Growing Christian Communities in Melbourne

Here’s an encouraging video giving some insight into church planting in the Anglican Diocese of Melbourne.

Newcastle Synod Decision a “Stitch-Up”

Last week the Synod of the Diocese of Newcastle approved two controversial bills relating to human sexuality. reports on some concerns and unhappiness as to how the bills came to the synod.

(Photo: Diocese of Newcastle.)

Bendigo Cathedral Priest enters Same-Sex Marriage

“A few weeks ago we reported on the self-publicised plan of Bendigo Cathedral priest to enter into a same-sex marriage.

The Bendigo Advertiser reported on the actual marriage itself.

Drew Reid and Father Noel Richards have become the first same-sex couple to be married in a Bendigo church.

The couple said ‘I do’ in front of family and friends at St Andrew’s Uniting Church in Bendigo on Saturday.”

– via (Image: Bendigo Advertiser.)

I support Sydney’s Anglicans

“The Anglican Archbishop of Sydney, Glenn Davies, has been getting some rough treatment of late, aided largely by media coverage that either deliberately or negligently took his words out of context. …

The media portrayal of him as someone who was asking the faithful who struggle with the teaching on marriage and sexuality to leave was unjust and it, too, needs to be called out.”

– Monica Doumit, Director, Public Affairs and Engagement for the Archdiocese of Sydney, writes in The Catholic Weekly.

Newcastle Synod decision pushes Australian Anglicans to Precipice

“The synod of the Diocese of Newcastle which met this past weekend has taken a decision that will only further exacerbate the already very high tensions in the national church.

As we reported last week, the synod was due to consider 2 controversial pieces of legislation.

The first is an ordinance to remove the possibility of clergy in a same-sex marriage being open to a disciplinary tribunal by virtue of that relationship. The second, a bill, sought to establish a “Wangaratta”-style blessing for persons in same-sex marriages.

Only the first ordinance actually passed. Reports from the synod tell of time running out on the second bill and so, although it had support in principle, it could not be completed and will have to be presented next year. …”

– David Ould takes a close look at what happened at last weekend’s Newcastle Synod.

Photo of Bishop Peter Stuart addressing the Synod: Diocese of Newcastle.

What future has the Anglican Church of Australia?

“There can now be no doubt that the Anglican Church of Australia is headed towards a crisis moment. Some might argue it has been a long time coming but recent events have catalyzed the sense that we are rapidly arriving at a moment of decision.

So what has brought us to the edge of this cliff? …”

– At The Australian Church Record, David Ould gives his take on what is happening, and where he thinks things may go from here.

‘Newcastle Anglicans support gay marriage’

Newcastle’s Anglican diocese has voted to change church rules to allow ministers to bless same-sex marriages and prevent clergy in same-sex marriages from being punished by the church.

More than 200 clergy and lay people voted on the two bills at the diocese’s synod on Saturday, the majority in their favour. …”

The Northern Daily Leader is carrying this AAP report.

Like the earlier move by the diocese of Wangaratta, it appears that this will be considered by the Appellate Tribunal.

See also:

Bishop Peter Stuart Opens Synod with Presidential Address” – Newcastle Diocese. It includes a link to Bishop Stuart’s Presidential Address (PDF).

Photo: Diocese of Newcastle.

Newcastle 2019 Synod to consider blessings for same sex couples

Apparently taking the lead from Wangaratta diocese, the Newcastle Synod will debate same-sex blessings when it meets on Friday 25th and Saturday 26th October 2019.

The Newcastle diocesan website explains:

Human Sexuality & Marriage

The Right Reverend Professor Stephen Pickard will be a guest of the Synod and will be assisting the Synod explore its response to discussions about human sexuality and changes in the Marriage Act.

Two Bills (11.1 & 11.2) will be discussed relating to these topics.

The first Bill seeks to remove the potential for discipline against a member of the clergy who offers a blessing to a same sex couple as well as removing the potential for discipline against a member of the clergy who declines to offer a blessing.

It is a complex bill that requires it to be passed, assented to by the Bishop and then for the debate to be held again next Synod with a further occasion of the Bishops assent.

If passed the Bill would also allow a married clergy same sex couple.

The second Bill seeks to propose a form of blessing for people who have been married in a civil service.”

(Formatting and red highlights added.)

See also:

Newcastle Synod to debate same-sex blessings –, 22 September 2019.

Melbourne Anglicans vote to express ‘sorrow’ over blessing of same-sex marriages – ACL, 19 October 2019.

Guarding the faith in a changing world – Archbishop Glenn Davies, 14 October 2019.

There’s an integrity problem in the Anglican Church of Australia

“Imagine the marketing director for a major soft drinks company who drank and promoted the competitor’s leading brand of drink at press conferences. They wouldn’t expect to keep their job very long.
If they had any integrity.

Imagine a left-wing politician who only ever advocated for conservative positions. You’d think they’d resign and join another party.
If they had any integrity.

So what about ordained Anglican ministers who promised to defend and promote the church’s teaching from the Bible but instead constantly undermine and attack it while banking their stipend every month. The right thing to do would be to resign and join another group.
If they had any integrity. …”

David Ould challenges Bishops in the Anglican Church of Australia to act with integrity. See it all at the link.

Melbourne Anglicans vote to express ‘sorrow’ over blessing of same-sex marriages

“Melbourne’s Anglican church has formally voted to record its ‘sorrow’ over a regional Victorian diocese’s decision to bless same-sex marriages.

The nod of approval given by the Wangaratta diocese in August has angered the Melbourne church’s governing body…”

– Story from The Guardian.

Here, we understand, is the motion which was passed at the Melbourne Synod:

Motion 17: Response to Wangaratta Synod

That this Synod expresses its sorrow to the Bishop and Synod of the Diocese of Wangaratta for their approval of a liturgy that could be used to bless persons in same-sex relationships at their recent Synod meeting (August 30-31).”

Further, a motion concerning the consecration of Bishop Jay Behan was also passed:

Motion 11 Church of Confessing Anglicans Aotearoa / New Zealand

That this Synod:

a) Welcomes the formation of the Church of Confessing Anglicans Aotearoa / New Zealand.

b) Assures the Church of Confessing Anglicans Aotearoa / New Zealand and its bishop, Jay Behan, of our love and prayers.

c) prays for God’s blessing on all Anglicans in New Zealand as they seek to proclaim Christ faithfully to New Zealand.”

Marriage motions passed as General Synod support questioned

“If we abandon God’s Word we have nothing to offer the world. That is why this motion is before you tonight,” said the Dean of Sydney Kanishka Raffel as he introduced one of the key motions of the 2019 Synod, one which he said he moved ‘with a heavy heart’.

“My heaviness of heart is because the motion before you addresses not a departure from God’s word in the laws of the land but a departure from God’s word that is being promoted by Bishops and Synods in our Church.” Dean Raffel said. “There is one God and Father of us all, one Lord, one faith, and one baptism – but Bishops and Synods in our church nationally, risk rending the fabric of our fellowship by promoting a theology of marriage that is contrary to Scripture.”

The motion followed the Archbishop’s Presidential Address where he spoke of at least two Dioceses pushing to bless same-sex relationships. A ten-point motion, seconded by Bishop Michael Stead, reaffirmed man/woman marriage as the doctrine of scripture and of the Anglican Church, declared that blessings or affirmations of same-sex marriage are contrary to scripture and called for action where the doctrine was not being upheld.…

Read the full report by Russell Powell at Anglican Media Sydney.

My words were for the bishops and I stand by them — Archbishop Glenn Davies

“Every year at about this time I am asked, ‘Why don’t you update what you believe – it doesn’t fit with modern Australia.’ The subject lately has been same-sex marriage, but it has been a kaleidoscope of issues over the years.

When representatives of our churches meet at our annual Synod, we do so publicly. Our churches are open to all people in the suburbs of Sydney, the Illawarra and the Blue Mountains, so our governing body is public as well. We do not hide our beliefs, nor are we ashamed of them. People know what we believe and are free to comment on what we do and what we believe. …”

Archbishop Glenn Davies has written this opinion-piece for The Sydney Morning Herald, regarding reporting of what he said in his Synod Presidential Address on Monday 14th October.

Archbishop Davies was also interviewed on Sydney’s Radio 2GB by Ben Fordham.

Diocese of Perth updates “Faithfulness in Service”

“At its annual synod, meeting this last weekend, the Diocese of Perth has approved changes to Faithfulness in Service (the Anglican Church of Australia’s national code of conduct) that remove the expectation for clergy and church workers to refrain from sex outside marriage.

The amended text provided to synod, showing the effect of the change, was as follows…”

Story from David Ould.

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