Sydney in shock and grief — Cathedral prayers

“ ‘We have been rocked in a way that we have not experienced for many years,’ Archbishop Kanishka Raffel told a prayer service at St Andrew’s Cathedral on Tuesday night, 16 April, drawing together clergy and members of churches surrounding Bondi Junction as well as members of the public. …”

A report on last night’s Cathedral prayer service for Bondi – at SydneyAnglicans.net.

Archbishop of Sydney’s statement on Sydney church stabbing

Here’s a statement issued this afternoon by Archbishop Kanishka Raffel –

Anglican Diocese of Sydney

Archbishop’s statement on Sydney church attack

All of Sydney will be shocked by the attack on Assyrian Bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel and members of his congregation at the Church of the Good Shepherd in Wakeley, Western Sydney. We deplore all acts of violence wherever they take place and whatever their motivation.

I have written to the church community to assure them of our prayers for the recovery of the Bishop and others who were injured, as well as our prayers for the man who committed the attack.

At the same time, we also deplore the violent acts of those who took to the streets and endangered members of the Police and Ambulance services who were seeking to bring relief and safety to those in need. This is unacceptable.

The NSW Police have declared last night’s attack as religiously motivated. Jesus urges his followers to ‘love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you’, nor should a whole community be blamed for the acts of a young individual about whom we know very little at this time.

I call on all people of faith and goodwill to maintain respect for our Police and other services, as well as to prayerfully uphold the harmonious, good relations between different communities which has been carefully nurtured in our city over many years.

Archbishop Kanishka Raffel,

April 16, 2024.”

– Source: SydneyAnglicans.net.

Prayer for Bondi


“A service of solemn prayer for those affected by the tragedy at Bondi Junction will be held at St Andrew’s Cathedral, Sydney on Tuesday, April 16 at 6pm.

The Governor of New South Wales, Her Excellency the Honourable Margaret Beazley AC KC, will attend. …”

— Read more at SydneyAnglicans.net.

A prayer for victims of violence

After this afternoon’s tragic and distressing scenes at Bondi, Archbishop Kanishka Raffel has published this prayer at SydneyAnglicans.net.

It’s a prayer you may choose to use yourself – and it would be appropriate to use in church tomorrow.

The post also notes:

Praying for the victims and their families at Bondi Church, Sunday April 14th, 2024.

Explainer: NSW Conversion Practices Ban

Anglican Media Sydney has published a helpful explanatory post on the newly passed NSW “Conversion Practices Ban Act”.

See it out for an outline of what the law means, and how church leaders have responded.

Making the most of an “extensive job description”

“There are no doubt many anniversaries to be celebrated in 2024, but the one I am personally thankful for is the 30th anniversary of the appointment of the Archdeacon for Women’s Ministry.

I’m reflecting, with thanks to God, about all that has been done, who did it, and how we can continue building on this vital work.  …”

Archdeacon Kara Hartley reflects – at SydneyAnglicans.net.

On Good Friday, we get a glimpse into hell and heaven

“At the centre of the Christian faith are the great Easter events – Jesus’ death on a cross, and on the third day his bodily rising to new life, victorious over sin and death and the devil.

Australians embrace these events as a holiday but most regard them with sentimentality. For Christians, however, the days could not be more weighty, for in Good Friday and Easter Day we glimpse hell and heaven.  …”

Archbishop Kanishka Raffel writes at SydneyAnglicans.net.

Find Joy, Love and Hope in Jesus — Easter 2024 message from Archbishop Kanishka Raffel

Archbishop Kanishka Raffel has released this Easter message.

Great to play in church – and to share with your friends.

Also, see this report from Russell Powell at SydneyAnglicans.net – and download the video – or the text (PDF file).

Easter 2024 at the Cathedral

Easter Services at St. Andrew’s Cathedral in Sydney – as well as Handel’s Messiah (ticketed event) on Good Friday.

Details at the Cathedral website.

No agreement on ‘least-worst’ laws

“More than a half a decade before the NSW government brought on its ‘Conversion Practices’ bill being debated this week, the Sydney Anglican Church expressed its opposition to harmful ‘conversion therapies’. It had become apparent from the testimony of survivors that some groups, including Christian faith groups, have employed harmful practices in an attempt to change or suppress feelings of attraction to the same sex, or gender dysphoria.

Our decision to speak out came in 2018, before the move to legislate against such practices across Australia. Since then, such legislation has moved beyond these now rare and bizarre practices and in some jurisdictions encroaches unnecessarily and ominously into areas of orthodox religious belief and ordinary faith practices including teaching and preaching, prayer, conversation and mutual encouragement.

There have been comments that churches and faith groups have been consulted and are happy with the bill now on the table. This is not the case. …”

While grateful for the government’s engagement with faith communities on legislation, the Archbishop concludes that,

“What we have ended up with is a ‘least worst’ version of such legislation compared to some other Australian jurisdictions but cannot be regarded by biblical Christian churches as representing good law.”

The Daily Telegraph has today published this op-ed by Archbishop Kanishka Raffel – and SydneyAnglicans.net has a copy.

Good to read and share – and do pray for the Members of Parliament as the proposed legislation is scheduled to be debated today.

March – April 2024 Southern Cross magazine

The latest issue of Southern Cross magazine from the Diocese of Sydney is now available for download – and print copies should have reached churches.

Many articles to read – but here are two –

Understanding the Cross – Archbishop Kanishka Raffel (page 22).

“At the centre of the Christian faith are the great Easter events – Jesus’ death on a cross, and on the third day his bodily rising to new life, victorious over sin and death and the devil.

Australians embrace these events as a holiday but most regard them with sentimentality. For Christians, however, the days could not be more weighty, for in Good Friday and Easter Day we glimpse hell and heaven. …”

and

Remembering Nicholas Ridley – Dr Mark Earngey (page 24).

“Many modern Christians have heard of Thomas Cranmer, some have heard of Hugh Latimer, but most have no awareness of Nicholas Ridley (c1500-1555).

This would have surprised his contemporaries – even his opponents – because of his centrality to the English Reformation. One of his enemies put it like this: ‘Latimer leaneth to Cranmer, Cranmer to Ridley, and Ridley to the singularity of his own wit’. It was thought that if Ridley could be toppled, then the prizes of Cranmer and Latimer would also be won. Evidently, Nicholas Ridley was a Reformation giant of his time, and we can appreciate much from his life and ministry in ours. …”

Download your copy here.

Embrace Compassion as the World Rejects Life’s Sanctity — Archbishop Kanishka Raffel writes

“In the past five years, two momentous decisions have been taken by our State Parliament, both under the banner of ‘right to choose’.

The first, the abortion liberalisation in 2019, was a change against which Sydney Anglicans, led by my predecessor Dr Glenn Davies, took a firm stand.

The other was in 2023. On November 28, the Voluntary Assisted Dying Act 2022 (NSW) (the Act) came into force in this State, enabling eligible people to choose to access euthanasia in accordance with the regulations and guidelines stipulated by the Act.

This watershed shift in medical practice and community expectation marks the final abandonment of one of the cornerstones of Western civilisation over the past two millennia: the sanctity of life. …”

Archbishop Kanishka Raffel writes at SydneyAnglicans.net.

The article includes two helpful links.

Field Notes from Kenya

From Anglican Aid in Sydney:

“On Monday 4 March [from 5.30-7pm], Anglican Aid is holding a special event, “Field Notes From Kenya” to hear from Norm Gorrie, our partner from Kenya. All are welcome!

Norm will be sharing the latest updates from Marsabit, Kenya about recovery after the East Africa Hunger Crisis, a clean water project called ‘Generate‘, and the Bible Leadership program there.

We would love to see you and any of your friends there! There is no cost to attend, but please let us know you are coming…”

– Details and links at Anglican Aid’s website.

Evangelism for the terrified

“I don’t know about you, but I find evangelism utterly terrifying.

It didn’t start that way. After becoming a Christian in my late 20s, one of the things God did in my heart immediately was help me see that following Jesus and sharing the news of Jesus were two sides of the same coin.

“How hard could it be?” I thought. Very hard, as it turned out. …”

Dave Jensen begins a regular column in Southern Cross magazine.

Why the “equality” Bill is a threat to religious freedom — and what you can do about it

“The Equality Legislation Amendment (LGBTIQA+) Bill 2023 introduced by Independent MP Alex Greenwich is due to be debated next month and voted on in March.

The bill makes wide-ranging changes to 20 pieces of NSW legislation that will undermine religious freedom and entrench a radical gender ideology in NSW. …”

Bishop Michael Stead writes at SydneyAnglicans.net.

He emphasises,

“Christians need to act immediately to make our opposition to this bill known.

We need to contact our local State members. Most politicians have little idea about the contents – let alone the consequences – of this bill.

It is important they hear our concerns before the bill’s scheduled voting day on March 14.”

This is an important article and deserves to be widely shared.

See also contactyourmp.org.au for background and helpful resources.

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