Southern Cross MAY-JUNE 2022

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NCLS research.

Has VICO D booschshd spirichua inchshrshsch?

SouthernCross

May–June 2022

way?’ ‘How do you know that?’ or ‘What are your sources/main evidence?’” he says. Q: In the context of the last two years’ crises i( ncluding bushffres “Conversely, get used to saying and the global COVID-19 pandemic), how important do you think spiritual practices are to support people’s wellbeing? things like, ‘I respect all people in our workplace (or relevant community space), as I hope you have seen by my example. But may I ask if this is a safe space for me to share my convictions? Because my beliefs are deeply personal and I hope they would be listened to with respect, even if people disagree with me’.” However the conversation is approached, Mr York says Source: 2021 Australian Community Survey by NCLS Research n( =1,286) this is an opportune time for Christians to speak with their social media and questions ENGAGING IN GOSPEL friends of “the wonderful love arising from the fracturing of DISCUSSION that God has for us through the the Western ‘progressive’ agenda Canon Grant has some advice for Lord Jesus and the hope that we through what’s happening in engaging in gospel discussions. have – despite all these things Ukraine – are just as much “Keep practising asking good happening – that if we trust issues for discussion [as COVID].” questions: ‘What do you mean in him we don’t need to worry Exact visitor numbers for by that?’ ‘Can you expand a bit about them because the gift of Easter were difficult to estimate, further on why you think that eternal life is our sure hope.” SC but various churches across the Diocese reported strong interest. At St Andrew’s, Roseville, senior minister the Rev Mal York believes visitors and newcomers probably outnumbered regulars. COVID, he says, has shaken people. “When you’ve got daily death counts in the news it reminds people of the reality that we’re going to die,” he says. “As a result... there certainly has been more opportunity to talk about We’re looking for Registered Nurses spiritual things.” This is an opportunity to: At Easter, news of the Ukraine • Ensure that residents are given the conflict intensified people’s highest quality care interest. “I don’t know if that’s • Keep families connected through bringing people along, but my family conferencing suspicion is yes,” Mr York says. • Be part of a welcoming team committed “[In the] last two years we’ve to continuous improvement had fires; we’ve had pandemics; If you share Jesus’ heart for older people, then Anglicare we’ve had floods and we’ve now is where you can do the best work of your life. got a war. I mean, they’re all things that the Bible talks about that are happening in the end Find out more times... it’s definitely heightening 9421 5344 people’s thoughts about death anglicare.org.au/jobs and life and spirituality.”

IMPORTANCE OF SPIRITUAL PR AC TICE S DURING CRISIS

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Easter and survey figures on spirituality are leading many to ask whether COVID and its aftermath are providing opportunities among spiritually hungry Australians. National Church Life Survey (NCLS) research has found there is a connection between spirituality and wellbeing and that using “spiritual practices” during tough times is important. “Last year we learned that around half of Australians were drawing on spiritual practices,” NCLS research director Dr Ruth Powell says. “I imagine the devastating March floods would have seen people relying on spiritual resources in similar ways.” While not all these practices were distinctly Christian, 18 per cent of respondents said attending religious services appealed to them, while 12-16 per cent were attracted by religious talks and spiritual books. The findings build on research last year by the McCrindle organisation, which found that during the pandemic almost half of Australians thought more about the meaning of life or their own mortality. A third thought more about God, while almost three in 10 have prayed more. The Dean of Sydney, Canon Sandy Grant, says there isn’t a clear trend as yet, although anecdotally p eople “sense that we are not in control”. H e b e li eve s is ol at io n and opportunities linked to working from home mean people are placing a greater value on relationships, and conversations on a range of topics can lead to gospel opportunities. “I think intelligent discussions a ro u n d h u m a n i de nt i t y – including engagement, albeit fraught, with gender and biological sex, concerns about

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