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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...

  • Quadriplegic: “No” to euthanasia
  • Buckland Sculpture
  • Church abuse stumbling block to belief
  • Respecting women
  • Parish visit & Bishop’s pastoral staff

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.
Amen

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."


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Archive of Home Page: 2011 November

Media Release: New Young Anglicans to be Ordained

Tasmanian Anglican Seal
[fri 25.nov.2011 rob] The Anglican Bishop of Tasmania, the Right Reverend John Harrower, will ordain two young Anglican leaders at St David’s Cathedral, Hobart, at 11am, this Saturday 26th of November, as deacons in the church.

The two to be ordained are young married couple Joel and Kristina Kettleton, who met whilst training at Ridley Theological College in Melbourne (where a number of Tasmanians train).

Click here to read the full Media Release.




Church abuse: A stumbling block to belief

Bishop John - church 1 (small)
[wed 23.nov.2011 rob] Today Bishop John posted an article about abuse in the Church with the following quote from the Anglican Communion News Service:

Church abuse is the chief obstacle to Australians believing in Christianity, according to a national online survey of more than 1000 people conducted by a Christian media group. The Australian Communities Report said more than three-quarters of respondents, 76%, said church abuse was a “massive” or “significant” negative influence on their attitudes towards Christianity and church. It said the top 10 “belief blockers” for Christianity were church abuse, hypocrisy, “judging others”, religious wars, suffering, issues around money, that it was “outdated”, Hell and condemnation, homosexuality and exclusivity. (Link to full article)

Bishop John continues later in his article,

Sexual abuse is a crime and is never acceptable. It has enormous impact on victims and their family and friends.

I successfully moved a motion, with long time friend and colleague Bishop David Farrer, that the Anglican Church of Australia apologise for sexual abuse within the Church. The motion was unanimous and we stood and said the motion as a prayer at the General Synod (the parliament of the national Anglican Church). This occasion of prayerful and humble apology remains one of the most emotional moments in my life. We were overwhelmed by the tragedy and sought God’s help and resolve in continuing to confront this evil in our midst.

That this General Synod and we as members of it acknowledge with deep regret and repentance the past failings of the Church and its members. On behalf of the whole Anglican Church in this country we apologise unreservedly to those who have been harmed by sexual abuse perpetrated by people holding positions of power and trust in the Church. We apologise for the shameful way we actively worked against and discouraged those who came to us and reported abuse. We are ashamed to acknowledge that we only took notice when the survivors of abuse became a threat to us. We apologise and ask forgiveness for the Church’s failure at many levels to listen to and acknowledge the plight of those who have been abused, to take adequate steps to assist them, and to prevent abuse from happening or recurring. We commit the Church to listen to survivors of abuse to respond with compassion to all those who have been harmed, both to those who have come forward and to those who may choose to do so in the future, and to deal appropriately, transparently and fairly with those accused of abuse and negligence.

  • Click here to read the full text of Bishop John's post, "Church abuse stumbling block to belief".
  • Click here to read the Anglican Communion News Service article in full.



Reading Books

Book Review: Lit (by Tony Reinke)
[wed 23.nov.2011 rob] Tony Reinke just released a book called "Lit!: A Christian Guide to Reading Books". I haven't read the book, but I found his article about his book to be quite interesting.

Reinke reminds us that all truth belongs to God. Also, while we can read the bible and know that it is good wisdom from God, we can't say the same for general literature. What God does, however, is not 'shelter us' but create in us a discernment for what is good and what is not good. Reinke says,

"The gospel does not shelter the Christian soul, but makes it discerning—and discerningly generous with the literature at its disposal. Reborn hearts turn from the worship of human creative genius to worship the Giver behind all the truth, goodness, and beauty given form in the pages of great literature."

So, the bible is God's word to us, and it is one of a kind. However, when our hearts are transformed by God's word, our hearts are able to discern general literature and allow us to benefit from it.

Reinke then reflects on the words of Richard Sibbes, a Puritan preacher, from his book A Christian's Portion. Sibbes says,

"Again, 'all things are ours' [1 Cor. 3:21]. Therefore truth, wheresoever we find it, is ours. We may read [a] heathen author. Truth comes from God, wheresoever we find it, and it is ours, it is the church's. We may take it from them as a just possession. Those truths that they have, there may be good use of those truths; but we must not use them for ostentation. For that is to do as the Israelites; when they had gotten treasure out of Egypt, they made a calf, an idol of them. So we must not make an idol of these things. But truth, wheresoever we find it, is the church's. Therefore with a good conscience we may make use of any human author. I thought good to touch this, because some make a scruple of it."

All authors are helpful: But only the bible is God's word and the truth. May we thank God for all literature. May we glory in God's word and continually wrap ourselves in it (ie. read it!). After all, our Father in Heaven gave us his word because he wants to communicate with us and have a relationship with us: he wants us to read it.

To read Reinke's article, click here.

What do you think? Click here to leave a comment on Facebook.




Domestic Violence and Elder Abuse

Bishop John - church 1 (small)
[wed 23.nov.2011 rob] The Bishop has recently posted on the topics 'Domestic Violence' and 'Elder Abuse'.

Click here for the Bishop's post titled, 'To stop Domestic Volence'.
Click here for the Bishop's post titled, 'Elder abuse a Tassie reality'.




A Very Internet Christmas

[mon 21.nov.2011 rob] This video tells the story of Jesus nativity using the trappings of the internet. A revised/updated version of last year's.




A Very Lego Christmas

[mon 21.nov.2011 rob] This video tells the story of Jesus nativity in Lego. It is 7 minutes long.




Gambling Reform Survey

Bishop John - church 1 (small)
[mon 21.nov.2011 rob] Bishop John has posted on his blog about the Gambling Reform Survey. He says,

"I support the letter from the Australian Churches’ Gambling Taskforce and encourage you to fill in the survey on gambling/poker machine reform as set out in the Churches’ Taskforce letter..."

Click here to read Bishop John's post.




Assurance

Luke Isham (50%)
[mon 21.nov.2011 rob] Rev Luke Isham has posted a personal reflection on assurance of our salvation through the eyes of the Westminster Confession. He says,

Assurance is a feeling of confidence that you are indeed saved; We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. (Heb 6:19-20).

Click here to read his full post.




From The Bishop's Desk

Tasmanian Anglican Seal
[fri 11.nov.2011 rob] The latest From The Bishop's Desk is now available.

Click here for FTBD 19.11 (11th November 2011).




One of the highlights for God's family

Internet Web World Wide Web (small)
[thu 10.nov.2011 rob] One of the great highlights of the Christian walk is a baptism. When someone takes the step to publicly declare their allegiance to Jesus, and the gospel is acted out before us.

James Veltmeyer's blog shares great news (and even photos) of adult baptisms down at Bellerive beach. Which is reasonably close to Bellerive Anglican Church! God is indeed at work in his church in Tasmania. Click here to read about the baptisms, complete with photos.

Finally, some challenging parting words from James about our own Christian walk:

"Would you be willing to get baptised at the local beach.

Or stand up in front of family and friends and say you follow Jesus.
Do people you know even know you are a Christian?
"


May we give thanks to God for those we know who have recently been baptised.




Moralism

[mon 07.nov.2011 rob] Addressing the problem of moralistic preaching... and replacing it with the grace of God.

Yes, we are still on the same theme of imputed righteousness from the previous post :)
Thanks to Wade Iedema for the link.




Things I haven't heard kids discussing at the mall #2

Internet Web World Wide Web (small)
[mon 07.nov.2011 rob] Understanding who we are in Christ is important for Christians. When we accept Jesus as our Lord we become someone new. Who are we?

After discussisng imputed righteousness with someone at church, I found this video on youtube.

"...in the sight of God we are as righteous as Jesus Christ..." (Sinclair B Ferguson)

After watching, why not comment on our facebook page by clicking here. Do you agree? Does Ferguson fall short? Do you think he should go further? Share!




Reformation Day #3 (was yesterday)

Martin Luther (95 Thesis, Reformation)
[tue 01.nov.2011 rob] Reformation Day was yesterday. To keep these things in your mind and on your heart, here is a quote from Martin Luther. If you would like to know a little more about this man, visit Wikipedia by clicking here.

So when the devil throws your sins in your face and declares that you deserve death and hell, tell him this: "I admit that I deserve death and hell, what of it? For I know One who suffered and made satisfaction on my behalf. His name is Jesus Christ, Son of God, and where he is there I shall be also!" (Martin Luther)

This quotation comes from an article I mentioned yesterday which reflected upon the Reformation. You can read the article by clicking here.

According to the Wikipedia article on Martin Luther: "This image (or other media file) is in the public domain because its copyright has expired. This applies to Australia, the European Union and those countries with a copyright term of life of the author plus 70 years." For more information, see the wikipedia website: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Luther46c.jpg






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AnglicanTas frontpage editor: Rob Stanley