Five Challenges for Local Churches
- Written by: Stephen Hale
Stephen Hale explains some challenges and opportunities facing the church he leads.
As the Lead Minister of a larger Anglican church, we’re seeking to work through a number of major challenges. Chances are if we’re facing these challenges others might be as well.
These are five big challenges/opportunities we’re wrestling with:
We’re a classic gathered church where people come to us from all over the place. We have a great reputation and offer a full range of ministries for families, youth and young adults. We don’t have to work hard to get people, they just come to us. While we rejoice in this unique opportunity, we’re seeking to work out what it means to be a local church. We recently visit-ed our neighbours in Kew and they told us:
• we’ve heard you’re a great church
• we don’t know what you do
• you should advertise more
• no one is creating community around here
Jerusalem to Nairobi
- Written by: Richard Condie
Richard Condie reflects on two GAFCON meetings and the contrasts between them.
A lot has changed in the five years since the first GAFCON was held in Jerusalem in 2008. The contrast between it and the second conference held on October 21-26 in Nairobi, Kenya this year was quite marked. Both conferences were inspirational, but in different ways: one to draw a “line in the sand” to deal with a crisis, and the other to mature a movement that is full of hope and forward facing mission.
Opening sessions of large conferences like this often set the background and tone for what follows. GAFCON 1 in Jerusalem opened with a recounting of the unhappy history of the Anglican communion since 1998. The story was one of a slide into liberalism, especially in North America, the dislocation of orthodox believers, civil action in the courts, and the failure of the Instruments of Communion to deal with the situation. It was a sombre stage for the work that needed to be done in defining Anglican identity, making a stand for truth and in charting a new course for the future.
The Big Issue
- Written by: Kanishka Raffel
Kanishka Raffel reports on the second Global Anglican Future Conference held in Nairobi, Kenya in October 2013.
What was the "big issue" of the second Global Anglican Future Conference held in Nairobi, Kenya in October 2013? Making disciples. GAFCON II took as its theme, "Making Disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ". As a gathering of more than 1300 Anglican Christians from 40 nations and 27 Anglican Provinces, GAFCON provided a rare and wonderful opportunity for fellowship among those engaged in the same mission around the world. We gathered as Anglican Christians who proclaim the same Lord by the power of the same Spirit in accordance with the truth of the same biblical gospel, yet in many different contexts.
In the majority world, gospel proclamation takes place in the face of increasing opposition from militant religionists, Islamic, Hindu and Buddhist. Meeting in Kenya so soon after the attack on the Westgate Shopping Mall in Nairobi provided a sobering reminder that for many of those present at the conference, discipleship and evangelism are pursued in the face of daily threat and violence.
New Archbishop of Sydney
- Written by: Dale Appleby
A former chair of EFAC Australia has been elected as the twelfth Archbishop of Sydney.
The Most Reverend Doctor Glenn Davies was born in 1950. He grew up on Sydney’s Northern Beaches and was educated at Sydney Church of England Grammar School. With a BSc from Sydney University, he worked as a mathematics teacher. Since coming to faith during his high school years, he was actively involved in Christian ministry, including youth and campus ministry, before deciding to enter the ministry full time.
He studied at Moore Theological College (DipA) and West-minster Theological Seminary (MDiv, ThM) and was ordained by the then Archbishop of Sydney, Sir Marcus Loane, in 1981. He gained a PhD from Sheffield University in 1988.
I love Tasmania too much to leave it the way I found it
- Written by: John Harrower
I love Tasmania too much to leave it the way I found it
John Harrower reflects on ten years as Bishop of Tasmania.
It is a decade since I became the eleventh Bishop of Tasmania.
It is wonderful, yet challenging to reflect on what God has done in my life: where He has taken us and where we are going.
From my background in engineering, economics and political science and involvement as a Director researching the impact of technological and demographic change on Australia’s industrial structure, God took me, my wife and our two sons to Argentina as missionaries with the Church Missionary Society (CMS).
In Argentina during the years 1979–88 we worked with university students, helped grow a church, and published and distributed Christian literature. I was ordained deacon in 1984 and priest in 1986 in the Diocese of Argentina. God brought us back to Australia and in 1989 I became the Vicar of St Paul’s Glen Waverly and later of St Barnabas’ Glen Waverly (GWAC). We focused on community building, discipleship, evangelism, youth, ministry formation and relating the Gospel of Jesus Christ to different cultures.
The inheritance of faith
- Written by: Roger Herft
Roger Herft introduces the Diocese of Perth.
The vibrant faith in God’s steadfast love, grace and goodness forms the essential DNA of the people called to be part of the body of Christ in Perth. The inheritance of faith that refuses to cloister itself in a fortress-like defence system was forged by the pioneer missionary, John Ramsden Wollaston.
This faith, believing that God is sovereign and present before us is evident in the history of the church in this place. There is a sense of awe and gratitude which acknowledges that we in our generation stand on the shoulders of giants.
Wollaston faced utter indifference to the Gospel on his first Good Friday and Easter. But, undaunted he continued to faithfully minister; loving the people God had entrusted to him with Christlikeness.
The Anglican Diocese of Perth is a diocese within The Anglican Church of Australia. It is the Metropolitical See in the State of Western Australia. It holds strongly to the bonds of affection with the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Anglican Consultative Council and the Instruments of Unity in our Communion.
The diocese seeks to hold together the Ministry of Word and Sacrament, evangelical zeal embedded in the beauty of liturgical prayer, profound scholarship, pastoral care and social justice.