The Rev Gary Koo announced as next Bishop of Western Sydney

“The Archbishop of Sydney, Dr Glenn Davies, has announced he has appointed the Rev Gary Koo to be the next Bishop of Western Sydney.

Currently the Senior Minister at St Paul’s, Carlingford & North Rocks, Bishop-designate Koo has extensive experience in multi-congregational churches and in Chinese ministry in the west of Sydney.

The son of Malaysian migrants, Mr Koo was raised an atheist until he decided to follow Jesus while studying medicine at the University of New South Wales. …”

– Read the full media release at SydneyAnglicans.net.

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.

Moore College End of Academic Year Community Chapel 2019


Moore College held its End of the Academic Year Community Chapel this morning.

For your edification, you can watch it here.

2019 Sydney Synod Summary

The Sydney Diocesan Secretary, Daniel Glynn, has sent Rectors, Synod representatives, wardens and parish councillors a very helpful summary of what happened at Sydney Synod in 2019.

The Summary is available as a PDF file from the Sydney Diocesan Services website.

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

Tim Swan to head Anglican Aid

“A former missionary has been chosen to head the Archbishop of Sydney’s Anglican Aid following the retirement of founding CEO The Rev David Mansfield.

The Rev Tim Swan will lead the organisation from April 2020. …”

– More good news from SydneyAnglicans.net.

Churches need to be more like the world?

“I’ve just read Nikki Gemmell’s latest contribution to The Weekend Australian, ‘Why the Anglican church must evolve or die’.

At first, I assumed this must be satire, for the essence of her argument is that for Churches to succeed they need to become more like majority culture!

‘the majority of Australians do support same-sex marriage. It feels like the archbishop is damaging his church and Jesus’s teachings of tolerance, gentleness and inclusivity.’

‘The church has been on the wrong side of public opinion recently on abortion as well as same-sex marriage. It’s slowly killing itself by refusing to open its heart to others.‘ …

Without question, Gemmell’s call to the Anglican Church sounds almost identical to what Jesus says, in a misutopian Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy kind of way…”

Murray Campbell in Melbourne takes a look at Nikki Gemmell’s Commentary published today.

Photo: Nikki Gemmell courtesy of The Australian.

“Who Am I?” A Sydney Anglican Female Perspective

“My favourite moment of my favourite musical comes when Les Miserable’s protagonist breaks into his moment of existential crisis. “Who am I?”, he lyrically wails.

As I read Julia Baird’s latest offering about the caricatured, oppressed, silenced and invisible women of the Sydney Anglican Diocese (“In praise of the oddities and outliers resisting bonkers fundamentalism in Sydney”, SMH Oct 26th), I found myself having my very own Jean Val Jean moment (though, sadly, without the accompanying symphony). Who am I? I’m an ordained member of the Sydney Anglican clergy. But I’m also a woman. …”

The Australian Church Record has published an expanded version of an article by Dani Treweek which was first published in The Sydney Morning Herald.

What has the Sydney Morning Herald got against Anglican women?

“I love the word bonkers. My mum used to say it all the time, and I just don’t seem to hear it often enough anymore. That was until Julia Baird used it in a piece for The Sydney Morning Herald, to describe the position many Sydney Anglicans hold regarding the role of women in the church. Yet I want to suggest the reason people hold this view isn’t quite as muddled headed as Baird might presume. …”

– Writing at Spectator Australia, Archdeacon Kara Hartley responds to an article in the SMH.

The Rev Dr Ed Loane appointed the 12th Warden of St Paul’s College

News from Mr Mark Elliott, Chairman of the Council of St. Paul’s College at the University of Sydney:

“The St Paul’s College Council is delighted to announce the appointment of the Rev Dr Ed Loane as the 12th Warden of St Paul’s College.

Following an extensive and thorough search, which yielded many high quality applications, we have found the right candidate to lead this exciting next chapter at St Paul’s. …”

Read it all here.

New role for Bishop Ivan Lee

“The Archbishop of Sydney, Dr Glenn Davies, has announced he is seconding Bishop Ivan Lee to work on strengthening church growth in the Diocese, in a new portfolio for the experienced Bishop.

Bishop Lee, who was appointed by Archbishop Jensen in 2003, is the longest-serving Assistant Bishop in Sydney. …

Archbishop Davies is planning, with the concurrence of the Standing Committee, to appoint a new Bishop for Western Sydney by the end of the year.”

– News from SydneyAnglicans.net – and a reminder to uphold Ivan in your prayers.

True Discipleship and The 51st Synod

“He said what?!

By now, most of you would have heard about Archbishop Glenn Davies’ address at the 51st Synod of the Anglican Diocese of Sydney.  It has been quoted and misquoted on social media, the Sydney Morning Herald, and has even reached British shores where I am living, with an article in the Guardian from former Sydney pastor Joel Hollier.

As he has made clear, Archbishop Davies was not calling on those struggling with same-sex attraction to leave the church. We all struggle with sin, which is why the grace and mercy of Christ is such a wonderful message to the world. But there is a difference between struggling with sin, and declaring something not to be a sin. …”

Tom Habib cuts to the heart of the matter at The Gospel Coalition Australia. Be sure to read it all.

By sad contrast:

“The Bishop of Liverpool [in the Church of England] told the Guardian: ‘I still hope that bishops from Sydney will attend the Lambeth conference next year so that we can all talk together and learn from one another there.

‘Meanwhile, I’m glad that other parts of the Australian church are engaging in dialogue with Sydney and are advocating for a greater inclusion and a wider and more diverse church. It’s good to be in the same communion with all these people.’

Other Church of England bishops declined to comment on Davies’ comments, saying they did not represent mainstream views within the church.”

– from The Guardian.

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