Southern Cross MARCH-APRIL 2023

Page 1

PRINT POST APPROVED 100021441 ISSN 2207-0648
Godly work and rest • Anger unpacked Cost of living crisis • Keller, Chappo books Robed and ready THE DEACONS OF 2023 PROMISE TO SERVE THE NEWS MAGAZINE FOR SYDNEY ANGLICANS MARCH–APRIL 2023

Committed to serving like Jesus

On one of February’s hottest days, 22 men and women donned robes at St Andrew’s Cathedral, ready to make a vow to serve the church as Jesus did. The ordination vows are no light undertaking.

“I’ve particularly been thinking through the weight of the promises in how they parallel my marriage vows,” said Nicholas Wood (right), who serves at The Bridge Church. “Lifelong promises of faithfulness. They’re huge! I think it’s so important

that God’s calling into ministry is confirmed beyond oneself, and being ordained into the church that God used to save me is special.”

SouthernCross March-April 2023

volume 29 number 2

Missed the last issue of Southern Cross ?

Download here:

Archbishop Kanishka Raffel described the day as a “truly wonderful occasion of solemn joy, celebration and dedication, as we set aside these dear men and women, brothers and sisters, who have been well prepared for service of the Lord Jesus and his church.”


The emphasis of the day was on Jesus’ model of servant leadership. Gary Koo, Bishop of the Western Region, stressed

Publisher: Anglican Media Sydney

in his sermon the importance of keeping Jesus’ example front of mind and not being tempted to follow the world’s method of leading.

“When it comes to [Jesus’] type of leadership, Christian leadership, things such as status and privilege, power and authority, rank and seniority –they’re not at the centre,” Bishop Koo said.

“Christian leadership is about being a servant, putting others first and being a slave of all…

PO Box W185 Parramatta Westfield 2150 NSW

P: 02 8860 8860 F: 02 8860 8899


Managing Editor: Russell Powell

Editor: Judy Adamson

Art director: Stephen Mason

Advertising Manager: Kylie Schleicher

P: 02 8860 8850 E:

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

Subscriptions: Garry Joy

P: 02 8860 8861 E:

$44.00 per annum (Australia)

Printed by: Southern

All smiles: The ordinands wait outside the Cathedral for the service to begin. photos: Tom Fewchuk
cover image: Ordinands outside the Cathedral. photo: Tom Fewchuk
Tara Sing
2 SouthernCross March–April 2023 2023 OPEN EVENTS Open Week 1 15 – 19 May Open Night 15 May Open Week 2 21 – 25 Aug Open Night 21 Aug

That’s what it means for Jesus to be our king. That’s what it means for Jesus to be a leader. It means willing self-sacrifice for the sake of others. It means becoming a servant and a slave of all.”

In praying for the new deacons the Bishop of Wollongong, Peter Hayward, asked the Lord to shape their character and leadership to be like that of their Saviour.

“May they be modest and humble, and strong and steadfast in observing the discipline of Christ,” Bishop

Hayward said. “Let their lives and teachings so reflect your commandments that, through them, many may come to know you and love you. As your son came not to be served but to serve, may these deacons share in his service and come to [your] unending glory.”


For the Rev Sarah Kinstead, ordination has been a long time coming. She first put her name forward 16 years ago, but life’s many twists and turns meant

it had to wait until now. She serves with Anglicare as the co-ordinator of chaplaincy for the Illawarra-Shoalhaven District, which covers eight public hospitals and a team of volunteers.

“I’m thankful for God’s perfect timing as I step into this charge, which I believe goes hand-inhand with the chaplaincy role,” she said.

“It feels poignant that the ceremony [was] conducted at St Andrew’s Cathedral because this was the first place I went to church in Australia as a

backpacker from the UK in the year 1999.”

An assistant minister at St John’s, Parramatta, the Rev Jaison Jacob, was thankful to have friends and family present. “They are some very big promises that I’m making and I know that without God’s help, I have no chance of keeping them,” he said. “It means the world to have my family, friends and my church family there to support me.”

Mr Jacob will continue pastoring youth and the 5pm congregation at St John’s, as well

A day
of rejoicing: (L-R) Sarah Kinstead, Jaison Jacob, Brian Barker and Braydon Lucas.
4 SouthernCross March–April 2023
The class of 2023: The deacons gather for the all-important group shot on the Cathedral steps with Archbishop Raffel.


Brian Barker

Hurstville Grove

Kingsley Box

Yagoona and Condell Park

Brodie Cutmore

Engadine and Heathcote

Cathy Dell

Lalor Park

Russell Denten


Joshua Goscombe


Ed Hannah Liverpool

Alex Hitchcock


Jaison Jacob


Sarah Kinstead

Anglicare chaplain


Benjamin Ko


as helping the parish reach its local community with the gospel.

The Rev Brian Barker, from Grove Church in Hurstville Grove, agreed that “ministry is absolutely an act of partnership… There’s no such thing as a lonewolf Christian or minister, so I’m incredibly thankful for the partnership and support I’ve been blessed with in my family – especially in my wife Michelle – and with our church”.

It was this realisation that led Mr Barker to step up to be ordained. “I’m not just one guy on my own serving Jesus,” he said. “I’m taking my place among the multitude who have gone before and who will come after me. This is also an opportunity to be set apart for a lifetime of serving God, and to declare that I want to stand with many others for the truth of the gospel as revealed in God’s word.”

The day was of special significance to the family of Castle Hill’s senior assistant minister, the Rev Paul Lucas. When his eldest son Braydon was ordained he became the fifth-generation Lucas to be set apart for God’s service – in his case, to oversee mission at Christ Church, Gladesville.

Braydon Lucas


Andrew Marrett


Lachlan Orr


Matt Shannon

Wollongong with Corrimal

Netane Siuhengalu

West Ryde

Jeremy Smith

Stanhope Gardens

Miles Stepniewski


Ned Teuben


Simon Wang


Scott Williams


Nick Wood

Kirribilli and Neutral Bay

“I am excited to step into ministry in this way,” Braydon Lucas said. “I am thankful for the heritage of the Sydney Diocese and its commitment to gospel-centred ministry.

I am thankful to my family for pointing me toward Christ, and I am thankful for my wife – my second greatest rock and support after God in this walk.

“I am looking forward to seeing God convert and bring people into his kingdom.”


On the same day as the deacons made their promises, the international director of the Church Missionary Society Australia, the Rev Peter Sholl, was made an honorary canon of the Cathedral.

Canon Sholl spent 14 years as a missionary in Mexico, where he served as the international director of MOCLAM (Moore College in Latin America), overseeing the provision of Moore College’s distance education program throughout the Spanish-speaking world.

The Dean of the Cathedral, Sandy Grant, said that the appointment of an honorary

canon was “an expression of the affection and esteem in which the recipient is held by his peers and the diocesan family, and is conferred to affirm the holder as a respected representative of the Diocese in the wider national

and global communion”.

Said Canon Sholl: “It’s a great honour to be made an honorary canon of the Cathedral, and I look forward to the opportunities it gives me as I travel around the world with CMS Australia”. SC

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.

Opportunities for service: The Rev Canon Peter Sholl.
ANG7062 Find out more 9421 5344 Want to transform lives with compassion? SouthernCross March–April 2023 5

Working to serve


Everyone knows that there are busy diocesan offices in the city, right? Well, not exactly. We might know that the Archbishop has an office in town – and that makes sense – but for most of us everything else that goes on behind the scenes is a mystery.

John Lau, the new chief financial officer for Sydney Diocesan Services, has 30 years’ experience and has worked across the globe for multinational organisations, However, when he began as CFO a few months ago, he was surprised by how much he didn’t know.

“It’s a very complex organisation with a lot of moving parts,” he says. “There’s a busy, hard-working ‘engine’ in the background, lots to be learnt, lots to do and lots to contribute to... and before I joined [SDS] I was oblivious to the efforts of people in the background to ensure that things did operate in a smooth way.”

About 120 people support the Diocese in roles as diverse as IT, finance, law, property management, HR, governance and administration.

Mr Lau is sharing his own experiences because the Diocese

thought it was time to let Sydney Anglicans know more about the work it does, so people in the pews whose skills fit into one of the roles it offers can consider serving God in this way – now or in the future.

A brief video has been shared with parishes so congregations can see the offices, the people and the opportunities for service.

The head of HR, Vikki Napier, says that as she has spoken to members of staff about their stories, “I found that many had made a conscious decision to leave corporate positions to come and do ministry and support ministry, because of their love for Jesus and their love for the mission of the Diocese”.

This made her think about all the “highly experienced, capable congregation members that God has already provided in our broader community”, and she was keen to prompt them to think about using their gifts and skills for God’s mission in Sydney.

Ms Napier also notes that, while some like Mr Lau come to SDS with decades of experience behind them, others join at the very beginning of their careers.

“We’re getting a lot of younger people coming in who are so keen and want to serve,” she says. “My assistant is young and has got a role in HR that she’s just nailing, but it’s a role that she probably wouldn’t have had the opportunity to do in the secular workforce.”

Another young staff member is Naomie Nguyen, who began working as a paralegal in the Office of Safe Ministry in 2019 while she was a student. Now that she’s finished her law degree, she has moved over to SDS Legal Services.

“It’s a real privilege to be able to serve God and his people and Sydney in this particular way... I can’t believe that I get this opportunity and I’m really grateful for it,” she says.

Miss Nguyen, who attends St James’, Croydon, loves the chance to work with other Christians, and to know that each Monday she will be able to pray with her colleagues about the week to come.

“There’s a real gospel humility about the way that we work,” she says. “[One week] the CEO came late to the prayer meeting and because there weren’t enough chairs, he stood up. The Archbishop comes and hangs out with us in the breakout room. This is different to other workplaces, and I think it’s because of the shared faith that we have.”

Mr Lau says that before he saw the CFO advertisement, he “had no idea such opportunities existed” and – despite all his experience and skills – had been wondering if he should just retire early and play golf.

“Why I think working at SDS is a wonderful thing is that it changes the perspective and purpose for why I work,” he says. “When I’m now working for ministry and ultimately in service of my Christian faith and God, that’s a different thing to just turning up and earning a salary. It’s a very different motivator.” SC

Those willing to consider using their skills for SDS and the Diocese in the future can click on the QR code and provide a few details. If a role comes up that might suit them, the organisation can make contact.

changes the perspective and purpose for why I work”:
SDS chief financial officer, John Lau, with Naomie Nguyen from SDS Legal Services.
6 SouthernCross March–April 2023

Anniversary evensong for Ukraine

The mood was sombre and there were quiet tears when St Andrew’s Cathedral held a choral evensong to mark a year since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, praying for peace and the welfare of Ukraine and its people.

“The Bible says to weep with those who weep, and so we wanted to stand in sympathy, and to express it in prayer, for the suffering people of Ukraine on the anniversary of the war starting,” said the Dean of Sydney, Sandy Grant. “We want to lift our voices to God to appeal for the welfare of that nation.”

The music included two pieces by Ukrainian composers, played by Ukrainian Australian organist Alexandra Sidorenko (above), as well as the haunting anthem Prayer for Ukraine by John Rutter – which he composed shortly after the invasion. Its simple text says:


Good Lord, protect Ukraine. Give her strength, courage, faith, hope, our Father. Amen.

Said Dr Sidorenko: “When the country I was born in is torn by the brutal war – and people I love have to endure freezing nights without electricity or water in their apartments or sleep on a floor of a bomb shelter

– my heart breaks. There is not enough we can do to help.

“Music for me is the way to express this pain and maintain hope in the face of the incomprehensible horror of the war. The sounds of Ukrainian organ music and Ukrainian words beautifully sung by the Cathedral choir made me feel at peace, even if only for a moment.”

The service was led by the CEO of Anglican Aid, the Rev Canon Tim Swan, who preached from Psalm 90. He encouraged those present with the truths that God is our ultimate refuge, able to provide comfort now and into eternity – even amid war.

“[God] sees the iniquities in Ukraine,” Canon Swan said. “God sees – there is nothing secret. God sees all that Putin thinks, and he sees every arrogance, every bullet, every abuse by soldiers, every rape,

every death... God is angry at sin, wherever it is.”

He ended with a description of the resurrected Jesus in Revelation 19, adding: “Who is King over Putin? The Lord Jesus. Who is King over Zelenskyy? The one whose robe is dipped in blood. Who is King over you and me and over this city? The king of kings and Lord of Lords.

“Here is the view through the window into eternity... and so we cry out, ‘Lord, be our refuge. Be the refuge of all peoples, though we are like grass. And come Lord Jesus, rescue us from sin... and destroy evil forever, that we might be satisfied with joy in your presence forevermore’.” SC

The Anglican Relief and Development Fund Australia is working in Ukraine through European Christian Mission and New Life Evangelical Free Church in Kyiv (see ukraine-crisis).


Are you looking for a rewarding career with a healthy work-life balance?

Trusted for over 75 years, Anglicare At Home supports older people with compassionate and specialised home care.

Enjoy peace of mind, knowing your health and support needs are in caring, professional hands Services range from help around the home to high care nursing support. We also offer complimentary pastoral care services.

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

Enjoy peace of mind with home care
Looking for Home Care?
Call 1300 111 278 or visit
a home care worker
Make someone smile
for a living
Cathedral mourns and prays for peace. Боже, Україну храни нам силу, вірu, й надії Отче наш, Отче наш Амінь
SouthernCross March–April 2023 7

Thousands of SRE classes

When Jess Moran was growing up, her faith education came from two places: primary school Scripture classes and the musical Jesus Christ Superstar

“I was in Year 3 when I realised the Scripture teacher was telling me a story I already knew [from the musical],” she laughs. “I went, wait a minute – I know this story! You’re telling me that this is for real?”

Although her family didn’t have an active faith, they enrolled Jess into Protestant Scripture. When her teacher saw how interested she was in learning about Jesus, she connected her with a kids’ club ministry run by a local church.

“I kept learning about God, learning how much bigger this story is [than the musical], learning from God in the beginning to Jesus at the end and what it means for me,” Mrs Moran says.

From there, she joined a youth group and Bible study, and eventually spent time overseas doing cross-cultural mission work before becoming children’s minister at St Luke’s, Miranda. She attributes the direction of her life to that day in Year 3 when her Scripture

teacher helped her explore her interest in God. “That Scripture teacher completely turned my life around,” she says.

Mrs Moran’s experience is not an isolated one. For years, Special Religious Education (SRE) classes have been helping young people to explore faith, playing a major role in their spiritual development.


This year, there are about 5000 classes of Protestant Scripture across 1000 primary schools and 300 high schools in NSW.

The Sydney Diocese, which stretches from the Hawkesbury River to Ulladulla and from Bondi to Lithgow, has 300 Scripture co-ordinators and

2000 SRE teachers. There are more than 10,000 SRE teachers of all faiths across NSW, with Protestant teachers accounting for almost a third of these.

Those numbers demonstrate the enthusiasm and commitment to Scripture from volunteers and schools, according to Andy Stevenson, the head of ministry support at the Anglican SRE Office.

“This is the second-largest volunteer organisation in NSW, behind surf life saving,” he says. “Sure, teaching SRE over the past 10 years has not been easy. With COVID still around but not as big an issue for the first time in three years, we are praying for an uninterrupted year of SRE in schools. With COVID came more flexible working hours and

locations for so many... I have heard that this has meant a rise in ‘workers’ in the SRE teacher ranks – so good!”

Last month, more than 1300 SRE teachers and co-ordinators gathered in person and online for the annual Scripture teaching conference, making it the biggest SRE conference in many years.

Says the Rev Canon Craig Roberts, CEO of Youthworks: “Nurturing faith in young people is good for them. It’s good for communities, it’s good for society and it’s good for families”.


Mr Stevenson asks people to pray for SRE in two key ways.

“Pray that schools will be organised, that churches will be mobilised and well resourced with many new teachers and students to teach in all schools and year groups,” he says.

“And pray for the health, time and energy of all SRE teachers for the amazing task at hand –to be able to to teach children and young people the Bible in educationally helpful ways using the wonderful curriculum from Youthworks.” SC

“This is the second-largest volunteer organisation in NSW”: SRE teachers and co-ordinators at the annual Srcipture teaching conference. “I know this story!”: Jess Moran with Andy Stevenson.
8 SouthernCross March–April 2023
Tara Sing

“They’re doing something Satan doesn’t want”

Susan An almost didn’t apply for her new role as Dean of Women at Moore College – until God gave her a big nudge.

“I saw the role advertised and said to God, ‘If this is something you want me to consider, can you get one person to mention it?’,” says Ms An (right). “The very next day at work, someone brought it up!”

Ms An is the college’s third Dean of Women. The role was established in 2008 and the previous dean, Tara Stenhouse, held the position for 12 years.

“I love watching God at work,” Ms An says. “To see God really challenge [women] and shape and grow them, that’s what made me really excited about the role.”

As well as being available to female students, Ms An works alongside the Dean of Students, the Rev Paul Grimmond, to

shape policies that look after all students’ wellbeing. She assists in group settings such as women’s chapel and chaplaincy groups and helps women know the college is a safe space.

“In the past couple of years, college has worked hard on domestic violence policies,” she says. “It’s now part of what we mention at orientation... just to make sure women know that college is a safe place and they can bring themselves forward.”

Ms An almost didn’t go into ministry. While others had told her she should consider it, she

always thought it was for people who were better read than her, and who knew their Bible better.

She says that her work as a speech pathologist also gave her the “illusion” that she was in control of her life. And when she began to yearn for more after a couple of years, she bought a one-way ticket to England with the plan to work and travel for a time.

“As I was doing this, a thought dropped into my head: ‘You’re really set up well to go into ministry’,” Ms An recalls.

“In the eight weeks before I was meant to get on the plane, multiple people I’d never spoken to about ministry asked me if I had ever considered doing ministry. When I thought about it, I didn’t want to go to England – I wanted to do ministry!”

Her biggest prayer for female students is that college will be a

positive experience. “They learn so much about God, but not just academic knowledge. I pray what they learn about God will make them love and appreciate God, and grow their desire to follow him in all of their lives.

“Some of them will be tested in all sorts of ways here [and] we have to be realistic about that. When women come to college, and men too, they’re doing something Satan doesn’t want them to do – they’re growing in their love of God and being better leaders in the future.

“I pray that the experiences they have will refine them for whatever they need for future ministries. God doesn’t waste any opportunity. We don’t enjoy temptation or testing, but God has a use for that in the future.

“I also pray that when things get hard, they will pick up the phone and call me for help!” SC


Meet the new Dean of Women at Moore College.
Your tax-deductible
go towards emergency rations, distributed
local Christians. GIVE TODAY Visit or call 02 9284 1406 ABN 28 525 237 517 A woman and baby in northern Kenya SouthernCross March–April 2023 9
Please help churches in East Africa respond
acute hunger in their communities.
gift to Anglican Aid will

What financial stress means for people in your church.

Cost of living crisis a huge challenge for services

With interest rates rising to 10-year highs, a jump in grocery prices, a shortage of affordable rental homes and a mortgage cliff approaching for those on fixed-term interest rates, the cost of living crisis has left no wallet untouched.

Anglicare can’t provide exact figures on the increase in demand for its food and financial assistance services because teams are swamped just trying to meet people’s needs.

“We’re on the verge of being overwhelmed,” says Anglicare’s head of corporate communications, Aaron Malouf. “There is a lot of increase in people seeking out our services.

“There is a brand new queue of people [with] mortgage stress. It’s no longer a fact that people seeking social welfare assistance and food and financial assistance are located in the west and the southwest – they’re coming from all over Sydney at the moment.

“The Reserve Bank said one in 10 people with mortgages are in stress, but I would say that’s an underestimate... Our resources are stretched to the limit.”


The number one financial concern for people in churches is meeting the household budget, with the cost of rent or mortgage, and inflation, squeezing more money out of their pockets.

Arya Darmaputra from private financial stewardship firm, Thesauros Consulting believes the main challenge for Christians is to maintain a heart of gratitude and avoid complaining. “Yes, the standard

of living is deteriorating, but the Bible teaches us to pray and seek God for our daily bread,” he says. “If God grants us enough food on the table and a roof over our heads, we should be grateful. We don’t need to wait until we are wealthy to give thanks.

“We have not gone through a drop in living standards in the past 30 years, so this is tough and unexpected. But objectively, if you’re living in Sydney, you are living in one of the most prosperous societies in the world. We need to be thankful to God for providing us with our daily necessities.”

He adds that some Christians are benefiting from the present situation, as they have no debt and have money in the bank.

“The challenge for them is not to view the situation and be self-gratifying or proud and say, ‘Look how wise I am with money’,” he says. “They should be more sensitive to other people. Most people in their churches are suffering and struggling –they should see how they can be more generous towards them.”


The budgeting advice Mr Darmaputra offers begins with comparing income and necessities. “If you have money left over, you should stop and

give the Lord thanks,” he says. “If you have your necessities sorted out, discretionary spending and entertainment can come after.”

For those struggling to pay the bills, he advises them to clarify their basic necessities – food, housing and utilities – and make adjustments if there’s a shortfall.

“For groceries, do you need to ask for food hampers or visit a food pantry?” he asks. “Can you keep living in the place you are currently renting, or do you need to downsize or move to a smaller place or a suburb further away that’s cheaper? Those are tough questions that you may need to grapple with. Unfortunately there is no quick or easy solution for those.”


Rather than“10 per cent” tithing, Thesauros Consulting has three principles of financial stewardship. First, that we are simply stewards of what God has entrusted to us. Second, it is right to spend God’s money on our daily necessities and, third, we should seek his kingdom first. There are times when it may be right and appropriate to take a pause from giving, especially if your financial circumstances are dire. But this is not a decision to be taken lightly. “If you have money to go on holidays or go to a cafe... then you have

money to give to the kingdom,” Mr Darmaputra says. “Find a balance between entertainment spending and your giving that’s an expression of generosity and of seeking the kingdom first with your finances.”

He says those with extra have a responsibility to look out for others. “Ask how people are in your small groups. If we have the capacity to be generous, that is a place where we can ask how people are doing. Most people can’t help with paying a mortgage or rent, but we can lighten the burden in other ways, such as groceries, clothes or toys. If everyone does that, as a church there shouldn’t be anyone who feels left out.”

We can also serve by encouraging people to reach out to those who can assist. Says Mr Malouf: “What the parishes do for us is take the stigma [away for] people who could not perceive that they needed this help. That is the primary role of the parishes as they refer parishioners and others in their community to our services.

“The greatest thing is that they are able to bring people into our fold and that sense of confidentiality that we do offer, and they take the stigma and embarrassment out of it. That’s the greatest impact that happens at a parish level.”

More people seeking help: A client shops at the Anglicare mobile community pantry in Bankstown.
SC 10 SouthernCross March–April 2023

“Better together for the kingdom”

The members of St Michael’s Cathedral, Wollongong and Corrimal Anglican Church have become one parish, celebrating their new connection with a “unity” service last month.

Close to 450 people filled the Hope Theatre at the University of Wollongong to praise God, hear how he has been working in the lives of both churches and give thanks for this new chapter together.

“The overall vibe was of tremendous encouragement and excitement to have people from across our now six congregations and two sites get together,” says rector the Rev Mark Smith. “There were people of every age and stage and all sorts of backgrounds, with just this delight of coming together under Jesus.

“We heard from some longstanding members of both parishes who were able to talk about how God has worked, even through really hard times, to refine his people, and there was just this sense of gratitude for all God has done in the past – with the understanding that things aren’t always easy, but God is always good.”

There have been ongoing links between the churches at Corrimal and Wollongong for some years, particularly in youth ministry and during COVID, when the cathedral helped Corrimal out with service livestreams.

However, by mid-way through last year discussions had begun to formalise the ministry connection, recognising that the churches are “better together for the kingdom”. On January 1, the two parishes officially merged, creating the parish of

St Michael’s Anglican Cathedral Wollongong + Corrimal.

Says Mr Smith: “Corrimal was in a place where they could have continued on their own, but they were also wondering about perhaps working with [a church] that’s larger... sharing things like administration and opening up new possibilities, and that’s been the real principle behind it.

“By creating this formal link, it means we’re really committed. Like a marriage, we’re all-in, making sure that gospel witness thrives and grows in Corrimal as well as Wollongong. There are just some things you can do together that work better for the gospel, so as a community we can shine a light better together in our city.”

Corrimal is known as a welcoming church and runs a successful mobile pantry to help care for the community, but parishioners have lacked some of the resources and numbers to help all the ministries thrive.

To support them in this, about 20 cathedral members have committed to joining the saints at Corrimal. Among them is St Michael’s senior assistant minister, the Rev Liam Shannon, who has been a guest preacher at Corrimal in the past and will now pastor the congregation.

He says the immediate plan is for this larger group to spend

a little time growing together under God. “We want to get to know each other in this first term, and then start to make clear plans together of how we engage the Corrimal community, and what that might mean for different types of ministries and evangelism.”

In some respects, that has already begun. Mr Smith says

that during January new people arrived at Corrimal who weren’t part of the move. “God is already bringing some people in and, in his kindness, we trust that he will bring more and more to be part of the wonderful welcoming spirit in that congregation,” he says.

“I’m so excited to see what God will do.” SC

“I’m so excited to see what God will do”: (above) rector the Rev Mark Smith; (below) members of the merged parish join together in song. One in prayer: Members of the new parish of Wollongong with Corrimal pray at last month’s unity service.
Wollongong and Corrimal join forces.
SouthernCross March–April 2023 11

Burundi Dave becomes Aussie Dave on Aussie Day

Burundi Dave, as David Nduwimana is known at St Matthew’s, Manly, has become a fixture in the church after just a few short years.

Dave, as his nickname implies, arrived from Burundi as a refugee a decade ago and was taken in by St Matt’s, living with two church families over a period of four years.

His gifts as a musician and singer were soon recognised and he became music director at the church. His Christian gifts have also been a blessing to the Katoomba Convention ministries, as he has led the music at the Men’s Convention and Easter Convention.

In addition, he has worked with Anglican Youthworks to translate ministry resources into the Kirundi language to send

back to Burundi. He obtained his permanent residency in September 2020 and, around that time, received rave reviews when he was invited to sing the Australian national anthem at a Bledisloe Cup game in Sydney.

But a greater honour was to come, as he was chosen to sing at the 2023 National Australia

Day Live concert on the steps of the Sydney Opera House.

On the same day, friends from the church in Manly witnessed him taking the pledge and becoming an Australian citizen.

Aussie Dave performed the national anthem at the end of the concert after a brief interview, during which he thanked

the members of St Matt’s for his welcome to Australia and expressed his joy at becoming a citizen and the freedom Australians enjoy.

Fittingly, after the anthem, he joined the other concert performers in singing “I am Australian” – for the first time as an Australian citizen. SC

Anglicans honoured in Australia Day list 2023

A senior public servant and a former dean of the Sydney College of Divinity are among local Anglicans given Australia Day honours.

“Congratulations to the outstanding Australians recognised in today’s honours list,” said the Governor-General, His Excellency General the Honourable David Hurley in announcing the list. “The recipients have had a significant impact at the local, national and international level and are, quite simply, inspiring.”

There were 736 awards in the

General Division of the Order of Australia. Among them, Professor Emerita Diane Speed (above) was made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for significant service to tertiary education, and to the Anglican Church of Australia.

Professor Speed was Dean

and CEO of the Sydney College of Divinity for 14 years and has been Professor Emerita since 2021. She lectured in the Department of English at the University of Sydney for more than 40 years. As a member of St Mark’s, Darling Point, she has held several parish positions, including lay reader and Bible study leader. She has also served the Diocese in a number of roles, including as the Anglican representative on the NSW Ecumenical Council.

Senior Sydney Anglican layman, Dr Darren Mitchell

(above), was given the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for his service to veterans. Dr Mitchell, a Churchill Fellow in 2010, was director of the Office for Veterans’ Affairs in NSW and director of the Anzac Memorial at Hyde Park from 2007-2014.

Dr Mitchell has been active in a

I am Australian: David Nduwimana sings at the Australia Day concert at the Opera House. Russell Powell
Service recognised in the latest national honours list.
12 SouthernCross March–April 2023

Global South Anglicans no longer recognise Canterbury

Twelve Leaders of the Global South Fellowship of Anglican Churches are no longer in fellowship with the Church of England and will not recognise the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, as “first among equals” in the leadership of the global Anglican communion.

The leaders issued a sevenpoint statement in response to the vote by the Church of England Synod last month to approve prayers of blessing for same-sex couples. The vote came after a report from the House of Bishops recommended such a move.

“The GSFA is no longer able to recognise the present Archbishop of Canterbury, the Rt Hon and Most Rev Justin Welby, as the ‘first among equals’ leader of the global Communion,” the statement said.

“He has sadly led his House of Bishops to make

the recommendations that undergirded the General Synod motion on ‘Living in Love and Faith’, knowing that they run contrary to the faith and order of the orthodox provinces in the Communion whose people constitute the majority in the global flock. We pray that our withdrawal of support for him to lead the whole Communion is received by him as an admonishment in love.”

The statement also said: “[as] the Church of England has departed from the historic faith passed down from the Apostles by this innovation in the liturgies of the Church and her pastoral practice [contravening her own Canon A5iv], she has disqualified herself from leading the Communion as the historic ‘Mother’ Church.

“Indeed, the Church of England has chosen to break communion with those provinces who

remain faithful to the historic biblical faith.

“As much as the GSFA primates also want to keep the unity of the visible Church and the fabric of the Anglican Communion, our calling to be ‘a holy remnant’ does not allow us be ‘in communion’ with those provinces that have departed from the historic faith and taken the path of false teaching.

“This breaks our hearts and we pray for the revisionist provinces to return to ‘the faith once delivered’ [Jude 3] and to us.”

The leaders signing the statement included the chairman of the Global South, Archbishop Justin Badi of South Sudan, and the provincial archbishops from Chile, the Indian Ocean, Congo, Myanmar, Bangladesh,

Uganda, Sudan, Alexandria and Melanesia. Together with the leaders of GAFCON (Global Anglican Future Conference) this represents the majority of the Anglican Communion.

In a statement in response to the English vote, the Archbishop of Sydney, Kanishka Raffel, said it rejected the clear teaching of Scripture.

“It is the opposite of loving care for people to deny, distort or downplay the life-giving truth of Scripture on matters of vital importance to understanding ourselves and God’s good plans for our lives – including matters of human sexuality and marriage,” Archbishop Raffel said. “We must lament the decision of the Church of England General Synod.” SC

number of war commemoration committees and events, including the ANZAC Dawn Service Trust, the Battle for Australia Association, the Korean War Memorial Association and the National Boer War Memorial Association.

A member of St Barnabas’, Broadway, he has been involved in service to his parish and the Diocese. Dr Mitchell was a parish warden for 10 years as well as a lay reader. He has also served for many years on the diocesan Social Issues Committee.

Also honoured was Mrs Aileen

Davis (above) from The Oaks Anglican Church, who was given an OAM for service to people with disability. Mrs Davis has held several senior positions with Riding for the Disabled Association NSW over 50 years, having been a founding member of the organisation in 1972. SC

C of E vote on same-sex blessings “has departed from the historic faith”.
SouthernCross March–April 2023 13

“Pray for wisdom and have a go”

Consecrated to serve: The new Bishop of North West Australia, Darrell Parker, with his

They came from all parts of Australia to St Andrew’s Cathedral last month to see the Rev Darrell Parker consecrated as a bishop to serve the Diocese of North West Australia. But it was his former boss, the Bishop of Armidale, Rod Chiswell, who summed up his task.

After a sermon from Titus 1, where the Apostle Paul exhorts Titus to appoint elders to the churches on Crete, Bishop Chiswell estimated that there might be a similar number of churches in the North West. He reminded the new bishop of the sign over the doorway of the Armidale Diocese office, which reads, “Jesus is Lord”.

“For people to have the certain hope of eternal life, we must keep speaking this truth in love,” Bishop Chiswell said. “It

was the task at hand for Paul, it was the task at hand for Titus and it remains the task at hand for us as those entrusted with the preaching of the gospel today.” But it was his final words which drew a smile from the new bishop: “Pray for wisdom and have a go”.

Bishop Parker and his wife Elizabeth have spent 25 years serving God in the Armidale Diocese, most recently at St Paul’s, West Tamworth. He

was chosen as Bishop of North West Australia last August and there was an installation service at Geraldton Cathedral on February 15.

After Bishop Parker was consecrated by Archbishop Kanishka Raffel on February 3 –with a laying on of hands by the more than 20 bishops present –he spoke for the first time as a bishop.

“To all those of you who have been deeply and sacrificially

committed to ministry in the Diocese of North West Australia, thank you,” he said. “To all those saints who serve in that amazing part of our country and of our world, that work is really what tonight is all about.”

As the packed congregation and large procession of clergy left the Cathedral, Archbishop Raffel took a moment to remind them of the significance of the occasion.

“I didn’t want to let it pass without letting you know that today is – to the day – the 235th anniversary of the first Christian service held in Australia by Richard Johnson, not too far away from here,” he said.

“This is a very good day to have commended our brother to the service of God as a bishop in God’s church.” SC

wife Elizabeth and their family after the service. Australia’s newest bishop consecrated. Russell Powell • 9173 9894 • • Estate planning • Estate disputes • Elder abuse cases • Cross border issues Partnering with you to avoid and resolve disputes through wise planning. YOUR
“Keep speaking this truth”: Bishop Chiswell (left) and Archbishop Raffel.
BOUTIQUE CHRISTIAN LAW FIRM North Shore 9449 5544 l Eastern Suburbs 9326 9707 I Northern Beaches 9907 4888 14 SouthernCross March–April 2023
A Family Owned Funeral Service 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.

The “very strange people” helping in Türkiye and Syria

Tara Sing

On February 6 a magnitude 7.8 earthquake caused widespread destruction and death across southern central Türkiye and northwestern Syria. On the same day, a 7.5 magnitude aftershock hit Türkiye less than 100 kilometres to the north.

Within moments of the news breaking, teams of Christian volunteers from local churches had sprung into action. Church buildings became operation centres, Christians opened their homes and the support work began.

“The first thing we did was try to arrange some vehicles,” says Jennifer* in a video shared with supporters of the Anglican Relief and Development Fund Australia (ARDFA), adding that the first supply team was sent out a day later.

“Our priorities were, first of all, food, water and warming items like socks, blankets, jackets, sleeping bags – anything – as they had fled their houses.

“Once [people] get to places that we’ve arranged, we provide them with basic needs like food and clothing. We spend time with them, we eat with them,

sometimes we cry together and we pray together.”

Reports have set the death toll at between 46,000 and 53,000, with more than 1.5 million displaced people living in temporary shelters.

ARDFA is supporting eight teams across Türkiye that assess and provide for people’s immediate needs in major cities, as well as in villages that are hard to access. Video footage shows vans carrying donations travelling along winding roads laden with snow.

“These churches already have the networks, the volunteers, the resources and the experience to deliver aid and relief in a timely and effective way,” says Lucy Lim, the executive director of ARDFA.

“They can reach the areas that other foreign aid cannot, or have trouble reaching. Importantly, they are delivering aid and relief to all, generously, selflessly and without discrimination, because of their faith in Jesus. This is an active testimony to the grace of God.”

Anglican Aid, through its links with churches in Syria, has been providing unique support in

areas that many international aid organisations are having difficulty reaching due to politics and heavy sanctions.

“Food hampers are needed more than anything else,” says the leader of Damascus Church Aid, Samir Yacco, He and his team are working with Anglican Aid to provide emergency food and clothing to vulnerable people through the local church.

Local Syrian churches are also being used as distribution centres where possible, although some have suffered terrible damage. Anglican Aid hopes to offer some of the appeal donations to assist with repairs so these churches can continue to operate and support their communities.


Working with in-country church partners has a number of advantages, as it mobilises locals who understand the context and has fewer overhead costs, so every dollar donated can offer greater help.

Says Jennifer: “One of our team overheard people saying, ‘These Christians are very strange people. They seem to enjoy helping us’.

“Another report we got from our first team is [that] people have begun to be interested in Christians and in Christ. They have started to ask questions. Our team was able to share the gospel… and build relationships.” SC

*Name changed for security purposes.

Pray for volunteers, for the local churches providing supplies and support, for aid organisations such as ARDFA and Anglican Aid, and for the families processing the grief and trauma of the initial earthquakes and ongoing aftershocks. Canon Sandy Grant, Dean of St Andrew’s Cathedral, has written a prayer, which you can see at https://anglicanaid.

You can also give to the appeals supporting Christians on the ground in Türkiye and Syria at au/current-appeals/syria-earthquake-relief/ and https://

Rescue efforts: The grim task of cleaning up continues after the earthquake in Gaziantep, Türkiye. photo: Lisa Hastert, European Union
SouthernCross March–April 2023 15

Real heaven on earth

According to the surveys, most Australians believe in heaven. I would guess that what most of us believe about heaven is that our loved ones are there. Even for committed Christians, heaven can simply be a way of saying that the people we cared about in this life have gone to be with the Lord and one day, when we die or the Lord returns, we will be with them.

At one level, there is nothing wrong with this. But it is much less than the biblical picture of life after death. Going to be with the Lord when you die is only the beginning. Those who have died trusting in Christ are with the Lord, certainly, but they are waiting for the renewal of all things – what the whole of Scripture calls “the new heavens and the new earth” (eg. Isaiah 65:17-25), when they will be clothed with a new, imperishable body and we will all live in a renewed creation with the Lord forever.

On what possible basis could anyone entertain such a fantastic future expectation? Life after death, lived in a body with those who love the Lord, and the Lord himself. in a restored and renewed earth, forever. Why would anyone believe in such a thing?

The answer of Christians throughout the ages is the one, glorious reality that we celebrate at Easter. Resurrection!

On the first Easter Day, when Jesus was raised from the dead, heaven broke into this world. But when the Bible speaks of heaven it does not mean a pale and ghostly life in the clouds of human speculation, but the glorious, imperishable, physical and eternal existence of “the new heaven and the new earth”, when everything is made new, restored, renewed, perfected and indwelt with the glory of the living God.

Most often when the Bible speaks of heaven it just means, “up above”. It is also the place where God is, but since there is no part of God’s creation from which God is excluded it makes better sense to say that heaven is the place where God’s presence is manifested in an utterly unrestrained and uninhibited way, his perfections shining in unimaginable splendour and beauty.

God is at home in heaven and fills it with his glory. Eventually, the realm of God’s glory will be united with this realm, the world as we know it (eg. Rev 21:1-4). At that time, the world will be transformed by the presence of its Creator and God. Here is the heaven that we will live in when we are resurrected and given new resurrection bodies. But “here” will be completely transformed by the presence of God.

From John’s account of Jesus raised from the dead in John 20 we can observe several truths about the heavenly or new creation life that awaits all those who trust in Christ.

First, new creation life is life in the body. All the gospel writers draw attention to the fact that Jesus’ tomb was empty and that he appeared to many people over an extended period. If the tomb was empty but he had not appeared, we might have thought his body was stolen – by his friends to worship it or by his enemies to demoralise his movement. If the tomb had not been empty and he had “appeared”, we might have thought his appearance was merely spiritual rather than physical and real. But the tomb was empty and he not only appeared but spoke, ate, talked and walked with people.

The sheer physicality of the resurrection appearances of Jesus played a direct role in the almost immediate way in which the earliest Christian communities began to care for the people whom ancient pagan culture abandoned – the elderly, the feeble, infants and the incapacitated. Human bodies, no matter how aged or weak or vulnerable, are not the prisons of frustrated souls but the bearers of the image of God that will finally be made perfect in the new heavens, the restored creation.

Second, new creation life is personal. In the exchanges recorded in John 20-21 it is clear that the resurrected Jesus is the same man whom the disciples knew and loved. Mary does not recognise Jesus at first – she was hardly expecting to see him! – but when she hears his voice, she knows it is him and reports to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord!”

Kanishka Raffel
16 SouthernCross March–April 2023

Similarly, Thomas is not convinced by the reports alone; he, too, was not expecting to see Jesus. But again, his encounter with Jesus takes away his doubts. Jesus’ body has certainly been transformed and yet it is recognisably the same Jesus who stands before Thomas so that he is able to place his fingers in the scars of Jesus’ crucifixion (John 20:27-28).

The distinctive doctrine of Buddhism, the religion in which I was raised as a child, is that there is no “self”. There is no person who can be called “I”. There is no soul that is reincarnated. There is only the energy of consciousness, endlessly shifting and reforming according to your karma.

But the resurrection of Jesus says that the self with which we were endowed by the Creator will endure to eternity. We ourselves will behold the face of God and share in the life of heaven. Death cannot destroy those who have put their faith in Jesus. Our personhood is immortal, and those who die in Christ will inherit heaven.

Third, new creation life is fulfilled life. Jesus’ first word to his disciples when he appears to them in the upper room – where

they are still hiding from the Romans who put him to death – is “Peace” (John 20:19).

In biblical usage, the word “peace” conveys ideas of wholeness, completeness, embracing the blessings of justice and righteousness and joy and peace. Resurrection life will mean the fulfilment of the image of God in us, freedom from the bondage of sin, from the memory of past failures and present guilt, liberation from the limits of fallen understanding and mixed motives.

No longer subject to decay or disease or death. Peace with God – no longer hostile to his purposes or ignorant of his character; instead, delighting to please him and able to please him. No longer incapable or unwilling but set free to love God and others, not for ourselves, but for God’s glory.

What the Holy Spirit has begun in us as a deposit of the future, will be completed when we are resurrected in the new creation. Resurrected to eternal life, we ourselves will finally experience the fullness of humanity that God intended for us from the beginning.

Christ is risen, he is risen indeed!

Hallelujah, what a Saviour! SC

Daniel Grace Funerals

As God is my judge, Jesus Christ is my redeemer.

Archbishop writes.
with your family and church community in saying thank you. Servicing the southern, western and greater western suburbs. Bradley Sinclair 0418 447 753
SouthernCross March–April 2023 17

What I need most from my minister

Scottish pastor Robert Murray McCheyne famously said, “The greatest need of my people is my personal holiness”.

It is a truism to say that a minister needs to be godly. It is taken as read. Yet, sadly, there have been too many examples these past few years of ministers, often in high-profile leadership positions, who have failed to live godly lives. And the fallout from this can be devastating, for both the local congregation and the reputation of Christ.

Perhaps the problem is that we assume too much of what McCheyne said. The danger of truisms is that they are ignored because everyone knows them to be true. But do we really believe what McCheyne says, that the greatest need people have of their ministers is their personal holiness? Is that what we are looking for when we choose a new minister for our church? Is that how we evaluate the ministers we have? Perhaps it is worth asking: why is godliness so important for church leaders?


In his letter to Titus, Paul begins by outlining the goal of his ministry:

but a knowledge that leads to godliness. That is his goal. As you read through the book of Titus, it becomes abundantly clear that what Paul is primarily concerned about is that the Christians in Crete are living God’s way, conforming their life to him. Older men must be temperate, older women must teach what is good, younger women must be pure and young men self-controlled, and slaves should not talk back or steal from their masters (Titus 2:1-10).

But of course, this is not simply Paul’s concern. It is God’s concern:

For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope – the appearing of the glory of our great God and Saviour, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good. (Titus 2:11-14) God’s grace toward us in Christ is transformative. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and to live godly lives. This is salvation – not only to be rescued from God’s judgment (as wonderful as this mercy is), but to be rescued for godly living – to be redeemed from all wickedness and purified as God’s very own people, eager to do what is good.

(Titus 1:1-2a)

Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ to further the faith of God’s elect and their knowledge of the truth that leads to godliness – in the hope of eternal life.

Paul’s job was not only to bring people to a knowledge of the truth,

This is God’s great plan, to bring all things under Christ (Eph 1:10); to call all people to the obedience that comes from faith (Rom 1:5); to create a people for himself, a royal priesthood, a holy

18 SouthernCross March–April 2023
Tom Habib

nation, his special possession (1 Pet 2:9).

Put simply, godliness is the goal. To create God-oriented people – people who love God, live God’s way, and so give glory to God. Godliness is why Jesus came to die for us, and godliness is why Jesus will return to perfect us. Godliness is the goal.


It is only when we know that godliness is the goal that we can understand why godliness is the primary criterion for being a minister. When Paul urges Timothy to appoint elders in every town, he provides a rough job description:

An elder must be blameless, faithful to his wife, a man whose children believe and are not open to the charge of being wild and disobedient. Since an overseer manages God’s household, he must be blameless –not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain. Rather, he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined. He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it.

(Titus 1:6-9) Our problem is that we often treat this list as a baseline for what we are looking for in a minister. “Of course, he needs to be godly,” we might say, before turning to more practical criteria. But godliness for Paul is not simply the prerequisite requirement before beginning the job. It is the job. To be a minister is to be godly – and in so doing, help others to grow in godliness.

One of the most common ways we talk about the criteria for ministry is by referring to the three Cs: character, conviction and competency. These are great things to look for in a minister and the three Cs have served us well in considering who would be suitable for such a high calling.

The danger with the three Cs, however, is that we can start to think these are three separate categories, as if someone could be competent for the job but simply lack the character and conviction. This is absurd. If someone doesn’t have character and conviction, they are not competent for the job. Because the job is character and conviction. That’s what godliness looks like in Paul’s list. Someone who lives God’s way and holds firm to God’s message.

If the job of a minister were simply to get more people into a church, or to be a dynamic and engaging speaker, or to be an excellent manager that can run a team of volunteers, then you might not need godliness. But that is not the job. The job is to grow godly Christians. And you can’t do that if you are not godly.

It’s interesting that Paul’s critique of the false teachers in Crete was not only their teaching, but ultimately their lives: “They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him” (Titus 1:16). Likewise, Paul warns Timothy against those teachers who live ungodly lives, “having a form of godliness but denying its power” (2 Tim 3:5).

Unlike them, Paul urges Timothy to “set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity” (1 Tim 4:12), and to “watch your life and doctrine closely”, because in doing so he will save both himself and his hearers (1 Tim 4:16). Only a godly minister will grow a godly church.


None of this is to say that ministers can’t improve in practical skills. Over the past few years, ministers in Sydney (including myself) have genuinely benefited from training that draws on skills learned in business and management. This has allowed us to better

manage the household of God that has been entrusted to us. But we must be very careful not to think that this is ministry. At best, this is what helps us do ministry better. But ministry is godliness

When we forget that ministry is godliness, we forget that godliness is the goal. Churches can begin to exist simply for the purpose of increasing the number of people coming on a Sunday. Ministers can begin to overlook the sinful habits in their own lives, perhaps even justifying them or rationalising them away, because of the good “ministry” that they are doing. And individual Christians in the church can begin to measure their own Christian walk simply by how involved or active they are.

Before long, our church can resemble little more than a pyramid scheme – a growing, bustling organisation full of energy and enthusiasm on the outside, but empty on the inside. This is what we will face if we ever forget that godliness is the goal, and that ministry is godliness.

One of the best ways, then, that we can help our ministers, is to encourage them in their godliness. In my role at Moore College, this means that my primary concern for students training for ministry is their personal godliness. And their greatest need from me is my personal godliness. In churches, let us support our ministers by valuing their godliness, praying for them and encouraging them in their godliness, as they encourage us.

With McCheyne, let us remind ourselves that the greatest need we have of our ministers is their personal holiness. SC

The Rev Dr Tom Habib lectures in New Testament at Moore College.
Part time and full time options available Study the Bible with the Online Diploma of Biblical Theology PROVIDER ID: PRV12033 SouthernCross March–April 2023 19
Godliness and church leadership.

Days well spent

At the Mothers’ Union conference last month, P aul and C athy G rimmond spoke on the Bible’s story of work and rest. This is an edited version of that talk.

What should Christians think about work? It’s a complex topic for many reasons. The Bible has so much to say, and it speaks into a world where everyone has a different story – young, old, kids or no kids, paid work or not – and we live in a world that is constantly seeking to shape our agenda.

Last October, Anthony Albanese announced the Labor Government’s intention to increase paid parental leave to 26 weeks, saying that helping women in the workforce was “low-hanging fruit” in lifting economic growth.

Why should women work? For the national bottom line! Whether we like it or not, the great God of economics lies beneath so much of what we are told about work. And the messages about the significance of work come thick and fast.

A Sydney University professor from the Gender Equality in Working Life Research Institute, Elizabeth Hill, said in the Herald last year that “once people have children, there’s all the data on cutting back days, cutting back hours, staying in positions that are less well remunerated. Lack of flexibility in good jobs with high levels of responsibility means women don’t go for these. It’s such a crazy waste of resources”.

The conversation about women and work is littered with views about value, identity and purpose. Our daughter, who is a qualified teacher, did very well academically during her schooling. In her final year, when she told people she wanted to be a primary school teacher, many of them (Christians and non-Christians) wondered whether she could have aimed a little higher.

She also shared conversations with us, including from a

20 SouthernCross March–April 2023

PDHPE class where the non-Christian young women ended up in a discussion with their teacher, saying they felt the message they constantly received was that if they took “time out of work” to have a baby they would somehow be failing – letting down women and abandoning feminism.

I’ve lost count of the number of school assemblies and speech days in which hundreds of young women were told to chase their dreams, and you can be anything that you want to be, and you can change the world. The truly successful woman was held up to be the woman who had achieved excellence in her career. As Christians, is this how we should measure success for women – or for men?

Our aim is not to adjudicate on any particular person’s situation, but rather to think deeply about what God reveals about work.


The Bible begins with the words “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth”. One chapter later, we’re told that when God created the world he was “at work”. That the first thing we learn about God is that he is a worker is very significant.

The nations around Israel believed that humans were created because the gods didn’t want to work – work was beneath them. But the Scriptures show us a God who works. Work is not an evil necessity but something associated with God’s character and so, when he creates humans and tells them to go and work in his garden, this is not a jail sentence but a privilege.

Genesis 2 also tells us that God rested. He worked and he rested, and in so doing established a pattern for us. Humans aren’t made for work alone but for work and rest. And as the book of Hebrews tells us, rest is ultimately about our eternal relationship with God. We are made for the heavenly rest where we enjoy the presence of the living God and life full of joy and relationship in a renewed heavens and earth.

Against this backdrop we read that God created us. And there are two really important truths here. First, we are created in the image of God. And second, as those created in God’s image we are created specifically for work.

When God made men and women – to fill the earth and to rule over it – he gave us the privilege of working as his agents in his creation. It’s easy for us to miss the significance of this. Work is very, very good. Work is not the thing that you do to get to the good bits. There is something good about work, even when it’s very “worky”! Even when it’s tiring and difficult.

Of course, as good as work is, we live in a world where sin has scarred everything. And in response to human rebellion, the created order turns from a place of joy and service to a place of toil and servitude. Work turns from the gracious service of God into an opportunity for personal glory. Work becomes an opportunity for idolatry (literally, in Isaiah 44:13-20!).

And in this broken world, in order to train us to understand that we need him and not just our own labour, God frustrates our work (Ecc 7:13-14). We are in a frustrated creation where work is sometimes great, often mundane and occasionally even terrible, but never ultimate. And God does this to remind us not to live for our work, and that our work doesn’t make us acceptable to him. In fact, what we need more than anything is God’s work for us

Jesus came into the world to do the works of his Father. In John 4, when the disciples are worried about how much work Jesus has been doing, they encourage him to eat. Jesus replies: “I have food to eat that you know nothing about” (John 4:32). The

disciples are bewildered, but Jesus follows up: “My food... is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work” (4:34).

Jesus came to do the work of God – to die on our behalf. And what is our work in response? First and foremost, it is to trust in Christ (John 6:27-29).

As with nearly everything in life, we need to remember that we start with God’s movement towards us, not ours towards him. Christ has worked for us by going to the cross. And whatever else the Christian life involves, it involves faithful submission to that work. What a privilege to trust in Christ’s work and find that we are called children and given his Spirit.

Christians writing in this area are often wildly optimistic about human work – usually on the basis of the commission in Genesis to fill the earth and subdue it. We take the great truth that God made us to work and turn that into our reason to change the world. But biblically, the story of work is fundamentally the story of the failure of our work and the goodness of God’s.

But how kind is God?! In Christ, he invites fallen people like us into the joy of faithful, God-honouring work as our lives are renewed. We are remade in Christ to do good works – the New Testament says something like this 22 times!

Why? So that others “may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matt 5:16). This means that, in God’s economy, our work is about so much more than our jobs. We often use the word “work” to talk about our paid job, and often more significantly what we call our career. But that’s just not a concept that the Bible is very concerned about.

When God calls us to live for him, he wants us to live our lives in his service and the service of others. That may or may not involve a job that we get paid for. But even for those of us in paid employment, it involves so much more. God is concerned with how


1PM BYO lunch | Canon Simon Manchester


6PM Healing Service | Canon Chris Allan


7PM Holy Communion


10AM All Together | Dean Sandy Grant

7PM Handel’s Messiah (ticketed event)


8.30AM | 10.30AM | 5PM

Archbishop Kanishka Raffel Holy Communion at all services

Cnr of George & Bathurst Streets

Mothers’ Union Sydney conference 2023.
THE CATHEDRAL SouthernCross March–April 2023 21
2023 AT

you live your life. What you do out of love for him and love for your neighbour. And so, God calls his people to good works. That is the foundation for all our other decisions.

The Bible also sets some other priorities: providing for yourself and those in need (Eph 4:28) and not being lazy, idle or a busybody (2 Thess 3:6-13).

We have heard these verses disparaged. We have heard people say, isn’t there anything else? Feed yourself and give something away – is that all work is good for? But that is to totally miss the point. Yes, there may be more to say, but at the same time it means these things are vitally important to God. He doesn’t care about your reputation or how important your job is. He cares that we work to feed ourselves, serve our families, and love those around us. That is his concern.

Our work is good when it grows out of love for God and our neighbours. Our work is good when we take responsibility for ourselves and seek to be generous to others. It is good whether it is paid or unpaid. God sees what we do and how we do it, and he either rejoices or mourns.

And so, Scripture encourages us with words like these: Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. (Col 3:23-24)


There is one final element to consider as we think about Christians and work. When the Apostle Paul encourages the Corinthians to give themselves fully to “the work of the Lord” (1 Cor 15:58), he doesn’t mean all the work we do. Rather, he means specifically the work that we do to advance the cause of the gospel among believers and unbelievers (for some deeper thinking on this, see Peter Orr’s article for The Gospel Coalition).

If Jesus is the Lord of all, and Jesus will one day return to judge the living and the dead, and if the only hope for a dying world is faith in him, then whatever else we say about work we must say that being concerned to share the gospel is vital.

Whether that involves working to help others share the gospel,

praying for God to advance his gospel in the world, teaching Scripture, giving generously to support mission work, helping out at Sunday school, encouraging others at Bible study, giving away a Bible to someone, teaching your kids about Jesus or evangelising your friend at work, this is work that should be close to our hearts; work we will make sacrifices in order to do.

We get this wrong when we spend every minute that we’re not doing “gospel work” wringing our hands and piling on the guilt because we are doing work that is useless! What a terrible way to undo what we have seen God has done in Christ. All work, performed from faith in Christ for God and neighbour. is good and pleasing in God’s sight.

In summary, as we work – and much work will be mundane and unseen, and we do it because it is right to love others in this way in God’s world – we must pray and work for the salvation of people who very desperately need to know Jesus.

Our prayer is that, as we make choices about our work, we will do so with God’s priorities front and centre. May we be humble enough to hear and respond where God rebukes us and helps us see where our heart is heading away from him, and may he strengthen us so that we do not grow weary in doing good. SC


1. Live in humble submission to the work of Christ

2. Provide for yourself, your family and those in need

3. Take time to rest because we are living for the life to come

4. Take joy in the good works God has given us

5. Remember good works are all of life and not just paid employment

6. Make the work of the Lord a priority

The Rev Paul Grimmond and Cathy Grimmond have been in ministry together for 22 years and have three adult children. Paul is currently the Dean of Students at Moore College and Cathy is the bookkeeper for Evangelism and New Churches.
22 SouthernCross March–April 2023
The value of work and rest: Cathy Grimmond speaks to conference delegates while her husband Paul looks on.

Christ preaching = Bible teaching

When my appointment to St Andrew’s Cathedral was announced about 18 months ago, a godly old Methodist minister wrote to me. He kindly thanked me for my ministry in Wollongong but added this note of caution: “Don’t let your boast be, ‘We are a Bible teaching church’. But rather, like St Paul... ‘We preach Christ, and him crucified’.”

Was my older Methodist colleague right? Are teaching the Bible and preaching Christ somehow alternate priorities? Does one somehow trump the other? 1 Corinthians 8:1 says we can possess knowledge on a big Bible topic like idolatry, but knowledge can puff up, while love builds up. And in 1 Corinthians 13:2 it says:

If I... can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge... but do not have love, I am nothing.

There is a warning here against pride in knowledge – even Bible knowledge. But I think that, in the end, my pastoral colleague was probably posing a false choice. Here’s my bottom line on a proper methodology for theology:

The best way to be a Jesus-preaching church is to be a Bibleteaching one. And the best way to be a Jesus-trusting Christian is to be a Bible-based one.

To see if that is so, go right to the heart of our faith: to the attitude of Jesus himself on the Scriptures!

At the start of his public ministry, Jesus said:

“It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God’.”

(Matthew 4:4, quoting Deuteronomy 8:3)

Now, we need bread to live. But Jesus says we need something more to survive and thrive – we need the word of God. Scripture is live-giving.

He then teaches that Scripture proceeds from the mouth of God. It is “God-breathed”, as the Apostle Paul later says. Humans like Moses may have written it down but Jesus believes the words of Scripture come from God. What the Scriptures say, God says!

So thirdly, we don’t live by some of God’s words. No picking and choosing. We are to rely on every word that proceeds from his mouth.

And so, many times, Jesus tells those who opposed him that it’s inexcusable to set aside parts of Scripture that don’t suit their desires or beliefs.

Move next to the famous Sermon on the Mount, where Jesus says:

“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfil them.” (Matt 5:17) When Jesus came as a man, he lived a perfect life. It climaxed in his death for sins and his resurrection as Lord. That fulfils what Moses’ Law required and is what the Prophets pointed to. Therefore, his coming may change the way we learn from and apply, for example, the Old Testament laws. But Jesus adds:

“For I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.” (Matt 5:18) He’s very definite about what was written. No Plan B or evolving morality here!

SouthernCross March–April 2023 23

Next turn to Matthew 22:29. How did Jesus answer a tricky hypothetical from the resurrection-denying Sadducees? By quoting from Old Testament Scripture. And he introduced his quote by saying, “You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures”.

It wasn’t simply that the Sadducees were unaware of what the Old Testament said. They knew it, all right. It was that they disregarded the bits that didn’t suit. They just filtered them out. So, Jesus says error comes from ignoring the Scriptures.

Some might ask about the Scriptures that were still future at that stage, for the New Testament was not written in Jesus’ day. Did Jesus ever suggest there would be any Scripture written beyond the Old Testament? Again, the answer is “Yes”.

Soon after his resurrection, in Matthew 28:19-20, he tells his first followers to go and make disciples of all nations, “teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you” So, Jesus tells his apostles to pass his teachings on. Right here you have the impetus behind the writing of the Gospel biographies of his life by people like Matthew himself.

Christians are people who have come to love Jesus; people who want to be more like Jesus. So, anyone who wants to be like Jesus will want to share his attitudes.

What other source do we have for knowing Christ than the Scriptures? The best way to be a Jesus-preaching church is to be a Bible-teaching one. And the best way to be a Jesustrusting Christian is to be a Bible-based one.


The application of all this starts by determining that you will adopt this attitude: what Jesus believes I must believe. Anything else is inconsistent. We cannot claim to love Jesus, but to dislike parts of the Bible. It’s why gospel Christians must agree that the Bible is our final and highest authority. It rules over tradition – the way we’ve always done things. It rules over reason – what seems reasonable to us. It rules over experience – what feels right.

And this applies to all the tricky debates where people dismiss or marginalise what the Bible says about predestination, about gender, about sex, about the sanctity of life; above all, about believing Jesus really is the only way to God; about it being impossible to serve God and money; about loving Jesus more even than your family. All these things need care, of course, in the application. But they are clearly taught in Scripture. Often by Jesus on earth!

We all have our blind spots on this. But the One we follow says we live by every word that proceeds from God’s mouth. And the place to begin and end whenever we struggle with something we find hard in the Bible is to ask if we really trust Jesus. For if we really do trust him as a good Lord and Saviour who died for us, then we will say: what Jesus believes, I must believe.

So, the Scriptures are our basis of faith. SC

Anger unpacked

Iregard myself as a fairly calm person. I’m not easily stirred to anger. Yet when I recently had cause to consider Jesus’ command in the Sermon on the Mount I realised that perhaps I wasn’t as in control of this emotion as I thought.

Just to remind you, in Matthew 5:21-22 Jesus says:

“You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘You shall not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment’. But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.”

As I considered this verse, I was aware that I didn’t really take Jesus’ instruction seriously. After all, there are people out there who just push my buttons. They’re thoughtless and selfish. Surely it’s not unreasonable to get a little miffed, if not angry, at their conduct?

We also seem to be experiencing a growing “outrage culture”

The Very Rev Sandy Grant is Dean of St Andrew’s Cathedral in Sydney.
24 SouthernCross March–April 2023

where even small indiscretions are met with significant anger. I’m reminded of Jesus’ words and I ask myself, do we have the right to get angry? If so, what do we have the right to be angry about? Furthermore, what are the consequences if we are?


Before I begin to answer these questions, there’s a prior question: what exactly is anger? One suggestion is that it’s an emotion that emerges as a response to our understanding or experience of an event. The classic example; if somebody cuts me off in traffic, I might explode – but only in the confines of a car when I’m on my own (of course)!

Our anger can also emerge from a place of pain or fear. We have been genuinely hurt by someone, especially someone for whom we have regard, affection or love – or we can fear losing control over a situation or person – so anger and coercion work together to help us regain control.

The point is, the emotion of anger emerges as a response to my understanding or experience of an event. If I’ve been wronged or aggrieved then I become angry, expressed in a range of ways: irritability, argumentativeness, bitterness, passivity, shouting or, in the extreme, violence.

In his book Good and Angry, David Powlison says that, at its core, anger expresses “I am against that”. He goes on to say, “Anger expresses the energy of your reaction to something you find offensive and wish to eliminate… [It is] active displeasure toward something that’s important enough to care about”.

Anger is always about displeasure. It’s the way we react when something we think is important is not the way it’s supposed to be.

Furthermore, in the book Untangling Emotions, Alasdair Groves and Winston Smith identify anger as a “moral emotion” that passes judgement. They argue that, at its best, anger is right to say that something is wrong and, at its worst, it is “unadulterated self-interest and issues an ultimatum” to the other person. In other

SouthernCross March–April 2023 25

words, it’s my way or the highway. They add: “Anger offers the intoxicating experience of playing God”. Vengeance is mine, not God’s. This is ugly anger and is quite arrogant.

In light of this understanding it strikes me that, just as often, our anger bubbles up from a place of perceived pain – that is, from some inconvenience or sense of entitlement. My desires, needs and hopes are compromised by someone else and as a result, I’m very angry.

So, our anger aligns with the values we hold. It reveals something of what I think is important about how life should or shouldn’t be. This might be anger at the injustice of child slavery or violence towards women, and these can be expressed in good and constructive ways – writing petitions, attending peaceful rallies or contacting a member of parliament. Or it might be anger at getting cut off in traffic, at someone turning up late or forgetting to buy the milk. In these situations, our anger is more of an expression of our belief that we should not be inconvenienced or interrupted – which certainly aligns with what matters to us, because what matters to us is often… us.

Yet what if that person did forget to buy the milk when they said they would? This leads me to return to my initial question: do we have the right to get angry? If so, when?


As Christians, our final destination, the home of righteousness, will be free of wrath, rage and anger – the people of God gathered around the throne of God, governed by peace. This is where the Bible is pointing us. Yet we know that between the Fall in Genesis 3 and the return of Jesus, sin impacts all aspects of our lives together.

As we live in this time of waiting, we continue to wrestle with sin and with the help of the Holy Spirit put to death behaviours not fit for the person who seeks to live faithfully in God’s kingdom (see Colossians 3:8) While Paul seems to acknowledge in Ephesians 4 that there’s a time for justified anger, he then adds, “In your anger do not sin” (see Ps.4:4) and “Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry” (Eph 4:26). Here it seems is the instruction to not allow anger to linger; a line must be drawn to ensure prompt restoration of relationships.

We need to heed James’ urging to be “quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry” (Jas 1:19). Why? Because “human

anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires” (Jas 1:20). God’s anger is a response to sin and injustice, but often ours is not. All in all, the instruction of Jesus and the testimony of the rest of the New Testament is that there is no place for anger that emanates from a heart that is entitled and self-seeking.


Often people will explain or justify their anger by claiming it is righteous. But what is righteous anger? Tim Challies defines it as something that “reacts against actual sin, not a violation of my desires or preferences”. It’s an anger that focuses on God and his kingdom, and transgressions against God’s holiness. It’s a concern for God’s name: when that is violated, then God and his people are angry.

Righteous anger recognises sin that harms God’s people, brings dishonour to him and the cause of the gospel. Therefore, caution is required if we’re going to claim our anger is righteous, lest we’re really trying to justify our lack of self-control.


The New Testament urges us to put away anger and wrath, and instead imitate God by walking in love. So, we should be slow to anger the way he is, avoid sin and interrogate the source of our anger to see whether it stems from self-interest.

The thing that Jesus is most concerned about is how I’m dealing with anger internally, as a matter of the heart. Am I more concerned about my own entitlement or exercising self-control and forbearance towards my brothers and sisters?

Anger is complex and difficult to untangle and reign in. It reveals our hearts and that sense of entitlement we all have that insists life goes our way – though it can also reveal our love for the vulnerable, the weak, the mistreated. It can indeed give expression to God’s heart.

So, keeping Jesus’, Paul and James’ words in mind, let’s seek the way of kingdom living and be slow to anger, recognising this does not produce the righteous life God requires of his people. SC

This is a summary of a presentation given at the Centre for Christian Living at Moore College in 2022.
Visit our official site for the latest news and information. And while you’re there, sign up for the weekly newsletter. Imagine if your church had 25,000 new faces each week GOD MAKES SENSE DEFEND-STRENGTHEN-REACH 26 SouthernCross March–April 2023
The Ven Kara Hartley is the Archdeacon for Women’s Ministry in the Sydney Diocese.

MBM move for Malcolm

On March 8, the Rev Dr Malcolm Gill became the rector of MBM Rooty Hill, moving from an assistant minister’s role at St Andrew’s Cathedral.

Dr Gill has “always had a soft spot” for MBM, has preached there a number of times and, from a distance, followed the progression of events at the church since last year, when long-term rector the Rev Ray Galea announced that he was moving to Dubai.

However, in the middle of the year Dr Gill received an unexpected call from the nominators. Would he come out to Rooty Hill for a chat about the senior minister’s position?

“I was a little bit surprised,” he recalls. “I thought it would be polite to have the conversation, but I didn’t think they would pursue it... I didn’t grow up Anglican, I didn’t go to Moore College, I didn’t have experience leading a church before, so there were a variety of reasons where I thought, maybe they’ve got the wrong guy!”

Dr Gill’s experience includes 12 years as a preaching lecturer at Sydney Missionary and Bible College, and another four years at the Dallas Theological Seminary in the US. He also worked part-time for a 6000-member church in Texas while he was doing his PhD.

The first meeting at MBM went well, but a fortnight later

Dr Gill rang to pull out of further discussions – partly for family reasons but also because he was yet to finish the process in Sydney that would make him eligible to be a senior minister. The timing just didn’t seem right.

He offered to have another conversation if the nominators reached the end of 2022 without finding the right person. They rang him back eight weeks later. This conversation was even more encouraging than the first, but Dr Gill still had his doubts and said as much when he was invited back for dinner with his wife Tamara.

“Well, this is the problem when you marry a godly woman,” he says with a laugh. “My wife said to me, ‘This is the right thing to do. We need to honour their request’.”

Dr Gill expected his wife would need convincing to move suburbs as well as ministries. But, he says, when they got back into their car after dinner, “she looked at me and said, ‘I think this might well be our new home’”, adding: “Abram and Sarai, they both trusted the Lord even though they didn’t know where they were going. We just need to be obedient.”

At that point Dr Gill placed the decision completely in God’s hands and, two weeks later, the nominators rang and invited him to join MBM as their senior minister. The group had been


The Rev Len Abbott died on January 24, aged 100.

Born Leonard Mackay Abbott on September 26, 1922 in Adelaide, he grew up in the coastal suburb of Largs Bay and began an engineering degree at Adelaide University at the age of 16. Awarded the university medal in 1942, Mr Abbott took

meeting once a week for nine months, praying and working through the process, and were united in their decision.

“That’s the way the Spirit of God works,” Dr Gill says. “So, we trust the Lord, take this step and move forward.”

While he is going to miss the Cathedral with its diversity of people and services, and the regular walk-ins off the street, he is now excited by what lies ahead.

“I’m really looking forward to it… I went out and spoke at their vision night in January, which was primarily for lay leaders and volunteers, and they had a large group of passionate people there!” he says. “Everybody was super-encouraging.”

During its season without a lead pastor, MBM has had a large number of people do its Belonging course (for those new to the parish) and has continued to grow and thrive under the leadership of Bishop Gary Koo and the church’s pastoral staff, who have all stepped up during the interim period.

“This all reminds me that what

is going on at MBM is the Lord’s work,” Dr Gill says. “This is why I’m excited – I get to be part of what God is already doing out in western Sydney. It’s just a privilege to join what God is already doing with a great staff and a great church.”

Following 25 years as chaplain at Trinity Grammar School, the Rev Greg Webster was inducted as rector of Lavender Bay on March 7.

The senior associate minister at St Matt’s, Manly, the Rev Scott Petty , will become rector of Northbridge in May.


List of parishes and provisional parishes, vacant or becoming vacant, as at March 6, 2023:

• Beverly Hills with Kingsgrove

Castle Hill

• Concord and Burwood

• Eagle Vale**

• Freshwater GreystanesMerrylands


• Liverpool South**

up a job at the Port Kembla steel works, returning to South Australia in 1950 to work for BHP in Whyalla.

In the mid-1950s, he put his career aside to study at Moore College and was ordained in 1960 – serving as curate for two years in the Adelaide parish of Kensington (during which

• Mona Vale**

• Regents Park*


• Rosemeadow*

• St James’, King Street

• South Hurstville

• Wentworth Falls

• West Wollongong

* denotes provisional parishes or Archbishop’s appointments

** right of nomination suspended/on hold

time he obtained a Bachelor of Divinity from London), before returning to Sydney to become chaplain and Maths master at Shore school.

A student at Shore during this period, former Archbishop of Sydney, Glenn Davies, describes Mr Abbott as “a faithful and godly pastor – fearless in his

Clergy moves.
SouthernCross March–April 2023 27

defence of God’s word and in his understanding, not only of the Bible, but also of human beings.

“He created his own curriculum for Divinity classes and it was way in advance of anything available at the time. Boys also gave testimony to their love of maths because of the way Len taught it.

“His pastoral care continued after boys left school. He would follow their life trajectories and careers, and not only encourage them but pray for them – and I was a beneficiary of that, in many ways.”

Mr Abbott’s influence went well beyond the school. Shore graduate Peter Conway, who left Australia in 1970 to study at Dartmouth College in the US, was astounded to discover after his arrival that Mr Abbott had written to the head office of the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship in another state to ensure that his former student would find “meaningful Christian fellowship”.

Through the IVCF link, Mr Conway was introduced to a few Christian students and they began a Bible study. By the time he graduated in 1974, 250 students were meeting weekly in the chapel, there was a Bible study in nearly every dormitory and they operated a 24-hour Christian coffee house. The Christian fellowship eventually built a church not far from the campus, which still ministers to the local community.

“All from a letter Len Abbott

wrote on my behalf,” Mr Conway says. “I stand in his debt. Hundreds of Dartmouth students who have never heard of him stand in his debt.”

Mr Abbott became rector of Peakhurst in 1974, rector of Windsor in 1980, and was a Canon of St John’s, Parramatta from 1983-88. He “retired” from Windsor in 1988, spending the next couple of years as a Master in Holy Orders at St Andrew’s Cathedral School. He also served with Bush Church Aid in Port Hedland.

Threaded throughout this was tireless support for Shore old boys who had gone into ministry, and the gathering of so much knowledge about – and insight into – Australian history that, in 2010 at an event celebrating the 50th anniversary of Mr Abbott’s ordination, historian Dr Stuart Piggin said:

[He] has not been an Australian historian by profession, but he may have been a wiser historian than the professionals, and he is certainly more interesting than most of us who have been working on Australian history. He has been a greater influence on my understanding of the history of Australian Christianity than anyone else by a long, long, long way.

Dr Piggin went further in 2018 by dedicating a book he co-authored – The Fountain of Public Prosperity: Evangelical Christians in Australian History 1740-1914 – to Mr Abbott: “who should have written this book and would have done it better”.


For information on booking any time of the year, please see southerncrossalpinelodge

The Rev Peter Carman died on November 1, 2022, aged 88.

Born Peter George Karman in Budapest on January 23, 1934, his Jewish family fled Hungary in 1939 after Hitler annexed Czechoslovakia, and then migrated to Australia.

Seeking to assimilate well into their new country, the family was baptised into the Anglican Church and, at the age of 10, Mr Carman became a boarder at Barker College. Chapel services and the words of the Anglican liturgy attracted him, but he did not give his life to Christ until some years later, while working in the family textile business.

It was expected that Mr Carman would follow his father into the trade but, as his faith deepened and he became more involved in church activities at St Swithun’s, Pymble, he chose ministry, and began studying at Moore College in 1957.

Following ordination in 1960, he became curate at Corrimal, where he met his wife Diana. They married in 1963, and the following year Mr Carman became curate-in-charge at Riverwood, followed six years later by McCallums Hill.

In 1974, Mr Carman joined

the Department of Youth and Community Services as a chaplain to juvenile offenders, and 10 years later he became an Anglicare chaplain at St Vincent’s Hospital, where he served until his retirement in 1996. Ministries after retirement included a part-time assistant minister role at Church Hill, locums around the Diocese and voluntary work.

Said his wife Diana: “Peter felt strongly that the Christian faith is much more than mere legal standing before God, but is relational. This indwelling connection with God sustained him throughout difficult times and fostered a spirit of thankfulness for the richness of God’s blessings”.

Author, editor and teacher Lesley Hicks died on December 7, 2022, aged 87.

Mrs Hicks was born Lesley Kay Hill on November 19, 1935 and grew up on Sydney’s North Shore. As a result of a drug used to relieve labour pain during her birth, she was born with damaged hearing –although this didn’t stop her from winning a scholarship to Presbyterian Ladies’ College in Pymble.

Young Lesley Hill used lip reading to compensate for her hearing loss but, in her words, grew up “frustrated and angry”. All this changed at 14 when her church, St Paul’s, Chatswood, ran a youth camp, at which she

gave her life to Jesus. Her life and attitude were transformed.

After finishing school, she received a scholarship to study at the University of Sydney, then began working at the Commonwealth Office of Education, where she became

Southern Cross Alpine Lodge is a Christian lodge in Smiggins Perisher Ski Resort
in the
providing quality accommodation and hospitality
in the NSW Kosciuszko National Park.
Christian lodge
heart of
Snowy Mountains
since 1963 Snow season June to October
Low Season
Early Bird
Spring From
per day self-catered A Christian
in the
of the
providing quality accommodation and hospitality since
From $72 per day including 3 meals daily
discounts And
Snowy Mountains
1963 Snow season June to October From $72 per day including 3 meals daily Low Season after Early Bird and Multi-Night discounts And Summer, Autumn, Spring From $37 per day
news and corporate photography
28 SouthernCross March–April 2023
Servicing clients such as News Ltd, Fairfax, FPC, Rural Press, Torch Publishing and ACP Specialising in: PROPERTIES, MACHINERY, GARDENS, STRUCTURES, TRANSPORT Suppliers to Southern Cross contact:
0414 972 050 or

Chappo’s “students” and the lessons learned

The Class of Chappo

It’s just over 10 years since Sydney evangelist, John Chapman, went ahead to glory, and his good friend David Mansfield has asked 28 of Chappo’s “students” to say how he helped them – and then show how he helped them by providing a mini-sermon.

I’ve read one testimony and sermon each day in this book and it was an absolute treat.

This is partly because the group of 28 (and there could have been hundreds included in the volume) come from a wide range of places. There are men and women, clergy and lay, home and overseas, high profile and low profile: builder, farmer, lecturer, principal, bishop and archbishop. So many people were touched by John’s life and ministry.

The other gift in the book is the way contributors have recalled vital lessons learned from John. There are theological lessons to do with having confidence in the word of God and a desire to see Christ known and honoured. There are pastoral lessons – such as his love for people, his passion in preaching, the determination to simplify, abbreviate, illustrate and, increasingly, be brief.

We are reminded through these friends (the Chappo “class”) that he could be very serious, very joyful, very urgent, very funny, very confronting and very liberating – sometimes all in the same sermon.

Quite a few mention the clarity John had – you couldn’t miss the point of the passage or its application. Others experienced the “blowtorch to the belly”, as John would provide feedback on a talk in a way that was tough but kind.

How helpful it was for me to be reminded in these pages that not all “gospel” opportunities are equal in their helpfulness! To speak into chaos, bad planning and poor inviting is difficult. And yet, as one contributor says, quoting Paul in 2 Timothy 4:2, even if it doesn’t feel like a good time, still do it.

The mini-sermons are full of riches – helpful insights, illustrations and thoughtful prayers. Nearly all the sermons deal with different passages, so it’s a good resource for everyone.

A great echo of a great man. SC

assistant editor of a magazine for international students – writing, researching and proofreading – and also became an English tutor to some of the students.

A Diploma of Education followed in 1958, and although she was not allowed to work in the public system because of her hearing problem, Miss Hill’s former headmistress was keen for her to teach senior students at PLC. A year later she became head of the school’s English Department.

In 1961 she met her future husband at church, and they married the following year. Mrs Hicks put work aside to raise their family and, at her funeral,

son Paul listed all the things she accomplished as a “stayat-home mum”, which included writing The Appalling Silence –an acclaimed book about the disappearance of anti-drugs campaigner Don Mackay.

She also wrote a biography of missionary and surgeon Dr Grace Warren, as well as a history of St Paul’s, Chatswood and several books for children and youth.

If that weren’t enough, Mrs Hicks wrote a column in the Anglican Church Record for 11 years, ran Chatswood’s kids’ club for more than 20 years, was a parish Synod representative and nominator, taught Scripture, was a member of the Anglican

Social Issues Committee and, for 33 years, an Anglican representative on the NSW Council of Churches.

Mrs Hicks also taught ESL at Chatswood, tutored students and continued to write and speak on issues such as the ongoing problem with the Calabrian mafia in parts of Australia, which had been behind the death of Don Mackay years earlier.

Daughter Bronwyn Nicholson said in her eulogy that her mother “had the strength of character to speak and act about things she thought were wrong, even when she knew others would consider a her a nuisance or strongly disagree.

“She stood up for what she thought was important – and it was other people who were important to her, because she knew that they were important to her God.”

Granddaughter Bridonie said that knowing Jesus had filled and transformed her grandmother’s life, “and through her God has impacted so many people with his love.

“The new life that she is enjoying right now began when she was 14, but now he has given her resurrection ears. The first voice she has ever heard perfectly in her life was her saviour Jesus calling her home and saying, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant’.”

The Class of Chappo is available at The Wandering Bookseller.
Book reviews. SouthernCross March–April 2023 29

Keller’s ministry sources

Timothy Keller: His Spiritual and Intellectual Formation


Let’s get the potential conflict of interest out of the way. I serve as chairman on the board of City to City Australia, which brings the myriad of ideas and resources developed by Dr Tim Keller (right) and his team to churches (plants, pots and established) here in Australia.

Reading Collin Hansen’s book on Keller is like a digest on where all the best ideas came from: gospel renewal; Christ-centred preaching; evangelistic worship; cultural engagement; theological vision; and care for the poor.

You name it, Hansen sources it. And here is the thing you learn from the book: that those ideas did not come from Keller.

This is not a biography of one person. Rather, it is a series of miniature biographies of the many people God used to form Keller’s thinking and ministry before he arrived in New York City, aged 39, to begin Redeemer Presbyterian Church with his wife, Kathy.

Timothy Keller: His Spiritual and Intellectual Formation is, quite frankly, an account of Keller’s crowdsourcing skills, back when crowdsourcing required patience, time and listening – and, most of all, curiosity.

Keller draws from the ancients: Augustine, Luther and Edwards. He found great wisdom from British evangelicals such as Stott, Packer and Lloyd-Jones, and the North American contingent also features heavily – R.C. Sproul, Jack Miller and Richard Lovelace. It would appear Edmund Clowney is key, as are C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien.

There are people no one has heard of, namely the workingclass folk in his first pastoral position in Hopewell, Virginia. And, importantly, there are the voices of many women, including Elisabeth Elliot, Barbara Boyd, Nancy DeMoss and, of course, Kathy Kristy, who became Kathy Keller.

Most important is the Bible, Old and New Testament, read through the lens of Christ. And then applied to lives.

That’s not to say that Keller “stole” ideas or is unoriginal, but rather that he appears thirsty to learn from many sources. Hansen argues that, far from stealing the ideas, Keller synthesised them from a previous generation and then articulated them for a new one.

I got to know Tim a little, both here in Sydney (when he visited in 2014) and when I was living in New York City. One of the first things that strikes you about him is his intense curiosity, listening ear and ability to ask questions. Such a thirst is, in many ways, the subject of this book.

The book is divided into four parts, but to me it reads like two: pre-NYC and post-NYC. What he experienced before being called to Redeemer, and what fruit came of it in NYC and globally.

Some readers will love the thoughtfulness of the first half – it begins with a lot of good theology and ministry formation. Others will like the humanness of the second half where, among other things, you get a glimpse of the Kellers’ decision to come to New York, the suffering faced along the way (including his current diagnosis of Stage 4 pancreatic cancer), and the growth pains after that terrible day on September 11, 2001.

Like Keller’s sermons, in the first half you’ll be taking notes, but in the second half you’ll find yourself putting your pen down.

Don’t expect the book to be emotional. Warm, but not riveting. Most memorable is Hansen’s retelling of the story of how Tim’s gay brother left the family, contracted and then died of AIDS, and his journey back to grace in the final days of his life. Hansen tracked down the script of the sermon Tim preached at his brother’s funeral. The book is worth it for that moment alone.

I lived in New York City and ministered for three years in an Anglican church on Manhattan that had its origins in Redeemer Presbyterian. I spent a year in one of their incubator cohorts, asking together how we might develop a theological vision for our particular church plants. I benefited greatly from Dr Keller’s ministry, and, quite frankly, moved to the centre of Sydney because I believed then (and now) the vision of city-centre churches.

I suspect I don’t need to declare a conflict of interest! That said, I think this book lacks any serious exploration of the City to City movement, which is so important to Dr Keller now. And naturally, I’d like people to look into the work being done in Australia through that movement. This book, along with Tim’s other books, may cause you to do that.

But really the interest I have is in the work itself: the gospel, contextualised, sensitive to the outsider, delivered with grace and humility. Hansen writes that Keller “never gave up on the vision of the bowed head”. May God grant to us the same vision. SC

30 SouthernCross March–April 2023
The Rev Justin Moffatt is senior minister of Church Hill Anglican.

How to navigate godparenthood

Sally Swan

A Godparent’s Handbook

Ihave a plethora of children of my own, I’ve fostered more than 10 extras so far and been involved in a variety of different ministries, here and overseas, but perhaps the space I feel most unsure about, most untrained in, most like I’m stepping forwards in a fog – albeit a happy and privileged one – is as godparent to my three godchildren.

I have two boys and one girl as my godchildren, aged 23 and 14 and seven. Two are children of close friends and one is my nephew. There was no contract to sign, my name isn’t on the birth certificate, I pay no annual fees and the general vibe I’ve been rolling with is to keep in touch, pray for them, give the younger ones lollies, take the older one out for burgers and stick their photos on my wardrobe door so I don’t forget them. Done. Right?

Until this little book. And indeed, it begins with the chapter heading: “So many questions!”. What do we bring to godparenting in terms of theology and practice, and how do we stop the slide down to mere tokenism?

When I was a child, my godmother used to squeeze five bucks into my hand annually and then have nothing more to do with me. I think we can strive for more than that. In this book, Warren articulates her hopes. “The ideal was clear: having other mature Christians invested in our children’s faith for the long term”.

And then the book heads into the gospel of grace, reminding us that rather than being weighed down by guilt or indecision, we can instead rejoice in God’s love for us and be set free from “a list of shoulds”. A great way to start – redirecting our false worshipping tendencies and looking to Jesus! Redemption is God’s own work.

Warren spends a few chapters writing about what a godparent is, and what baptism is, particularly from the Anglican Diocese of

Sydney’s perspective. We then dive into some liturgy – thankfully with accompanying explanation – and some Bible. Some things I had long forgotten about, other things I did not know. I so appreciated the reminder that it is God who first stretches out towards us.

But, as the author writes, being a godparent begins with a good relationship. There’s no checklist for that – only you know you and your godchild. Part of good relating, she says, is setting expectations with the parents, as well as working out practicalities. I was delighted to then read the pages spent on prayer ideas, presents, even presence!

These were all good, sensible, joyful ideas and I closed the book feeling energised and equipped.

I’m aware that some godparents may not know or understand children. My husband had never held a child before we had our own, let alone contemplated their ever-growing capacity for belief in God. The chapter on how a child’s faith develops will help you significantly. There is an awkward typo in the chapter’s first sentence (page 44), but apart from that you will enjoy, and most certainly learn from, what it says.

It was good to be handed this little book to read. May we who have been received and welcomed by God himself also receive and welcome our godchildren – encouraging them to fight bravely under his banner and to shine as a light in the world, to the glory of God the Father, in whatever way we work out best to do it. This may even involve lollies and burgers! SC

Sally Swan is a care adviser with Anglicare. She is married to Tim, has five children, and three very precious godchildren.

from page 32 of faith-life links to be made with parables like the prodigal son and the rich fool, or with Solomon’s observations in Ecclesiastes about work, meaning and satisfaction under God.

We all know our earthly lives are finite, but at the same time we choose to continue from day to day as though we will live forever. It is only when reminded of or faced with death that we take it as seriously as the Lord means that we should.

Mr Williams discovers that life is not about living it up (“Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die”, 1 Cor 15:32). It’s not about living for work or even living for love. We all need, in our turn, to remember what (or who!) is important and live each day with the awareness that this life is not all there is.

Go and see Living. It is beautifully crafted, poignant and subtle, and will resonate with you long after you leave the cinema. SC

SouthernCross March–April 2023 31

Time to live


Rated PG

What does it mean to live well? How does it affect us if we don’t? Where do we find happiness and meaning? And what – if anything – can shake us out of a mindset that closes us off emotionally, psychologically and even spiritually?

These are some of the questions that Living considers and gently encourages us to answer.

Screenwriter Kazuo Ishiguro has taken a much-loved Akira Kurosawa film, Ikiru, and transferred it pretty seamlessly to 1950s London, where life – on the surface at least – seems ordered and predictable.

Married women stay at home while the men head off to work each morning, gathering at the train station like a clutch of migrating birds. A new chap, who hasn’t yet learned the art of bureaucratic dullness, sticks out like a sore thumb on the platform as he joins a group of fellow civil servants, each of whom has his bowler hat, dark suit, umbrella and disinclination for conversation.

When their train stops closer to town, we find out why. Their boss, widower Mr Williams (Bill Nighy) gets on board, and each underling has used him as their template.

This continues once they reach the office where, following Mr Williams’ example, each man has his own method of obfuscation to ensure public concerns and projects are mired in red tape and nothing gets done.

The only spark of brightness in this drab place is Miss Harris (Aimee Lou Wood), a cheerful young woman who, unsurprisingly, is looking for a job elsewhere.

The picture changes suddenly when Mr Williams’ doctor tells him he only has months to live. His immediate response is politely restrained – almost wooden – but this is clearly not an issue that can be pushed to one side like the projects at work. Faced with his own mortality, he must confront the uncomfortable truth that he has been alive without truly living.

What follows is a type of fable, as Mr Williams seeks to understand happiness and peace, and how he might attain them.

Ishiguro wrote the screenplay for Living with Bill Nighy in mind, and Nighy gives arguably the best performance of his career –portraying anguish, uncertainty, love, loneliness, sorrow and joy with incredible nuance and skill, and in a manner that’s likely to bring audience members to tears on more than one occasion.

While he probably won’t win the Oscar for this portrayal, it’s very hard to take your eyes off him as his Mr Williams gradually thaws, trying out a gentle smile here and there and seeking to express himself in ways he may never have done before –including with a beautifully pure singing voice (who knew?).

Living takes you on a deeply moving journey and is worth seeing for the story alone. However, for Christians there are also plenty

continued on page 31
Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.