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.


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.

‘Sri Lanka is dear to us all and these attacks have wounded us all’

“Three Christian leaders from across denominations came together with the Sri Lankan community in Sydney for a Service of Commemoration for those affected by the bombings in Sri Lanka.

‘Sri Lanka is dear to us all and these attacks have wounded us all,’ said Dean Kanishka Raffel, his voice breaking with emotion as he introduced the service on Saturday 27th April at St Andrew’s Cathedral. …”

– Story and image from SydneyAnglicans.net.

The Queen’s Christmas message for 2018 – and other recent news

Here’s is Queen Elizabeth’s Christmas Message.

In other news you might have missed the last few days:

Jesus shows how to lay power aside for the sake of the foreigner – Dean of Sydney, Kanishka Raffel, in The Australian Financial Review.

“The 2000-year-old story of the Middle Eastern family of modest means seeking a safe lodging place speaks to the weariness of the modern world with a surprising relevance. Because it is at heart, the story of the laying aside of power for the sake of the lowly. God comes to us, so that we may come to him. …”

Russell Powell, CEO of Anglican Media Sydney, had this published in the Letters section of The Sydney Morning Herald on December 24 – in response to Elizabeth Farrelly’s regular column.

“Farrelly states that the Synod of the Anglican Diocese of Sydney had ‘reaffirmed … the ban on divorced people – even women divorced after being abused by clergy – being remarried in church’. There has never been such a ban.

The link embedded in the online story shows the resolution carried by the Synod: ‘Synod, noting that it is the prerogative of the Archbishop or a Regional Bishop, in accordance with the laws of this Church, whether or not to approve the remarriage of a divorced person, requests the Archbishop and Regional Bishops to consider approving the remarriage of a divorced person, where that person has been abused physically or emotionally by their former spouse.’

The effect of the motion was simply to urge bishops to be vigilant on this issue. The fact that Bishops have permitted the remarriage of victims of domestic violence shows there is no ban.”

Canberra-Goulburn Episcopal Election set for 8-10 November

In the October 2018 issue of the Diocese of Canberra and Goulburn’s Anglican News, Canon Robert Arthur provides an update on the episcopal election process: (Note: the names of the nominees has not yet been made public).

“The Episcopal Election Nominations Committee is preparing for the Electoral Synod to be held from 8 to 10 November.

It has recently met with the Prospective Nominees and is now preparing an information package on each Nominee for confidential distribution to Synod members prior to the meeting. The package will include the Episcopal Selection Criteria, which were prepared by the Committee after consultations around the Diocese and an online survey.

At the September Synod, in preparation for the decision they will make in November, Synod members broke into groups to discuss the Selection Criteria and to assess the weight they would give to each of the 24 Criteria on a scale of 1 to 10. Three criteria were given weights of 9.0 or more. These were:

Please continue in prayer during the next month for God’s guidance and wisdom in the choice to be made.

A bible study and other resources prepared by the EENC are available on the Diocesan website.”

– From page 2 of Anglican News (PDF file).

Director of St Mark’s National Theological Centre, the Rev. Dr. Andrew Cameron, has written a series of Bible studies for members of the diocese as they pray and think about the election (PDF file).

Hitting the right note

“A music ministry stream is to be added to Moore’s Advanced Diploma of Bible, Mission and Ministry course.

… designed for music ministers, for all who serve in music ministry and those preparing and leading church services …”

– News from Moore College.

David Peterson on Romans — one of Albert Mohler’s ’10 Books Every Preacher Should Read’

“Dr Albert Mohler, theologian and current President of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, sees the personal collections of preachers as an indication of their preaching priorities, style and engagement. In his annual book review for Preaching Magazine, he highlights the ten books that he believes essential in 2018 for pastors to be reading, reflecting on and shaping their own ministry now and into the future. …”

– Good news from Moore College.

GAFCON — Uniting and Reforming

In the run up to this month’s GAFCON 2018 in Jerusalem, GAFCON has begun publishing reflections from some who attended precious gatherings.

Published so far: Melvin Tinker, Jane Tooher, and Winnie Njenga.

‘Men Praying for Moore’ Breakfast — Saturday 5th May

Here’s an opportunity for men to gather, to pray for Moore College.

“…to share in breakfast and pray, and to be informed on how they might continue to pray. … Archbishop of Sydney The Most Rev Dr Glenn Davies … will lead a brief devotional.”

Saturday 5th May 2018, 8:30 – 10:00am.

RSVP by April 27.

Details from the College.

New trial expected soon for Asia Bibi

“On Saturday, the Chief Justice of Pakistan confirmed a new hearing will be held soon and has ordered full security provisions to be given to Asia Bibi’s legal team. …”

– Report from Premier UK.

God’s Strategy for Evangelism

“Whether it’s war, sport or business, everyone needs a good strategy. Strategy is the ‘how’ question. You might have a vision – what you want to see happen. You might have a mission – what you are going to do. But do you have the strategy – how are you going to do it?

What is our strategy for evangelism? As Christians, we have our vision: the nations before the throne praising the Son (Rev 7:9-10). And we have our mission: to go and make disciples of all nations (Matt 28:19). But what is our strategy? How are we going to do this?”

– Encouragement from Tom Habib at The Australian Church Record.

Katoomba Christian Convention planning major redevelopment

“In one of the largest developments ever seen in the Mountains, Katoomba Christian Convention has plans for a $64 million rebuild on its premises at Cliff Drive.

Plans for the major redevelopment are now on public display with council.

They call for the demolition of several existing buildings and building of a new auditorium for public worship, a 500-seat dining hall, six eco-lodges and three eco-chalets to accommodate 390 people, a new reception building, bookshop and cafe. …

The DA is on public exhibition until April 11. It will then go to the Sydney Western City Planning Panel, rather than council, because of the size of the development.”

– See the full story from The Blue Mountains Gazette.

Related: Development application – Blue Mountains City Council.

Image: The Blue Mountains Gazette. Link via SydneyAnglicans.net.

Archbishop Davies on Q@A tonight, 23 October

Archbishop Glenn Davies will be on the panel of Q&A tonight on ABC television –

“Joining Tony Jones for the Q&A Same-Sex Marriage debate: actress and author Magda Szubanski; Anglican Archbishop of Sydney Glenn Davies; Jesuit priest and law professor Frank Brennan; ‘No campaign’ spokesperson Karina Okotel.

Monday 23 Oct 2017, 9:34pm.”

John Howard criticises Malcolm Turnbull over handling of postal survey

“Former prime minister John Howard has criticised the Turnbull Government’s handling of the same-sex marriage survey, calling for the details of any bill to be released before the vote. …”

– Report from ABC News.

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