Archbishop calls for compassion for bushfire victims

In a tweet today, Archbishop Glenn Davies has urged all Christians to continue to show compassion for bushfire victims, and to pray for the threat to ease.

He refers to Luke 13:1-5, where Jesus warns against ascribing a particular tragedy as a direct judgment of God.

Related:

Media Release from The Australian Christian Lobby:

The Australian Christian Lobby is responding to requests from the media to comment on Israel Folau’s recent sermon.

“Sermons don’t lend themselves to quick soundbites, and the media’s attempts to paraphrase a sermon has caused some unnecessary angst,” said ACL Managing Director, Martyn Iles, “For one thing, Israel did not claim to know that the current bushfires are God’s direct judgement for same-sex marriage.”

“Nobody knows God’s mind, nor do they understand ultimately why bad things happen,” Mr Iles added, “We do know that the Bible says God is sovereign over everything, and He is ‘our ever-present help in times of trouble.’ (Ps 46:1)”

“A call to turn our minds and hearts to God in challenging days such as these is supported by all Christians,” Mr Iles confirmed, “Churches across Australia are not only offering practical support to victims, firefighters, and communities, but are also praying for rain, for repentance, and for God’s plan in people’s lives to be strengthened even through difficulty.”

“Not all Australians will resonate with these beliefs, but the many who do shouldn’t be threatened or lose their freedoms,” Mr Iles urged.

The Australian Christian Lobby calls on Australians to pray for our nation, and to help those who are doing it tough, including victims, firefighters and their communities.

ENDS.

Urgent prayer for our country

The Archbishop of Sydney, Dr Glenn Davies, has announced the opening of a bushfire appeal as one million hectares of land has been burned already this fire season. Tuesday, Nov 12, has been declared a day of catastrophic fire danger.

Archbishop Davies has appealed for Anglicans and other Christians to pray fervently in light of the danger facing New South Wales, Queensland and other parts of the country.

Dr Davies has written a prayer, which reads:

A prayer for Our Country, in drought and fire.

Our heavenly Father, creator of all things and especially the creator of this land and its original peoples, we call out to you in these desperate times as we see the first catastrophic fire warnings for New South Wales, as fires have already swept across several parts of our land.

Our hearts cry out to you in desperation for those whose properties are affected by ravaging fires and whose very lives are in danger.

Father we pray, in your mercy, restrain the forces of nature from creating catastrophic damage; in your mercy protect human life.

Guard those who selflessly step into the breach to fight these fires. Guide police and authorities who help evacuate and shelter those who are displaced.  Bring comfort and healing to all who suffer loss.

Remembering that long ago you extended your hand through your servant Moses to stop the waters and then to return the waters to their normal course, so we pray for rain. 

In your mercy, we pray for drenching rain. 

We pray that despite the forecasts, in your miraculous power you would bring forth rain to quench these fires and to bring life back into the earth, so that crops may grow and farmers may bring forth the harvest of the land again.

We bring these requests before your throne, in the name of your Son, who died and rose again for our deliverance,

Amen.

The Archbishop of Sydney’s Anglican Aid appeal page can be found here.

– Source: SydneyAnglicans.net.

Further, the Archbishop has written to all Rectors, Assistant Ministers and Chaplains:

“I have announced a special appeal by the Archbishop of Sydney’s Anglican Aid to raise tax-deductible funds for those affected.

Funds raised from this appeal will help those who miss out on NSW government emergency assistance. I encourage you to circulate the details of the appeal and encourage your congregation to support it https://www.anglicanaid.org.au/nsw-bushfire-appeal or please telephone (02) 9284 1406.  More importantly, funds from this appeal will come with prayer and human connection. Our donations are a tangible symbol of God’s grace to us all.  Donations for this appeal are tax deductible.

Sadly, there are fires burning right now in the Anglican Dioceses of Grafton, Armidale, Newcastle, Bathurst, Brisbane and Sydney, but we can rejoice that there are established churches on the ground in the places most seriously affected, providing an existing network of prayer and the delivery of financial assistance.

All funds donated to the Archbishop of Sydney’s Anglican Aid appeal will go to Anglican churches in the affected areas, so that specific distributions can be made to those most affected within their communities.”

Attending to the National Soul: Book launch Thursday 12 December

Here’s an invitation to all ACL members and others interested in Australian history:

Attending to the National Soul – Evangelical Christians in Australian History 1914 – 2014 by Stuart Piggin and Robert D. Linder follows the highly awarded book The Fountain of Public Prosperity – Evangelical Christians in Australian History 1740–1914, which was published in 2018.

Both volumes are the result of thirty years’ research and writing. Read more

Go Without For The Drought

Learn about the Anglicare initiative to assist drought-affected communities.

(And see the photo sequence which brings home the impact of the drought.)

FREE2BME Religious Freedom Event in Blacktown, Monday 18 November

Mark Tough, Rector of St. Clement’s Lalor Park and Kings Langley, is advertising a Religious Freedom Event on Monday November 18 at 7pm at the Bowman Hall in Blacktown.

He writes, “We have a great line up of speakers – John Steenhof from the Human Rights Law Alliance, Professor Michael Quinlan from the University of Notre Dame Australia, Michelle Rowland MP the Federal Member for Greenway, and the Hon. John Anderson AO, former Deputy Prime Minister of Australia.

The event is free but people need a ticket in order to gain entry. Tickets can be obtained at https://www.trybooking.com/BFRMK.”

Download the flyer (1.6MB PDF file) with all the details, and be encouraged to share it widely. See also the Free2BMe Facebook page.

Mark Tough has recorded this video to encourage you to come along.

Religious discrimination bill so flawed it cannot be supported, Anglicans say

“The flaws in the Coalition’s religious discrimination bill are ‘so serious’ it cannot be supported in its current form, the Sydney Anglican diocese has warned. …

In a separate submission, the Freedom for Faith group has claimed the bill fails a commitment by the prime minister, Scott Morrison, ‘that the law would not take faith groups backwards in terms of protection of religious freedom’. …”

– Story from The Guardian.

Submission on the Religious Freedom draft laws

Associate Professor Neil Foster shares his personal submission on the Government’s package of draft laws on Religious Freedom – at Law and Religion Australia.

If you would like to make your own submission, you have until 5:00 pm on Wednesday 2nd October 2019.

The passing of new abortion laws — Statement from Archbishop Glenn Davies

Anglican Diocese of Sydney

Media Statement

Abortion laws pass the NSW Parliament

I want to thank the people of NSW who have petitioned, rallied and written to their parliamentary representatives during the recent debate on abortion.

Much has been achieved through these efforts so that the Bill that was finally passed by the Parliament is a far better Bill than what was introduced eight weeks ago.

We said at the time that it was unconscionable to attempt to rush this through the Lower House in the originally proposed timeframe, without any public consultation. We are grateful for the time that both Houses gave to the Bill and for the amendments made in both Houses.

Yet we are deeply saddened by the passing of these laws and the abortion-on-demand regime they introduce. The life of both a mother and her child in the womb are precious to God. We must love them both and protect them both.

May God have mercy on us.

Dr Glenn N Davies, Archbishop of Sydney, 26 September 2019

– Source: SydneyAnglicans.net.

Tragic day for Australia as NSW parliament passes its deadly abortion bill

“The Australian Christian Lobby has expressed its deep disappointment at the passing of the controversial abortion bill in the NSW Parliament today.

The bill, which has seen the third longest debate on any bill in the Legislative Council, quickly passed the Legislative Assembly this morning on the voices, after passing the Upper House with amendments last night. …”

– Press release from The Australian Christian Lobby.

Possibly ‘the worst law passed in New South Wales in modern times’

“Last night the controversial bill, which has been the source of public and political debate over the past eight weeks, passed the upper house 26 votes to 14.

This paved the way for it to be reintroduced to the Lower House today.

Ms Berejiklian, who faced significant public criticism from conservative figures over the bill, was not in the chamber for the final vote.…”

– Report from ABC News.

(Image from the 15 September 2019 Stand for Life rally in Hyde Park.)

Freedom for Faith submission on the draft Religious Discrimination Bill

Freedom for Faith has released its submission to the Commonwealth Government on its Exposure Draft Religious Discrimination Bill. …

I recommend it as an excellent overview of the Bill, with a good summary of its good points and some areas where it could be improved. …”

– See Neil Foster’s latest post to download a copy of the submission, along with previous comments – at Law and Religion Australia.

New Principal announced for SMBC

An announcement from Sydney Missionary and Bible College:

“We’re delighted to inform you today that the SMBC Board has appointed a new Principal.

After a lengthy recruitment process, attracting outstanding local, interstate and overseas candidates, we can today announce that the new Principal of Sydney Missionary and Bible College will be Derek Brotherson. …”

– More at the SMBC website.

A Corinthian Tale

There are growing signs that the ecclesial weather is changing and our churches are not prepared.

As the broader culture becomes more insistent about its moral narrative, Churches have become less certain. Universities, media personalities, and political representatives vocalise a secular righteousness with increasing confidence, while ecclesial leaders pray that kicking the can down the street will do the trick. …

No Christian denomination or Church in Australia can afford to play dodge ball with the marriage issue. As far as I can see, there are only three options available for churches and denominations: choose capitulation, accommodation, or faithfulness. …

Doing nothing is not a solution. To ultimately decide on inaction is a form of accommodation.”

– Murray Campbell, Pastor of Mentone Baptist Church, has been keeping an eye on movements in the Anglican Church of Australia. You should too.

See also:

Newcastle Synod to debate same-sex blessings – DavidOuld.net.

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