Practical principles for kids’ ministry

Posted on June 20, 2021 
Filed under Resources

“A danger in children’s ministry is that it becomes disconnected: children are disconnected from ministry to adults on Sundays and Sundays are disconnected from any wider ministry during the week.

Here are a few key ways to help a children’s ministry grow to be an integrated family ministry. …”

– At The Australian Church Record, Pete Tong shares some encouraging principles.

See also his earlier posts –

I’m not passionate about kids’ ministry – but it still matters – 03 June 2021.

Theological principles for kids’ ministry – 08 June 2021.

ACL Annual General Meeting 2021 — Report

Posted on June 19, 2021 
Filed under News, Sydney Diocese

The 2021 Annual General Meeting of the Anglican Church League took place on Thursday 10th June at Moore Theological College, Newtown.

ACL President the Reverend Andrew Bruce (pictured) spoke on Acts 1:1-14. He encouraged the meeting with the reminder that Jesus is the ascended Lord, that his gospel will go to the ends of the Earth, and that this will happen through the testimony of his disciples, in the power of the Holy Spirit. He pointed out that the apostolic mission began with earnest, dedicated and united prayer.

Reverend Bruce exhorted all present to wait on the Lord and engage in devoted prayer as we continue this significant task of gospel proclamation. Humanly speaking, the “odds” of being able to proclaim Jesus to the ends of the earth seem impossible. Yet this impossibility is the normal situation for God’s people. In the end, the risen and ascended Lord will see his gospel go out. Thus, we can only engage in this mission through prayer and the power of the Holy Spirit.

Andrew then moved on to provide some thoughts on some of the aspects of Sydney Diocesan life. He emphasised the need to be reinvigorated in our lives and our churches with gospel confidence. As a Diocese, we are in constant danger of focusing on the “urgent” matters that our world sees as priorities, rather than the truly important things of gospel ministry: prayer, godliness, evangelism, and recruiting and training.

Reverend Bruce exhorted us to ensure that the “urgent” does not take up all of our resources so that we neglect the important. We do not have unlimited resources – indeed we are quite stretched – and so we need to be wise, courageous and sacrificial in saying “no” to things that seem urgent but are not central to what we do.

He also exhorted us to reinvigorate our evangelism. All ministry today is cross-cultural, because of the vast difference between our aggressive secular culture and our gospel culture. So evangelism must be relational and person-to-person. This means we need to engage deeply with the laity, since one-to-one mission is primarily lay-led. This requires gospel courage and endurance.

We must also reinvigorate our recruiting and training. We need to ensure there are strong numbers of Anglican candidates in training at Moore College, that they sign up in good time for us to evaluate them, that we recruit Rectors, and that we retain those we have trained.

The ACL can play a key role in advocating for Diocesan structures to make courageous and bold decisions to seek always to value the important over the “urgent”.

The President closed his address with a reading from Romans 12:1-2 and prayer for our Diocese.

The meeting received the Treasurer’s Report, approved positions for Elections Secretary, Recruitment Secretary, Membership Secretary and Communication Secretary, and elected office holders. Office holders for 2021-2022 are listed here.

Update on restrictions as of 18th June 2021

Posted on June 19, 2021 
Filed under COVID19, Sydney Diocese’s COVID page has the latest recommendations as of 18th June 2021.

J. I. Packer’s Final Book

Posted on June 19, 2021 
Filed under Resources, Theology

“J. I. Packer, who went to be with his Triune covenant Lord on July 21, 2020, was never able to see this final book in print. But The Heritage of Anglican Theology was near and dear to his heart, the one book he wanted to give his last years to. …”

– At The Gospel Coalition, Justin Taylor introduces J. I. Packer’s last book.

Image: Regent College, Vancouver.

GAFCON Sunday 2021 coming up

Posted on June 18, 2021 
Filed under GAFCON

GAFCON has posted a number of resources for GAFCON Sunday, 27 June 2021.

Fined for declining to make a “transgender cake”

Posted on June 18, 2021 
Filed under Culture wars

“A Colorado District Court has handed down a decision imposing a penalty on a cake-maker for declining to provide a cake designed to celebrate a ‘gender transition’, in Scardina v Masterpiece Cakeshop Inc (Denver District Ct, Co; 19CV32214, 15 June 2021).…”

– Neil Foster at Law and Religion Australia on a new, yet familiar, challenge.

Moore Matters Winter 2021

Posted on June 18, 2021 
Filed under Resources, Sydney Diocese

The Moore Matters for Winter 2021 is now being distributed to churches.

It’s packed with encouraging articles, and has plenty of fuel for prayer.

You can read online or download your own copy at this link.

Responding to Family Violence – The Anglican Example

Posted on June 17, 2021 
Filed under Resources

From The Gospel Coalition Australia:

“The Anglican Church of Australia commissioned research into the prevalence of Family Violence among those who identify as Anglican, along with related research on clergy awareness and victim experience of FDV.  The National Anglican Family Violence Research Report was published last week along with 10 commitments to prevent and respond to Intimate Partner Violence (IPV). This research is a first among Australian Christian denominations.

Sandy Grant is the Senior Minister of St Michael’s Cathedral Wollongong. He kindly agreed to Murray Campbell for this interview.”

Read the full interview with Sandy (pictured) here.

The Importance of Complementarianism

Posted on June 17, 2021 
Filed under Resources, Theology

“I was asked recently about the role of women at my church. This is a topic I love to speak about and I am always excited to list off the many ways that women serve.

As an example, last Sunday we had women leading music, praying, reading the Bible, teaching kids’ church, and leading an easy English Bible study. Outside of Sunday ministry women serve as parish councillors, wardens, small group leaders and, in many other ways.

While I am thankful for each of the ways women serve, I made a mistake by answering the question about the role of women when I answered it in this way. …”

ACL Council member Rev. Kate Haggar writes at The Australian Church Record.

The Homogenous Unit Principle: All you need to know with David Williams

Posted on June 16, 2021 
Filed under Resources

From The Pastor’s Heart:

“The Homogeneous Unit Principle suggests that outreach is most effective when carried out in the context of a discrete group defined by similarity in cultural background.

But David Williams says the mission world’s view today is that it’s bad in practice and theory. We discuss a biblical view of class, race and language and challenge assumptions about how we set up Church. We also discuss the impact of COVID on the raising and sending out of missionaries.

Dr David Williams is the Director of Development and Training for CMS Australia and Principal of the missionary training college St Andrews Hall in Melbourne.”

– A fascinating conversation.  Watch or listen here.

Response to National abuse study

Posted on June 15, 2021 
Filed under Sydney Diocese

“All Anglicans should be deeply grieved by the study released this week by the Anglican Church of Australia on domestic and family violence.

‘Like my predecessor, I want to state clearly that all forms of domestic abuse are incompatible with Scripture and Christian faith,’ said the new Archbishop of Sydney, Kanishka Raffel. ‘Nothing justifies violence or coercion. Christian relationships are to be marked by love, gentleness and respect.’…”

This Media Release was published last week by the Anglican Diocese of Sydney.

This Mortal Coil: Archbishop of Sydney, Kanishka Raffel

Posted on June 15, 2021 
Filed under People, Sydney Diocese

On ABC Radio’s This Mortal Coil, 13 June 2021, new Archbishop of Sydney, Kanishka Raffel, is invited to tell his story.

“We don’t have anything else to offer apart from Jesus.”

Listen here, 40 minutes – and be encouraged to share widely.

(Thanks to for the link. Image: The Pastor’s Heart.)

The Inside Story

Posted on June 14, 2021 
Filed under Culture wars, Resources

“The values of liberal democracy overlap with Judaeo-Christian values, both of which are currently under threat. We have the latter values thanks to the Decalogue in the Tanakh, the teachings of Jesus in the Gospels, and the admonitions of the apostles recorded in their letters.

These values include due acknowledgement and love for the Almighty, care of neighbour, respect for governing authorities, lifelong commitment in marriage, responsible upbringing of children, and the expectation of working to provide for the family. …”

Bishop Paul Barnett AM shares this short but enlightening paper on the origins of the underpinnings of western civilisation.

Image: Aquila Press.

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