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A Quarterly Newsletter Baz influences Bazz... Did you know Baz Luhrmann has had a massive influence on the way we do church at All Saints? Page 3
S A I N T S
P E T E R S H A M
Volume III, Issue No 2: April 09 You: An Introduction Review of Michael Jensen’s new book. Who are you? Page 3
Do you know Bruce & Joan Livingstone? They’ve been at All Saints for 70 years! Here’s your chance to read some of their story. Page 3
These days the experts say that people need to belong before they believe. To put it another way, people need to hear the gospel multiple times in the context of a faith community before they commit to it. My own experience of pastoral ministry confirms this as very few people will hear the gospel for the first time and sign up for it it's a joy but rare. Bob Jackson a UK Anglican research missioner puts it well: "Today, it is reckoned that many people come to Christian faith and conviction through a long process that begins with some initial contact with the Church. This may be by coming to a church service with a friend, or just by attending a parent and toddler group in the church hall. The attraction that began with the church community leads eventually to a living faith." (B. Jackson Hope for the Church, 2002, 18).
Easter 2009 What really happened back then in the first century, in Jerusalem and around the lake of Galilee, that changed the shape of world history? Who is this figure that emerges from history to have a profound impact on culture, ethics, politics and philosophy? Historian John Dickson takes us on a journey through the life of Jesus, from his birth to his reported resurrection. Shot on location in Israel, the Life of Jesus documentary is available on DVD and includes bonus conversations between John Find us online:
Dickson and Greg Clarke about the philosophical and personal issues that arise out of looking seriously at who Jesus was and what he did and said. A 40 minute version of the documentary will be showing on channel 7, Good Friday at 1:00 pm. Both John and Greg have been guest speakers at All Saints in the past and are well gifted in presenting the good news of Jesus with clarity. John and Greg are the authors of numerous books and are partners together in the Centre for Public Christianity.
In a secularized society where Christian values and morality are no longer normative people will want to take time to witness and experience what the life of faith looks and feels like before taking it on themselves. This means the typical sequence for the seeker is belonging ... believing ... behaving. The implications for us are significant. Do we provide opportunities for seekers to belong?
Next course starts Tuesday nights in April
Find out more: www.publicchristianity.org allsaintspetersham.org.au
Do we welcome them and include them whilst they sample the gospel/church? How does morning tea, Playtime, ESL, socials, youth group, club Wow and church contribute to a person's sense of belonging? Are we providing multiple opportunities for people to hear the gospel along the way? To answer my own questions - we are certainly working on it. Our Connect 09 and mission campaign is designed to provide multiple ways that people can both connect and be part of our faith community. From the community garden through to morning tea, the Carnival, the Carols and our “Guess Who is Coming to Lunch” meals, they are all there to build the connections with people. But it is no use simply being connected, if we do not also show them the gospel. This is why it is important to be inviting people back to church, back to Bible study and specifically to the Simply Christianity courses. These courses may come at any point along a person's journey to faith, but it is specifically designed to help the non-believer work out if indeed they want to believe in Jesus Christ. To apply this to each of us can I leave you to answer two questions: 1. 2.
With whom am I connecting? Can I invite or bring them to the next Simply Christianity course? Antony Barraclough
Simply Christianity is a five-part course based entirely on the Gospel of Luke. For anybody who would like to find out more about Jesus and the Christian faith, we run the course here at All Saints in 5 week blocks. Speak to Antony about joining in. 1
SOCIAL JUSTICE Happiness that hurts... "That's the most important thing. Whatever makes you happy." My mates say this all the time. I say this sometimes. This is the motto of our generation... and yet quite possibly, this is the most self-centred, careless, and hurtful thing we could ever say. Because this self-focusedI'm-the-most-important-person sort of happiness is always at the expense of others. Even the seemingly harmless forms of happiness. Take shopping for example: I'm happy when I get to buy clothes at a cheap price, but they're cheap because the poor sweat shop workers in fashionesia are getting paid 5 cents an hour to make them! But... if cheap clothes makes me happy then that's what's important... right? And what if you apply this principle to more harmful forms of happiness? What if someone is happy when they abuse children? They're doing what makes them happy and that's what's important... right? We could make a huge list of all sorts of things: I feel happy when I steal your stuff.
I feel happy when I punch you in the face. I feel happy when I ride on the train without paying for a ticket. I feel happy when I get music for free of the net illegally. I feel happy when I... whatever. Do we really believe that our happiness is the most important thing? That if I do what makes me happy then I am living a full life? I think this is what we really do believe. But we don't want people abusing children "that's really, really bad" we say. And we don't want people stealing our stuff, or punching me in the face... So how about we say "Whatever makes you happy... as long as you're not hurting anyone." Ahhhhh that's better. That's a much nicer thought. That solves the problem with child abusers and thieves, and face punchers, and exploiting poor people... But now you really need to think about 2
everything that makes you happy and work out if it's hurting someone else. Because lots of people say this but not many ever change what they do. Big brand clothing companies are still exploiting sweat shop workers and we still buy their brand because the fashion or the price makes us happy. Big companies are still exploiting developing countries and we still buy their goods because their product makes our lifestyle easier and happier... We probably like to think that we're not hurting anyone else in our pursuit of happiness, but the reality is that we're really just thinking of our own happiness and ignoring the people that we're hurting. And when we're ignoring the people that we're hurting, the person who always seems to get left out of the picture is God. Is your lifestyle hurting him? What are the things that hurt God? It's our rebellion against what he values. It's our refusal to let him have any influence over our decisions. It's our deliberate choice to block out his voice when it conflicts with what we want to make us happy. Are you looking for that sexual relationship outside of marriage to make you happy? The world says it's fine... You love each other, you can't be hurting anyone else, this is YOUR relationship. Well what about God? Is your pursuit of happiness hurtful to God? This is happiness that hurts... This is happiness that comes only to steal, kill and destroy... But Jesus came that you may have life and have it to the full (John 10:10). You will never experience life to the full if you pursue happiness that is hurtful to God and/or others. But there is a way for happiness and full life, and it is this: "whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it." And "whoever wants to be first must be slave of all." Jesus (Mark 8:35; 10:44). Really, the saying needs to be changed to "Whatever makes God happy, that's the most important thing!" Mike Dicker
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Let’s talk about Fair Trade: Fairtrade is aimed at benefiting those farmers and producers who find it difficult to sell into the international market and fear exploitation. Fairtrade standards include a guaranteed minimum price that covers the cost of production and a living wage, and a premium that is invested in the local community. Today, there are well over 5 million farmers, workers and families in more than 49 countries who are in the international Fairtrade system. These farmers typically produce consumables and handicrafts such as coffee, cocoa, tea, bags and clothing. Any product that is Fairtrade certified has to meet stringent regulations that must be
BOOK REVIEW You: An Introduction It was jolly nice of Michael Jensen to write a book about me. I must say I have been waiting rather a long time for someone to get around to it and finally it is here. Michael Jensen’s latest book is an accessible guide to identity in the 21st Century - you: an introduction (matthias media, 2008). The book is a pretty easy read and a whirlwind ride from Big Brother, sexuality, gender, philosophy, death and of course Christianity. Michael successfully demonstrates some of the pitfalls in the modern tendency towards the cult of me and steers the reader toward a more Christlike take on how we would view ourselves and others. While on the whole I think this is a praiseworthy book, there are a couple of minor irritations... The books simplicity and readability are real strengths but at times the book's attempt to be breezy and engaging
met at every point in the chain of production. These regulations are set by the Fairtrade Labeling Organization International (FLO). The Fairtrade Label found on certified products is the only independent guarantee of a fair deal for farmers and workers in the developing world. As Christians, Fairtrade is a way for us to be good stewards who stand apart from injustice and exploitation. It also provides us with an opportunity to “speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute” (Prov 31:8). Petersham All Saints is looking into becoming a Fairtrade church. Keep on the lookout for further details as they come. Jacob Sarkodee
simplifies some rather complex moral and ethical dilemmas (for instance the discussion of abortion was a little bit too simplified for my liking). I did however enjoy the way he developed an open discussion through the blogging sections at the end of the book. This feature is a real innovation in Christian publishing that has been in the mainstream media for a few years now. In future I would love to see him attempt this discussion with an ardent atheist rather than the mostly sympathetic correspondents he discusses the issues with. All in all this is an engaging book that is a useful introduction to the issues of me being me or you being you in the 21st Century. It would make an ideal introduction for those struggling with issues of identity and especially those in late adolescence. Michael Anderson allsaintspetersham.org.au
Baz Influences Bazz When in 1996 Baz Luhrmann released his film version of ‘Romeo and Juliet’ I was in second year of college. This film made two lasting impressions. The first was that it unlocked the secrets of Shakespeare. I had studied the book for the HSC yet even with crib notes it was a mystery to me. I failed English and resorted to Engineering (no engineer jokes please). However when I saw the film, faithful to Shakespeare’s olde worlde English but with swords and guns, I was suddenly interested and the story made sense for the first time. The second impression was the realisation that what Baz Luhrmann had done for Shakespeare we needed to do in the church minus the swords and guns, which is to keep church the same and simultaneously make it completely different. Or put it another way the challenge is to be faithful to the gospel handed down to us whilst presenting it to the world in a way they can understand. What a joy it was then to receive this in our feedback cards at church recently:
PEOPLE Meet Bruce & Joan Livingstone The Chronicle (TC): Bruce & Joan can you tell me how long you guys have been coming to All Saints Petersham? Bruce: Well Joan’s been coming for at least 70 years, about the same as myself. TC: Now Bruce, you were a warden at All Saints for sometime, is that correct? Bruce: I was a church warden and on parish council for many years, but can’t recall how many… I remember being asked by the minister to be on the parish council when I was about 10… TC: Ten!? Bruce: Perhaps 12-14 years old. TC: Did you accept? Bruce: Not the first time but I did the next time when I was a bit older. And then I was on the parish council for some time, I forget the exact years. TC: I’m sure you’ve seen some good times and some hard times over the years, what are some of the hard times at All Saints? Bruce: At one stage we were finding it hard to meet expenses, and I even started a system of recycling bottles and cans etc. to raise some extra funds but that only lasted a few years. TC: And you’ve had some personal hard times too I understand…? 3
Seconds Once upon a time I was… A page 1 bikini model in the Maclay Argus newspaper.
With… Carolyn Frost My earliest memory is… Lying on a bed having my nappy changed by my sister (2 years older!) and having her stick a nappy pin into me.
“I am a visitor today, here for X’s christening. I’m not a churchgoer but found the service most enjoyable. Church certainly is different to what it was like when I used to go 40 years ago. Church now seems to be a lively, fun place to go as well as to learn.”
I wish I had… Nothing. Oh, except the power to make teenagers do what you want them to. I wish I hadn’t… Eaten those caramel filled easter eggs on the way to work this morning.
Of course the job of gospelling this person is only just (re)begun, and the task of being faithful in accessible ways is not yet connecting with everyone. So my prayer is twofold: that this lady's pleasant connection will inspire a return visit to learn Christ, and that we will be ever faithful to the word and deed. Antony Barraclough
Joan: My husband shot through when I was in my 20’s. Bruce: Yes I’m Joan’s second husband. We got married when I was 49 and Joan was 52. And since then Joan has had cancer twice. TC: It must have been difficult going through the divorce and dealing with cancer… Joan: I didn’t really like getting divorced and I didn’t really believe in divorcing and remarrying, but my mother died and my father and my brother… I was the only one left. Bruce: Joan had a son (Geoff) but unfortunately he also died about 2 years ago. TC: You guys have seen a lot of pain and hardship, how have you been able to stay Christian? Bruce: Well we’ve never missed church and that’s kept our faith strong. Joan: I think everybody has their ups and downs. TC: Do you have advice for other people going through hard times at the moment? Bruce: The only certain thing is that
It’s not fashionable but… I really like karaoke. My friends always tell me… How did you turn out so normal when you came from such a screwed up family. I get really annoyed by… Abuse of power. I find a lot of joy in… My life, my work, my family and friends, and travel.
if you accept Jesus as saviour you’re certain of eternal life with him. That’s all I can say. TC: It’s great to be reminded of our future hope. What are some of the high points you remember at All Saints? Bruce: Well, all the ministers we’ve had have been exceptionally good, you couldn’t even pick one out. And the 100 years service was a big event and a high point. We also had tremendous crowds during the war years. There used to be 3 services a day, 2 in the morning and 1 at night. Everybody came to church and the church was absolutely flooded every week. Even the outer isles of the church were full up. Back in those days the church even played in the NSW Table Tennis competition… TC: The church had a team in the NSW Table Tennis Competition? Bruce: Yeah, we had about 5 tables at the church and people would get together once a week to play. And we won a NSW title. Joan: I played, but I couldn’t remember the years that I played… Bruce: You were a great player at table tennis Joan.
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I’ve been working at the Petersham Op-Shop for… Just over 4 years. If I wasn’t working in the OpShop I’d… Be traveling around the world with my husband. My greatest hope for the Op-Shop is… That people would miss us if we weren’t here - miss the things we do for people. My greatest fear at the Op-Shop is… that I’ll be overwhelmed by the amount of work that needs to be done in only a part-time position. Carolyn Frost manages the Crystal Street Op-Shop in Petersham and is involved with the community garden on the All Saints property, as well as other community development and ministry.
TC: I heard you were quite the sportsman yourself Bruce, I heard you played cricket for NSW... Bruce: I played for the local first grade team and got selected from there to play against Queensland. TC: Play against Bradman? Bruce: Ha… No, he was retired by then. Joan: You were a great soccer player too… Bruce: I used to play a lot of sport, and when I used to work in Papua New Guinea I was in charge of sport for the whole territory… We even had Australian rules there too. TC: Well that’s good to hear! Just a couple of last questions… You’ve witnessed a lot of change over the years, what do you think of All Saints today? Are you comfortable with it? Bruce: Well I think it’s good. I’m comfortable with it. Joan: As long as it follows the true religion I’m always comfortable. TC: And what do you think about the whole connect 09 campaign this year? Bruce: I agree with it, and I think it’s a good idea to try to connect with as many people from the area as possible. TC: Bruce and Joan, thanks for your time. (Bruce and Joan Livingstone are members of the All Saints 8:30am congregation) allsaintspetersham.org.au
Easter Outreach Poster We used to wonder if the world was round or flat. Nearly 500 years ago Ferdinand Magellan nailed that question. He got in a boat and headed west. His ships arrived home three years later … from the East! Ever since, the world’s been getting smaller. In 1938 Howard Florey read Alexander Flemming’s paper on ‘Penicillium notatum mould’ and wondered whether penicillin could be extracted in sufficient quantity to fight bacteria. His team didn’t stop for weekends to solve the question. On Saturday May 25, 1940, they nailed it. Out of eight infected mice, the four treated with Penicillin survived. The other four died. Millions of lives have since been saved (including the author of this article). On May 25, 1961, President John F Kennedy declared he would land a man on the moon before the end of the decade. Many wondered if this was, to make a bad pun, ‘lunacy’. But in 1969, when Neil Armstrong descended to the surface of the moon saying, “One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind” he nailed those doubts. At the 2000 Sydney Olympics, track athlete Marion Jones nailed all five events she competed in. Except we couldn’t help wondering if she was running ‘clean’! Turns out she wasn’t. Life’s full of important questions. Sometimes you get answers,
Pupil Free Fun Day!
Green Cards Feedback "Thanks for greatly encouraging me (us) through God's word this morning. Purified!" "Thanks for an encouraging morning and sermon" "Excellent teaching again. Would it be beneficial to the service if the OT reading was related to the NT reading?". Reply: Yes it would, however we also believe that the Word of God stands alone and that it is sufficient and beneficial to read it on its own (so to speak). Each week we work our way through two parts of the Bible only one of which is preached on. Those doing the other reading might help us out each week by summarizing what has happened so far in the readings. Antony
sometimes you don’t. The most important question we’ve ever asked is, ‘Does God love us?’. Thankfully, this was nailed by Jesus a long time ago. You see, Jesus wasn’t an unwitting or unwilling victim when he was crucified or nailed to a wooden cross by Roman soldiers. The Bible makes it clear that the whole event was part of God’s perfect plan to pay for sin. It says: This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. (1John 4:9) And: God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8) Jesus’s death on the cross was no accident. It was God’s greatest answer to the greatest ever question.
'"O for a thousand tongues to sing' - wonderful inspiring hymn. I found the sermon thought provoking and probably what I need." [Ed: names withheld for confidentiality]
Quotable Quotes John Wesley's "directions for Singing" more than 230 years ago in the preface to Selected Hymns sets the standard: "Above all sing spiritually. Have an eye to God in every word you sing. Aim at pleasing him more than yourself, or any other creature. In order to do this attend strictly to the sense of what you sing, and see that your heart is not carried away with the sound, but offered to God continually; so shall your singing be such as the Lord will approve here, and reward you when he comes in the clouds of heaven."
So if you’re ever wondering if God loves you, then look to Easter. To Good Friday when Christ died and Easter Sunday when he rose again, victorious over death.
Jonathan Edwards said that worship has not occurred when the "external duties" are performed of "reading, praying and singing, hearing sermons and the like" even when "zealously engaged in," but only when our hearts [are] affected, and [our] love captivated by the free love of God", and when "the great, spiritual, mysterious, and invisible things of the gospel ... have the weight and power of real things in their hearts."
Prayer: Dear God, please help me to trust in your love shown for me at the cross of Christ. Read more: www.outreachmedia.org.au
Religious Affections 163,263,291-2.q
All Saints Sermon Archive
All Saints is running its first Pupil Free Fun Day on Monday April 27th from 8:30am - 5:30pm. The Pupil Free Fun day is a day-long camp for kids in kindy to year 6 at primary school. If you want to register your child or children download a registration form from http:// www.petersham.anglican.asn.au/ church/kids
Trying to remember that great sermon you heard at All Saints weeks, months, or years ago? Or wanting to revisit a sermon series from All Saints? Perhaps just looking to fill up that space on your iPod… Well now all the All Saints sermons are easy to search and find at www.allsaintspetersham.org.au. Just sign in and go to the resources page and click sermon archive.
WHO ARE THE CHURCH STAFF?
Senior Minister Antony Sarah Barraclough Clarke 0413933838 0401838530
Kate Nicol 0423955804
Student Ministers Rob Andrew Adele Patterson Southerton Southerton 0425359928 0410605986 0411614044
Youth Minister Dan Michael Webster Dicker 0424243431 0400308112
If you have ideas for the next issue of The Chronicle or feedback on this issue, em ail the editor, we’d love your fe edback and commen ts! michael@allsai ntspetersham.o rg.au
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The All Saints Church Chronicle is a quarterly newsletter of church life and personal stories