Advance Australia Where?

“The creature we know as the Anglican church has a history replete with knotty problems and gritty solutions. And when it comes to the matter of problems, it is something of an understatement to say that the Anglican Church of Australia has a very serious one on its hands at present: the dioceses of Wangaratta and Newcastle have resolved to pursue the practice of blessing of same-sex marriages. This, of course, has pushed them away from a good swathe of the wider national church and further structural estrangement has the potential to rend the (already weakened) fabric of the national fellowship asunder.

Into the breach the recent Appellate Tribunal has come. Through an unusual definition of ‘doctrine’ and some eccentric exegesis the majority opinions imply that the Australian Anglican family can adopt these changes and keep toiling together in the same constitutional territory. Such opinions have stunned the many onlookers who believe precisely the opposite. Indeed, the vast majority of the submissions to the Appellate Tribunal, the Board of Assessors report, and the guidance of the House of Bishops all said in unison, words to the effect of ‘no!’…”

– At The Australian Church Record, Dr Mark Earngey explains that “the GAFCON movement is precisely what is needed for a time such as this”.

His article, republished from the Autumn 2021 ACR Journal, was written before Archbishop Raffel’s election, and before this week’s announcement from GAFCON Australia.

See also:

Dr Robert Tong on the Appellate Tribunal Opinion – 12 November 2020.

Preliminary thoughts on the Appellate Tribunal ruling – Dr Mark Thompson, 11 November 2020.

Bathurst’s “Ministry is for everyone” Conference to be in new format due to COVID

The Diocese of Bathurst’s “Ministry is for everyone” Diocesan Conference has had to be reconfigured due to the COVID-19 restrictions now in force.

In the video above, Bishop Mark Calder explains that they’ll be running all the elements of the conference online, over seven Monday afternoons and evenings, beginning Monday 2nd August.

And do pray for the churches of Bathurst Diocese, pray that this conference now might be a blessing to even more people.

Gafcon Australia moves ahead — plans for new Australian diocese

Here’s a Media Statement issued after tonight’s GAFCON Australia online gathering:

Media Statement – 19 July 2021
Gafcon Australia moves ahead

Gafcon Australia has outlined its plan to support Anglicans who leave the Anglican Church of Australia over doctrinal revision which overturns the plain teaching of Scripture.

At an online meeting replacing the postponed Gafcon Australasia conference on Monday, the Chair of Gafcon Australia, Bishop Richard Condie, expanded on Gafcon’s Commitment 2020.

“With great sadness and regret, we realise that many faithful Anglican clergy and lay people will no longer be able to remain as members of the ACA if changes allowed by the Appellate Tribunal majority opinion take place in their dioceses”, Bishop Condie said.

“We love these people and don’t want them to be lost to the Anglican fold.” he said, “We want them to be recognised and supported as they love and serve their own communities.”

For this reason, Gafcon pledged in late 2020 to form a new Diocese for Anglicans who will be forced to leave the Anglican Church of Australia.

On Monday he outlined that the new church entity will be formed through a company structure, led by a small Board of Directors.

In the beginning, former ACA churches would be able to join as affiliates of the new entity, through an affiliation agreement.

At a later date these churches will become a Diocese, establishing a Synod to elect a Bishop and Standing Committee.

Once established it is anticipated that the new diocese will be recognised and endorsed by the Gafcon Primates, as they have endorsed the formation of similar dioceses in the USA, Canada, Brazil and New Zealand, where the established Anglican Church in these countries has departed from the teaching of Scripture.

Bishop Condie also told the on-line gathering that the Board had appointed the Revd Michael Kellahan as its first Executive Officer.

Mr Kellahan has recently been the Executive Director of Freedom for Faith, a think-tank on religious freedom in Australia, and will help the Board deliver its commitment to its supporters.

“It grieves the Gafcon movement that these measures are necessary”, Bishop Condie said, “but the support of faithful Anglicans has been the objective of Gafcon Australia since its beginning.

“Gafcon Australia embraces evangelical, catholic and charismatic Anglicans, ordained women and men, and lay people, each of whom uphold the Jerusalem Declaration. We see a great future for orthodox Anglicans as they love ordinary Australians with the gospel.”

The Gafcon Movement began in 2008 at the Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON) in Jerusalem where Anglicans met from around the world to work to heal and restore the Anglican Communion in the face of theological revision.

The Jerusalem Declaration made at that conference is a statement of contemporary Anglican Orthodoxy that guides the movement.

The global movement now embraces over 70% of the world’s worshipping Anglicans and seeks to go about proclaiming Christ faithfully to the nations. Gafcon has held further Conferences in Nairobi in 2013 and Jerusalem again in 2018.

Gafcon Australia was formed in 2015 in anticipation of the same theological revision occurring in Australia that has occurred in other western Anglican churches. Sadly, the time has come to protect faithful Anglicans from the changes in understanding of the doctrine of the ACA, which are being embraced by various bishops and their synods.

END. (PDF file.)

See also:

Going forward with Gafcon Australia – Russell Powell at SydneyAnglicans.net

Gafcon Australia Announces Plans for Extra-Provincial Diocese – David Ould.

Four clergymen ordained in Bathurst across Anglican and Catholic dioceses

“A number of clergymen have been ordained at Bathurst across two denominations over the past few days.

The All Saints Anglican Cathedral hosted a special service on Saturday for The Reverend Wally Cox and The Reverend Andrew Thornhill, who were both ordained as priests.

Both were ordained as deacons last December, with the former currently serving in the Blayney parish and the latter currently at the Coonabarabran parish. …”

– Good news via The Western Advocate.

Bringing the gospel to the North West

Here’s an encouraging and challenging video from the Diocese of North West Australia. Might you answer the call?

And a message from Bishop Gary Nelson to Christians in the North West –

“The diocese of North West Australia seeks to make disciples of all nations as we centre our church life in the saving gospel of Jesus Christ. As you pray, share your resources and visit, please remember to give God thanks for his unfailing, steadfast love to us. Thank you for your support.”

Read it all here.

Are you more Likely to be Abused as an Anglican?

“The report suggests that ‘Absolutist discourses related to marriage as a lifelong commitment, the submission of the wife to the husband, unconditional forgiveness and suffering for Christ….are harmful for those who experience abuse’.

I would suggest that it is the misunderstanding and misuse of these teachings which causes harm.  Those who misuse these teachings are blaspheming. As are those who reject them.

The key biblical teaching on this is that men are to love their wives as Christ loved the church (Ephesians 5:25-27). It’s a level of service, sacrifice and love way beyond anything our secularists could even dream of. And a million miles away from the ‘bible says I can beat you with impunity’ caricature so beloved by those who want to attack our faithful Anglican sisters and brothers. …”

– Published last week on The Australian Presbyterian’s blog, David Robertson takes a look at the report and some of the subsequent commentary and argues that the Word of God is the cure…not the problem.

See also: Responding to Domestic Violence in the Church – with Sandy Grant and Kara Hartley – The Pastor’s Heart.

Bishop of Gippsland supports Synod motion endorsing extra-marital relationships

“The Diocese of Gippsland, at its recent synod, has voted to change its own version of Faithfulness in Service, the national church’s guidelines for standards in ministry, to remove the classical definition of chaste relationships (marriage between a man and a woman) and replace it with a more ambiguous definition of ‘committed and monogamous relationship’.

The resolution came from Bishop-in-Council and was endorsed by Bishop Richard Treloar in his Presidential Address. …”

– Report from davidould.net.

See also:

Bishop Treloar’s Presidential Address, 2021. (PDF file.)

The Gippsland Anglican, June 2021. (PDF file.)

A statement from GAFCON Australia: (June 01 2021, on Facebook)

“Gafcon Australia

Please find below a Statement from Gafcon Australia concerning a resolution of the synod of the Diocese of Gippsland.

In May 2021, the Synod of the Diocese of Gippsland made the following resolution:

1. In accordance with Section 7 of the Professional Standards Act 2017 and subject to the qualification that:
– Clauses 7.2 and 7.4 of Faithfulness in Service are to be understood and applied in the context that a member of the clergy or church worker who is in a committed and monogamous relationship with another person is not to be regarded as being in breach of Clauses 7.2 and 7.4 only because that relationship does not have the status of a marriage solemnised according to an Anglican marriage rite;
– Faithfulness in Service (November 2016 version) is otherwise affirmed and adopted as the Code of Conduct for observance by Clergy and Church workers in the Diocese.

2. The registrar shall amend the version of Faithfulness in Service published on the Diocesan website by inserting the qualification below the heading “Preamble” to section 7 of Faithfulness in Service and include the following note: –
(Faithfulness in Service was qualified by this paragraph when adopted by the Diocese of Gippsland as the Code of Conduct for observance by Clergy and Church workers in the Diocese.)

It grieves the Board of Gafcon Australia that the Bishop-in-Council of the Diocese of Gippsland promoted a motion to their Synod, which amended the operation of Faithfulness in Service, the National Code of conduct for church workers, in their Diocese.

The effect of this resolution is to sanction sexual relationships outside of marriage, as the Anglican Church of Australia has received it and continues to uphold. It is regrettable that by removing the possibility of any disciplinary action against a member of the clergy or lay church worker in such a sexual relationship with another person (whether of the same sex or opposite sex) the Diocese’s Code of Conduct is now in breach of the teaching of Scripture (Hebrews 13:4 Marriage should be honoured by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral) and the teaching of marriage that our Church upholds.

Gafcon Australia supports those Anglicans in Gippsland who are likewise grieved by this development.

From the Board of Gafcon Australia.”

Image: Diocese of Gippsland.

New Prayer Cycle for the Diocese of the Northern Territory

The Diocese of the Northern Territory has produced a Prayer Cycle to encourage prayer for the work of the gospel in the Top End and elsewhere.

Download it here.

Roebourne’s Holy Trinity Church, the oldest church in WA’s north-west, celebrates 125 years

“The historic Holy Trinity Church in Roebourne — transformed last year after decades of neglect — turned 125 this week, with more than 50 people attending celebrations to mark the milestone.

Some travelled more than 1,600 kilometres to celebrate the anniversary of the church, which is the oldest in north-west WA. …”

This story from ABC Pilbara serves as a reminder to pray for gospel ministry in Roebourne and elsewhere in the North West.

Bishop of Bathurst introduces their new Chancellor

Bishop of Bathurst Mark Calder introduces the new Chancellor of the diocese, Adrian Ahern.

Outreach in Parkes

“‘Why is there so much suffering?’ That is the question that popular Christian author and apologist, Kevin Simington, will be addressing in a seminar at St George’s Anglican Church on Wednesday, May 5 at 7.15pm.

Kevin is conducting a short-term ministry at St George’s during May and June as part of his position as Ministry Consultant within the Anglican Diocese of Bathurst. …”

The Parkes Champion-Post has news about seminars to be run by Kevin Simington, who was ordained at Bathurst Cathedral last weekend.

In other news from Bathurst, Bishop Mark Calder is seeking financial support for a lay stipendiary worker in the parish of Blayney.

All this is a great reminder to pray for people across Bathurst Diocese to hear the amazingly good news about Jesus.

Easter 2021 op-ed – Bishop Mark Calder

Mark Calder, Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Bathurst, has released this message for Easter 2021:

“Because I was in Brisbane last week, I’m at home this week on ‘stay at home’ orders.

But that has been the last year, hasn’t it – from last Easter.

Cancelled plans, adjusted plans; waiting on the latest health orders to see what our response is to be to a latest breakout, here or there.

It’s been a massive year. And we’ve waited patiently for the development of and then the roll out of vaccines.

But here we are at Easter again, where we remember first of all the death of the Lord Jesus Christ and then the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

If the accounts of those momentous events were fabrications, then we really should cancel the Easter holiday this year and every year, and get on with life!

But if the events which we stop to remember are true, then it is the most significant event in all of history.

Why do I say that?

Because it’s the very means by which we who have pushed God out can be welcomed back into relationship with God; forgiven and reconciled to him, now and for all eternity!

And that really does mean that we can have a relationship with God which makes a huge difference in life and that in the midst of a global pandemic, and no matter what else is happening in life, we can know God’s love,  his presence, his peace, the assurance of forgiveness and the hope of a future with him.

I want to encourage you to get along to church this Easter. We weren’t able to last year. Get along to church and hear the story of Easter or hear again the story of Easter and what it means for you and what difference it makes for life today.

Four days off. How brilliant!

But take opportunity to take stock and remember what those four days are really all about.

30 March 2021.”

– To find a church in the Diocese of Bathurst, go to the Diocesan website and move your mouse over the “Our Parishes” button.

ABC TV News story a reminder to pray for Bathurst

This story from ABC-TV News, broadcast on Sunday 7th March 2021, is a reminder to pray for Bishop Mark Calder, the Diocese of Bathurst, and the many people in that region who don’t yet know the Lord Jesus.

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