When the Household of Deacons in the Diocese of Canberra & Goulburn gathers, as it aims to do several times a year, and when deacons share their stories, dreams and struggles, it is apparent that no two ministries match. Challenges and triumphs may be broadly comparable but in the detail of each deacon’s ministry there is surprising variety.
Peter continues to wonder at this and to be amazed at how different is his journey from the journeys of others.
His support as an Honorary Defence Force Chaplain to the Bishop to the Defence Force in the period immediately after his ordination (2004) was unprecedented. So too was his being invited to serve as the first formally-approved Chaplain to the (Federal) Parliamentary Christian Fellowship.
As a deacon Ordination Advisor (now termed ‘Vocational Advisor’ – there are lay and priest Vocational Advisors too), Peter was recently asked to fill the position of Acting Director of Ordination on an interim basis, affording him opportunity to explore and affirm with others their sense of God’s leading in their lives.
A long-time member of the congregation of the ANZAC Memorial Chapel of St Paul at Duntroon, Peter assisted with the closing down of that congregation and was then invited to join a congregation on the other side of town at Kambah. The Anglican Parish of Arawang is the result of the amalgamation of All Souls Chapman and St Stephen’s Kambah with saints from both former parishes now gathered under the pastoral care of Arawang’s Rector, Gus Robinson. The Government- and Diocesan-mandated responses to the corona virus pandemic and the common-sense initiatives implemented at Arawang meant that the roles of both the Rector (Gus) and the deacon (Peter) over the past twelve months have been significantly different from what either they or the Parish Council intended. Consequently, Peter has been involved more in the leading of Sunday services (by means of Zoom) than would be the norm for a deacon.
Although Peter’s primary focus has been on supporting Arawang’s people, ministry with the former congregation of the ANZAC Memorial Chapel of St Paul Duntroon has continued, including through regular meetings with former members and through conducting funerals for those who have recently departed this life.
Peter’s support to Parliamentarians continues too, directly with some individual Members and Senators and indirectly: interceding, meeting weekly for prayer with a dedicated group of like-minded people and personally encouraging those currently providing ministry in Parliament House.
With a view to future (post- COVID19) ministry, this year Peter is studying towards a Graduate Certificate in Professional Supervision (Pastoral) through St Mark’s National Theological Centre. His desire is to assist Diocesan clergy to enhance their own inner, professional and inter-relational well-being.
In 2014, as a consequence of his leading of a mid-week service in Parliament House, Peter commenced a weekly blog, ‘Word of Life’: https://pcfchaplain.wordpress.com/. He continues to blog, keen to encourage readers to engage regularly with God’s word.
by Reverend Peter Rose