2nd May 2021

We continue in the “Easter season”, with readings from the book of Acts, which some have said ought to be called “the Acts of the Risen Lord Jesus Christ”. Opening sentences and psalms during Easter season are chosen to express the joyous triumph of the resurrection. Today’s psalm is the closing section of Psalm 22, the opening section of which is a prophecy of the crucifixion (“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”), which we read on Good Friday. Today’s section is the “happy ending” for the Lord’s anointed.

Anglican Aid is responding to the COVID-19 crisis in India by supporting Herbertpur Christian Hospital with essential supplies and equipment. We have received urgent requests for help to provide equipment like ventilators, monitors, PPE (personal protective equipment) kits, and food for the COVID patients. Your tax-deductible gift will provide equipment for hospital staff and medical supplies for patients. You can donate at anglicanaid.org.au/india-covid19-appeal.

The election for the new Archbishop of Sydney begins this Tuesday. This will be attended by me as well as our parish’s two lay representatives, Doug George and Karen Calayag.  The nominees are Dean Kanishka Raffel (the Dean is the senior minister of the Cathedral), and three regional bishops, Michael Stead, Chris Edwards and Peter Hayward.

The Archbishop’s role and challenges can be looked at in three parts.  Firstly, there is the need to equip our churches to proclaim the good news of salvation to each parish.  This includes leading and inspiring us and directing the resources of the Diocese where they are needed most, being mindful of the multicultural and the expanding nature of Sydney.  Secondly, there is the Archbishop’s role in the public square, defending and explaining the gospel to the wider community.
If the Archbishop has been on TV or in the newspaper, this might be talked about “around the water cooler” at work.  Thirdly, the Archbishop has a key role in the national Anglican church, which is currently suffering from some serious divisions.

Our system is set up in such a way that the Archbishop does not have a large amount of direct control over money or hiring and firing. For example, the Archbishop has no direct power to move or remove a parish rector (except where there has been misconduct).  He does, however, have a great deal of influence, which over time can be used to shape our Diocese.

With all this in mind, I would like to encourage you to pray earnestly for this election.  In a strange way, the circumstances do not seem to encourage earnest prayer.  All four nominees are godly, theologically sound leaders.  There is little difference between them theologically.  But because of the importance of this role, and because we know that the Lord Jesus loves and cares for his church, and desires to see the right people in (human) leadership over it, we should pray diligently about this.

We will be praying for the upcoming election today.  Please do keep this matter in your own personal prayers as well.

In brief:

  • Thanks to everyone who came to the working bee
  • The next big event is Fireworks, coming up on Saturday 5th June at 5 pm. Save the date!