Anglican Aid NSW Bushfire Appeal

“The Archbishop of Sydney’s Anglican Aid has launched an appeal to allow immediate response to the devastating bushfires raging in NSW.”

Image: worldview.earthdata.nasa.gov/

NSW/ACT CMS Summer School under way

The CMS Summer School is under way at Katoomba.

For anyone planning to go, but who missed the first couple of talks (on 1 Timothy) by Simon Manchester, CMS has made them available here.

Opposing same-sex marriage is not “vilification”

“The recent NSW decision of Passas v Comensoli [2019] NSWCATAP 298 (18 December 2019) provides an example of someone who has been penalised for “homosexual vilification” as a result of comments concerning same-sex marriage.

However, it does provide clarification that merely to express disagreement with the introduction of same sex marriage does not amount to such vilification under NSW law.”

– At Law and Religion Australia, Neil Foster’s latest post is worth reading in full.

A Prayer for protection amid bushfire emergency

“Archbishop Glenn Davies has appealed for Christians to be in fervent prayer as New South Wales enters a State of Emergency because of bushfires raging around the state.

As the state of emergency was declared, at least 17 people had died in Australia and more than 1,400 homes have been destroyed in bushfires since October. Three bushfire fighters have lost their lives in New South Wales.

Archbishop Davies wrote to churches noting that many, especially in the Wollongong Region have been arranging special prayer meetings as well as practical offers of support to those affected.

“Our January Sunday services will give us all an opportunity for bringing our prayers to God for his mercy to flow, and indeed for rain to fall.” Dr Davies said.

The Archbishop issued a special prayer, which asks for protection for the firefighters…“

– The full prayer is available at SydneyAnglicans.net.

Related: At the time of writing, the CMS Summer School at Katoomba is still going ahead.

Stand your ground (Ephesians 6:10–13)

“It’s easy to ignore the spiritual realities of life. But Paul reminds us we should live our ordinary, everyday lives in light of spiritual realities. …”

Lionel Windsor turns to this key passage in Ephesians 6, with a reminder of important spiritual realities at the start of 2020.

Bible Reading Plans for 2020

“Many Christians take the beginning of a new year to evaluate their Bible reading habits and then change or begin a Bible reading plan.

For your convenience, we’ve compiled a list of Bible reading plans for you …”

– Ligonier Ministries has published this comprehensive list.

Church Society Best of 2019: Audio

Church Society in the UK is highlighting some of their most helpful audio from 2019 (and earlier).

Launch: A camp for school-leavers keen to live for Jesus, February 3-6, 2020

From Two Ways Ministries and Phillip Jensen, here’s something important for school-leavers who are keen to live for Jesus. “Launch” is a strategic camp for young Christians transitioning from school to post-school life.

“Our first Launch in 2019 was so successful that we are expanding and preparing for a bigger Launch group in 2020.

See phillipjensen.com for more information, including a video and a downloadable flyer.

There’s also a Facebook page.

Related:

On this week’s The Pastor’s Heart, Dominic Steele spoke with Rowan Kemp from the Sydney University Evangelical Union and Geoffrey Folland from Power to Change USYD about the value of being involved with a Christian group on campus.

The gospel for the boss (Ephesians 6:9)

“Authority implies responsibility. Christians, who have a heavenly Lord and Saviour, have a special reason to be responsible in the way we use our authority.”

– Lionel Windsor turns to the exhortations in Ephesians 6:9 and their application today. At Forget the Channel.

Losing a job for believing that biological sex is immutable

“An astonishing decision from an Employment Tribunal in the UK has ruled that it is acceptable to dismiss an employee because of their view that sex is biological and immutable (unable to be changed).

In a preliminary ruling in Forstater v CGD Europe (18 Dec 2019; Case No 2200909/2019, Employment Judge Tayler) this view was found to be ‘incompatible with human dignity and [the] fundamental rights of others’ (para [84]), and hence not a protected ‘belief’ for the purposes of a claim of “belief”-based discrimination under the UK Equality Act 2010.

While this case is not based on a religious belief, it brings into sharp focus a number of issues connected with religious beliefs and the workplace. …”

– At Law and Religion Australia, Neil Foster looks at a case which might have been unthinkable a very short time ago.

‘Tis The Season to Be Jolly, So What If I’m Feeling Sad?

The song playing in Target will tell you “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year”, but you might feel like screeching back “For who?”

A light up display on Santa’s belly in Kmart will tell you how many sleeps are left, but to you it might feel strangely reminiscent of a ticking time bomb.

And if you’ve managed to suppress all that by the time you get home, you may be fortunate enough to have a three-year-old who regularly shouts “Hey Siri! How many days ‘til Christmas?” to refresh your memory/increase your blood pressure. …

– At The Australian Church Record, Jocelyn Loane considers what we mustn’t forget at Christmas.

New Archbishop of York, and other news from the UK

“It has been announced this morning that the new Archbishop of York will be Stephen Cottrell, currently Bishop of Chelmsford.

Stephen Cottrell is the President of Affirming Catholicism, an organisation which is ‘seeking to bring together and strengthen lay and ordained people who recognize the positive, inclusive and joyful currents in the Catholic tradition of Christianity.’ Among other things, they are seeking to allow same sex marriage and the ministry of people in same sex relationships within the Church of England. …”

– See Church Society’s website for more. Photo: Diocese of York.

The Church of England website has a story.

In other news from the UK, Bishop Gavin Ashenden, who joined the Anglo-Catholic Christian Episcopal Church two years ago, has now announced that he is ‘crossing the Tiber’.

Related:

Rome Scholars & Leaders Network, June 15th-19th 2020.

“Evangelicalism currently has an incoherent relationship with Roman Catholicism. Many evangelicals are uncertain about what Roman Catholics actually believe. Do they believe in the same Gospel, or something entirely different?…”

Swimming the Tiber? by Mark Jones at Ligonier Ministries.

Jesus is God with us

Archbishop of Sydney Glenn Davies has released his Christmas Message for 2019 – in both text and video formats.

It would be ideal to play at services on Christmas Day – and to feature it on your church website.

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