The Final Stone – A Response in Defence of Bishop Rod Chiswell

“Last weekend the Australian published a deeply disturbing piece about an Anglican bishop and a revolt against him from one small church in his diocese. …”

David Robertson at The Wee Flea shares his take on last weekend’s front page story in The Weekend Australian Magazine.

Bathurst Anglican e-News — October 2021

The Diocese of Bathurst’s e-News for October 2021 is now up on their website.

There are reports from the recent Synod, as well lots of encouraging news from around the diocese.

Fuel for your prayers. (3.8MB PDF file.)

Bishop Greg Anderson’s Charge to the Synod of the Diocese of the Northern Territory

“There is so much to thank God for as we look around the ministries of our parishes.

We are blessed with capable ordained church leaders, other stipended lay ministers, and dedicated volunteers. There is consistent numerical growth in many of our churches, and growth in financial commitment of our members.

Bigger numbers are nice, but what is important is more people understanding about God’s saving work through Jesus Christ, and their understanding being reflected in their lives, individually and as community…”

– As he is about to begin his eighth year as Bishop of The Northern Territory, Greg Anderson delivered an encouraging Presidential Charge to the Thirty-Seventh Synod of the Diocese last weekend.

Do pray for the work of the gospel in the Top End.

Pictured:

Prior to the Synod, on Friday September 17, Bishop Anderson officially launched the Kriol Preya Buk at a special celebration service at Darwin’s Christ Church Anglican Cathedral.

“The Kriol Preya Buk (Prayer Book) is the result of almost ten years of hard work by a team of more than 23 Kriol-speaking translators from different communities in the Top End. It brings together in one volume a comprehensive suite of liturgy, prayers and responses, for all Kriol-speaking Christians.” More photos on the diocesan Facebook page.

Bishop Mark Calder looking for Ministers for Bathurst Diocese

In a video posted to the diocesan Facebook page, Bishop Mark Calder reveals that 17 out of 29 parishes in the Diocese of Bathurst need ministers or solutions for ministry.

It would be good to make this a matter of prayer. And perhaps the Lord might be calling you to go west. (Note the e-mail address to find out more.)

COVID Comfort from the Bishop of Bathurst

Bishop of Bathurst Mark Calder recorded this brief message of exhortation today.

The Swanson diocese

In October 2019, Joshua Bovis, Vicar of St John The Evangelist in Tamworth, wrote this opinion-piece for the Anglican Ink website.

It’s particularly relevant in the light of yesterday’s pastoral letter from the Bishop of Newcastle to clergy in that diocese.

Joshua shares something of his own experiences of the Newcastle Diocese from 2009 to 2013, the time during which he was a postulant, ordinand, deacon, and priest:

“At their recent Synod this weekend, the Anglican Diocese of Newcastle passed two bills to enable clergy to bless what God in His Word deems to be sinful, to bless what the Bible says is an expression of an anti-God state of mind (see Romans 1:18ff), to declare holy what God states keeps people out of the Kingdom of God, and redefined the doctrine of marriage. This move mirrors that of a similar proposal passed by Wangaratta diocese in Victoria. …

I am very saddened by this. For it was was in the Newcastle Diocese that I was ordained to the diaconate and to the priesthood. It was a very moving experience. (I am the man in the chasuble that is is almost all white).

It was very powerful hearing the exhortation to both in my public and private ministry oppose and set aside teaching that is contrary to God’s Word, to be told to encourage and build up the body of Christ, to preach the Word of God, lead God’s people in prayer, declare God’s forgiveness and blessing. Also the reminder to pastor after the pattern of Christ the great Shepherd, to lead the people of God as a servant of Christ; to love and serve the people with whom you work, caring alike for young and old, rich and poor, weak and strong; to studying the Scriptures wholeheartedly, reflecting with God’s people upon their meaning, so that my ministry and life may be shaped by Christ.

I was reminded of how great a treasure has been placed in my care and that I will be called to give an account before Jesus Christ.

It was in the Newcastle Diocese that I openly declared my conviction that the Holy Scriptures contains all doctrine necessary for eternal salvation through faith in Jesus Christ, and declared by God’s grace determination and intention and desire to instruct from these Scriptures the people committed to my care, teaching nothing as essential to salvation which cannot be demonstrated from the Scriptures. …”

Read it all at Anglican Ink, and do note the questions asked. How might you answer if they were asked of you?

(As Albert Mohler has warned many times, “Every Christian and every Christian ministry will come to a reckoning – we must all decide here and now where we stand. Will we pivot or will we hold fast to faithfulness and the hope of the gospel?”)

Photos: Joshua Bovis.

Bishop of Newcastle “Lifts Ban on Same-Sex Blessings”

“In a move that can only serve to push the Anglican Church of Australia into much deeper crisis, the Bishop of Newcastle Peter Stuart has written a Pastoral Letter where he signals his approval of clergy conducting a blessing of couples married in a same-sex marriage.

In his familiar style, Stuart does not explicitly state the change of conditions but his meaning has been clearly understood by its recipients …”

David Ould reports on the Pastoral Letter from Bishop Peter Stuart to the Clergy of the Diocese of Newcastle dated 9 August 2021.

Related:

Gafcon Australia moves ahead — plans for new Australian diocese – 19 July 2021.

Top Centre magazine from the Diocese of the Northern Territory

The latest issue of Top Centre, the magazine of the Diocese of The Northern Territory, is now available on their website. Top Centre 21.1.

It includes a feature on Phil and Leeanne Zamagias, who have completed their time in the NT. They have moved to Echuca, where Phil will lead the team at Christ Church Anglican.

Fuel for your prayers for the Top End.

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.

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