New Dean of Christ Church Cathedral Darwin Commissioned

Posted on October 24, 2020 
Filed under Australian dioceses, People

The Rev. Rob Llewellyn was commissioned as the new Dean of Christ Church Cathedral in Darwin last weekend.

The service can be seen at the Cathedral’s Facebook page.

Bishop Greg Anderson preached. Most encouraging.

Commending the Jerusalem Declaration

Posted on October 24, 2020 
Filed under GAFCON, Theology

GAFCON has created a page to commend and explain the Jerusalem Declaration.

Most encouraging.

Be sure to watch the “Understanding the historical context” video on that page.

You can also assent to the Jerusalem Declaration yourself.

Churches, Give People a Message of Hope

Posted on October 22, 2020 
Filed under COVID19, Encouragement

“Tom Holland is the spiderman of historians. His latest conversation with Glen Scrivener is well worth the listen for it includes more than a few intriguing thoughts in the web of ideas.

I really appreciate his thoughtfulness and honesty. It was this reflection by Holland that especially struck a chord with me. He said,

‘I felt that over the course of this year the churches have been a let down. I think that the experience of pandemic, it sets you to asking why is this happening…it raises profound issues of theodicy.’…

Holland isn’t knocking churches for talking about their buildings, social distancing and COVID-19 plans. He notes that these things are important. The overall presentation of Christianity that he has heard and seen over the last 6 months (and keep in mind Tom Holland is a studious observer of Christianity), the message he’s received is overall bland and uninspiring and offers little hope to a world he says is desperate for salvation.”

– Murray Campbell in Melbourne writes at The Gospel Coalition Australia.

Mask and number restrictions easing in churches

Posted on October 21, 2020 
Filed under COVID19, Sydney Diocese

“Churches can now open to up to 300 people, subject to the 4m2rule and masks are no longer needed in services after talks with the State government on COVID safety…”

– The latest from Russell Powell at SydneyAnglicans.net.

Photo: Anglican Media Sydney.

Euthanasia in a time of COVID

Posted on October 20, 2020 
Filed under Culture wars, Opinion

“I recently heard a man express the view that he would rather vote for a communist dog catcher than for someone who did not respect life. I am not sure about a communist dog catcher but I am sure that a vote for someone who will not defend the sanctity of human life is a vote for a very uncertain future.

Pre-election desire to introduce euthanasia into Queensland by Annastacia Palaszczuk is conspicuous in its timing. While ‘voluntary’, it has to be said that such a commitment to death during the COVID-19 pandemic is very confusing. …”

– Bishop of Armidale, Rick Lewers, discusses the sobering announcement from the Premier of Queensland.

Reflections on my expectations of Ministry Fifty years ago

Posted on October 20, 2020 
Filed under People, Sydney Diocese

“Following a year of teaching secondary school English and History, I entered Moore Theological College in 1966 (aged 21). Ordained in Sydney (deacon, 1969; presbyter, 1970), I was assistant minister at Yagoona, St Michael’s Wollongong, and then Eastwood, before undertaking a New Testament research degree at Durham University, UK. Returning to Australia in 1976, I was invited to start a new church in Wanniassa …”

– In The Australian Church Record’s 2020 Winter Journal, John G. Mason reflected on fifty years of ordained Christian ministry.

Obeying government and obeying God

Posted on October 20, 2020 
Filed under COVID19, Sydney Diocese, Theology

“The Bible’s teaching on our relationship to human authorities is quite clear. Those who govern us are set in place by God. …”

– In his column in the October 2020 Southern Cross, Archbishop Glenn Davies considers the relationship of Christians and the government – in these ‘COVID-19’ times.

Hopeful signs

Posted on October 20, 2020 
Filed under COVID19, Sydney Diocese

This morning, Archbishop Glenn Davies tweets,

“I met with Minister Brad Hazzard yesterday. I assured him of our prayers as we all work together to stop COVID-19. We spoke about inconsistencies in current rules and he assured me that an announcement tomorrow will help churches better serve our communities.”

Update, 21 October 2020:

“From this Friday, the number of people who can attend religious gatherings will be lifted from 100 to 300, subject to the 4square-metre rule.”

ABC News.

Sydney Preaching Clubs Reopening in 2021!

Posted on October 19, 2020 
Filed under Encouragement, Resources

News from David Cook and The Expository Preaching Trust –

“The Trust’s preaching clubs will reopen in Term 1, 2021. They meet four times each year, once each school term, in Abbotsford on a Thursday and at Cronulla on a Friday.

Membership of each club is free…

Learn more about this invaluable resource here.

Victoria: Churches locked out of Andrews pathway from lockdown

Posted on October 19, 2020 
Filed under Australia, COVID19

Here’s a media release from The Australian Christian Lobby:

Churches locked out of Andrews pathway from lockdown

19 October 2020

Victorians are relieved to see lockdown restrictions easing, but whilst retail and hospitality sectors can open from 2 November, churches and other faith communities remain in the dark about their future.

“From midnight 1 November, metropolitan hospitality venues can host 20 people indoors and regional venues 40,” ACL spokesperson Jasmine Yuen observed, “Yet church communities can not hold an indoor gathering.”

“In today’s daily press conference Premier Andrews justified the disparity by saying hospitality venues were heavily regulated. Allowing up to 40 strangers in a pub but zero members of a church community inside their own building is nonsensical and unjustifiable.

“The longer this trampling of freedom of worship goes on without making the specific epidemiological justifications public, the more it highlights how desperately religious freedom reform is needed.

“The sentiment of faith groups is clear, from a joint petition of 10,000 people of Catholic, Greek Orthodox, Presbyterian, Muslim and Hindu faiths, to 300 pastors and leaders who wrote to the Premier, all urging him to allow them to open. Faith groups provide an essential service for community health and mental wellbeing.

“Indoor church services with COVID-Safe Plans and contact tracing are safer than gatherings in public places. Churches have cooperated with the government for a long time to comply with the various protocols on food, hygiene, child safety, fire safety & emergency management et cetera. There is no reason why they can’t open in a COVID-Safe way just like restaurants and pubs.

“COVID-Safe church opening now is vitally important, particularly when people have been so lonely and isolated.

– ENDS.

Related:

295 church leaders urge Premier to open churches – 08 October 2020.

New Bishop of Singapore installed

Posted on October 19, 2020 
Filed under Anglican Communion

“In a ceremony steeped in tradition, the Reverend Canon Dr Titus Chung was installed as the new bishop of the Anglican Church in Singapore yesterday evening. …

The 55-year-old was previously priest-in-charge of St Andrew’s Cathedral’s Mandarin congregation and takes over as bishop from Right Reverend Rennis Ponniah, 65, who retired last month.”

– Report from The Straits Times. Photo: Diocese of Singapore.

A place of hope opens in Sydney’s West

Posted on October 18, 2020 
Filed under Encouragement, Sydney Diocese

“’To the Glory of God and the growth of His Kingdom’ – so says the plaque unveiled at the official opening of Sydney’s latest Anglican church building.

The 21st-century design of the Stanhope Anglican Church was projected on the screen in the auditorium as Archbishop Glenn Davies joined the church’s pastor, Steve Reimer, members of the church and invited guests in opening the building. …”

– Good news from Russell Powell at SydneyAnglicans.net.

Staying fresh as a Rector

Posted on October 15, 2020 
Filed under Encouragement, Resources

“Even before COVID-19, every rector was aware of the growing pressure of the role: the demands of compliance, managing expectations and criticisms from the congregation, tensions within parish council, the demands of meeting the budget, keeping the staff aligned with a common vision, and the challenges to see both church and gospel growth.

COVID-19 has simply escalated that stress by requiring so many decisions on an ever-changing treadmill. The result is that we can be left feeling tired and uninspired with a gnawing sense of failure as we count the days to our resignation or retirement.

At different stages of my ministry I found refreshment in the following…”

Encouragement from Ray Galea, at The Australian Church Record.

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