Adelaide Archbishop Patrick O’Regan hosted an ecumenical service at St Francis Xavier’s Cathedral yesterday to mark the opening of the South Australian parliamentary year. Source: The Southern Cross.
The Governor of South Australia, Frances Adamson, joined Premier Peter Malinauskas, Liberal MLC Nicola Centofanti (representing Opposition Leader David Speirs) and members of the state Parliament at the service, which was a joint initiative of the Leaders of Christian Churches SA (LoCCSA) and the SA Parliamentary Christian Fellowship.
Archbishop O’Regan said the service was an opportunity to “gather in friendship and unity, prayerfully focusing on the Parliament, its tasks, its governing councils and all those who offer their service to the state of South Australia”.
“As community leaders, let us commit to work together in unity and partnership, collaborating and supporting each other to create a flourishing community, where hope and love guide our actions,” he said.
“Together, we can make a difference, through listening with intent, noticing the suffering of others, and radiating and implementing a compassionate response, motivated by the transforming power of God in our midst.”
More than 25 members of the House of Assembly and Legislative Council attended the service along with representatives of all Christian denominations.
Reverend Denise Ferguson, chair of LoCCSA, delivered the opening prayer and presented each politician with salt from the River Murray and a small pottery dish made by Kangaroo Island artist Barb Wiadrowski.
Major Paul Hateley, from the Salvation Army, delivered a reflection entitled “Being salt to the world”.
He said salt was used to describe a myriad of themes in the Bible, including purification, preservation, justice and healing.
Major Hateley said he suspected that some of the bills that would be introduced this year would have their origins in injustice, injury and pain.
“May you be the salt of the world as you consider how we can bring healing to relationship and healing to our land,” he said.
MPs urged to be ‘salt to the world’ (By Jenny Brinkworth, The Southern Cross)