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From the Bishop

Click here to catch up on
Bishop John’s blog. Here are some recent posts...

  • ‘Christ’s Pilgrim People’-Synod 2010 Address
  • FRUITFUL Leadership Conference
  • The Imagine Project Website
  • Prayer Pilgrimage Schedule
  • Prayer pilgrimage is underway – PTL!
  • Senator attacks the Confessional
  • Reading the Qur’an
  • ‘Is retirement history?’
  • TEC’s self mutilation gathers pace
  • Pentecost 2010 – People@prayer
  • Prayer Pilgrimage Purposes & Prayer-final text
  • Peter Hitchens: ‘The Rage Against God’
  • Helping Ministers
  • Snow on the mountain!

From the Bishop’s Desk is the bishop’s regular email newsletter. Click here to see his recent newsletters or to join the mail list.

Bishop John’s recent publications, Addresses, letters, reflections, messages can be found by clicking here.

Bible Study & Preaching Material

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:

The Bible

Preaching Resources

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.

A PRAYER FOR transformingLIFE

Transforming God,
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
all Tasmanians

Through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Download the transformingLIFE document

Will the Imagine Project change your life?

CMS: This study is a gift

CMS Australia logo

While Andrew & Pam Lake visited over 24 parishes in the Diocese before heading to the posting in Damascus, Andrew had been busy on another project. He has released this short book called Christian Mission for Tasmanians. This is a very personal approach from Andrew on this important topic of Mission written for the Missionary Diocese of Tasmania. Andrew says of the book,

"My hope and prayer is that this study will help put mission front and centre of the church’s agenda. I make no claim to infallibility and will have achieved my aim if this has helped start some fruitful conversations about mission."

We offer our thanks to Andrew, having served in the Diocese as an Archdeacon and Mission Support Officer. But now we offer our thanks for this impressive gift to the church in Tasmania.

Of particular interest to you, dear reader, is the freely available nature of this book. In fact, you can click here to read it right now. So is it free? Andrew explains in his Forward:

"This study is a gift to the Tasmanian church. It is freely available on the diocesan website but I invite you when you use it for personal or group study to make a donation of $10 per person to the Church Missionary Society of Tasmania."

Have you heard of Kiddliwinks?

Archive of Home Page: 2010 May

Synod 2010: The Anglican Covenant

Project Priest, Connections Project, Somerset
[mon 31.may.2010] The second last item of business at our 51st Synod was The Anglican Covenant. The Business Paper included the text of the Anglican Covenant and passed the following motion:
That this Synod, recognising that General Synod meeting later this year may be asked to consider and even to adopt by resolution the Anglican Communion Covenant, requests that the Bishop work with Diocesan Council or a group nominated by that body to provide informed background on the issue to the Tasmanian delegates to General Synod.

Rev Will Briggs, who was the mover of the motion has had more to say since the Synod, which you can read on his blog by clicking here.

Also, you can click here to find Will’s reference to the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams', Pentecost address which includes the Archbishop’s response to the ordination of Mary Glasspool. Will quotes the Archbishop as saying,

In response to the current situation the Archbishop makes clear that when a province ‘declines to accept requests or advice from the consultative organs of the Communion, it is very hard to see how members of that province can be placed in position where they are required to represent the Communion as a whole. This affects both our ecumenical dialogues…and our faith-and-order related groups’
Next step: The Australian Anglican Church’s General Synod.

Synod 2010: Bishop John’s Presidential Address (part 2)

Tasmanian Anglican Seal
[mon 31.may.2010] Bishop John has placed the outline for his Presidential Address on his blog for the benefit of the Diocese. You can find the outline to his Presidential Address here.

As Bishop John states:

Our pilgrimage has a purpose, for as Christ’s Pilgrim People our purpose is to build God’s kingdom here on earth as it is in heaven. We are also Christ’s Pilgrim People on our way to our eternal home with God: the new heaven and the new earth (Revelation 21:1-5)

Live from Synod 2010: Bishop John’s Presidential Address

Tasmanian Anglican Seal
[sat 29.may.2010] Bishop John has just presented his Presidential Address to the 51st Session of Synod. You can download the Bishop’s Presidential Address here.

Synod 2010: Information

Tasmanian Anglican Seal
[fri 28.may.2010] Information for Synod 2010 can be found on the Diocesan website. Below are links for downloading the documentation.

Be Fruitful!

Fruitful small
[fri 28.may.2010] Would you like your Children’s and Youth ministry to be better equipped for fruitful ministry?

Click here to go the Anglican Camping website to find out more about this awesome upcoming training conference.

Click here to read Bishop John’s blog post about this special event. He said,

'I encourage our children and youth workers to consider attending this conference. Thank you to Anglican Camping Tasmania for this initiative.'

More on Bishop John’s Prayer Pilgrimage

Bishop John - church 1 (small)
[fri 28.may.2010] Bishop John’s Prayer Pilgrimage has begun! Would you like to know more?

  • The schedule for Bishop John’s Prayer Pilgrimage for June can be found here.
  • The July schedule can be found here.
  • To see a picture of Bishop John with the 'people@prayer' logo emblazened on his car, click here.
  • For the text of the Prayer Pilgrimage Purposes & Prayer, click here.
  • Would you like to join the Bishop on his Prayer Retreat in July? Click here for the brochure and more information.

Please continue to pray for Bishop John and Chris Sadler (his driver and prayer partner) as they travel around Tasmania serving God’s church. Please pray for safety in their travel, faithfulness in their service and the love of Jesus in their hearts. Please also pray for our state of Tasmania, that God will unlock her shackles and see people turn to Jesus during this time of dedication and commitment to prayer.

Bishop John's' speeches from the book launch

Bishop John - church 1 (small)
[thu 27.may.2010] Last month, Bishop John posted on his blog about giving a launch address for a new book 'Christianity Alongside Islam'. You can find his post by clicking here.

Bishop John said of Bishop John Wilson’s book at the time:

The outstanding book Christianity alongside Islam was launched at my former Melbourne Parish, GWAC. What an evening as over 200 people gathered and celebrated Bishop John Wilson’s fascinating and easy to read book. A book that deepens understanding of both Islam and Christianity, and as a bonus picks up the new atheism of Dawkins and Co. along the way! Great stuff.

Now, we have a little more information. Recently, the recording of Bishop John Harrower and Bishop John Wilson’s addresses were compiled so you can listen to them. Unfortunately, at this stage they are only available to download.
Click here to download Bishop John Harrower’s speech. (6.5MB / 30mins)
Click here to download Bishop John Wilson’s speech. (3.8MB / 18mins)
Click here to read Bishop John Harrower’s blog post of April 30 about his book launch. This post includes the text of the addresses and Bishop John Harrower’s PowerPoint presentation.

Rev.Luke Isham to be Ordained Priest

photo, head and shoulders
[thu 27.may.2010] Just a reminder that the Rev.Luke Isham will be ordained as Priest at St George’s Battery Point this coming Tuesday (1 June) at 7:00pm. All are welcome to attend.

Congratulations Luke!
Please pray for Luke and his wife Amy, and for their Parish of Battery Point on this important occasion.

Click here to view the St.George’s Battery Point website.
Click here to view the Rev.Luke Isham’s profile on the Diocesan website.

The New Imagine Project website

Bishop John - church 1 (small)
[thu 27.may.2010] Today, Bishop John announced a new website for our Imagine Project:

I am happy to announce the exciting development underway for The Imagine Project website. In my vision for the Missionary Diocese of Tasmania, ahealthychurch…transforminglife, I wrote that my heart’s desire is for us all to take intiatives in mission that God may transform the life of our Christian communities and all Tasmanians. We’re a missionary diocese. That means we strive to bring the good news of Jesus to as many people as we can – in Tasmania, and beyond. We believe that the best way to do this is by demonstrating in our own lives God’s transforming love. This is what the Imagine Project is doing. You can see the website which is in its early form here.

You can read Bishop’s John full blog post here.
For a direct link to the new Imagine Project website, click here.

More from the Theology Network...

Inspirational People website - Jesus All ABout Life (JAAL)
[wed 26.may.2010] Following on from yesterday, some more wonderful media from the gang at Theology Network. Read yesterday’s post for more information about who they are.

Today, a look at Foundations. Foundations is a media teaching program by Theology Network which they call an introduction to the Christian Faith. As Theology Network says, "FOUNDATIONS is a course from THEOLOGY NETWORK that introduces you to the key doctrines of the Christian faith." To see the introduction to the Foundations series, click here.

Today’s Talk:
In the first of four talks exploring the Biblical story, Don Carson looks at Christ as the imprint of the Father from John’s Gospel. These 4 talks make up session 5 in the Foundations course. If you like this talk, you will see the links at the bottom of the webpage (the page the talk is located on) which will take you to the other talks in the series. Alternatively, click here to see the front page for the Foundations Course.

Dr. Don Carson:
Now, if you are wondering how Dr D.A.Carson could do anything that is 'introductory', all I can say is 'I know'! For those of you who don't know Dr Carson, it takes but a moment to realise you are dealing with a teacher and theologian who is blessed by God. Tasmanian’s will know him as our recent speaker at CMS SummerView in January of 2009. Dr Carson is Research Professor of New Testament at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Chicago, and the author of many, many... many books. Most recently, Dr Carson published the book 'Scandalous: The Cross and Resurrection of Jesus', which I will be posting about next week.

Foundations: Jesus, the word of God. This link will take you to the page where you can play this audio file or download it and play it on a media device. Click here to go to the audio track.

Our thanks to the Theology Network for this fine resource. If you would like to find more about their Foundations series, click here. If you would like more information about the Theology Network, click here.

Studying theology for the glory of God

Inspirational People website - Jesus All ABout Life (JAAL)
[tue 25.may.2010] In the mid-1500’s the Reformer Martin Luther and his wife Katie became famous for their hospitality. In their home, a big old ex-monastery called “The Black Cloister”, they hosted students, colleagues and friends for meals. With good company, good food, and Katie’s home-brewed beer (and their children tearing about after the dog), Luther and his friends discussed theology, life, and everything - a regular gathering which was recorded as his Table Talk.

In the spirit of such refined pursuits, Theology Network is proud to present our very own Table Talk. We’re taking time to settle down by the fire with key evangelical leaders and chat about issues that matter - and we’re releasing it as a podcast so you can download our conversations direct to your ipod. So come and join us at the table - there’s plenty of room!

Table Talk 010: Studying Theology. In this table talk, Mike Reeves quizes Don Carson on studying theology for the glory of God. Click here to go to the site and listen to (or download) this table talk with special guest Don Carson.

Our thanks to the Theology Network for this fine resource. If you would like to find more Table Talks, or would like more information about these discussions click here to go to the Table Talk homepage. If you would like more information about the Theology Network, click here.

TEC and The Anglican Covenant (Part 2)

Internet Web World Wide Web (small)
[mon 24.may.2010] In 2003 Gene Robinson was elected bishop of New Hampshire in TEC (The Episcopal Church, the Anglican Church in the USA plus its Affiliates): Robinson is a practicing homosexual. This year, Mary Glasspool was elected bishop of Los Angeles in TEC: Glasspool is a practicing lesbian.

Where does the Anglican Communion go to from here? Enter, The Anglican Covenant! (TAC?) This is on the agenda for the 51st Tasmanian Synod this weekend, so where do we find information on 'The Anglican Covenant' that we are encouraged to engage in? I went to the obvious place... Will Briggs' blog God's'Will. Here are some of Will’s posts I found helpful:

This is not all of it: You can find more of his posts by clicking here. As always, for more thoughts, click here to go to Will Briggs' blog: "God's'Will"

TEC and The Anglican Covenant (Part 1)

Internet Web World Wide Web (small)
[mon 24.may.2010] In 2003 Gene Robinson was elected bishop of New Hampshire in TEC (The Episcopal Church, the Anglican Church in the USA plus its Affiliates): Robinson is a practicing homosexual. This year, Mary Glasspool was elected bishop of Los Angeles in TEC: Glasspool is a practicing lesbian.

Much of the Anglican Communion outside (and inside) America has expressed strong opinions about these elections as both unbiblical and unAnglican. However, TEC remains in the Anglican Communion. A reflection upon Lambeth Conferences sees this conversation on homosexuality going back many decades. I use the word conversation loosely, for while the topic was often on the agenda at Lambeth, it would not always reach the point of being discussed, let alone a conversation.

Now, with the election of Glasspool, and the appearance of an Anglican Covenant, things are being discussed again. My own research lead me to some pearls of wisdom on the blog of our very own Will Briggs, Rector of Burnie Anglican Church. A good example of this is Will’s blog post on the 16th May reflecting on the Anglican Communion’s response to Glasspool’s election:

Anglican Mainstream: "Since that decision by TEC has to be respected, it should result in three consequences. First, TEC withdrawing, or being excluded from the Anglican Communion’s representative bodies. Second, a way must be found to enable those orthodox Anglicans who remain within TEC to continue in fellowship with the Churches of the worldwide Communion. Third, the Anglican Church of North America (ACNA) should now be recognized an authentic Anglican Church within the Communion."

John Harrower, Bishop of Tasmania: "This is not just another cut in Anglicanism’s ‘death by a thousand cuts’ but the gathering pace of the self mutilation of TEC (The Episcopal Church – the Anglican Church in the USA plus its Affiliates). I suggest this is not just a cut, but a mortal wound."
Bp. John also quotes leaders of the Church of Ireland: "The Episcopal Church (TEC) has taken this provocative step despite knowing the division and difficulties created by Gene Robinson’s consecration in 2003. This shows a deliberate disregard for other members of the Anglican family and suggests that TEC does not greatly value unity within Anglicanism and indeed throughout the universal Church."

I found that the quote which captures the situation best is by the Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, the national leader of the Episcopal Church. From the Anglican Mainstream article:

“It’s just tragic,” she said. “...A whole lot of denial, apparently, on the part of agencies that were supposed to be watching and protecting things."
Some would hope she was talking about the state of TEC’s relationship with the Anglican Communion. However, she was actually referring to the major oil spill off the Louisiana coast.

For more thoughts, Will Briggs' blog God's'Will can be found here.

Our Bishop’s Diocesan-wide Prayer Pilgrimage has begun

Bishop John - church 1 (small)
[mon 24.may.2010] Yesterday, on Pentecost Sunday, Bishop John began his Tasmania-wide Prayer Pilgrimage. (Click here to see yesterday’s blog post) To keep abreast of what is happening, check his blog here regularly. Please keep Bishop John in your prayers as he serves the church of Jesus Christ in Tasmania in this special way.

So, what can we do in our local Tasmanian churches while we wait for Bishop John to reach our church? You might like to use this as a way of encouraging others in your church to be thinking more seriously about prayer. You might start a prayer group for the duration of Bishop John’s Prayer Pilgrimage to pray for him and to pray for the Holy Spirit’s work in the lives of those involved in the Pilgrimage. You might use Bishop John’s Prayer Pilgrimage as an incentive to start a prayer group which prays exclusively for the Holy Spirit’s work in the life of unbelievers in your local area!

Bishop John has kindly written this prayer for our Diocese as we bring this Prayer Pilgrimage, our Bishop, Tasmanian Anglicans and our state of Tasmanian before our Father in Heaven:


Heavenly Father, your word teaches us that we do not have because we do not ask
By your Spirit make us as keen to pray as you are to listen
as determined to listen as you have always been to speak
that we may be equipped for mission and united as your people,
healthy churches transforming our lives and those of all Tasmanians
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

Click here for Bishop John’s 'People at Prayer' brochure.
Click here to visit Bishop John’s blog and keep up to date with the Prayer Pilgrimage.

Senator Attacks The Confessional

Bishop John - church 1 (small)
[thu 20.may.2010] This morning, The Australian newspaper reported remarks by Senator Xenophon in an article 'Church Confessions Of Abuse Should Be Reported' (click here to see the article). In response, Bishop John posted these comments in his blog:

The Senator delivers bad news and a poor understanding of the role and responsibility of the confessional in Anglican Church practice. Senator Xenophon said current laws required priests to report sexual abuse cases to police only if they come to light outside the confession booth. He said the church should declare its protocols “so the public knows what the church does in the case of allegations of abuse in the confessional”.

“If someone has confessed to a priest with information about the abuse of children, whether they’re the perpetrator or not, then shouldn’t the authorities know about that?” he said. [Reported at Church confessions of abuse 'should be reported']

I wrote an earlier article, Confession – focusing on the granting of absolution which refers to an earlier article Confession of sins which explicitly deals with the Seal / sanctity of the Confessional and the confession by a child abuser.

Click here to read the full post by Bishop John on his blog.
Click here to visit Bishop John’s blog.
Click here to read the article in The Australian newspaper.

Reading the Qur’an

Bishop John - church 1 (small)
[thu 20.may.2010] Earlier today Bishop John posted about a Tasmanian blog by Samuel Green:
Based at the University of Tasmania, Samuel Green through the Australian Fellowship of Evangelical students (AFES) has a national ministry engaging in conversation and debate with Muslim people. In his recent newsletter Samuel mentions his blog devoted to reading the Qur’an. It is quite fascinating to read the Qur’an through Samuel’s Christian eyes. Highly commended. Thank you, Samuel.

Click here to read Sam Green’s "Reading the Qur'an" blog.
Click here to read Bishop John’s article in full on his blog.
Click here to visit Bishop John’s blog.


Bp John Harrower (cowboy hat)
[thu 20.may.2010] In the latest edition of 'From The Bishop’s Desk', Bishop John writes:
"Thank you for the cards, emails, flowers and prayers for Gayelene. I am pleased to report of her return from hospital and slow but positive progress.


To read the latest edition of From The Bishop’s Desk, click here.

Recent Diocesan Updates

Tasmanian Anglican Seal
[thu 20.may.10 rob] Recent news releases from Church House: