New Dean of Newcastle

“The Acting-Bishop of Newcastle, Dr Peter Stuart, is delighted to advise that the Reverend Canon Katherine Bowyer has been elected to be the next Dean of Newcastle.”

– News from the Diocese of Newcastle.

Bishop Richard Condie to Tasmanian Anglicans: We need to change!

“We have to face up to the reality of our church. The glory days are well behind us. We know we are faced with declining attendance in many places. We recognise that the old ways of doing things just won’t cut it any more. In many churches I visit there is at least one, if not two, generations of people missing – our kids and their kids. We have failed to make disciples, and we are often more committed to keeping things the same, than we are finding new ways of being God’s people on mission.

In many places we have developed a ‘folk religion’ which, while serving us and our needs, has lost its missional focus. In the recent National Church Life Survey people in our pews told us the things they most value. The top three were: ‘sharing holy communion’; ‘sermons’; and ‘traditional worship’. These are all essentially inward looking. While they are not bad in themselves, sadly at the bottom of the list of things we value were: ‘openness to cultural diversity’; ‘meeting new people’; and ‘reaching those who don’t attend church’; the items with an outward looking focus. We need to be equally passionate about both.

We need to change! If we continue as we are, we will become marginal at best. We will see more church closures, and more decline, until there will be very little left. I don’t think for one moment that the Church will cease to be. God is too committed to it for that. But if we are going to be obedient stewards of God’s gift to us, and to love His church, even half as much as he does, then we need to feel the weight of these issues, and do something about it.

We need to be more Christian and more Anglican. That is, we need to shed the cloak of our ‘folk religion’ that serves our needs, and re-engage with the Lord our God, and His Son the Jesus Christ, and be so transformed spiritually by Him that we can’t hold the message back. We need to be more Anglican, by which I mean, committed to mission in the world, the mission of proclaiming the gospel in the language and culture of the people. After all, the birth of the Church of England in the 16th Century was a radical engagement with presenting the gospel in a language and style that people could understand.

My job as your Bishop is to lead you. I promised at my ordination (among other things) to ‘lead those in [my] care to obey our Saviour’s command to make disciples of all nations’, and I intend to do this. I intend to do this, through casting a Vision today to set the agenda for the next five years of the Diocese of Tasmania. Before I do, I want to tell you how we got here. …”

– In his 2017 Synod Presidential Address, Bishop of Tasmania, Richard Condie, shares a vision for the churches of Tasmania. Read it all in this PDF file from the Diocese of Tasmania.

Presidential charge to the Synod of the Diocese of the Northern Territory

“Last synod, I mentioned six planks that I felt needed to guide what I, and we together, focussed on in the diocese, and I have written more about them in the issues of Top Centre since last synod. Now that I have been the bishop for nearly two and half years, I have had more time to think about and refine the areas that I believe need attention and resourcing.…”

– The Diocese of the Northern Territory has published Bishop Greg Anderson’s 2017 Synod Charge.

Read it, and be encouraged to pray for our brothers and sisters, and the progress of the gospel, in the Top End.

Installation of Archbishop of Adelaide — in pictures

Bishop Geoff Smith was installed as the fifth Archbishop of Adelaide last week.

The Diocese of Adelaide has posted some pictures.

Bishop Greg Thompson to be farewelled

The Diocese of Newcastle is holding a Farewell Service for Bishop Greg Thompson.

Sunday 21st May, 6:00pm at Christ Church Cathedral, Newcastle.

ANZAC Righteousness

“ANZAC Day reminds us that morally some wars have to be fought. Everyone must grapple with the issues of a just and moral war and the leaders of our nation need our prayers for wisdom.

ANZAC Day reminds us that in every age the reality of human sinfulness can become so deep that its lunacy, its terrorism, its attacks on the best of our humanity must be stopped.

ANZAC Day reminds us of the best of men and women in the fight for righteousness. Oh that all Australians would realise that when righteousness is under threat we have no alternative but to fight. The alternative to not fighting is to succumb to evil. …”

Bishop of Armidale, Rick Lewers, reflects on ANZAC Day, and the need to pray.

Easter: For the Love of Beautiful Things

“Has our age lost a love for beautiful things? With all our environmental education my travels still find McDonald’s coffee cups and beer bottles in the most remote of places.

I was born in the late 50’s and schooled in the 60’s and 70’s when environmental care was not on the curriculum. As I drive past the polystyrene burger container, the soft drink cans and chip wrappers I find it interesting that in a bygone age we never had to be told to not throw our rubbish on the ground or out the car window. We never had to advertise with slogans like, ‘Dob in a Tosser’. …”

– Bishop of Armidale Rick Lewers shares his 2017 Easter message.

Bishop of Bendigo announces plans to retire

“The Anglican Bishop of Bendigo Andrew Curnow AM has announced he will resign from the position by the end of 2017.

The decision will bring to an end his role as the leader of the diocese for almost 15 years – the longest serving diocesan bishop in Australia. …”

Bendigo Advertiser.

Photo: Diocese of Bendigo.

Northwest Network March 2017

“Mining towns in Australia are well known for boom and bust cycles.

Old timers who have survived previous boom and busts usually just laugh at the reactions of newbies. They make comments like, “what do you expect, it’s mining” or “what, you expected the good times to last forever”.

Sadly, this bust period saw many of the ‘old timers’ pack their bags and leave town. Some with nothing to show for their time in the Pilbara and so unable to afford to live here any longer; others with pockets bursting from new found wealth through selling their property. These were followed by the people who bought those properties at the height of the boom, but now unemployed, houses repossessed by the banks, filing for bankruptcy, or contemplating suicide (with some succeeding).

This is the gloomy reality for many in the ‘City’ of Karratha.”

– The latest issue of Northwest Network is out.

Use it to fuel your prayers for the churches and the people of North West Australia. (575kb PDF file.)

Royal Commission ends Anglican phase

“The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has finished its investigation of the Anglican Church, with a summary hearing in Sydney that revealed some statistics on offences against children.

The commission set aside four days for its hearing into issues such as the structure of the church, training and formation, professional standards and redress. …”

SydneyAnglicans.net has published this report on the Royal Commission.

Related:

Anglican leaders promise unity on child protection: royal commissionSydney Morning Herald.

“Not every Anglican diocese has robust child protection measures, with Sydney Archbishop Glenn Davies telling a royal commission the lack of national consistency is ‘extremely disappointing’.”

Bishop of Newcastle Greg Thompson announces resignation

“Anglican Bishop of Newcastle Greg Thompson has resigned after three years of dealing with issues related to clerical abuse and cover ups. …”

– Report from ABC News.

See also: Archbishop Glenn Davies pays tribute to Newcastle Bishop.

“Archbishop Glenn Davies says he learned ‘with great sadness’ of the resignation of Newcastle Bishop Greg Thompson. …”

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