Religious Discrimination Bill infographic videos

The Institute for Civil Society has produced several infographic videos which might be helpful in thinking about the need for a Religious Discrimination Bill.

For links to the videos, see this page.

Allowah Presbyterian Children’s Hospital needs help to keep the doors open

Back in November 2021 we reported that Presbyterian Social Services in NSW are seeking help in gaining vital funding for the Allowah Presbyterian Children’s Hospital in Dundas, “the only hospital dedicated to the health of children with disabilities in NSW”.

Now CEO Liz McClean writes,

“As you know, Allowah has had a rough couple of years financially due to COVID-19.

We have been working on obtaining government funding for the past 12 months, however it’s now looking like that won’t be an option, at least in the short term.

Unfortunately, that means that we will come to the end of our internal resources before we are able to get services and admissions back to a sustainable level.”

As a result, Allowah has started an appeal, and perhaps you can help them keep the doors open.

Bible Gateway removes The Passion Translation

“A Bible version designed to ‘recapture the emotion of God’s Word’ was removed from Bible Gateway last week. The Passion Translation (TPT) is listed as ‘no longer available’ among the site’s 90 English-language Bible offerings.

First released as a New Testament in 2017, The Passion Translation includes additions that do not appear in the source manuscripts, phrases meant to draw out God’s ‘tone’ and ’heart’ in each passage. …”

– Story from Christianity Today.

Related:

Burning Scripture with Passion: A Review of The Psalms (The Passion Translation) – Andrew Shead, April 2018.

“Brian Simmons has made a new translation of the Psalms (and now the whole New Testament) which aims to ‘re-introduce the passion and fire of the Bible to the English reader.’ He achieves this by abandoning all interest in textual accuracy, playing fast and loose with the original languages, and inserting so much new material into the text that it is at least 50% longer than the original.”

The Passion “Translation” of Romans: Problems and questions – Lionel Windsor, November 2017.

NASA Administrator Bill Nelson after the launch of the James Webb Space Telescope

Last night (Christmas morning in the US), after years of delays, the James Webb Space Telescope was launched for NASA from South America by the European Space Agency. It’s an incredibly complex and sensitive observatory with the potential to make astounding discoveries.

NASA administrator Bill Nelson spoke shortly after the launch, using words you may find familiar. (Starting at 2:04 into the video.)

Have we domesticated service?

“A few times every year in our church we have ‘welcome suppers’ for people who are new to our church. During those times we talk about the things that define us and invite people to come on board. On each occasion we open up various passages of Scripture to talk about different aspects of church life and one passage we always look at is Mark 10:42-45 …”

– At The Australian Church Record, Phil Colgan reflects on the radical nature of Christian service.

(Photo taken at the 2018 ACL Synod Dinner.)

Anglican Church Quenching Community Thirst In Marsabit

“In one of the remote parts of Marsabit County, Nairibi Sub-location in Laisamis Constituency, the Anglican Church is transforming lives of a community that has experienced water crisis for many years, by availing the precious commodity to them. …

According to the Co-ordinator, a study by the organization established that most residents of Marsabit have to trek long distances in search of the precious commodity which is not only tiring but also a drain on their useful time.

He told KNA that the high levels of illiteracy among women in the region, is linked to the water shortage problem as girls spend their valuable time fetching water and end up dropping out of school.

The boy child is also not safe as he has to undertake the chore of taking livestock to watering points which are situated far away from where they attend school.”

Good news from Kenya.

And similar work to which you can contribute:

Marsabit Water and Income Generation – Anglican Aid.

ACL Annual General Meeting 2021 — Report

The 2021 Annual General Meeting of the Anglican Church League took place on Thursday 10th June at Moore Theological College, Newtown.

ACL President the Reverend Andrew Bruce (pictured) spoke on Acts 1:1-14. He encouraged the meeting with the reminder that Jesus is the ascended Lord, that his gospel will go to the ends of the Earth, and that this will happen through the testimony of his disciples, in the power of the Holy Spirit. He pointed out that the apostolic mission began with earnest, dedicated and united prayer.

Reverend Bruce exhorted all present to wait on the Lord and engage in devoted prayer as we continue this significant task of gospel proclamation. Humanly speaking, the “odds” of being able to proclaim Jesus to the ends of the earth seem impossible. Yet this impossibility is the normal situation for God’s people. In the end, the risen and ascended Lord will see his gospel go out. Thus, we can only engage in this mission through prayer and the power of the Holy Spirit.

Andrew then moved on to provide some thoughts on some of the aspects of Sydney Diocesan life. He emphasised the need to be reinvigorated in our lives and our churches with gospel confidence. As a Diocese, we are in constant danger of focusing on the “urgent” matters that our world sees as priorities, rather than the truly important things of gospel ministry: prayer, godliness, evangelism, and recruiting and training.

Reverend Bruce exhorted us to ensure that the “urgent” does not take up all of our resources so that we neglect the important. We do not have unlimited resources – indeed we are quite stretched – and so we need to be wise, courageous and sacrificial in saying “no” to things that seem urgent but are not central to what we do.

He also exhorted us to reinvigorate our evangelism. All ministry today is cross-cultural, because of the vast difference between our aggressive secular culture and our gospel culture. So evangelism must be relational and person-to-person. This means we need to engage deeply with the laity, since one-to-one mission is primarily lay-led. This requires gospel courage and endurance.

We must also reinvigorate our recruiting and training. We need to ensure there are strong numbers of Anglican candidates in training at Moore College, that they sign up in good time for us to evaluate them, that we recruit Rectors, and that we retain those we have trained.

The ACL can play a key role in advocating for Diocesan structures to make courageous and bold decisions to seek always to value the important over the “urgent”.

The President closed his address with a reading from Romans 12:1-2 and prayer for our Diocese.

The meeting received the Treasurer’s Report, approved positions for Elections Secretary, Recruitment Secretary, Membership Secretary and Communication Secretary, and elected office holders. Office holders for 2021-2022 are listed here.

Four men Nominated for Archbishop of Sydney

As of 10:00am 24 March 2021, four Nominees for Archbishop of Sydney have completed the nomination process in accordance with clauses 7-8 of the Archbishop of Sydney Election Ordinance 1982.

According to the Sydney Synod website, they are:

The Rt Rev Chris Edwards
The Rt Rev Peter Hayward
The Very Rev Kanishka Raffel
The Rt Rev Dr Michael Stead.

Please uphold each of these brothers in prayer in the days ahead.

Amazing Place: The place of ‘Place’ – with Matthew Sleeman

From The Pastor’s Heart:

“What is a biblical theology of place?

Matthew Sleeman is a lecturer in New Testament at Oak Hill Theological College in London. …

Matthew says place is more than point on a map. Place contributes to making us who we are.  And we contribute to making the place what it is. We are shaped by our places and we paint ourselves onto places.

Places are locations for ministries, discipleship and living for Jesus.”

Watch or listen here.

Also from The Pastor’s Heart this week, a very sobering topic:

Processing the Ravi Zacharias sexual abuse scandal – with Dan Paterson.

Christmas is not cancelled, just different

“The latest outbreak of COVID-19, centred on the Northern Beaches, has wrought havoc with Christmas plans but churches have been working frantically to adapt.  …”

– Here’s the very latest from SydneyAnglicans.net.

CMS Summer School to be completely online

 

CMS NSW / ACT has today announced that the CMS Summer School in January will now be completely online.

In an e-mail to people registered for Summer School, the organising team explains:

“Over the last couple of months, we have been working hard to adapt to government restrictions so that we can gather physically for Summer School. We praise God that over 1000 adults and over 600 youth and children registered for the 2021 conference!

However, as a result of the recent COVID-19 outbreak and the tighter restrictions that have been introduced as a result, it is no longer feasible to proceed safely with plans for an on-site program. …

The online-only conference will begin with a livestreamed session on Saturday night at 7pm, and then livestreamed sessions in the KCC Auditorium from Sunday–Thursday.”

Pray that the modified Summer School will be a great blessing to many.

See also the Summer School website.

Mike Baird named as new HammondCare CEO

“HammondCare has today announced that Mike Baird has been appointed as incoming Chief Executive Officer and will replace Dr Stephen Judd who is stepping down on August 31, after more than 25 years in the role.

HammondCare Board Chair, John Kightley, said that Mr Baird had been selected after a rigorous search for the critical appointment, that commenced when Dr Judd announced in July 2019 his intention to stand down in 2020. …”

– Read the full news item at HammondCare.

On the Acquittal of Cardinal Pell

“The High Court of Australia, in a unanimous verdict of a 7-member bench, has acquitted Cardinal George Pell of the charges of child sexual abuse for which he has been serving time in prison: see Pell v The Queen [2020] HCA 12 (7 April 2020). He was immediately released. …”

– Neil Foster at Law and Religion Australia gives a brief overview of the High Court’s decision today.

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