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Bishop John's blog.
Here are some recent posts...
Stressed out with no time to write bible studies? Try ‘Growing Disciples of Jesus’, our new Lectionary-based study outlines for home and church-based study groups and personal study; will also help preachers. To have a look, click here: http://www.anglicantas.org.au/lec_based_study/
This resource is provided to help guide, encourage and resource the preachers in our diocese, be they new or experienced. It’s new and evolving, so we recommend that you drop in from time to time.
David Roger-Smith has been busy updating our Diocesan Preaching Page. The first installment is available here. Further installments will appear in the next few months. Our thanks to David for all his effort. Please have a look at our new version and let David know what you think:
as we meet together
fill us with your wisdom.
Give us the capacity
to work boldly
and with humility,
embracing the challenge of mission.
Use us to bring transforming life
to our Christian communities and
Through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Will the Imagine Project change your life?
Have you heard of Kiddliwinks?
Click here to return to Archive listing
[Tue 20.oct.09 rob] A great little website for people to find answers to the question,
"Am I going to heaven?"
Setup by Evangelism Explosion, it shows its age, but certainly fulfils its function well. Click on the link to try it out:
[Tue 20.oct.09 rob] Midnight Oils that is*. In case you missed it, Bishop John mentioned in his blog yetserday that the Honorable Peter Garrett AM MP announced that $1.6 million has been granted for the enhancement and maintaining of St David’s Cathedral, further to the $1.5 million granted in 2008. Take a look at the article on the bishop's blog, here.
[Tue 20.oct.09 rob] David Roger-Smith has been busy updating our Diocesan Preaching Page. The first installment is available here. Further installments will appear in the next few months. Our thanks to David for all his effort. Please have a look at our new version and let David know what you think.
[Thu 15.oct.09 rob] Recently, Bishop John has been busy writing a chapter for a new book. (which I suppose is another benefit of having our two new Assistant Bishops!) Today, Bishop John has generously given us the opportunity to read an extract from his chapter for our reading pleasure. (...and below, an extra surprise!)
There is no doubt in our minds that a new openness to change is evident within the Anglican Church of Australia. Two decades of National Church Life Surveys (NCLS) have provided a shocking reality check grimly detailing our critical decline. Many of us have taken these and similar challenges seriously. The key question is whether this is a new openness to deep change that will bring new life, or simply tolerable minor adjustments that are only making slow death more palatable.
In the words of Quinn and Caza, ‘deep change is transformational change.’ The evidence of an openness to transformational change is found where leaders are stepping out of institutionalised culture where protecting the status quo has been paramount, to refocus on the church’s biblical mandate as God’s mission agency. These leaders are committed to the reality that ‘We are not in the business of institutionalising mission; we are in the business of liberating the people of God for mission.’
In 2004 the Bishop released his vision for the diocese entitled ‘a healthy church … transforming life’. It is important to note that this was not a diocesan vision. We made no attempt to gain diocesan-wide consensus on a vision. It simply would have taken too long. The bishop encouraged each parish with seven principles:
We will embark on an ambitious plan to transform the life of the Anglican Church in Tasmania over the coming years. The heart of strategic planning within a church is our relationship with God. Therefore our work is a spiritual process.
Seven principles should guide this work:
Now, this has just been an extract of the chapter, but Bishop John has been far more generous. He has placed the entire chapter online for you to read! If you would like to read it online, click here. If you would like to download the chapter in Microsoft Word format, click here.
... John Harrower is Bishop of Tasmania. He is grateful to Paul Cavanough, Director of Ministry in the Diocese of Tasmania, for his contribution to both the writing of this chapter and the nurture of its possibilities.
... R.E. Quinn & A. Caza, ‘Deep Change’, in Encyclopaedia of Leadership, Eds. G.R. Goethals, G. Sorenson & J. M. Burns, Sage Publications, Thousand Oaks CA, 2004, p. 326
... George Carey, 1996 ‘Looking to the Future’ Archbishop of Canterbury: Presidential Address at ACC-10 http://www.anglicancommunion.org/acns/news.cfm/1996/10/30/ACNS1007.
... J. Harrower, ‘ahealthychurch … transforming life: The Bishop’s Vision for the Missionary Diocese of Tasmania’, Anglican Church in Tasmania, February 2004, www.anglicantas.org.au/.
... ibid., p. 22.
[Thu 15.oct.09 rob] October was the month for the Retired Clergy & Widows Service at Launceston. Sheila Holmes spoke, and she has given us her sermon notes for those who would like to read them. Click here to view the sermon text.
[Tue 13.oct.09 rob] Another video, this time looking at the church. A thought provoking take on the church's modus operandi... Is the worldwide church chasing after the Great Commission, the Great Commandment, or something else? I found it to be a wonderful challenge in a fun delivery. Enjoy!
YouTube gives credit for the video to YWAM Creative DTS Aalesund Norway. Thanks YWAM :-)
[Sun 11.oct.09 rob] We have a number of creeds in our Anglican Prayer Book, so in church today you may have said the Apostles' Creed or the Nicene Creed as a declaration of your Christian faith. But do you remember the last time you said the Athanasian Creed in church? You can find it here.
It is sometimes called the 'Trinitarian Creed', and it is often read aloud on Trinity Sunday. If you don't know it, written in the fourth century, this creed might give you a little insight into some of our church heritage.
BTW, 'catholic faith' does not refer to Roman Catholicism, but 'universal faith', which some might refer to as the 'Christian faith' today.
[Sun 11.oct.09 rob] Does your church put sermons on the internet to share with the world? Here is one from David Owens, which he preached earlier today. Click here.
Some people find it hard to get to church, and some want some extra sustenance between Sundays. Finding some good 'food' on the web (take-away?!) can be a great blessing. If your church puts sermons on the web, tell us and we'll put up one of your favourites. Later in the week we will put up some well known preaching websites which offer sermons for free. You might be surprised who gives away their preaching for free! In the meantime, check out David Owens' preach on 'the spiritual gift of encouragement'.
[Wed 07.oct.09 rob] LAST CHANCE TO REGISTER... This is your last opportunity to book your seat at this year’s Tasmanian Parliamentary Prayer Breakfast. Registrations close at 5pm, October 9th. The breakfast will be held on Wednesday 14 October in the Federation Ballroom at the Hotel Grand Chancellor starting at 7am. To register please email firstname.lastname@example.org. This year’s guest speaker is Professor Ian Harper, Director of Access Economics and former Chairman of the Australian Fair Pay Commission. Click here for more information on Professor Harper. We will also hear from Strings on Fire, Tasmania’s busiest string quartet and the senior choir of St Mary’s College, Hobart.
Bishop John will be attending, as will members of clergy from the Anglican Diocese.
[Wed 07.oct.09 rob] Bishop John has another corker of an article on his blog. Looking at the classic confusion of words like evangelism, mission and proselytism. I found it a refreshing reminder of the world's view of what we do and the reality. Here is a taster:
‘Mission’ is the Church’s participation in God’s work in the world.
‘Evangelism’ is the proclamation that God is involved in history and has come into history in the person of Jesus of Nazareth who is the Lord of all history, long expected Messiah and Saviour.
‘Proselytism’ is the practice of trying to change a person’s religious adherence to one’s own (see The Macquarie Dictionary).
You can find Bishop John's blog article here.
[Wed 07.oct.09 rob] Apologies to all the NRL Parramatta Eels fans out there. We are sorry for your loss. If you are still with me, the Parramatta Eels Rugby League team's recent late season surge to the Grand Final set the NRL alight in Australia. CEO of the team Paul Osborne was a panelist at one of the Inspiring People events. Find out more about Inspiring People here. This is a big lead-up for the Sydney Jesus All About Life extravaganza :-), but the people that are contributing and the information on the website make this well worth a look.
Among the other Inspiring People are: Justice Ken Handley, Alison Shreeve, Colin Buchanan, Andrew Scipione, Kim Oates, Michael Spence, June Dally-Watkins, Roger Corbett, Jason Stevens (if the footy fans are still with me) and many more. For a full list of participants, visit www.inspiringpeople.com.au.
[Wed 07.oct.09 rob] CPX is 'a research and media organisation promoting the public understanding of the Christian faith'. Using the talents of people like John Dickson, CPX is an enormous resource for the Christian church as it interacts with the world at large. Have a look at the website:
CPX Library: View our range of free vodcast/podcast comment, inteviews and reviews and other web-based resources. These are free resources.
CPX Store: These are quality resources, but you need to pay for them. Books like, 'If I Were God I'd End All The Pain', and DVDs like, 'The Christ Files' or 'Life Of Jesus'.
CPX Blog: A blog that engages with contemporary issues, but with the input of leading Australian Christian apologists.
[Wed 07.oct.09 rob] We have received word that the movie 'Lumo' will again be shown at Hope Church. If you missed it the first time, here is another opportunity.
To grab more information on this screening, you can download a Word document by clicking here.
[Tue 29.sep.09 Rob] Thinking about the value of children's ministry in your church? In this 5 minute video from Max7, we are challenged to 'Aim lower, think smaller, give up, and go have a cup of coffee'... really! Have a look at the 'world congress on how not to mess up the great commission too much':
[tue 29.sep.09] The Anglican Deaconess Institution has a range of new scholarship and bursary products for women theoligical students for the 2010 academic year. Click here to read the PDF for more information.
[tue 29.sep.09] The Dawkins/Lennox Debate was a high profile debate on whether science has disproved God with Prof. Richard Dawkins and Prof. John Lennox. Links are below.
Dawkins, is regarded by many as the spokesman for the "New Atheism." According to Dawkins, one can deduce atheism from scientific study; indeed, he argues that it is the only viable choice. Lennox, a scientist and popular Christian apologist, also a writer and speaker. According to Lennox, it is the very nature of science that leads me to belief in God.
Have a look at the links:
Click here to go to the video on Dawkins own website.
Click here to see a review of the debate. (bethinking.org)
Click here to go to an article on a similar topic. (http://fish.blogs.nytimes.com)
Prof. Dawkins is also known for his bus advertising. In the same week as debating Dr Lennox athiest Richard Dawkins made the news for funding a controversial set of bus posters denouncing faith in God. Here is an interview by Justin Brierley who attended the debate at Oxford University and interviewed Dawkins after the event.
[sun 27.sep.09] Why are people talking about the church in South Carolina (click here)? Why are people so interested in Tullian Tchividjian at the moment (click here), and how does he know Billy Graham? You may not be interested in trivia, but you may be interested in knowing a few websites that can help you to keep up with Church news across the globe? (Just click on the red writing to go to the site)
...and some other helpful sites:
[sat 26.sep.09] Peter Corney writes on his new website:
“Due to the generous help of a friend I have recently developed a website that contains a number of articles I have written and resources I have developed over the years. It will also have a couple of my books that are now out of print downloadable as PDFs. I also plan to place new material regularly on the site.
The site is called ‘Foundations’ and its aim is to stimulate creative thinking about Christianity and culture, provide resources for those in Christian leadership and to encourage Christians to be more effective in our mission of sharing Christ with the world.
The material is all freely available under the Creative Commons licence and acknowledgement of material used would be appreciated. I pray that you may find it useful and stimulating. I would appreciate any feedback you might want to give.”
You can find his website here: http://www.petercorney.com/
[sat 26.sep.09] It is true, we are in the Diocese of Tasmania. ;-) However, CMS NSW has just started a new online magazine called 'Landscape'. It looks great, with some great articles. Worth a look.
Does our preaching feed Jesus' sheep...
Or does our preaching starve them?