80% opening date for churches brought forward a week in NSW – with Bishop Michael Stead

“Churches will be free to open for vaccinated and unvaccinated people a week earlier than had been expected in New South Wales.

With 80% of NSW adult population fully vaccinated, a new Public Health Order comes into force from Monday 18 October 2021.

We talk with South Sydney Anglican Bishop Michael Stead about the implications of the new PHO, contradictions between it and the COVID safe plan, and what to do about ventilation.”

Here’s an extra edition, released this afternoon, of The Pastor’s Heart.

Iron sharpening iron

“One of the real privileges of studying at Moore College is the theological formation that takes place as you live and learn in a community. Studying with other men and women of different ages, from different backgrounds, and with experience in different ministries is invaluable to a robust preparation for ministry. Of course, learning takes place in classroom discussions, the reading of Scripture, and various other theological writings. However, the development and constructive critiquing of lived behaviour and ministry conduct is honed by going through the ebbs and flows of the mundane. …”

– Ben George at Moore College writes about the importance of living in community – and provides some links if you are able to assist the College in that aim.

Also at the College website is the sad news that Dr Will Timmins has resigned due to ill health. (Prayer point.)

Southern Cross October 2021

The latest Southern Cross magazine (October 2021) is now available to download from magazine.sydneyanglicans.net.

This issue includes a profile of Archdeacon for Women Kara Hartley, news on reopening, Bishop Michael Stead on “Why we must oppose assisted suicide”, and much more.

The Archbishop writes on “Safely ministering to all” –

“I was pleased to hear that the week after 80 per cent of the community have received two doses of a COVID vaccine (estimated to be by October 25), there will be no restrictions on who may attend church – while other venues, such as cinemas and gyms, will be open only to double-vaccinated people until December 1.

This reflects two important principles. The first is that church is not entertainment like the cinema or recreation like a gym, but something more essential. Church is more akin to the supermarket or the hospital in offering spiritual ‘food’ and spiritual ‘health’.

The other principle is that church, by nature, is a place from which people should not be turned away. It should be open to all.

Throughout the lockdown, I have publicly encouraged people to follow NSW Health advice about vaccination, and consult their medical advisors with any questions they may have about vaccination. As a Diocese we remain committed to ensuring that those who attend churches are kept safe in accordance with Government public health orders, and we have and will continue to comply with those orders. …”

Read it all on pages 14 and 15.

80 percent easing on weddings, funerals and services

“At 80 percent [of full vaccination], churches and places of worship can continue to open with one person per 4 sqm, with no singing.

Those who are not fully vaccinated will be allowed, while in other areas of society they will not be allowed out of most restrictions until December 1.”

– Russell Powell has the latest on today’s announcements from the NSW Government.

Image: SydneyAnglicans.

John Chapman on the Anglican Church League

The late great John Chapman (“Chappo”) was interviewed by Phillip Jensen in 2012.

During the interview, he spoke about the importance of the Anglican Church League and its activities for the gospel in the Anglican Diocese of Sydney and beyond.

The interview was on 19 June 2012 at Port Hacking. Chappo was called home just six months later, in November 2012.

Watch the three minute excerpt here.

The full interview can be seen here, and is also well worth your time (and is good for the heart). The segments excerpted start at 33:20, but enjoy the whole thing. Part 2 can be seen here.

Video courtesy Audio Advice.

See also: About us.

The road map back to public church meetings in NSW – with Michael Stead

Dr Michael Stead, Bishop of South Sydney, is Dominic Steele’s guest on The Pastor’s Heart to discuss how churches in NSW will likely need to adjust when they reopen (possibly from 31st October). A very helpful discussion.

Watch or listen here.

Lifting our voices to God — Wednesday at 7:00pm

Anglican churches across the Diocese are encouraged to join together and pray at 7:00pm on Wednesday, September 22 at the Lifting Our Voices to God livestream event.

In the one-hour online event, Christians will be encouraged to corporately lift their hearts, minds and vision to God during the pandemic. Read more

Archbishop Raffel on Sunrise 13 September 2021

Archbishop Kanishka Raffel was interviewed on Seven’s Sunrise this morning, 13 September 2021.

The interview highlights the desire to minister to all while acting responsibly during the COVID outbreak.

Government roadmap unveiled, including churches

“The NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has unveiled a roadmap for opening up once New South Wales reaches the vaccination target of 70% double vaccination.

She says the new rules will be effective on the Monday after the vaccine milestone is reached.

That has been estimated, on current projections, as October 18 but that date may change. …”

– The latest from SydneyAnglicans.net

COVID crisis at Oakhurst

Our brothers and sisters in Oakhurst need us. They need our prayers.

The pastor of the parish’s South Sudanese congregation, the Rev Samuel Majok, is aware of 15 families in the congregation and wider community whose lives and livelihoods have been turned upside down by contracting COVID. …

This has been especially distressing for the family of his assistant pastor, John Deng …”

– An urgent call for prayer – from Judy Adamson in Southern Cross magazine, September 2021. (Full PDF file here.)

Consultations begin on post-lockdown plans

“The Archbishop, through his Regional Bishops, is convening a series of meetings for rectors and churchwardens to discuss plans for re-opening of churches amid uncertainty about timing and government regulation.

The COVID-19 outbreak is yet to reach its peak, with Premier Gladys Berejiklian forecasting that worst will come in the next fortnight. Beyond that, Premiers and the Federal government are working to vaccination targets before restrictions can be eased.

New South Wales is expected to reach 70 per cent double dose vaccination by October 18 and 80 per cent by November 1.

No detailed plan for re-opening of mass gatherings has yet been announced and appears to be some weeks away.

Archbishop Raffel called on churches to pray for the community, especially the LGAs hit hard by COVID, health and emergency workers, and for the Gospel witness of churches at this time.

He commended the prayer meetings being held in various churches and the diocese wide opportunity to pray at 7pm on Wednesday 22 September 2021. Churches, groups and individuals can join the ‘Lifting our Voices to God’ online event of prayer, song and word.

Registration is not necessary and further information can be found at praytogether.online. Archbishop Raffel will speak at the event.”

Russell Powell at SydneyAnglicans.net has the latest on thinking about reopening – as well as a call to pray.

Southern Cross for September 2021

Anglican Media’s Southern Cross magazine for September 2021 is now online.

Much encouragement to pray.

And do see the Archbishop’s column “Putting Coronvirus in its place” on pages 14 and 15.

“Amid the tremendous upheaval we have experienced as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is so good to look to the Lord who is risen, reigning and returning. Nothing takes God by surprise and the ministry he has entrusted to his people remains the same – ‘this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world’. Jesus is not unaware of the suffering of his people in a world of wars, famines and earthquakes.”

Read online (or download the PDF file) at magazine.sydneyanglicans.net.

Weddings back on!

“After weeks of lobbying, the NSW Government has announced that restrictions on weddings have been eased.

Archbishop Kanishka Raffel and the chairman of the Diocese COVID Taskforce, Bishop Gary Koo, have been making the case to the government for a relaxation of restrictions. …”

– Some good news via SydneyAnglicans.net.

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