I loved Ben’s 10 in 2 post the other day. But I have to admit I’m more a 2 in 10 guy. I find evangelism hard. My courage fails easily. But one of my biggest problems is just not spending time with those outside the kingdom.
In my neck of the woods, the Connect09 campaign last year at least had the impact of making me think about getting to know the people in my own street.
On Thursday 2 September, Mikey Lynch emailed me, and three other mates, to point us to a blog. He said, “I thought you’d be interested in getting a feel for the kind of conversations [people] are having about secular work vs gospel work”. This thread was a reflection on the Katoomba Convention Centre Conference called Engage.
The five of us sent a series of emails to each other pondering the strengths and weaknesses of our own leadership and of the church at large. I thought I’d share with you the email I wrote. In the email I sort of just went ‘splat’. I guess it is a distillation of three and a half years of conversations with hundreds of people around Australia about full-time gospel work vs bi-vocational, MTS’s highlights and lowlights, the impact of Mark Driscoll’s 2008 visit, Gen Y’s view of church leadership … plus other stuff. Throw your two bobs worth in after you’ve read it.
With the legalization of euthanasia once more being debated in parliament, I thought it might be a good time for some vintage Briefing articles on the topic. (more…)
It’s sometimes said, “Show me your songs, and I will tell you your theology”.
There was very clear theology being expressed in the songs chosen for the services of Morning and Evening Prayer each day for this General Synod.
Take this …
Jesus calls us to each other:
Found in him are no divides.
Race and class and sex and language
Such are barriers he derides.
Forgive me the self-indulgence, but I’m pleased to say we finally reached a motion I gave notice of on the first day of Synod on the last day! After a bit of debate, it was passed unanimously.
If there was a theme for today at General Synod, it was the search for
For example, we sought unity in encouraging a wide variety of ‘fresh
expressions’ of church. In other circles this covers what might be called
church planting and innovation, as well as other initiatives like “Back to
There was an agreed desire to give permission for new and creative Christian
fellowships and ministries. In this, we heard of some impressive and
sacrificial examples of meeting human need. People felt we were talking about
However the emphasis was all about how to do it, especially on what
leadership skills were needed. Agreement in the gospel was taken for granted,
yet is the very thing that appears to be lacking across the denomination.
It’s really hard in a political environment to accurately assess spiritual progress. Synod is about politics, and I do not mean that negatively.
But it means it’s tempting to assess everything in terms of what you won and lost in the debates. And overall this General Synod has been going pretty well for evangelicals, I think.
There were many interesting items on Monday which got our blood pumping faster:
- an amendment to our Solemnisation of Marriage Canon
Here are my reflections on the first two days of General Synod.
The Archbishop of Brisbane, Phillip Aspinall, is the Primate of the Anglican Church of Australia, and so chairs the General Synod. He sent a very clear message in his opening Presidential Address.
According to the official media release, he “called for unity”, advocating “respect for diversity and the importance of continuing to belong together in a greater whole”.
But are there limits to diversity?
The General Synod of the Anglican Church of Australia begins today, Saturday 18 September 2010, in Melbourne, and I’m one of 61 of the Sydney Diocesan representatives: 30 lay, 30 clergy, and 1 bishop of the diocese.
It only meets every 3 years, and just like last time, I plan to blog my way through!
One good thing is that it’s a day shorter this time than the seven last time! Finances not in such good shape I think!
I’m looking forward to Melbourne’s trams; to seeing if the coffee’s better than Wollongong’s; to catching up with an old student minister friend, now serving with AFES in Melbourne; to meeting a Melbourne Diocese rep I’ve got to know via the web; and hopefully a chance to visit a second hand bookshop or two (but there’s not much spare time!).
As we commence, here’s a good question: what is a general synod? Or, if you belong to another denomination, what kind of thing is your general assembly, or whatever you call it?
The ministry recruitment landscape in Sydney, NSW and the ACT is changing.
It is very exciting. In 2010 MTS changed it’s Sydney conference calendar. Instead of running a residential SPUR Conference (formerly called Club 5 or Challenge) on the October long weekend we decided to replace it with a non-residential conference in May.
“Why?” you ask. Well, there were several reasons.
I think one of the best pieces of advice I received as I began to get involved in Christian ministry was this: “Make sure you are involved in some ministry outside your own patch”.
(By ‘patch’, my advisor meant my normal sphere of ministry—be it my neighbourhood / campus / school / workplace … whatever. In my case, my patch was my local parish, and the outside ministry I got involved in was teaching Moore College ThC courses to pastors in Kenya.)
This is the sixth post in Jean’s series on women in the Bible. (Read the first, second, third, fourth and fifth.)
Hannah is a nobody, the insignificant wife of an insignificant member of an insignificant tribe. Compared to Eve, mother of all living; Sarah, mother of God’s people; or Deborah, judge of Israel—who is she? Just a barren women loved by her husband but jeered at by a younger, fruitful wife (1 Sam 1:1-8).
Does God feel your pain? For many of us the question is a bit odd, like asking ‘Is God good?’ or ‘Does God love?’ We turn to John 11 and its description of Jesus being moved at Mary’s weeping, and his own weeping at the site of Lazarus’ grave. It is common to use this as proof that God is affected by our suffering, mourning, and death: that he shares it and does not stand aloof from it. “Don’t blame God,” we implicitly say, “He’s going through the same pain and suffering you experience. He cares.” (more…)