- Who we are
- What we do
There are many things that prepared me for the regular challenges and opportunities of my role at Oak Flats Anglican.
My formal training at Moore College had a huge impact on my understanding of who God is as he has revealed himself in the Bible.
But when it comes to what to do ‘on the ground’, it was probably my time as an MTS ministry apprentice that was the greatest foundation for my ministry.
That’s why I’m such a big fan of the MTS Ministry Apprenticeship program, and why our church is part of the MTS Multiply 500 program that seeks to recruit 500 new apprentices.
Thanks to the generosity of several people we’ve now got enough gifts and pledges to commit to two, full-time apprentices in 2015.
These trainees in our church will learn lots ‘on the job’, but our church will also benefit as we keep thinking about recruiting and training for the future.
God willing we’ll have our own home-grown MTS apprentice in the years to come… but for now we’re looking for someone outside our church to come and join us.
That’s why Mandy and I are heading up to the MTS Spur Conference this weekend to try and recruit someone to join our team.
Please pray for us as we look for two great apprentices, and pray that through all this we’ll see more and more people recruited and trained for full-time word ministry.
And for more details about our apprenticeships next year, visit our special MTS Apprenticeship Page.
On Wednesday night, SBS TV aired the show ‘Living with the enemy’, in which Glenquarie Anglican minister David Ould hosted a gay couple for five days, after which he then lived in their world for a further five days.
In this reality TV show, the two opposing parties tried to help their opponent understand their view of marriage.
David had some good opportunities to share the gospel of Jesus with his opponents and with the television viewers.
But the best thing about the show was the opportunity to demonstrate truthful, loving interaction with those who oppose the Biblical viewpoint.
At one stage, David is asked by one of the homosexual men whether Jesus would offer congratulations to the couple if he attended a gay wedding ceremony.
David replied by saying that “Jesus goes to many, many, people who he disagrees with. And he loves them profoundly. And he calls them to change.”
Let’s pray that we too might follow David’s example of engaging with our world as he himself seeks to model himself on Jesus.
[Updated to correct facts about the question relating to the question about the gay wedding ceremony and to clarify re: the hosting arrangements David provided]
At this week’s Community Safety Popup Meeting in Oak Flats, Sergeant Jason Harrison asked me how safe we felt in our church.
I chatted with him about some of our minor safety concerns, from graffiti through to isolated incidents of domestic violence.
Yet overall we agreed that Oak Flats is a suburb in which we can largely feel safe from the effects of crime.
We rightly discussed our physical safety, but in the end it’s our spiritual safety that really matters most.
It reminds me of the words that Jesus said in Luke’s Gospel:
“I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more. But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after your body has been killed, has authority to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him.” (Luke 12:4-5)
And yet straight after that warning, Jesus shared these words of hope:
“Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” (Luke 12:6-7)
Even when it comes to community policing, we must never lose an ‘eternal perspective’ on this life and the next.
Gone are the days when Facebook feeds were full of cat videos and family selfies.
These days we’re more likely to see videos with beheadings and war crimes.
More than ever it’s important for us to be careful with what we watch online.
After all, it’s impossible to “un see” the graphic content posted on these websites.
What’s more, when we experience the shock of these videos, we only empower the people who try and manipulate the world through horror.
It’s good to be informed so we can pray, remembering to “…not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” (Philippians 4:6)
But when watching things online we should also bear in mind the words that the Apostle Paul wrote in the verses that followed: “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” (Philippians 4:8)
News this week of the death of actor and comic Robin Williams has brought grief to millions of people around the world.
In his tragic suicide, we saw the worst possible outcome of the severe depression that caused him such deep sorrow.
It reminds us afresh of the seriousness of this disease of the mind, and for the need for us to show kindness and love to those who battle with the black dog of depression.
Likewise, it should prompt those of us with constant feelings of depression to seek help from a GP without delay.
Yet this sad event also helps us remember that the world in which we live remains barraged by the effects of sin.
Even the side-splitting antics of the funniest person on the planet might be masking the hidden tears of a clown.
And so we hunger for Heaven, when God “will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” (Revelation 21:4)
Come Lord Jesus, Come.