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Bishop John - church 1 (small)

From the Bishop

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

  • “Abrahamic Faiths”?
  • Upcoming Tasmanian Bible Forums
  • The Use of Social Media during Meetings
  • Social Justice Sunday – 25 September

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 August


Luke Isham (50%)
[sun 28.aug.2011 rob]

Revd Luke Isham posted this on his blog last week:

Faith, "confidence or trust in a person or thing" (

As a doctrine of grace it’s a theme that runs through a person’s journey from Predestination to Glorification. Faith is intangible, like justice and causation; faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen (Heb 11:1). It’s mysterious and spiritual only insofar as the things that are trusted or believed are mysterious and spiritual.

Click here to read more article on Luke’s blog.

Luke Isham is an Assistant Minister at St George’s Anglican Church in Battery Point.

Euthanasia letters: MPs’ responses

Bishop John - church 1 (small)
[wed 24.aug.2011 rob] Bishop John recently sent a letter to the Prime Minister, Leader of the Opposition, Premier of Tasmania, Tasmanian Senators and members of the Legislative Council and House of Assembly regarding Euthanasia. Bishop John has posted on his blog both the letter he sent and the responses he has received to his letter.

Click here to read Bishop John’s blog post with our politician’s responses.

Physical fitness & Spiritual fitness

James & Anita Veltmeyer
[tue 23.aug.2011 rob]

James Veltmeyer has an excellent, short and inspiring
article on his blog. Here is an snippet:

Sometimes we get so busy that we find it hard to make time for things we need.

We know that physical fitness is good for us. There are billboards around Hobart and on buses telling us to 'Find Thirty'. We are encouraged to do 30minutes of fitness a day.

We also know that spending good time with God is spiritual good for us. Talking to him in pray and having him talk to us through Bible reading and preaching.

Click here to read the full article on James' blog.

James Veltmeyer is the Youth Worker at Bellerive Anglican Church.

Preparing a 'text message'

The Bible
[fri 19.aug.2011 rob] David Rogers-Smith has recently added a new page to our Diocesan Preaching resource...
Module 16: Preparing a 'Text Message'

This new module helps us to understand how to bring a sermon together. And it even helpfully illustrates its points, showing 'how to' with the use of an example sermon.

The material looks great for the preacher still learning the ropes, while also offering some great tidbits for those who are already preaching.

My favourite moment was this delightful quote from John Stott’s book 'I Believe in Preaching':

"We have to be ready to pray and think ourselves deep into the text, even under it, until we give up all pretensions of being its master or manipulator, and become instead its humble and obedient servant." John Stott

Click here to visit our Diocesan Preaching Page.

Australian Christian books of the year 2011

Bp John Harrower (cowboy hat)
[fri 19.aug.2011 rob] Bishop John has just posted news of the winners of Australian Book of the year for Acorn Press and SPCKA. In short:
Acorn Press Media Release: Acorn Press is delighted to inform you that two of its books won awards at the 2011 SPCK Australian Christian Book of the Year Awards in Melbourne. Professor Ian Harper’s book, Economics For Life, won first prize in the awards, worth $2500. The late Bishop John Wilson’s book, Christianity Alongside Islam, won second prize, worth $1000.
SPCKA Media Release: One of the nation’s leading economists has won the Christian Book of the Year award with a book he regards as one of his most significant contributions to civic life in Australia. Emeritus Professor Ian Harper of Melbourne Business School, now a director of Access Economics, won the first prize for ‘Economics for Life’, awarded at the 31st Australian Christian Literature Awards on Thursday, 18 August 2011 in Melbourne.

Click here to read Bishop John’s blog post.

Administrative Circular

Tasmanian Anglican Seal
[fri 19.aug.2011 rob] The latest Administrative Circular from the Registrar’s office has been released.

Click here to read the Administrative Circular for 17 August 2011 (07/11).


photo - Bishop John Harrower - head and shoulders
[wed 17.aug.2011 rob] Bishop John has posted about recent political moves regarding Marriage. He says on his blog:

It has recently been announced that on 17th August MP’s will be asked to report to Parliament the views of their electorate on same-sex “marriage”.
Please pray that our politicians will exercise wisdom and retain the definition of marriage as between a man and a woman.

Click here to visit Bishop John’s blog.


Luke Isham (50%)
[wed 17.aug.2011 rob] Rev Luke Isham has posted a special page on his blog for the topic of 'Universalism'.

Do you have interest in the topic?
Do you have friends who are Universalists?

Rev Isham says:

I've assembled a document which forms a page in the tab above. It’s aim is to provide short answers to the major questions and statements Universalism raises. The document isn't designed to win back Universalists to protestant orthodoxy by sheer argument alone but contribute to the debate, to show that for all the questions Universalism raises there exist good traditional answers! My prayer is that those who are Universalists will come round, and that this pamphlet contributes positively to that turnaround because ultimately it is the Holy Spirit who brings people to the truth of who Jesus is and what he’s done.

Click here to visit Luke Isham’s blog.

Do you love what you do?

James Veltmeyer's workmanship

[sun 14.aug.2011 rob] Have you been over to James Veltmeyer’s blog recently? I always find it a delight. Here is one of his recent posts:

Finished the retaining wall at the front of our house during my holidays.

I love building.

In my 1st year of my carpentry apprenticeship I remember my TAFE teacher asking the class to put up your hand if you love your job.
A few of us did.
He then asked if we would work for free.
All of us said no.
Then he said we don't love our jobs.

Do you love what you do?

Mr Veltmeyer is the youth worker at Bellerive Anglican Church, and he has many more helpful posts on his blog. Keep an eye out for his words of wisdom!

Click here to visit James Veltmeyer’s blog.


Internet Web World Wide Web (small)
[sun 14.aug.2011 rob]

"John Dickson’s message today on

humility is the most insightful and
helpful I’ve ever heard on the subject."

These are comments by Matt Perman regarding the talks by Dr Dickson at the Willow Creek Leadership Summit. Mr Perman is director of strategy at the 'Desiring God' website. Mr Perman goes on to summarise Dr Dickson’s talk on Humility.

Click here to read Matt Perman’s summary of Dr Dickson’s talk on Humility.

As well as public speaking engagements such as the Willow Creek Leadership Summit, Dr John Dickson is an historian and social commentator and author of the book 'Humilitas: A Lost Key to Life, Love, and Leadership'.

The Bishop’s prayer gatherings

Bishop John - church 1 (small)
[sun 14.aug.2011 rob] The last of the Bishop’s prayer meetings is on this Saturday:

Saturday 20 August, St Thomas’ Howrah 10-3:30pm

Click here for more details

An update on Pam & Andrew Lake

CMS Australia logo
[thu 11.aug.2011 rob] Andrew & Pam Lake are CMS missionaries who were sent out from the Anglican Diocese of Tasmania to serve God in Syria.

This news article (see below) gives an update on the current brutal situation in Syria and the prospect facing the small Anglican community as the Lakes have had to return to Australia.

Click here to read the Church Times article.

  • Please pray for Syria and the city of Damascus. Pray for peace and an end to the current strife. Pray for a government that protects Christians, and seeks to serve all Syrians and allow freedom for all Syrians.
  • Please pray for the Christians in Syria. Pray for their protection (both physical and spiritual), for a strenghtening of their faith, and that God will uphold them in these very difficult and threatening times.
  • Please pray for Andrew & Pam and for their family. Pray for peace within them as they come to terms with leaving their church family behind in such painful circumstances. Pray that God will provide for them as they return to Australia.

Children’s or Same Sex rights?

Bishop John - church 1 (small)
[thu 11.aug.2011 rob] Quoting Margaret Somerville, the Bishop writes:

“SAME-SEX marriage creates a clash between upholding

the human rights of children with respect to their coming
into being and the family structure in which they will be
reared, and the claims of homosexual adults who wish to
marry a same-sex partner."

Australian-Canadian ethicist Margaret Somerville is Samuel Gale professor of law, professor in the faculty of medicine, and founding director of the Centre for Medicine, Ethics and Law at McGill University, Montreal.

Click here to read Bishop John’s blog post.
Click here to read Margaret Somerville’s article in The Australian.

From The Bishop’s Desk 14/11

Tasmanian Anglican Seal
[thu 11.aug.2011 rob] Yesterday, Bishop John released his latest From The Bishop’s Desk (10th August 2011).

Click here to read From The Bishop’s Desk.

Piety and Confessionalism: Friends or Enemies?

The Gospel Coalition
[tue 09.aug.2011 rob] The Gospel Coalition blog/website asks the question: 'Piety and Confessionalism: Friends or Enemies?' Then they brought three teachers from Reformed churches gather in this video to discuss confessionalism and pietism in the Reformational tradition (Continental, English, and Scottish).

From the website:

The way some Christians talk, you’d think theological confessions threaten the church by making it impossible to truly experience God without doctrinal restriction. The way other Christians talk, you’d think the pursuit of piety threatens the church by elevating subjective experience over the ordinary means of grace such as preaching, baptism, and the Lord’s Supper. Piety and confessionalism, then, must be enemies. Right?

Click here to watch the video.

Being a Christian in a society without Christ

Internet Web World Wide Web (small)
[tue 09.aug.2011 rob] There is an article in The Age today, which is much like the articles referenced here yesterday. It is titled, "A Question of Ethics", but you would never guess what it is abut from the title. Maybe it should have been titled, "When do I tell my children I don't believe in God".

The questions this brings up for me are numerous, but all my questions begin with "What do I say to my friend when they ask me...". Here are some examples:

  • "What do I say to my friend when they ask me what to say to their kids about God?"
  • or, "What do I say to my friend when they ask me why I still believe in God?"
  • or, "What do I say to my friend when they ask me how to pray with my kids at bed time?"

The fact is, we live in a society which is not full of Christians, and non-Christians continue to allow their families to engage in Christian events. An example of this raised in the article is parents who chose to send their children to Christian schools where we tell them we will teach them about Jesus.

So, as God continues to provide his church with these opportunities those of us who are Christians need to have some answers ready. No one should expect you to have the perfect life or the perfect answers, however, what does it mean to your friends if you have no answer?

What would you say? If you're not sure, maybe it is time to find out - so when your friend asks, you can give them an account for the faith that you have.

Click here to read article from The Age.

"Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone." Colossians 4:5-6 (NIV 1984, Bible Gateway)

Bishop’s Prayer Gathering Programme

Bishop John - church 1 (small)
[tue 09.aug.2011 rob] Last week, Bishop John released news of the programme for his prayer gatherings on his blog. You may have missed the first two gatherings, but there are still two Bishop’s Prayer Gatherings to be held this month.

Saturday 13 August, St Luke’s Taroona 10-3:30pm

Saturday 20 August, St Thomas’ Howrah 10-3:30pm

The aim is to pray. Thus the Prayer Gathering is distinct from the Seminars on Prayer and the Tasmanian Bible Forum on prayer. The Program Outline gives an indication of the progress of our prayer through the day.

To pray is to change. Prayer is the central avenue God uses to transform us. If we are unwilling to change, we will abandon prayer as a noticeable characteristic of our lives. The more we pray, the more we come to heartbeat of God. Prayer starts the communication process between ourselves and God. All the options of life fall before us. At that point we will either forsake our prayer life and cease to grow, or we will pursue our prayer life and let Him change us.

Richard Foster

Click here to read Bishop John’s blog.

Recent articles in the public domain

Internet Web World Wide Web (small)
[mon 08.aug.2011 rob] Here are a number of articles which have appeared in the public domain that speak into the issues Christians are concerned about today.

Agree or disagree, here is a look at a little of what is being said in some public forums.

'A confident secularist society would tolerate school religion' (The Age)
Do people really think secular thought has everything kids need for their education? "Can a half-hour chat about God really warp children’s minds? Listening to Australia’s increasingly irate secularists, you could be forgiven for thinking so." There has been an enormous response to this article. Click here to read the article.

'Our selfish creation of human life' (The Age)
"The rights of donor-conceived children are ignored in the misplaced euphoria over reproductive technology." Click here to read the article.

'Is there a God? Lennox and Singer head to head' (Eternity Magazine)
David Wilson says, "any thought of these stereotypes were shattered in the Melbourne Town Hall last night as Professor John Lennox of the University of Oxford debated Professor Peter Singer of Melbourne and Princeton Universities. Singer, the Atheist, was respectful, gentle and calm. Lennox, the Christian, was confident, intelligent, humorous, and engaging. So much for stereotypes!"
Click here to read the article.

Cyberbullying (The Hutchins School Communique)
Bishop John recently pointed us to this article from The Hutchins School Communique. The Head of the Senior School at The Hutchins School, Duncan Warlters writes, "In her research, Cross (2009) indicates that cyberbullying occuring online is in the form of emails, internet messages, text messages, using others’ passwords, posting pictures on the web, pictures on mobile phones, exclusion on the web and sending viruses."
Click here to read the article.
Click here to read Bishop John’s blog post.

A letter from the Bishop

Bishop John - church 1 (small)
[mon 08.aug.2011 rob] Bishop John wrote a letter regarding the definition of marriage to politicians. He has had some responses and has placed them on his blog for you to have a look. A grea insight into what our politicians are thinking.

Click here to read Bishop John’s letter and the responses on his blog.

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To view archives of front page news, click here.

AnglicanTas frontpage editor: Rob Stanley