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.

“I don’t hate him”. How a Christian worldview changes everything

I’m writing this about 5 minutes drive away from a tragic event that happened here in Sydney on Saturday evening…”

– David Ould shares something most people would not expect to come out of Saturday evening’s tragedy in Oatlands. (And a good reminder to pray for all affected.)

George Whitefield College gives thanks for 30 years

George Whitefield College in Capetown is giving thanks to the Lord for thirty years of ministry.

Earlier this year they produced a six-minute video overview of the college’s history. Watch, be encouraged, and pray for the college:

And their Spring 2019 Newsletter, which includes some reminiscences, can be downloaded at this link.

George Whitefield College was founded in 1989 when, at CESA’s request, Rev. Dr. David Broughton Knox came to Cape Town from Sydney, Australia to establish the college.”

Where was the press? The new $23 million Falls Church Anglican sanctuary gets zero coverage

“Near the end of 2006, I was working on one of my biggest stories of the year: The mass exodus of 11 Episcopal churches from the Diocese of Virginia, the nation’s largest Episcopal diocese.

It was a huge story and it wasn’t completely certain that on that sunny, cold Sunday if all the theologically conservative churches in northern Virginia would decide to leave en mass.

They did and this created headlines for weeks after that. The largest church that left was The Falls Church Episcopal (TFCE), a large complex worth about $24.7 million with its new-ish sanctuary, a historic chapel and cemetery on 5.5 acres right in the middle of the city named after it (and only a few blocks from where I lived). Built in 1734, its vestry included George Washington, who was elected in 1763.

Members voted 1,228 to 127 to leave, which doesn’t reflect the fact that some 2,000 people regularly attended there. …”

– At Get Religion, long-time religion reporter Julia Duin gives some context to last month’s opening of the Falls Church Anglican building.

Photo: Falls Church Anglican.

Falls Church Anglican opens new church home

Long-time readers will remember the saga of Falls Church Anglican in the suburb of Falls Church, Virginia, just outside Washington.

After leaving the Episcopal Church of the USA (TEC) over that denomination’s rejection of the Bible’s teaching on human sexuality, in 2012 they lost their historic building and grounds.

Today, after much work, and with great thanksgiving to God, their new church building is being consecrated to be a centre of gospel ministry.

Earlier:

The Costly Faithfulness of The Falls ChurchThe Gospel Coalition, May 2012.

“The Falls Church is one of hundreds of congregations across the country that have given up their buildings rather than stay affiliated with a branch of their church they believe denies the final authority of Scripture. …”

Stories of sacrifice from the USA – GAFCON, May 2017.

“Despite the split, [the Rector, John] Yates II and his bishop almost reached an agreement in which The Falls Church Anglican could keep their property and continue in gospel centred mission. However, disaster struck when newly elected presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church, Katharine Jefferts Schori directed TEC to adopt an aggressive stance with ‘rebel’ congregations.

The deal was off, and as with The Good Shepherd, a long and costly legal battle ensued. The outcome was seemingly disastrous. Everything was lost, the prayer books, the sound equipment, and the $2.8 million in cash that members had donated to church accounts specifically designated not to go to the Episcopal Church. They were also forced to vacate their colonial building and the Yates’ lost their rectory. It was all gone.

What happened next? Well, their response can be summed up in two words – church planting. …”

Related posts.

Photo: Falls Church Anglican.

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