Hope25 Launch Video Pentecost 2024

Here’s a video to introduce Hope25.

You can learn more at the Hope25 website:

“Hope 25 is an opportunity for us to share the hope that we have in Jesus.

It is an intentional season of sharing hope in Jesus for every parish and community in the Australian Anglican Church.

We are asking each parish to commit to doing (at least) one thing to help share the hope that we have in Jesus during this season.

We aren’t going to tell you what to do, but we will provide resources and support so that each parish can act locally and contextually, sharing the hope we have in Jesus in a way that best fits your context. It may be that you have multiple different groups within your parish and a number of different events are needed to engage with those group. Or, you may choose to band together on one event, it is entirely up to each parish or community to choose.

Dates: Easter Day (April 20, 2025) to Pentecost Sunday (June 8, 2025)”

Meet Jesus: The Missiology is Right

“In 1959 the Billy Graham Association conducted Australia’s most successful evangelistic mission. Large venues, huge crowds, and compelling preaching. It was extraordinary. Six decades on, however, some features of that mission look quaint, even odd. …

It was a different world. Evangelising Australia now is a different sort of challenge. Consider the 2024 Meet Jesus campaign—the Australian Fellowship of Evangelical Students’ (AFES) effort to invite Australians to meet Jesus in the pages of Gospels. I think the missiology is right.”

– At The Gospel Coalition Australia, Rory Shiner commends Meet Jesus.

Inside the hidden assumption in Albanese’s ‘misinformation’ bill that undermines its entire premise

“As Claire Lehman of the Quillet puts it: ‘In universities across the world, humanities departments have, over time, come to reject the notion that there is such a thing as objective truth.’

If they are right, there is no point in any debate or discussion about either the news or our opinions of the news. …”

– At Sky News Australia, Kel Richards points out the fatal flaw in all ‘misinformation’ legislation.

Working Together so More People Meet Jesus

“We believe that knowing Jesus changes everything. He alone can deal with our sins and failures. He is our saviour who rescued us and our friend who loves us. He is our Lord who graciously and powerfully rules all things. He is the source of our hope in life and in death. He is living and active and he is coming again as judge of all. Why wouldn’t we want other people to meet Jesus?

Across Australia a campaign is unfolding this year so that many more people might have the opportunity to meet Jesus. …”

– At The Gospel Coalition Australia, Murray Capill reports on a recent gathering in Melbourne.

Related:

Australia: Meet Jesus! — Richard Chin and Rory Shiner.

Bishop Mari Emmanuel forgives his attacker and endorses freedom of speech and religion

Screenshot

For ANZAC Day, Bishop Mari Emmanuel of Christ the Good Shepherd Church in Wakeley has spoken out in forgiveness and in support of freedom of speech and freedom of religion.

Remembering the Sacrifice: ANZAC Day 2024

“Grant Dibden, Anglican Bishop to the Australian Defence Force, shares the story of sacrifice about Corporal Reginald Samuel Thorn from Broken Hill, NSW.

A recently discovered letter from Corporal Thorn was sent one day prior to his sacrifice at Pozières, France.

At deaths door, Reginald Thorn’s letter shares the hope of a better place beyond the grave made available through the greatest sacrifice made by Jesus.

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13.”

– At Defence Anglicans.

Religious Freedom and the NSW Conversion Practices Ban Act 2024

Associate Professor Neil Foster writes at Law and Religion Australia:

“I have prepared a paper exploring the operation of the NSW Conversion Practices Ban Act 2024 in relation to the freedom of churches and other religious groups to continue to provide teaching and guidance based on the tenets of their faith. The Act has received assent but will not commence operation until 3 April 2025.

Overall, the Act contains much better protections for religious freedom and the welfare of vulnerable children and young people than similar legislation elsewhere. But there are some areas where it is not clear, and it will require careful consideration by religious groups, as well those interested in so-called ‘gender transition’ issues even from a non-religious background.”

Download his paper here.

Explainer: NSW Conversion Practices Ban

Anglican Media Sydney has published a helpful explanatory post on the newly passed NSW “Conversion Practices Ban Act”.

See it out for an outline of what the law means, and how church leaders have responded.

Navigating new laws on Conversion Practices: A Pastoral Approach to Compassion and Legal Compliance

From The Pastor’s Heart:

“What is permissible and not permissible under new conversion practice laws in New South Wales – with Neil Foster, Matt Aroney and Michael Stead.

Sydney Anglican Bishop Michael Stead, who chairs Freedom for Faith and Living Faith, describes the new laws as the least worst that he has seen in Australia.

Associate Professor of Law at Newcastle University and author of the Law and Religion blog Neil Foster says the law is unnecessary, but better than has been implemented in other parts of Australia.

Professor Foster supports moves to ban oppressive or violent practices that are designed to change someone’s sexual attraction or impair gender identity. However, Professor Foster says the laws (which have a criminal and civil component) can go beyond those bad things to areas where a minister is explaining the teaching of the Bible and wanting to help people to live in accordance with the bible.

Acting Minister of Watsons Bay Matt Aroney says he doesn’t think the new laws will impact his pastoral practice. Matt wants to turn down the anxiety levels. He encourages to choose thoughtfully to respond to the people in front of us with the love and compassion that Jesus has.

Matt applies the principles of his new book ‘Renovated: How God makes us Christlike’ to caring well for those Christians experiencing same sex attraction or gender incongruence.”

An important topic for ministers and churches to understand.

“Equality” bill — NSW Government Survey

From Freedom for Faith:

“The independent Member for Sydney, Alex Greenwich, has introduced his ‘Equality’ bill, which would significantly undermine religious freedom in NSW.

In collaboration with the heads of churches and a wide range of faith groups, Freedom for Faith has coordinated a campaign to call, write and meet with local MPs. We are also directly engaging with the Government and opposition on the future of the bill, and resourcing faith leaders in their advocacy.

The legislation has been referred to a Parliamentary Committee for Inquiry. The first stage is a public survey. We encourage everyone to participate, it will take less than a minute and help the Government understand our objections to this damaging legislation.”

The ‘Equality’ bill is a different piece of legislation from the ‘Conversion Practices’ legislation which passed a couple of weeks ago.

Do take the time to read the details and to express your views via the Survey which is accessible through this page at Contact Your MP.

The NSW Legislative Assembly’s Committee on Community Services Survey is open until Sunday 14th April 2024.

Emphasis added.

Challenges to Religious Freedom: Conversion Practices law passed, ALRC report released

From Neil Foster at Law and Religion Australia:

“A brief update on two significant challenges to religious freedom which have emerged over the last few days.

First, in NSW, the Conversion Practices Ban Bill 2024 has been rushed through both Houses of Parliament, receiving final approval on Friday March 22 after an all-night debate in the Legislative Council, and is now awaiting the Royal Assent.

The second concerning development is that on Wednesday 21 March the Australian Law Reform Commission released its report Maximising the Realisation of Human Rights: Religious Educational Institutions and Anti-Discrimination Laws (ALRC Report 142). Far from “maximising” human rights, the report (as expected by those who spoke to some of its researchers) would have the effect, if adopted, of seriously impairing the operation of faith-based schools around Australia.”

Read here.

Related:

Response to the Australia Law Reform Commission report on Religious Educational Institutions – Media Release from the Diocese of Sydney, 21 March 2023 –

“The ALRC deserves a fail for the report and recommendations produced.

We are deeply disappointed that the recommendations fail to understand the ethos of faith-based schooling and would, if implemented, significantly impair schools’ ability to carry out their charter. …”

Federal ALRC Report Released – Freedom for Faith, 22 March 2024,

“On Thursday 21 March, the Attorney General, Mark Dreyfus tabled the final Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) Report following their Inquiry into Religious Educational Institutions and Anti-Discrimination Laws (see below).

On Tuesday 19 March, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese was reported saying that he would not act on the ALRC report or a Religious Discrimination Bill without bipartisan support.

A draft of the Religious Discrimination Bill has been shown to the Opposition and key faith leaders, but is not public. …”

NSW Parliament passes Conversion Practices Ban Act unamended

From Freedom for Faith:

“On March 22, 2024, the NSW Parliament passed the Conversion Practices Ban Act, a week after revealing the legislation. Despite a strong push from faith leaders and communities for improvements and clarifications, the legislation passed unamended.

We thank the Liberal Party, Shooters and Fishers, One Nation and Liberal Democrats who all moved amendments to improve the bill.

The legislation was the result of an extended campaign beginning before the 2023 election, and negotiations with the Government. While we do have strong concerns about the Act, it is also significantly better than the legislation in Victoria, and the proposals that were around in 2023. …”

Read the details here.

More issues with the Queensland Anti-Discrimination Bill 2024

Associate Professor Neil Foster writes at Law and Religion Australia:

“I am happy to present a guest post today from Associate Professor Mark Fowler, raising more issues of concern from a religious freedom perspective with the recently released proposed Anti-Discrimination Bill 2024.

Dr Mark Fowler is Principal, Fowler Charity Law, Adjunct Associate Professor, University of Notre Dame, School of Law, Sydney and an External Fellow at the Centre for Public, International and Comparative Law, University of Queensland. …”

Read it here.

No agreement on ‘least-worst’ laws

“More than a half a decade before the NSW government brought on its ‘Conversion Practices’ bill being debated this week, the Sydney Anglican Church expressed its opposition to harmful ‘conversion therapies’. It had become apparent from the testimony of survivors that some groups, including Christian faith groups, have employed harmful practices in an attempt to change or suppress feelings of attraction to the same sex, or gender dysphoria.

Our decision to speak out came in 2018, before the move to legislate against such practices across Australia. Since then, such legislation has moved beyond these now rare and bizarre practices and in some jurisdictions encroaches unnecessarily and ominously into areas of orthodox religious belief and ordinary faith practices including teaching and preaching, prayer, conversation and mutual encouragement.

There have been comments that churches and faith groups have been consulted and are happy with the bill now on the table. This is not the case. …”

While grateful for the government’s engagement with faith communities on legislation, the Archbishop concludes that,

“What we have ended up with is a ‘least worst’ version of such legislation compared to some other Australian jurisdictions but cannot be regarded by biblical Christian churches as representing good law.”

The Daily Telegraph has today published this op-ed by Archbishop Kanishka Raffel – and SydneyAnglicans.net has a copy.

Good to read and share – and do pray for the Members of Parliament as the proposed legislation is scheduled to be debated today.

Bible Society Australia to close Eternity News

“It is with a heavy heart that I announce the difficult decision made by Bible Society Australia Group to end Eternity News in its current form, marking the closing chapter of a significant era.

This means that effective 30 April 2024, the Eternity News print magazine, website, weekly newsletter and social media platforms, along with the Eternity Jobs website, will cease. …”

Announcement from BSA Group CEO, Grant Thomson.

Next Page →