‘Take a stand’ – says Michael Youssef

“The problems in America all started in the pulpits … when the authority of the Scripture ceased – with it came the confusion that we are facing now.” – Dr Michael Youssef.

From The Pastor’s Heart –

“‘Stand for Christ. Stand for the truth. And let the chips fall where they may.”

Senior Pastor of Atlanta’s Church of the Apostles, Dr Michael Youssef, has a prophetic call to share with evangelical pastors today. It is to not give up trust in the scriptures in the face of contemporary challenges on sexuality.

Dr Youssef tells the story of leading his church to depart the US Episcopal Church when the denomination moved against biblical teaching on sexuality, and the way God has blessed them since.

In light of all this, Dr Youssef quotes 1 Samuel saying, ‘Those who honour me I will honour.’

Speaking in terms of the Sydney Anglican Church, Dr Youssef says, ‘I know this diocese, I love this diocese, and I know that God will continue to bless this Diocese even more… when you take a stand.’

Dr Youseff says, ‘Everyone I know who honoured the Lord and took a stand, God blessed that.’”

– Very encouraging.  Watch or listen at The Pastor’s Heart.

Do watch it all. Dr. Youssef also speaks of his first days in Sydney and those who had a huge influence in his life – including Donald and Marie Robinson, Moore College, and learning Biblical Theology.

An unwanted gift

“Have you ever received a gift that you did not want? A number of years ago I asked my father to buy me a cast-iron griddle pan, but he decided to give it to my wife Pearl instead. I was delighted. She was less than impressed. Not every gift is something we want.

I received a gift I didn’t want recently. Despite abundant caution and double vaccination I received a bad case of COVID-19. And it really was bad. I cannot remember feeling so ill in my life. Even a month later I’m still in the process of recovery. Yet, despite all that, and amid recognition of all the pain and loss it has caused so many, I still consider it a gift. …”

Bishop of Western Sydney Gary Koo shares what he has learned through COVID – at SydneyAnglicans.net.

Image: Bishop Gary Koo / Anglican Media Sydney.

New start at Parkes

“The Anglican Parish of Parkes and Peak Hill has welcomed and embraced the Reverend Ben Mackay and his family who moved to Parkes in early January.

Ben’s formal welcome and commissioning will be held at St George’s Parkes tomorrow, 12th March, at 10am. The Bishop of the Diocese of Bathurst, Mark Calder will conduct the service …”

– News from The Parkes Phoenix.

A word from Bishop Gary Nelson

Bishop of North West Australia, Gary Nelson, writes –

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” [ESV, 2 Tim 47]

Paul writes these words to Timothy as he nears the end of his life and ministry. They certainly encourage us all to finish well, to remain faithful to our Lord.

Friends, as I write, it’s only a few months before I conclude my ministry in the North West on May 15. For Christine and I, it has been, and still is, a wonderful privilege to serve the Lord in this part of remote Australia. It seems only yesterday we were leaving Sydney to drive across the continent to Geraldton. Now, we find ourselves preparing to do the reverse trip, 10 years later. We find it hard to believe our time in the North West is rapidly drawing to a close. So, Christine and I, want to thank you, whether family, friends or supporters [across Australia, and overseas, especially in America], for your constant prayer, generous giving and continued encouragement to press on. Read more

Jesus is what truly matters

“I hope that as you combed through the Moore Matters Autumn 2022 publication, you have begun to see the ways in which Moore College continues to influence the world through theological education.

From the rich melting pot of ethnicities right here in Sydney, to the various overseas ministries that our graduates are involved in, your generosity in supporting the training and equipping of men and women is both strategic and significant.

Every one of you, through your financial generosity, fervent and consistent prayers, and advocacy for the work of the College, are valuable partners in this ministry that aims to see God glorified through providing excellent evangelical theological education. …”

– Ben George at Moore College writes to encourage us to focus on what’s most important. (Plus you can read the latest Moore Matters at the link.)

New Registrar for Moore College

From Moore College:

“It is with great joy and in eager anticipation that the Governing Board of Moore Theological College has appointed Dr Paul Yeates to replace Rhonda Barry in the position of Registrar. …”

Story here.

“He had lost control of his life to Jesus Christ”

“When Archbishop Kanishka Raffel came to Australia in 1972 as a small child, his home faith was Buddhism. The story of how he came to believe in Jesus has now been told on video, which is available for playing in churches or to pass on to friends.

The Archbishop’s story has been told in print and on radio, but he was moved to record a video version after a request from Anglican Chinese churches. He talks about how he became interested in studying Buddhism as a teenager and also asked Christians about their faith. …”

Watch and download this encouraging testimony at SydneyAnglicans.net.

Eighteen ordained at St. Andrew’s Cathedral Sydney

“From twenty-something college graduates to an experienced Aboriginal Pastor, the 18 candidates for ordination at St Andrew’s Cathedral on Saturday, Feb 19, 2022, shared both excitement and a sense of privilege and responsibility as they made their vows…”

– Encouraging news from Russell Powell at SydneyAnglicans.net.

Archbishop Janani Luwum — martyr for Christ — remembered

Forty-five years ago today, Archbishop Janani Luwum, Anglican Archbishop of Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Boga-Zaire, was assassinated, apparently on the orders of Ugandan President Idi Amin.

The event was a turning point – both for Uganda and for the Church.

Read about Archbishop Luwum at the Church of Uganda website and give thanks for his courage in the face of death as well as for the resulting preaching of the gospel.

Photo of Archbishop Luwum with President Idi Amin (right) via this article at Taarifa Rwanda

“The Archbishop was separated from his bishops. As he was taken away Archbishop Luwum turned to his brother bishops and said: ‘Do not be afraid. I see God’s hand in this.’

The next morning it was announced that Archbishop Luwum had been killed in a car crash.

His body was placed in a sealed coffin and sent to his native village for burial there.

However, the villagers opened the coffin and discovered the bullet holes.”

I Remember … When I was Licensed to Preach The Gospel

Presbyterian minister Bob Thomas shares his remembrances and encouragements. (For many years he served as the Editor of Australian Presbyterian Life, and also New Life Christian newspaper.)  –

“We’re in the middle of the Licensing Season, that time of year when this year’s crop of exit students has finished their formal studies and are about to embark on their exit appointments. Licensing marks this transition and confers on the licentiate the right to accept a call or appointment on the way to ordination. It’s a wonderful time in the church’s year, when a fresh platoon of front-line soldiers goes forth with stars in their eyes and hope in their hearts to win the world for Christ. …”

Read it at AP.

See also:

The Crisis of ’77. (June 2017)

New Archdeacon takes on new role

“Archbishop Kanishka Raffel has announced a newly-created position to assist him as he further settles into the office to which he was elected last May.

The Reverend Canon Simon Flinders is to become Archdeacon to the Archbishop. …”

– Story from Russell Powell at SydneyAnglicans.net.

The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee

Today marks 70 years since Queen Elizabeth II acceeded to the throne, on the death of her father King George VI.

Her Majesty has gone on to reign longer than any other British Monarch in history, and to become a beloved figure around the world – one who is unashamed to speak of the Lord Jesus.

Whatever your view of the British Monarchy, do be encouraged to pray for her, and to give thanks for her long, stable reign. As the Apostle Paul exhorts us,

“First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.

This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Saviour, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time.” – 1 Timothy 2:1-6.

Photo:

Queen Elizabeth shakes hands with Bishop Jack Dain outside St. Andrew’s Cathedral, Sydney, on 13 March 1977. Archbishop Sir Marcus Loane is at the Queen’s side, and Bishop John Reid is at centre. At right, Dean of the Cathedral, Lance Shilton, stands with Prince Philip. Photo courtesy Ramon Williams.

In his biography of Archbishop Loane, “From Strength to Strength”, ACL Emeritus Vice-President Allan M. Blanch writes, on page 317,

At a special cathedral service on 13 March, the Archbishop preached from Revelation 21 about the City of God. He referred to Augustine of North Africa who, in the fifth century, ‘with the destroyers rapidly approaching the city … gave himself to contemplation of the City of God’.

Loane spoke of the citizens of that heavenly city: ‘They will suffer neither from poverty nor misery, from pain nor vice, from sorrow nor crying … There will be no room for a permissive society, or an alternate culture, or a wealthy elite, or a down-trodden minority; there will be no place for political intrigue, or public wrangling, or partisan interests, or power struggles’.

He concluded by saying, ‘Therefore let us pray that the Silver Jubilee of an earthly reign will enlarge our vision of all that lies beyond the frontiers of earth and time, and will strengthen our resolve to live our lives for the glory of Jesus Himself who reigns as King of kings and Lord of lords for ever and ever. Amen.’ [Emphasis added.]

St. Andrew’s Cathedral in Sydney is marking the anniversary at its services today.

Australia Day Honours 2022

“The foundation headmaster of Penrith Anglican College and the former Principal of St Luke’s Grammar School are among Sydney Anglicans recognised in the list of Australia Day honours. …”

– Australia Day news from SydneyAnglicans.net.

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