05 Feb 2018
The Ecumenical Service to mark the Commencement of Parliament for 2018 was held at the Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture on Monday February 5, 2018.
The annual service is organised by the Parliamentary Christian Fellowship in partnership with the Australian Capital Territory Council of Churches (ACTCC).
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and his wife Lucy Turnbull attended along with Opposition Leader Bill Shorten.
During the service Mr Turnbull read 1 Corinthians 13:1-13 and Mr Shorten read the Luke 4:14-21 reading.
In reflecting on both passages, Canberra Baptist Minister Rev Belinda Groves delivered a sermon on love.
“Over the last few decades, and more publicly in recent years, the church has slowly acknowledged how it failed some of those for whom it should have been caring,” she said.
“We have not loved, in many cases, our most vulnerable neighbours, and we have held at arm’s length those we’ve regarded as ‘strange’ – treating them as strangers.
The service was led by representatives from the churches: Archbishop Christopher Prowse from the Canberra Goulburn Catholic Archdiocese, Mrs Karon Baron from Christian Education in Schools ACT, Rev Father Michael Zamer from the Coptic Orthodox Church, Dr Kevin Bray from Church of Christ and Rev Alistair Christie from the Uniting Church and Bishop Stephen Pickard from the Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture.
You can read Rev Belinda Groves' full sermon.
See more photos from event on our Facebook page.