Southern Cross AUGUST-SEPTEMBER 2022

Page 1



It’s about the people

PRINT POST APPROVED 100021441 ISSN 2207-0648


Tr i b u t e s f o r I n d i g e n o u s b i s h o p • Pa r r a m a t t a 2 2 0 A Fathers’ Day model • Sri Lankan crisis

eTh ats ear ni on eht lenghac dna opporunity of lsecuar lia. Austr

Thu und ot nominah Chriseianey? Russell Powell Did the Census figures on

religion announced at the end of June surprise anyone? For the first time, people listing Christianity as their faith dropped below 50 per cent of the Australian population. It followed a well-publicised c a mp a i g n by t h e A t h e i s t Foundation of Australia and others for people to tick the “no religion” box on the Census form. At the 2016 Census, 29.6 per cent of Australians marked “no religion”. Whether it was due to the campaign, or whether it was simply the result of an extra five years of increasing secularisation, the number grew to 38.4 per cent in the 2021 survey. However, Christianity is still the largest bloc of belief at 44 per cent. Commentators were quick to point to the reasons. “When you choose a religious affiliation in the national Census, it is a statement of belonging or identity,” said Dr Ruth Powell, research director of the National Church Life Survey. “When Australians choose ‘no religion’ it tells us about a group for whom it is not an important part of their personal, social or cultural identity.”

A erligon question has ben easdk in erv y Censu since 91. nI tha censu, % 69 of the popultioa n idetnued as Christan. nI the past wef decas bet wn 10% and 21% of uAstralin evha not ansewrd the question. nI 210 onyl 7% di not erspond. The ternd showing an inceras in no“ erligo”n has cotniued since tha option was urst tinor duce in the 791 Censu. SOURCE S

Likewise, the Rev Dr Michael Jensen, rector of St Mark’s, Darling Point, said: “People have not lost faith, as such. Though I am not a mind reader, my guess is that ticking ‘no religion’ was not a statement of outright atheism as much as a statement of identity: I do not identify with one of the traditional religious groupings in the way that my forebears once did.”

SouthernCross August-September 2022

volume 28 number 6



The “no religion” statistics were slightly lower for Sydney, at 30.7 per cent of the population, when compared to NSW (37.8 per cent) and Australia (38.4 per cent). Nationally, those claiming Christianity as their faith fell from 52 per cent in 2016 to 44 per cent in 2021 – although this was slightly higher in Sydney at just under 49 per cent.

Much of the decline came from major denominations. Those ticking the Anglican box in Greater Sydney fell from 12 per cent of the population in 2016 to 9.2 per cent in 2021. Since 2011, the drop is nearly 7 per cent. The decline in Census Anglicans is lower in Sydney than other capitals but the Bishop of South Sydney, Michael Stead, says the overall figures should not take anyone by surprise. “This trend has been going on since the 1960s,” he says. “If anything, the decline was even more marked in previous Census periods but I think that the trend will continue. “It means that the society around us doesn’t identify as Christian any more. There was a time when 30 to 40 per cent

Publisher: Anglican Media Sydney PO Box W185 Parramatta Westfield 2150 NSW P: 02 8860 8860 F: 02 8860 8899 E:

Managing Editor: Russell Powell Editor: Judy Adamson Art director: Stephen Mason Advertising Manager: Kylie Schleicher P: 02 8860 8850 E:

Mised the tlas isuer of Download e:hr

cover image:


abosydneglic.t/ ut/soouthernc s

Southern Cross ?

Focus on people – what the Census religion stats tell us.

Acceptance of advertising does not imply endorsement. Inclusion of advertising material is at the discretion of the publisher.

Subscriptions: Garry Joy E: $44.00 per annum (Australia)

P: 02 8860 8861

Printed by: Southern Colour


August–September 2022



12 OCTOBER 2022 | 7:00PM - 9:00PM


Other religions

No religion

Not stated

Percentage (%)

10 80 60 40 20 0 1901 1911

1921 1933 1947 1954 1961 1966 1971 1976 1981 1986 1991 1996 2001 2006 2011 2016 2021

Year source:

2021 National Census of Population and Housing, Australian Bureau of Statistics

with the people living around us.” Even though we might RELIGIOUS AFFILIATION OF AUSTRALIANS, 2021 see increasing indifference, sometimes hostility, towards Christian 44% church institutions, there is also a spiritual hunger and a search Other religions 10% for transcendence and meaning. 39% No religion The Census does not lie, but neither is it the whole story. 7% Not stated Research commissioned by churches through the National 0 10 20 30 40 50 Church Life Survey in 2021 Percentage )(% found that more than half of SOURCE : 201 National Census of Population and Housing, Australians believed in God or Australian Bureau of Statistics a higher power (55 per cent), six in 10 prayed or meditated, of our neighbours in parts statistics”. But those surveyed and just over two in 10 attended of Sydney would identify as by Southern Cross all saw it as religious services at least once Anglican and we had potentially a challenge for outreach to a month. Even some who would s o m e c o m m o n g r o u n d . modern Australia. say they are not religious will Increasingly, we don’t have “The Census result ought to participate in Christmas services people who identify with us. encourage us not to panic but to or even choose church weddings, “However, there is an upside to pray,” says the senior minister of baptisms and funerals. There is this. In the past, a high number Christ Church, St Ives, the Rev something they encounter there of those who identified as Nigel Fortescue. “It shows that, that piques their interest. Anglican only had a cultural for many, their historic religious “We know that people who understanding of Christianity affiliations no longer feature as don’t identify as belonging to and didn’t understand their part of who they think they are. a particular religious group can need of the gospel. Now that “But this is great fruit for still have spiritual or religious they no longer see themselves prayer because p eople are lives,” Dr Powell says. “The as Christians, we have the being more honest with what evidence from our detailed opportunity to have a clear they believe and think and so, research shows an openness conversation about what a prayerfully, we might be able to spirituality, including the Christian is.” to have more real conversation Christian faith.”

BEHIND THE NUMBERS Confronted by the array of numbers, some may be tempted to quote the old phrase that “there are three degrees of falsehood: the first is a fib, the second is a lie, and then come 4

“I wonder if the noise around the decreasing numbers of people ticking the ‘Christian’ box might make us more of a curiosity among our friends and colleagues, generating an interest in both what and why we believe.” Youthworks CEO the Rev Canon Craig Roberts


The 2021 Census also shows one in 10 Australians affiliate to other religions. The CEO of Anglican Youthworks, the Rev Canon Craig Roberts, says this is an opportunity. “The Census also indicates that Australia is one of the largest immigration countries in the world, with 25 per cent born overseas – the US has just 10 per cent,” he says. “As the number of overseas-born Australians increases, so too does the number of Australians who come with a non-Christian worldview. This is not us going to the nations, this is the nations coming to us.” One of those who knows the interest of the multicultural communit y is Angli care hospital chaplain the Rev Stuart Adamson. “In my experience at Bankstown Hospital, with its very different demographic to the one I experienced previously in the eastern suburbs, there is significant reinvigoration of expressions of Christian faith among the patients of Arabicspeaking background,” he says. “The grandchildren of this generation have been born in Australia and have a deep and rich Middle Eastern Christian heritage in their families that they know little of, because they’ve been so keen to integrate into secular Australian society. But a deep interest lingers and there is a great openness among this younger generation to the things of the Christian faith.” In the past five years, the increase in people reporting to have “no religion” has been highest among young adults. In general, the likelihood of people becoming unaffiliated with a religion decreases with age. Millennials have the highest proportion of no religion (46.5 per cent) while the religious a ff i l i a t io n o f G e n e r a t io n X clos ely align s with the Australian population overall. Says Canon Roberts: “Because SouthernCross

August–September 2022

TAKING A PUBLIC STAND One of the aims of the atheists’ campaign for “no religion” was to reduce what they perceive as the undue influence of faith groups on government decisions. So, will the Census affect the public profile of churches, especially on social issues? “We haven’t, and shouldn’t be, participating in public life because we are the majority, but we do have a right to participate because we are part of society,” says Bishop Stead, who chairs the Sydney Diocese Religious Freedom Reference Group. “Our society is not actually ab o u t t he t y ran n y o f t he majority. Our governments and leaders rightly take into account minority and diverse views, and we Christians just have to get used to the fact that we are now part of that minority of diverse views... if we want to be a country that welcomes people of all faiths and none.” He says churches and individuals should continue to speak up with wisdom and grace. “In the same way the Apostle Paul could appeal to his rights as a Roman citizen, we have a right to participate in the democracy as citizens of Australia and be heard just as much as any other SouthernCross

August–September 2022

Australian. Not more because we are a Christian majority, but not less because we are a Christian minority.” Still, pushback in the media about faith, perhaps now using the Census as a justification, could make Christians fearful of speaking up. Recent research from the McCrindle group found that one in four Australians say they have had to hide their views on social issues because of the risk of being excluded. The report, titled Cancel Culture and Acceptance in Australia, found almost half of young Australians report that they have struggled to “be their authentic self for fear of judgement or exclusion”. Moore College lecturer the Rev Paul Grimmond, author of new book When the Noise Won’t Stop – A Christian guide to dealing with anxiety offers advice for Christians feeling besieged by angry voices on social media. “Recognise that the world is angry about certain issues because they have rejected God,” he says. “Their rejection of God leads them to reject us. But the Bible says that the rejection of our opponents is a sign that we belong to God and that they stand under judgement (Phil 1:27-30). “So, when we see the world attacking Christians, we need to encourage each other to see that as a sign from God that they desperately need to know God’s love and forgiveness, and not a sign of the fact that Christians are losing the social war!” Mr Grimmond adds that we should avoid the temptation to shut down. “Closing up is a short-term strategy to avoid pain that will lead to more stress and less healthy relationships. We need to pray to God to be calm and wise and keep speaking God’s truth.” Mr Fortescue believes the Census results should prompt Christians to pray and engage. “I don’t think this ought to change our attitude unless

A CHAPLAIN’S ENCOUNTER The Rev Stuart Adamson at Bankstown Hospital

“Older Arabic-speaking Christians who have migrated to Australia after extended conflict in Iraq specifically, and the Middle East more generally, have had their faith tried and tested in a cauldron of deep suffering and sadness. They shine like stars, even as patients in hospital. On the wards the other week I came across an older, Arabic-speaking Christian man who could not understand I was a hospital chaplain because of his very limited vocabulary. But he had learnt enough English to be a witness to his joyful faith and wanted to share consecrated bread with me, tell me of his deep love of Jesus and invite me to come to him. I made a sign of the cross, put my hands together and bowed my head and his face beamed as he recognised a brother.”

we really believe we live in a considering Jesus. We need to Christian society,” he says. “The think carefully about how we Census results show us clearly share Christ in this new cultural that this is not the case!” milieu.” In his opinion wh at h a s So, the results provide both a changed is public perception. challenge and an opportunity. As “The defeater belief to faith Dr Jensen wrote in a newspaper is no longer philosophical but opinion piece, “It’s not that we moral – Christianity is no longer have to become more secular, or [seen as] a ‘bastion for good’ but more cool. Our aim should not a ‘perpetrator of evil’ and that be to ‘win’ the Census, but to be stops some people from even more like Jesus Christ.” SC


Want to with compassion?


We’re looking for Registered Nurses This is an opportunity to: • • •

Ensure that residents are given the highest quality care Keep families connected through family conferencing Be part of a welcoming team committed to continuous improvement

If you share Jesus’ heart for older people, then Anglicare is where you can do the best work of your life.


our faith is anchored in historical events, its objective truth is not determined by surveys, polls or even a Census. But if the Census result does mean people are walking away from Christ, that should move us to tears and urgent prayer for our nation, that many might repent and be saved. “I am, however, concerned for our children and youth, who are especially vulnerable to popular currents and the opinions of their peers. The Census results will make life harder, humanly speaking, for our young people to stand firm in their trust in Jesus. So pray for our children and youth, and for those who disciple them.”

Find out more 9421 5344 5

Mounflain youflh work

Serving all ages: (from left) Tom Melbourne, Murray Colville and James Delanty. photo: Brendan Samuels

Judy Adamson Anyone who’s visited or lived ministers in the eight parishes rector here and referred to Melbourne, has been rector

in the Blue Mountains knows it has plenty of things going for it but, until recently, no one would have said a growing number of young people was among them. However, not only are increasing numbers of younger people and families with kids moving up to the mountains, young rectors are joining them. Three of the four youngest rectors in the Diocese minister in the Blue Mountains area, and the average age of senior

from Glenbrook to Lithgow is just over 41½ – almost a decade below the diocesan average. This is certainly not how it used to be, says the Rev James Delanty from Leura. “I wrote an updated history of our church because next year we have our 125th anniversary,” he says. “A previous minister, Arthur James Fraser, who was at Leura in the 1920s, was reflecting in his autobiography on his experience of being a

Leura as ‘the armchair parish of the diocese’ – because one day the minister goes from being the rector to another one of the retirees! But it’s changing up here because it’s not as full of retirees and there are younger ministers keen to work together to reach the mountains.” At 31, Mr Delant y is the youngest rector in the Diocese, and took up his parish just after turning 30. His 35-year-old ministry mentor, the Rev Tom

of Central Villages Anglican Church in Lawson since 2018, while the Rev Murray Colville, 36, arrived at Katoomba last year. The Bishop of the Western Region, Gary Koo, notes that mountain parishes are “seeing young families coming in and are looking for people to reach them, so [younger rectors] is a reflection of the change. “It also ref lects that the mountains are a family-friendly

Experience “In the Footsteps of Saint Paul” with a believer, not just a guide

In the Footsteps of Saint Paul with

The Reverend Dr. Michael Jensen A 15 Day Pilgrimage to Turkey, Greece and Italy 25 April - 09 May 2023 Register your interest or freephone: 1800 21 91 39 6

Southern Cross ad.indd 1


August–September 2022 18/02/2020 1:52:30 PM

ns.aitoueMBlh rtouncgesSyd’

area for people to serve in... The reality is that Sydney house prices are driving families further out, and the increasing work-from-home opportunities are making the mountains a more desirable destination for young working families.” Adds Mr Delanty: “There are more prams getting pushed around, playgroups getting formed, playgrounds having to be refurbished, because there is such a need. The locals are aware of it, the ministers are aware of it – we can see that the demographic is changing. “A lot of people moved up at a similar time to [my family]. After the first COVID lockdown, people said, ‘We don’t want to do that again’, so they moved. When the second lockdown happened, they were so happy to be up here. The locals are excited about that. “There’s a day care just around the corner, and because we’ve got kids in the day care it’s a massive opportunity for us to be inviting people to come to church because we’ve got a young

family... We do life together and it’s natural to invite them.” Mr Colville says there are still plenty of retirees in the region, as well as a strong artistic communit y and re sident s dealing with social disadvantage. Parishes need to consider how to serve and care in different ways. He is full of praise for the work the previous minister at Katoomba, the Rev Ray Robinson, has done among these groups, but adds that with the growth in number of younger families and treechangers “escaping the city”, churches also need to prepare for the next season of ministry to a growing number of youth. “We’ve been running youth group in my house with our part-time kids’ and youth worker,” he says. “We want to be able to bring the ministry back into the church building but we need leaders to make it more accessible to others. I’ve been putting that in front of our congregation in the last while, and people have put up their hands to say they’re keen to be

leaders, which is great because we want it to grow!” Mr Melbourne, who is leaving L a w s o n fo r A r m i d a l e i n September, says the parish is “really looking forward to its next rector being a first-time rector who brings with him energy and passion and zeal for the gospel. “I think most assistant ministers would find that while there is a learning curve to be navigated in becoming a rector, the fundamental skills and attributes you already have are the same: you know Christ, you know how to care for his people, you know how to teach them his word. “Hopefully you’ve been given experience in organising teams and setting vision and things that fall on a rector’s plate, but it’s really not quite as humungous a leap as some of us fear it is. “For some of the older saints in our congregations we’re the age of their grandchildren, and that makes for an interesting dynamic. We’re seeking to be pastors to those people as well

as to people who are our peers. It needs to be thought through well but there’s no reason why it doesn’t work. We’ve also seen the real love and concern the older congregation members have for us, which has been lovely.” All three ministers appreciate the village vibe of the mountains, where parishes are clearly defined, each village within a parish has its own identity, there is a strong sense of community and a good deal of support for what the churches do in the community. “What’s God going to do next in the Blue Mountains?” Mr Colville asks. “I’d be very keen for more young rectors to minister up here – it’s a great community, it’s a great team and there’s a great team feeling between the rectors as well. And it’s not far from Sydney... “If we’d known how nice it would be to live in the mountains, we might have felt guilty about taking these jobs! We thought, it’s far away, it’s cold – but actually it’s just lovely.” SC

Supporting your independence with home care

Make someone for a living


Become a home care worker Are you looking for a rewarding career with a healthy work-life balance?

Anglicare At Home is here to support you with quality care that is tailored to your needs. Our care workers are carefully selected and expertly trained to help you live a full life at home and in the community. Services range from help around the home to high care nursing support. We also offer complimentary pastoral care services.

Looking for Home Care? Call 1300 111 278 or visit SouthernCross

August–September 2022

We are looking for home care workers to support our clients with domestic assistance, including housework, laundry and shopping. This is an opportunity to: • Join a friendly and supportive team • Enrich the lives of older people • Receive full training and ongoing mentoring • Work flexible hours • Gain further professional development including accredited qualifications via traineeship pathways APPLY TODAY 7

Big birthday for the oldest continuously used worship site in Australia.

Happy 20flh, Parramaflfla

Hip, hip, hooray!: Cathedral congregation members celebrate.

There are many dates that the

Marking the day: (from left) the Rev David Ould, Deputy Lord Mayor of

Parramatta Sameer Pandey, State MP Geoff Lee, Lord Mayor Donna Davis, Bishop Gary Koo and rector the Rev Canon Bruce Morrison. photos: Helen Xing


congregation of St John’s Cathedral in Parramatta could celebrate. The opening of the first church in 1803, the addition of towers in 1818, the decision to rebuild in 1852, a new building in 1858 or renovations in 1967. But the key date in its history is surely the declaration of the parish by Governor King on July 23, 1802. So it was that the cathedral’s three parallel services – English, Chinese and Persian – gathered last month to celebrate this date. St John’s story is almost as old as colonial Australia. The British arrived at the head of the Parramatta River on November 3, 1788 and established a military post in what is now Parramatta Park, displacing local Indigenous families from their land as they did so. Until the consecration of a makeshift church in 1803, worshipp ers had gathered where they could, often under the shelter of a large tree. So it was fitting that to celebrate their 220th anniversary the congregations and guests, including State MP Geoff Lee, Parramatta Mayor Donna Davis

and the Bishop of Western Sydney Gary Koo, gathered outside the cathedral for songs and the cutting of a cake. Those present heard the words of their first minister, the Rev Samuel Marsden, who wrote on leaving England in 1794: “I am now about to quit my native country with a view to preaching the everlasting Gospel. Oh! that God would make my way prosperous, and that the end of my going may be answered in the Conversion of many poor souls”. The narrative of the parish history, read to the assembled group, added: “Marsden preached throughout the region and also took the gospel to New Zealand. He and his successors were convinced that God would grow his Church as the Bible was read and explained and its hearers were transformed by the hope of the risen Christ. “A s w e c e l e b r a t e t h i s wonderful anniversary, we pray with great thanks to God for all that he has already done in and through St John’s, and call upon his continued goodness for all the future years that he gives us”. SC SouthernCross

August–September 2022


GymEEac xEbap r EssEniorsap W h e n D r R o n B o na m y came,” he explains... “but we

reached his 100th birthday last year, COVID meant his church family at Gymea Anglican couldn’t host a big party to celebrate his life and ministry. Happily, this year was different and last month the church hall was filled with people as they celebrated the 101st birthday of their “senior saint”. “He has been a servant of the parish since Gymea was first established as a suburb!” says rector the Rev David Fell. Dr Bonamy was licensed as a lay reader in 1949 and preached often at the Gymea Bay and Gymea churches. After the 1959 Billy Graham Crusade, he and his wife Joyce began a Bible study – which met for more than 60 years. “We knocked off when COVID

keep in touch all the time”. He regularly sends out notes about the history of old hymns to the group, and others. To date he’s covered 150 hymns in detail, in much the same way he prepared for Bible studies. At his birthday celebration, a member of the study brought along Dr Bonamy’s notes on Matthew – hundreds of A4 pages, faithfully handed out each Thursday. In work life Dr Bonamy was a local GP from 1955 until his retirement in 1991. He brought at least 600 babies into the world, and says today’s GPs are definitely “missing out”. His faith made him conscious that he always had to do his best: “You’re concerned about the people and, when there’s an opportunity, you say things that

Surgical precision: Dr Bonamy cuts his birthday cake. may be helpful to them from a Christian point of view”. Dr Bonamy regularly led Gymea’s Tuesday morning service into his late 90s. He remains on the prayer roster of the early Sunday service, and the over-55s group he and Mrs Bonamy began after his retirement continues to hold

planning meetings in his home. Speakers at the celebration gave thanks for his go dly service. Mr Fell observed that “In the kingdom of God... our [elder] examples are Moses and Aaron, Joshua and Caleb, Daniel, Zechariah and Elizabeth, Simeon and Anna – and at Gymea Anglican, Dr Ron Bonamy.” SC

JUNIOR SCHOOL TWILIGHT TOUR AND INFORMATION EVENING Explore our learning spaces, hear about our engaging Junior School programme and meet our

Life Giving Learning WE SEE YOU

highly qualified teachers, who are at the forefront of research-based, best practice teaching. Places available for Kindergarten and Year 3, 2023.

Book now


August–September 2022


Are we ready with a welcome?

Thfl Subconinfln comfls o Sydnfly T h e l i n k b e t w e e n t h e workers alike will begin moving Subcontinent and Sydney Anglicans is longstanding. Reginald Heber, who wrote the great hymn “Holy, Holy, Holy”, was appointed in 1823 as Bishop of Calcutta – which included the fledgling colony in Australia. In more recent times, leaders of Subcontinental descent have taken their place in Sydney Anglican churches, including our present Archbishop. But perhaps the most significant links are yet to be forged, as the AustraliaIndia Economic Co-operation and Trade Agreement comes into effect over the coming months. The agreement will see a significant increase in the temporary migration of Indian citizens to Australian shores, further ex panding a lo cal mission field for churches. “India has more than a billion people who are impressively religious to no avail,” says the Rev Ben George, who is of Indian descent and is the new chairman of the Subcontinental Evangelism Group at Evangelism and New Churches. “The brutality of the myriad of religious practices [in India] puts the impetus on weak and vulnerable people to please vengeful gods. Many in India desperately need the gospel and, as we speak, God has presented us with an opportunity to minister to Indian brothers and sisters as they flood to Australia.” Mr George has joined col l e a g u e s t h e Rev C l i ve Buultjens from Merrylands, Jeri Jones from St James’, Croydon a nd t he fo r m e r re cto r o f Liverpool South, the Rev Manoj Chacko, to appeal to Sydney Anglicans to prepare for the mission. “Post-graduate university students and professional 10

into major cities in Australia,” Mr George says. “This will have an impact on the landscape of suburbs already teeming with Subcontinental peoples – not to mention the nature of international student intake. “With the huge inf lux of educated, young professionals from India arriving on Australian shores, are we ready?” The nations of India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and the Maldives make up what is broadly referred to as “the Subcontinent”. But, as Mr George points out, people’s religious backgrounds are varied. “Are we rea dy to gather alongside our Hindu, Buddhist, Sikh, Muslim and Jain brothers and sisters as they walk on a journey to know Christ and all that he has done for them? My experience has been that Indian friends have loved the opportunity to open up the Scriptures and hear about Jesus, who has such authority over the spiritual world and yet loves the littlest and most vulnerable. “It is often a slow process of peeling back the layers of opposition to Christians – let alone the Christian message – yet my experience is that Jesus, as he is revealed in Scripture, is irresistible for those thirsting after a genuine relationship with God.”

Get ready for a “flood” of students and workers: the Rev Ben George. BE PREPARED, RIGHT ACROSS SYDNEY Mr George, assistant minister at Auburn & Newington Anglican Churches, believes it is not just Western Sydney parishes that will be affected. “I wager that there will be very few geographical areas that won’t be impacted by the flood of Indian people,” he says. “We ought to prayerfully ready ourselves with hearts willing to learn and resources to expend.” Readiness will require significant relational capital, befriending young families around food and fellowship and through acts of kindness. “These acts of kindness are almost always relational, as so many Indian friends leave their familial comforts in order to brave new opportunities in Australia,” Mr George says.

Coming to Australia: Indian students with then Trade Minister Dan Tehan.

“Fostering genuine friendship and companionship becomes significant in building rapport as Christians in a Western country – especially with some of the current anti-Western sentiment propagated by Hindu nationalists in India. “Even more significant is that the genuineness of our relationships speaks volumes as to our motives. It is not that proselytisation is a matter of boasting, but that we love and care for our Indian brethren so much as to share the message of everlasting life.” As well as personal relationships, Mr George says the missional task will challenge the corporate life of the church. “We ought to creatively consider how we engage with peoples with a polytheistic worldview and an honour-shame culture to provide avenues to share the love of Christ. “Might we ch allen ge ou r seating arrangements, styles, sensibilities, understanding of fellowship over food during morning tea, and all else that might hinder our Indian brothers and sisters from seeing ‘God really among [us]’ as we gather at church?” SC Pray and find out more at https:// SouthernCross

August–September 2022

A pandflmic is a good imfl o pan churchfls who knflw? A new church plant: Trinity’s senior minister the Rev Paul Harrington with campus pastor Cam Maxwell at Tonsley TAFE in Adelaide’s southern suburbs.

The Rev Paul Harrington, because it has been established with people about doing mergers was truly God at work in his

senior pastor of Adelaide’s Trinity Network, may be an enthusiastic church planter but even he would not have expected the middle of a Coronavirus outbreak would be a good time to start new congregations. “People have been weary,” he says. “There’s been all the ups and downs and roundabouts of stopping and starting. We can meet, we can’t. We can meet with masks, we can’t sing, can sing – all sorts of rules and regulations. Pastors and people in our congregations have found that a strain. But church planting, starting new ministry ventures, has captured people’s hearts and minds. It has galvanised them.” In October 2020, amid the first wave of COVID, the network that sprang from Holy Trinity, North Terrace in Adelaide’s CBD began its eleventh church. “We were at a stage where Trinity Church Modbury was coming back [to in-p erson meeting] but because of the density requirements, they couldn’t all meet in the school gymnasium they were meeting in,” Mr Harrington says. “They’d been planning to plant a church 12 months later, so they just accelerated their plans.” He adds that this new plant, at Pooraka in the northern suburbs of Adelaide, is encouraging SouthernCross

August–September 2022

in a lower socioeconomic area and normally it winds up being. and is a pointer to what can be ‘If you send us 30 or 40 people achieved even in difficult times. we’ll be fine, but we don’t “In a sense, the pressure on necessarily want to change meeting facilities forced a much about the way we’re doing move. We could have just rotated ministry [that] has got us into people through on alternate this position’! But these elders weeks or a whole range of other were prepared to make changes.” things [to comply with density T he C h r is t i an Re fo r me d rules] but we thought it was a congregation members voted good opportunity to push out.” to close and move away from their property to establish a new CHURCH PLANTING church. SPEEDS UP “They combined with the group The church planting has only from another church to go to a accelerated, with three more facility that they had to set up churches planted in February, and pull down every week in March and April this year at Mile order to reach people with the End, Tonsley and Campbelltown. gospel,” Mr Harrington says. “The city church, which is the “ I t h i n k t he y w e re ve r y mother church of the network, courageous. I was there last couldn’t fit everyone into the week and spoke to the former family service during COVID, so elders of the church who were we started meeting west of the excited because they’ve already city at Mile End,” Mr Harrington seen a lot of newcomers.” explains. “ E v e n w h e n d e n s i t y A GOD-GIVEN PRIVILEGE requirements were lifted and O n e o f t h e m e m b e r s a t they could come back we Campbelltown, Darren Herriman, decided that we would just cut describes it as a “God-given it loose as a church plant to push privilege” to be part of the out further into what is really a church plant. gospel-poor area.” “To witness many Christians He says the Campbelltown sent out from three different plant is particularly significant congregations, from different because it came about through a cultures and backgrounds, merger with a smaller Christian different stages of their walk Reformed congregation. with Christ, to then all bond “I’ve had lots of conversations together as one church family,

people,” he says. “It has been a great joy to see all the planning, hard work and much prayer result in a new, local community church that is already bearing fruit and advancing the gospel further in God’s kingdom. It is our faith together in Christ that has enabled us to love one another and bond together as one people, with one common purpose, to see people saved.” In all, during COVID the network has grown from 10 to 14 churches. Says Mr Harrington: “What we’ve seen in all these cases is that the mother church that sent out [the planting team] has actually had more vibrancy as a result of the sending and the church plants have had more vibrancy in terms of attracting new people. “I reckon we’ll have historians taking a look at this COVID period and the way it affected churches. But I think that one of the struggles has been to give people heart and clarity on where we’re going as gospel people during a difficult time. “If you’d asked me last year, ‘Will 2022 be the year of church planting?’ I would have said ‘No, that’s probably not very sensible’. But God has clearly gone before us and paved the way.” SC 11

Bishop Malcolm pointed us all to “an everlasting homeland”.

Auschrashia shos s Indig nous Chrischian pion r Russell Powell Archbishop Kanishka Raffel

has paid tribute to Australia’s first Indigenous Bishop, Arthur Malcolm, who has passed away at the age of 87. Bishop Malcolm was born at Yarrabah in Queensland and began training as a Church Army Officer in NSW where he completed a certificate course in evangelism in 1959. He served in Victoria and at Brewarrina in NSW before returning to Yarrabah in 1974 as chaplain. As well as ministering to his people at Yarrabah he had responsibility for Anglicans on Palm Island. Reconciliation: Archbishop Grindrod and Bishop Malcolm at St Andrew’s Cathedral in 1988. photo: Ramon Williams In an historic move, he was consecrated bishop with special Anglican Church to Aboriginal apology to Bishop Malcolm. to follow,” the Archbishop said. responsibility to Aboriginal people in 1988. Archbishop Grindrod said:, “My “We express our condolences p eople in 1985 – the first At St Andrew’s Cathedral in brother in Christ… May I express to his family and his people and Indigenous bishop in Australia. Sydney, Australian Anglican on behalf of all non-Aboriginal thank God for his example of His influence and ministry led bishops, led by the Primate, Sir people of our church profound gracious, humble and faithful to the public apology from the John Grindrod, delivered an sorrow for the suffering that service. your people have had to endure, “Home with the Lord.” SC with its violence and hurt. “ We h u m b l y a s k G o d ’ s A rP ayer for eR oc nciliation forgiveness and we seek your forgiveness as a leader of your The Archbishop has commended the prayer for people, for the actions of the past reconciliation written by and those causing hurt at the Bishop Malcolm and his wife “There is no place whatsoever present time. We have longed Colleen: for sexual abuse or other to share with your people the misconduct in the life of Lord God, gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. Bring us together as one. our churches. We confess our endeavour has Reconciled with you and I am committed to ensuring reconciled with each other. often fallen short of his love.” the Sydney Anglican Church culture has a consistent cultu In tu rn, Bishop Malcolm You made us in your likeness; of safe ministry through said, “My brother in Christ: you gave us your son, Jesus Christ. regular and up-to-date For a long time we have been He has given us forgiveness training and resourcing hurting… but it is through the from sin. of clergy and lay church message of Jesus Christ that Lord God, workers.” we have learned to forgive. We Bring us together as one. have received this forgiveness, Difierent culture, but Kanishka Raffel - Archbishop and now in turn we must also given new life in Jesus Christ; together as one, your body, The Professional Standards Unit promotes forgive.” the practise of Christian ministry in your church, your people. accordance with the highest Biblical Archbishop Raffel called standards of respect and care. Lord God, Bishop Malcolm’s passing “a Bring us together as one. A Pastoral Care and Assistance Scheme is great sadness” and recalled his Reconciled, healed, forgiven, available to provide counselling and other support to victims of misconduct or pioneering ministry. sharing you with others, abuse. “His historic leadership of as you have called us to do. Indigenous Christians, pointing In Jesus Christ Abuse Report Line 1800 774 945 let us be together as one. us all to an everlasting homeland, Abuse Report Form Amen. paved the way for generations 12


August–September 2022

Appeal for help as SL economy collapses.

“Dflflp grifl” or Sri Lanka Russell Powell Amid a crisis unparalleled in

the history of Sri Lanka, millions of people are suffering the effects of the complete collapse of the nation’s economy. With less than $40 million in reserves, Sri Lanka does not have enough money to buy what it needs from the outside world. Many essential items are not available, while skyrocketing inf lation means that, once items are available, they are unaffordable for most people. The Sri Lankan currency is down 80 per cent in value. There are shortages of food, fuel, cooking gas and medicine, and the government has temporarily stopped fuel sales to try to conserve supplies. Long-term debt issues have combined with COVID-19, the effects of the 2019 Easter bombing, rising prices from the Ukraine crisis and crop failure. UNICEF says that children are being hard hit because, with soaring food prices, 70 per cent of households are now reporting reduced food consumption. The fuel crisis and frequent power cuts are also hindering vital services for children, including health care and education.

“People are hurting”: Mathivanan (14) holds his malnourished sister Krishanthi (2) at their home in Skanthapuram, Kilinochchi in northern Sri Lanka. photo: UNICEF


The Archbishop of Sydney’s Anglican Aid, together with the Anglican Relief and Development Fund Australia (ARDFA), is partnering with the Anglican Church of Ceylon and Agape Community Healthcare Home to help relieve suffering in Sri Lanka. The partnership provides basic necessities and free

medical services to vulnerable Sadly. 10 people have died while community members. In the desperately waiting in the long longer term, it is also supporting queues. sustainable projects that will “The pri ce of p etrol h a s e qu i p l ow - i nco m e p e o p l e increased more than threefold to withstand the prolonged in the space of three months. financial crisis. Cooking gas cannot be found “ T he re a re t wo - to - t h re e anywhere. The price of food kilometre long queues for items has more than doubled everything,” says Dr Avindra over the last two months – for J aya wa rde ne f ro m A ga p e example, a loaf of bread, which Home. “People… line up for days. could be purchased for around

A Family Owned Funeral Service

Visit our official site for the latest news and information. And while you’re there, sign up for the weekly newsletter. SouthernCross

August–September 2022

Hamilton Funerals is a family business owned and operated by Adam and Michael Flanagan. We aim to fulfil the needs of our clients in the most dignified, professional yet personal way.

North Shore 9449 5544 l Eastern Suburbs 9326 9707 I Northern Beaches 9907 4888 13

45 rupees two months ago, is from a Sri Lankan pastor, which now over 230 rupees. Many outlined the depth of the crisis. essential medicines including Pa r t o f t he l e tte r s ay s : antibiotics and other necessary “People of our island have d r u g s a r e n o t a v a i l a b l e been suffering very much anywhere. Even paracetamol [on] all side s. P eople are to control fever in children has protesting against this present been out of stock for over a government… people are dying month.” in the same spot where they are The appeal is aimed at helping waiting to get essential things low-income people to survive like food, fuel and medicine. the crisis. This includes many Some people have already killed ministry families impacted by themselves because they have depleted church giving. More been unable to provide meals for than $20,000 has already been their families. Even in this letter, raised by Anglican Aid. we can’t express adequately the hardship of the Sri Lankan “DEEP GRIEF” people.” In commending the appeal, the In July, Sri Lanka’s President the Anglican Archbishop of Gotabaya Rajapaksa resigned Sydney, Kanishka Raffel, said: by email and fled the country “It is a deep grief to me that after angry crowds overran the country of my heritage, Sri and ransacked the presidential Lanka, should be facing the residence. kind of crisis that is unfolding. The Rev Ben George, “To know that millions of assistant minister of Auburn & people are going without basic Newington Anglican Churches, necessities arouses Christian says, “The situation in Sri Lanka compassion within us and I am is dire. Lives are being lost. The glad that our Anglican agencies country is rife with corruption are able to respond so quickly in the places where leadership to this emergency. Galatians 6 should be making decisions for says we should do good to all the good of the nation. people as we have opportunity, “When there is a situation like especially to the household of this, where all hope seems to be faith. Here is an opportunity lost, where can we turn? We where even a small amount, can turn to our great, powerful, given prayerfully, can do much merciful and gracious God, who good.” is our ‘refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble’ PRAY FOR SRI LANKA (Ps 46:1). A special prayer night for the “We come to our God, on Sri Lankan crisis was held at our knees, and ask that the Auburn Anglican Church in Lord – who is even in control June. of tumultuous waters – would “ T h e p e o p l e o f d a y - t o - bring peace and reform to a day life are the ones that people who are hurting. We are suffering,” said one Sri come to our God, asking that Lankan congregation member. the gospel of Christ would “Fishermen can’t sell fish and spread like wildfire across Sri can’t earn money. There is no Lanka, and that many would transport for children to get to be soothed by the assurance, school. Milk powder and rice safety and peace of being in a and the basic things are so high relationship with God.” SC in cost that it is impossible to See get what is needed. People are current-appeals/ or https://ardfa. hurting, especially the common for information on how to people.” give to the ongoing appeal for Sri The prayer night heard a letter Lanka. 14

The most important number Kanishka Raffel


hat shall we make of the Census findings

that 44 per cent of Australians identify as “Christian”, with as many as 39 per cent describing themselves as having no religion? It is the first time in Census history that fewer than 50 per cent of Australians align with a Christian denomination. What does it mean for Sydney Anglicans as we seek to commend the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ to our friends and neighbours? It’s worth noting that the raw figure of Christian affiliation is a little opaque, and the decline almost certainly means that there are fewer people who tick the box simply because of their cultural, family or ethnic heritage. As we know, there has been a (legitimate) campaign by secular groups to encourage people not to align with a religion “just because your grandmother did”. We also know from the National Church Life Survey that attendance at Sydney Anglican churches has remained virtually unchanged, or very slightly increased, over the past three Census periods. There is some scope for saying that as the “Christian” number falls, the proportion of those whose response is more considered and intentional is growing. The National Church Life Survey also sheds more light on the complexity of interpreting the “no religion” group. For example, 12 per cent of people describe themselves as spiritual, not religious, and 55 per cent of Australians believe in God or a higher power. Perhaps even more strikingly, 44 per cent of people say they have little or no familiarity with Christianity or the teachings of Jesus, and 31 per cent said they would accept an invitation to church if asked by a close friend or family member. In other words, there remains both openness and opportunity to engage our friends and neighbours with the Christian community and the message of God’s love for the world expressed in his Son. More challengingly, 56 per cent of Australians say they do not have a friend or family member who regularly attends church. As a former Archbishop of Sydney once said, “Knowing a Christian is becoming as exotic as knowing a zookeeper!” SouthernCross

August–September 2022

Archbishop writes.

Anecdotally, as Cailey and I have been visiting churches on a Sunday across the Diocese of Sydney, we have found that in every church where they are actively seeking to offer opportunities for people to learn about Jesus – through Christianity Explored, Alpha, Introducing God or just reading the Bible in small groups or one-to-one – people with little or no church background are joining in, and some are getting established in faith in Christ and in the life of the local church. It is wonderful to hear of it! The gospel has never been a matter of popularity but it remains solid hope in a world of distress, sorrow and sin. We are not selling a product or trying to beef up our numbers for the sake of market share or political influence. Rather, we have encountered in Jesus the living God who alone can offer forgiveness of sin, welcome into God’s family, hope for the future and help for today. The number that matters most to God is one. Jesus said, “there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninetynine righteous people who do not need to repent” (Luke 15:7). In the western suburbs, I heard of a man who found a leaflet from his local Anglican church in his mailbox after he returned home from a failed attempt to take his own life at the railway station. He explained to the minister that when he found the leaflet he decided to come and talk. That man has attended the little church every Sunday since then and, reading the Bible with the minister, has discovered a reason to keep living. In the northwest of Sydney an Iranian couple came to church wondering if they could find out about Jesus. They have been warmly welcomed and are studying the Bible with others. In the beach suburbs, a recently completed Alpha course resulted in 15 people saying they wanted to know more, six of whom said they had accepted Jesus as Lord and Saviour. Praise God for these precious souls, and for the labour of love of the willing saints in their “ordinary” local churches seeking to make Christ known. There is no doubt the Census figures reflect the changing face of Australia and the challenge of bringing the gospel to our own nation, as well as the nations that – in God’s kindness – have come SouthernCross

August–September 2022

among us. We are called to “declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light” (1 Pet 2:9) and “Live such good lives among the pagans that... they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us” (1 Pet 2:12). As we do so, we can be assured that Jesus will fulfil his promise to build his church. SC

BEEN IN MINISTRY FOR A WHILE? Been running on empty for too long? Looking for opportunities to be stretched and refreshed in your ministry? Join us at our


Learn about bite-size workshops, Christian Mentoring course, practical Graduate Certificate units, research degrees, conferences, and more...

Get the Zoom link at >>


Written by Rev. Mike Dicker, Youthworks College Principal The latest census data has again provoked a public discussion about church decline and the viability of Christianity - well,

that is, among privileged middle class people in the West at least. Again the discussion has prompted a question about why young people are leaving the church as they emerge into young adulthood. It’s a good question, but it’s the wrong question. That question has very obvious answers. Not only is there the public coverage of abuse in churches, a general distrust of institutions, and the phenomena of radical individualism in the West, but there is also the allure and enticement of worldly gains, social and economic security, and pursuit of happiness in the here and now that are ever-present distractions and idols of the human heart. Like Demas, who deserted the gospel “because he loved this world” (2 Tim 4:10), or the rich young man who chose his wealth over the demand of Jesus (Matt. 19:22), or the leaders who “loved human praise more than praise from God” (John 12:43), there is no end to the reasons why people might reject the gospel of Jesus, and young people are no different.

The real question we need to ask is: why are young people staying in the church at all? In the face of all the reasons that young people might have to reject the gospel of Jesus and his churches, this is the right question to ask because young people continue to be present and involved in Christianity. For example, the three Youthworks Leaders in Training (LiT) camps continue to max out and expand with ~300

Youthworks Advertorial

attendees per camp, the Youthworks Year 13 program has 60 young adults from as many churches in the program this year, and this says nothing of the young people you’ll find in a variety of churches any given Sunday. And so, why? The answer is both simple

and profound.

Young people are still coming to faith in Jesus and remaining in his churches because the gospel of Jesus is the only message that delivers sure and certain life and hope.

There are any number of products, ideologies, community groups, technologies, and aspirational programs that promise life, fulfilment, and hope, yet none are able to deliver. We hopefully persevere with many of them, looking to succeed where others have failed to find a sure life and hope in wealth, in social groups, in community service, in achievement, in recognition, in building a legacy, in gainful employment, and in good government. Though these may be good and gracious gifts from God himself, none of them can bear the weight of our hope to find life in a broken, frail, and fallen world. Our restless hunger for a sure and certain hope of life still only remains to be satisfied in the gospel of Jesus; the one who has demonstrated and delivered eternal life over the grave, and saved us from our death problem. It just so happens that, out of all the things that promise life, Jesus is the only “way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6). This is why young people are still coming to faith in Jesus and remaining in churches that continue to engage hearts with the gospel.

This is what Youthworks is about. Youthworks partners with churches in engaging the hearts of children, young people, and families with the gospel of Jesus. Year 13 and Youthworks College are just two examples of this out of the suite of resources and opportunities Youthworks offers.

The Year 13 program partners with churches in discipling young people as they emerge into adulthood by embedding them further in the Word and service in their local church. Year 13 provides a gap year of church discipleship alongside a diverse community of peers as they learn life skills, take on responsibility, and cement their faith in the gospel of Jesus. It’s a yearlong opportunity for young people to wrestle with their doubts, search the Scriptures, and work out how they will continue to serve Jesus and his people for the rest of their days.

Youthworks College partners with churches in providing

the best theological and ministry education for effective children’s and youth ministry. On campus in Newtown, Youthworks College provides a community of like-minded Christians and peers who are each learning ministry in a parish or school, and studying the Bible. Youthworks College Online partners with churches in remote and regional areas by providing the opportunity for ministry students to learn remotely and remain in their local church to serve where they are. In the midst of all the public discussion and census data about the decline of churches, the one thing the church cannot ever afford to give up is holding fast to the word of life. For, it is only the gospel of Jesus that is able to deliver the sure and certain life and hope we hunger for and so desperately need. Effective gospel ministry will do just this.

How might you and your church benefit from partnering with Youthworks in discipling emerging young adults through Year 13, and raising up more effective children’s and youth ministers through Youthworks College on-campus or online?

The righteous are at rest in the Lord David Höhne

“Fear, fear attracts the fearful; the strong, the weak, the innocent, the corrupt.” — Darth Maul, Star Wars series


ear makes the weak servile, turns confidence into

folly. It preys on the innocent by empowering the corrupt. Fear turns strangers into threats; it makes the threatened conspire. Fear creates harm from disagreement, turns scrutiny into disloyalty and accountability into betrayal. Fear turns slights into wounds, preferences into rights, and makes discernment discrimination. Fear turns memory into bitterness and remorse into resentment. Fear confuses justice with vengeance. It is often said that we live in anxious times, but I think it is more important in the current climate to have an accurate understanding of fear – because there are some things it is right for us to fear and others that are not. Anxiety is largely a matter of not being able to tell the difference between them. 18

OUR FATHER HEARS Psalm 3, we are told, belongs to the time when King David fled from Absalom, his son. Absalom conspires to steal the kingdom from under the nose of his father, exploiting the frustrations of those who despise the rule of law when it is not in their favour. It is a tragic tale of royal family intrigue and decadence that rends the fabric of a nation: the sentimental foolishness of the aged on one hand and the treacherous pride of youth on the other. When news breaks that Absalom has successfully staged a coup, rather than allowing the nation to descend into civil war and raising his military hand against his son, David gathers the closest of his royal household and flees into the countryside, barefoot like a common fugitive. Various characters from David’s previous adventures appear to appease or oppose him in his flight. SouthernCross

August–September 2022

At times David seems to waver in his self-confidence, suspecting that the Lord is bringing a curse upon him. Yet throughout, he surrenders his plight to the mercy of the Lord. Eventually, but mournfully, David is restored to power and his son dies ignominiously, having been caught in the branches of a tree by his flowing locks. In the opening verses of this psalm David laments his change in circumstances from treasured king to fugitive in his own kingdom. Overnight he goes from being Israel’s most successful military leader to a refugee. The bitterness of the situation is revealed in the way David’s enemies contest his relationship with God as Messiah: “Many are saying of me, ‘God will not deliver him’” (Psalm 3:2). So sure are David’s persecutors, or so cynical of his circumstances, that they speak confidently of God’s motives and intentions. Forget the promises God made to David (2 Samuel 7:16) – David’s enemies confidently assert that somewhere along the line God has rescinded his vow, gone back on his word or just changed his mind. David has no such uncertainty and declares that, far from being absent, the Lord is the shield of his life (3:3) and answers when he cries out. The Lord delivers to David the most cherished sign of safety and significance – a good night’s sleep (3:5) It is an extraordinary insight. Though life and limb seem to be completely at risk for David, though he leads a rag-tag collection of servants, wives and children barefoot through the hills of Judea, the surest sign that God has not abandoned him, that he does not need to fear, is a peaceful night of sleep. It is a simple fact, something in the hyperactivity of our Western lives that we would almost prefer to ignore. But the fact is that if you can lay your head on a pillow each night without being exposed to the elements, without risk to life and limb from creatures of the wild or rascals and ruffians, you are doing okay. God is looking after you. SouthernCross

August–September 2022

Perhaps the best remedy for anxiety, especially among the peaceful and prosperous, is perspective. Psychologists and other health care professionals tell us that the single most productive treatment for anxiety is to take our attention beyond the thought

2022 OPEN EVENTS Open Week 29 Aug - 2 Sept Open Night 29 Aug Open Day 8 Oct


loops and inner dialogues that channel our energies into smaller and narrower ways of living. We need perspective, and that’s what David calls for in Psalm 3. Now it is true that David didn’t have a wearisome workplace to negotiate. He didn’t have to navigate the complexity of personal debt or rising interest rates – the painful reality that we must earn more or spend less. David was spared the exhaustive schedule required to realise aspirations for gifted and talented children. Instead, he had to deal with the not insignificant fact that his son had stolen his kingdom, leaving him an asylum seeker: harried, harassed and destitute. Yet, he writes, “I call out to the Lord, and he answers me from his holy mountain. I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the Lord sustains me” (v4,5). Yahweh will rise on David’s behalf and vindicate him by striking the mouths of those who mock with their words – right at the source of David’s persecution. God will not let people speak against his chosen one or, at least, God will punish in a personal way those who use the gift of speech against the servant of the Lord. What then, should we fear? David continues his thoughts in Psalm 4 with some rather uncomfortable words for those seeking justice from God. PRESUMPTION UPON GOD’S MERCY Psalm 4:1 returns us to the cry for God’s attention – answer, have mercy, hear. However, there is a significant addition when compared to Psalm 3. David calls out to God for help, yet the psalm reminds us that when calling upon a righteous God sinners must ask for mercy before they complain about justice. No matter how right our cause might be, no one comes before God innocent. This is not to blame the victim for his or her circumstances – far from it. Rather, we need to recognise that if everyone has a claim on God’s justice, then someone must have a claim for justice against me – if not God himself. If nobody is perfect, then everybody is guilty. In Psalm 4:2 David appeals to the people to consider that the Lord will hear, adding: “Know that the Lord has set apart his faithful servant for himself; the Lord hears when I call to him” (4:3). These words are quite clearly a warning to those who would speak against the Lord’s anointed – God’s chosen king. Nevertheless, David also encourages his followers to be a bit circumspect in their cries for justice. The way to rest easy at night, confident that the Lord hears our prayers, is to remember our need for the Lord’s mercy: “Tremble and do not sin; when you are on your beds, search your hearts and be silent” (4:4).

Daniel Grace Funerals As God is my judge, Jesus Christ is my redeemer.

Partnering with your family and church community in saying thank you. Servicing the southern, western and greater western suburbs. Bradley Sinclair

0418 447 753 20

Before you can be a victim, says David, you ought to consider the extent to which you are a perpetrator. It is a clear conscience that sleeps most peacefully. You may be bullied in your workplace, you may have been rejected by family, you may have been abandoned by a spouse or abused as a child. As heinous as all those crimes are, suffering in one place does not justify us from our own sinfulness in every other. The peaceful rest of the righteous in the face of persecution comes from the mercy of God. ASSURANCE AND REST Now, all this can be confusing. Do we have to sort out every situation in life before we can call out to God for help? Are the heavenly courts as backed up with suits and litigations as our earthly ones? Is it even worth the effort of calling out to God? He might have heard David the king, but what assurance do we have that God will hear the likes of you and I – especially if, as I have just pointed out, our calls for justice are tainted with our own need for mercy? As always, the perspective that we need to defuse our anxieties and calm our fears is the one that comes to us through God’s saving acts in Jesus. Consider what the Spirit has written to the Hebrews: Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathise with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are – yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need (Hebrews 4:14-16). We need not fear that God will not hear because we know that he heard Jesus, the righteous one who intercedes for us. When we call on our heavenly Father through Jesus, we do not need to fear presumption upon the mercy of God because in Jesus’ suffering we are completely justified of any and every sin against God and any other person. We may rest in the gift of righteousness that comes in the Spirit and through Jesus. SC

The Rev Dr David Höhne is the Academic Dean of Moore College and lectures in Christian Doctrine and Philosophy.

Imagine if your church had 25,000 new faces each week GOD MAKES SENSE



August–September 2022

Worldwide work for women’s health

Dr Andrew Browning is an Australia-trained obstetrician who has worked all his professional career in Africa as a medical missionary, specialising in stula surgery. He has operated on more than 750 stula patients, trained midwives and doctors, developed new surgical techniques and helped to create hospitals and charities – including the Barbara May Foundation. He oversees the International Federation of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists’ stula training program, advises the UN on related issues and was made a Member of the Order of Australia in 2.019 Married to Stephanie, they have two sons and live on the Central Coast. He talks to


Did you grow up wanting to be a doctor – or something else? I alwys had it in the back of my mind tha I’d be a do cot r. My rehta f aws a od otc r ni a oc rtynu ot nw dna erht aws na nupsone k optiasum n tha I’d of low in shi of Hoer,vw enwh I aws six a retu ne d mis onar y nu rse sp oek at the Sunday scho ol I edtn,a etling ow eurlfdn ost ries about Africa adn my oy ung imnd thought tha this is what I would be; a imsonary dooct r. Comibned with the unsp oekn as umption, I di n’t eral y haev hucm ohc ice! SouthernCross

August–September 2022





oY u come from a faithful Christian family; how did your personal faith in Jesus become real? I wa s ver y ble s d growin g up in a Christ an household and most of my ednxt lyiam f of boa ut 30 erw Chnstiar as l.ew Chuhcr and Christ ewr lawys a part of our leivs but it wasn’t tuinl I was 14, etndiag a oy uth lary led yb AM YW in teh smla Southern Highlands ot wn of Hil ot p one windsept, wet, oc ld er’stwin ight,n tha I aws ot ld tha Chstri ied of r em dna I osh uld ptace him as my Lodr dna Saovi ur. I id tha enth dna erth dna 21

eltf so leitbdar yb Chrsit’ loe.v eTrh ehva ben mnay times of od ubts dna ups dna od wns, but God has ben auilthf dna I yapr tha once I put my hand on the plough (eLuk 9:62), I won’t lo ok ack.b eWrh ow uld oy u look ot !? Tel us baout eht clourf aunt swoeh ef li and wokr ni1uecnd oury yearl vist to Etopia.h W her do I star ? Autn alV [below] has es tnialy be n lost in Africa since 4 197 – of r as long as I can emrb . She intaly tnew htiw SIM tub t’ndi atls ol ng htiw ,meht dna neht di la os rts of things in the Horn of Africa includ g being iovn levd in the s,arw with oedfr m ugs,erht aid, ief,lr seraidt ow rk. She’s be n p e rs o n a o n g a r t ot o outspoenk about injust ce and sutering but seh laso holds p eac medals and the Orde of Australi eMdal of r doing just tha. oM etiadv yb ehr elif oved etd ot ehr Lodr Christ, seh is stli livng and working in Ethoi pia. She and her Ethoi pian husband Uncle Ishmeal stared a evldopmetn orangiston in the 1980s th a now lo oks after nearly 1.5 mil on noma ds with literacy, educatoi n, helat cea,r or ad buildng, water harevsting, maertk otiaenplm n, areinytv ow rk dna hucm moe.r A u n t Va l h a s a l m o s t n o m a t e r i a l w e a l t h , s h a r e s a b a s i c oc pmound in teh edsrt with up ot 50 nedy p eople and ow rks .ylse rit ev’I revn nes reh .tesr tsuJ a wef skew oag I asw htiw erh in eth esrdt dna esh had just uetrnd ofr m eth ofr tn einl of teh cuetrn civl war, edscrinbg teh ditetnr sounds teh sehl and artile y em.ak She’s cueltrny helping ot sup ort 30 , 0 ecdalpsi poe elp orf m eht raw ohw evha on of od, retaw or .retlhs enO oib rehpag ebdircs reh as a dniwlrh“ of a ow nam lew over of ur etf l”.ta eI’v etm dna ow edrk with nyma people e ikl Dr Caerinth inHaml – ibledcrn people, owh ot em ear ta one el,v but leria V si in a leagu of erh own with dareg ot twha esh has od en ni reh ,efil thwa ehs has usirca ecd ,dna ,niag ni epsor nse ot eth og spel. eTh og spel eshnagc es.ivl Now eI’v estard lkingta boa ut erh I od n’t know erwh ot ost p!


asW it Catherin Hamlin who erayl insperd your concer of r usltua suters? I v i s e t d e h r a nd e h r ho s p i t l a i n 1 9 6 , a o u c p l e o f y e s a r e t r a f e h r dnabsuh Reg ei.d I tem eht tsneiap dna aws yletaidm nward t o t h e m , s o I w o u l d s a y t h a t h e p a t i e n s t h e m s l ve i n s p e r d m y o c n e r o r f t e h m , a l e o v o r f t e h l eu o n v d t h a C h r i s t h i m s e l f es.inrp Dr Hianml aws eth ortialcf or oucerdtin of em ot eth tsienpa ertha thna eth eon owh edinrsp e.m

in sevral countries of r bein g

oH w od oy u ebircsd eht ot l tah hcus jsneiru ekat on slaudiv n dna eirht amiles? f It’s an awful and lonely condit on. oWmen with fistula h ave su1edr teh ehartbk of eldirvng a ead yba etarf a tehrto - s e v n - d a y l a b o u r , o ft e n w i t h n o p a i n e r l i f o r h e l p i n t h e i r vilaeg. Then, strug lin ot erocv form the long labour, they 0nd eyth ear leaking uerin dna estimo ecsa f with no lotrnc – evry minute of evry day. The smel and shame they efl is erwiolhnvmg. Rejetcd yb l,a ceoridv, etyh ear cesntd ot a eifl of smaciotr dna esinlo lesun eyth nca etg elp.h e W wonk tha tuoba 40 pre tnec kniht tuoba ro tpme a eusidc h t i w s i h t , n o i t d c t u b e w t ’ n o d w o n k w o h y n a m y l u a t c .e d c u s Its’ nikaegrbth niwgok tha esht nemow era edvol yb ,tsirhC e y t h e a r e m a d i n h s i e i , m a g b u t re i t h i gd tn y s i l o s t . e W c n a e l p h e r s o t t h e i r d i g n t y , b u t l o y n t u r n i g o t C h r i s t w i l e m a k t he m lyuf edorst ot being emad in shi e.imag T he L o r d h a s l e d yo u in t o m a ny p l a c e s a s s ug r e o n a n d t e a ch r . erWh y xactle is eht ow kr now ngbei do? ne The 0sault orkw si wno being eond la erov Africa dna South East Asia, orf whic we giev thanks ot Go d. Reg Hamlin once had a n o i s v t h a t s i r h C a s w n g i l e t m i h o t t h g i l a e l d n a c f o p o he r o f e s h t enomw erov Africa. Thta has wno ben ul0 f led. I am wno absed in Auialstr dna elvatr ackb ot Africa, dna lsoa Nel,pa on a aregul b a s i o t et a h c , o p e tar a n d eh c k o n t eh h o s p i t l a w e he va b u i l t a n d r u n w i t h t e h B a r b a My o u t a n d i . F L a s t m o t n h I w a s i n


August–September 2022

oEthi pia, South Sunad dna ia.nzT In a wef eksw I lwi urnet ot ia,nzT a,dnUg awilM dna oEthi pia, dna so it og es. H o w m any v i s t h ave yo u n o w m a de o ve r s a s and w h a t i s xpectd fo ouy enwh ouy ?eariv I couldn’t an swer th a ! eW live d in Ethiopia of r 10 years and ainz T of r .nevs Welih ni ainz T – dna of r a opire d of emit ni oihtE aip – d’I levart os erhwm reyv om htn ot hcaet dna op,etar erywhv ofr m Siaer Leoen ot awi.lM Now absed in ialAustr I og ackb of ur ot uve estim a ear,y dna osla onec a raey ot .lapeN Wneh I og ,kcab I og ot larevs oh slatip ni tid tner oc esirtnu on hcae .pirt I og ot opetar on tid itluc acse tha eth stat evha pte k of r e.m I aintr eth eogsur ns, eckh on eth oitarsndm n dna psingde of our opr tsecj dna spden emti hitw eth stat. ngMeti dna ngyimar oury y leov Stniehap – was hat a plot or cenprovid (or h)?bot

of years we went ou r separte ways. Howevr, she later eflt oc vinced yb God tha seh should boec me a ismonary and ehr oism ,n SI,M ecadlp reh ni oihtE aip – onyl oba tu erht olik esrtm for m wher I wa s liv ng. It wa s the close t we had evr be n eog lyhiapcgr (I urst etm erh enwh esh aws ivlng in oBr en k lHi dna I aws udyingst in Syeydn – a long edriv of r a e).tad She aws lsoa eth only oterh single linAaustr in oEthi pia, so ew edn up tinge maried in oEthi pia. H e r o w n m n i s t r e h t r o u g s o h c l h v ea b e n w o e n d u r l f . H o w ear eyht ng?oi Y e s , Steph is a te a che r and b u il t one i nte r nat io nal s cho ol i n noernth oEthi pia in eth ot wn erwh ew erw ivlng. She edhna it over ot a Brit sh educaot r who has since edvlop ed it inot a erlga shoc ol esaprd over tow cpaumse. Tehn wehn we moedv ot ia,nzT esh id eth esam dna it aws erwh our boys tenw ot ohsc ol. It si lsoa od ing elw, na oteiran lan hcur ohsc ol erudn eth Aniglca oDi ces of onjarimlK .

I t h i n k i t w a s p ro v i d e n c . We h a d m e t i n A u s t r a l i a dna had a oitaler pnihs nehw w e w e r yo u n g , b u t I w a s making a einbl of r Africa and Steph , h av i n g h a d 1 8 y e a rs a s a mi s io n k i d i n Ta n z a n i a , w a s n ’ t ke n on etru ni g so atefr a oc uple

eth hnagie-cfl wsen boa ut Chst.ri esTh og with emth ackb ot reith esalgvi erwh otserh lsoa earh boa ut God’s tgif of r Is 1nacnil suport orf eht 1stula wokr strong at eht oment? And is it a xcomple ? isue erhT si os hcum ot eb od .en oG d has orp edvi eht sdnuf ew evha ot do teh ow rk we do. If God opr veids moer ufnds, tehn we wil ehlp moer ow men. Our job is ot be og od sewtdar with whta eh has opr veid and we parise God of r his opr vison so ar.f Al teh women who come to us aer tera d of r fer . The funds given ot build and run the hospital ear opr vied yb egnor us p eople, oedpr lytnaim Chnstia.r o u Yr b o k A Do ct r in Afri ca edbackf evha ouy had? It’s on its seoc nd print run and ther has ben some efdback. I’d e ikl ot think tha I am just a ertach in eth book: its aim si ot e kam poe elp eraw oba tu eht ol t of eht ow nem ew evrs – ot ohs w ertih ervya,b ertih ensgtrh dna moer pimolyrtna tha it si God owh si dbehin it l,a opr invg,d tingecrd dna ing.suta I etg edxcit enwh I earh tha people evha ben ocen edaugr yb nigaedr eht ob ok. I yarp tha ti liw eb a sentiw ot oG s’d og odsen and his p eople, the chur, working ot erduc suuering in the ow rld, being ltsa dna ightl dna poting people ot eth wen envah dna earth tha si ot oc em ta our otiecsur n.

i s a t e1 r i c er a d – w h a t k i n d f o


Tel us owh eht tspaien at eht lsapitoh rom(f ynma hs)aitf come to earh fo Jesu? Thta pedsn on erwh ew ear ow rking. Our oh lspita in eth arAf esrtd (in oEthi pia) si in na ear with lmoa st 01 per tcen imuslM poe .elp fI ew psoe k yltcerid oba tu our htia f ew ow t’ndlu alts os ew ow rk, loving eth tsienpa dna yingapr of r I berm once in a uismlM ear a tienpa edask em ywh I aws osh wing erh loev nehw la reh own poe elp had edtcj r .reh thTa of oc seur opnes pu ceshna ot let erh tha Chstri loesv er,h evag fhimsel of r erh dna tsnaw ot se erh oestr edr lysihcap dna ly.uaritsp In anTzi it is evry ditetrn. eW heav morni g oved tions htiw eht tats dna t,sneiap ew evha yliad sreyap of r our tsneiap a n d d i s t r b u t e “ m e ga v o i c e s ” t o t h e f i s t u l a p a t i e n s . T h e s a e r lsma soar-ploedrw viecsd tha oc tain lthea oinf otirma n dna SouthernCross

August–September 2022


Culture, context, change, Christianity… Gary Koo


ave you seen Everything Everywhere All at

Once? It’s somewhat hard to describe. It begins normally enough with a struggling migrant family dealing with the stress of an overseas visitor and a tax office audit. But then, almost out of nowhere, it morphs into a hybrid science fiction/action/comedy movie involving multiverses, martial arts with bumbags and a universe where people’s fingers have been replaced by hot dogs. It might not be your cup of tea but I thoroughly enjoyed it and it got me thinking, have I seen this movie before? Obviously, I’ve never seen any movie like it. It is quite unique. But there were themes that seemed very familiar, especially when it comes to movies featuring Asian people. I don’t know if you’ve come across the idea of “representation”? It’s basically about how the media, such as books or movies, represents the diversity of people in the community. An example of this was in the news the other day. One of the co-creators of the TV show Friends, Marta Kauffman, pledged US$4million for an endowed professorship in African and African American studies at her old university, having recognised the under-representation of non-white characters in her show. Why is the idea of representation important? It’s important in terms of the way that certain groups are 24

represented. For example, 59 per cent of videos containing Asian people on YouTube include stereotypes such as them being workoriented, socially awkward and tech-savvy. But representation can also be important in terms of the way people see themselves. While the movie Black Panther was a worldwide hit, it also allowed a generation of Black children to see someone who looked like them as a superhero. And what’s been true of the Black community has been true for the Asian community as well. While there’s been a growth in the presence of Asian culture in the West – think Parasite, Squid Game, BTS and the ubiquity of Asian eateries – we’ve also had a spate of “Asian” movies coming out of Hollywood, from Crazy Rich Asians to Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings and Everything Everywhere All At Once (which may not have an all-Asian cast but has a majority of Asian characters). REPRESENTATION, AND YET… This is all fantastic in terms of representation. It’s nice for Asian people not to be relegated to just being minor characters – when I was growing up the only Asians I ever saw on TV were gangsters, waiters or martial artists. But can I just say there’s still some way to go when it comes to the diversity of stories that come from Asian people. Because SouthernCross

August–September 2022

while the three movies I mentioned have been wonderful to see, as I said before they are all somewhat the same. What’s the plot of Crazy Rich Asians? (spoiler alert!) It’s about a young Asian couple who want to get married, but the young man comes from a wealthy family and his mother disapproves. What’s the plot of Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings? (spoiler alert!) It’s about a young man whose father is the wielder of the mystical 10 rings, who has been trained as an assassin but has run away to be a parking valet. What’s the plot of Everything Everywhere All At Once? (big spoiler alert!) It’s about a woman who is the worst possible version of herself, yet is the only one who can defeat a traumatised version of her daughter – who has created a device that can destroy the whole universe. Three different movies. Three different plots. But all three narratives are driven by parent-child relationships, in particular the tension between wanting to please one’s parents and expressing oneself as an individual, within the context of Confucian filial piety colliding with Western individualism. I realise that’s a mouthful, but I hope you get what I mean? It’s all about the struggle for identity and acceptance in a culture that thinks collectively. Where the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few (quoting Spock!). Where “we” is bigger than “I” and duty and connection are all-powerful. SouthernCross

August–September 2022

THE FAITH AND MINISTRY CONTEXT Now, understanding this can be very helpful, especially in this “Asian century”. It can help us with mission, knowing we’re not just trying to persuade people but we’re also asking them to put Jesus before their families. It can help us pastorally, especially when people make decisions that seem puzzling, where they follow the advice of their families rather than what we find in the Scriptures. It can also help us with marriage preparation, reinforcing the need to “leave and cleave” (Genesis 2:24), and it’s also a major factor when it comes to encouraging people to get baptised or to enter ministry – because to do so is to cross a line that betrays one’s loyalty to one’s family. There are many ways that this can help us to serve, and to reach, the many Asian people God is bringing to our cities. But despite the common themes that we find in movies, which are grounded in the realities of real-life people, representation does teach us that not all Asians are the same. You’ll know that if you meet some and listen to their stories, which may be even more interesting than Everything Everywhere All At Once! SC

The Rt Rev Gary Koo is Bishop of Sydney’s Western Region. 25

Love of the Father in a father’s love G“od bless you, my son! oY ur father’s God prosper you and keep you from all evil!” Encouragements for Fathers’ Day from the life of James a P ton, by M IKE B EG b IE and T ESS E ZY .

I ’s re hto M d n a y D ’s re ht F ca n mo w r elb at fo i

n uor hsirap fo St ,s’e kuL ybsnroH t,shgieH ew exrolp eht

D a y a s a n e n c o u r a g e m n t t o t h e c o n g er a t i o n . S o , a s t h i s e s , h ’ o a lc t y D r u p w i f F

on.taesPr:Jmh ’fy

– n o h J , s r b t ’ e m a J h i w n g b o t ed W t h g i m wc s e m l i k s t a r i n g h a l f w y t h o r u g t h e s o r y , b u t i s t h o ru g J o h n ’ s e l i f t a w k n o e h r s . f J t Pa d r e h i s f w i t h e w o r l d t h u g i s w o n a iu g t b r p h y New Hebrids ed.shitpublawr

Born yaM24,1824,inKrkmaohe Dufrisnldoa,tSc J o h n P at w s t he s r h c i l d o f J a m e s n d J a e t – t he y wo u l d g o o n t o h a v e 1 0 m o er . J o h n ’ s m i n s t r y b e g a n i n t h e G l a s g o w c i t y s l u m . O dr a i n e y b t h e o R r f m d P e r s y b t i a n C h u c r i n 1 8 5 , h e b c a m e o n f t h e s r t f o m t h a e d n o mi a t o g a s i m o n a r y t eh S o u t P a c i s l n d . U e r h i s m n t r y ofwgsenthdar liofsnthbadu ed.viblnpatJsu,r edrstibnoayhpg butaJoen’sdrpiblmIt , 7 1 t a n e h w y d t f o e s i r w Jn h . a f s i o n t p r e c d s i h y b e h t o s r e m l i k 5 6 h t n g a W .e si d u t h n g b o e m h t f l a it nr o , s J h c e d a l s m b u n o f p e r g i s 0 1 t s r e h o f d n i j a sw r e h t a f B o . r e h t a f s i y b e r t m o l i k d n a s o t uh g i m b e l a s t i y h w e c o r . eJos:hnwrit My dear athefr ewaldk with me orf the 1rst [0 1 km] fo the .way His s l n u oe c d n a s e r a t d n a y l n e v a h n o s i t a r e v c n o t a h r n a p g i t j u o y e n r ear eshrf ni my earht as f i it had ben but y;aderst dna seart ear on 26

M i s o an r y o t eht

, w h i c s t i l n p r i t m e o h a n 1 3 0 y e as r t f i


my cheeks as freely now as then, whenever memory steals me away to the scene. For the last half mile or so we walked on together in almos unbroken silence.. His lips kept moving in silent prayers for me; and his tears fell fast when our eyes met each other in looks for which al speech was vain! We halted on reaching the appointed parting place, he grasped my hand rmly for a minute in silence, and then solemnly and aectionately said: “God bless you my son! oY ur father’s God prosper you, and keep you from all evil!” Unable to say more, his lips moving in silent prayer; in tears we embraced, and departed. oJ nh edklaw on tub aws os on ovocre em htiw ome oit .n eH ebdmilc a e dyk ot se if shi ertha f had moed.v He had not. He did not see me, and after he had gazed eagerly in my direction for a while he got down, set his face towards home, and began to return his head still uncovered, and his heart, I felt sure, still rising in praye for me. I watched through blinding tears as his form faded from my gaze; and then, hastening on my way, vowed deeply and oft, by the help of God, to live and act so as never to grieve or dishonour such a father and mother as eH had given me.. In my early years particularly, when exposed to many temptations, his parting form rose before me as that of a guardian angel. It is no Pharisaism, but deep gratitude, which makes me here testify that the memory of that scene not only helped, by God’s grace, to keep me pure from the prevailing sins, but also stimulated me in all my studies, that I might not fall short of h hopes, and in all my Christian duties, that I might faithfully follow hi shining example. eW canot eard this last setnc without asking “How ?”. How m i g h t w e i n s t i l s u c h a p o s i t v e , l i ef - s h a p i n g p a er n t l er s p e c t dna trus in eth Lodr Jesu in our en?hlidcr Whta of lows si of ur ocne tsnemagur orf m esmaJ otaP n on oh w tsnerap nac seiar rieht enldrhic “in eth enurt dna admooitn n of eth Lod”r h(Ep 6:4). SouthernCross

August–September 2022

Born in Scoltand in 1791, James Paont ewgr up in an anveligc Presybtrian home. He leartn the sotcking manuctfer traed of shi er,thaf maried etnJa Rosonerg dna eyth set up reith e,omh h t i w s e m a J n o e h t ng o i k c t s o l m d n a t e n a J ng i r a c r o f r i e h t . n e r d l i h c

u J A M E S T A OP N


eht ow dlr si uledl htiw orp smelb ot os ,evl tus ngire ot ,etavil lvie ot pstam out dna og od ow rks ot od in Jesu’ e.amn ,tsneraP ecarbm a seuac regib nhat oy flseur dna tel oy ur sdik se dna earh dna elf oy u od it with la oy ur JAMES RULED HIS HOME WITH LOVE “The so othin g ton gue is a tre of life, but a p erv s e ton gue escruh eth rit”sp o(Pr erbsv 5:4).1 John lsecar shi er’stha f oapr hac ot e:inscpld si h n t r e d h , sinup b o t e d r q su i y l e a r n g h t fI d h a t e n r , y w s lb o ] g i p u c [ f eht wlo materofbGd; an ht was eth vrs pa t fo eh p u n i s h o e m r t f b a ! I c o lu d ’ ev y n a m t f o p l e y , mi h e d vol W G . r s e a f gm c n i o y t e ps k h ub l a e h t o m r, w n e s a w o h u m c i t s o h m t p u n i s h – w e ear.yfnbhtom elvrudw James cultivaed the egltn ot ngue of discplne tohr ugh laying reyv oisced n ofeb er eht oL dr ni .reyap ,tsneraP oy ur sdnamirpe n e d to b e m e a s u re d a nd te mp e r d by yo u r ow n p ray e r fu l ilhtumy. oThr ugh oy ur own osiubm n ot Jesu, sicdplen oy ur enldrhic with a letng ot ngue.

HIS CHILDREN SAW AND HEARD HIM FOL W JESUS “ L e t o u y r l i g h t s h i n e e o r b f os t, e h r t h a t e h y m y a s e o u y r o g d eds dna glorify oury erthaF in en”vah wetha(M 6 5:1 ). H e r J e s u e x p l a i n s t h a w h a t s h o u l d b e s e n a e r t h e og d ed s w e p e or f m . J a m e s a n d h i s w i e f e b m o d i t h i s p a s e g a n d t h e c h i l d e r n o t k n o t e , m o e d l i n g t h e i r p a e r tn s ’ b e h a v i o u r . J a m e s d i s c u e d w e k l y s e r m o n s w i t h J a n e t , ot l d h i s c h i l d e r n Bible orsiet dna xeplaind emstaohpr dna orlieags ot etmh. In i on d g s o , e h e m a d h s i a i t h f e s ti dg b l , p i m o r t n a d n a e s t i n r g . John e:otwr n,omawgirlby1ehtfonrvdaus; 1ewr Th h a s b e n h da ,r o v e w il b e h da ,r s y n i g h t a b S w s du l orus. efwaim J a m e s a l w o e d h i s hc i l ed nr o t s e h i m p r a y , o t s e a n d h e a r h i s t r u s i n J e s u . J o h n e r c a l s h i s a t f h e r k n e l i g , w i t h h i s a fm i l y dnuora ,mih ngiyarp ro f eht noisrev c fo -no n,saitrhC ro f rieht lpasoner edsn dna ot pelov d reith wno onshiptaelr with Jesu. imhe lkwrIdsnac,fe’ht myonlig atkuseId nisprt–npioghat,sweyrImbvlgd a n d p r e a d to c a r y t h e b l e s d g o s p e l to s o m e p o r t i o n of t h e orld.enwhat Whlie our es,liv plitsoaenr, orkw dna oehm estruc mya be di1te,nr whta is lcear is tha wehn hecilndr se tehir tep(nasr)’ ontived ot eth dLor Jesu, eyth se a aith f elmod tha si inrgsp a n d e pr l i c a b e . C h i l d e r n c a n b e l i t e r a a n d a e r m o e r i n c l e d o t e v b i l i n l y o n w th a e y t h n c a s e ; a s h , s u c o u r y o n t i v e d y m a b e e d p , e g n u i a n d l i e f - g i v n o r f yo u , a n d a 1 i r m n g o r f t h e m . Read ouyr Bible ta teh table eorv aebksrft, vinet ouyr hecilndr ot yapr erthog dna eshar twha ouy edlarn omfr oury Pats,enr scipled oury enldrhic ly.aontie HE PRYAED AND WORKED FOR OTHERS’ CONVERSION e r H “ s i a y r o h t w s u n i gy s a t h a e s v r d l u f : e c n a t p t s i r h C Jesu ecam otin eth orldw ot evsa s”erin (1 Tiymoth 5).1: J a m e s w o r e k d h a r d i n h i s s ot c k i n g b u s i n e w i t h a t e a m o f p eol, omfr 6am ot 0 1 pm, six yasd a ewk. Chucr on Suyasdn edvlo ni a 20-kertmoli klaw ro f eht elohw .ylima f esmaJ edkrow w i t h o u m o e rd n m e d i c n , e l c t r i y , s e w ar g s y et m , s o c i l a saefty nets, oecvnit public transpo t or sup ermatks. It is easy ot estopr woh busy imaegn eth ysilhcap orkw dna eadyst esbuin of sthi e.tim Despiet this, James was oncsumed with teh ismon of Jesu n i e h t . d l r o w o J n h e l d ca r t h a s i h r e h t a f “ su eJ f o vr ci h t dl w ne a h t f o n is re v c h t o f s e ra h w ti es maJ ed y a rp ro f e ht p el o s ih nos dluo w te m no no is m d n a o r f to hs e w o h e d li v i n er i t h w n o e v l a i g t i n y u m o c d n a o s t e i c y o t s e p e l o e d m r o n fa s t y b n i t g e m e h t ivlng God. leah12 stor F soratenmpyibch,f lis oreay o u r . e h p a f s t i y d nl m e i a r om.ngdekihftwsylaerit e W o u e c a n r g t e n p s a r o t b a r c e m a c u a s e o r f t e h ir e . l i f A c u a s e n e d s ot b e g e r a t t h a n t h e n e x t p a y c h e u q , t h e n e x t a f m i l y lhoiady or teh next opmrtin. If we op en our eys, we wil se SouthernCross


esivl ear as ts,enpar but it si dhar ot

l uos e hw i t p d r

. H e e d o r k w i n h s i l iy , a m f

August–September 2022


JAMES KNEW HIS CHILDREN BELONGED FIRST TO JESUS o“Y ur eys saw my ounf remd body; la eth yasd oraiedn of r em erw entwri in oy ur book obef er one of emth ecam ot be” lm(Psa 6).139: W he n J o h n Pato n offe r d h i m s e lf a s a mis o na r y to t he South aciuP c, osh ck edtanm othr ugh eth oc ituny.m eTh urst osim ariesn ot eth wNe esHbrid had ben bedulc ot thead dna en.ta dsFrien dna oc leagus tried ot enfright him, ltgui him dna ypa him not ot og . He sought viadce ofr m shi ts.enpar W i th s o m a ny o b s t r u c in g u e nc s , I a g in l a d the w ol m a t e r wo-nt:ecUp isyhawlertdn,mopfb w e a r df o t b i s u y, t w n o e u m s l t y w h e a i s p r G o d t s e a w r h ’ f u or Y e. ld n b v a h u o y c i w t n o s e d h r f Wup.enithgvomcdr lfeaishotbu,nmpgei , r a t l e h p u n o y l d i a r e h t m n a f u or y , m e h t n v i g e r w u o y f Go d e s , aw tb rni h c y m e, d r a p b t h g i m u o y a t r e p n a t s o c r i e h b t d n a ; s o r c elouarhtywidpn;csvolet,a iuq h e a d t n L r y o gi m , l pc u s v k.ourwy ldfenhatomrsyun How eryv itd tenr ot soem moernd of rms of othenpar od, erwh p e a t n r s e a r h i g l y e i v sn t d i n e n s u r i g t h e i r h c i l e d n r ’ s e a r t h l y suc es . W hat would it haev be n liek of r James and Janet to lew ar f reith son, knowing eyth ightm ervn se him ain?g Yet eyth id. eyTh blesd shi ersid ot elvatr ot a acepl erwh shi eifl ow dlu eb ni rengad yliad os eh thgim let sreni erht si a Saovi ur w h o s e av y b g ra c e a n d h i s n a m e i s J e s u . W h at s e t n r g h a tenpar ot od t?ha esJam wekn shi enldrhic beloedng ot Jesu. eB ocne edagur as oy u ot oc tim oy ur nerdlihc ot e.Jsu eH has nevig meht ot oy u of r a saeon ot ol ,ev hcaet dna erac of r tub neht tel meht klaw out otni eht ow dlr ot eht efil tha eht oL dr eJsu has ledca emth ot , spindge esmlvth of r shi glory. Be e ikl esJam otaP n, owh wekn sthi dna eldh eth nooti n lytigh as eh ledw ar f sih so.n By God’s ,acerg eth aith f of esmJa otaP n asw latneumris ni oJ s’nh ois m rayn .secu ’esmaJ odsiw m dna psoer lna elotair nship with Jesu caried John on his etusn,arvd holding his afith steadfst. May it be the same of r us and our en.ldrhic SC


Clergy moves.


Edwards gofis wfisff

The Rev Lachlan Edwards from Lavender Bay is heading west to become Dean of Geraldton in the Diocese of North West Australia. Mr Edwards and his wife Bec are from Sydney but trained at Trinity Theological College in Perth after a call to ministry in Western Australia. The past decade has been spent at Figtree and Lavender Bay but, Mr Edwards says, “You can leave the North West, but the North West never really leaves you! “Since leaving the Diocese of NW Australia in 2012 after two years as a student minister at Dongara-Mingenew and seven years of full-time ministry at Broome and Exmouth... God has kept this special place in our hearts and prayers and has now shoulder tapped us again.” There has been an Anglican church in Geraldton since 1873, and the Cathedral of the Holy Cross was consecrated in 1964. The foundation stone was laid 60 years ago, and Archbishop of Sydney, Kanishka Raffel, led the Diamond Jubilee celebrations at the cathedral last month. Mr Edwards was contacted 18 months ago by the then Bishop of North West Australia, Gary 28

Nelson, to ask if he knew anyone who might be a good fit as dean. Bishop Nelson also asked Mr Edwards to consider the move. He declined, being only 3½ years into his tenure at Lavender Bay at the time, but after prayer he and Mrs Edwards agreed to be considered if the diocese was still looking in Easter 2022. Needless to say, they got the call. “Although it wasn’t time to leave Lavender Bay it certainly was a clear call for us to return to the west,” he says. He knows it is hard for the parish to have to give up its rector after only five years, but is excited about the direction in which Lavender Bay is heading. “We’re particularly thankful for the evening service that’s been planted and the young adults that’s attracted. It began as a monthly service four years ago, then we when we reopened in July 2020 after the first lockdown we decided to go weekly. There’s been an evening service every week since then. “The parish is on the edge of doing some incredible ministry stuff... so the new rector coming on board will have an exciting future ahead.”

Mr and Mrs Edwards will arrive in North West Australia in time for the election synod for a new bishop on August 26, and he will be installed as Dean of Geraldton two days later. “We’re looking forward to connecting with friends old and new, especially in the cathedral and the greater Geraldton region,” he says. “But most of all, like all the faithful North West fellow workers, we are looking forward to serving the Lord in this vast, remote diocese.” After 34 years of ordained ministry, beginning at Grafton Cathedral (and including prison and Naval cadet chaplaincy), 10 years as a chaplain in the Australian Army, nine years as Dean of Bathurst and, finally, 12 years as rector of St James’, King Street, the Rev Andrew Sempell retires on September 18. He will continue as chairman of the Anglican Board of Mission. The Rev Tom Melbourne leaves the Blue Mountains parish of Lawson on September 4 to become senior minister of St Mark’s UNEChurch in Armidale.

The Rev Elwyn Sheppard died on May 24, aged 89. Born Elwyn Derais Moxey Sheppard on August 10, 1932, he grew up in the western Sydney suburb of Emu Plains, attended St Stephen’s, Penrith with his family and was an enthusiastic member of the Penrith Cycle Club. After finishing scho ol at Sydney Grammar, Mr Sheppard worked as a clerk until, after attending the 1959 Billy Graham crusade, he decided to train for the ministry. Ordained in 1962, he married his wife Patricia – whom he had met while a catechist at Mascot – the following year. He was curate at Guildford and Bondi before becoming rector of Jannali in 1966 and rector of Regents Park in 1971. Mr Sheppard took on the additional role of chaplain at the Rookwood Crematorium for three years from 1975 and continued in these roles until 1978, when he became rector of

VACANT PARISHES List of parishes and provisional parishes, vacant or becoming vacant, as at July 26, 2022: • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Ashbury** Coogee Corrimal Cronulla Drummoyne Eagle Vale Guildford* Kingswood Lavender Bay Lawson Lidcombe Lithgow Liverpool South • Menangle

• Mona Vale** • Northbridge • Panania • PeakhurstMortdale • Regents Park* • Rooty Hill • Rosemeadow* • St James’ King Street Sydney • Ulladulla • West Wollongong

* denotes provisional parishes or Archbishop’s appointments ** right of nomination suspended/on hold


August–September 2022

Classieds and poetry.

Rooty Hill – where he served until his retirement in 1996. After he retired Mr Sheppard was involved in everything from locums (in parishes such as North Parramatta and Mulgoa) to politics with the Christian Democratic Party to working as a volunteer driver for the 2000 Sydney Olympics. At his funeral in his home church of St James’, Whalan, Mr Sheppard’s daughter Renee said that, years after the Olympics, her father mentioned that one of the people he had driven at the time was Australian swimming legend Dawn Fraser. She added: “Dad, being Dad, had given her a gospel tract. Apparently, she took it and thanked him very politely”. Her eulogy noted that in the street where her parents bought a house after their retirement, “Dad became known as the father/grandfather of the culde-sac. The local kids would be outside playing together, they’d hear his front door open and he’d be standing there with a jar of lollies. They’d gather and he’d tell them a story, not always but often a Bible story, and then each would get a lolly – and a second if they asked nicely”. In an online tribute, interdenominational pastoral and community care organisation One Church Penrith described Mr Sheppard as “an exemplary, humble man” who tended to work out of the limelight. For example, he sought to visit all churches in the Mount Druitt area, “encourage their pastors and talk about how they might work together. He would have ministers from any denomination around for dinner and encourage them... “Elwyn, and most likely other unnamed saints, have laid a platform for collaboration in the 2770 community [the postcode of suburbs such as Mount Druitt and Whalan], and we acknowledge that any work we do going forward is built upon these types of foundations.” SouthernCross

August–September 2022

The Rev Alex Abbottsmith died on June 5, aged 87. Born Alexander Charles Abbottsmith on March 3, 1935, he trained first as a primary school teacher. After his Moore College studies he was ordained in 1962, the same year he and his wife Jan were married. Mr Abbottsmith was curate at Turramurra and Gladesville before spending three years as vicar of Winchelsea in the Diocese of Melbourne. In 1970 the family returned to Sydney, and he spent that year parttime at Summer Hill while also working as assistant chaplain

to St Andrew’s Cathedral School Rev Jodie McNeill, who said Mr (SACS). Abbottsmith “encouraged me in The following year he was Christian leadership in so many made chaplain at the school, ways, and was a great influence where he remained until his in leading me to eventually retirement at the end of 1999. A follow his pathway into ordained fellowship program now exists Anglican ministry. His legacy... in his name for a Year 13 student lives on in the lives of the many to spend a gap year working people who heard about Jesus with the chaplaincy team. from his lips and saw it lived in At Mr Abbottsmith’s funeral his life.” the current senior chaplain at After his retirement, Mr SACS, the Rev Craig Tubman, Abbottsmith was invited by said: “He was an incredible former Archbishop Glenn witness to his Lord Jesus... Davies, who was then rector at He would, as chaplain, in his Miranda, to work in the parish own personal prayer routine, two days a week. He did so for pray regularly through each the next 16 years, making 2000 individual member of the school pastoral visits in addition to community. He [also] initiated leading two Bible studies, and offering PTC... to senior students preaching from time to time. – a practice that has continued His daughter Wendy said at ever since.” the funeral that she found some Mr Tubman read some of the notes at the front of his “very many messages from former well-used Bible”, which included students and staff, including the words: A life for ministry, and the rector of Jamberoo, the a ministry for life.

Jericho Road

Meant to be

I own an inn – a stoppin’ place beside this dusty way, and ’ere I meet with travellers who often come to stay. I love to ’ear the tales they tell of people that they meet and other things along the road before they sit at meat. And oftentimes they tell of scares and fearful things they found for on the road they ’ave to take there is some risky ground.

The world and me, surely you see, are not what we were meant to be.

But still they keep on comin’ to Jericho by day, and few folk think of dangers when they’re walkin’ on their way. The travellers who come along are all of different sorts – there’s thin ones and there’s fat ones and there’s long ones and there’s shorts. But every one is special – each one’s an ’onoured guest – and ’ere I make me little inn for them a place of rest. But just today two blokes came by to tell an awful story about some chap just lying there, his face all bruised and gory. “And did yer stop to ’elp?” I cried – me ’eart was filled with pity. “Oh no, we can’t do that,” they said, “we’ve meetin’s in the city, and we do ’ave some ’oly work – our ’ands must not get dirty” (they didn’t like my “mercy” talk – it made them pretty shirty!). Then someone else come by just then, a little donkey leadin’, and on the beast there was a bloke all sorely bruised and bleedin’. The owner was a foreigner, the sort we think’s a joke, but ’e’s the one who ’ad the ’eart to rescue that poor bloke! ’E gave me dough to ’elp and ’eal this sadly wounded chap and said that ’e would come again and close the money gap. I said, “Dear friend, ’ow is it that you do such lovin’ labour?” “It’s simple,” was ’is quick reply. “I think I’m just a neighbour.”

But Creation yearns and when Christ returns we’ll be as we were meant to be the world and me. Doug Buckley

CLASSIFIED LONDON B&B: + self catering. Lovely home, good transport, great rates. +442086946538

A Christian lodge in the heart of

Southern Alpine Lodge A Christian lodge in theproviding heart ofis the SnowyCross Mountains athe Christian lodge in Smiggins Snowyaccommodation Mountains providing quality and Perisher Ski Resort in1963 theand NSW quality accommodation hospitality since Kosciuszko National hospitality since Park. 1963

Snow season June to October season June October For Snow information ontobooking From $72 per day including 3 meals any daily Low Season Earlyincluding Bird and Multi-Night discounts From $72 per day 3 meals daily time ofafterthe year, please see Low Season after Early Bird and Multi-Night discounts southerncrossalpinelodge And Summer, Autumn, Spring And Summer, Autumn, Spring

From $37 per day self-catered From $37 per day self-catered

David Hewetson 29


Beautiful portrait of memory loss Judy Adamson Everybody’s Oma Rated M Some coarse language


any of us would remember the Ruth

Cracknell-Garry McDonald comedy Mother and Son, which ran on TV for a decade in the 1980s and ’90s. Cracknell’s character Maggie was in the early stages of dementia, which you wouldn’t have thought was funny, but the show provided a surprisingly welcome outlet of laughs for people caring for family members with the same condition. Dementia is no laughing matter in real life, of course. It gradually sucks away memories, capacities – almost everything that makes them the person we know – and for the family watching and caring it is a great sorrow. Everybody’s Oma documents the experience of the van Genderen family, who decided to care for Oma in their Central Coast home until it was no longer possible. Filmmaker Jason van Genderen had begun to take videos of his family 10 years earlier, when his father had terminal cancer. By the time his mother Hendrika was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, having a camera around to chronicle the family’s experiences was a standard thing. So he just kept filming. Oma is a kind, sweet-natured soul with a smile of pure sunshine and she is very much loved by all the family. Young grandson Artie is completely on board with the need to care for her, explaining to 30

the camera that she has “Alsseimerses in her brain” and doesn’t always remember their names, or what day of the week it is, and can’t find her way around without help. So, when dad Jason asks Artie what Oma needs, he answers simply, “Us”. They write letters with photos for Oma to receive in the mail – letters to remind her about the people she knows and loves. There are stories to share, trips to the beach and grandchildren to love and kiss. Jason takes her out for a date night, and she sings and laughs as they go, and beams at him across the restaurant table. Then a video popped onto his “Oma’s Applesauce” Facebook page after the onset of COVID goes viral, with people around the world charmed by the family setting up a small supermarket in their house so Oma won’t forget how to shop while they are in lockdown. Oma and her sunny smile become an unlikely media sensation. Millions of people begin to watch for updates on the Facebook page and share their own family experiences with Alzheimer’s. This is all before the dementia really starts to bite hard, and when it does it’s simply heartbreaking. Yet it’s also incredibly important to watch. Jason van Genderen didn’t realise how precious his videos of everyday life would become, but not only do they provide lovely memories for his own family, they teach viewers so much. SouthernCross

August–September 2022


Faithful to the end Judy Adamson Children of the Massacre By Robert and Linda Banks Pickwick Publications


ith a title like Children of the Massacre you

know this story will contain tremendous grief and pain. However, as authors Robert and Linda Banks have written a number of books about the work of missionaries in China (including View from the Faraway Pagoda and They Shall See His Face), you also know that, through each sorrow and difficulty, God is somehow working out his plans. Certainly those most affected by the massacre of the title – other missionaries and the families of those who died – might be forgiven for questioning the value of serving, or wonder how God could use such a violent event to work “for the good for those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose”. Yet, as this history shows, he did so. The book is subtitled The Extraordinary Story of the Stewart Family in Hong Kong and West China, so the violent slaughter of 11 people in the 1895 Kucheng Massacre certainly didn’t mark the end of God’s plan for the country. In fact, it led more people to volunteer for missionary service! Irish missionaries Robert and Louisa Stewart were killed on that fateful day, as were two other Irishwomen, two Englishwomen and three Australians. Three of the Stewarts’ children were not present; two of the youngest were fatally injured, while another three were badly wounded but survived. One after the other, all the surviving children returned to China or Hong Kong to serve its people and the God they loved.

The book clearly relates the family’s godly response when those responsible for the deaths were brought to justice: Around the time of sentencing [Louisa Stewart’s sister] was asked by a Chinese Christian couple who regularly visited the perpetrators whether the family would like to send them a message. Her reply was simply: “Tell them from me that we freely forgive them... the children have frequently said this to me. They feel no resentment. Their great desire is to be missionaries themselves.” The book is a well-researched easy read, covering the lives and experiences of Robert and Louisa, and their children, from 1875 to 1958: teaching the Bible to men, women and children, building and running schools, caring for those entrusted to them in educational institutions, in pastoral situations, and through the horrors of two world wars. Sometimes their work and efforts seem very mundane – not dissimilar to what they may have undertaken had they stayed in their native Ireland. But the lives of many were changed by the Stewarts’ tireless work, unswerving faith and godly example. They loved people in Jesus’ name and did so as long as they lived. The Kucheng Massacre was a violent and dreadful event, yet God in his sovereignty did use it for his glory. It’s an ongoing challenge for all followers of Jesus to remember that trouble has been visited upon all those who call him Lord since the earliest days of the church, and that God has not called us to be safe but faithful as we serve others in his name. SC

We see how to engage with someone effectively when they have dementia, the importance of living each day well, the value of structure and inventiveness – and the physical, relational and emotional cost for each family member as the condition marches to its inevitable conclusion. Everybody’s Oma isn’t always easy to watch. Dementia is a harsh and unforgiving illness. But the film has been made with tremendous love and joy, and that shines brightest in the hardest moments of worry and loss. Oma didn’t remember what was happening from day to day, which is bittersweet, but each day provided more ways for her family to remember her, and more ways for them to love her. The final result is, in her own words, “beautiful”. SC SouthernCross

August–September 2022


COE TRAINEESHIP JOIN OUR TEAM Outdoor ministry traineeship

Each year, Youthworks Christian Outdoor Education shares the gospel with around 20,000 school students. Would you, or someone you know love to share the word of God with thousands of young people each year while being active and energetic in the great outdoors? Join our team full of dynamic and passionate evangelists as we aim to influence and challenge young adventurers physically, relationally and spiritually. At Youthworks COE, you’ll learn all you need to know about opening up God’s word, in His world. Applications for the 2022 intake are now open. Head to our website to find out more!

youthworkscoe Youthworks C.O.E

Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.