Update on Tathra bushfire disaster from Bp Stuart Robinson – updated

As he prepares to conclude his time as Bishop of Canberra & Goulburn, Stuart Robinson has posted the latest on the Tathra bushfire disaster

“Archdeacon Carol believes around 100 homes are now being listed as having being destroyed. This means many hundreds of people are homeless. …”

Update:

The Archbishop of Sydney’s Anglican Aid has opened an emergency appeal to respond to the fires in the Southern New South Wales beach town of Tathra. – Details.

“Irrational and illogical” to believe that sexual orientation can never change: Federal judge

“A judge of the Federal Court of Australia, Justice Jagot, handed down a decision recently in which her Honour said that a Tribunal’s reasoning, based on the assumption that a person could never change their sexual orientation, was “affected by illogicality of the kind required to constitute jurisdictional error” …

The decision … was a sharp reminder that bureaucratic decisions must be based on evidence and not pre-conceived policy stances. The comments may have wider implications for arguments that are often unthinkingly presented about the possibility of someone changing their sexual orientation. …”

– Assoc Professor Neil Foster writes at Law and Religion Australia.

Submission to Religious Freedom Review — Assoc Prof Neil Foster

Associate Professor in Law, Neil Foster, has made his submission to the Religious Freedom Review Panel available for you to read. He writes,

“The Religious Freedom Review Panel, chaired by the Hon Philip Ruddock, has invited submissions from all Australians on the protection of religious freedom in Australia. …

Those who are interested in the area may find it helpful to see the sort of topics that I think ought to be addressed.”

– Check it out at Law and Religion Australia, and consider making your own submission.

Martyn Iles new Managing Director for Australian Christian Lobby

The Australian Christian Lobby has announced that Lyle Shelton is finishing as Managing Director to go into politics and to stand for office at the next election.

He said, “Now, ACL [Aust Christian Lobby] is necessarily non-party-partisan. That’s a great strength, and I agree with that. So, for that reason, I will be making a further announcement about the specifics of what I am doing in a day or two.  … But I … am not leaving the battle for the values that I hold dear…”

In this video, he speaks about his decision, and Board Chairman Jim Wallace introduces the new Managing Director, Martyn Iles.

Related: We Need Thousands To Write To Ruddock.

What shall I render unto the LORD for all His benefits?

Psalm 116 verse 12 –

“What shall I render unto the LORD for all His benefits towards me?”

These words were read by the Rev. Richard Johnson, Chaplain to the Colony, on Sunday 3rd February 1788, at the first Christian service to be held after the arrival of the First Fleet.

It’s a good question to ponder.

Prominent Anglicans honoured

“The Reverend Dr David Claydon and Lawyer Garth Blake are among Sydney Anglicans named on the 2018 Australia Day Honours list.

Included in the list are 641 recipients of awards in the General Division of the Order of Australia who have been recognised for contributions and service to fellow citizens in Australia and internationally. …”

SydneyAnglicans.net has the details. (Thanks to Ramon Williams for the photos.)

God, History and Australia Day

“I arrived in Australia at the age of seven, in October 1972.  I am tremendously thankful for Australia. I share the experience of thousands of migrants from dozens of countries that Australia has offered freedom to pursue countless opportunities, with few barriers put in my way on account of where I came from.  Most of all, here, God made himself known to me through his gospel, and my local church nurtured my faith.

I am struck therefore with the painful contrast between my experience and that of so many indigenous people of Australia. …”

– Dean of Sydney, Kanishka Raffel, reflects on Australia Day and how Christians should think of it. At SydneyAnglicans.net.

Preparing for the Ruddock Review

“The Ruddock Review has the potential to produce a legal framework, at the federal level, which will undergird a new societal compact for the religious freedom of people of faith and their organisations in an increasingly irreligious society. …

The terms of reference for the Panel are broad, and crucially include the interaction of Commonwealth and state law. …”

– Check the Freedom for Faith website to be informed about submissions to the Ruddock Review.

Volunteers told to use gender-neutral words to avoid causing offence

“Volunteers for the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games have been told to use gender-neutral language to avoid causing offence.

The Games Shapers handbook, which has been handed to 15,000 volunteers and official staff and contractors instructs workers to avoid phrases like ‘ladies and gentlemen’ and ‘boys and girls’. …”

– Story from News.com.au.

Archbishop Glenn Davies responds to the Report of the Royal Commission

Anglican Church Diocese of Sydney
Media Statement
Report of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

As we welcomed the establishment of the Royal Commission in 2012 under the Gillard Government and likewise the extension of the Commission’s brief in 2014 under the Abbott Government, we welcome the Final Report of the Commissioners.

We recognise the courage and strength of the survivors in giving testimony to the Commission. We are glad their painful stories will be preserved as a testament and a warning that such things should never have happened, and should not happen again. Anglican Church apologies, before and during the time of the Commission, can never adequately express the ongoing regret that these appalling acts should have been perpetrated on vulnerable children.

We also recognise the arduous and distressing task it has been for the Commissioners and staff to hear so many horrific stories of sexual abuse in institutions across the country.

Australia owes a debt of gratitude to the chair, Justice Peter McClellan, the Commissioners, Counsels assisting, and the entire staff of the Royal Commission.

We look forward to studying the final report so that we, as the Anglican Church, might examine the recommendations and where there are still things for us to do, we shall attend to these with rigour, compassion and integrity.

Dr Glenn N Davies
Archbishop of Sydney
15 December 2017.

Source: SydneyAnglicans.net.

Passing of Smith Bill shows Disregard for Freedoms — Coalition for Marriage

“The passing of the Dean Smith bill unamended through the House of Representatives today was evidence of the disregard that many MPs have for the freedoms of Australians and the upholding of international human rights obligations, the Coalition for Marriage said today.

‘It is deeply disappointing that both the Prime Minister and the Opposition Leader reneged on the assurances they gave to the Australian people during the marriage campaign,’ Coalition for Marriage spokesman, Lyle Shelton said. …”

– Read the full media statement from Coalition for Marriage here.

Senate votes against same-sex marriage bill amendments

“All five amendments put forward by conservative senators James Paterson and David Fawcett to their Liberal colleague Dean Smith’s private same-sex marriage bill were voted down …

Senators Paterson and Fawcett’s changes sought to:

– Full story from The Daily Telegraph. (subscrip

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