From the Chaplains
A message from Rev. Katherine Rainger
Thank you, Radford community, for your warm welcome this term. May your Christmas be full of wonder and delight. Here is one of my favourite interpretations of the Christmas Story.
Holy Covenant Anglican Church will again host a Christmas Eve Children’s Service. Dress up as your favourite character from the Christmas story or borrow a costume when you arrive. All very welcome.
Date: 24th December
Where: Holy Covenant Anglican Church, 89 Dexter Street, Cook
From Father Richard Browning
With deep, deep gratitude
I am just a few days away from finishing my time as chaplain at Radford College. My task as chaplain is simple: be among the community, love big and be faithful to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the values of the College! It is very easy to love the students.
I am so deeply grateful for the love and care, grace and forgiveness extended to me by this community. I am so richly blessed by you lot. It is very hard to leave.
I have received so much. I have been shaped by Radford. For the rest of my days I will move towards the horizon. “Living in truth, rising with compassion, walking in wisdom” describes for me an intentional becoming that will continue. I am very comfortable naming this Truth Compassion Wisdom, especially as these values are also names for God. “For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.” (1 Corinthians 13:12). The mystery is that right at this moment we are already fully known.
This “becoming” means that faithfulness to the gospel and these values has turned me face forward to the climate crisis and sustainable justice, treatment of refugees in detention, the gap in Indigenous equality, our relationship with the Timorese. This is fundamentally a part of the Anglican Church’s stand with Jesus, who sides with the poor for God’s and justice’s sake. (See Luke 4:16-21). In the context of an educational community, these values point us inexorably towards an horizon of moral responsibility. There is another way of saying this: we are immensely privileged. If we do not turn this privilege towards a greater and common good, then we are not serving God but ourselves.
Realistically, how is it possible for a chaplain to make any kind of impact across many, many hundreds of students with only little snippets of contact? “With difficulty” is the conclusion. Working hard on a culture of service learning has been one way. Practising the art of story-telling another. Committing deeply to Godly Play is another. Shaping liturgies full of movement and colour and song and weirdness and story and music and imagery and characters and questions and wondering is another. As hard as it is to leave, handing over to one as capable as Rev. Katherine is a delight. I have been knocking on her door for three years. She is brilliant and will be a fabulous priest in your midst.
I never thought our family would be in Canberra this long, but we have become children of this quirky, grassy place that has become our home. I am very much looking forward to working with a remarkable group of student leaders and giving everything for Dirrum Festival 2020, and returning to Timor one last time. I will be cheering on the rugby from the sidelines for one more year, but as a parent and not as coach (my youngest son Matthew will finish his Year 12 here next year). Basically, I will be commuting to Brisbane for a while and offsetting with a lot of trees.
I am very proud to stand in the rich tradition of amazing staff who have given their best across Radford’s thirty-five years. I have learnt so, so much from gifted and committed teachers and others. It is an honour to spend some of my best years in ministry among you and your children here at Radford. I am a servant of Jesus Christ with the simplest of messages: all are made in the image and likeness of God; all are lovely and loved. We are asked to treat all the same and the earth as we would our mother.
May the light and love of Christ settle in your home, and disturb your peace enough to send you into the world to make peace.
With every best wish and blessing