Highlights and Lowlights of Melbourne Diocese Anglican Synod October 2008:

Highlights:
– Evangelicals trying to tilt the budget proposal and hold someone accountable.
– Many good and sound motions.
– Amazing speeches concerning the value of preserving life.
– Launch of “Network 1:28” – looks like a fantastic document explaining clearly the ministry and ordination training program in the diocese.
– Some of the usual Synod theologically-liberal tub-thumpers have lowered their profile, paving way for the next generation no doubt.
– Brunetti’s coffee next door (apparently you get a discount if you say you are from the cathedral – it would need to be a big saving)

Lowlights:
– Senior female clergy blocking the pro-life motion the day after our state puts through radical abortion legislation that will see the murder of innocent women and the lifelong physical and psychological scarring of tens of thousands of women.
– Motion 7: Being told that the synod was merely there to “rubberstamp” budgets.
– Motion 7: Not being told that the implication of motion 7 was that all budget amendments would be debated in one big random fashion, instead of one by one as would normally happen.
– Budget Crisis: questions not being fully answered, info on screens that can’t be read, detailed reports on CD’s that people can’t bring with them to the meeting, motions to limit debate and accountability, not one job being lost, allowing the diocese multi-million dollar deficits twice.

Bizarre points:
– A theological college lecturer likening allowing Anglican marriage rites to unbaptised couples to the war in Iraq. A+ for emotive irrationalism.
– Passing Anglican legislation to save the environment.
– Synod being too cowardly to condemn abortion but finding enough unity amongst the diversity to overwhelmingly praise the new cathedral sound system.

Winners:
– The diocese administration for successfully getting away with it.

Losers:
– Unborn children, women, and parishes that struggle to pay their diocesan assessment.

Fellowship

“We should not think of our fellowship with other Christians as a spiritual luxury, an optional addition to the exercises of private devotions. Fellowship is one of the great words of the New Testament: it denotes something that is vital to a Christian’s spiritual health, and central to the Church’s true life…The church will flourish and Christians will be strong only when there is fellowship.” -J.I. Packer

Love, Sex, Relationships – HTD 6pm Service 2008

This was a great series at Holy Trinity Doncaster 6pm service:

2008 – 06L – 29-06-08 PM – Love is…… – Jordan Hitchcock – 1 Corinthians 13 v1-13.mp3

2008 – 07 – 06-07-08 PM – The Single Issue – Denise Nicholls – 1 Corinthians 7 v25-40.mp3

2008 – 07 – 13-07-08 PM – Pornography and Purity – Wayne Schuller – Philippians 3 v17 – 4 v9.mp3

2008 – 07 – 20-07-08 PM – Pure Sex – Jonathan Smith – Song of Songs 3 v6 – 5 v1.mp3

2008 – 07 – 27-07-08 PM – Just Going Out (Qtn) – Issues of Dating – Chris Bowditch – 1 Corinthians 7 v25-40.mp3

Recent Sermons: Jonah

Latest sermon series at HTD.

2008 – 07 – 06-07-08 AM – Something Fishy in the State of Nineveh – Wayne Schuller – Jonah 1 v1-17.mp3

2008 – 07 – 13-07-08 AM – Underbelly – Wayne Schuller – Jonah 2 v1-10.mp3

2008 – 07 – 20-07-08 AM – A God Who Changes His Mind (Qtn) – Wayne Schuller – Jonah 3 v1-10.mp3

2008 – 07 – 27-07-08 AM – Fury over Bush (Qtn) – Wayne Schuller – Jonah 4 v1-11.mp3

Coming up next: A rest… then Exodus.

Pornography and Sex in Church

We’ve been having a ball with our evening church series on love, sex and marriage. We’ve had some brilliant sketches that I’ve really enjoyed – so good when stuff is done well.

2008 – 07 – 13-07-08 PM – Pornography and Purity – Wayne Schuller – Philippians 3 v17 – 4 v9.mp3

Jono weighs in with a 54 minute ripper on sex and marriage. This one should have had an explicit content warning label on it:

2008 – 07 – 20-07-08 PM – Pure Sex – Jonathan Smith – Song of Songs 3 v6 – 5 v1.mp3

This is all Holy Trinity Doncaster, 106 Church Rd, Melbourne – 6pm Sundays.

Connect For: One Stage At A Time

My friend Will Briggs blogs a report on youth ministry from Tim Hawkins to the Tasmanian Anglicans. I haven’t read the report, but Will’s summaries are fascinating. Hawkins suggests to build a good youth ministry takes twenty years! What it really means is that building an effective congregation from very little, with representation across all the age groups, takes two decades. So why are Anglican incumbencies so short? In my observation most Anglican ministers stay 6-10 years.

If the report is wise, surely it also means to build a good youth ministry according to this strategy you have to keep working on the long term strategy rather than the typical do-everything-you-can-to-hang-on-to-the-five-high-school-kids-you-have-right-now strategy.

The strategy revolves around the fact that “to have a growing and lasting youth ministry in your church you ideally need a few other key age groups.” In particular, the 35-50 year age group who are the parents of teenagers, the 0-11 year age group in a children’s ministry who will feed into a youth ministry, and the parents of the 0-11 year group – aged 20-35 years.

Connect For: One Stage At A Time

A Sermon: Biblical Foundations for Family Life

No mp3 of this one, but this is a sermon I preached on “Biblical Foundations for Family Life” at our Mandarin congregation. I’m still working on this material so if you want to see/hear the English version you’ll have to invite me to run a biblical parenting seminar at your church. 🙂

Biblical Foundations for Parenting Mandarin HTD June 2008 translation.doc

Recent sermons: Hell

2008 – 03 – 30-03-08 PM – Jesus on Hell – Wayne Schuller – Matthew 5 v21-30.mp3

2008 – 04 – 06-04-08 PM – Jesus in Hell – Wayne Schuller – Matthew 26 v26-46; 27 v45-50.mp3

2008 – 04 – 13-04-08 PM – Jesus – Gatekeeper of Heaven and Hell – Wayne Schuller – Matthew 25 v31-46.mp3

2008 – 04 – 20-04-08 PM – Jesus Over Hell – Wayne Schuller – Revelation 20 v1-15.mp3

Coming up next: Jonah

Recent sermons: Why Jesus Came to Die

Some recent sermons I have preached:

2008 – 02 – 03-02-08 AM – For God So Loved – Wayne Schuller – John 3 v11-21.mp3 (all age talk)

2008 – 02 – 10-02-08 AM – To Reveal God’s Love – Wayne Schuller – 1 John 4 v7-21.mp3

2008 – 02 – 17-02-08 AM – To Enable Us to Belong to Him – Wayne Schuller – 1 Corinthians 6 v9-20.mp3

2008 – 02 – 24-02-08 AM – To Be Worthy to Judge the World – Wayne Shuller – Revelation 5 v1-14.mp3

2008 – 03 – 23-03-08 AM – EASTER DAY – To Be Crowned with Glory and Honour – Wayne Schuller – Philippians 2 v5-13.mp3

Coming up next: hell

Belonging to the people who worship Jesus as Lord

Easter Weekend 2008

God our Father, thank you for an exhilarating Easter weekend 2008 at Holy Trinity Doncaster. Thank you for the excellent Trinity Lectures on the subject of “Christ and the Nations”. Thank you that I was able to share the message of John 20:1-18 at a nursing home and with some other frail elderly people in their homes during the week, as well as with our awesome girls group on Wednesday night.

Thank you for moving Good Friday services. Thank you for the gravity of Paul Barker’s preaching and for using him to exhort us to continue in the word of Christ and really prove to be his disciples (John 8:31). Thank you for Chris B. organising and preaching the gospel at the Good Friday youth service.

Thank you Father for the Easter Eve (Saturday night) children’s and families’ service. Thank you for the awesome music and those who used their gifts motivated by a love for Christ and for children. Thank you for the infectious joy in Jesus of our children. Thank you for the Dads praying and for allowing me to teach on John 20:1-18 again.

Thank you for amazing Easter Day services. For the privilege of being able to preach the truth and meaning of the exaltation of Jesus Christ from Philippians 2. Thank you for raising Jesus from death and exalting him and giving him the name above every name: Jesus is Lord. For hundreds singing “Jesus Christ is Risen Today” and “Yours Be the Glory”. What a privilege to sit in church with my little children as such glorious themes are sung loud and clear and with conviction. Father imprint a sense of the greatness of the Lord Jesus on the minds of my children through such experiences.

Thank you for our Mandarin congregation 9th birthday celebration and baptisms. Thank you for the way this part of our church constantly puts on us the agenda of the message of Christ to China and the nations. Give our English congregations and godly jealousy to keep up with the challenging model of evangelism and discipleship.

Thank you the English youth of our church and Jono lifting up Jesus in his message on Sunday night. Thank you for the brothers and sisters in Christ in this church who are such a joy to both work with and hang around with.

Thank you for family devotions that Helen has organised for this passion week and weekend. Thank you for our marriage, and for the spiritual joy given as we strive to love like Christ and the Church. Thank you for my children who love Jesus so much and who demand we sing more songs to you.

Father it is a great privilege to know you, to be redeemed by the death of your Son, and to belong to a people who worship your Son at Lord. Thank you for overwhelming us with a great Easter weekend.

In Jesus’ name,

Amen.

What can compare with a weekend like this?