National Police Remembrance Day 2023

Friday 29 September 2023 is National Police Remembrance Day.

It’s a good reminder to pray for all who serve in the police services, and also Christian chaplains to the Police.

in 2018, Archbishop Glenn Davies wrote a prayer for the occasion.

Image: NSW Police Legacy.

The Gospel Coalition announces The Carson Center for Theological Renewal

At The Gospel Coalition, Collin Hansen writes,

“On behalf of The Gospel Coalition, I’m pleased to announce the launch of a major new initiative: The Carson Center for Theological Renewal.

Around the world today, biblical illiteracy inhibits spiritual depth—not just in the shrinking church of the West but even in the growing churches of the South and East. But there’s no spiritual renewal without returning to Scripture. And while the internet offers unprecedented access to the Bible, many of the most widely used resources for studying God’s Word are unhelpful at best or heretical at worst.

That’s why TGC has started The Carson Center for Theological Renewal, named in honor of TGC cofounder Don Carson. …”

Read all about the plans here.

Daylight Saving in NSW begin on Sunday 1st October

In NSW, Daylight Saving begins at 2:00am on Sunday 1st October 2023.

Might be worth reminding congregations.

Reframing the social justice discussion – with Ed Loane, Tim Swan and Berthier Lainirina

This week on The Pastor’s Heart:

“Social Justice is a fiercely contested concept among Christians. Often discussions about caring for the poor have not been grounded in a biblical vision for gospel ministry..

Evangelicals have been criticized for appearing to be weak on social justice. The charge is that we have been so focussed on gospel ministry that the poor and disadvantaged have been neglected. How does caring for the poor fit with the mission of Jesus church?

Tim Swan is the CEO of Sydney’s Anglican Aid, which hosted an important conference last weekend ‘Reframing Social Justice.’

Ed Loane is Warden at St Paul’s College in Sydney and lectures in Church History part time at Moore Theological College.

Berthier Lainirina is Principal of St Patrick’s Theological College Madagascar.”

Watch or listen here.

Love Sydney’s Walk for Life — Saturday 23rd September

Love Sydney’s Walk for Life is on again this Saturday.

“Our role is simple – to stand in the gap and be a voice for the voiceless, as we cover Sydney in prayer and love.”

Details at their TryBooking page

Caring for missionaries when they are not doing so well

From The Pastor’s Heart:

“We send out missionaries. But sometimes it doesn’t work out. There’s a forced return home. Dashed hopes. And all sorts of understanding and support – from the mission agency, supporter churches, pastor friends and others.”

Watch or listen here.

If your church supports missionaries, this will be very helpful in caring for them, under whatever circumstances they may return.

ACR Journal for Synod 2023

A special issue of ACR Journal – from The Australian Church Record – is out in time for Sydney Synod.

Download your copy from the Church Record’s website.

Scams… and how to avoid the worst sort

“Have you ever received an SMS telling you to urgently pay a toll?

An email informing you of an incredible investment opportunity?

An unsolicited telephone call apparently from a reputable organisation asking for your personal details?

Or a Facebook friend request from someone whose name you don’t know and whose somewhat provocative profile photo you suspect is probably not a photo of them at all?

If so, you have almost definitely been the target of a scam. …”

– At The Gospel Coalition of Australia, Stephen Liggins wants Christians to avoid the most dangerous scams of all.

Resources for Sydney Synod members 2023

Sydney Synod meets this month. Here are three resources from the Anglican Church League for Synod members. The updated Synod Survival Guide will be especially helpful for new Synod members.

  1. The Synod Survival Guide by Dr Robert Tong, updated – free download.
  2. The ACL Synod Dinner – Hear Simon Flinders’ encouraging address.
  3. The ACL Synod Briefing Podcast – now online!

Latest posts below.

Preaching the Doctrine of the Church

“In April 1979 I attended the Pastors’ Conference held at St Andrew’s Cathedral Sydney, which coincided with the Billy Graham Crusade being held at Randwick racecourse at that time.

One of the speakers was John Stott, and I remember him saying that if he were going into ministry at that time he would spend the first year preaching on the doctrine of the church.

Much has changed since, but the vital relevance of that doctrine has become more apparent. Post Covid, our people have become more used to staying away from the Sunday gathering and following church online, either our services or someone else’s…”

– At The Expository Preaching Trust, David Cook argues that understanding the nature of the Church is vital  – and, very helpfully, he suggests a series you could use or adapt.

Photo: David Cook preaching to a live congregation at St. Helen’s Bishopsgate in London, August 2022.

Pride will destroy you, your ministry, and people around you

“You may be familiar with this famous saying, ‘Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall’. It comes from the Bible, Proverbs 16:18.

We have mixed feelings about pride in Australia. On the one hand, we like to run over any tall poppy with the lawnmower. And yet pride is splashed across Instagram and Facebook pages all the time: pride in achievement and success, pride in people, pride about identity. Pride has become an idea or slogan to embrace and celebrate. …”

The Australian Church Record has republished a sobering article by Murray Campbell.

Can we redeem Halloween?

From The Pastor’s Heart:

“How should Christians respond to customs, traditions, and stories that have associations with false religions, demonic powers, and evil?

Could a church building be covered in cobwebs and used as an invitation to come inside?

Would you run a Halloween event for the kids of your church so they don’t feel like they are missing out? Or would you run something as an outreach to connect to the neighborhood?

Is it about the occult and to be avoided at all costs and denounced – or is it kids in funny outfits and junk food?

To talk Halloween, kids and churches our guests are:

Craig Roberts, CEO of Sydney’s Anglican Youthworks and former minister of Neutral Bay Anglican Church.

Kristen Young, Director of student and community care at Sydney Missionary and Bible College.”

Watch or listen here.

Songs for Today – Doubt

“One of the things I love about the Bible is its earthy realism. It understands the world we live in – the good and the bad, the grief and the joys. It also understands how we feel about life’s injustices especially when we see people who mock the notion of God, enjoying success. Nothing ever seems to go wrong for them.

And as well as the unfairness we often feel, there are the realities of droughts and famines, floods and fires, earthquakes and ruthless autocratic rulers. Why doesn’t God step in? It seems so out of character, if he is all-powerful and truly good. …”

– In his latest Word on Wednesday reflection at the Anglican Connection, John Mason looks at Doubt.

The ACL’s Synod Podcast now online

Hear the ACL’s 2023 Synod Briefing Podcast.

Our 2023 Pre-Synod Briefing Podcast aims to serve members of the Sydney Synod by highlighting the likely substantive issues and main debate points.

It’s also relevant for anyone who wants to stay informed and pray for the Lord Jesus to be honoured and churches strengthened through the decisions of the Synod.

Listen here:

or right-click on this link to download your copy.


0:00 – Introduction to the Podcast
2:36 – Introduction to Synod and Order of Business
5:25 – Discussion of Elections
7:30 – M4 (Purpose and Priorities)
10:40 – M6, B5 & B6 (Money Bills)
23:00 – B8 (Ministry Standards Ordinance)
24:45 – B1-B3 (General Synod Ordinances)
27:50 – M12 (Review of Governance Policy)
32:35 – B4, M16, M17 (Pastoral Supervision)
36:38 – 13.4, 13.5, and M20 (Discussion on The Voice)

And here are some relevant links:

The ACL Synod Dinner.

Sydney Synod 2023 – with reports and business papers.

The Synod Survival Guide, by Dr. Robert Tong.

About the Anglican Church League.

How to join the Anglican Church League.

A Review of Rosaria Butterfield’s Five Lies of Our Anti-Christian Age

“Here is one way to summarize Butterfield’s thesis: Don’t believe our culture’s lies about God’s design for men and women.

She presents five lies and explains, ‘What all these lies have in common is they don’t think that God had a plan and purpose when he created men and women’ (p. 290). At the root of the lies is what she calls ‘our nation’s reigning idol, a formidable monolith represented by the letters LGBTQ and the symbol +’…”

– At American Reformer, Andy Naselli reviews Rosaria Butterfield’s latest book. It will be available in Australia later this year. (Reformers bookshop, for example, has it on pre-order.)

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