SouthernCross THE NEWS MAGAZINE FOR SYDNEY ANGLICANS
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Chrisfiians sfip up fihrough fih Omicron oufibrak
“Your brain’s just not functioning”: Bishop Gary Koo spent almost three weeks in isolation with COVID.
Judy Adamson It would be an exaggeration to say that everyone’s getting
COVID right now, but not much of an exaggeration. NSW Health reported just under 880,000 cases of COVID in the month to January 25 – that’s more than 10 per cent of the State’s population. In a month. So, if you haven’t had it, you’ll know plenty of people who have. Parish ministry is always stretched over December and January but when church staff, key lay members and their families all come down with the virus at the same time, it makes life... interesting. At St Stephen’s, Normanhurst the Christmas decorations didn’t
SouthernCross February 2022
volume 28 number 1
come down until January 19 – because almost all the staff had been sick or isolating, and church had to go online for three weeks. “Monday was the first time I’d been back onsite since Boxing Day, and I think hardly anyone else had been there,” says Chris Jones, the youth and families’ minister. “We realised today, ‘We’ve got a bit of work to get this place ready for services this weekend!’” This came about because, in the week between Christmas and the New Year, half of the 12 staff on deck tested positive and another three were in isolation because family members had the virus. Adds Jones: “As the days went on that number just kept going up,
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Back online: Chris Jones prerecords the January 2 sermon for St Stephen’s, Normanhurst from his study at home.
until Felicity [the parish administrator] and I were the last people standing.” They made the call to take church online, with elements prerecorded in people’s homes and stitched together elsewhere. “COVID definitely ripped through the local area, and it wiped out not just the staff but so many of our volunteers,” Jones says. “I would easily know of 40-50 people [who had the virus], and I expect there are a fair few more we haven’t heard about yet.” The experience at Normanhurst isn’t unusual. At Marrickville Road Church, the administrator/creative director came back to work for one day after her leave, then tested positive. This meant assistant minister the Rev Peter Kerr and the children’s minister in the parish had to go into isolation – and they couldn’t come out until December 23. Rector Ross Ciano was on long service leave, so all staff members were out of action at once. At Rooty Hill, Christmas services were online because of COVID cases. Fairy Meadow rector the Rev Roger Fitzhardinge tested positive after going to the cricket. Eventually, his whole family got the virus. At Earlwood, the wife of rector the Rev Brendan McLaughlin had a positive test a couple of days before he began to feel ill, while at Springwood, rector the Rev Steve Young ended up attending four out of five Christmas services and preaching at three of them, as both his assistant ministers had COVID.
KEEP THINGS GOING And it’s not just parishes that have scrambled to plug the COVIDshaped gaps. Ministry Training Strategy’s (MTS) Sydney office numbers dropped from seven to two in recent weeks as, one after the other, staff got sick – including the organisation’s national director Ben Pfahlert. This wouldn’t have been a huge problem except that the national MTS apprentices conference, G8, was set for the week beginning January 17. And, in addition to Pfahlert, the other main speaker was the Bishop of the Western Region, Gary Koo, who also had COVID. By God’s grace the senior minister of Hunter Bible Church, Greg Lee, was able to cover for Bishop Koo, as he had written seminars on the planned topic only a couple of years earlier. A semi-recovered Pfahlert prerecorded his talks at home, and the shoes of other affected presenters were filled in quick time. Pfahlert’s executive assistant, Glenda Lewis, observes that “life still has to keep going MTS-wise while the conference is on, and other people have just stepped up, so it’s been really encouraging”. Bishop Koo was out of action for three weeks with “nasty symptoms in week one and then shortness of breath in week two. 4
Gradually I became well enough to talk to people and read [but] when the symptoms are bad, your brain’s just not functioning”. He was aware of the irony that he, the chairman of the Diocese’s COVID Taskforce, should come down with COVID himself, and a little frustrated at not being able to do much – if anything – while he was ill. Yet he was also thankful knowing that the region’s archdeacon, Neil Atwood, was covering most of his responsibilities. “You could feel bad about other people stretching to cover for you, but that’s the nature of teamwork,” he says. “There’ll be a time when I have to stretch to cover for them. And the best contribution I can make to the team at the moment is to get better, rather than trying to fuss with work while being sick... trying to simply trust God and remember that the ministry doesn’t revolve around me. “I had all these plans to use my time well during this lighter period [of the year], but sometimes God just says, ‘No’.”
TIME FOR GOD It seems that, for many, the virus found a way around their best efforts to be COVID-safe. And Koo says that, with Omicron, this was the expectation – “that there would be community transmission in shops, in centres and in churches. Despite our very best practices we do get caught up in that”. But there can be an upside. If you’re isolating at home, with the virus or not, one thing you have plenty of is time. Sure, if you’re very sick that time can’t be particularly productive, but those in recovery or with mild symptoms have an opportunity to use “iso” to their advantage. This is just what one of the COVID-positive assistant ministers at Springwood, the Rev Stephen Liggins, decided to do. “I felt tired but okay, so with a few days to myself I decided to have a mini spiritual retreat,” he says. “I used to do that annually but haven’t done one for a few years... this forced me to have one!” Yes, he watched some cricket and read a novel, but Liggins also spent time in the Word, praying, thinking reflectively, writing a faith journal and reading a few Christian books. “I found it very spiritually helpful, and things I reflected on in that time ended up in my January sermons, so it had an impact on my preaching as well as my life,” he says. “It’s good to have a side effect that is positive.” Everyone Southern Cross talked to also spoke of how church members have been supporting each other, their staff teams and the community during this tricky time. “Everyone at Earlwood has been incredibly patient, helpful and encouraging,” Brendan McLaughlin says. “People just want to help out in any way they can – they’ve dropped off meals, offered to shop and said we’ll help lead services, and look after this and that at church... our technical guy set the camera up [for me to preach from home] and afterwards he just picked it up and sorted that out. “People have gone above and beyond to make sure that church goes on, understanding that this is the time we’re in and just caring for our Christian brothers and sisters.” Peter Kerr is tremendously thankful for the effort put in to keep the church running at Marrickville while he and the other staff were in isolation or recovering. Locum the Rev Brett Hall stepped in to preach, members volunteered to lead, and also bought and cooked the food for the Christmas Eve barbecue. Extra musicians were found to cover the Christmas services, and support was given to those stuck at home. “The beauty of that whole season for me was, first of all, I had to rely on God, but the thing that really encouraged me was how the church family just stepped up in different ways,” Kerr says. SouthernCross
Use the time wisely: Stephen Liggins had a “mini spiritual retreat” for much of his COVID isolation period.
THE BEST SIDE EFFECT At Fairy Meadow, Roger Fitzhardinge wasn’t able to do much once the lethargy hit and he is tremendously thankful for the parish’s senior assistant minister, the Rev Deryck Howell, who picked up the reins without turning a hair. “One of the things we’re focusing on this year is the idea of ministering to one another as a church,” Fitzhardinge says, “because that was one of the best things that came out of the long lockdown: that people could care for each other one-on-one with going for walks, phone calls and other care. I think our 8 o’clock congregation keeps Telstra landlines in business! “There’s always a temptation in churches to think ministry is top down, but that’s an illusion. The real ministry in church happens shoulder to shoulder, person to person. We were well loved by people delivering RATs [rapid antigen tests] to us as well as some lovely treats. The Facebook group we set up for our street sprang back into action and a couple of people who aren’t from church also dropped stuff around.” However, perhaps the best side effect of COVID – if one can call it that – is that Christians who are normally in control of their work, their health and their lives can be made painfully aware, with all SouthernCross
humility, that they are not in charge. “At the heart of the gospel is that we’re all needy people,” Fitzhardinge says. “Sometimes sickness and other struggles that we face do the job of reminding us of the greater reality that, ‘I’m a needy person and I rely on God and his people’.” SC
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“It was a wonderful reminder that, as the family of God, we’re in this together. I didn’t just understand that technically – I knew it practically because of what people did, and it was wonderful.” Normanhurst has a pastoral care minister who has been busy in past months co-ordinating contact with congregation members, particularly those who are most vulnerable. This has continued during the Omicron outbreak but, Chris Jones says, with the high COVID numbers they have had, the care has been more “organic”. “What we’ve seen this time is a lot of small groups caring for other people in their group who’ve been in isolation. So rather than it being so much a staff-driven thing, it’s other church members who’ve driven the care this time around.”
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Emerge and parishes work together to secure jobs.
Lockdowns fiav mor migrans sruggfiing Tara Sing According to Sara*, her
family’s journey to Australia was a “miracle from God”. Travelling from Iran to Indonesia, and then embarking on a boat with her husband and two-year-old son, they thought they would drown in the oceans surrounding Australia. “We sank in the water for half an hour, and then the Australian Navy rescued us and we got to Christmas Island,” Sara says. They stayed there for 11 months before settling in Sydney. “It was so difficult. We had no English. Everything was new. We were missing family.” A visit from a Christian connected her family with Lakemba Anglican. Years later, this connection helped Sara as she struggled to find work for the first time in her life. “It was so hard,” she says. “I didn’t know how to look for a job or what to say, or which website I needed to go to. Everything was hard. [In Iran] we just go around to the places and ask them if they need a worker. There is much more paperwork in Australia. I was scared of the paperwork.” Sara’s struggles in the job search process are not unique. Many migrant families have difficulties with the cultural expectations and differences of our job market.
Employment help: Jo-Ann Elvery (far right) with Emerge candidates.
by lockdowns and changing rules regarding Government support. At one point, Mrs Elvery’s phone was ringing daily with people seeking help. “The last few months we have had steady requests for assistance,” she says. “Not all migrants were eligible for Government support. For example, to access support they had to have been working in the four weeks prior to lockdown starting. “We had p eople who had ongoing trouble finding work since 2020 and were still struggling. Others had just received work rights, so they hadn’t been able to work. It was a hard time for those families. “Almost all of the people who contacted us, either they or their partner had lost their job. Or they had been trying to find work for a long time. Or they lost their casual temporary job. Some families felt there was MORE PEOPLE SEEK very little chance of getting a SUPPORT AFTER job, or it was a hopeless situation. LOCKDOWNS This year has seen an increase in They were used to rejection and people reaching out for support disappointment.” and guidance. Jo-Ann Elvery, the cross-cultural ministry volunteer PARISH PARTNERSHIPS at St James’, Berala, says she PROVIDE OPPORTUNITIES has noticed an increase in This increase in people reaching people making contact since the out to their local churches for pandemic began – exacerbated assistance has kept the Emerge 6
team busy. Emerge is a gospelshaped initiative by Evangelism and New Churches in which parishes band together to help migrants find meaningful employment. “I think the difference we make is... making jobs more at reach for migrant members of our churches and ministries,” says Sue Park, liaison officer at Emerge. “We support our candidates with the cultural aspects of finding work: the formalities of writing a resumé and cover letters [and] knowing how to present in an interview.” Miss Park believes the clear church initiative is what separates Emerge from other migrant employment services. “It’s something that came as a result of a need churches identified,” she says. “Our networks are within churches and Christian organisations who see the value in providing hiring opportunities for our candidates. We work closely with churches, and we hope that [employment support] runs alongside discipleship and evangelism. It’s a person-centred approach.” This has been the case for Sara, who was successful in securing work in aged care with Emerge’s help. She not only feels
more confident – and is thrilled to contribute to the lives of others meaningfully – but has also seen her relationship with God change during her time in Australia. Growing up Muslim, Sara had a fear of God that has transformed. “Now I have a love for God, and I want to do the things he wants me to do because I love him, not because I fear him,” she says. There is a visible difference that meaningful employment makes for candidates, and having church communities assist throughout the process is a powerful witness. As Australia begins to open its borders, Emerge expects to see growing numbers of migrants in the years to come, and predicts it will continue to play a vital role alongside churches. “It’s small scale, but life changing,” Miss Park says. “My prayer is that we can support a lot more people to experience the beauty of church as a family who cares, and experience God’s love and provision through our program. Our prayer is that we can serve God faithfully with what we’ve been given and that we can support churches in our area to continue discipleship and evangelism.” SC *name changed SouthernCross
Figures on Australian attitudes to a Christian invitation.
Ausstra ia is r ady o r mission. Ar w ? Australians are more positive Simon Gillham. “We may have
than negative about receiving an invitation to church. That’s one of a series of findings from research by the National Church Life Survey, which Moore College says should give us “renewed encouragement”. The college is one of the sponsors of the survey, which found that: • more than half of Australians say they have no close friends or family who attend church; • three in 10 Australians were likely to go to a Christmas service in 2021 if invited; • only half of all Australians know that Jesus was a real historical person. “This data helps us to see the challenges in evangelism in Australia more clearly,” says the head of the Mission Department at Moore College, the Rev Dr
Factors that encourage
Factors that discourage
Australians to accept Australians from accepting too readily accepted the idea invitations to church services invitations to church services that Australians are increasingly Important to a friend or Scandals in the wider hostile to Christianity, and 34% 29% family member church perhaps responded by becoming If confident of being Church stance on social 16% 20% made to feel welcome issues increasingly cautious, defensive and even insular.” If church does good work Fear of being asked for 13% 13% commitment The figures on Australians’ in the community If church is convenient to Little interest in Christian attitudes towards Christianity 12% 12% get to faith were released as the National If church is inclusive of all Disagreeing with 11% 10% Church Life Survey is underway sexualities and genders teaching or doctrine across the country – running If service doesn’t take Unconvinced by 11% 10% too much time Christianity or religion from November to February. It Having the opportunity Uncomfortable listening has been extended because of to talk informally with 7% to or talking about 8% other people religion COVID disruption to churches. The 2021 Australian Having a clear Uncomfortable in church understanding of what 7% worship or church 6% Community Survey run by NCLS happens at a service building Research indicated that more None of the above 47% None of the above 39% Australians (30 per cent) would Source: NCLS, 2021 Australian Community Survey, November 2021 (n = 1,286). probably respond positively than negatively (29 per cent) to an “Australians are not, by and (56 per cent) that they could ask! invitation to church. Yet an even large, deciding to reject Jesus,” “Knowing these things should greater percentage were not Dr Gilham says. “Fifty-one per give us renewed encouragement sure how they would respond cent don’t even know that he and commitment to meet our (41 per cent) or didn’t think they actually lived or know anyone neighbours and talk to them knew anyone who might ask. who regularly goes to church about Jesus.” SC
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Ordainfid or ar and widfi First group done: Splitting the ordination cohort in half (see below) didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of November’s ordinands in the least.
“It’s a very great joy to be Carleton who, with his wife Bec,
“As we send you out today to setting aside these men and is headed for ministry on Norfolk do ministry in Christ’s name, women for this ministry,” said Island. you will be scrutinised – not Archbishop Kanishha Raffel Bec’s father, the Bishop for only by the light of Christ, but as he took his first ordination International Relations, Malcolm by the church community and s e r v i c e a s A rch bis hop i n Richards, gave the sermon at the even more by the community at November. “I am reminded service, urging ordinands to be large. And rightly so. Under that of my own deaconing service “lovers of the light”, as in John 3. scrutiny, let you be found to be in St Andrew’s Cathedral and “Disciples love the light, they lovers of the light.” I’m so grateful to God for his are to walk in the light and Bishop Richards spoke of faithfulness.” teach others to walk in the light,” his time as a CMS missionary, The Archbishop spoke as Bishop Richards said. “The thing which resonated with the Rev ordinands prepared to embark that destroys ministry careers is Ryan Verghese (right), who is upon ministries as far afield as when people stop walking in the heading to the Seychelles with Darwin, Norfolk Island and the light. CMS. Seychelles. “They say they love Jesus “I’m excited about taking some “It is such a joy to see that, even but they don’t want to be of the riches we have in Sydney in this small ordination cohort, accountable to Jesus or to in terms of exegesis, biblical God is using people to take his anyone else, and they slowly theology and a training mindset, message of salvation throughout drift into a life where they don’t and taking it overseas,” he said. Sydney, Australia and the whole want the scrutiny of the intense “My role in Seychelles involves world,” added the Rev Laurie light of Christ. training key leaders and being an evangelical witness.” The singing resounded around the Cathedral, despite the limited numbers and compulsory maskwearing. Mr Verghese said the turnout was encouraging. “The Christian life is not meant to be a solitary road, and it’s the encouragement of family and the church that has helped me continue in faithful service of Jesus.” Fellow ordinand the Rev Christine Yang (right), who “It is such a joy”: Norfolk Island’s new chaplain the Rev Laurie Carleton ministers at Eastwood, summed (centre), with his wife Bec and father-in-law Bishop Malcolm Richards. up the day, saying it was both 8
encouraging and strengthening. “Being an Anglican deacon is not a career, rather, it is a lifelong calling and a lifestyle,” she said. “Ministry never ceases. Love God and enjoy loving people – that is the way of serving.” SC The second half of the 2021-22 cohort of deacons will be ordained this month. Photos of the service will appear in March SC. SouthernCross
“LAn’A sr omin c no sharingnhAgospAg” Russell Powell It may have been a stormy
night under COVID restrictions, but masks could not hide the enthusiasm as Canon Andrew (Sandy) Grant was installed as the new Dean of Sydney in December. Deans from around NSW and as far away as Melbourne joine d Archbishop Raffel, regional bishops and Bishops Peter Jensen and Glenn Davies for the service in St Andrew’s Cathedral. Dean Grant was appointed earlier last year after more than 15 years as senior minister of St Michael’s Cathedral in Wollongong. He is the 13th Dean of Sydney. The first, William Macquarie Cowp er, wa s appointed in 1858. The new Dean will oversee the ministry of the Cathedral in the heart of Sydney, which ranges from Sunday services and a midweek healing ministry to State and public occasions. In addressing the congregation, Dean Grant reflected on Andrew, t he C at he d ral ’ s a p o s tol i c namesake. “Andrew is actually
Service with a smile: Sandy Grant is welcomed as the new Dean of St Andrew’s Cathedral.. not mentioned much on his Apostle’s example would be a that simple. Let’s recommit to own – mostly he just appears good goal to share. sharing the gospel, and sharing in lists of the Twelve,” he said. “Introducing people to Jesus. our lives with others, as we do it “But each of the only three times It takes daring and love. But it’s together.” SC Andrew actually gets a story, in the Gospel of John actually, he is introducing others to Jesus. “Firstly, his brother. Jesus is for our family, too. Then a little boy, which tells us how important Jesus’ welcome for kids is, and what an impact it can make… Lastly, he’s introducing some Greeks to Jesus; a pointer to a truly global vision. “I reckon as we set ourselves for a new season of post-COVID ministry to a needy city, then our
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Loev , serve, train – how one man is giving back.
Livst ist o God’s g ory Judy Adamson It’s never easy to leave your Mr Maqsood says. “He goes with
job and upend your life to go to Bible college. It’s even more complicated for Imran Maqsood, (right) who has three growing children and whose income helps to fund the Faisalabad School For Peace – which he set up in his home city to educate students from low-income Christian and Muslim families. His former rector at Liverpool South, the Rev Manoj Chacko, encouraged him to do the study, as did the parish’s assistant minister the Rev Matt Bales and his father, former missionary to Pakistan the Rev John Bales. But how could Mr Maqsood feed and house his family, keep the school vision alive in Pakistan and train at Moore College? “I said to them, ‘Do you think this is my calling?’ and, ‘My second language is English – maybe I can’t do it?’,” he recalls. “But they encouraged me. They said, ‘When God chooses you, he will prepare everything... God said don’t worry about tomorrow’.” Mr Maqsood’s wife, Alia Imran, was also confident in the Lord’s provision for them if this was his will, so the family stepped out in faith – and has since been amazed by God’s goodness and timing. Thomas Hassall Anglican College, where the children go to school, is helping with their fees. Anglican Aid, which was already a partner with the School For Peace, is providing more support. Moore College is helping through its student support fund, and members at Liverpool South are also contributing, with groceries and more. “Go d is so great how he answers and answers prayers,” 10
us on the journey, and we are so grateful to him.” Even the family’s need for a larger home has been met. “I was feeling depressed last Saturday because we are living in a twobedroom townhouse, and my daughter is 13 now and really needs a separate room. The rent [is too expensive], so we said, ‘What do we do, God?” To his surprise, and great joy, a member of the congregation who recently built a house nearby offered the Maqsoods their existing three-bedroom home – for the duration of his college studies. “He said God put this on their hearts... It’s one more miracle!” Mr Maqsood says. B ro u g h t u p C a t h o l i c i n Pakistan, Mr Maqsood arrived in Australia in 2008. His priest advised him to go to Australia for World Youth Day and then seek to remain. He did this, but it was two years before his family could join him. In the meantime, he was taken in – literally – by Liverpool South Anglican, living in a granny f lat on the church grounds while he studied community services and aged care. The whole family, once reunited, also lived with Mr Chacko and his wife Ramabai for six months until they could afford to rent their own home. By this time, Mr Maqsood had also been taught more deeply from the Bible. “I understood the meaning of the cross and the meaning of the resurrection,” he says. “The second thing I understand after this, is what is the purpose of my life: for the glory of God and the kingdom of God. That’s when the next chapter started.” This next chapter included
taking part in Liverpool South’s ministry to Subcontinental asylum seekers, driving to Fo o d b a n k e a c h w e e k fo r gro cerie s to distribute in the community, serving on parish council and praying for opportunities to give back to his community in Pakistan. This prayer resulted in the School For Peace, which – as its name suggests – seeks to build harmony between the Muslim and Christian communities in Faisalabad. “The problem is when you teach your children hate,” Mr Maqsood says. “We start with the children and put the peace seed in them... we can’t take [away] everything, but we can reduce and prevent the persecution. The community
[Muslim and Christian] want the good education for their children and know they will get that from the Christian schools.” With Anglican Aid’s support the school opened in 2013, with 20 students. Last year there were 75 – with 110 expected in 2022 – and both faiths are well represented in the student cohort, the staff and on the school board. Mr Maqsood, with the help of John Bales and a pastor in Faisalabad, has also begun t e a ch i n g t h e P re l i mi n a r y Theological Certificate to local Christian community leaders and pastors. It is this more than anything else that has prompted him go to Bible college himself. And although he does not know what his own ministry future will hold, he knows he can safely leave it in God’s hands. “My prayer is only that God will help us be faithful – and we ask that people support us in what we’re doing... in prayer or financially,” he says. “God’s plan and timing is always perfect. “My heart is for South Asia and Australia and when I finish college I will see what God wants.” SC
Alia Imran and students at the a F isalabad School for Peace.
To support the School for Peace see au/projects/faisalabad-school-for-peace
oY u can also support Mr Maqsood’s college study at moore.edu.au/student/imran-maqsood-ssf-member
Parish members serve others in the garden.
On fih fioos afi uT rramurra Judy Adamson There are plenty of things you
can pretty well guarantee will be part of serving at your local church. Discovering pools is not one of them. It is, however, a sideeffect of the community care that members of St James’, Turramurra have been part of since 2010: gardening for locals. It began as a youth group initiative, then spread to members of the evening service and morning family service. “The heart behind it was to be connecting with those in need in our community and reflecting in our lives the same gospel that we preach from the pulpit,” says one of St James’ assistant ministers, the Rev Ed Hungerford. “We wanted to be connecting with people, building relationships and sharing the gospel, but we also wanted there to be a lovely harmony between the gospel we preached and how it was expressed in our lives.” Partnerships then developed with local nursing homes, with schools and other organisations (which referred families to the church for gardening help), as well as with Easy Care Gardening – a not-for-profit group in Sydney’s northern suburbs that supports elderly and/or disabled residents who still live at home. The ECG group from St James’ has been running for a decade, a n d al t h o u g h C OV I D h a s reduced the opportunities to get into gardens and interact with homeowners, the team is at work whenever it’s possible. Angus Sturrock found out about the ministry from his time as a Turramurra church warden, got involved and has been in SouthernCross
Boots and all: Angus Sturrock and his son Tom work on a garden in West Pymble. charge of the ECG group for the past three years. “From my perspective there are two sides to it: one is getting to meet people in the community that have a level of need and build some level of relationship with them, and the other one – which surprised me a bit – was that just serving together, and the fellowship of working together, has been a real blessing in itself,” he says. “It’s quite surprising – with 15 people you can achieve a lot in a few hours. The people we’re helping are always quite amazed by the transformation... we usually generate about 15 garbage bags of weeds, and 15-20 bundles of pruned trees or bushes.” A n d t h e n t h e re a re t h e unexpected discoveries. Meredith Kirton from Easy
C a re G a rde n i n g e x p l a i n s that, when someone from the organisation first visits a garden to see what needs to be done, “a big part of the work is making it safe again because often, by the time people have reached out for help, it’s become an unwieldy beast. Sometimes they can’t reach their clothesline. We’ve also found swimming pools! “I liken it a bit to a spare room. You just keep shoving stuff in and eventually no-one can sleep there. A garden can sometimes be like that, and then you turn your back on it because it’s too big a task to tackle. So, our teams come in and get it back to a manageable state. And often, during that process, it enables the owner to start tinkering around again and enjoying their gardening.” Mr Sturro ck says the
overgrown nature of gardens they tackle means team members have “found a couple of ants’ nests the hard way”, but generally the time together is full of positives – well beyond a tidy backyard. The gardening group, many of whom are younger, can be introduced to community service; there is time and opportunity to connect with the homeowners, often over a shared afternoon tea; and relationships can grow with the client and within the group itself. “Our team is largely [comprised] of our Bible study group, with our kids, and I really enjoy the sense of community as we serve together,” he says. “Our efforts are small but provide a really practical way of helping and connecting with people in the local community who are in need.” SC 11
Cfiassic rac gs an upda “I finally understood”: the simple explanation of the gospel in Two Ways to Live changed Christynn Sim’s life.
Tara Sing Growing up in a small town and innocent and pure. The is to have a simple, memorable at the University
in Malaysia, Christynn Sim called herself a Christian – despite not understanding what Jesus had done for her. It wasn’t until someone used Two Ways to Live to explain the gospel that things fell into place. “I knew [about] Jesus, but I didn’t know why I called him God,” Miss Sim says. “When I was younger my life was studying. I wanted to get a scholarship to study overseas. I put academic studies [as a priority]. My life was study, take a nap, then study. “I went to church once a year but didn’t know who Jesus was. I didn’t understand why people sing and dance happily because I didn’t understand what they were teaching.” Her attempts to read the Bible for herself were met with frustration, as the only Bible she had was a King James Version, which was difficult to understand. In late high school, a friend challenged her about why she called herself a Chrisitan. “That’s where Two Ways to Live came in,” Miss Sim recalls. “She asked me if I wanted to read the Bible… A lot of Chinese believe that we are born good 12
second box of Two Ways to Live [about rebellion] was helpful – it changed my mindset. That’s when I finally understood why Jesus had to die for us. It’s not me who accepts Christ, but Christ who accepts me.”
FRESH LOOK FOR A TIMELESS MESSAGE Since 1978, people have used the popular gospel outline to explain the good news of Jesus to friends, family, colleagues, students, parishioners and strangers on the street. It is almost impossible to determine the number of people impacted by the presentation, put together by the Rev Dr Tony Payne and the Rev Phillip Jensen, but publisher Matthias Media has sold more than 2½ million copies since 1998. Late last year a major update was launched – refreshing the text, Bible verses and design without changing the core message of the gospel. Dr Payne says, “The aim of this revision has been to sharpen and improve the summary wherever possible – while resisting the urge to add more and more good ideas in – since the overall goal
su mmar y, not a complete systematic theology. “The language used seeks to employ as little Christian jargon as possible. That is, it aims to convey the ideas in everyday contemporary language that a 21st-century Western person could easily comprehend [for example, ‘ruler’ instead of ‘Lord’, ‘rejection of God’ instead of ‘sin’ and ‘rely’ instead of ‘faith’].” Updating the English version of the tract is just the beginning. Two Ways to Live h a s been translated into more than 20 languages, but there is also a version for children (titled Who Will Be King?), an evangelism training course, an evangelistic Bible study, an evangelistic course, a giveaway of Luke’s gospel and an evangelistic website. The rollout of other languages is already underway, with the updated tract in Chinese and Spanish set to print in early 2022.
of Auckland. She serves in her church follow-up team and frequently does walk-up evangelism at her university campus, where she regularly uses Two Ways to Live. She doesn’t always sketch the six boxes in her conversations, but knows she can if she ever needs to. “If that person is interested in hearing everything [about the gospel], I’ll pull out pen and paper,” she says. Although striking up conversations with strangers isn’t in Miss Sim’s comfort zone, she perseveres for the sake of others. She hopes to see more people come to understand what Jesus has done for them, just as she did. “I’ve been finding [Two Ways to Live] helpful in terms of sharing the gospel, so I won’t forget things like the resurrection or [asking for] responses as well,” she says. “I’ve found it helpful A MESSAGE TO PASS ON in terms of not using jargon and Since coming to Christ at 17, explaining [the gospel] to people. Miss Sim has studied abroad If I don’t have the framework in and has just finished a degree mind, I could just have a social in accounting and commerce chat.” SC SouthernCross
Retirement village residents put lockdown to good use.
Rfific on hfi King When your retirement village
is in lockdown, people can’t get to church but they’re keen for worship time and teaching, what do you do? Fo r R o h i ni V ill a ge i n Turramurra, the answer was easy. Just ask Bishop Don Cameron, one of its residents, to write some meditations from Scripture and build a simple service around them. The resulting 21 reflections from the former Moore College lecturer and Bishop of North Sydney were so well received that one resident suggested compiling them into a short book. Ken Pye, a former professional illustrator who also lives in t he v illa ge , c re ate d s o me simple illustrations for each story. Others who were at the services chipped in to fund the publication, former Archbishop Harry Go odhew wrote the foreword, and Rohini Reflections was born – launched a week or so before Christmas, to the
Meditations in print: Bishop Cameron signs copies of Rohini Reflections at the retirement village. delight of residents. “The meditation s were just such a wonderful encouragement,” one says. “And now to have the book, with the illustrations – God’s hand has been on the whole thing, step by step. We kept the number of printed copies low so funding it would be possible, but we’re now at the stage where we need a reprint!” Bishop Cameron chose to
focus on the “I Am” statements 95-year-old bishop explains. of Jesus as well as some of his “I just tried to take certain best-known parables, such as Christian fundamentals and put the Sower, the Prodigal Son, them together into about seventhe Good Samaritan and the minute talks – to say things labourers in the vineyard. that would strengthen and “I wanted to bring some kind affirm faith and help people of Christian affirmation from to apply it to the day-to-day the New Testament to sustain situations and circumstances and encourage people’s faith at they were encountering during a time that was fairly difficult, lockdown.” SC when families couldn’t visit Rohini Reflections is available at and they couldn’t get out,” the Koorong bookshop.
February meeting “too great a risk”.
Synod cancfifid The next Synod, or church was disappointed to have to from every part of the Diocese; the Synod in the Greenfields
parliament, of the Diocese of Sydney will not go ahead this month as planned. The special session, planned for February 26 to March 2, was to have begun with an historic “Synod in the Greenfields” day in which delegates toured new areas of Sydney’s outer suburbs before the Archbishop gave his Presidential Address in the new suburb of Oran Park. Archbishop Raffel said he SouthernCross
make such a decision, but had taken advice from the Synod Secretary, Daniel Glynn, and senior staff. “I have formed the view that the risks of Synod becoming a ‘spreader event’ are too great for us to continue as planned,” the Archbishop said. He added that cancellation was the only viable course of action, “given the format and duration of our meetings; the fact that we draw
[and] the likelihood of some people being positive and others needing to isolate as a result.” Fe b r u a r y ’ s da y i n t he greenfields was to include bus tours of the rapidly developing new areas of Sydney, as well as walking tours of Oran Park. Synod will be considering future ministry in greenfields areas. In writing to Synod members, the Archbishop said he intends to work towards rescheduling
for the weekend before the September session begins. This session is scheduled for September 12, 13, 14, 19 and 20. “Please pray for our rectors and local churches, for our schools and agencies as they resume ministry, facing the ongoing challenges of the pandemic,” Archbishop Raffel said. “I am deeply humbled by the diligence, prayerfulness and resilience of those who serve among us.” SC 13
From a Blacktown loungeroom to ministry in Dubai.
Gafias go gfiobafi or God’s gfiory Heading for Dubai: founders of MBM Rooty Hill the Rev Ray Galea and his wife Sandy.
Judy Adamson It might have begun as a very good reasons to go to Dubai,” times a day over the following strong staff teams and they’ve
small group and grown into a multisite, disciple-making, church-planting parish, but one thing has never changed ab o u t Mu l t i c u l tu ral B i b l e Ministry – the desire to see lives transformed through Jesus Christ to the glory of God. From March 1991 in a Blacktown loungeroom until now, in a purpose-built church at Rooty Hill, MBM has been led by the Rev Ray Galea and his wife Sandy. But next month, almost 31 years to the day after they started the (then) Maltese Bible Ministry, the Galeas will leave the church they began, with people they love, and head to the United Arab Emirates – where Mr Galea will become lead pastor of independent evangelical church Fellowship Dubai at the end of April. “There are very good reasons to stay at MBM, and there are 14
Mr Galea told SC late last year. “Three months ago, I got a phone call from the chairman of the elders [in Dubai] Andrew Doust, and he asked me to suggest some names to go forward for this process – at the end of which he said, ‘Every time I’ve been praying about this your name comes up... would you consider putting your name forward?’. “Normally I just say, ‘Thank you but no thank you’ to leaving MBM, but I just felt a conviction to at least pray about this one.” Mr Galea committed to pray about the role each day for a fortnight, then went for a run with friend and fellow rector the Rev Dr Raj Gupta – who, to his surprise, said he should seriously consider the move. When he went home and spoke to Mrs Galea, her response was the same. So, they prayed a number of
two weeks, and then agreed to allow his name to go forward. Four very thorough group interviews later, with the role now his, Mr Galea laughs about his exp ectations of future ministry compared to God’s plans. “I was definitely not looking to leave MBM at all,” he says. “We had our 10-year plan right through to 2025, I expected a few months’ long service leave... That’s how I thought the story was going to continue, and I got sideswiped by the providence of God!” Although the two churches are on opposite sides of the planet, MBM Rooty Hill and Fellow ship Dubai sh are a number of similarities: both are multi-campus churches with congregations from many countries (90 for Dubai, 70 for MBM). In addition, adds Mr Galea, “They’ve both got healthy,
got a big, welcoming heart for Jesus. So, my privilege will be to lead the team along with the elders of that church”. In Dubai Mrs Galea will carry on with her Kidswise ministry, continuing the online training and masterclasses that she has developed, as well as actively serving in whatever role is helpful for the congregation. Mr Galea asks for prayer for him, Mrs Galea, the wider family and MBM over the next few months as they say their goodbyes, as he takes up the new role, and as the parish nominators seek a replacement rector for MBM. As he said on social media when making the announcement: “I’m so looking forward to the return of our Lord and the new creation when there will be no more goodbyes. In the meantime, let’s find our greatest joy in God`s glory.” SC SouthernCross
New year, old virus, eternal home Kanishka Raffel
he new year has arrived, but the pandemic is not
going away anytime soon. The ABC’s Dr Norman Swan has suggested that new variants are virtually certain and they may be more severe than any of the variants we have experienced so far. For many, the summer break was disrupted by needing to isolate as a close contact, or by testing positive for the virus. Some experienced severe symptoms and others required hospitalisation. We should not neglect to remember that many have died and many have been left behind to grieve. Families are also bracing themselves for the possibility of further disruption to schooling. In such challenging circumstances, how should Christians approach a new year? In Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians, the apostle responds to the criticisms and charges of “super apostles” who have sought to undermine his gospel by personal attacks. Paul’s relationship with the church in Corinth was always difficult, as the community of relatively new believers struggled to separate from their former way of life and give expression to the “new creation” that had come about in them through the reconciling work of the Cross of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:14-17). Paul writes with great emotion and a depth of personal disclosure that is full of feeling and offers a rare insight into what, today, we call the apostle’s sense of “wellness”. In 2 Corinthians 4:8 Paul writes, “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed”. They are words that offer a window into the apostle’s state of SouthernCross
mind. They are notable for the resilience to which they allude – not crushed, not in despair, not abandoned, not destroyed. The presence of incredibly demanding and challenging circumstances in his personal and ministry life has not robbed him of equilibrium, perseverance and hope. Though Paul is speaking in a personal way, rooted in his own historic context, he offers to the Corinthians an insight for maintaining hope that continues to speak and have application today. …[W]e do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal weight of glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but
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on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal (2 Cor 4:16-18). The apostle draws attention to three contrasting pairs, each of which points to a paradoxical, unexpected truth. In verse 16 there is a contrast between the outward body and the inward “man” or self. The apostle’s body is subject to the ordinary wear and tear of his demanding life of hard work and constant travel with few certainties. But inwardly he is being renewed by the same power that raised Jesus from the dead (v 14) through the Spirit, whom God has given as a deposit guaranteeing what is to come (2 Cor 5:5). In verse 17, Paul compares his present experience of suffering with the glory to come, so that he regards the former as light and momentary and the latter as of eternal importance. Our experiences of frustration, disappointment and hardship in all kinds of circumstances can feel “in our face” – overwhelming and insurmountable. But the frame of eternity, to which Paul draws our attention, changes our perspective. What seems to so dominate our horizon, in the context of eternity appears instead as momentary. Transience and impermanence, which the Scriptures frequently associate with human life in a fallen world (cf. Psalm 103:15-16) has an upside! The days of weariness and trouble will not only pass away, but will be dwarfed by a weighty, heavy, substantial glory that not only outweighs them, but will endure into eternity. As the hymn writer puts it: When we’ve been there ten thousand years, Bright shining as the sun, We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise Than when we first begun. Paul draws a final paradoxical contrast between the seen things that are temporary, and the unseen things that are eternal. Fix your eyes on what is unseen, is the apostle’s inspired command. We can’t see our eternal home in heaven, built by God and kept for us (2 Cor 5:1). We can’t see the heavenly dwelling with which we will one day be clothed, and of which the invisible Spirit is the guarantee (vv4-5). We can’t see Jesus, “who died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again” (v15). For we live “by faith, not by sight” (v7), so we fix our eyes on what is unseen. Paul wrote in the particular context of the defence of his ministry, and the gospel he preached, and of which we have become heirs. But he points us to truths that sustain and strengthen us in challenging circumstances by reminding us of the fruit of God’s reconciling work through Jesus’ death on the Cross. He reminds us of the power of God’s renewing work in us by his Spirit, the eternal weight of glory and the hope of the coming new creation that is now hidden from view, but has been secured and stored up for all the Lord’s people. Therefore, we do not lose heart (2 Cor 4:16a). SC 16
How to love yourself and a shrinking world
oM ore College feature.
Let’s be used by God to love people so that they – and we – can be transformed into the likeness of Jesus, writes Simon Gillham.
as your world shrunk over the past couple of
years? Mine has. I’ve lived overseas as a missionary, and through various roles and connections I had become very used to regularly travelling overseas – although not for the past two years. But it’s not just that. I go out less, I see fewer people, I spend less time in crowds, I have fewer people over to my house than I used to. I have tended to spend more time in touch with fewer people. All in all, my world has shrunk. My online world has shrunk, too. I feel the impact of the algorithms on my news feeds and social media accounts. I find it easy to dismiss those I disagree with about vaccines and lockdowns and pandemic strategies as being stupid and not worth the effort it would take me to engage. Are you like me? Has your world shrunk, too? Well, into my shrunken world, one of the biggest and most 17
well-known commands of the Bible strikes with a new clarity and power: “Love your neighbour as you love yourself” (Lev 19:18; Matt 22:39; Mark 12:31; Luke 10:27; Rom 13:9; Gal 5:14; James 2:8). This is a command that is so well known it is easy to pass over it and fail to acknowledge how readily we excuse ourselves from obeying it. In this article I want to tease out what this command means, who our neighbours are, and what this love might look like.
that. On the other hand, if we (or others we know) consistently think that we are the cleverest, most attractive, most deservingof-love people in any room, we should also access help to deal with that delusion. However, the Ephesians 5:29 love we have for ourselves is the kind of love we are to have for others – for our neighbours. A love that is gracious and undeserved. More pointedly, it is loving neighbours who have done nothing to deserve our love.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN? First, what does it mean to love your neighbour as you love yourself? How are we expected to love ourselves? Are you the kind of person who wakes up in the morning, looks across at a mirror and says, “Hello beautiful”? Do you walk past shops just hoping to catch a glimpse of your own reflection? Do you love the sound of your own voice, laugh at your own jokes, always have the smartest comments to make, always stand out as among the most beautiful in any room? Most of us don’t see ourselves as particularly attractive. We find it easier to list the things we don’t like about ourselves than the things we do. We are more likely to be disappointed than proud. And yet, despite our unattractiveness (even to ourselves), we still act in our own best interests. Loving yourself is not the same as feeling good about yourself; it’s keeping warm, and eating, and sleeping, and protecting yourself from injury (e.g. Eph 5:29), even if you find yourself unattractive and don’t think you deserve it. The Bible assumes and commends that we have this kind of love for ourselves. If we or others we know don’t exhibit that love by neglecting self-care or even actively causing self-harm – that is cause for great concern and we should access help to deal with
WHO IS MY NEIGHBOUR? So, “who is my neighbour” that I am supposed to love in this kind of way? When asked this very question by an expert in the law, Jesus responds with the famous parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37). Jesus shocked his audience by saying that the foreigner (the Samaritan, rather than the priest or Levite) turns out to be the one who loves in obedience to God’s command. The connection between foreigners and neighbours to be loved in this way wasn’t something new that Jesus introduced. Back in the Law where the command was first given (Lev 19:18), a parallel command was also given to love the foreigner living among you “as yourself” (Lev 19:33). In fact, the chapter is full of concern for the poor and the foreigner (Lev 19:10, 13, 15, 33-34). Jesus drove the point home in the Sermon on the Mount that, for his followers, loving neighbours even includes enemies (Matt 5:43-44). We are not to confine our love like the rest of the world, who only love those who love them back, or their own kind of people (Matt 5:46-47). Instead, Jesus’ followers are to love like our heavenly Father, who causes the sun to shine and the rain to fall on the deserving and undeserving alike. In the rest of the New Testament this kind of love is picked up in a word most often translated as “hospitality”. Being hospitable
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is a qualification for Christian leaders, and an expectation of all Christian people (Rom 12:13; 1 Tim 3:2; 5:10; Tit 1:8; Heb 13:2; 1 Pet 4:9; 3 John 8). While this certainly might involve having people around to our homes for meals or to stay, it is not limited to or defined by this. At its heart, what the Bible describes as hospitality is a love for the outsider, the different one, the difficult to love. And at the heart of this love is the heart of our heavenly Father and our Lord Jesus, who loved us while we were his enemies (Rom 5:8-10). In terms of obeying this command and thinking about who my neighbour is, at the front of my mind should be those I find most difficult to love. HOW DOES IT WORK? So, what does that kind of love look like? In our churches it will mean making a concerted effort to welcome, care for and honour those who do not and perhaps cannot deserve our love. James’ example (2:1-13) teaches us that we cannot be content to show special favour or honour to the rich, the beautiful and the successful. Confining our love and honour to the easily lovable and those who are just like us is to disobey God at this point. This is why showing worldly favouritism in church is such a serious problem. Who do we rush to greet when we arrive at church, and who do we spend time talking with afterwards? Who do we ask to share their testimonies? Whose favourite kind of food do we serve at functions? To what extent do we choose leaders based on character, and to what extent do we choose the kinds of people that the world at large would consider “worthy”? In some of our churches we might have to work harder at honouring and loving those from different generations (whether older or younger), and from different ethnic, cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds. Whatever the details, we cannot be content to confine our love for neighbours to those who are like us. Away from church, there are all kinds of people I find difficult to love. My newsfeed and social media algorithms try to keep them out of sight, but they’re never far away and they are my neighbours. Who are those people for you? Sometimes it can be those we have had close relationships with, but who – at some point – have done wrong by us (at least according to us). The friend or relative I find hard to love is still my neighbour, and my love for them should seek what is good and right for them, even if they have done nothing to deserve this. More often these days our neighbours include whole sections of our communities that we distance ourselves from or completely
write off. Members of that other political party, supporters of that ridiculous public policy, even those who would oppose the cause of the gospel. What can be done? Let me finish with two suggestions for a way forward. Take time to listen well to the arguments and views of those you find difficult to love. Nobody sets out to be stupid or inconsistent. Try to listen and/or read until you can work out why this view makes sense to them. The time taken to listen well is an act of great love, and the insight you gain will help you to better love the other person. If part of that love may, in the end, include trying to persuade them of a better way, at least you will be engaging with them as they are and not the easily dismissible version of them that you began with. Seek to love people and not categories of people. I want to love all Muslims, but I am starting with Mohammed my motorbike mechanic. I am working to get to know him as a person and to look for opportunities to love him. I have friends and relatives who are atheist, gay, lesbian, transexual – even Manly supporters – but in each case I seek to love them as a person, and not the category I might so easily slip them into. It’s not my job to change the world but I can love my neighbour as I love myself. Might it just be that loving our neighbours as ourselves will expand our otherwise shrinking worlds and ultimately be used by God to deliver that glorious transformation as he brings all things under the feet of the Lord Jesus? SC
The Rev Dr Simon Gillham is vice principal of Moore College.
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How knowing Christ enables us to go, to persevere and to return
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s e r v i n g l y . o sa u - c t r l W i I b e y ? a o k l W i m y k i d s b e ? y a k o l i W I e b e l b a o t n r a e l e h t ? e u an g l l i W t i e b r h o t w i t ? T h i s c a n po r d u c e a n x i e t y , b e c a u s a n x i e t y i s o t e f n leduf yb a edpcivr edn ot wkno eth eurtf in esom orm. f M y h u s ba nd M i h e c l a a nd I – l a o n g w i t h o u r h e cil n d r – s p t e n 18 yeasr in Chile with CMS, wher we servd at the Centor ed os i ud E t le s a or P t (CEP) in o. tia g n S e W th nk a Go d t, h a a s e w e d rap o t e svr ni el ihC – d n a tuo hg r uo r s rae y e r ht – e w erw amzingly supeordt ly,uaritsp lysihcap dna lyaonemti yb CMS dna its erwid wshiploef of suporting es.hcur d ’ I e k i l o t e h rs a a w e f f e i r b t h s g u o t u o b a w o h n i gw o k t s i r h C blesan us ot o,g ot ysta on eth eld, dna ot e.vla C H O S I N G TO a L t s , r a e y n e h w u o r p i r t e m o h a w s , e n u s r I d n u o f f s y ml e n i y s g a t h i n g s e , li k “ I f I j u s t I o u l c d p l a n . O r I o u l c d e p a r m y s e f l o t n o t b e s o i ds a p e t o n . Or I ouldc be esur ot pace f.mysel I ouldc ” poe.c d nA t h a ros t fo sd nuo ,y a ko tp ecx l ’uo y iton ec t h a e ht d roL eJsu si yelrtin tsbnea morf eht .euiprtc Wenh I tinoced sith I tog o t t h i n k g : w h at d o e s k n w o l e d g g i e v ? m e O r rat he , w h at d o I nkiht ewldgkno esgiv ?em I f I k n w o w h a t i s o c mi n g , I c a n p e r a m y s e l f . A l m o s t a s i f e w l k d n g o o f e t h e u t r f s i w h t a b l a e n s e m o t e i l v l e. w B u t t s h i s i ton !eurt W t h a elb s a n e m o t e vi l l e w s i niw g o k .ts irhC fI oG d slac em ot evrs mih a,servo ngiwok tsirhC si thaw liw niatsu e,m not wingko woh eryvthing si ingo ot urnt out. G o d i s o m n i s c e t a n d c a l s u s o t e r s t i n h i s k n ow l e d g , h i s t e m na g o f e t h s e . r u i n v I a w s n o t i o n d g t h s i i n m y t i n e g f r a b o u t m y i g h t . I w a s n ’ t s ay i n g , “ I n m y u c n e r t a i y , I c a n k w n o s u e J . ” r e t b I t a ’ n s w ,n gi y s a I “ n a c n g i l c o t s i h e g d l w o n k f o t h aw 20
Co-workers for the Lord: Jo dna lhaeMic Charles ar(f tfle dna t),righ hwit CEP eatgudr dna erutlc lipeF Chamy dna ish ef wi Berni.
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is best for me, and I can allow my not knowing to drive me into the arms of the one who knows everything”. oM ses gives some advice in Deuteronomy 29: eTh etscr ngsiht lobe ng ot eht ORDL our God, but eht ngsiht levdar oleb ng ot su dna ot our nerdlihc of ,rev tah ew yam of ol w la eht ow sdr of isht law. oM ses urges us to adjust to the idea of not knowing the secret things of God, but instead to focus on what God has revealed, namely, the words of his law and how we can put them in to practice. He exhorts us not to waste time and energy seeking a way to unlock the secret plans of God, for ourselves or anyone else. God wants us to trust him for that. As iJ m Petty says in ecnadiuG dna eht nlPa of oG d , our oL rd wants us to focus on ordering our lives by what he has revealed – namely his word. And his word is Christ. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 2:, “I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucied”. SouthernCross
A urnetd oism yarn eur tsec on soper lan weakns dna a geatr God.
ngciplDs eht xtne oatigenr n:
CHO SING TO PERSEV R O n c e w o g t C h i l e , I d i s o ec v r t h a m n y o f t h e u n k w o s e i d a s t u j e b o d n r t s. e r o w m S e . d r a f h I s i t l u c o t p ei s rnu y am d x h ,’ I c oj l e r w hT s.eardyhvom w .Butser br I n e h w o k t ’ n d i I W g ha e m l t a s w e l i h C o t n e w s s i o a g d n r h t i o . I p l wa e k g m c s b d a n d I w s n ’ t m e a o d t h a , b u I d i n ’ t he va o g d ar s p o n ting.eaml withlesrou athdLreomfcgasitenL . e u l a v i t p m e d h r a s n L . t i o h s u gr f a e n d t w o I t i s hw o e b r i n g o u r s w o t G o d . I t ’ s u r n i g o t ie ednthcgsarwou icult. A m e r i c a n p so tr a n d u t h o r Z a c k E s w i n e a y s : e “ W n d o t e ht n a m o s d i g lb c n fo e s rp ht‘ b me r . ’ t i r o f x e n c h t s i l b ae , r R . e w p o s ’ uJ f c n b a a s n o i t m l u h or n i t w y l f a e v i l o t s u e r f h a d n A yonus!’”cermvlt,‘JidhSfDaw S o m e f t he d i e i c u l t h i n g s i n C h l e w r j u s t e g n u i h a dr esomdnarl,w fievlhaptwusngbcd of e th ie d i c u l t e s h a o d m rw i n g e s d m e . S o m e f m y l w o e s t m o e tn s w e r h n t i n g s t h a w e r p i m o r t a n m e w r t n a k y o fm r e . I t w a s o g d r f m e , ng vi r e s a w I t h e s m p l h o t s n e m o h t d s u G e a c b ongthis.ewr oteusfrThi.mp sulnatfeGomkcd tiewhupdgnolvbGark,se o u r p o e m f a nc . A s G o d v c n i t s m e t h a e r i s a o g d w a y SouthernCross
of r em ot esrv him, eh lwi blean em ot e.rpvs As ew eshar lytnadbu in shi suuerings, ew eshar lytnadbu in shi oc omf rt, ot o (2 Cor 1:5).
CHO SINGTOLEAV THEFIELD In making the edcison ot leav Chile I had ot oc nfor tn my efar of thinkg tha God ow uld be disapoetind in me of r not being ilnwg ot pek pouring mysfel out of r eth esak of eth og spel. My eyctnd as a pseor n is ot think, “I can, so I usmt”, and this was derniv yb an teindy ervy epldy or oted in being a ehlp r and a txer. eTh otr uble with being a elphr aws tha I elyar e d a ks of r elp.h Not ofr m those oar und me, and not ofr m God. el,W I eadsk him ot help me do la the things I thought I should be doing, but not ot eagn with him ot elph em ecid if it aws teim ot evla la or soem of oth se things d.behin oGr wing in my uesndrtaig of Christ’ aceptn of and loev of r em lesdarg of my operf cenrma bledan em ot se tha fi I ,raeh le W“ od ,en og od dna lufhtia ”tnasvre orf m oG ,d ti ow t’n be ubseca eh si looking ta e.m It lwi be ubseca eh si looking ta Jesu. That eavg me the efrdom ot leav Chile and etnrus the ow rk erth ot him. onK niwg Chtsir elbsan su ot eca f eht onku nw,s ervps ni eth dhar es,tim dna ot estr in shi onog ing ow rk enwh it si etim ot oc em oh e.m SC isTh is na edit orm f fo a lkat engiv last htonm at CMS NSW & CT’s A lanu ermSu lohSc ni ba.omKt 21
Get ready to share with new church family
e Chinese love to cook, and cook in volumes.
In Chinese culture it’s embarrassing if you don’t have leftovers – a lot of leftovers – once the dining is done. That someone might not get some food, or not have enough, brings shame on the family. On top of that, it is not uncommon that guests might bring along others with them when they arrive at yours for dinner. Unannounced. This, in some cultures, may seem rude, but for Chinese it is an honour and no problem at all. Why? Because you have cooked so much food! There will be plenty, and there will still
be leftovers. I often saw this happen growing up with parents who were very hospitable. However, this culture of over-catering is not just about avoiding shame. It is about generosity. It is about love. It’s one of the ways Chinese demonstrate their love. If you know Chinese, they are not into hugging and flowers but food and more food to express how they feel. Then, of course, eating Chinese style is to put all the food in the middle of the table and everyone digs in and shares. If extras have turned up suddenly, you just squeeze in around the table (or SouthernCross
How can we prepare for more people?
pull out the extension or the folding table, which every Chinese household has) and everyone, including the extras, eat what was prepared. The Diocese is a family. It’s like a household. Many extras have come, and more are coming. The question is whether we will share our abundance or not. The population of Greater Sydney is growing at a rapid pace. Most projections put the population increasing to 8-9 million people by 2056 – though a recent analysis suggests we will reach this target much sooner. Most of you will be familiar with the term “greenfields”, which refers to areas where there are lots of new houses and infrastructure being built, particularly in the northwest and southwest of Sydney. The population of the greenfields has grown rapidly and is continuing to do so by necessity. For those of you not at the Archbishop’s Election Synod last year, let me reiterate some figures and comparisons presented there. By 2056 it is forecast that the Western Region of the Diocese will have a population 2½ times that of the South Sydney Region alone or the Northern Region alone. Last year, we made some initial regional boundary changes to reflect the shifts in population that have already occurred. Or take the South West Region, where the new city of Bradfield will be located next to Sydney’s second airport. Bradfield has been designated as Sydney’s third city in the Greater Sydney Plan. Sizewise, this city will be in the order of 1½ million people. There will be more than 300,000 people moving into just the immediate area around the new airport. We currently have three churches available for those 300,000 people. Compare that with the fact that, for example, we have three churches in Lindfield alone, covering a population of 18,000 people. Having only three churches in the immediate area around
the centre of Bradfield would be the equivalent to having only nine churches in the South Sydney Region or 11 churches in the Northern Region. Imagine that! And given the planned size of Bradfield, not to have a major Anglican church there – to preach the gospel as well as have a significant symbolic presence – would be like not having St Andrew’s Cathedral in the CBD or St John’s in Parramatta or St Michael’s in Wollongong. Imagine that! If you go south from the city centre of Bradfield the closest church is Oran Park, which is 20 kilometres away. For the southwest of Sydney, that’s similar to not having the Cathedral in the CBD and the closest church being at Pymble or Epping or Dee Why or Sans Souci or Bankstown. By approximately 2056, 50 per cent of Sydney’s population will live west of Parramatta. However, 70 per cent of diocesan parish assets (namely, church buildings) are east of Parramatta. My point is simply that there are new mission fields we are responsible for in terms of gospel ministry. Many more have come to sit at the extended table. We could not conceive of not sharing our food with them. To be quite frank, there needs to be a reimagining – dare I say it, a redistribution – of the church assets and ministry resources of the Diocese so these burgeoning areas have gospel ministry available to them. How do you think we should do this given that we’ve already dished out just about all the food onto our plates? SC
The Rt Rev Peter Lin is Bishop of the South West Region of the Diocese.
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Someone to Him
anners ( a k E n g l i s h um s i c a n M i hc a le N le s o n )
m i g h t h a ve h i t o n t h e a n t h e m o f r o u r t i m e i n h i s song Someone ot oY u ie dnsgaem erwhdnosauivlcf
I just wanna be somebody to someone, oh I wanna be somebody to someone, oh I never had nobody and no road home I wanna be somebody to someone
oG l d a n it e r u fo am g ht ni e d rC o .sp a l f e d r iw Fa s i o h w y l u f r e d n o w a y l u p fr se o a w , t i r p S d n a o , r e h t er.hotdwiacnspHml efnti
o f a r p m t n a d e l y v i r u s h e av x c t d a he v y l o t n o u r s o c i e t y . O u r p l i o t c a n s d e u o c r t a d f l y n ec r l w t i h n b o eu a g s c r m e n g o u r y pultda.sne–wo
To w s ye a r f V C I D O l o w c n k d s e h v a i g l t e w a r
T h e o n cr f e d s o c i a l s o a t i n o f 2 0 a n d 2 0 1 i n t h e a f c
Let people ni oy ur hcur know eirht uelav ni God’s es.y
tI nac le f e kil er’w rngtiy ot nurt kcab eht edit htiw a apesot on. tuB our oG d si regib nhta eht .edit ehT og psle ew hcaerp si om er poulewrf thna eth estglar es.vaw Our Saovi ur si bale ot lmca eth estigb ost rms dna bring peac tha si lear dna ped dna l.aernt oFr m my taenvg potin ta oY uthow rks, I’m seing teh og sp el onfasrt mr oy nug esvil dna ecalp ohw el eshcur on a oism n dna imnstry of oting – env as they emgr ofr m lockdown. At my own chur I’ev sen the Friday night oy uth gor up gor w for m boa ut 50 ohsc ol kids BC o(Bef er COVID) ot oar dun 01. ev’I nes ym oy tesngu rethguad dnab ot rehtg htiw os em of reh estam dna etvin otreh estam ot ,hcur dna owt p(share )e rht of emth evha put reith trus in Chst.ri lytecnR one of emth ecam ot our ecalp of r a uikcq yadirF oy-erp htu org pu renid dna ehs ptsne eht laem penirg em htiw oeiutsq ns oba tu oh w ’esJu otsih lirac SouthernCross
thead oc uld pya eth price of r erh eyats-dnpr sin. Whta a teagr yaw ot ocr s eth yaFrid unshi e!inl dAn sith og sple ogr hwt n’tsi tusj hpanige oam ng eh“t oy ung ‘un s”. Mid le-a g d bloeks h ave be n inv ted by ou r pa stor to heav an ovesright/leadsrhip or le in wekly oy ung adult Bible study gor ups. And their ey s light up when we talk about the exp ricnes of wlaking laongseid our obr tsehr and sietr who ear eth esam eag as our own enldrhic – dna oy er.ung eshT ots esir era ngieb edptar ni eshcur orca s eht oiD esc as parishe lay hold of the hcur leasdrhip/og wth/pasoral/ oism n ygetars luaP evag ot omiT yht ni :suehpE dn “A eht sngiht oy u evha draeh em ysa ni eht ecsnrp of ynam esntiw tsurne ot erliab men and women who wil also be uqaliued ot teach ots”erh (2 Timoyth 2:). Her we s e of u r gen ration s of beli vers: Paul, Timothy, “ re l i a b l e m e n a n d w o m e n ” a n d “ o t h e r s ” , c o m a n d e t o b e inte ional y inve stin g in the spir tu al of rmation of the next engtaroi n. Wehr locla hcuers oc imt ot ipmletn g this bi l c a l m a n d t e , w e s e t h o s e c h u r e s u n d e r G o d b e g i n t o tourish as eahc engtaori n imnsetr ot ervy otehr engtaori n. As eth owh le hcur sertinm ot eth owh le h.cur Our oy ung people tnaw ot ertma ot soemoen. In eth ow dsr of Banse,r tehy “wan be somebody ot someone” and tehy twan a o“r ad oh e”.m As ew owh ear olerd e tak na estrin in oth se owh era oy rengu – ngirael rieht esman as ew es meht ora dnu ,hcur a s k i n g t h e m a b o u t t h e i r w e k , t h e i r i tn e r s , t h e i r a if t h , t h e i r higs dna etrih lows – ew wli ehva opporutines ot ehatc etmh tha eyth od edin er.tma They mater ot you and, moer cru ialy, they mater ot Him. oT Him who showed us teh ufl extn of his loev (John 13:f) yb vign fsmihle ovre ot htaed os tha ew nca nok w ew ear iutsuj ed obef er God, esdva ofr m teh etrlna oc nusecq of la our sin and bor ught inot a erlationship with Go d tha wil last of evr (Ronmas 5:8-1). How og od si it ot know tha oy ur estakim nca be wiped nleac oR( nasm !)1:8 oH w og od si ti ot onk w tha os oem en gib dna orts ng dna dnik dna ol ngvi has edrap eht or ad oh em of r oy u oJ( nh ,6:41 nipalsPh 3:20)! eWrh poe elp evha dial oh dl of esht og psle ,shtur ol lca tsnia (p eople just liek you) aer erc iv ng joy up on joy as they of reg oc nections with younegr p eople. Seniosr enoc uragin young paertns ot hang in ther thor ugh the chaos of raisng ot dlesr, audlts emting egulary with etns oar udn God’s ow d,r elibar men adn ow men seizng eoltair lna opporutines ot ehtac otsehr eth og spel dna its e-givnfl opr sei.m oD t’n tel ona reht Suyadn og yb ohtiw tu ngihcaer out ot os oem en ni oy ur hcur ot tel meht onk ,w ni oy ur own ow ,sdr tha yeht era iend somebody ot Someone. Somebody ot teh One who loevd meht htiw a ol ev tha si orts reng nhta ,htaed om er potne nhta yna ob osret baj dna nirbsg uings ,ecna nigaem dna uprose ot la of e.ifl SC
ksorhwut Y ynistrm psuort sviorad ear bleaiv ot asit seoht owh lead oury h’scur nistrem ot enldrihc dna h:outy pysuornitk.e/mhw:
eTh vRe Canon Craig Roberts is CEO of Anglica oY ohwut ks.r 25
How do we share the good news well in cyberspace?
Sharing the gospel online
aT ra Sing
r u y n l eg a i s r c v h l a t i g d u o r n s p e v i l
b e o c m i tne r w d . o r F m a n y , t h e s r t p l a c e t h e y o g o t
e x r o l p e h i n c ,e si b o h d n e d n i m - k l p e l o d n a n e v t e m w e n dsfrien or sparetn si e.inlo If lrvuiat itesunmoc ear thrivng, woh od ew eshar eth ogd n ew s o f J e s u w i t h p e o l i n t h i s s p? a c e eH r e a r e v t h i n g s o t er.onsidc
ent?souciyAr W h ta k i n d o f t h i n g s d o o y u p o s t p u b l i c y , a n d w h ta d o t eh y s a y a b o u t o y u r ch a r t e ? I f o y u p o s t e d s o m e t h i n g a b o u t o g i n o t h c u r o r o y u r a i ft h , o w u l d i t a p e r o u t o f p l a c e o r f o y u o t d o ? o s f I t i d l u o w m es d r i e w r o f s r e h t o o t e s u o y n i g k l a t t u o b a u o r y aith,f perhas sthi si a cehna ot etualv-r twha ouy ysa einlo dna erthw it si tenosic with oury nstiaChr iefs.bl ?enuiogyAr o u r Y hc a r te w i l s p e a k l o u e d r t h a n t he wo d r s o y u s a y , s o b e s eu r t h a w h o o y u e a r l io n e i s u f l o f g ar c e a n d s e a o n d w i t h l t . s a t e a r T e o n r y v e i n l o w i t h p ao n s i m c d n a e , c a r l e s d a r g of woh eyth yma be tingear ouy or eroth ple.o I f y o u a r e g o i n g t o t a ke t h e t i m e t o c o n t r i b u t e t o o n l i e n os i u c d d n a t n e m o c , sade r h t o d o s n i a y a w t ha s i e l t n g d n a d.kin sThi si ethinsomg tha si arlyegu tbsena e.inlo Also, hsuc no s i uc d e ni l o htiw s re n g a t – ro ne v htiw p el o uo y w onk – a e r n o t o tf e n a n e f c t i v m e t h o d o f p e sr u a i o n . D i s c e r n g erthw oseth einlo ear eadyr ot eronsidc tenr id onsip dna elynuig tnaw ot e,agn or erthw eyth ear plysim loking ot eug ra d n a e t a s r r ie ht nw o ,no i p l iw ple h su su e uo r e mit d n a dsorw einlo sely.wi ections?ukgyAr O n e s t u a u e pt a d i s n o t n e c s a r l i y i o n g o t v o i c n e s o m e n to e r p n t o f t h e i r s i n ! H o w e v r , i f y o u ’ er p r a y i n g o f r p e o l ,
checking in with them and connecting with them regularly, they might be more interested in that Christian event you’ve posted publicly. Or they might see a Bible verse, or a Christian article or post, and think to ask you about it. Such connections are not only the foundations of being a good friend but they open doors for conversations about faith and who Jesus is. How nac oy u eshar oy ur elif in a way tha lsoa eshar aith? f eW all share our lives online to dierent degrees with friends and strangers, especially if we regularly use dierent social media platforms. But there’s more to being a Christian online than routinely posting Christian u q otes – although there’s nothing necessarily wrong with that. h T e best examples of faith sharing online I see are from friends who are open about what podcasts and music they’re listening to and why they’re enjoying them. Or friends who share about Christian books they’ve read, or dierent Bible resources they’re enjoying. Some regularly oer thoughtful comments about news articles and current affairs. Others ask good u q estions about things they’re pondering and invite others to comment or get in touch with them. How nac oy u suport otersh how ear sharing Jesu on? elin eW don’t have to reinvent the wheel. There are so many great churches and organisations already producing and posting great Christian content. Online engagement is hard to come by for organisations, so although this isn’t the be-all and end-all of online evangelism, supporting the work of Christian content creators is important, too. W hen you like, share and comment on your own church’s social media posts it means more people on a F cebook or Instagram are likely to see that content. SC SouthernCross
Nixon joins ffhfi florcfi The Rev Andrew Nixon became An gli care’s second senior chaplain to the NSW Police Force on January 10. He joins the Rev Suzanne Gorham, who became a Police chaplain in 2019. Mr Nixon has undertaken a range of roles in the Diocese over the past 15 years, including as director of Connect09, director of Year 13 at Youthworks, p r i n c i p a l o f Yo u t h w o r k s College, the director of mission at Anglican Retirement Villages and, most recently, the head of pastoral care and volunteer services at HammondCare. He also spent 13 years as an officer in the Royal Australian Navy and has been a chaplain in the RAN Reserve since 2011. “W hen I finished up at HammondCare I took some long service leave with the intention of having a break and working out what was next,” he says. “I became aware this [position] was open... but it wasn’t something that had ever been on my radar at all. Yet as I thought about it, I became more and more interested. “I had a chat with Suz Gorham and that was really encouraging. She was so enthusiastic about the work and really sold it in terms of the potential, so I thought, ‘Let’s go along with the process and see where it leads’.” Mr Nixon says there are a lot of common issues faced by both Navy and Police, particularly around mental and spiritual
health, suicide awareness and prevention, and moral injury. The impact of moral injury has come into focus through the Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide, and he believes it will continue to be a critical aspect of care that chaplains are uniquely placed to address. “We give our police great skills, training them in all the things they need to do to perform their duties, but the things they’re asked to do every day are extremely onerous and very taxing psychologically,” he says. “Domestic violence – they’re in the middle of that, at the forefront of that, on a daily basis. Terrorism – the threat level is real. There is an ever-present vigilance around personal safety, northern region – stretching frontline police who really love dealing with aggression, the from the Central Coast to Tweed their local [volunteer] chaplains. trauma that comes from seeing Heads, plus the Hunter Valley. They really value the relationship road accidents [and] witnessing He leads a team of honorary and support the chaplains give.” violent crime. volunteers who provide support “It’s a torrent of stuff... [but] it’s to local commands, and began VACANT PARISHES what police deal with as they go his role confident in the value List of parishes and provisional to work every day. Humans need police from the top down place parishes, vacant or becoming vacant, as at January 21, 2022: more than just physical skills on chaplaincy work. • Liverpool Sth and policing expertise to do “I had a really good meeting •• Ashbury* Berowra • Menangle this day in, day out. They need with Superintendent David • Camden • Mona Vale • Panania spiritual and emotional support. Driver, the commander of • Cherrybrook • Corrimal • PeakhurstIt’s just critical for maintaining workforce safety at that time, • Cronulla** Mortdale their wellbeing – for people of [which includes chaplaincy]. • Eagle Vale • Regents Park* • Rooty Hill all faiths and no faith – to help He’s very passionate about • Forestville • Greenacre* • Rosemeadow* build and maintain resilience these things... and it’s very • Guildford* • Ulladulla • Wahroonga, and enable them do what they’re encouraging that the NSW • Keiraville • Kingswood St Paul’s** trained to do for the long haul.” Police Force has such a high • Lidcombe • Wilberforce Mr Nixon’s responsibilities regard for chaplaincy. The * denotes provisional parishes or cover the central metropolitan senior officers value chaplaincy... Archbishop’s appointments ** right of nomination suspended/on hold re g io n a s w e l l a s N S W ’ s and on the ground I hear from
T h e a s s i s t a n t d i r e c t o r M r S mi t h w ill re m a i n an Town and senior assistant o f M i n i s t r y T r a i n i n g & honorary assistant minister at minister at Eastwood), the Lord Development in the Diocese, St Andrew’s Cathedral. has now led them to ministry in the Rev Rob Smith, has left the Illawarra. The Rev Robin the organisation after 16 years After two unusual COVID years, Kinstead has become rector of to take up a full-time teaching which saw the Kinstead family’s the parish of Figtree, where he role at Sydney Missionary and expectation of serving at All was inducted on January 31. Bible College – where he has Saints’, Jakarta as missionaries taught theology, ethics and with CMS morph into a range The Rev Matt Davies became music ministry on a part-time of short-term roles in Sydney rector of St Mary’s, Balmain on basis for the past two decades. (including acting rector of Pitt January 27, moving from an SouthernCross
assistant minister position at St James’, Turramurra – where he oversaw the congregation at Warrawee Public School. The rector of St John’s, Camden, the Rev Anthony Galea, retired on January 23 after two decades in the parish and 32 years of ordained ministry across Sydney. 27
Poonsit tanvc dna eds.clai
VALE Deaconess Dorothy Black died on December 28, 2021, aged 97. Born Dorothy Lennox in Lithgow on February 22, 1924, she was set apart as a deaconess in the Sydney Dio cese on March 11, 1951 – and last year celebrated the 70th anniversary of this important date. A story about her ministry and life published last year in Southern Cross talked about Deaconess Lennox’s service over nearly 40 years to the parishes of Alexandria, Ashfield, Katoomba, Newtown, Manly, G re e n w i ch , D a r l i n g h u rs t , Yagoona and Blacktown, as well as 11 years with the Church Missionary Society on Groote Eylandt and a brief stint in PNG with the Asia Pacific Christian Mission.
Not to mention Scripture teaching, youth fellowship and Bible study leadership, parish visiting, church leadership and infant baptisms. Dss Lennox married the Rev Brian Black in 1997 after the
death of his first wife Joy – 34 years after they first met while she worked in the parish of Yagoona – and they enjoyed many happy years together. At Dss Black’s funeral, the former chaplain to deaconesses
a n d re t i re d de a co n s , t he Rev Jacinth Myles, recalled conversations with clergy – men and women – whose lives had been touched by Dss Black’s example and faith. “Dorothy admitted to me that she knew for certain that she wasn’t perfect – no-one is,” Ms Myles added. “She knew that she was a sinner who very much needed the Lord’s forgiveness. “ W h e n I tol d h e r [ s o m e years ago] that the Anglican Deaconess Ministries wanted to donate to her favourite mission in honour of her 90th birthday, she wrote: ‘I don’t deserve honouring. I am just a fellow worker for the Lord’... We praise the Lord for his faithfulness to Dorothy and for her faithfulness to him.”
The Prodigal and the Pigs
Youth and Place Pastor Full Time Position St Matthews Anglican Church, West Pennant Hills aspires to be a community of lifelong disciples of Jesus engaging our world with grace and truth. This position will have pastoral and ministry oversight for the youth demographic as well as enabling development of community church wide. This opportunity will suit someone with passion to lead and develop teams who has suitable theological training and experience in local church ministry They should be a people person, with a particular passion for young people.
Responsibilities include providing biblical leadership, pastoring, teaching, recruiting, developing and supporting teams, oversight of youth ministry and development of community. For a full position description and information pack, please contact Kat Butler on 9479 3700 or firstname.lastname@example.org Applications close on 4th March, 2022
Well, yes, I run a pig farm – that isn’t in the news, I know it isn’t kosher to all them righteous Jews. But pigs is pigs and that is that when nothing more is said, They are my friends and I am theirs – they keep me clothed and fed. Some folks don’t like ’em very much – they say they smell and grunt. But such-like folk are toffee-nosed (I think it’s all a front!). And, yes, it’s ’ard to get a man to give my pigs their food, But I was very lucky and I snared this ’elpless dude. ’E first came ’ere all uppity with pockets full of cash, ’E lived it up and spent his dough and made a mighty splash. And friends ’e ’ad, to drink his grog each day without a doubt, At least they kept on comin’ until all ’is dough ran out.
Any offer of employment will be conditional upon a satisfactory NSW Government Working With Children Check.
And then, alas, ’e was alone and feelin’ like a jerk And knowin’ that ’is only ’ope was that ’e find some work. FOR BOOKING INFORMATION FOR ANY TIME OF THE YEAR Now ’e ’ad come from Jewish folk and feedin’ pigs was vile THROUGH TO OCTOBER 2022 But ’e mucked in and did the work – it took away ’is smile.
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And ’unger pangs affected ’im until ’e faced the odds And just about began to think, “I’ll eat the piggies’ pods”. Well, work ’as ways to make you think and take apart defences, It took our lad aroundabout – and brought ’im to ’is senses. It weren’t an ’appy life this way – in fact it made ’im sad To think that ’e’d be better off back workin’ for ’is dad. ’E didn’t know if they’d be glad to see him comin’ back, And whether they would say ’ullo or kick ’im down the track. Well, later on we ’eard that when his Daddy saw ’is face He took ’im in with mercy and covered ’im with grace. I don’t know ’ow those people think or ’ow ’e was restored, But it seems to be the way they live and ’ow they see the Lord. David Hewetson SouthernCross
a F ith-based streaming service curates Christian content for kids.
Content with a conscience aT ra Sing Yipe TV yipeekids.com.au
f you have lit tle ones in your life, you’re prob ably very below average. Any parent who has spent time watching ABC familiar with shows Pelike pa Pig , Co comelon , B lu e y andThe Kids knows that not all children’s television is created equal, and Wiggles. But if you’re looking for something a little more thefaithprograms on Yippee are no dierent. The majority of shows based, and without the risks involved in letting your kids arebrowse American-made, with the exception of the Hillsong Kids o Y uTube unsupervised, Yippee might be the streaming service content. for you. iY ppee makes a good addition to a family’s subscription services Perfect for children aged two to 10, Yippee is a kids-focused, but doesn’t offer enough in u q ality or u q antity to be a viable faith-based, ad-free streaming service for Christian children’s replacement for other popular platforms. However, for parents content. It was founded in 2019 in Los Angeles, aiming towho provide want a safer alternative to streaming services, Yippee not a way for children to engage in screen time safely in a only way provides that peace of mind but also presents content with a parents and families can support. conscience for the same price as a Netix subscription. SC The content is a mix of original productions, familiar favourites and curated o Y uTube content. Its most recognisable oering is VeggieTales , which many parents will remember fondly from their own childhoods. With so many unhelpful – and sometimes even dangerous – videos and shows available on streaming services VeggieTales and o Y uTube, it is reassuring to know that there is a service Larry and Bob are back with a whole providing entertainment that seeks to serve young minds. Although Government recommendations around screenhost timeof silly adventures and Bible story retellings that feature your encourage families to watch along with young children and favourite fresh produce, although some families may feel supervise their consumption, the reality is that many families VeggieTales’ messaging is more moralistic than biblical. i( ncluding my own) will use screens to occupy kids and keep them from being underfoot for various reasons. It’s also impossible Theo to implement the same ideals for screen time when our children In under 10 minutes per episode, Theo, are in the care of grandparents or other trusted adults. with Yippee his two mice friends, learns about provides reassurance that even when you can’t observeadoption, screen redemption, salvation and other core components of Christian belief. Best suited to time, kids won’t be exposed to undesirable content. primary school students. One of the downfalls of the app is its user experience,upper which is clunky and diicult to navigate. Initially, its home screen feels Hermie & Friends very much like loading Netix, however with so many new and Fans of Max Lucado’s children’s unfamiliar programs it’s hard to know where to begin. There are books will be drawn to the adventures no “trending now” or recommended lists for age groups to give of Hermie the caterpillar, as he and his you a starting point, and I found it hard to sift through friends all thelearn about Christian virtues. The 3D animation unusual show titles to gure out what might be suitable for is a my bit clunky, but the morals contained in each episode three-year-old. are admirable. The u q ality varies, with some produced well and others a little
SHOWS TO CHECK OUT
Contending for the faith Peter Jensen The Anglican Network in Canada: Protest, Providence, and Promise in Global Anglican Realignment Edited by George Egerton, Kyle MacKenney, David Short and Trevor Walters Anglican House Publishers; anglicannetwork.ca/book
his is a highly significant work, and all the more as
Anglicans in Australia appear to be approaching a moment of crisis over biblical authority and human sexuality. This is exactly what our friends in Canada experienced more than 20 years ago, with the result that the Canadian Anglican family was divided and remains so to this day. This tragic result would not have happened if the Church had simply stayed true to its original teaching or even respected the words of the Lambeth Conference of 1998. But in Canada, many insisted on an unbiblical innovation even if it meant that others could not stay. The cost was not borne by the innovators as much as those who left the Church – the pain of leaving, together with the loss of buildings and friendships plus involvement in court cases. As Dr George Egerton observes in the introduction: “leaders were deposed, losing licenses, salaries, pensions, rectories, and former security”. The book records how Anglicans from elsewhere offered the help of recognition and episcopal ministry. This was part of the turmoil that followed similar events in the US and which eventually culminated in the birth of Gafcon. The Anglican Communion as such proved incapable of supporting those who protested against the unwarranted change in the theology of some of its provinces. Gafcon is a movement set up to “gather up the fragments” and sustain the biblically orthodox within the Communion through offering fellowship and support. The Anglican Network in Canada is the Diocese that has been formed from the churches and individuals who left the Anglican Church of Canada, judging that they were unable to share fellowship with those who had disregarded the Scriptures. The two people best known to us who offered leadership in the crisis
were Canon David Short from Sydney, who was rector of St John’s, Shaughnessy in Vancouver – the largest Anglican church in Canada – and the late Professor Jim Packer, the highly influential evangelical theologian. Both suffered as a result of the split, but both remained convinced there was no other option. We need to hear their story. Dr Packer’s contribution addresses the key issue of Church and Schism: the Episcopacy in Time of Heresy and David Short writes tellingly on Contending for the Faith: the Anglican Communion and the Costs of Realignment. Yet the book also looks forward with hope in God. The last section is a moving testimony to how God has blessed the faithful beginnings of this new network. It is a mix of history, memoir and theological reflection. It is made up of reflective testimonies to the events leading up to and subsequent to the tumult of those days. Some of the essays are theological assessments, others are the raw material of history as men and women from all over Canada reflect upon their experience. I have mentioned Packer and Short because their names are familiar in Sydney. But one of the values of reading this book is that it will introduce you to many other brothers and sisters who laboured faithfully for Christ in a terrible situation. For myself, I have been privileged to get to know a number of these men and women personally, have prayed with them, heard their testimonies and been much encouraged by their faithfulness. Canada and Australia are so far apart that we don’t know each other as well as we should. But these people are our brothers and sisters and their story will encourage you, inform you and strengthen you in the days ahead. SC Bishop Peter Jensen is a former Archbishop of Sydney and the founding general secretary of the Gafcon movement.
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A good God in the darkness Judy Adamson Fight, Flight or and Faith: a life with anxiety and Jesus By Nikki Florence Thompson (Ark House Press)
hristians everywhere should be tremendously thankful
to Nikki Thompson for writing this book. With great courage, she revisits years of pain, loss, anxiety and ill health for us, and for God’s glory. I say, “for us”, because Fight, Flight and Faith takes readers inside Thompson’s head as she lives the illogical logic and rollercoaster reality of anxiety and panic disorder. For anyone who has been there, it’s all so familiar. For anyone who hasn’t, it’s an education – a can-this-be-possible walk through a mental minefield. In the book’s introduction, she explains that it isn’t a story about overcoming, but one about “coming closer and drawing near. It is a story of becoming aware of a widened, expanded faith... It is, ultimately, a book about healing, but not, perhaps, how or where you’d expect to find it.” This latter comment is important, because although she believes the book is for those struggling with anxiety or those on the other side of it, it is also for those “looking in”. Those whose friendship, family or church circle includes someone grappling with these issues, and for whom the headspace is, plainly and simply, foreign. Whose understanding will deepen their capacity to care, or perhaps just help them accept that yes, you can truly have such problems and still be a committed Christian. Nikki Thompson grew up in Sydney’s northern suburbs in a family of four, with a Dutch immigrant father, missionary kid mother and adored older brother Greg – who was invited to a local Anglican church early in high school, turned to Jesus and believed with all his heart and soul. Thompson “saw the love of the Father as he reached down to me through the faithful voice of my brother. And I followed”. At the same time, Thompson was a people pleaser and a perfectionist, who got worried about little things and admits that while she regularly supported and reassured others who had
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doubts about their faith, her own struggles were constant. “To be a good Christian, my nagging inner voice told me, I had to be a good student, good daughter, good friend... If I felt secure, perhaps it was a sense of God’s arms around me, but perhaps it was also, at least in part, the result of the cosy world I had built up over the years around God. When that security was stripped away, when pain came inside the circle as it surely later did, I had to rediscover what it meant to rest in God.” The book mainly focuses on the 12 years of Thompson’s life after Greg’s tragic death in a car accident when she was 19. These were the years in which panic took her in its sudden, terrifying grip and she discovered acronyms such as GAD (Generalised Anxiety Disorder) and PD (Panic Disorder). She struggled to get traction in life, health and study, but clung to God and started a journey of professional support with a “Wise Woman”. There is the joy of finding a loving, faithful and godly husband and other happiness besides, but there’s plenty of painful reading in the pages of Fight, Flight and Faith. Yet Thompson’s storytelling is never self-pitying. It’s honest and clear-eyed, beautifully descriptive and fashioned with care – much like the poem by her brother that creates a framework for her story. There is so much to learn, or relearn, within the book’s pages. Whether it’s understanding that anxiety is mental as well as physical – and recovery and healing are rarely straightforward – or that even if God seems absent, he is taking each difficult step with the sufferer, who also needs faithful people to walk alongside them and love them on their complicated journey. There are wise words and truths littered throughout this book. It is filled with the sorrow and tragedy of human life, yet is ultimately a story of hope, and of joy.Take a walk with Nikki Thompson through the valley and beyond. Learn, weep, understand, grow and praise our good God. SC
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freckle-faced lad who loves to play in the streets with his friends, and slogs away at a M ths so he can sit next to the clever and pretty Catherine in class at school. iW th his mum, dad, elder brother and beloved Pop and Granny around him, life is simple but happy. However, on August 15, 196 , local rioting and violence by militant Protestants blows his safe, small world to pieces. They target all the Catholic houses in his street and threaten the Protestants (including his family) with the promise that if they don’t join the ght, they will be next. His mother and father, played by Catriona Balfe and Jamie continued on page 30