On Thursday 31 March, students, staff, Sister Gillian, visiting clergy and special guests gathered for a whole school Easter service and the commissioning of The Reverend Jazz Dow as Chaplain of St Margaret’s Anglican Girls School.
Bishop Jeremy Greaves presided over the service which marked the official commencement of Rev’d Jazz’s ministry among the St Margaret’s community.
During the service, Rev’d Jazz was presented with symbols of ministry by members of the St Margaret’s including Sister Gillian, who presented her with a prayer book.
The Co Deputy Chair of St Margaret’s School Council, The Reverend Jan Crombie, also took part in the service reading Acts 10:34-39.
During her sermon, Rev’d Jazz referred to a Brene Brown podcast where Brene and Karen Walrond discussed accessing joy and finding connection in the midst of struggle.
“They discussed the interplay between despair and joy and the strategies they use to access joy when life feels overwhelming. One of their key messages is that joy is an essential part of our work. We need to take time to access joy in order to work for peace to transform the world for good. Karen says: ‘I will never apologise for embracing joy and beauty even when the world is falling apart because joy is my fuel for activism.’ Karen continues: ‘we are made for ebb and flow, the rhythm of working and resting, working and resting.’
Rev’d Jazz said: “So, accessing joy is vital, even and especially when it feels too hard or even self-indulgent.
“So today we are embracing joy and we are celebrating the joyous festival of Easter where we embrace the joy of the resurrection … that death does not have the final say, that life will always triumph over death,” she said.
Rev’d Jazz concluded her sermon with this message to students: “At the end of a pretty challenging term, you might find yourself in a state of despair, exhaustion and uncertainty about the world. May you hear the message of Easter that you are of infinite worth to the God who turns death to life, who brings peace in fear. Let these school holidays be a time for you to access joy.”
The message to embrace joy was encouraged by Archbishop Phillip Aspinall in his 2022 New Year message and has since been embraced by St Margaret’s. The students certainly embodied this theme as they joined together in glorious song for And All the People Said Amen. It was a joyful moment of song and dance that will surely be remembered as a highlight of this special service welcoming Rev’d Jazz to the St Margaret’s community.