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The surprising power of words

You may have noticed that words are powerful things. They often do far more than simply describe a situation. Very often, they create a new one. When a police officer says ‘you’re under arrest’, she isn’t just describing a state of affairs – she’s creating one. Likewise, when a priest declares a couple ‘husband and wife’, a new reality – a marriage – is actually brought into being. If you tell someone you love them (or that you hate them!), the words you use will not only depict the relationship – they will alter it. Our words are powerful. If our words can be powerful, it is partly because we reflect the one in whose image we were made – one whose words carry great authority and creative po

A magic wand needed

With the support of so many in the community, St John’s Care can do a lot to help people in need. However, many problems are complex and require broader solutions beyond the scope of any one agency. One of the hardest areas is supporting people (usually women and children) escaping domestic violence. Last week, we saw a lady with four children who had moved here from interstate to escape a violent situation. She was staying in a motel and awaiting accommodation so the family could settle down. Unfortunately, the only accommodation available was well away from where they currently live and where the traumatized children have now settled into school and life. One teenage daughter is not coping

Yearning for a faith that gives life a sense of meaning and purpose

I am currently reading Beyond Belief – How we find meaning, with or without religion by Hugh Mackay. Here is an edited article from the Melbourne Anglican, by Emma Halgren, titled Christian message struggling to be heard in 'me' culture, where Hugh Mackay was speaking with Archbishop Philip Freier: The church in Australia and other western democracies exists within a wider culture that is “antithetical to the messages of religion in general, Christianity in particular”, says social researcher Hugh Mackay — and this “me” culture presents an enormous challenge for the church. “We have been relentlessly bombarded by propaganda which is the opposite of the Christian message,” said Mr Mackay. “It

Jesus’ identity and the source of wisdom

It is sometimes claimed that the simple Jesus whom we find in the pages of the Bible is a million miles from the exalted figure worshipped by the later church. Yet the book of Colossians provides powerful evidence that from its earliest days, the church had an extremely high view of Jesus’ identity. Written in the very first generation after Jesus, and within the lifetime of the other Apostles, the author (Paul) presents Jesus in the loftiest terms: as the very image and fullness of God; the one who rules over the visible and invisible created order; the one in whom that order finds its point of unity and coherence, and the one who holds ‘all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge’. Jesus—the

"It is inequality that raises the levels of anger, resentment and bitterness."

The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby gives his verdict on the aftermath of the EU referendum: Over the last few weeks we’ve seen an outpouring of poison and hatred in Britain. All of us need to challenge the attacks, the xenophobia and the racism that some have justified with the UK’s decision to leave the EU. St Paul in his letter to the Galatians says to them, “Love one another, cease to tear at one another, lest at the end you consume one another.” We’re in danger of that in the way that our politics is developing at the moment. We need a deep renewal of our values in this country. We need a renewal of a commitment to the common good. We need a renewal of solidarity and generosity. T

Over $26,000 donated in Mid-Year Heritage Appeal

Trustee and Chair of the National Trust – St John’s Heritage Conservation Appeal Fund, Randall Wilson, is pleased to report that $26,160 was raised through this year’s Appeal. Most of the funds raised will contribute to our longer-term aim of saving towards the cost of replacing the St John’s Church roof. The existing roof of asbestos cement tiles dates from the early 1960s. Fifty–five years on, the tiles are showing signs of deterioration. Our aim is to complete this major project and associated works by 2020. In accordance with donors’ wishes, funds were also allocated to other purposes such as the conservation of the church, the schoolhouse and the rectory, as well as projects relating to

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