2023 ACL Synod Dinner Address — Archdeacon Simon Flinders on The Importance of the Local Church

Archdeacon Simon Flinders gave the address at tonight’s ACL Synod Dinner in Sydney.

His topic? The Importance of the Local Church.

Take the time to listen to his most encouraging address:


or download the audio by right-clicking here.

The transcript is available as a PDF file.

This would be great to share with members of your church.


The Robinson-Knox view of Church — Interview with Chase Kuhn.

Children of believers belong to God’s family

May our children never know a day apart from the saving grace of Jesus.

I work as a chaplain at a theological college, and I have the joy of hearing dozens of testimonies. One of the things I’ve found really encouraging is hearing the stories of how the students came to faith.

I grew up in a non-Christian family, but the majority of the students have come from believing homes. Most of them can’t pinpoint an exact day, or even a year, when they turned to Christ. The students’ stories have highlighted to me the way that God has been pleased to use the consistent faithfulness of their parents to grow them up into their faith. It brings to mind the pattern Paul mentions in 2 Timothy …”

Jocelyn Loane shares encouragement for parents – at The Australian Church Record.

‘The peace we often forfeit’ — Encouragement from New Zealand to Pray

“Among the hymns that formed part of the background noise of my upbringing, one of my favourites was ‘What A Friend We Have In Jesus’.

Just look at the title – what message could be more uplifting for a child? The opening words ooze with warmth:

What a friend we have in Jesus,
All our sins and griefs to bear.
What a privilege to carry
Everything to God in prayer.

But the second half of the opening stanza offers something of a sting in the tail:

Oh, what peace we often forfeit,
Oh, what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry
Everything to God in prayer.

What seemed heart-warming to a child who could only absorb a title now strikes me as a rebuke whenever I sing it. I don’t know what was in Joseph Scriven’s mind as he wrote the poem that became this hymn (thanks, Wikipedia). But I wonder whether he was reflecting on James’ words: ‘You do not have, because you do not ask’ (Jas 4:2)…”

The latest edition (September 2023) of Ministry Matters from the Church of Confessing Anglicans Aotearoa New Zealand, is packed with encouragement to pray.

Do take the time to read, and then pray – including praying for Bishop Jay Behan and the churches of CCAANZ and the preaching of Christ in New Zealand.

Humility at the Heart of Mission

From Moore College’s Centre for Global Mission:

“What does it mean to ‘clothe yourself with humility’ in cross-cultural ministry and mission work

For most of the last 200 years of evangelical mission history, the gospel has been taken from wealthy and powerful countries to the majority world. Sometimes this missionary expansion has been marked by decidedly more pride than humility. This has disfigured the gospel and distorted expectations about what God promises his people. Humility must be at the heart of mission.

In this public event Dr Simon Gillham will be unpacking what the Bible says about the humility of the Lord Jesus and any who would serve in his name. We will also explore the particular relevance of humility as a virtue in cross-cultural engagement and Christian mission.”

Watch here.

Turning Biblical Convictions into Practical Expectations

“At the end of 2021, Suellen Milham was feeling unsettled. As the Women’s Ministry Worker at Orange Evangelical Church (OEC), there was a lot of change happening in her ministry space. The Covid years had meant she felt some disconnection with the women; there had been virtually no opportunities over the previous couple of years for large gatherings in the women’s ministry context; the church was just about to transition into their new building; and there were 3 new ministers on the staff team.

One of the tools that Suellen devised to tackle this unease was to hold a number of Women’s Focus Groups – just to see where the women were at, spiritually, and to pull women together after this period of disconnection. …”

– At Equal But Different, Lesley Ramsay shares a story of one church’s journey towards clarity.

Do not be afraid! — Encouragement from Archbishop Kanishka Raffel

Archbishop of Sydney Kanishka Raffel has recorded this message of encouragement for church members.

Watch here on Vimeo – or on YouTube.

Improving our church’s public Bible reading – with Simon Camilleri

At The Pastor’s Heart, Dominic Steel speaks with Simon Camilleri:

“We put lots of emphasis and training into becoming better teachers. But how can we improve the clarity, comprehension, conviction and confidence in public reading?

Bad public Bible reading is too soft, too fast, with mispronunciations, lack of preparation, bad pausing, emotionless, lacking understanding of the text, monotone and mono speed.

Good public Bible reading is faithful to text, without errors, understands context, has good eye contact, articulation, conviction, flow.”

Watch or listen here.

Very helpful – and ideal to share with Bible readers and others involved in public ministry.

Also see Simon’s website – publicbiblereading.com

Be careful how you build

Andrew Heard spoke from 1 Corinthians 3 at Moore College chapel yesterday on being careful how you build.

Most encouraging and challenging – for theological students and pastors in particular.

Watch here.

Getting to know CityAlight

Recently, Sol Fenne, Music Coordinator at 20schemes music in Scotland, spent some time with Rich Vassallo to get to know CityAlight, a music ministry which has blessed many people – at St. Paul’s Castle Hill, across Sydney, and right around the world.

A most encouraging video and a great reminder to pray for the team of CityAlight.

Nungalinya College celebrates 50 years

Today (Saturday 19th August), Nungalinya College in Darwin celebrates fifty years of working to empower Indigenous Christians for a life of faith and service.

“Nungalinya is the premier Combined Churches Training College for Indigenous Australians. The College is formally supported by the Anglican, Uniting and Catholic churches of the Northern Territory and is situated in Casuarina, a northern suburb of Darwin.”

– There’s an outline of today’s events on the College website.

A new film, Freedom: The Nungalinya Jubilee Story will be shown at the event. Here’s a very encouraging teaser (Facebook).

The Alphabet Bible

“When I was at uni, we read an article about memory. It argued that pen and paper, computers and smart phones have erased our reliance on memory. …”

– At The Australian Church Record, Jeanette Chin has a simple way to help memorise Scripture – it’s ‘the alphabet Bible’.

The Key

“In my opinion, this is the KEY.

In 1976, having spent 3 years of formative theological training at Moore College, I moved to my first parish, Wee Waa, in the north west of NSW.

I was to be the church’s second minister, the first was a faithful man, an excellent communicator. …

My sermons were very different to the previous minister, I preached for longer, I had been trained to always expound, and, I wasn’t the communicator he had been.

It was not going well, I knew that the congregation were switching off…”

– At The Expository Preaching Trust, David Cook shares The Key.

Darwin Cathedral Evening Service turns One

A new issue of Top Centre (23.2) from the Diocese of the Northern Territory is now out and available for download.

Lots of encouragement and plenty to pray about – including a report on the first anniversary of the new evening service at Christ Church Cathedral in Darwin (pictured).

“Christ Church Cathedral celebrated the first anniversary of its 5.30pm evening service on June 4 with about 50 people in the congregation including a newborn baby.

This compared with a mere ten people at its first service a year ago.

Reflecting on the growth of this church plant, founding leader Ben Staunton said as much as he was encouraged by the growth in numbers, what was more remarkable was the community that had been built, with members regularly meeting socially and helping each other in their daily lives. …”

Download your copy from this page.

Conversations: With Dr. Andrew Browning, Author & Christian Missionary Doctor

John Anderson’s latest Conversation is with Dr. Andrew Browning, an obstetrician-gynecologist who has devoted his life to improving maternal health in Africa, with a particular focus on fistula surgery.

Very much worth your time. Good to share too.


Africa: Maternal Healthcare – Fistula Hospitals – AnglicanAid

“Anglican Aid is partnering with Dr. Andrew Browning and the Barbara May Foundation (BMF) to help African women to have a safe childbirth.

Well known Sydney Anglican Dr. Browning worked for many years with Dr. Catherine Hamlin in Ethiopia and continues to develop her vision for fistula prevention and cure in the name of Christ. This vision continues through an expanding network of Christian maternity hospitals funded by the Barbara May Foundation together with Anglican Aid. …

BMF is a Christian foundation motivated by the love and compassion that God the Father has for the world and endeavours to serve as Christ serves. Please join Anglican Aid as together we strive to eradicate unsafe births in Africa.”

Hamlin Fistula Australia.

Be encouraged – God is at work!

“I recently preached at a church from Luke 15 about the lost sheep, the lost coin, the lost son and the lost brother – a great chapter of the Bible for you to read and reread.

It’s one of the great joys of my role with Evangelism and New Churches (ENC) that I get to speak at many churches in this way.

I invited people to come back home to God, made possible through Jesus; to be found by our loving God, who has not given up on searching for them no matter how far away from him they may feel. …”

John Lavender has this wonderful encouragement for you at SydneyAnglicans.net.

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