I have come to know Bishop Matt Brain since his move to Bendigo three years ago and have developed great respect for his Christ-like leadership for the Diocese. I am challenged by his humble demeanour and all-embracing care and concern for everyone he meets. As I read God is Enough, I could sense his passion for us to place our full dependance on God as we move forward as a Church in these days, and to nurture one another in that knowledge.
It is a natural impulse for me to want to fix things that go wrong, or to find a solution to a challenging situation. So, it is a discipline for me to be patient – to stop, listen and take a measured approach. In addressing some of the challenges the Church faces – a decline in acceptance and changing technology and social behaviour – Christians might naturally lose heart and become discouraged. Or we might seek to devise ways to become more attractive and acceptable only to become more isolated and worn out as we do so.
Bishop Matt, in Part A of this book, encourages readers to see that we have the ultimate resource – God himself: the provider of the gifts we need and the founder of a community (the Church) bound together in love, which has the capacity to demonstrate the character of Jesus and influence others by the way we live. We are shown some of the common pitfalls congregations face as they work through daily life together and we’re presented with some descriptions of why we may have hope as congregations, churches, and the Church.
We are reminded that, as disciples of Jesus, we have been given gifts to work and grow together as a church community, and that we can help each other identify what the gifts are and how to use them. We are shown that is not our style of worship on Sunday that will attract others, but the way we live our lives throughout each week. Using a marketing approach to tempt people to visit and stay could be a trap. We are God’s ‘sent ones’ and are to look for opportunities to grow alongside people in relationship.
In Part B of the book, we are given ten examples to encourage us in carrying out God’s mission. In particular, the first example spoke to me – ‘God is the God of the upside-down kingdom’. The usual pattern is where people dominate through their own strength. By sending the Spirit, God releases in us the power that we cannot summon for ourselves, which provides the strength and means to follow his calling.
I trust that as you read, you too will see more clearly which part of God’s mission you can fulfil, knowing God provides what you need to do so.
Being part of the Church is the most glorious calling, but there is neither glamour nor celebrity involved. Sharing Christian life together is the story of one small, common activity after another; because it is the story of life. We know the glory of being caught up in God’s plans and activity. We also know the effort of working with each other on communal life. Because our high calling is enacted in the routine, we can be susceptible to showy or misleading traps. We can also become disheartened by the sheer familiarity of church life. And yet, God is Enough – to avoid the pitfalls and take heart when discouraged. God is the alpha and omega of church life. Whether leading or following, we are each significant and irreplaceable amongst God’s people. This book will start a conversation in your church about recapturing the confidence that God is Enough – always and forever enough.
This project has taken some two years to develop including new software, data checking and formatting.
With the development of a personalised digital renewal form, clergy will now be able to update their information on an ongoing basis and this will speed up the data verification process for forthcoming editions.
The directory has been comprehensively updated with the help of the General Synod Office and Diocesan offices throughout Australia and includes:
The Very Reverend Dr Andreas Loewe, Reverend Dr Elizabeth Smith AM and Reverend Dr Rhys Bezzant interview Reverend Dr Charles Sherlock AM to discuss his new book, Australian Anglicans Worship: performing APBA
Australian Anglicans Worship: performing APBA explores the heritage, background, contents and creative use of A Prayer Book for Australia (APBA).
Reflection on the theological and liturgical principles that surround each service in APBA is blended with ideas for creative worship — and the author is not afraid to take poor theology and unhelpful practice to task.
In writing this book, the Revd Dr Charles Sherlock AM has drawn on his close involvement with the preparation of APBA, along with his five decades of teaching and enthusiasm for lively liturgy.
Sensitive to the Anglican heritage and its current diversity, Australian Anglicans Worship: performing APBA is a unique resource for Australian Anglicans. Scholarly, yet eminently readable, it supports all who prepare, lead and participate in creative Christian worship that is faithful to what really matters.
Part A APBA – background and features
Part B Resources for every Christian liturgy
Part C Services of the Word
Part D ‘Go and make disciples’: Christian initiation
Pact E Holy Communion/The Eucharist/The Lord’s Supper
Part F Marking Rites of Passage using APBA
Part G Other resources in APBA
The doctrine of the atonement – that Christ died for our sins – is at the core of Christian identity and at the heart of Christian belief. This central doctrine, however, is poorly misunderstood within the church and parodied by those outside the Christian community.
The church itself has different perspectives on how to understand the rich diversity of images, themes, narratives and metaphors used in the Bible to describe the saving work of Christ, and there has been some controversy as a result. These essays seek to demonstrate the extent to which these various images are complementary rather than in competition with each other.
The contributors to this collection are members of the Anglican Church of Australia’s Doctrine Commission. They are each accomplished scholars and leaders, and represent the views of modern Anglicans across the theological spectrum of our Church. This is not a statement of the church’s official position but a dialogue that demonstrates how differences of opinion can be handled with mutual respect.
The commission hopes that it will engage and educate and enlighten the church, and provoke continuing discussion keeps the atonement as a matter ‘of first importance’ in our thinking and in our worship.
The Most Reverend Dr Philip L Freier is the Archbishop of Melbourne and Chairman of the Doctrine Commission.
The Reverend Dr Peter Adam is a Canon of St Paul’s Cathedral, Melbourne, a theological educator and author and formerly Principal of Ridley Theological College, Melbourne.
The Most Reverend Dr Glenn N Davies is the Archbishop of Sydney and Canon Theologian of the Diocese of Ballarat.
The Reverend Dr John Dunnill is Canon of St George’s Cathedral, Perth and formerly Senior Lecturer in New Testament Studies and Chair of Theology at Murdoch University, Perth.
The Reverend Professor Andrew B McGowan is a Canon of St Paul’s Cathedral, Melbourne and Warden of Trinity College
and the Joan Munro Professor of Historical Theology at Trinity College Theological School, Melbourne.
The Reverend Dr Dorothy A Lee is Dean and the Frank Woods Professor of New Testament Studies at Trinity College Theological School, Melbourne.
The Reverend Dr Michael R Stead the Rector of St James Turramurra, Visiting Lecturer in Old Testament at Moore Theological College, Sydney and Secretary of the Doctrine Commission.
The Reverend Dr Mark D Thompson is the Principal of Moore Theological College, Sydney.
Dr Heather Thomson is Senior Lecturer at St Mark’s National Theological Centre and Associate Head of the Charles Sturt University School of Theology.