Category : Australia

(NT News) Activist for the new Sexual Morality Rodney Croome urges respect in debate and praises Tasmania Anglican Bishop’s pastoral letter as the way the No case should be argued

There are fears debate during the $122 million postal survey process could turn nasty.

“Even though I very much disagree with Bishop Condie’s views on marriage equality, his pastoral letter on the issue is a very good example of how the ‘no’ case should be conducted because it is respectful and based on principle,” Mr [Rodney] Croome said.

“I urge marriage equality supporters not to casually throw around the word ‘bigot’ and I urge those against the reform not to use offensive terms like ‘stolen generation’ to describe the children of same-sex couples.”

Bishop Condie’s letter said that, for Christians, marriage had always meant a commitment of one man to one woman voluntarily entered into for life.

“We shun actions and words that demean and marginalise; we reject discrimination, and especially grieve the way people who identify as homosexual have been treated in our society and churches,” the letter said.

Read it all.

Posted in --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Anthropology, Australia, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Pastoral Theology, Religion & Culture, Sexuality, Theology, Theology: Scripture

(SA) Scots ‘impair’ communion with Australia

The Scottish Primus said that the move meant his church now affirms that a same-sex couple is not just married but is married in the sight of God.

The move is in contravention of the doctrine of marriage in the Anglican church and breaches the Lambeth resolution of 1998.

The Dean of Sydney, Kanishka Raffel moved a motion at the General Synod meeting in Queensland which had earlier reaffirmed that marriage is between a man and a woman.

“Across the Anglican communion, churches are trying to work out how best to love people of diverse sexual orientation.  This is important because all people are made in God’s image; and God hates nothing that he has made.  It is important because all people are to be valued honoured and loved not only because they are created in God’s image but because of Christ’s costly redeeming love for them. ” Dean Raffel said in his speech.

Read it all.

Posted in Anthropology, Australia, Ecclesiology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Marriage & Family, Pastoral Theology, Scottish Episcopal Church, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), Theology

(ABC) Anglican Church of Austrlia offers formal apology to victims of domestic violence

The Anglican Church of Australia has for the first time apologised to victims of domestic violence — many of whom, it says, have been let down by Church leaders and teachings — and pledged to undertake independent research into the nature and extent of family violence in Anglican communities.

The Church’s triennial General Synod meeting, held this week in Maroochydore, Queensland, heard abuse of power was “at the heart” of many relationship problems in the church.

“We grieve with victims and survivors of domestic abuse, and pray for their healing and recovery,” the General Synod said in its apology.

Read it all.

Posted in Australia

Primate Philip Freier’s Presidential Address to the Australian General Synod

Even though the matter is before the High Court of Australia this week, it is likely that Australians will soon be given the opportunity to vote on changing Australia’s
marriage law to include same-sex marriage. I have encouraged all Anglicans to exercise their democratic right and to participate in the postal plebiscite. Although not legally binding, I believe that Parliament will be better informed about Australians’ views by this means. Anglicans, like other Australians, have a wide range of opinions on same-sex
marriage, supporting or opposing it for a variety of reasons in accordance with their conscience and their understanding of the principles and issues. I do not presume to advise others how they should vote, though I myself intend to vote “no”.

I think Anglicans are capable of a respectful discussion without vilifying our opponents and respecting that each side’s position can be principled and considered. Kindness in our speech should be the hallmark of our engagement in difficult issues. For me, the most disturbing part of the recent discussion has been the assumption that Australians are incapable of discussing this matter with civility. It is unfortunate that this rhetoric, that we are well accustomed to in party political debate, has been applied to a large part of the electorate who reasonably expected to share a direct role in the decision. Stereotyping public opinion ahead of an argument being advanced is divisive and destructive of public discourse.

If same-sex marriage becomes law, the Church will of course need to accept that it is part of the landscape. Politicians on all sides have affirmed that we can still stand for and offer holy matrimony between a man and a woman as a sacred ordinance given by God, while accepting that the state has endorsed a wider view of marriage. The doctrine of the Book of Common Prayer remains unchanged, that marriage is between a man and a woman, under God, forsaking all others until death parts them. I do not believe that the Anglican Church in Australia is likely to revise its doctrine of marriage.

Read it all.

Posted in Australia, Ecclesiology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Law & Legal Issues, Life Ethics, Marriage & Family, Pastoral Theology, Provinces Other Than TEC, Theology: Scripture

(AI) Fallout in Australia over Andrew Lines consecration

The Primate of the Anglican Church of Australia has asked the church’s Appellate Tribunal to offer a ruling as to whether its bishops may participate in the consecration of bishops who are not members of the Anglican Communion.

On 16 August 2017, the Most Rev. Philip Freier, Archbishop of Melbourne, wrote to the registrar of the tribunal stating he had received a request from the Bishop of Bendigo, the Rt. Rev. Andrew Curnow, supported by four other bishops that raised objections to the consecration of the Rt. Rev. Andrew Lines of the Anglican Church in North America by the Archbishop of Sydney and Bishops of Tasmania and Northwest Australia.

The proceedings, made public in a letter to the Australian bishops on 28 August 2017, comes a week before the start of the church’s General Synod at Maroochydore, on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, from 3-9 Sept 2017 and will likely overshadow its proceedings.

The Appellate Tribunal of the Anglican Church of Australia is not a disciplinary tribunal, but a body charged with providing legal opinions on ecclesiastical questions.

Read it all.

Posted in Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Australia, Ecclesiology, Ethics / Moral Theology, GAFCON, Pastoral Theology

(Gafcon) Archbp Peter Jensen–The Mythical Middle

Think. What if the truth is actually on the boundary and not in the middle? What if there is no middle, but the choice is binary, and the middle is a mythical middle?

For example, imagine a denomination in which some ministers teach that Jesus was a merely good man and others teach that he is both true God and true man. Where is the moderate, middle view here? Would it be to say that Jesus is divine but not fully God? We can hear all the arguments in favour of this moderate position – but we know that it is actually heretical.

By using the word ‘extremist’ for those who hold a strong point of view, who make a stand, we excuse ourselves from the need to think, to make a decision, to act. Or we give ourselves permission to bless what God calls sin because it is not the most extreme form of such an activity. Or we acquiesce without protest in the activities of others doing this, in our name.

But in the present case, there is no middle. We are faced with a choice between the teaching of scripture backed by the continuous interpretative tradition of the church catholic, and a shift from scripture into what God disapproves of.

Read it all.

Posted in Australia, Global South Churches & Primates, Theology, Theology: Scripture

(SA) Sydney Archbishop’s New Churches for New Communities unveils a 3-year fundraising plan for the construction of ministry facilities in growing areas

The Archbishop’s New Churches for New Communities (NCNC) has held a series of regional dinners, unveiling a three-year fundraising plan for the construction of ministry facilities in growing areas.

In partnership with the Mission Property Committee, which buys land, NCNC’s role is to raise funds to provide emerging congregations across the Diocese with dual-purpose facilities for community and church use.

“We are on a mission to preserve the future of Christianity in these growth areas and these facilities will enable emerging congregations to connect with the communities around them and grow together,” said the executive director of NCNC, the Rev Glenn Gardner.

There was an appeal at the dinners for parish councils to consider including NCNC in their mission allocations budget, and an appeal for ambassadors for this task. “Ours is the only Protestant denomination addressing this vital challenge,” Mr Gardner said.

Read it all.

Posted in Australia, Evangelism and Church Growth, Parish Ministry

Australian Anglican Church won’t licence reinstated clergymen

Two Anglican clergymen controversially returned to Holy Orders after being defrocked for their roles in covering up historic cases of child sex abuse, are unlikely to minister again.

Former Bishop of Grafton Keith Slater and Grafton Deacon Rev Pat Comben have been returned to Holy Orders this year after attempts to “depose” them in 2015.

The pair were found to have acted inappropriately to victims of the notorious North Coast Children’s Home who came to them seeking redress for past abuses.

Read it all.

Posted in Australia, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry

Australian Anglican leader to seek Church apology to domestic violence victims

The head of the Anglican Church in Australia says he hopes the general synod in September will apologise to victims of domestic violence, and for any failure from the Church.

On The Drum, Anglican Primate of Australia Archbishop Philip Freier read out an unequivocal apology written by an Aboriginal priest, Father Daryl McCullough, who heads a parish in western New South Wales.

“I want to finish this by simply saying sorry. As a priest in the Church of God I’m truly and deeply sorry if you or anyone you love has been the victim of abuse and found the Church complicit in making that abuse worse,” Father McCullough wrote on his blog.

Read it all.

Posted in Australia, Australia / NZ, Church History, Pastoral Theology, Religion & Culture, Sexuality, Violence

Sydney Archbishop Glenn Davies on the Consecration of Andy Lines in Illinois Last week

Posted in Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Australia, Ethics / Moral Theology, Marriage & Family, Scottish Episcopal Church

Australian Primate Philip Freier Writes his province abt the Participation of 2 of his Bishops in the Consecration of Canon Andy Lines

You will have received correspondence from Archbishop Glenn Davies and Bishop Richard Condie advising of their intention to participate in the consecration of a bishop for Europe in the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), a church that is not a member of the Anglican Communion and is not in communion with the Anglican Church of Australia. That ordination will by now have taken place. Each of our colleagues, according to their conscience, declares their intended participation to be an act of solidarity ‘with those who will act to protect the gospel of Christ’ or ‘who contend for the faith once for all delivered to the saints’ – an issue as to the Fundamental Declarations and Ruling Principles of our National Constitution (ss 1- 6).

As you will have seen from that correspondence, I advised both bishops against this course of action. I take the view that communion – koinonia, is a gift of our Lord to his Church and that in our context it is the Anglican Church of Australia, through its constitution and the framework it establishes, that determines how this is expressed in practical terms. As s5 of our National Constitution provides:

Subject to the Fundamental Declarations and the provisions of this chapter [Chapter 2] this Church has plenary authority and power to make canons, ordinances and rules for the order and good government of the Church, and to administer the affairs thereof. Such authority and power may be exercised by the several synods and tribunals in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution.

For reasons explained below, I do not think that it is for us individually, acting independently, to determine with whom we are in communion or to act unilaterally to that end.

Read it all.

Posted in Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Australia, Ecclesiology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Marriage & Family, Pastoral Theology, Scottish Episcopal Church

(Herald) Canon Katherine Bowyer named as first female Anglican Dean of Newcastle

[The] Reverend Canon Katherine Bowyer will become the first female Anglican Dean of Newcastle and the first person born in the diocese to be elected to the position.

Acting-Bishop of Newcastle Dr Peter Stuart announced the historic appointment on Sunday, revealing Canon Bowyer had unanimously been accepted as the next Dean and Parish Priest of Christ Church Cathedral.

“Katherine is a highly experienced priest who loves the cathedral, its music and its many ministries,” Dr Stuart said.

Canon Bowyer will replace outgoing Dean Stephen Williams, who will conclude his ministry in August before retiring in October.

Read it all.

Posted in Australia, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry

(Bega Distirct News) Tantawangalo church facing closure in Anglican parish vision for future

Tantawangalo’s historic Anglican Church faces closure under a proposal being put to the community next week.

The Sapphire Coast Anglican Parish, which looks after nine churches, is looking at ways to grow its congregation and is proposing to sell St John’s at Tantawangalo and invest all monies into nearby St Peter’s church at Candelo.

The parish has three active churches all within 15km of each other – Kameruka, Tantawangalo and Candelo – all built between 1869-1906 when distances were harder to negotiate.

A wooden church at Tantawangalo was first built in 1877 before the current brick building replaced it in 1908

Read it all.

Posted in Australia, Parish Ministry

(Gafcon) Archbp Peter Jensen: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners

That simple statement from 1 Timothy 1:15 has always been one of my favourite Bible verses, for a number of reasons. Pre-eminently, though, it is because it conveys the heart of the gospel. It always reminds me of the picture the Lord Jesus himself gave of the shepherd who seeks the lost sheep until he finds it, lays it on his shoulders and brings it home safely.

Whatever else you may think about the Lord coming into the world, saving sinners was his chief aim and his death on the cross was the chief means.

Those of us brought up on the Book of Common Prayer will remember that 1 Timothy 1:15 is one of those precious ‘comfortable words’ which we hear in the context of confessing our sinfulness to the Lord. For our sins, amply revealed by the Law of God, leave us with nowhere to go. And yet, the Good Shepherd finds us.

Read it all.

Posted in Australia, Christology, GAFCON, Soteriology, Theology, Theology: Scripture