments was a tutorial on Reformation Church History when I was at theological college. I had proposed that Martin Luther was lucky as the German princes had got somewhat sick of seeing the money from their realms being taken off to Rome through the sale of indulgences. Luther came along and said it should be stopped and the princes said ‘You’re our boy, we’ll back you!’ It may be a somewhat simplified argument, but was nevertheless one that tried to give a less pious cause for the Reformation than what was being offered in the tutorial; but it was not well received. What I discovered was a ‘silo mentality’ in the study of theology. This was manifest in the view that criticism should be internally referential, which is to say only another theological argument can criticise a theological argument; interdisciplinary critiques were discouraged. The problem for me was that I had studied some philosophy, politics and economics, and thought that these disciplines were useful tools fr andrew sempell in the study of theology; but this was not shared by all in the faculty. Later, this experience encouraged me to write an article for the College magazine on the topic of ‘Why theology should be studied in universities and not theological colleges’. But I am digressing before I get started! The Problem with History My first challenge today is to grapple with the problem of history. At its worst, the church tends to be inward-looking and self-obsessed, often breeding both exclusivism and authoritarianism as a result. Much of this is because of the exercise of power. Yet such behaviour ultimately creates a disconnection between the church and the community around it. The church has had to grapple with this phenomenon on many occasions down through its history of which the Reformation period was one. In 1961, Edward Carr described history as ‘an unending dialogue between the present and the past’ (What is History?, 1961). In this way he depicted it as a dynamic activity requiring continual interpretation of records, ideas and contexts that serve to produce descriptions of events in time. Like personal memories, history (and its social manifestation, tradition) tends to be a defining activity that informs us of who we are, whence we came, and how to relate to each other. Yet, it can also change according to our Photo: Christopher Shain circumstances and needs. Today, I am touching on this dialogue. Drawing on its Jewish roots, the Christian faith understands itself as a religion grounded in history. In this way God is seen as acting in and through history: from the creation of the world, through the story of the people of God, to the coming of the Christ, and the establishment and growth of the church. Theologically, this is called ‘salvation-history’ and it is a narrative concerning God’s operation in the world to create, sustain and save his people. The idea of history is therefore vital for an orthodox Christian understanding of salvation. However, there is a problem. In the early twentieth century, the historian Sir George Clarke wrote that ‘all historical judgements involve persons and points of view’ (Cambridge Modern History, 1907). Now, it is generally understood that most recorded history is about power, conflict and control (and that the winners get to write their own histories). However, Clark identified a movement of continued overleaf PAGE 5 OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2014 ST JAMES’ PARISH CONNECTIONS


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The Reformation: God’s plan, or just good luck? continued consciousness that ultimately brought about the postmodern suspicion of history at every level. This suggests that there are no ‘facts’ in history just ‘probabilities’. In other words, we cannot prove the events of history; we can only take the available data, consider what is most likely and develop a narrative about it. This critique of history can create a number of problems for the Christian faith as well as other historical institutions. Churchwise, it has tended to divide people between liberal/critical thinkers and conservative/fundamentalist thinkers, with a large middle ground in between comprising those who are both critical and conservative. A liberal view might argue that history is an illusion and therefore does not really matter; it is only what an individual currently thinks and feels that is important for salvation. On the other hand, a fundamentalist might claim that everything in the Bible is literal historical fact and must be accepted as such for a person to be saved – all modern criticism being the work of the Devil. Such debates usually then segue into one between universalism and exclusivism, neither side taking much interest in the views of the other. So what is at stake here? If God is the God of history, then an understanding of history is vital for the appreciation of humanity’s relationship with God and, by extension, each other. An implication of this however might be that, as history is a record of human activity in the world, then salvation history is more a human narrative about God rather than God’s narrative about humanity (rest assured, some people will disagree with me on this matter). Hence my question: ‘Was the Reformation part of God’s plan or a manifestation of human yearning?’ Religion and Schism The experience of heresy and schism has been present in the church since its inception. The controversy over Gentile converts (Acts 15:1-35), the divisions in the church at Corinth (1 Cor 11:18), and the constant necessity for Paul having to correct error in the missionary churches are examples. Dissension also continued in the early church as it dealt with numerous heresies such as Marcionism, Gnosticism, Montanism and Arianism, to name but a few. Certainly, from the church councils in the fifth century onward there has been regular and major schism in Christianity, most notably the Great Schism (between the Finding guidance during a difficult time is comforting. That’s why people turn to us MAURER FAMILY FUNERALS Maurer & Bracks MFF Subsolo Restaurant & Wine Bar Open Tuesday to Saturday Evenings 161 King St Sydney 9223 7000 – Bookings Essential 15% off your bill with presentation of this advertisement (Not to be used with any other discount offer) 9413 1377 Offices at Chatswood & Balgowlah Three generations of family values since 1941 PAGE 6 ST JAMES’ PARISH CONNECTIONS OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2014


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The Reformation: God’s plan, or just good luck? continued Eastern and Western church) in the eleventh century and the Reformation in the sixteenth. In modern Australia localised schism continues apace. I remember from my time in Grafton that there were three types of Presbyterian Church (each thinking the other to be defective), in Bathurst we had three separate Baptist churches created out of antipathy, and now Anglicans seem to thrive on division and rumours of division. Historically, the variety of monastic orders often allowed for some diversity of religious belief and practice, while also creating communities living under a common ‘rule’ that bound their members together. This seemed to work reasonably well until the orders amassed wealth and power, thereby acquiring economic and political influence. Indeed, the management of power, wealth and status seems to be one of the greatest weaknesses of the church – making it just like every other human institution in this respect. To be sure, the sixteenth century church was rich and powerful, but it needed vastly more sums of money to complete its biggest ever building programme, being the construction of St Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican. Meanwhile, the end of the Medieval period and the rise of the Renaissance era proved to be a time of significant change in Europe. Old political constructs were on the wane as trade, travel and technological advancement challenged the established social structure. Interests in education and the arts became both possible and more desirable among a populace that was gaining wealth and enjoying political stability. Part of this interest included a return to the study of ancient Latin, Greek (and even Hebrew) texts thereby opening inquiring minds to new possibilities. For reformers like Luther it provided a rediscovery of what the Scriptures actually contained. During this time, Christian humanism also emerged as a way of understanding the place of mankind in the world under God. Rather than looking down at the world from God’s perspective the view was reversed, looking up to God from a human perspective. Furthermore, nature, life and the human body itself were seen as something to be celebrated in word, music and art. This too influenced the Reformers. Now there had been several attempts to reform the church before the sixteenth century: notably the Waldensians in 12th century France, John Wycliffe in 14th century England and Jan Hus in 15th century Bohemia. Such actions, however, usually led to excommunication, persecution and sometimes death – the life of a reformer was not meant to be easy. Enter the sixteenth century Augustinian monk, priest and professor of theology, Martin Luther. The catalyst for Luther’s reforming agenda was the church’s practice of selling indulgences. This was a system of monetary payment made to avoid punishment for sin in purgatory after death. Luther argued that the church had no power to do this, and if it did, it should have freely given away such blessings for the benefit of humanity. His argument was theologically sound, however the church needed the money as it was spending a fortune on the construction of St Peter’s. Luther was concerned with what was good for humanity rather than what was good for the institutional church. Hence he argued that salvation was freely given by God to people because of his grace (or love); there was nothing that a person could do to earn it (let alone pay for it). Rather than challenging the church on its corruption or the lifestyle of its priests, he challenged it on its doctrine – he was, after all, a professor of theology and had read the Scriptures. As expected, things started to turn ugly. In 1517 he nailed his 95 theses to the town noticeboard, which happened to be the front door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg. This was the usual way of opening up public debate in this university town. His concerns ranged across the matters of clerical abuse (especially nepotism), simony (the sale of church offices or appointments), usury (the charging of excessive interest), pluralism (the holding of more than one church office for the sake of income), and the sale of indulgences. It was all on for young and old. The German princes were not keen on the sale of indulgences either as they saw much of the community’s wealth disappear to Rome. Frederick III, Elector of Saxony, and George, Duke of Saxony, prevented the sale of indulgences in their lands, yet the people travelled to other places to purchase them. Unsurprisingly, Pope Leo X condemned Luther and he was eventually excommunicated, but he still had the backing of a significant number of the German princes who protected him. Many other reformers had not been so lucky in continued overleaf PAGE 7 OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2014 ST JAMES’ PARISH CONNECTIONS


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The Reformation: God’s plan, or just good luck? continued the past; but of course after Luther, the rest is history – including Calvin, Zwingli, the CounterReformation and the Jesuits! Luther was probably a droppedcatch as it were for the Roman Catholic Church. Handled differently, he may never have become so extreme in his reactions to it. Indeed, most of his doctrines remained quite orthodox and affirming of the beliefs expressed in the Creeds, and by the early is, I am always a human observing the activity of humanity of which I am a part! Reflecting on the nature of God and God’s activity in the world is even more problematic, for here a human observer muses on the nature of a God who is beyond human understanding. The usual resolution to this dilemma is to accept that humanity can only know as much about God as God chooses to reveal. The Bible as reflection of human experience by the broader community. This is partly what the church seeks to do. Religious history is therefore an ongoing narrative about the relationship between God and humanity that provides identity, meaning and purpose to those who share it. Although it draws on past events and experiences, it is principally about understanding the present while driving the community into the future. In How possible is it to have an external reference point from which human phenomena can be observed? church fathers. In this way he remained quite faithful to the hero of his monastic order, St Augustine of Hippo. Here I Stand So where did Luther stand with God? One of the challenges in any historical inquiry is the matter of establishing objectivity. How possible is it to have an external reference point from which human phenomena can be observed? The hard sciences seek to achieve this by way of the scientific method. However, it is not quite so easy with the humanities as the process is always subject to the activities of the observer. This is even more so when the observer is also part of that which is being observed – that God’s revelation therefore becomes crucial yet its interpretation can be challenging! Setting theology aside for the moment, it is noted that most people have the capacity to tell stories. Any person has the ability to tell something of their life story, relating where they have come from in the past and what is important to them now. Such narratives are selfauthenticating as they are personal reflections on life experiences, although admittedly people do have the capacity to exaggerate and/ or be deluded. As a community however, we also share a narrative that is both defining and selfauthenticating that gains authority by its degree of inter-subjectivity – which is its acceptance as a true this way, it fulfils Edward Carr’s definition of being a dialogue between the present and the past. The narrative reveals that Luther was indeed lucky, for he could have easily come to a sticky end. He stood for what he believed to be theological truth, but he was no perfect saint, for he was too flawed a person with shadowy sides to his character. Yet despite this, his influence remains upon the church today and perhaps this is part of God’s plan for salvation history. But in any case, why wouldn’t God work through the political and economic activities of the day, as the Bible itself often describes? The Rev’d Andrew Sempell is the Rector of St James’. PAGE 8 ST JAMES’ PARISH CONNECTIONS OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2014


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Counselling Corner loretta king Good Parenting – A Moral Commitment to Shaping a Better World This month’s theme discusses public theology and its relevance in promoting and sustaining our human potential for good in all the domains of public life. From a psychological perspective, I would like to examine how our earliest relationships shape our characters and capacity for qualities that impact both our own lives and the lives of others. While we are born with some genetic and biological predispositions, psychological research suggests that our earliest attachments play a vital role in who we become and what we contribute. Emotional patterns handed down through family generations can influence parenting and attachment styles that support or limit differentiation of the self. Family systems theory defines ‘selfdifferentiation’ as a person’s ability to preserve their individuality and autonomy or think and act for themselves while simultaneously remaining emotionally connected and available to the needs of others. As natural and human history attests, achieving balance between the two life forces – individuality and togetherness – is vital for the preservation and continuity of all life on this planet. As an extension, on a moral level, ‘selfishness’ (or self-care) and ‘altruism’ (or care of others) can be viewed as interdependent and not mutually exclusive, and at the core of our survival. Primatologist Jane Goodall’s international youth program ’Roots & Shoots’ is an apt metaphor for how important it is for parents or primary caregivers to provide children with a nurturing secure attachment that helps them grow up to be conscientious, compassionate, empathic and loving citizens of the world. All the evidence suggests that securely attached children have a head start in achieving their optimal human potential for happiness, wellbeing and success in life and love in adulthood. Early validating and attuned parenting and later positive peer relationships help foster the individual’s successful navigation through the psycho-social stages of human lifespan development. This ideally results in essential character strengths: a capacity for trust, autonomy, initiative, competence, identity, love and intimacy, contribution to future generations and ego integrity. So as parents and caregivers, how can we best nurture our children in these capacities? How can we raise our children in a way that fosters self-validation and compassion, self-reflection and self-regulation, self-efficacy, self-esteem, confidence and courage – qualities at the core of the differentiated self? How do we promote in our children their optimal human potential – that which can sustain a social, political, economic and ecological context that honours freedom, equality, humanitarianism, respect for the environment and other living species, and justice for all? The formation of the mentally, psychologically, emotionally and spiritually integrated self and the creation and maintenance of a prosperous and loving society begins at the cradle of good parenting. This is where the roots are planted and the shoots are nurtured to grow emotionally intelligent, socially conscious and spiritually attuned individuals who can sustain both self-care and an empathic, nurturing and respectful connection with others. This involves an intrinsic willingness to positively contribute to the wellbeing of family, community and the greater society, other life species, the environment and planet. Children, by nature, are generally very resilient, and regardless of your current relationship with your child, it is never too late to improve that relationship and begin nurturing the qualities that best support their optimal growth and well-being, the bedrock of a future holistic and functional society. Below are a few well-researched parenting strategies you might find helpful: ŪŪ Try to empathically attune to your child’s inner experience rather than reacting to their outer expression in order continued overleaf PAGE 9 OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2014 ST JAMES’ PARISH CONNECTIONS


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GOOD PARENTING continued to support their emotional development. Emotion-coach your child by accurately mirroring/verbalising your awareness of their feelings, e.g. “I can see you are angry about… and you would prefer to…And it’s okay to be angry. But I really need you to….” This approach at once validates your child’s feelings and contains their arousal, while setting meaningful limits on their behaviour which teaches restraint that best supports/protects them and/or others. It is important to reiterate that this involves changing your child’s behaviour, not their feelings. Do not judge their thoughts and feelings but validate them, even while you are requesting change in their behaviour. Their feelings will change if you relate to your child with respectful understanding. Giving your child the right to their own perspectives will help them honour their own feelings and develop a sense of their own integrity and identity in order to flourish. ŪŪ Do not strictly discipline your child through punishment and control as this will only lower their self-esteem and/or create pent-up frustration or anger which can trigger rebellious conduct as well as aggressive behaviour toward others. Mirroring your child’s feelings makes them feel ‘heard’, lowering hyper-arousal, maintaining self-esteem and facilitating and supporting more adaptive behaviour. ŪŪ It’s normal for your child to test your rules, so be consistent following through with the consequences for breaking them. Otherwise, your child will not believe you and increase their testing. ŪŪ Don’t over-schedule your child’s free time. While it’s good to give them stimulating experiences, children also need independent playtime to develop autonomy and initiative. ŪŪ Don’t abandon your child through too little contact or invade them with too much. Give them some space to experience, process and express their own thoughts and feelings as well as time to communicate with you what they think, feel and need. ŪŪ Don’t overload your child with too much talk. Express your needs succinctly and calmly. Children are not miniadults and can’t assimilate as much information as adults (particularly when aroused) as their brains are not yet fully developed. ŪŪ Communicate with your child assertively rather than aggressively. Use “I statements”, e.g. “I would appreciate it if you would…because...”, which express your needs and wants in a respectful way. Do not use “You statements”, e.g. “You need to...”. This is disrespectful, lowers your child’s self-esteem, teaches them an aggressive model of communication, and poisons your relationship with them. ŪŪ Model the behaviour you want your child to copy, rather than just ‘tell them’, i.e. ‘show them’ good behaviour through the way you act and communicate with them and others. ŪŪ Don’t attribute a particular behaviour to your child as if it were their identifying characteristic, e.g. “You are a lazy child.” This is limiting to their self-perception and can result in their believing they are only what you tell them, which will reinforce that behaviour at the expense of their full potential personality. ŪŪ Don’t give messages to your child as to how they should feel, think or behave that limit their ability to experience their own feelings and authentic selves. Like ‘attributes’, ‘injunctions’ are limiting. If you require more constructive behaviour, express this assertively. ŪŪ Establish appropriate boundaries that are neither too rigid nor too vague. Try to convey compassion, warmth and understanding while setting limits and explain the reason for those limits. Your child cannot read your mind. Providing them with a rational explanation for rules and boundaries will help them accept such limits as in their best interest. ŪŪ Ignore behaviour such as nagging, tantrums, guilt tactics, etc. which test your resolve to maintain important boundaries and rules as paying attention to such behaviour reinforces and perpetuates it as a strategy that works. ŪŪ Ignore the ‘small stuff’ – pouting, silly noises, an untidy room etc. in order to have greater leverage with the ‘big stuff’. Patiently explain and model wanted behaviours, e.g. performing some house chores, personal hygiene, etc. Finally, prepare to have a formal tough conversation about behaviour that is not acceptable, e.g. hurting others, rudeness, damaging property etc. This is most effectively done by formally setting time aside to PAGE 10 ST JAMES’ PARISH CONNECTIONS OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2014


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GOOD PARENTING continued calmly explain and discuss the specific problem and the limits of acceptable/unacceptable behaviour. Come to some acknowledgement of mutual understanding and agreement, and be sure to enforce any forewarned consequences that are reasonable when there is noncompliance. ŪŪ Don’t forget to compliment your child when they do something right or show consideration. This encourages them to want to do more. ŪŪ Be emotionally available. Don’t withdraw from your child when you are annoyed or preoccupied. Instead, connect with and mirror your child’s feelings, explaining your own needs respectfully. This way, they will not feel abandoned by you. ŪŪ Plan quality time with your child, getting involved in their activities and interests. This will help build a loving and positive relationship with them. ŪŪ If at any stage you feel your emotional responses to your child are disproportionate to the situation, try excavating your own past for the strong feelings you are experiencing. These may be associated with your own unresolved losses, traumas or conflicts which are now being inadvertently projected onto your child. If necessary, seek professional help. ŪŪ Remember self-care: give yourself time out for other important relationships and self-pampering. It will help you to de-stress and build resilience in times of difficulty. Children are great at picking up vibes. If you’re happy, the odds are that they’ll be happy too! Above all, remember not to judge yourself too harshly if things haven’t been perfect. The situation can always improve, and as children are resilient they can still thrive with ‘good-enough parenting’ based on authentic concern, love and care. And so we come full circle: society as a whole depends on the sum of its parts, beginning with the quality and make-up of its individuals. So, parenting our children in a way that fosters the best they can be must be a moral commitment which can ultimately shape our world into the best it can be. Loretta King has a Master’s degree in Counselling and Applied Psychotherapy. She is experienced in working with individuals, couples and families in many areas of mental health. As well as her role as counsellor, psychotherapist and coach at Counselling@St James’, she is the Youth Counsellor at JewishCare in Woollahra and conducts the parenting programs ‘1–2–3 Magic’ (for parents of children aged 2–12) and ‘Engaging Adolescents’, (for parents of teenagers aged 13–18). Counselling @ St James’ St James’ Church is now offering a socially inclusive and non-faith based professional counselling service as part of its new outreach ministry to the city. Our professional counsellors/psychotherapists/coaches are available to assist individuals, couples and family members on a wide range of issues. Appointment flexibility is offered to accommodate work schedules. The service is provided in rooms in the lower level of St James’ Church, located in the heart of the city. To make an appointment, or for further details, please visit or telephone 8227 1300. OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2014 ST JAMES’ PARISH CONNECTIONS PAGE 11


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ARTHUR phillip memorial service An Ecumenical Church Service to mark the 200th Anniversary of the Death of Admiral Arthur Phillip was held at St James’ Church on Sunday 31 August at 3:00pm. The service included the unveiling and dedication of a plaque in his memory, presented by the Australasian Pioneers’ Club. The Guest of Honour was Her Excellency Professor The Honourable Dame Marie Bashir AD CVO, Governor of NSW, and an address was given by the Honourable Justice Michael Pembroke. Representatives from the NSW Parliament, the City of Sydney, the NSW Judiciary, the Australian Defence Force and diplomatic missions were also present. The service was led by the Rector of St James’, the Reverend Andrew Sempell, and Bishop Robert Forsyth. Representatives of the Roman Catholic, Uniting and Presbyterian churches also took part in the service. Extracts from an address given on the 200th anniversary of the death of admiral arthur phillip (1738–1814), first governor of new south wales “We were all once migrants”: opposite the State Library. Phillip is facing towards the Heads at the entrance to Sydney Harbour, the same majestic portal through which he first came, not initially, in a tall ship, but in a longboat rowed by seamen on 21 January 1788. The men in this advance party were the first ever white men to enter what Phillip described as the ‘finest harbour in the world’. They were awed by its beauty, and recorded their observations in their journals. 1786 portrait by Francis Wheatley (National Portrait Gallery, London) ARTHUR PHILLIP – FOUNDER OF MODERN AUSTRALIA Michael Pembroke, St James’ Church, King Street, Sydney, 31 August 2014 little settlement only survived in its first years because of his personal qualities and the leadership that he demonstrated. By 1788, Phillip was an experienced naval officer who had seen much of the world, commanded men in peace and at war, and was well known and respected in Whitehall. He was …Phillip’s significance was acknowledged earlier in Australia. As part of the centenary celebrations in 1888, the visionary Sir Henry Parkes commissioned the huge statue that stands just inside the Royal Botanic Gardens By the time Phillip left, less than five years later, a new European society, built from absolutely nothing, had begun to thrive. Phillip thought the colony would one day become, to use his own words, ‘the Empire of the East’ and ‘the most valuable acquisition Great Britain ever made’. His optimism was justified but the A representative from St Phillip’s Church, Church Hill, brought the First Fleet Bible, Prayer Book and Chalice used by the Chaplain, The Reverend Richard Johnson PAGE 12 ST JAMES’ PARISH CONNECTIONS OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2014


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The Governor addresses the congregation after Mr Chris White from the Australasian Pioneers’ Club presented the plaque to the church The Hon. Justice Michael Pembroke addresses the congregation The Choir of St James’ sang at the service The Arthur Phillip Memorial Plaque is similar to the memorial placed in Westminster Abbey and dedicated on 9 July 2014 Photos: Chris Shain The Rector presents the Governor with a picture of St James’ in recognition of her support of the church as Patron-in-Chief of the Benefactors of St James’ cerebral, persistent and painstaking. Most significantly for the evolution of this country’s future values, he was egalitarian, and he possessed that wonderful Enlightenment quality of humanity. Few could have achieved what he did. In his first Australian winter, he wrote from Sydney Cove that he was serving his country and ‘the cause of humanity’. And from the outset, he ensured that the colony was administered as a civil society built on fairness, but subject to the rule of law; not as a mere penal colony governed by military law, let alone simply as a gulag or dumping ground. There are many examples of Phillip’s forward thinking in relation to this new society. Let me give you three: a. In an age when slavery underpinned the prosperity of every one of the world’s colonial powers, as well as that of the newly independent United States of America, Phillip would not countenance its introduction. He had experienced first hand Portuguese slavery in Brazil and Dutch slavery at the Cape of Good Hope. And he well knew the dominant role that British continued overleaf PAGE 13 OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2014 ST JAMES’ PARISH CONNECTIONS


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“We were all once migrants” continued commercial interests played in the Atlantic slave trade. In outlining the kind of society that he envisioned for this country, he wrote at his desk in London in the autumn of 1786: ‘There can be no slavery in a free land and consequently no slaves’; b. As to the Aborigines, his intention was to treat them as equals, writing, once again in London before the fleet sailed, that ‘any man who takes the life of a Native, will be put on his trial as if he had killed one of the Garrison’. Phillip’s official instructions, I should remind you – because they are often ignored – required him to ‘conciliate the affections of the Aborigines’; to encourage everyone to ‘live in amity and kindness’ with them; and to punish those who should ‘wantonly destroy them or give them any unnecessary interruption in the exercise of their several occupations’. There were difficulties in the implementation of course, and the Aborigines were undoubtedly dispossessed, but these were the objectives; c. As to the convicts, he was lenient – surprisingly so – while being correspondingly harsh on any marines and seamen who transgressed. He even allowed – against all the rules of the day – two convicts to sue a ship’s captain for the theft of their goods. Some Englishmen thought that Phillip favoured the convicts. Others found his egalitarianism baffling and unsettling. It is fitting that this year, scholarships be inaugurated in Phillip’s name, and that he be remembered in this beautiful church designed by Francis Greenway, at a service conducted in the presence of the 37th Governor of New South Wales. Phillip was Greenway’s ‘friend and patron’. It was he who recommended Greenway to Macquarie, who rapidly emancipated Greenway and bestowed many commissions on him. The rest is history. In truth, all of us in this land of droughts and flooding rains are indebted to Arthur Phillip. Save for our indigenous brothers and sisters, we were all once migrants. We owe more to Phillip than most of us can possibly realise. He was not just the founder of modern Australia, he set the tone for the generous, liberal and fair minded society that we have become. Michael Pembroke is a Judge of the Supreme Court of NSW and author of the book Arthur Phillip: Sailor, Mercenary, Governor, Spy. Servicing RSL members & their families for 40 years Well known for our Coffee, Breakfasts and lunch, dine-in or takeaway, we also have extensive catering packages and free office delivery services To have our menu package e-mailed please do not hesitate to contact us on the details below. Society Caffe Bar is less than 20 meters from the Law Courts Building. Home to • The Supreme Court of New South Wales • High Court of Australia and • Federal Court of Australia Open from 6am until 5pm Monday to Friday Closed on Public Holidays Contact Details Proprietor: Marc Reader Ground Floor, 169 Phillip Street, Sydney NSW 2000 E-mail Phone +612 9232 0877 Fax +612 9232 0977 Phone: Trevor, Bernadette (née O’Hare) Dareen Special discounts for RSL members and families 115 Wellbank St, North Strathfield 2137 We have no affiliation with any other Funeral Director. hour, 7 day service in all suburbs. Pre-paid funerals available. Phone for a free booklet on ‘What to do at the time of Bereavement’. This proudly Australian owned family operated business offers 24 or Debra Lee on 9746 2949 or 0411 743 334. PAGE 14 ST JAMES’ PARISH CONNECTIONS OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2014


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St James’ Parish Retreat 2014 Being Silenced What is truth? Jesus said he was. But we can’t communicate Him adequately. All we can do is Wait – For the Spirit’s power: To move To change To enlighten. What is truth? It’s not what the politicians tell us, Nor what the oppressors claim. It’s gentle like a snowflake, A whisper from the Voice of God. What is truth? It’s not what anxiety tells us, When it shouts louder than Reality and Stronger than Love. It’s the peace that passes all Understanding; It’s being silenced before the wonder of God. © Sue Mackenzie St Mary’s Towers, Douglas Park, 13 September 2014. Silence Before God I try to be quiet Lord But your world keeps intruding: Bird song, joyous in morning greeting, The rustle of leaves, a whisper of life, Soldier birds in dispute, The drone of a plane, A blowfly, harbinger of heat. Yet your voice is still there: Behind, Beyond, Within – All I need to do is Listen. © Sue Mackenzie St Mary’s Towers, Douglas Park, 13 September 2014. OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2014 ST JAMES’ PARISH CONNECTIONS PAGE 15



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