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From the Bishop

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

  • Tasmanian Anglican Articles – October 2011
  • Christians living with depression
  • Questions @ the Pub
  • Bishop’s Blog via email
  • Supporting +South Carolina
  • Nursing home readiness?

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 October

Welcome to 'Reformation Day' #2

Archbishop Thomas Cranmer
[mon 31.oct.2011 rob (updated)]

Reformation Day is today! As Anglicans, on Reformation Day we remember our wonderful heritage when God acted to bring about a change in his church.

This is what Wikipedia says (so it must be true ;),

"Reformation Day is a religious holiday celebrated on October 31 in remembrance of the Reformation, particularly by Lutheran and some Reformed church communities. It is a civic holiday in Slovenia (since the Reformation contributed to its cultural development profoundly, although Slovenes are mainly Roman Catholics) and in the German states of Brandenburg, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt, and Thuringia. It is also a national holiday in Chile since 2008."

... "The parish order for the New Church in Regensburg states that the Reformation of the city is to be observed the first Sunday after October 15, every year. This document may be from 1567, however the dating is uncertain. The 1569 church order in Pomerania states that the Reformation was to be observed on St. Martin’s Day, which falls on November 11."

The Gospel Coalition
As it is Reformation Day, here is an article on the importance of the Reformation, the need for us to remember what happened, and the great moment it was for the church of Jesus Christ. Click here to read this Gospel Coalition article.

Tasmanian Anglican (October 2011)

Bishop John - church 1 (small)
[mon 31.oct.2011 rob] From the blog of Bishop John:

"May I encourage you to read the interesting articles about life and ministry of the Anglican family in Tasmania and beyond! Tasmanian Anglican (October 2011)"

Click here to read Bishop John’s list of articles (with links).

Christians living with depression

Bishop John - church 1 (small)
[mon 31.oct.2011 rob] Bishop John points us to an article in The Age by Barney Zwartz on dealing with depression. Zwartz reflects on the resources Christians can bring to their struggle with serious depression.

Click here to read Bishop John’s post.
Click here to read Barney Zwartz’s article in The Age.

Happy Reformation Day!

Archbishop Thomas Cranmer
[mon 31.oct.2011 rob] Just saying...

According to the Wikipedia article on Archbishop Cranmer: "This [image/]work is in the public domain in those countries with a copyright term of life of the author plus 70 years or fewer." For more information:

Direct to you... From The Bishop’s Desk

Bishop John - church 1 (small)
[thu 27.oct.2011 rob] From The Bishop’s Desk 18/11 for the 18th October has arrived.

Click here to read From The Bishop’s Desk.

Four Ways Christians Can Infuence The World

Rev John R W Stott (small)
[wed 25.oct.2011 rob] How we can be salt and light?

I was looking for an article for our Parish’s monthly 'ChurchNews' and found an article poignant for our generation.

The article, titled 'Four Ways Christians Can Influence the World', was written by the late Rev John Stott. Stott articulates the need for all Christians to be able to answer the question: How can we be salt and light in this dark world?

Now, we may not agree with everything Stott says, but whatever we believe in the matter requires our immediate action. Stott says:

There is a great deal of pessimism around today that grips and even paralyzes people. They wring their hands in a holy kind of dismay. Society is rotten to the core, they say. Everything is hopeless; there is no hope but the return of Jesus Christ. As Edward Norman, dean of Peter-house in Cambridge, once said in a radio interview, "People are rubbish."

But people are not rubbish.

Click here to read the full article at ChristianityToday.

The image used in this post of Rev John Stott is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

The latest Administrative Circular: From the Registrar’s Desk!

Tasmanian Anglican Seal
[tue 25.oct.2011 rob] The latest Administrative Circular was released on Friday last week (21/10). For those who missed it, here it is:

Click here to read or download the October Administrative Circular.

The Bishop’s blog via email

Bishop John - church 1 (small)
[mon 24.oct.2011 rob] From Bishop John’s blog: "It is now possible to receive my blog posts automatically via email subscription. This is convenient for those who don’t want to continually check for new posts or wait for From the Bishops Desk to point to new content.

If you would like to subscribe to the blog via email there are three ways to do it:

1. Go to and follow the instructions to sign up (or click here); or

2. Email and request to be added.

3. Send an email to and responding to the confirmation email (check spam filter if it doesn’t reply)

Happy reading!"

Goodbye Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs - Apple Corp.
[wed 19.oct.2011 rob] Last week saw the passing of a man who had a great influence over personal computing technology for the last 30+ years. His name was Steve Jobs. The company which he used to bring about his revolution was Apple Corp. The obituary below is from the Christian blog 'St. Eutychus'. A nice insight.

Click here to read the post.

For information about the use of this image of 'Steve Jobs', click here.

Understanding the devastating impact of poker machines

Internet Web World Wide Web (small)
[wed 19.oct.2011 rob] A powerful article on the deep impact of poker machines in the poorer areas of Sydney appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald last week.

Matthew Moore and Jacob Saulwick’s article "The machines that are draining a city" (link below) highlights the deep impact on the poor and the vulnerable in our society. But this doesn't just resonate with those living in NSW, but here in Tasmania as well.

Listed below is this article from the Sydney Morning Herald, but also more recent articles from The Age on the topic of Poker Machine reform and the actions of those who oppose reform.

  • Click here to read the Sydney Morning Herald article, "The machines that are draining a city" (15/10/2011).
  • Click here to read The Age article "Pokies $1 limit 'favoured'" (15/10/2011).
  • Click here to read The Age article "Clubs lift ban on Salvos after poker reform spat" (3/09/2011) regarding the response of Clubs to the Salvation Army when they backed the Poker Machine refoms. They eventually lifted their bans on the Salvation Army.

'Making The Most Of The Cross' by John Chapman

John Chapman - Book - Making The Most Of The Cross
[sat 15.oct.2011 rob] Rev Luke Isham has been reading! This time, a book by the Australian Evangelist John Chapman.

Rev Isham says:

This [is] John Chapman’s second book since he retired to a nursing home! The old evangelist is still active; dedicating the book to the nursing home bible study. This makes his chapters about the Resurrection and our death all the more poignant. While the book itself is simple, short chapters and a direct writing style, I found being reminded of the theological consequences of Jesus' death and resurrection very refreshing.

Primarily it was good to see reinforced the idea that while the Crucifixion and the Resurrection "are two aspects of the same event"... there are a number of different consequences from each. The book is basically a survey of those consequences.

Click here to read the full article on Rev Isham’s blog.

Questions Mr Chapman’s book covers includes:

  • How can we know that Jesus really died?
  • How can we know that Jesus really rose from the dead?
  • How can God love people and yet condemn them to hell?
  • How can God forgive guilty sinners and yet be just?
  • What does Jesus' death and resurrection mean for me? How does it affect my life?

Click here to find the book at MatthiasMedia.
Click here to find the book at Koorong.

Australian Parliament calls for an end to Coptic persecution in Egypt

Bp John Harrower (cowboy hat)
[sat 15.oct.2011 rob] On 19 September, Mr Craig Kelly MP, Liberal Federal Member for Hughes moved a private members bill in the House of Representatives addressing the ongoing persecution of the Coptic Christians of Egypt. The support of this motion shows our Parliament to be committed to religious freedom, not just in Australia but throughout the world.

Click here to read more (including the details of the motion) on Bishop John’s blog.

A letter from the Bishop of Tasmania to the Bishop of South Carolina

[fri 14.oct.2011 will] In response to news from the Diocese of South Carolina (click here for more information), Bishop John has written this letter to Bishop Mark Lawrence.

Tasmanian Anglican Seal
14 October 2011

Rt. Rev'd Mark Lawrence
The Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina Post Office Box 20127
Charleston SC 29413
United States of America

Dear Brother,

Greetings in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

I received with deep concern and sadness the news of formal allegations against you and your diocese with respect to some ill-defined sense of abandoning the faith of the Church.

I write so that my recognition and support of you as a Brother Bishop in the Anglican Communion may be clear and unambiguous, and to assure you of my prayer for you and your leadership team at this time.

It has become clear over recent years, and it was certainly my experience at the Lambeth Conference of 2008: not only are the revisionist pursuits of certain parties clearly no longer bounded by the fundamental witness of the gospel in Scripture, but the means of that pursuit seem no longer bounded by the common human wisdom of good grace and fairness. The fact that current events demonstrate a willingness to impugn the fundamental character of Episcopal polity is a demonstration of their intransigence.

Nevertheless, please be encouraged in the Lord Jesus in whose sufferings you share and in whose resurrection hope we live and minister.

I note the words at the top of your diocesan website - “...that all may come to know Him...” Our Lord Jesus is indeed our sole focus, our joy, our salvation; and the knowledge of him our goal for ourselves and all those we meet. He is the head of the church and his promise to his people is secure.

May his grace and peace be with you and the faithful saints of the Diocese of South Carolina.

Yours sincerely in the bonds of Christ,


John Harrower
Bishop of Tasmania

Click here to read the letter.

Euthanasia talk by Margaret Sommerville

Bp John Harrower (cowboy hat)
[thu 13.oct.2011 rob] On 30th June 2011 Professor Somerville presented a lecture at the University of Tasmania. You can watch the lecture by clicking the link below.

Professor Margaret Somerville is an internationally acclaimed and respected advocate for the case against euthanasia. Professor Somerville holds professorships in both the Faculty of Law, where she holds the Samuel Gale Chair, and the Faculty of Medicine at the McGill University and was the founding director of the McGill Centre for Medicine, Ethics and Law. She has consulted for international organisations such as the Global Programme on AIDS of the World Health Organisation, UNAIDS, the United Nations Human Rights Commission in Geneva, and law reform commisions in Canada and Australia.

Click here to watch a video of the lecture. Many thanks to Bishop John and Sam Green for the link. (The link is:

You can read Bishop John’s post on this video by clicking here.

Bishop Mouneer of Egypt: Please pray for Egypt

CMS Australia logo
[thu 13.oct.2011 rob] Bishop Mouneer of Egypt will be speaking at the CMS SummerView Conference in January.

Recently, Bishop Mouneer recently wrote a letter to Christians around the world explaining the dire situation in Egypt and asking for our prayerful support for Egypt and our brothers and sisters in Christ who live in Egypt.

Bishop John recently blogged about this letter:
Click here to read Bishop John’s blog post regarding Egypt.
Click here to read Bishop Mouneer’s letter on

Seeing God in 'The Person'

Bp John Harrower (cowboy hat)
[sun 09.oct.2011 rob] So begins today’s post on Bishop John’s blog:

"I’ve read the weekend papers, listened to the news, participated in societal debates: my conclusion..."

Click here to read this encouraging piece by Bishop John.

Reflected Glory

Bp John Harrower (cowboy hat)
[sun 09.oct.2011 rob] Bishop John has been at the COSAC convention, and offers an overview of his time there.

He says, "The theme of the Conference of Science and Christianity (COSAC 2011) was Disenchantment: Faith and Science in a Secular World. The description read ‘From the time of the Enlightenment, Western society has become progressively disenchanted, as a sense of the transcendent and of spiritual forces, which pervaded mediaeval life, was lost, even repudiated…’ "

Click here to read Bishop John’s post.

The anti anti-pokies campaign

Internet Web World Wide Web (small)
[wed 05.oct.2011 rob]
"...the anti anti-pokies campaign gets increasingly farcical... I'm finding this entire campaign immensely dispiriting, because it’s such an explicit and real example of rich people profiting off the suffering of the poor and vulnerable, yet trying to dress it up as fighting for their rights... Here’s a handy hint: if your business model is predicated upon stealing money from addicts while actively destroying their lives, then get a new business model." (Luke Ryan at The Vine 4/10/2011)

This comment is not a Christian comment. It is certainly not from a Christian website. The cursing in the full text gives that away.

In this comment we can hear the world commenting on Poker-Machine reform. It’s as if he has been reading his bible, reached James 2:1-4 and started writing. It gave me the deepest sense that Christians - who have God’s word - should be the first to defend the unprotected and stand against rich oppressors. Protecting the vulnerable. Protecting the battler.

Hopefully, Christians are not being wooed by the voices rejecting poker-machine reforms, but instead seeking to protect Australians who struggle with gambling and poker-machine addiction.

Please pray that our politicians will not be wooed by these unhelpful voices of the oppressive rich. And that instead, they will seek to protect vulnerable Australians. (James 2:1-4)

For further information, click here for a helpful Anglicare Tasmania link.
For the GetUpAustralia TV advertisement, click here.

Farewell Melbourne, Hello Hobart!

Bp John Harrower (cowboy hat)
[sat 01.oct.2011 rob] As noted recently on Bishop John’s blog:

"As many readers know, we are delighted to welcome Edwin and Beth Lang to the Diocese of Tasmania. The Melbourne Anglican (TMA) has published a lovely article as a farewell to Beth and Edwin, which you can read below: Farewell Beth and Edwin Lang (TMA article, Diocese of Melbourne) Please uphold them in your prayers as they continue settling into Tasmania."
  • Click here to read The Melbourne Anglican article (which Bishop John has posted as a PDF on his blog).
  • Click here to read the post on Bishop John’s blog.

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AnglicanTas frontpage editor: Rob Stanley