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The Imagine Project: Shoot and Crop (20)

Bishop John - church 1 (small)

From the Bishop

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

  • Islamic Scholar Attacks Pakistan's Blasphemy Laws
  • Bishop John Wilson: friend & mentor
  • Australia Day: a tune of freedom
  • 'Living The End'
  • Christians Answering Atheists
  • Danger: Inflammatory language!
  • EU diary omits Christian holidays

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: click here.

Bible Study & Preaching Material

Stressed out with no time to write bible studies? Try our 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."

Archive of Home Page: 2011 January

Updates from the Diocesan Office

Tasmanian Anglican Seal
[fri 28jan2011 rob] The latest From The Bishop's Desk was released today.

Click here to read From The Bishop's Desk for January 28 (FTBD 2/11)

Recent items from Bishop John which you may find interesting:

  • Click here to read Bishop John's Christmas Day Sermon - St.David's Cathedral Hobart.
  • Click here to read Bishop John's Christmas Message 2010.

"Goodbye dear brother until we meet in Christ's resurrection life"

Bishop John - church 1 (small)
[fri 28jan2011 rob] On Saturday 22nd January, Bishop John Wilson passed away in Melbourne. Bishop John Harrower has posted a special tribute to him on his blog.

Click here to view Bishop John Harrower's post.

Thought for the day

The Bible
[wed 26jan2011 rob] Psalm 50:7,10-12

"Hear, O my people, and I will speak; O Israel, I will testify against you. I am God, your God... For every beast of the forest is mine, the cattle on a thousand hills. I know all the birds of the hills, and all that moves in the field is mine."

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers

You can read more of the bible by clicking here to visit

Dying well

"We approach dying as if it is something that doesn't happen very often"

(Associative Professor Richard Chye, Sacred Heart's Director of Palliative Care)

Bishop John - church 1 (small)
[wed 26jan2011 rob] Bishop John recently watched a program on dying well and living well. To learn more, click here to read his blog post and see further links to trailers, synopsis and director's comments.

Welcome to Australia Day!

Australian Flag (artistic)
[wed 26jan2011 rob] Hoping you enjoy today, no matter what you are doing. Whether it be enjoying a BBQ with friends, a quiet dinner with family or a trip to the beach. May we all take some time today to bring our nation of Australia, before our Father in Heaven in prayer.

  • Give thanks for the blessings of our mighty God upon our nation of Australia. Give thanks for blessing of family and friends, for the financial prosperity and stability that we currently enjoy, for our leadership, for peace and for the blessing of freedom.
  • Please pray for the outpouring of God's Holy Spirit on our land, that many will come to know the saving power of Jesus in the coming year; that the Australian Christian community will be bold as they stand for the values and ethics of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, and that our Father in heaven will sustain us as we live as 'fools for Christ' in this dark world. (1 Corinthians 4:1-21).
  • Please pray for those who are suffering in Australia at the moment: Those in Queensland and other parts of Australia who have been affected by floods; those in Victoria, Western Australia and others who have been affected by bushfires; those who are neglected in a country which is so blessed, the poor and the oppressed. May God be with them, and may he give them a heart to celebrate, even in their dire circumstances. For each of these, living through a time that is so grim: May the spirit of life reveal himself to them, that they might know life in all it's fullness.

Indeed, we are the lucky country. And so we thank our God for all we are and all we have; and we pray for those who are not so blessed.

Ridley Melbourne: MA Gold Class

Ridley College Melbourne
[tue 25jan2011 rob] MA Gold Class is a 'premium' Master of Arts program designed to reenergise ministers by providing engaging and relevant material in a relaxed and collegial environment.

Subjects are residential, being held in first class facilities at Yarra Valley Conference Centre. Enjoy a collegial atmosphere in quality facilities, fine dining and a healthy mix of study and relaxation. A study tour to Greece and Turkey is covered by FEE-HELP and offers a special dimension to this program.

Click here to find out more about Ridley's MA Gold Class.

St.James Village Huonville

[tue 25jan2011 rob] For the last twelve months the Parish of Franklin/Esperance under the Government Stimulus package has undertaken a development of 28 units in Pine Lane Huonville. The units are all 6 star rating, two bedrooms, large living and are finished to a high standard.

Each unit has a rain water tank for use of the tenants, private parking, landscaping, storage unit and screened outside area. All gardening, lawn mowing etc. will be completed by the Management Group which is STEPS. The complex also has a Community Centre for use of all the tenants.

These units are now nearing completion and it is expected that the first tenants will move in towards the end of the 2nd week in February. The units are particularly aimed towards couples and any queries are most welcome by phoning STEPS on 62310959.

The simplicity of sharing our faith

James & Anita Veltmeyer
[tue 25jan2011 rob] In a simple reflection on his blog this week, James Veltmeyer captured the absolute simplicity of sharing our faith with the world we live in. Thanks James :)

Click here to read James' blog.

Our Premier resigned today

Internet Web World Wide Web (small)
[sun 23jan2011 rob] David Bartlett resigned his position as Premier of Tasmania today. He said in his Facebook post:

"David Bartlett
To all my Facebook friends and contributors. I have decided to step down as Premier and Leader of the Labor Party. Working seven days a week and wanting to be a better father for Hudson and Matilda has become incompatible as the children are growing up. Lara Giddings will be an outstanding Premier and will have my full support. Regards David"

As always, let us continue to pray for our leaders.

UPDATE: Click here to read an article which is now available in The Mercury online.
UPDATE: Click here to read the article in The Age online.

Passed over for a job because of supposed religious beliefs

Internet Web World Wide Web (small)
[sat 22jan2011 rob] In the United States there is an ongoing "story of C. Martin Gaskell, a Ph.D astronomer who sued after being passed over for promotion and accused of being a creationist" by the University of Kentucky. (DailyTech).

What struck me about the story is that the above 'DailyTech' reference was not from a Christian or Atheistic website, but a Tech/Computer news site. The interest appears to be religious freedom in Academic and University circles.

Of particular note was the University's judgements about Gaskell's personal 'Creationist' beliefs, and passing him over in the process based on this understanding. That personal understanding came from reading his personal website. Click here to see Gaskell's personal site.

Gaskell was supported in his case by the ACLJ and this is what they said in their press release:

"The ACLJ represented Professor Martin Gaskell, an internationally-respected astronomer, who was turned down for the post of Observatory Director at the University of Kentucky in 2007 after concerns were voiced about some of his writings contained in a personal website discussing the compatibility of modern astronomy and the Christian religion." (ACLJ website)

According to website 'Higher Ed', it appear Gaskell was not only concerned about his chosen field professionally, but even looked into it on a personal level:

"The bulk of Gaskell's published work addresses the technical aspects of black holes. But he also made a hobby of criticizing the prima facie dismissal of Biblical assertions as irrelevant to scientific theory, while advocating for a view of natural history that rejects neither the Judeo-Christian creation story nor evolution. In a document published on his personal website -- which later became fodder for discussion among his would-be employers at Kentucky -- Gaskell criticized both creationists and evolutionary scientists for perpetuating bad science."('Higher Ed')
Bishop John recently posted his concerns about the expression of religious freedom in the Department of Justice of Tasmania's, 'A Charter of Rights and Responsibilities for Tasmania'. Click here to see Bishop John's letter of response to the charter.

Whether Gaskell holds our views or not, the question is whether the 'free' Western World will continue to offer religious freedom to its citizens. Sadly, the UN seeks to do a better job of religious freedom than the current draft of our charter:

"I strongly urge the adoption of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights rather than the proposed Charter.This preference is evidenced in the absence of the freedom to change one's religion from the proposed Charter.In contrast The UNIVERSAL DECLARATION of HUMAN RIGHTS (UDHR) 1948 of the General Assembly of the United Nations includes the freedom of a person to change their religion..." (Bishop John Harrower)

"Christians Answering Atheists"

Bishop John - church 1 (small)
[sat 22jan2011 rob] Over on Bishop John's blog, he brings our attention to a new website created by the Anglican Diocesan in Melbourne, "Christians Answering Atheists".

What is it? This is what the website has to say:

"The new atheists have recently gained a good deal of publicity around the world. Rather than lament this state of affairs, we can welcome this as a wake-up call to be better prepared to engage in debate and conversation with them. This brochure provides suggested responses to some of the issues atheists raise as objections to religion and faith in God."

Click here to read Bishop John's reflections about the site.
Click here to go to the Christians Answering Atheists website.

OXYGEN: Encouraging Australian Church Pastors and Leaders

Internet Web World Wide Web (small)
[fri 21jan2011 rob] John Piper & John Lennox will be speaking to pastors and church leaders here in Australia in August 2011. OXYGEN 11 is the national conference for Church Pastors and Leaders.

John Piper is a renown Pastor, speaker and a prolific writer (he really needs no introduction to preachers).

John Lennox is a great apologist of our time, known through his books, tracts and speaking engagements. Lennox has debated Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens and other atheists throughout the world. Both men are a blessing to our generation of faith and this is a great opportunity for Australian church leaders.

Click here for more information at the Oxygen website including a video introduction.

Reform and Awesome final meeting

Internet Web World Wide Web (small)
[fri 21jan2011 rob] A final statement has been made in relation to discussions between Reform and Awesome organisations in the Church of England (UK).

From the statement: "On Thursday, 6th January 2011, the Bishop of Birkenhead, Keith Sinclair chaired a fourth and, at this stage, final meeting of representatives from AWESOME and Reform, again joined by a number of invited theological consultants."

Click here to read the final statement in full on the Awesome website.

Sentences change lives...

[wed 19jan2011 rob]
"What I have learned from about twenty-years of serious reading is this. It is sentences that change my life, not books. What changes my life is some new glimpse of truth, some powerful challenge, some resolution to a long-standing dilemma, and these usually come concentrated in a sentence or two. I do not remember 99% of what I read, but if the 1% of each book or article I do remember is a life-changing insight, then I don't begrudge the 99%." - John Piper

Tasmania & the UN Bill of Human Rights

Bishop John - church 1 (small)
[wed 19jan2011 rob] The Department of Justice of Tasmania has released for comment A Charter of Rights and Responsibilities for Tasmania. Bishop John has been coming to terms with the document and finds a preference for the UN Bill of Human Rights rather than the lack of rights the Department of Justice wants to leave Tasmanians with(out). He offers us his letter of response to the Department of Justice over the matter. This is an important issue for all of us, not just out children, this will affect us now!

"I strongly urge the adoption of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights rather than the proposed Charter.This preference is evidenced in the absence of the freedom to change one's religion from the proposed Charter.In contrast The UNIVERSAL DECLARATION of HUMAN RIGHTS (UDHR) 1948 of the General Assembly of the United Nations includes the freedom of a person to change their religion..."

  • Click here for Charter information.
  • Click here for Bishop John's letter of response to the Department of Justice.
  • Click here for Bishop John's previous piece on 'Freedom of Religion'.

Francis Schaeffer on Ecology

Luke Isham (50%)
[tue 18jan2011 rob] Over on Rev. Luke Isham's blog, "'Post-Apocalyptic' Theology", he has a review of Pollution and the Death of Man: The Christian View of Ecology by Francis Schaeffer with a few of Luke's own thoughts as well. Have a look at his review and join in the discussion with your own comments.

From Luke's post:

"Christians should be theologically motivated to care for the environment, it's not part of rendering to Caesar what is Caesar's."

An interesting read. Click here to view the post... and engage the author!

Word & Spirit: Growing churches

Internet Web World Wide Web (small)
[tue 18jan2011 rob] Are you interested in building a "grounded, growing congregation"? This is an audio recording of a talk by Andrew Heard offering advice on "some of the central theological planks that church builders must use if they are to plant grounded, growing congregations".

Click here to listen to the audio track and go to the Geneva Push website.

A prayer for the floods

[mon 17jan2011 rob] Yesterday on Bishop John's blog:

"From the Archbishop of Brisbane regarding the floods: a request to use the following prayer:

Great God

whose love for us knows no bounds,
we pray for all those who are affected by floods:
comfort all who grieve for loved ones lost;
strengthen those who face destruction of homes, memories and livelihoods;
encourage and sustain police, defence force, SES and church personnel and
all who bring relief and assistance.
Fill our hearts with compassion and generosity for all in need.
As we face our greatest fears
may we know the assurance of your presence with us
and hold fast to the promise of new life beyond all adversity.
We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord
and who lives with you and the Holy Spirit
one God, now and for ever. Amen."

  • This comes from Bishop John's blog, which you can find by clicking here.
  • Another prayer which Bishop John noted on his blog can be found by clicking here.

Updates from the Diocesan Office

Tasmanian Anglican Seal
[mon 17jan2011 rob] On the 13th of January Bishop John released his first From The Bishop's Desk for the year.

Click here to read From The Bishop's Desk for January 13 (FTBD/1101)

Responsibility & Grace

[thu 13jan2011 rob] Over at the newly revitalised web presence that is Journeyman, a thought provoking article from Rev.Will Briggs. Here is a little bit of a teaser: A conversation Will had recently,

Project Priest, Connections Project, Somerset
Him: "Your organisation seems remarkably well set up to handle cases of burnout and breakdown."

Me: "I think that is due to it having some experience in this area. In fact the prevalence of clergy breakdown is high across all denominations"
Him: "Why is that? What are the churches doing wrong?"
Me: "I don't necessarily think it comes from expectations placed by church hierarchy or even from the grassroots (although that is more common), I think it usually comes from self-imposed expectations by most pastors."
Him: "What are they?"
Me: "Those associated with the world's worst job description: Go and change the world. How on earth do you set KPIs and SMART goals for that?!??"

You can find the full post by Will on his Journeyman blog by clicking here.

A Prayer for the Australian Floods

[thu 13jan2011 rob] Bishop John posted this prayer on his blog yesterday:

All things look to you, O Lord,
to give them their food in due season:
look in mercy on your people,
and hear our prayer for those whose lives and possessions have tragically been destroyed by floods.

In your mercy restore your creation and heal our land.
So guide and bless your people,
That we may enjoy the fruits of the earth
and give you thanks with grateful hearts,
through our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

"...a more doxological life."

[sun 09jan2011 rob] It seemed an appropriate topic for a Sunday. Over at the new Journeyman blog, Rev Will Briggs contemplates living "a more doxological life". In his post, Will mentions that one help in his journey are lyrics in songs such as those by wordsmith Andrew Peterson.

  • Click here to visit Andrew Peterson's website.
  • Click here to read the Journeyman blog, to see the lyrics of this Andrew Peterson song, and walk with Will as he considers this topic. (or if you want to know what doxological means :)
  • Or, watch the video (below) of Peterson's music.

This video only has a static image to go with the music,
so it is not much of a download.

How can I financially support flood relief?

[fri 07jan2011 rob] If you would like to financially support our brothers and sisters in Queensland, here are the details:

Payments may be made as follows:
By cheque:

made out to "Archbishop's Emergency Relief Fund"
and sent to ANFIN, GPO BOX 421, BRISBANE, QLD 4001

Or, by Electronic Transfer:
Account Name: Archbishop's Emergency Relief Fund
Account BSB: 704-901
Account Number: 00014858

Updates on the devastating floods in Queensland (11:39am 6/1/2011)

Internet Web World Wide Web (small)
[thu 06jan2011 rob] Today's newspapers are giving us updates to the floods in Queensland, specifically Rockhampton.

With satellite images showing the intensity of the floods, the updates merely draw us to our knees once again as we recognise the intensity of what is happening to our fellow Australians and brothers and sisters in Christ.

May our faithful Lord be with them,
May our mighty Father protect them and
May his people continue to be wonderful witnesses to our Lord Jesus
And may we continue to pray for them!

Click here to read the article in The Age, which includes satellite pictures.
Click here to view yesterday's video update from Rockhampton Presbyterian Church.

Updates on the devastating floods in Queensland (11:39am 6/1/2011)

Internet Web World Wide Web (small)
[thu 06jan2011 rob] Today's newspapers are giving us updates to the floods in Queensland, specifically Rockhampton.

With satellite images showing the intensity of the floods, the updates merely draw us to our knees once again as we recognise the intensity of what is happening to our fellow Australians and brothers and sisters in Christ.

May our faithful Lord be with them,
May our mighty Father protect them and
May his people continue to be wonderful witnesses to our Lord Jesus
And may we continue to pray for them!

Click here to read the article in The Age, which includes satellite pictures.
Click here to view yesterday's video update from Rockhampton Presbyterian Church.

Latest update from Rockhampton (10am 6/1/2011)

Internet Web World Wide Web (small)

"Thanks for thinking of us and wanting to help.
Right now it's pouring rain here and there is localised
flash-flooding going on in Rockhampton places not
affected by rising flood waters are now being inundated."

Mike O'Connor

Rockhampton Presbyterian

[thu 06jan2011 rob] Clearly, we need to keep praying. We will do our best to keep the information from local churches appearing here.

Click here to view the video update we received from Rockhampton Presbyterian yesterday.

The God Who Is There: Free evangelism course

The God Who Is There (big)
[thu 06jan11 rob] Some of you will remember Dr Donald A Carson from his talks at CMS SummerView (Tasmania) a couple of years ago, while others of you will know Dr Carson from his highly acclaimed books. Dr Carson has released a free Evangelism Course on the internet.

I've been watching the video version and I really like it. I suggest beginning with the first talk as it's introduces itself and its suggested audience.

For those who prefer to read, you can read the book, and for group leaders there is a group version, but these written versions need to be purchased.

For those who are reading impaired, the quality of the FREE internet video is good enough to watch full-screen.

Click here to go to Dr Carson's course, which includes the free video viewing and availability to the books.

R/T Mikey Lynch

An update from our QLD brothers and sisters in the floods (1am 5/1/2011)

[thu 06jan11 rob] I received this personal message yesterday:

Dear Friends,

No doubt you would have heard that Rockhampton along with an area 'the entire size of NSW' or 'Germany and France' in Queensland has been devastated by flooding. I'm writing to you so that you can if you want to show a 2 min video of what's happening here from our church's perspective to your church.

Many people have been asking me how we are going and how you can help - hopefully this video will answer some of those questions.

My denomination 'Presbyterian' has launched a national church appeal today - at my request to raise money to help with the clean up of affected flooding communities in no way do I now wish to undermine that effort. However, I'm also aware not all of you are Presbyterian and that others will want to give money to people they know directly - that's why you are hearing from me and this video is an attempt to do that as well.

(This is an official update video from Rockhampton Presbyterian)

If you'd like to give money to our church to help our people and the people we are ministering to affected by this incredible flood - please let me know and I will forward our church account details to you. I'll also - at your promoting, do another video at some point and show you what we've done with the money that's been sent to us.

If I don't hear from you - I won't be offended. Also, please forward this email on to others who might find it useful.

Your Brother In Jesus,
Mike O'Connor

If you are in Tasmania, please contact Rev Rob Stanley for further details.

Great art to use in Christian ministry

Internet Web World Wide Web (small)
[wed 05jan11 rob] I often find it difficult to find good art to use for church presentations that I can be sure I am allowed to use. Of particular note is the difficulty in finding art for kids ministry, where pictures can really help a child visualise a situation. You can imagine, there's nothing like talking about stealing while using a picture which you don't have the legal right to use! Here is a site with art by Henry Martin. Henry enjoys drawing and shares his art with us.

About Henry Martin
"I am a Christian who enjoys painting, doodling and sketching in free moments. I work in the Diocese of Manchester in the UK. I am passionate in my belief that God is alive and full of life and that we who are privileged to share his good news must try to express his life and liveliness in every possible way. My best attempts are these pictures, please use them if they help liven your sermons, kids talks or school assemblies (but not for financial profit) and point more people to the glorious joy of God."

Our thanks to Henry for helping ministry across the globe :-)

Click here to see Henry's art and download it.

The Journeyman returns

Project Priest, Connections Project, Somerset
[tue 04jan11 rob] Some of you may remember that Rev Will Briggs noted on his blog that he was going 'offline' for a while. Well, some good news. He is back! You can find Will's new blog - simply called Journeyman - by clicking here.

The voyage of moral clarity...

head and shoulders
[tue 04jan11 rob] Some of you may not know about the recently ordained Rev Joshua Skeat and his blog. You can find it by clicking here.

Rev Josh recently posted his thoughts on the new (can I still call it new?) movie based on the C.S.Lewis book 'Voyage of the Dawn Treader'.

Click here to read his post titled,
'Dawn Treader - is moral clarity enough?'.

Changing the truth to save an argument

Bishop John - church 1 (small)
[tue 04jan11 rob] As so often happens in blogs and comments pages, arguments over Euthanasia can end up with misquotations due to misunderstandings, ignorance, or worse: to help someone prove a point.

An example of this can be found in comments following an article by Christopher Pearson on the topic of euthanasia. (Mr Pearson often writes for the Weekend Australian). Although a fine article, it is followed by many mis-representations in the comments.

Bishop John's blog post draws our attention to points of clarification to do with the article. Click here to read Bishop John's post.

Where can I buy some of these YouTube Christian videos?

Internet Web World Wide Web (small)
[tue 04jan11 rob] With the proliferation of the video medium, many ask where they can track down Christian video rather than YouTube, so they can be sure it is legal use... or where they can purchase videos for use in church. One site is ignitermedia. Click here to have a look at their website and view some of their videos.

The Trinity: A Working Model

Luke Isham (50%)
[tue 04jan11 rob] Post-Apocalyptic Theology is the blog of Rev Luke Isham. It seems a bit of work on understanding our triune God lead to a nice slideshow.

You can view the slideshow by clicking here.

The Bishop's favourite poems

Bishop John - church 1 (small)
[mon 03jan11 rob] Bishop John reflects on the New Year with one of his favourite poems. Bishop John doesn't reflect for the sake of reflection, but 'reflection for action'. Can you work out the name of the poem?

And I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year:
"Give me a light, that I may tread safely into the unknown!"
And he replied:
"Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the Hand of God.
That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way."

For the answer, click here. To read Bishop John's New Year post, click here.

BBQ Banter for 2011

Bishop John - church 1 (small)
[mon 03jan11 rob] Over on Bishop John's blog, he has found an excellent article in Punch magazine. In his article, Andrew Reid looks at some suggestions for the rarely considered BBQ stopper: "What do you think happens when we die?"

Click here to reid Bishop John's blog post.

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AnglicanTas frontpage editor: Rob Stanley