Audio files from the 2016 ACL Synod Briefing

synod-briefing-2016On Wednesday 5th October, the Rev. Craig Roberts, Rector of St Augustine’s Neutral Bay, Standing Committee member, and ACL Vice-President, discussed the main issues coming up at this year’s Sydney Synod.

The event was organised by the ACL as a service to members of Synod.

If you weren’t able to be present, here are the audio files. To listen to each section, click on the link under “Audio file”. Each file will open in a new window.

Audio file



Introduction and prayer from the Rev. Jason Ramsay.

Ordinances from Standing Committee

Schools, Archbishop’s election, Synod membership, Conduct of Synod business, Parental leave for clergy. Requests for something to happen: funding church plants, Licensing incumbents, Professional development.

Social Action

Asylum seekers in detention, Same sex marriage.


Our Reformation heritage, Growth in churches, Restoring faith, hope and trust in our society, Thanksgiving motions, Community chaplains, Renumeration of Anglicare, Youthworks, Schools Corporation Chairs, Equipping Rectors in leadership, Restricting the length of sermons.


Proposal to fund ministries in new growth suburbs, New churches for new communities fundraising drive, Reinvigorating ministry in small congregations, Funding projects in low socioeconomic parishes, Drawdown of diocesan endowment ($3.5m), 

Thinking Theologically

Thinking theologically about voting in Synod.


Blessing of the Animals a highlight in Newcastle Diocese

blessing-of-animals-newcastle-2016All creatures great and small were found in churches across the diocese of Sunday for the annual blessing of the animals.

– News from the Diocese of Newcastle.

FCANZ submission to Working Group

NZ SRTM derivedHere’s a media release from the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans New Zealand –

“we are unconvinced that a single structure can safeguard both theological convictions with integrity, and so have suggested that the best way forward for our Church is the creation of an extra-provincial diocese”

Media Release:

4 October 2016   

 The General Synod of our Church resolved in May to establish a Working Group to identify ‘possible structural arrangements within our Three-Tikanga Church to safeguard both theological convictions concerning the blessing of same gender relationships’. While the composition of this Working Group is yet to be named, suggestions of structural arrangements were to be in the hands of the Working Party by 1st October.  

The Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans New Zealand was pleased to make a submission. Regretfully, we are unconvinced that a single structure can safeguard both theological convictions with integrity, and so have suggested that the best way forward for our Church is the creation of an extra-provincial diocese.  

Such a diocese will be distinct from the current ecclesiastical structures of the Anglican Church in Aotearoa New Zealand and Polynesia, and will be authentically Anglican.  A number of extra-provincial dioceses exist globally, and are all recognised as being genuine expressions of Anglicanism.  The existence of two ecclesiastical structures within the same geographic location has occurred in Europe for a number of years and provides a model for a similar overlapping within these islands.  

Either theological conviction could make use of an extra-provincial diocese, and the FCANZ submission suggests that whoever adopts this structure retains their current assets and resources.  Most significantly, the formation of such a structure will ensure that both theological convictions can be held with integrity, and that no one will be required to teach doctrine, or submit to authority, which differs from their theological conviction on the issue of blessing same-gendered relationships.

See a copy of the submission here. [ends]”

(Note: the PDF file linked above may download to your Downloads folder, rather than open in your browser.)

Dr Bill Dumbrell (1926 – 2016) with Christ

Dr William J Dumbrell, via Baker Publishing

From Moore College:

In the late morning of Saturday 1 October, Dr Bill Dumbrell was called home into the presence of the Lord he had loved and served for more than sixty years. Dr Dumbrell was a long time lecturer at Moore and Vice Principal from 1975 until 1984.

Dr William J Dumbrell was born in 1926, was converted when he was twenty-five in 1951 and began his studies at Moore Theological College four years later, and took out a BD externally from the University of London with First Class Honours in 1961. He later earned an MTh from the same university in 1966 and a ThD from Harvard University in 1970.

He was ordained in 1956 and served in churches in Parramatta and Ermington before lecturing at Moore College from 1963–66. Upon his return from Harvard, he lectured at Moore College in Old Testament from 1971 to 1984 and was Vice Principal from 1975–84. He then taught at Regent College, Vancouver, from 1984–88, before returning to teach at Moore College from 1988–1994.

Bill and Norma then left for missionary service in Singapore, where Bill taught at Trinity College. Bill has been a prolific author of books and articles, including Covenant and Creation: An Old Testament Covenantal Theology (Exeter: Paternoster, 1984; 2nd edn 2013); The Faith of Israel: Its Expression in the Books of the Old Testament (Leicester: IVP, 1988; 2nd edn 2002); and The Search for Order: Biblical Eschatology in Focus (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1994). Bill is survived by his wife Norma and his adult children, David, Ian, Grace, Naomi, and 6 grandchildren.

Moore Theological College principal, Dr Mark Thompson, commented on his passing with this tribute:  

“Bill Dumbrell has been a teacher, mentor and friend to many. His enormous impact as a biblical exegete, theologian and minister of the gospel is felt throughout the world. Those of us who have had the privilege of being taught by him have much for which we can thank God. Alongside his highly respected contributions in the area of Old Testament studies, his theological acuity more generally, and his sense of humour and unique personality, his commitment above all else to the Lord Jesus and his gospel will leave an enduring mark on all of us. His prayerful interest in, and deep love of Moore College, right from those early days as a student through his time as Vice Principal in the 70s and 80s and into his retirement, was undoubted. It was most definitely reciprocated. If there were such a thing as a ‘Number One Borrower’ card at the Moore College library, it would undoubtedly be held by Bill. At the time of his call home to be with the Lord he had been a dearly loved and respected member of the Moore College community for more than sixty years.

One of Bill’s enduring concerns was the unity of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, a unity to be found in the idea of God’s unfolding covenant. He would emphasise again and again that this began at creation and not just at Genesis 12! His contributions in this area revolutionised the thinking of many and continues to be drawn upon by scholars, students and pastors across the world. Yet Bill had so much more to say as well, writing on many books of the New Testament as well as the Old Testament and theological themes such as eschatology. His memorable Annual Moore College Lectures, delivered in 1983 and later published as The End of the Beginning: Revelation 21–22 and the Old Testament (Sydney: Lancer, 1985), were the first I ever heard and they shook the foundations and stretched the mind of more than just this single first year student.

My initial interview to come to Moore College as a student was with Bill Dumbrell in 1982. I remember thinking at the time that he was more nervous than I was. That, of course, wasn’t true, but he was certainly able to put me at ease. Later, when he returned from study leave in Canada, I discovered his lectures were a unique experience, full of gems even if the structure wasn’t always visible. His humour was memorable. One group of students a couple of years later purged the tapes of his lectures that year of all substance and kept just the jokes and asides, labelling it ‘The Best of Bill’. We all knew we were in the presence of a very fine mind but he was always deeply engaging as just ‘Bill’. He could certainly argue his position strongly and took no prisoners in debate, but he was genuinely concerned for the students he had the opportunity to teach and shape as gospel men and women of the future.

Bill now enjoys the presence of the Lord he served throughout his life and though we grieve his loss to us, and especially to Norma and their family, we rejoice that he is safe in the care of the one who has loved him from eternity.”

Others have reflected on Dr Dumbrell and his impact. We feature some of these comments here.

Dr Paul Barnett, Former Bishop of North Sydney and Emeritus Faculty member:

“Like many others I owe a great debt of gratitude to Bill Dumbrell.  He was my first teacher of Greek and later as Dean of Regent College, Vancouver extended the invitation that began a thirty year association with that distinguished hall of learning.  Bill was a clever and good man, a devoted servant of Jesus.”

Dr Andrew Shead, Head of Old Testament, Moore College:

“Bill Dumbrell was unparalleled in his ability to master the trees and the forest simultaneously, combining knowledge of numerous languages and fine details of the text with a sweeping theological perceptiveness that spanned the extent of Scripture. He was a highly original and adventurous thinker, who never allowed age to set him in his ways. In particular, his work on covenant has helped to shape the thinking of generations of biblical theologians around the world. Bill’s air of the absent-minded professor could not hide his sharp wit or his interest in people, which made him a much loved teacher, colleague and friend.”

Dr Bill Dumbrell’s funeral will be held at St Philip’s Caringbah (402 Port Hacking Road), on this Wednesday 5 October at 1:30pm.

– Reproduced with permission from Moore Theological College.


Moore College Faculty, circa 1985. Dr. Dumbrell arrowed. Click for a larger version. Photo: Moore College. Top photo courtesy Baker Publishing.

Here’s a sermon on Luke 19:41-42 preached by Dr. Dumbrell at Moore College Chapel in 1986.

ACL Pre-Synod Briefing — TONIGHT Wednesday 5th October


Pre-Synod Briefing, This Wednesday 5th October, 6:30 – 8:00pm at Chapter House.

As a service to the Synod, the ACL is holding a Pre-Synod Briefing for Synod members.

The Rev Craig Roberts, Rector of St Augustine’s Neutral Bay, Standing Committee member, and ACL Vice-President, will discuss the main issues for this year’s Synod.

Download your invitation here.

The Synod Survival Guide — got your copy?

New to Synod? The Synod Survival Guide (4th edition), by Robert Tong is an invaluable help to make sense of it all.

Presented by the ACL as a service to the Synod of the Diocese of Sydney, you can download your PDF copy here.

Confident Disciple Making for Tasmania

bishop-richard-condie-tasmania-2The Diocese of Tasmania is running an event to equip church members in Confident Disciple Making – in Hobart, on 29th October. Colin Marshall is the keynote speaker.

From Bishop Richard Condie:

Making disciples is our great task, set for us by none other than the Lord Jesus himself. But the task is challenging, especially in our present time. We need help and assistance to know how we are going to do it effectively and confidently.”

Details here.

The Legacy of Broughton Knox — MTC Library Day 2016

MTC Library Day 2016Don’t miss this special event coming up at MooreTheological College on Saturday 29th October.

David Broughton Knox (26 December 1916 – 14 January 1994) was the long serving Principal of Moore Theological College from 1959 until 1985.

DBK is considered by many to have been hugely influential, under the Lord, in the shaping of Sydney Diocese into what it is today.

The 2016 Moore College Library Day will explore Broughton’s life and theology as well as its enduring influence on Sydney diocese and beyond.

When: Saturday 29 October, 2016, 9:15 am for 9:30 am start, 3:30 pm finish

Where: Broughton Knox Teaching Centre, Moore Theological College, 15 King Street Newtown

Registration: $40 includes coffee/tea on arrival, morning tea & lunch.

Speakers include:

Details and booking at Moore College.

Who was Broughton Knox? See these tributes in our Resources section.

Rod Bower in his own words

archdeacon-rod-bowerThree decades on, Father Rod Bower, 54, is the one causing headaches as Australia’s most outspoken, social media savvy and incongruous priest.

The Australian has this profile of Rod Bower, Archdeacon of the Central Coast in the Anglican Diocese of Newcastle.

(h/t David Ould. Photo: Rod Bower via Facebook.)

Related: From October 19, 2014, Report: Bishop of Newcastle appoints Rod Bower as Archdeacon of the Central Coast. (Which includes this link.)

Bishop of Newcastle to bless “Multi Faith Bridge”

Greg ThompsonBishop Greg Thompson, Anglican Bishop of Newcastle, will be visiting Albion Farm Gardens in Woodville on Sunday September 25 to bless a multi-faith bridge.

The bridge will become a significant part of Maitland’s history as it was constructed from stone given by a variety of faith communities.

Stone has come as from as far as Jerusalem, as well as from local faith groups including Anglican, Catholic, Presbyterian, Uniting, Hindu, Buddhist and Muslim. The Jewish community gave a stone from a synagogue…”

– from the Diocese of Newcastle.

Also coming up: Blessing of the Animals at Christ Church Cathedral, Newcastle.

Canberra & Goulburn updates Bishop’s election process but retains Synod vote

canb-goulb-bp-stuart-robinsonThe most important decision a synod makes is to select its next bishop. The 2016 Synod revised the process by which future diocesan bishops will be elected. It decided to retain the capacity to elect the bishop while expanding the role of an election committee to vet and nominate candidates for consideration…”

– Report from The Diocese of Canberra and Goulburn.

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