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.

Update on restrictions as of 18th June 2021

SydneyAnglicans.net’s COVID page has the latest recommendations as of 18th June 2021.

Moore Matters Winter 2021

The Moore Matters for Winter 2021 is now being distributed to churches.

It’s packed with encouraging articles, and has plenty of fuel for prayer.

You can read online or download your own copy at this link.

Response to National abuse study

“All Anglicans should be deeply grieved by the study released this week by the Anglican Church of Australia on domestic and family violence.

‘Like my predecessor, I want to state clearly that all forms of domestic abuse are incompatible with Scripture and Christian faith,’ said the new Archbishop of Sydney, Kanishka Raffel. ‘Nothing justifies violence or coercion. Christian relationships are to be marked by love, gentleness and respect.’…”

This Media Release was published last week by the Anglican Diocese of Sydney.

This Mortal Coil: Archbishop of Sydney, Kanishka Raffel

On ABC Radio’s This Mortal Coil, 13 June 2021, new Archbishop of Sydney, Kanishka Raffel, is invited to tell his story.

“We don’t have anything else to offer apart from Jesus.”

Listen here, 40 minutes – and be encouraged to share widely.

(Thanks to SydneyAnglicans.net for the link. Image: The Pastor’s Heart.)

The Gospel Coalition Australia interviews Archbishop Kanishka Raffel

Akos Balogh from The Gospel Coalition Australia recently spoke with Kanishka Raffel about his new role – and asks the new Archbishop how we can pray for him.

Dr Colin Bale made Emeritus member of Moore College Faculty

“At the end of this semester, Dr Colin Bale will retire from the Moore College faculty. Dr Bale was appointed to the faculty in 1999 and has served as head of the Church History department, Academic Dean, and Vice Principal. During some of that time he worked on his PhD at Sydney University in the area of Australian history, and more particularly the lessons to be learned from the gravestone inscriptions of those who fell in the First World War.

Dr Bale has made a remarkable contribution to the life and health of Moore College. In recognition of this, the Governing Board of the College has unanimously agreed to appoint him as an Emeritus Faculty member upon his retirement. With this appointment, he will join the likes of Dr Paul Barnett, Dr Peter Jensen, Dr Peter O’Brien, Dr David Peterson, and Dr Barry Webb. …”

– Read it all at the Moore College website.

Southern Cross — June 2021

The latest Southern Cross magazine (June 2021) from Anglican Media Sydney is now available.

While printed copies will be distributed in churches, it also can be read and downloaded online.

Plenty of encouraging reading,

Moore College: certainly worth supporting — Peter Jensen

Former Archbishop of Sydney, Dr. Peter Jensen, explains why Moore College is certainly worth supporting.

Oh, and they have an End-of-Year financial appeal.

No higher title than ‘child of God’

“There was a knock at the cathedral door just moments after the afternoon rehearsal for the consecration and inauguration of Kanishka Raffel.

The door was opened by the Archbishop-elect himself. ‘Would you like a cup of coffee?’ he said to person at the door, one of the many people in difficulties who take shelter around the Cathedral.

‘Do you take sugar?’ the about-to-be Archbishop said as he went off to make the coffee himself.

It seemed fitting that only four hours later, before the Governor-General, politicians and leaders of other religious denominations, he was giving a sermon urging humility before the cross of Jesus. …”

– At SydneyAnglicans.net, Russell Powell has this story on last night’s service of Consecration and Inauguration.

You can watch the entire service here – or click this link to go straight to the Bible reading by Mrs Cailey Raffel and then Archbishop Raffel’s sermon.

Photos by Russell Powell (click for full images):

Dean of Sydney Kanishka Raffel, about to enter the Cathedral for the Service of Consecration and Inauguration. By Russell Powell

Archbishop of Sydney Kanishka Raffel. By Russell Powell.

Watch the Consecration and Inauguration of Archbishop Kanishka Raffel

The Consecration and Inauguration of Kanishka Raffel as Archbishop of Sydney was streamed live from St. Andrew’s Cathedral in Sydney from 7:00pm AEST on Friday 28th May.

A most encouraging and Christ-honouring occasion.

The Order of Service may be downloaded at this link.

The heart of Sydney’s new Archbishop Kanishka Raffel

Today the Archbishop-elect of the Diocese of Sydney, Kanishka Raffel, joined Dominic Steele on The Pastor’s Heart.

Most encouraging and worth sharing widely.

And please do continue to uphold Kanishka and Cailey in prayer ahead of the Inauguration on Friday at 7:00pmAEST.

‘Our strategic moment’: The massive greenfields challenge for Sydney Diocese

“It is crucial strategic moment for the work of the Gospel in Sydney. There is limited time to act as the city of Sydney undergoes massive infrastructural changes.

The phenomenal population changes demand a reimagining and redistribution of Church assets, ministry resources and people. The growth will be tremendous, and so will be the responsibility.

In the next 50 years, the current Western Region alone will have a population two and half times that of the South Sydney Region or the Northern Region.”

– In another very helpful episode of The Pastor’s Heart, Bishop Peter Lin and Ross Jones, the CEO of the Anglican Church Growth Corporation, speak about the strategic opportunity facing the Anglican Church in Sydney.

Watch or listen here.

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