About Common Prayer: http://www.commonprayer.org.au/about.html
This version of Common Prayer is presented in 2011 for a year’s experimentation, examination and feedback. It is hoped that an improved final draft will be presented to the Sydney Synod in 2012 for formal approval.
The Diocesan Liturgical website (http://www.bettergatherings.com.au) provides the contents of this book for online use.
The Archbishop of Sydney’s liturgical Panel is keen to receive as much feedback as possible from those using this development version of our work. Please send all comments and suggestions through the feedback section of the Common Prayer website http://www.commonprayer.org.au
Bishop Robert Forsyth
Chairman, Archbishop’s Liturgical Panel
Peter Hitchens, journalist and brother of angry atheist Christopher Hitchens, has written a book about his journey back to faith from atheism. This video (made to plug the book) is very interesting…
A helpful video presenting the grounds of christian hope and inviting response
March 4, 2010
Archbishop of Sydney calls concerned people to help Chile Earthquake Victims
Archbishop Dr. Peter Jensen is asking Sydney Anglicans and their friends to respond generously to earthquake victims in Chile.
Our diocese has very close connections with the Diocese of Chile through our CMS Missionaries, Chileans who have studied at Moore College, and with the Chilean Diocesan Leadership.
Archbishop Jensen has been monitoring the situation with the Primate of the Province, Archbishop Greg Venables, and the Bishop of Chile, Tito Zavala.
“The latest reports indicate that in Concepcion, where the earthquake was at its most destructive, four Anglican congregations have been camping in groups together. They are sharing a very limited supply of food and water ” said Dr Jensen.
Now is the time to help, and give generously to the Archbishop of Sydney’s Relief to Victims in Chile Appeal. Your gift to The Archbishop’s Overseas Relief and Aid Fund (ORAF) will enable the Bishop of Chile to provide ongoing assistance to those hardest hit and in greatest need.
Please make your donation online by visiting the Archbishop of Sydney’s Appeals Unit website, www.abau.org.au and following the links, or by calling 9284 1406 or our toll free number 1800 653 903.
Dr Peter F Jensen
This is a Christmas message, but we’ll arrive at Christmas at the end! You’ve probably heard that a fully-fledged Aussie saint is in the pipeline with the pope ratifying a second miracle from Mary MacKillop. The first “miracle” occurred in the 1960’s when a woman was cured of leukaemia and the second more recently when a woman with “incurable” lung cancer was cured with apparently nothing other than prayers to Mary MacKillop.
These claims have met with a fair bit of scepticism. One cancer-doctor wrote a tongue-in-cheek letter to God in the newspaper during the past week complaining to God that “fixing…cancers is my job. I admit we don’t always make them disappear (as You know) but when we do we usually credit the decades of research and training that led us to employ effective treatments.” He doesn’t believe that the credit should go to God (or Mary MacKillop) but to the medical profession when someone is cured, even when doctors can’t explain it. Like many people, he thinks that God and the saints shouldn’t be allowed to invade the scientific realm.
But what does the Bible make of all of this? The Bible shows us a God who is in such control over the world that he should be thanked when someone is cured (or anything else good happens) whether it be attributable to medicine or labelled “miraculous”. As the Creator of the world, God is certainly able to work through the known laws of nature or outside them. There is nothing wrong with praying for someone to be healed of cancer, even if we’re praying for a “miracle”. The God that we believe in is bigger than anyone gives him credit for!
But the Bible never encourages us to pray to special people called “saints” to put in a good word for us with God. It tells us to pray to the Father through the Son in the Spirit, which means coming straight to God, trusting Jesus to give us open access, and being guided by the Spirit’s direction and encouragement. As we pray, our confidence should be in Jesus; not in Mary MacKillop, nor in Jesus’ mother, nor in any other “saint”. After all, the miracles of Jesus that are recorded in the Bible were so obvious that no one who witnessed them was in any doubt about what had happened (no official investigations required!). There’s no guarantee that we’ll get what we ask for when we ask; but there is a 100% guarantee of God’s wise care and eternal life for those who trust Jesus.
So the Bible urges us to focus on the ONE BIG MIRACLE that Christmas urges us to reflect upon – the coming of the God-Man into our world to put us right with God. Why would we need any other miracles to be assured of God’s power or love? Christmas should give us the confidence to approach God because he has approached us!
If you would like to be more confident as you pray, or if you would like someone to pray with you for any issue, please don’t hesitate to call and make an appointment to come and see me or another friendly minister (9602 8836). We’d love to help you in any way we can.
On behalf of everyone at our church, best wishes for Christmas and the New Year to you and your family.
When you get the framework right, the reality of hell (and heaven) makes lots more sense – as Don Carson shows clearly here.