InterCultural MTS broadens the horizon

“When the Ministry Training Strategy began in the early 1980s, the vision was always to multiply gospel workers through ministry apprenticeships ‘to win the world for Christ’.

Now there is a new method for achieving this aim, through a partnership between MTS and European Christian Mission. …”

– At SydneyAnglicans.net. Judy Adamson reports on a new angle for MTS.

Jesus is what truly matters

“I hope that as you combed through the Moore Matters Autumn 2022 publication, you have begun to see the ways in which Moore College continues to influence the world through theological education.

From the rich melting pot of ethnicities right here in Sydney, to the various overseas ministries that our graduates are involved in, your generosity in supporting the training and equipping of men and women is both strategic and significant.

Every one of you, through your financial generosity, fervent and consistent prayers, and advocacy for the work of the College, are valuable partners in this ministry that aims to see God glorified through providing excellent evangelical theological education. …”

– Ben George at Moore College writes to encourage us to focus on what’s most important. (Plus you can read the latest Moore Matters at the link.)

2022 — Year of 5fish

We’ve previously mentioned the Australian-produced 5fish app and website for sharing the news of Jesus in thousands of languages.

To mark the tenth anniversary of the app, GRN (Global Recordings Network) is calling 2022 “the year of 5fish” to help get the word out about these wonderful tools.

They are also looking for help in increasing the user interface translations from 19 to over 40. (The page linked above has a list of the user interface translations needed. Can you help?)

The 5fish app is a terrific resource to have on your device.

“He had lost control of his life to Jesus Christ”

“When Archbishop Kanishka Raffel came to Australia in 1972 as a small child, his home faith was Buddhism. The story of how he came to believe in Jesus has now been told on video, which is available for playing in churches or to pass on to friends.

The Archbishop’s story has been told in print and on radio, but he was moved to record a video version after a request from Anglican Chinese churches. He talks about how he became interested in studying Buddhism as a teenager and also asked Christians about their faith. …”

Watch and download this encouraging testimony at SydneyAnglicans.net.

The power of forgiveness

“Archbishop Kanishka Raffel has thanked the Abdallah family for activating a community conversation about forgiveness, on the second i4Give day.

A service at The King’s School chapel was packed on Sunday, February 6, as members of the school communities of King’s and Tara, local residents and dignitaries, including the Prime Minister and Premier, joined the Abdallah and Sakr families in celebrating the power of forgiveness. …”

– Russell Powell has the story at SydneyAnglicans.net.

Amazing Grace — a hymn for the New Year

John Newton wrote his most famous hymn, Amazing Grace, 249 years ago.

Learn more at The John Newton Project.

“The words of Amazing Grace were etched on Newton’s heart daily.

But we assume that he first wrote this hymn for his New Year’s Morning sermon of 1 January 1773, for it fits his sermon notes so closely and the text he chose to write above it in the Olney Hymns, 1 Chronicles 17:16,17, is identical to the sermon’s text.”

See the video (2:18) here.

You can also hear some of the earliest tunes used to sing the hymn.

Christmas message — Bishop Mark Calder

The Bishop of the Diocese of Bathurst, Mark Calder, has released this terrific message for Christmas 2021.

Here’s the text:

Will Christmas celebrations offer any reprieve from the anxiety and uncertainties we face through COVID-19 at the present time, especially with omicron?

About a month ago, it looked as though we could plan for a pretty much normal Christmas. Hotel quarantine for international travellers has been scrapped. Requirements of wearing masks and checking in through the QR codes had been relaxed and we were able to plan family reunions and Christmas holidays.

Now all of that is up in the air as NSW case numbers are blown out of the water. Some of your friends may have now been deemed as close contacts of a COVID case and you’re not able to meet with them. Christmas holidays have had to be put on hold for many people. Some planning to travel to Queensland are now no longer able to get there simply because they haven’t got their test results back in time.

I think anxiety levels are now higher than they at any time during the lockdowns that we’ve known.

Yet into all of this, Christmas will surely come, and it is the message of Christmas that can give us some hope, some comfort, and some perspective.

Perhaps you’ve been singing some of the ancient carols, where we sing words such as:

He came down to earth from heaven, Who is God and Lord of all”.  

“So God imparts to human hearts the blessings of his heav’n” 

“Peace on earth, and mercy mild, God and sinners reconciled” 

By turning up here on earth in the historic person of Jesus Christ, God reached out to us in love, and the invitation is there this Christmas and always, to reach back to him and find some hope, strength, perspective, calm, peace, and even joy, in the midst of our mess.

Direct link to video here.

PDF version here.

Don’t miss the truth of Christmas — Archbishop Kanishka Raffel

Here’s the first Christmas message from Archbishop Kanishka Raffel.
With thanks to SydneyAnglicans.net.

Great to share – you can also download it from this link.

Why I celebrate Christmas — Jinming Pap

“Christmas was never a thing in my childhood. Growing up in a small town in Jilin Province, Northwest China, Christmas was not part of our yearly celebration. I was only introduced to Christmas through vague references in Western movies. From these movies, I learnt that Christmas was all about Santa, gifts and Christmas melodies. …”

– At The Australian Church Record, Jinming Pap, who serves at Moore College, shares the good news she discovered about the real meaning of Christmas.

How I came to know Jesus – Annabel Nixey

“When my parents bought a house in Sydney in the early 80s, in God’s kindness, it was down the road from a church which loved Jesus and taught the Bible. It meant that I got to grow up hearing about Jesus the King.

My mum, in particular, modelled to me how to follow Jesus and the significance of prayer and Bible study. Even as a child I knew that her ‘quiet time’, reading the Bible in our front sitting room, was a treasured and protected time in her day.…”

– At The Australian Church Record, Annabel Nixey shares how she came to know the Lord Jesus.

D. A. Carson on the Two Jews Talking the Day Before the First Passover

“Picture two Jews, by the name of Smith and Brown. Remarkably Jewish names.

The day before the first Passover they’re having a little discussion in the land of Goshen, and Smith says to Brown, ‘Boy, are you a little nervous about what’s going to happen tonight?’…”

– Justin Taylor shares this wonderful illustration from Don Carson.

Heroes of the Faith: Apolo Kivebulaya

“Some heroes of the faith are forgotten and deserve rediscovery. One of these being Apolo Kivebulaya, a remarkable church worker in Africa for 40 years and a reminder of the way so many African Christians have spread Christianity on that continent.

Apolo was born into a peasant family in 1864 in Kampala in what is now Uganda…”

Canon J. John writes of Apolo Kivebulaya in his series on Heroes of the Faith.

Many in Uganda and DR Congo still give thanks for Apolo Kivebulaya.

Also published at Christian Today. (Photo: via J. John.)

How I came to know Jesus – Mike Leite

“The story of God’s grace and mercy in bringing me to faith in Jesus is very ordinary. Ordinary in the sense that mine is not a spectacular conversion story. God used ordinary means. He used ordinary people. And thus, mine is an ordinary story. …”

– More encouraging stories from The Australian Church Record.

Find Life that lasts: A national co-ordinated evangelism campaign

“How could we build back better after COVID?  Could evangelicals unite together to rebuild the church with a national co-ordinated evangelistic campaign?

COVID has created an unprecedented opportunity for evangelism, but churches and church leaders are feeling fragile and weary.

In Great Britain, churches are getting set for a national campaign leading up to Easter 2022, under the banner ‘Find life that lasts. It’s closer than you think.’…”

– Watch at The Pastor’s Heart.

How I came to know Jesus – Kirsten McKinlay

“Although I knew a lot of Bible stories, it wasn’t until a specific moment as a teenager that the overarching theme of the Bible, and the centre point of Christianity itself, made sense to me.

Until that moment, I was sure that being a nice and considerate person had earned me God’s favour. …”

– In another encouraging story from the ACR, Kirsten McKinlay shares how she came to Christ.

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