Call for ‘ethically uncontroversial’ COVID vaccine

“Archbishop Glenn Davies has released the text of a letter, signed by the Archbishops of the Anglican, Roman Catholic and Greek Orthodox Churches, calling for ethical research on COVID-19 vaccines. …”

– Story from SydneyAnglicans.net.

Archbishop Glenn Davies shares his personal response to COVID-19

In this weekend’s online service for the Diocese of Bathurst, Bishop Mark Calder asks Archbishop of Sydney Glenn Davies about how COVID-19 has impacted him.

And Glenn shares a familiar, but wonderful, verse for your encouragement.

It’s also available here as a standalone video.

Praying for our leaders

Some have remarked how tired many of our state and national leaders seem to be – and this is not surprising, given their heavy burdens in this time of crisis.

It’s a reminder to pray for them, in line with 1 Timothy 2:1-7, and also to pray for those who don’t know the Lord, that they may find life and hope in him.

Pray also for Christian leaders:

Today would have been the start of the Diocese of Sydney Election Synod. Archbishop Davies would have been enjoying retirement. Please pray for him as he continues in the role of Archbishop until March 2021. Pray also for the Election Synod now planned for April 2021, and for all those who may be nominated.

Pray for local church leaders, coping with the many strains of the current environment. Many are tired.

Also please pray for the ACL’s Annual General Meeting this week.

And there’s the Archbishop’s call “for fervent, daily prayer for the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the spiritual health of Australia” at 1900 local time each day.

Related:

How We’re Praying for VictoriaGospel Coalition Australia.

Ministering from a distance: Paul’s ministry from prison

“Paul wrote Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians and Philemon from prison. He would doubtless have preferred to be with them in person (Phil 1:8), but as he was kept apart from them he ministered from where God had placed him as best as he could.

We don’t get any sense that Paul felt his life was on hold: he continues to make the most of his daily circumstances (Col 4:3ff), preaching to the palace guards and all those around him (Eph 6:19; Phil 1:13), and sending out messengers with hand-written letters to the churches to encourage them and receive news for his own prayers and encouragement (Eph 6:22; Phil 2:18; Col 4:7-9). And we see clearly that although his relationships with these churches were different, his priorities – for clear gospel teaching and for the church to be built up in maturity in his absence – remained the same. …”

– A very relevant article by Caroline Clark at The Australian Church Record.

CMD Media Training for churches

“We at CMD are very conscious of the enormous challenge it has been for many churches to conduct their services online since late March and now the challenge continues in another form.

Many church leaders need to consider how to continue providing church online whilst beginning to conduct live services on site with reduced numbers.

For many this will mean that pre-recording services is not realistic and therefore they are considering running a ‘hybrid model’ or church services whereby the live service is streamed live to those at home. …”

The Centre for Ministry Development at Moore College is looking at how they might support churches with all these changes.

A chat with Bishop Gary Koo

Recently, Tom Harricks (Rector of Penrith Anglican Church, and also Secretary of the ACL) chatted with Gary Koo, Bishop of Western Sydney.

Gary shares something of his background, how he became a Christian, and what it’s like to be a new bishop in the era of COVID.

An interesting and very encouraging video.

Leading for endurance not recovery!

“Australian church leaders need to make a philosophical shift in every aspect of our ministry, away from leading for recovery and towards planning to lead for endurance.

We need to start using the catchcry, ‘Not Recovery, But endurance, ’ in order to set our people’s expectations right.”

– At this morning’s EFAC/Peter Corney Institute online conference, Dominic Steele contributed these thoughts about endurance.

‘Come, let us sing!’ with Rob Smith

From The Pastor’s Heart:

“Rob Smith has been a global leader in evangelical music for three decades. He has a new book out ‘Come, Let us Sing!’ just as singing has been restricted in many churches due to COVID-19.

Rob joins us to talk about some of the principles he’s discovered in a lifetime’s work in Evangelical Music, plus how the current pandemic has caused course corrections. …”

Helpful and encouraging.

– Watch or listen at The Pastor’s Heart.

(Image: Rob Smith at St. Andrew’s Cathedral, courtesy Anglican Media Sydney.)

Masks

“I don’t understand why people would have a problem being asked to wear a mask. It might not be popular to say it out loud, but we all put on masks.

So what’s the problem? Long before COVID came along we were masked and long after it will disappear we will continue to be masked. So what’s the problem?…”

A gospel slant on masks from the Bishop of Armidale, Rick Lewers.

Update on rules for NSW churches under COVID restrictions

“Following my previous comments on the operation of Public Health Orders (PHO’s) in NSW on churches and religion groups, this post reports on the latest amendment to the rules, which commenced operation today, Friday 24 July.”

– At Law and Religion Australia, Neil Foster takes a close look at the latest NSW Public Health Order and what it means for churches.

Church restrictions tighten in COVID snapback


“The COVID emergency in Victoria as well as several outbreaks in Sydney, including in a Maronite congregation, has led to tighter controls on churches, including a requirement to register as COVID-safe businesses.

In a public health order issued on Thursday 23 July, church meetings are now capped at 100, regardless of the size of the building. Previously, there was no cap and the numbers were constrained only by how many could fit with 4m2 distancing. Weddings and funerals also have caps, with funerals at the general 100 person limit and weddings permitted to have 150 people. …

All places of worship must register with NSW Health as a COVID Safe business. They must also have their plan available for inspection.”

– Russell Powell has the latest – including relevant links – at SydneyAnglicans.net.

See also:

COVID-19 Safety Plan for places of worship.

Colin Buchanan ‘Strong & Courageous’ concert live online tonight from 7:30pm

With the support of The Gospel Coalition Australia, tonight (Thursday, 23 July 2020) at 7:30pm, Colin Buchanan is ‘singing some songs echoing God’s grace in the COVID-19 season’ – live on his Facebook page.

Share and watch.

How the COVID outbreak is affecting southwestern Sydney parishes

“The morning service at Hoxton Park Anglican was all set to start up again this Sunday. The kids’ program was ready to go, and the congregation was looking forward to meeting together in person. That was until the COVID cluster from the Crossroads Hotel in Casula came to light. …”

– The latest from SydneyAnglicans.net. Photo: Civic Australia.

See also:

“NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has announced COVID-19 restrictions introduced to pubs will be extended to restaurants, bars, cafes and clubs. …

Funerals and places of worship will be limited to 100 people.

The restrictions will be in place from July 24.” – ABC News.

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