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Is human tragedy caused by sin?

The Boxing Day tsunami in 2004 is believed to be the deadliest tsunami in history which killed more than 230,000 people across 14 countries. At the time, the Boxing Day tsunami sparked debate amongst religious leaders as to whether the terrible destruction and loss of life was an act of God. The then Anglican Dean of Sydney, Phillip Jensen, triggered a row after saying that disasters are part of God’s warning that judgement is coming. One person, writing in the Sydney Morning Herald said, “Perhaps (Mr Jensen) can point out the horrendous type of sin that these communities have apparently been committing, not yet noticed by the rest of the human race, to deserve such extraordinary judgement a

Stewardship - a way of life

Quite simply, stewardship is having the wisdom to acknowledge that everything we have, our life, our talents, our accomplishments, our families and our material possessions are gifts from God. ​ It is a way of living life with the understanding that someday God will ask each and every one of us what we did with the talents and skills we were given by the grace of God. ​ Stewardship is lived out in: ​ living and proclaiming the Good News of the Kingdom; using the talents and skills God has given us; responding to human need in loving service; caring for the environment and acting to preserve the world in which we live; belonging to a faith community, joining in its worship and communal life;

You’d be mad not to go to church

This article by Clare Boyd Macrae was published in the March edition of ‘The Melbourne Anglican’. It resonated with my experience and so it is reproduced here. Sometimes I think you’d be mad not to go to church. I have thought this more strongly than ever in the aftermath of the Bourke Street tragedy, where, in scenes that are now familiar but I suspect first occurred after Princess Diana’s untimely death, thousands of people visit the site of an accident, laying flowers and soft toys and openly weeping. I have no way of knowing what historical or current grief is reactivated by an event such as this one. Every human heart holds pain known only to its inhabitant. But to me this public outpou

Ageing is a time for opportunity and growth

Aged people are all around us and their numbers are increasing. We are all affected in one way or another. “Researchers are finding that if we think about getting older in terms of decline or disability, our health will suffer. But if we see ageing in terms of opportunity and growth, we improve our prospects for our senior years.” (Anne Tergeson) That is why it is encouraging that “our Parish commits itself to ministry to parishioners who are in the 65+ age range”. (Parish Report April 2014) Pastoral care is an integral part of the program with many people ministered to in their own homes or Aged Care Facilities. Visits can include prayer, Bible reading, Holy Communion, grief counselling, de

Churches offer social connection

In terms of high-density living a lot has changed in my nine years at St John’s. When I arrived, I was the only person who lived on Constitution Avenue. That changed with The Jamieson and ISKIA Apartments. The C5 Apartments on Anzac Parade, opposite St John’s, are rapidly going up. The publicity blurb says, ‘The new Campbell 5 precinct exemplifies the village lifestyle… it is designed as a destination precinct and home for the wider Canberra community… stroll along the bluestone paved streets and you’ll find retail stores, galleries, boutique hoteliers and alfresco dining spaces that are inviting to passers-by.’ However, high-density living may not necessarily mean a greater sense of communi

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