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Paul and His Letter to the Ephesians

The 40 days of Lent are a time of preparation for Easter. Many people set themselves a specific Lenten 'discipline' – e.g. they join a Lenten study group, read a devotional book, study the Scriptures on a daily basis, set aside more time for prayer, or recommit themselves to weekly worship. This Lent, I have signed up for an N.T. Wright Online course titled Paul and His Letter to the Ephesians. The publicity blurb says: “Prof. N.T. Wright, renowned biblical scholar and historian, will walk you through Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians. This course begins with the big picture of God’s ultimate intention of bringing forth the joining of ‘heaven’ and ‘earth’, reuniting what had been fractured long

New Youth Group launched

Youth and children’s ministry is a very important part of what we do. We’re very excited about the launch of a fortnightly Thursday night youth group this past Thursday. The youth group is a place where high school and college age youth can come, have some fun, build friendships, learn a bit more about God and see how being a follower of Jesus is relevant to them. I wanted to give you a brief overview of what happens on a typical Thursday night youth group. At 6:30 pm the youth leaders gather to pray and then talk about the program for the night and are delegated tasks (such as supper prep, time keeping, responsibilities for certain aspects of the games). When the meeting finishes, the lead

Clergy vulnerable to inappropriate behaviour

When I was in Melbourne Diocese I was part of a working group that produced a resource called, Working to Bully-proof Clergy and Parishes – A way forward in dealing with bullying behaviours in a local church context. I was reminded of being part of that working group when I read an article in this month’s TMA, which is Melbourne’s Diocesan newspaper. It is titled, Bullying of parish priests ‘a growing problem’. It was written by a Melbourne priest who said that bullying of priests by prominent members of their congregations is rarely talked about: “These people are identified by an increasing body of literature… “They usually have very little theological education, and always know more than

Imagine living in a world without modern communication

How easy is it to communicate with people these days! You can ring from home landline, mobile, skype or message people from your smartphone or computer. I can even talk to my kids overseas in real time. I remember when mobile phones were first introduced. I was on a chairlift in the snow and saw someone pull off to the side of the piste to talk on what was a comparatively large mobile phone. I couldn’t believe why anyone would want to have a phone on the snow? Now, of course, nearly everyone has one, even on the snow. I wonder if you can imagine what it might be like not to have access to a mobile phone, a landline or the internet at home. How would you communicate with the world? Many of ou

Called to be “salt” and “light” in the world

In Sunday’s gospel reading – Matthew 5:13-20 – Jesus called his followers “salt of the earth” and “light of the world” and commissioned them to be his representatives in the world. In the ancient world, when it was night it was very dark. Isaiah speaks of Israel as people walking in the dark. In Jesus’ usage, the light isn’t simply for finding our way in the dark, but for enabling others to see our good work and thereby to see Jesus. “See how they love each other!” the classical world exclaimed when it witnessed the behaviour of early Christians. The good done by Christians – as they refused to leave Rome during the plague and served all (even those who were not baptised) and as they fed the

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