Twenty-two years closer to Eternity

Posted on December 31, 2021 
Filed under History, People

Twenty-two years ago, Sydney celebrated the beginning of 2000 by displaying on the Harbour Bridge the word Eternity in the iconic copperplate handwriting of Arthur Stace.

A lot of water has passed under the bridge since then, and in many ways the world has changed. But the basic need of men and women is the same – to hear the gospel and be saved.

In 2022, be encouraged to continue to trust Christ, and to live in the light of eternity.

Amazing Grace — a hymn for the New Year

Posted on December 31, 2021 
Filed under Encouragement, Good News, History

John Newton wrote his most famous hymn, Amazing Grace, 249 years ago.

Learn more at The John Newton Project.

“The words of Amazing Grace were etched on Newton’s heart daily.

But we assume that he first wrote this hymn for his New Year’s Morning sermon of 1 January 1773, for it fits his sermon notes so closely and the text he chose to write above it in the Olney Hymns, 1 Chronicles 17:16,17, is identical to the sermon’s text.”

See the video (2:18) here.

You can also hear some of the earliest tunes used to sing the hymn.

Greg Sheridan on the 160 pages that may change your life

Posted on December 31, 2021 
Filed under Encouragement

At The Wee Flea, David Robertson has posted the full text (with permission) of Greg Sheridan’s a wonderful Christmas article in The Australian entitled 160 pages that may Change Your Life (subscribers’ link).

New Year’s Resolution: focus on the now

Posted on December 31, 2021 
Filed under Encouragement

“I was recently reflecting on the initial results released after the 2021 Australian Community Survey regarding what Christians think and know about Jesus and church. Already these things should cause us to come to God in prayer.

On the one hand, there are so many signs that the spiritual health of Australian mainstream society is poor.

On the other hand, one can’t help but notice the opportunities to share about Jesus, and the benefits of being part of a Christian community who love and care for each other.

This then also got me thinking about the fascination that we have (me included) with New Year’s resolutions. …”

– Ben George writes at The Australian Church Record.

The impact and ministry of the Archbishops wives

Posted on December 29, 2021 
Filed under People, Sydney Diocese

“The Archbishop’s wife is a key person in our Diocese, providing her own leadership and gifts in the service of the Lord Jesus, church members, her family and her husband.

In Sydney we have been blessed by a succession of godly and able women, whose contribution has been sometimes underappreciated but always invaluable.”

– At SydneyAnglicans.net, Simon Manchester asks Pam Goodhew, Christine Jensen, Di Davies and Cailey Raffel about their roles and experiences in working alongside their Archbishop husbands.

Preserving preaching Christ – with Michael Stead

Posted on December 28, 2021 
Filed under Culture wars, Resources

From The Pastor’s Heart:

“The whole concept of a tolerant society is being spun around.

Sydney Anglican Bishop Michael Stead says there are moves afoot to block Christians from being able to say that ‘Christ is the only way to heaven.’

It’s also being claimed by Equality Australia that to say ‘marriage is between a man and woman’ is an offensive statement.

Bishop Stead says he wants to protect moderately expressed statements of religious belief. …”

– This is a very big issue. Watch or listen here.

Priscilla & Aquila Conference 2022 — The one another commands

Posted on December 27, 2021 
Filed under Resources, Theology

Peter Orr is the keynote speaker at the 2022 P&A Conference at Moore College on 31 January. (Also via livestream.)

Recently, The Australian Church Record asked P&A Director Jane Tooher what to expect. There’s a lot planned, including ten afternoon electives.

NASA Administrator Bill Nelson after the launch of the James Webb Space Telescope

Posted on December 26, 2021 
Filed under News

Last night (Christmas morning in the US), after years of delays, the James Webb Space Telescope was launched for NASA from South America by the European Space Agency. It’s an incredibly complex and sensitive observatory with the potential to make astounding discoveries.

NASA administrator Bill Nelson spoke shortly after the launch, using words you may find familiar. (Starting at 2:04 into the video.)

Christmas morning encouragement

Posted on December 25, 2021 
Filed under Encouragement, Resources

With thanks to Emu Music.

Christmas Eve Encouragement

Posted on December 24, 2021 
Filed under Encouragement

O Come, All You Unfaithful – from Sovereign Grace Music.

The easiest conspiracy theory to debunk this Christmas

Posted on December 23, 2021 
Filed under Apologetics & Evangelism, Resources

“Are you feeling a bit apprehensive about your conversations with family and friends this Christmas?

The restrictions and lockdowns of the last few years have helped to keep us safe physically, but they’ve also played a role in dividing us socially. The combination of physical isolation, fears for safety, and the overwhelming stream of digital information at our fingertips have opened us up to all sorts of problems…”

– Dreading talking about COVID or US politics over Christmas lunch?

Lionel and Bronwyn Windsor have a suggestion for you. At The Australian Church Record.

Masks, density limits reintroduced in NSW

Posted on December 23, 2021 
Filed under COVID19

“Wearing a mask while indoors will become mandatory in NSW from midnight tonight as the state government reintroduces restrictions to curb the Omicron wave.

Premier Dominic Perrottet has announced density limits of one person per 2 square metres for hospitality venues would also be reinstated from December 27, while QR code measures will be ‘back in a limited way’. …”

Report from ABC News.

Updated Rules for people in NSW.

And from SydneyAnglicans.net’s “COVID-19 Church Worker Frequently Asked Questions”:

What process do we follow if we have a COVID-positive case at church?

Christmas message from the Archbishop of Canterbury

Posted on December 23, 2021 
Filed under Anglican Communion, Church of England, COVID19

The Archbishop of Canterbury’s Christmas message to the Anglican Communion is a somewhat sombre affair, with a focus on COVID, Climate Change, and the coming Lambeth Conference.

Related:

Canadian commentator and author Mark Steyn on GBNews spoke overnight on the Church of England’s missed opportunities during COVID lockdowns.

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