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From the Bishop

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

  • GFC visualised
  • Wisdom about bullying
  • Brian Roberts BCA on Prayer
  • Definition of Marriage: letter responses
  • Bishop’s Prayer Gathering Program
  • Euthanasia? Woman locked in her body
  • Anglicare Snapshot “Saying Thanks”

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 July

Video: Preaching Christ in the OT

Vimeo Video

[sat 30.jul.2011 rob] What happens if you take a video camera, put it in front of a panel of preachers such as:

Tim Keller

Crawford Loritts
Don Carson
John Piper
Bryan Chapell

...and ask them about preaching Jesus Christ in the Old Testament? You get a video like this one! Click here to watch this one hour video.

If you look around the site while you are there, you will find other great videos like this one: 'Do Muslims and Christians Worship the Same God?' with Thabiti Anyabwile.

Saying thanks!

Bp John Harrower (cowboy hat)
[sat 30.jul.2011 rob] Bishop John quotes from the recent Anglicare Snapshot: "A man whose life was saved by a Tasmanian police officer has thanked him – 22 years after the event."

Click here to read more on Bishop John’s blog.

Click here to read the current Anglicare Snapshot.

"These Last Days"

The Gospel Coalition
[fri 29.jul.2011 rob] Over on The Gospel Coalition website,

they have been given access by P&R to host PDFs of
Dr. D.A. Carson’s two chapters in this new book:

These Last Days: A Christian View of History.

Richard D. Phillips and Gabriel N. E. Fluhrer, eds.
Phillipsburg, NJ: Presbyterian & Reformed, 2011.

You can find the book on by clicking here.

The book publishes the Spring 2010 addresses at the Philadelphia Conference on Reformed Theology. Here are Dr. D.A. Carson’s two chapters:

1. “This Present Evil Age” explains Revelation 12.

Click here to read Dr. D.A. Carson’s chapter on 'This Present Evil Age'.

2. “Partakers of the Age to Come” surveys Paul’s letter to the Ephesians.
Click here to read Dr. D.A. Carson’s chapter on 'Partakers of the Age to Come'.

Click here to visit The Gospel Coalition website for more information.

John Stott has died

Easter Cross: South Arm, Tasmania
[thu 28.jul.2011 rob] John Stott died today at 3:15 London time.

Billy Graham’s spokesperson released the following statement from the evangelist: "The evangelical world has lost one of its greatest spokesmen, and I have lost one of my close personal friends and advisors. I look forward to seeing him again when I go to Heaven."

Click here to go to the ChristianityToday website.

Hot off the press: From The Bishop’s Desk 13/11

Tasmanian Anglican Seal
[wed 27.jul.2011 rob] The latest From The Bishop’s Desk is now available. It includes a reflection on Bishop John’s 11th year as Bishop of Tasmania.

Click here to read From The Bishop’s Desk 13/11 (27th July, 2011).

'Malaysia Solution': Australia’s Shame

Bishop John - church 1 (small)
[wed 27.jul.2011 rob] Bishop John comments on the topic of the day, the Malaysia solution, and finds only shame in the way Australia is dealing with the situation.

In his post, Bishop John references (and offers his support for) the report Response to the “Malaysia Solution” from the Anglican Church’s Migrants and Refugees Network, and the Chairman of the Network and Archbishop of Adelaide, Jeffrey Driver. Bishop John quotes the report saying,

"Unaccompanied minors should not be turned away from our care. There actually is a blanket rule with regards to minors and it is called the Immigration (Guardianship of Children) Act. The Federal Court of Australia has ruled that the guardianship responsibilities under the Act include ensuring the fundamental human rights set out in the Convention on the Rights of the Child. This includes acting in their best interests and ensuring they have access to legal advice and representation."

Click here to read his blog post.

Youth Ministry blogs

Internet Web World Wide Web (small)
[wed 27.jul.2011 rob] What are the best Youth Minsitry blogs on the internet? Who would presume to say? Well, one blog had the belief they could. Of interest to this website was that one of them has links to Tasmanian Angicans!

Click here to see the list of Top 5 Blogs by Youth Ministers.

Tweeting Synod: Healthy for whom?

Bishop John - church 1 (small)
[sat 23.jul.2011 rob] On Bishop John’s blog this morning, an article reflecting on the idea of using the various forms of social media at Synod.

Is it helpful? Is it a hindrance?

Click here to read his blog post.

Christian cliches

Internet Web World Wide Web (small)
[sat 23.jul.2011 rob] Sometimes they just slip out. Christian cliches. They can sound meaningless to the outsider, or worse, absurd. But then, what about the words we might use which in themselves are meaningless?

However, how far do you go with this topic? How far is too far when it comes to being critical of ourselves and our language? Here is another recent article about this topic.

Click here to read the article.

Now, if you have finished reading the article and missed the little bit about the 'Smokin hot bride', then you may want to read this article. I don't know the writer, but it seems to express one view of this language dilemna quite well. Click here to read this article by Lyn Smith.

Looking after seafarers

Bishop John - church 1 (small)
[sat 23.jul.2011 rob] Yesterday, Bishop John posted on his blog a letter he sent to the Minister for Foreign Affairs.

Click here to see his letter.

10 Simle things good pastors say

Internet Web World Wide Web (small)
[sat 23.jul.2011 rob] From 'The Gospel-Driven Church' website, a wonderful little piece for ministers.

'10 Simple Things Good Pastors Say' is a short article which encourages ministers and pastors to consider some of the simple things they do or do not do on a daily basis. A great encouragement for the simple things we do - and a prompter for the little things we may have stopped doing.

Click here for the article, '10 Simple Things Good Pastors Say'.

More: Money and the Christian life

Internet Web World Wide Web (small)
[sat 16.jul.2011 rob] After the previous post, I compiled some resources I have found helpful on the topic of money and the Christian life and listed them here for you. You can find all these books at Koorong (and other good book stores :)

Tony Payne's, 'Cash Values' bible study.
I found this bible study book helpful. It looks at what the bible teaches about money. Money is a tricky topic for Christians, and we rarely sit down to carefully work out what the Bible has to tell us about it. Cash Values is designed to get us to do just that, all the while explaining how the subject is significant to our relationship with God and our fellowship with other Christians. Click here for more information on 'Cash Values'.

Kim Hawtrey's, 'True and Living God'.
Our society has its 'gods'—things like money and possessions, career, television, sport, beauty and family. These modern deities may be perfectly good things in themselves, but they assume the proportions of 'gods' by our devotion to them. In so doing, they actually rob us of real life. Click here for more information on 'True and Living God'.

Brian Rosner's, 'Beyond Greed'.
Rosner says, "The most disturbing thing about the fact that greed is idolatry is that hardly anybody owns up to being a worshipper. Imagine the response of disbelief in the local church if it were revealed that the vast majority of its members were secretly worshipping other gods. Yet if our analysis of the religion of money is right, the unthinkable may not be so far from the truth." Click here for more information on 'Beyond Greed'.

Of course, there are many more books on the subject. Click here to tell us what you think of these books and any others you have found helpful, on our Facebook page.

Money and the life of a Christian

Internet Web World Wide Web (small)
[sat 16.jul.2011 rob] I've recently been considering the topic of wealth and money. How I use it, how I should think about what I do and don't have. I will normally look at a plethora of passages in the bible and reflect on a whole of bible approach to the topic.

In my research, I came up with this article by a college student who had investigated the topic using just the book of Proverbs. Now, while that is not something I would normally recommend, I found it very helpful to approach only the book of Proverbs on the topic of money and wealth.

Now, while we may disagree with the article’s final views, we are left with a well-rounded teaching on the subject of money and wealth.

Hopefully, the article will encourage us to rethink how we use the wealth God has given us... and how we should think about the wealth God hasn't given us. It certainly helped me.

  • Click here to read Mr Clemens article, 'How much money should a Christian have?'

Prayer as Passionate Spirituality

Bp John Harrower (cowboy hat)
[sat 16.jul.2011 rob] Come and join Bishop John as we explore “Prayer as Passionate Spirituality” and “Experiencing God through prayer” through workshops, discussions and forums. There will be a prayer gathering in each mission network around the state:

Saturday July 30, 10am-3:30pm @ St George’s Church Burnie

Saturday August 6, 10am-3:30pm @ St Barnabas’ Launceston
Saturday August 13, 10am-3:30pm @ St Luke’s Taroona
Saturday August 20, 10am–3:30pm @ St Thomas’ Howrah

Morning Tea will be provided at each event. BYO lunch.

From The Bishop’s Desk 12/11

Tasmanian Anglican Seal
[sat 16.jul.2011 rob] The latest From The Bishop’s Desk was released during the week. It includes news of the passing of the Revd Alwyn Prescott.

Click here to read From The Bishop’s Desk 12/11 (13th July, 2011).

11 ways God works for us

John Piper: Desiring God
[mon 11.jul.2011 rob] Apart from being a prolific writer, Piper is one of the speakers at the upcoming ONE Conference in Australia in August, with John Lennox. Piper posted '11 ways God works for us' a couple of days ago, and it is a wonderful encouragement for Christians.

Piper begins:

Only a few things have gripped me with greater joy than the truth that God loves to show his God-ness by working for me, and that his working for me is always before and under and in any working I do for him.

And for good measure, two of his 11 points that I find particularly helpful:

5. “If I were hungry, I wouldn't tell you. Call on me, I will deliver you. You will glorify me.” (Psalm 50:15)

11. “I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth.” (1 Corinthians 3:6–7)

Click here ro read John Piper’s article '11 ways God works for us' (9th July, 2011).

Art of persuasion not so simple

Internet Web World Wide Web (small)
[sun 10.jul.2011 rob] John Dickson wrote in The Age yesterday on the topic of persuasion - and why people choose to reject truth.

People believe what they want to believe, often in defiance of fact and logic.

When the CSIRO launched its Changing Atmosphere website last month, research leader Paul Fraser insisted the timing was not in response to recent criticism of climate science. Rather, the peak scientific organisation simply wanted to let the facts speak for themselves.

However, a rather inconvenient truth needs to be borne in mind: recent research shows that ''facts'' alone rarely persuade us to change our minds on anything significant. In fact, they frequently entrench a contrary view.

Click here this article by John Dickson online in The Age.

Drought in East Africa

[sun 10.jul.2011 rob] There is a "burgeoning humanitarian crisis caused by extreme drought conditions in the Horn of Africa. The drought is said to be the worst in sixty years, and is affecting more than 10 million." For more information or to offer support, contact

News from Somerset

Connections Anglican Church
[sun 10.jul.2011 rob] This news update from the Connections Anglican Church in Somerset:

Briggs family update (June 29th, 2011)

In March, Will and Gill announced that Will would not be applying for the Rector position in the Parish of Burnie and that they would be knocking on other doors in pursuing God’s call on the next stage of their family’s ministry. Recently Will announced at Connections and subsequently on his blog that they are bound for South Tasmania...

Click here to read the complete post on the Connections Anglican Church website.
Click here to learn more about Connections Anglican Church.
Click here for news from St David’s Cathedral.


[sun 10.jul.2011 rob]

one saviour
one life
one night
don't waste it!

What is a tragedy? This video is a nice reminder of what Christians are on about.
We are not just seeking to save people for eternity,
we also seek to save them so they can live what’s left of their earthly lives for their creator.

Making church meetings work

Internet Web World Wide Web (small)
[sat 08.jul.2011 rob] Most of us, church ministers included, find ourselves in business or organisational meetings. Church meetings can consume a lot of a church minister’s time. Here are two recent blog posts about church meetings.

Meetings that Work: A Guide to Effective Elder’s Meetings (book review). Over at pastorsmithm, he says of the book,

"In this short (87 pages), clear publication, Strauch gives the challenge to elders to remain focussed on the purpose of the eldership. Firmly grounded in biblical principles, he also works out to the practical and while there will need to be some tweaking from the American context, this book will greatly benefit ministers and elders who sometimes struggle with session meetings."

  • Click here to read the Meetings that Work book review.
20 ways to beat "meeting-phobia". From David Murray’s 'Head Heart Hand' blog. He begins,

"Meetings. Love 'em or hate 'em, you're going to have them - especially if you are a pastor. The question is how to have them profitably. Here are 20 things I've found helpful in overcoming my fairly severe meeting-phobia... We have to prune our trees and bushes of the excess branches in order that stronger branches can grow stronger and more fruitful. There may be a proliferation of meetings in your church that are actually weakening the whole church and need to be pruned back to make for a stronger and more fruitful church."

  • Click here to read the 20 ways to beat "meeting-phobia" post.

Why Theological Education?

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[sat 08.jul.2011 rob] Can there be anything bad in thinking about God and learning about him? On his blog, 'The Blogging Parson' Michael Jensen asks the question 'Why Theological Education?' Here are the first two points from the post...

1. Theological education - meaning 'tertiary level academic theological study' - is under attack, from forces both within and without the church. It is seen by some as too expensive. Other see it as too impractical and too inflexible, in that theological education providers cannot give them the educational setting they would like in an area where online degrees and part-time study is proliferating. It is too academic and therefore too unspiritual in the eyes of some. And it is too slow for impatient young church planters or would-be church leaders who don't want to waste valuable gospelling years in the study.

2. Why do we need theological education? a) for the spiritual health of churches, and the Christians in them. Knowledge and learning are not the whole of what it means to grow spiritually in the NT, but they are certainly major components of spiritual health and growth. Paul spends three years teaching the Ephesian elders, for example. Jesus gives the apostles 40 days - Peter’s Acts 2 sermon didn't come out of nowhere!
b) for effectiveness in mission Once again, being well thought-through and informed is not the be-all and end-all of mission. But it sure helps! Paul is determined to 'take every thought captive' for the sake of the gospel of Christ (for example). And if we believe that the gospel applies accross cultures and times then we commit ourselves to the difficult work of contextualisation.

Click here to read Mr Jensen’s full post.

Pop Culture Christ - What would Jesus blog

Internet Web World Wide Web (small)
[sat 08.jul.2011 rob] Another day, another blog with something to say. The 'Pop Culture Christ' blog recently raised the topic of 'Christian' words we can use without thinking. In the post titled, 'Words Christians Use That I Don’t Really Understand: Blessing', it begins:

"Have you ever sat in church or had a conversation with a Christian and wondered when they stopped speaking English?"

Now while we may not agree with everything in this post, the topic of 'Words Christians use that i don't really understand' is a great point for all Christians to consider. Do I do that?

Click here to read the article.

From the Bishop’s Blog

Bishop John - church 1 (small)
[sat 08.jul.2011 rob] Two recent posts on Bishop John’s blog. One looking at the recent programming on ABC Television, and the other looking at a recent book.

Political Power & Leaky Boats (July 8, 2011)

"I watched ‘Leaky Boat’ last night on the ABC1 TV and the follow up ‘Q & A’ special, ‘Stopping the Boats’. Both programs were disturbing. ‘Leaky Boat’ showed the callous cruelty to asylum seekers and the media manipulation of a largely ignorant and fearful nation by our political leaders in their pursuit of political power. The second program, ‘Q & A’, perhaps inadvertently demonstrated the inability of the show’s panel to engage in constructive and civilised dialogue, let alone any iota of accountability by the politicians." Click here to read 'Political Power & Leaky Boats'.

The Rugmaker of Mazar-E-Sharif – Book Review (July 8, 2011)

"The human face of the “boat people” is seen in an Afghani refugee, Najaf Mazari. The juxtaposition of life in Afghanistan and life in Australia (as an asylum seeker) deepens both our common humanity and the differences between the lives lived in these two contexts."
Click here to read 'The Rugmaker of Mazar-E-Sharif – Book Review'.

Click here to visit Bishop John’s blog.

Tasmanian Anglicans: Publication of the week!

Bishop John - church 1 (small)
[fri 08.jul.2011 rob] From Bishop John’s blog yesterday...

The Tasmanian Diocesan Office received an email from an Anglican Dean in Canada asking for the link to the Growing Disciples of Jesus online studies. The Dean said she saw it mentioned in the Anglican Communion Weekly Review. Our Coordinator, David Rogers-Smith, went to the current online issue of CWR and reports back, “Yep, it’s the Publication of the Week. Can you believe that!”

Click here to read Bishop John’s blog post (with links).

UPDATE! Anglican Mission in England

Tiffany_Window_of_St_Augustine_-_Lightner_Museum (AMIE)
[fri 08.jul.2011 rob] An update on Wednesday’s news of a new Missionary Society, the Anglican Mission in England. First, a website for the Anglican Mission in England society: Click here for their website at

Second, MSIE has responded to the Archibishop of Canterbury’s statement. They say,

AMIE (formally the Saint Augustine Society) is grateful for the statement from Lambeth Palace of Tuesday July 5th. We are very pleased to note the welcome given to new mission initiatives and also the recognition of AMIE’s desire to remain within the Church of England.

and also

AMIE has come about precisely in order to retain within the Church of England those who share passion for gospel mission and wish to minister within this Church despite some problematic issues.

Click here to read the full response to the Archbishop of Canterbury’s statement.
Click here for AMIE’s FAQ.

Anglican Mission in England

GAFCON Logo (v2 jpg)
[wed 06.jul.2011 rob] It appears a new Missionary Society has been born out of GAFCON. GAFCON released their news on June 23 (click her