I’m sure you are aware of the current discussion about freedom of religion legislation.
There is a great opportunity at present for us to have a positive influence in the legislative process, and I’m calling on you to consider how you can respond and encourage your congregation to get involved as well.
I’m suggesting three ways in which you can act:
1. I urge you to read the pastoral letter (Download from here) and consider distributing it to your congregation, asking them to contact their federal MP.
2. I’m inviting you to download and print the petition (Download from here). As you do, please consider collecting signed copies of the petition and arranging for them to be mailed to Senator the Honourable Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, PO Box 886, Wollongong NSW 2520. (Note that only originals of the signed petition may be submitted to the Senate, so copies must be mailed).
3. I also draw your attention to an excellent briefing paper released this week by Freedom for Faith (Download from here). It will help you understand some of the complexities of the discussions about freedom of religion. It is aimed at ministers and leaders, so please circulate it to anyone you think would be interested. (Note that while Freedom for Faith supports the appointment of a Freedom of Religion Commissioner, while the submission the Presbyterian Church made the Ruddock enquiry was cautious about that proposal).
with warm regards,
Rev John P Wilson BSc, DipEd, BTh, DMin
Clerk of Assembly, PCV
Moderator-General, Presbyterian Church of Australia.”
“Last week, a student at one of the country’s top theological seminaries wrote to me about the institution. The student framed the letter not so much as a complaint about this particular seminary, but rather as a warning about the direction of Christianity via the pastors and theologians trained at prestigious places like this. …
‘ have to walk on eggshells to not out myself as a moral monster – for holding to biblical morality on a Christian campus. I have seen the future in the form of the arguments that the very far “Christian” left is developing. The average believer in the pews does not know what is coming.’…”
“As I approach another marriage milestone, it’s worth remembering the journey of family life and the priorities that come with being a family man. I don’t write the ‘Family Matters’ column, but over the weeks ahead I want to offer some insights into family that I hope will prove helpful.
My wife and I, thankfully enjoyed good role models as both my wife’s parents and mine had faithful marriages full of love. We often reflect with thankfulness that we did not experience abuse or violence and we grieve for others for whom abuse and violence was their only experience of home life. In many ways we are products of our up-bringing and we have committed ourselves to walk in the good example of those who raised us. To those less fortunate than us the importance of finding good role models cannot be overemphasised as well as reading good literature on family.
It is why church, among other organisations, can make such a good contribution to family life…”
“The Uniting Church has been chasing after the culture ever since its creation in 1977. While there are evangelical churches and ministers within Australia’s 3rd largest Protestant denomination, they are relatively few, and these have been engaging in formal discussions to review their association within the denomination. If the final nail in the coffin hadn’t already been laid, surely it has after today’s proceedings.
Today, the Uniting Church (Synod of Victoria and Tasmania), voted in support of motions to allow euthanasia in their agencies. …
The Uniting Church has already littered the landscape with graves where there were once churches, and now they are giving consent for their health agencies to sanction euthanasia. It is one thing for a Government to legalise euthanasia, but for an association of Christian churches to stand together and vote in favour of their own agencies to allow this practice? And then have the audacity to attach the name of Jesus to this?”
“I’m a very amateur and extremely part-time jazz piano player. I’ve had the opportunity to be in a few bands over my life, and I’ve loved the experience.
In a band, each member has different skills and different roles. In fact, each role tends to have a personality type associated with it. There’s jokes to go with each personality type that you can tell each other at practice sessions. Keyboard players are pedantic and dull (these are stereotypes, right? Well mostly…). …”
“We have responsibility before God to work: it’s part of our created nature, and God has purposed for us to work diligently. We are not to be lazy, wasting away our time idly; we are to be busy rather than busybodies, and burden-sharing rather than burdensome.
But what does this mean for the person who suffers from depression or anxiety?…”
“Canon Malcolm Richards has been made the Bishop for International Relations in a ground-breaking consecration in Sydney.
Bishop Richards, who was previously the General Secretary of the Church Missionary Society – NSW & ACT is the first to take on the full-time role without also having responsibilities as a Sydney Regional Bishop.
He will also take up a parallel appointment as the Director of the Centre for Global Mission at Moore Theological College. …”
“An important decision of the England and Wales Court of Appeal, The Queen (on the application of Ngole) -v- The University of Sheffield EWCA Civ 1127 (3 July 2019) has ruled that a social work student, Felix Ngole, should not have been dismissed from his course on the basis of comments he made on social media sharing the Bible’s view on homosexuality…”