Anglican Aid’s India COVID-19 Emergency Appeal

“Anglican Aid is responding to the COVID-19 crisis in India by supporting Herbertpur Christian Hospital with essential supplies and equipment.

We have received urgent requests for help to provide equipment like ventilators, monitors, PPE (personal protective equipment) kits, and food for the COVID patients.

The hospital is being overwhelmed with cases after being designated a COVID hospital in response to the crisis. They currently have a total of 30 beds for COVID treatment and are working to bring that number up to 50. The hospital services an area with a population of 2 million people, serving anyone regardless of race, caste, creed, or religion.

It is the only COVID hospital in a 20km radius. …”

Read more from Anglican Aid (Diocese of Sydney) and help as you are able.

Photo: Herbertpur Christian Hospital COVID beds, via Anglican Aid.

Love and Gospel in the Time of Corona

“A bishop once said: ‘Everywhere St Paul went there was a riot; everywhere I go they serve tea.’ Our lives can get very comfortable, all too easily. Everything is predictable and orderly and follows a set pattern with little disturbance. That is how it is until God steps in. We often say that God is in control, but we lose sight of the fact that he doesn’t place at the top of his agenda that everyone should live comfortably and happily. …”

– On the website of George Whitefield College in Capetown, Principal Dr Mark Dickson observes that “the illness that has swept away millions and wreaked economic havoc is God’s reminder that this world cannot be all that there is”.

Read his article and watch the moving video.

Common Prayer for Homes — a new resource

Repost: Originally posted 04 April 2020 – a reminder of this locally produced resource:


From the Better Gatherings website (an initiative of the Diocese of Sydney), here is a very helpful addition to use when you can’t meet in church.

“A new liturgical resource has been completed which provides flexible forms of household worship to serve the churches, by complementing the spiritual resources already being offered during this difficult period: Common Prayer for Homes: Resources for Family Worship.

We trust it will be of some assistance to the ministry already taking place in homes, and ultimately we hope that it provides some good benefit to the spiritual lives of Christ’s flock.”

“Common Prayer for Homes” contains:

  1. HOUSEHOLD WORSHIP – 1ST ORDER
    a classic approach to Christian worship, easily modified for any household
  2. HOUSEHOLD WORSHIP – 2ND ORDER
    another classic approach to Christian worship, with various options to suit many households
  3. HOUSEHOLD WORSHIP WITH KIDS
    a simple approach to Christian worship which is suitable and easily adaptable for young children
  4. MORNING PRAYERS FOR EVERY DAY
    an all-in-one guide to morning prayers for each day of the week, for group or individual use
  5. VARIOUS PRAYERS FOR THE HOME
    a short collection of prayers which can be prayed in our homes
  6. COLLECTS
    this traditional name is given to short and beautiful prayers which cover the whole year, and special occasions.

Download “Common Prayer for Homes” from Better Gatherings. – and do share widely.

Here is some encouragement from the back cover:

Read the Holy Scriptures humbly with a meek and lowly heart, to the intent that you may glorify God, and not yourself, with the knowledge of it. And read it not without daily praying to God, that he would direct your reading to good effect.

– Archbishop Thomas Cranmer (1489-1556)

Therefore, confident in your holy teaching and promises, and all the more since we are gathered here in your presence and in the name of your Son our Lord Jesus; we fondly plead with you, our good God and Father, that in the name of our only Saviour and Mediator, by your infinite mercy, you would freely forgive our transgressions and so draw and lift our thoughts and desires to you, that from our whole heart we may seek you, and that according to your good pleasure and will, which alone is reasonable.

– John Calvin (1509-1564)

The Almighty Lord, which is a most strong tower to all that put their trust in him, to whom all things in heaven, in earth, and under earth, do bow and obey: be now and evermore your defence, and make you know and feel, that there is no other name under heaven given to man, in whom, and through whom, you may receive health and salvation, but only the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

– from the Book of Common Prayer (1549)

Related:

We ask Mark Earngey about ‘Common Prayer for Homes’

Freedom and faith: Scotland’s lockdown

“This has been a difficult year for Christians in Scotland, but one in which our convictions have been sharpened, our unity stretched, and the historic constitutional settlement in which we worship called into question.

Our family moved from Sydney to Scotland in August 2018 so that I could complete a PhD in Systematic Theology at the University of Edinburgh. We have stayed in Edinburgh the entire time since the SARS-CoV-2 virus spread across the globe. I’m due to finish my PhD in 2022, and we have never given any serious consideration to returning to Australia early. The fact that Australia has closed its borders so tightly—even to its own citizens—has been a stark reminder that ultimately our citizenship is not of this world. …”

Matthew Baines writes from Scotland for The Australian Church Record.

More than 1,000 vicars vow to defy any vaccine passport plans for churches

“In an open letter to the [British] Prime Minister concerning vaccine passport proposals, the church leaders said: ‘To deny people entry to hear this life-giving message and to receive this life-giving ministry would be a fundamental betrayal of Christ and the Gospel.‘…”

Story from The Telegraph (via MSN).

And from the Letter:

Open Letter from Christian Leaders to the Prime Minister Concerning Vaccine Passport Proposals

“Dear Prime Minister,

As Christian leaders across a range of denominations, we continue to pray at this time for your government ‘and all in high positions, so that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and dignity’ (1 Timothy 2:2).

However, we write to you concerning an area of the most serious concern, namely the potential introduction into our society of so-called ‘vaccine passports’ which have also been referred to as ‘COVID-status certificates’ and ‘freedom passes’. We are wholly opposed to this suggestion and wish to make three points about the potential consideration of any scheme of this type. …“

Read the full letter here. It is signed by a number of UK Christians leaders who would be known to our readers.

Archbishop Glenn Davies’ Easter Message 2021

Just before his retirement last week as Archbishop of Sydney, Dr. Glenn Davies recorded this 79 second Easter message.

Great to share! Include it in your church service or video for this weekend! (The 38MB mp4 file can be downloaded here for use in church services.)

Here’s the full text, courtesy of SydneyAnglicans.net.

Updated NSW rules for churches

“A new Public Health Order will apply from the beginning of Monday 29 March 2021 to churches in NSW: the Public Health (COVID-19 Gathering Restrictions) Order 2021.

One of the biggest changes is that there will no longer be restrictions on singing in services (hooray!) There was actually a temporary exemption in place over the weekend of 27-28 March to allow this to happen a bit early. But this new CGR Order will now operate on a long-term basis.

In this post I will just summarise the provisions affecting churches, and where they can be found in the new Order. …”

– Neil Foster at Law and Religion Australia has the latest on COVID requirements for churches in NSW.

Sing your heart out this Easter

“The NSW Premier has announced churches will be allowed to sing again without masks this Easter.

Singing has been under a cloud since the start of COVID and even the concessions of masks were reeled back at the outbreak in Sydney’s North Beaches late last year.

Now, the Premier says restrictions on singing at places of worship will be lifted, from next Monday, March 29. …”

– Russell Powell has good news at SydneyAnglicans.net.

Not Gathering with the Church Hurts You Spiritually

“Some will think this is insensitive, some will think it’s overdue, but I want to make sure it’s said: not physically gathering with the church hurts you spiritually.

So, pandemic-weary Christian, work to gather again with your church, even if your church continues to offer a virtual option.

Likewise, pandemic-weary pastor, gently encourage your pandemic-weary congregation to gather as soon as they can. …”

Timely words from Jonathan Leeman at 9Marks.

Make the most of Easter evangelism post COVID

From The Pastor’s Heart:

“Don’t let Easter creep up on you.”

Dominic Steele is joined by Paul Webb, Elliot Temple and Andrew Levy in thinking about how to make the most of Easter this year.

Watch at The Pastor’s Heart.

Also at The Pastor’s Heart, Dominic addresses the tragedy of the recent revelations concerning Ravi Zecharias.

For the good of Others

“As we commence a new year in 2021, I am sure that many of us look forward to the suppression, if not elimination, of the Coronavirus which has threatened lives and livelihoods. We welcome the imminent distribution of some of the vaccines that have been developed and are currently in use in other parts of the world, and I am grateful for so many who have offered prayer each night at 1900hrs for COVID-19 research…”

– In his column in this month’s Southern Cross, Archbishop Glenn Davies uses COVID-19 as a lead-in to speak of the goodness of God’s Law.

Meeting others to worship is a lifeline

“A group of Clergy taking government to court might seem a surprisingly ‘un-Christian’ thing to do, when closing churches is to ‘save lives’. In fact, the reason we have commenced action against Scottish Minsters is born of profound Christian love for our nation.

We all recognise the challenges facing the government. But we believe that, however well-intentioned, criminalising corporate worship is both damaging and dangerous for Scotland…

There is an urgent need for a message beyond that of health and safety: a message of hope and salvation.”

– Dr. William Philip, Minister at The Tron Church in Glasgow, argues why it is so important that churches meet – despite COVID.

Restrictions easing for churches, with promise of more

“The New South Wales Premier, Gladys Berijiklian, has announced that caps on numbers at church services have been eased, although the 4m2 rule is still in force.

The Premier has announced the easing will take place on Friday, 29th January. …”

– Report from SydneyAnglicans.net.

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