CMS NSW/ACT gives thanks for response to Lasting Hope Appeal

From the CMS NSW and ACT branch:

Praise God that we have exceeded our $1.6 million target, to support CMS missionaries as they share the hope of Jesus! Thank you to all those who have been praying for the appeal – and for everyone who gave in support.

You will know that CMS has faced significant financial challenges amidst the COVID-19 period. It is a great joy and encouragement to know that our Fellowship is responding to these challenges together, as we trust in the God who provides for all of our needs.

But our work is not finished yet. During COVID-19, our branch faced a number of unexpected expenses – the high cost of airfares at short notice, loss of income from the CMS Conference Centre, and additional housing for missionaries who were unable to leave or needed to return to Australia – these are just a few examples. …”

See more here.

Nothing takes God by surprise

“Nothing takes God by surprise and the ministry he has entrusted to his people remains the same: ‘this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world’. …”

– Dean of Sydney, Kanishka Raffel, is praying for a Corona harvest.

Are we there yet?


“The latest changes to the Public Health Orders for Places of Worship have plunged churches into a further round of calculation and cleaning as the COVID-19 restrictions continue to ease.

The changes are being brought in amid continuing concern about the situation in Victoria where another wave of community transmission is emerging. …”

The latest COVID-19 update from the Diocese of Sydney includes videos from Bishop Gary Koo (Chair of the diocesan COVID taskforce) and Youthworks’ Ed Springer.

A new culture of one-to-one ministry under lockdown

“How can we stick resolutely to our marching orders, now that proper ‘churching’ in person is impossible?”

Like every other church, we asked numerous such questions as the global pandemic gathered its eerie pace in what now seems almost another age, barely three months ago. …

rather than attempting to maintain familiar structures via an unfamiliar online medium, we resolved to set up a brand new ministry structure with every current and fringe church member assigned a place.

– Stephen Anderson shares an encouraging approach from the parish of Oatley West. At The Australian Church Record.

Churches and COVID-19 in NSW — Public Health Order No 4 released

“Following earlier announcements by the Premier of NSW, the rules regarding public gatherings in the State have been amended with effect from 1 July 2020, in the Public Health (COVID-19 Restrictions on Gathering and Movement) Order (No 4) 2020 (“PHO No 4”). This post comments on matters that relate to churches and other religious bodies. …

Limits on public gatherings for religious services, weddings and funerals have now been changed. Limits on the use of premises are also affected.”

– At Law and Religion Australia, Neil Foster unpacks the latest COVID-19 related rules for churches in NSW.

CMS Summer School planned to go ahead 2–8 January 2021

From CMS NSW / ACT

“26 June 2020 

We are pleased to announce that we are going ahead with planning a full conference for CMS Summer School 2021.

We are looking forward to being able to engage with adults, children and youth at Summer Schooland are carefully planning how to do this safely and effectively amidst possible COVID-19 restrictions.

More information will become available in July. For now, please save the date and get excited for a great week of engaging with God’s mission!

Evangelism: Why and How? — Rico Tice

In the midst of the pandemic, we can lose sight of what’s really important.

Here are some strong challenges and encouragements from Rico Tice.

Watch the video here.

See also:

A conversation with Rico Tice — Evangelism in Lockdown.

and

the video to which he refers, COVID-19 Spiritual Health Check.

How could you use it?

Re-gathering in the Northern Territory: the new normal for St Peter’s Nightcliff

“For 11 weeks our church gathered virtually for live-streamed services filmed in our church building. When the Northern Territory announced its ‘Roadmap to the new normal’, we realised we couldn’t allow as many people into our church space as before lockdown …”

– at The Australian Church Record, Joshua Kuswadi shares the news from Darwin.

Numbers

Glen Scrivener at SpeakLife has released a powerful and provocative video.

Watch here.

Restrictions ease quickly but July is key

“The Head of the COVID-19 Task Force for the Sydney Diocese, Bishop Gary Koo, says churches should continue to be ‘good citizens’ during the return to in-person services, which he says is happening quicker than most people expected. …

‘While we are delighted by the lifting of restrictions, things are moving so fast that I wonder if churches should just pause for a moment, analyse where we are at and wait for a couple of more weeks to see what happens as we approach July 1. We can then make more meaningful plans when we get to that point.’ Bishop Koo cautioned.”

– Russell Powell has the latest at SydneyAnglicans.net.

(Emphasis added.)

Check-ins, singing, 4 square metres and the way out of COVID-19


“The Australian Prime Minister says in stage three of the Post Covid-19 reopening, groups will be able to meet with no upper limit on numbers from July, but there will be a blanket rule of 4 square meters per person.

However, all visitors to buildings will be required to checkin and provide contact details.”

The latest episode of The Pastor’s Heart tackles these questions in the latest episode.

The One Thing Needful

“Whenever the four horsemen have been riding – pestilence, sword, famine, and death – they should lead finite creatures like us to ponder the shortness of our earthly stay.

Threats of dislocation and death do not change the human condition; they merely run a highlighter through it.

As Dr Johnson famously commented: ‘Depend upon it, sir, when a man knows he is to be hanged in a fortnight, it concentrates his mind wonderfully.’ At least it ought to. …”

– Dr Peter Barnes, Moderator-General of the Presbyterian Church of Australia, draws us back to what is most important.

(Photo: Dr. Barnes at a Banner of Truth conference.)

The Monotony of the Wilderness: Are you just marking time?


“I’m reading through the Pentateuch. There’s much that happens in these books, especially during the journey of the Israelites from Egypt to the Promised Land.

The trip is action-packed, especially at the beginning. Consider the many memorable events: the crossing of the Red Sea, the miracle of manna, water from the rock, the giving of the Law at Mount Sinai, and the Golden Calf incident.

We tend to remember the high and low points, but for most of the forty years it took for the Israelites to reach Canaan, the days were probably pretty monotonous. …”

– At the Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation, Mike Emlet writes to encourage a heavenly perspective on these times.

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