Saturday, May 30, 2009

Vision Day was a Gift and a Blessing

Will try to report on it this week. Now to the series:


This Sun May 31: The Resurrection and the Importance of the City
Speaking with, and to the Residential Community

Sun Jun 7: The Resurrection and the Value of Work
Speaking with, and to the Business Community

Sun Jun 14: The Resurrection and the Hand of God in History
Speaking with, and to the Traditional Liturgical Community

Sun Jun 21: The Resurrection and the Sanctity of Marriage
Speaking with, and to the Wedding Couple Community

Sun Jun 28: The Resurrection and the Poor and the Restless
Speaking with, and to all those whose ‘boat’ feels rocky! (Itinerant Community)

Sun Jul 5: The Resurrection and the Creative Soul
Speaking with, and to all the music community.


My Daughter and Cricket

I tried to introduce my kids to cricket last month. The Little Man wanted to belt the ball to the moon. But above is what The Little Lady would do with a set of Cricket Stumps. Click to see the picture bigger.

Anyone relate?


Friday, May 29, 2009

The Resurrection and the Case for Mission (Autumn Sermon Series)

(Autumn? Yes. This is my second 'fall' in 6 months. God did not intend such irregularities. But I digress. On with the post.)

St Philip's, before I came back to Australia, had already identified at least six 'communities' that we currently or historically have catered to and served. Six communities that we are seeking to reach with the Gospel of Christ's death, resurrection and Messiah-ship. The six communities are made up of those who say:
  • I live in the city (Residents)
  • I work in the city (Workers)
  • I value Anglicanism, and liturgy (Traditional)
  • I want to get married in your church (Marriages)
  • I have no home (Itinerant)
  • I love music (Musicians)
Of course, there are some who come to us, simply because we are a small and kind church. A place to learn from, and serve Jesus. They find a 'home' here. But many fit into one of these 6 communities.

So, I've based the next series to explore our mission field, and to begin to work towards communicating a vision for St Philip's by October, 2009.


This Sun May 31
The Resurrection and the Importance of the City

Speaking with, and to the Residential Community

Sun Jun 7
The Resurrection and the Value of Work
Speaking with, and to the Business Community

Sun Jun 14
The Resurrection and the Hand of God in History
Speaking with, and to the Traditional Liturgical Community

Sun Jun 21
The Resurrection and the Sanctity of Marriage
Speaking with, and to the Wedding Couple Community

Sun Jun 28
The Resurrection and the Poor and the Restless
Speaking with, and to all those whose ‘boat’ feels rocky! (Itinerant Community)

Sun Jul 5
The Resurrection and the Creative Soul
Speaking with, and to all the music community.

I take it that since Christ has been raised as Lord, then he must reign until all things are placed under his feet, so that God may be all in all. So what does Jesus Messiah-ship mean for us as we try to reach at least these six communities?

That's the series.


Pic on Flickr by Life is Good (Pete)

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Agenda for York Street Planning Day

For your prayers, this is our agenda for this weekend. This is basically for our 10AM Congregation.
  • Prayer and Teaching on Acts (Bishop Paul Barnett)
What the Apostles Actually Did (while the Spirit did his work and the Word went forward).
  • An End to Myopia
Our Place in the City: Connecting with Sydney and her needs.
  • Successful and Innovative City Models
A discussion on mostly Redeemer Presbyterian (New York City), as will as: Holy Trinity Brompton (London) and the Co-Mission Initiative (London)
  • SWOT Analysis
A discussion on the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats to our community. A Project Manager member of our church leading.
  • Opening the door to a new Chapter for St Philip’s
Beginning the process and working towards communication of a vision in October.

Sound worth it?


Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Successful and Innovative City Church Models

First, a pop Quiz: York Street Anglican is in the picture below. What are the colours of the two buildings that crowd the church in? Kudos to you if you can get the answer.

Second, for your prayers: York Street Anglican are having a Vision and Planning Day on Saturday. Just a small group of people interested in asking how we will speak with, for and to the city of Sydney in the next 20 years.

Third, for your discussion: For about 45 minutes, we are going to put our mind to 'Successful and Innovative City Church Models'.

I've chosen three churches, or groups of churches -- one in New York and the other two in London. I could have chosen more, and differently. But I chose these three because they represent three different models and ideas that York Street could put their mind to. I've decided not to critique them, although that would be a helpful thing to do. I'm not agreeing with their models, just recognising that they have found a voice that appears to be working.

I've just listed what I think their key aspects are, and tried to be positive about them:

Key Aspects of Redeemer Presbyterian Church, NYC

(Megachurch Presbyterian on Manhattan. They are in the city, on the upper East and West Side, but not downtown. They are theologically reformed.)
  • Psyche, holistic thinking, and vocational living mark their language. They 'go deep' and they exegete the city.
  • They are deeply positive about the city.
  • They have insightful preaching (unrepeatable, really). Tim Keller ‘hits the sweet spot’.
  • Tim Keller is positive, insightful, and a good example of the new apologetic.
  • They speak always as though new people and not-yet-Christians are present.
  • They have an captivating vision (although worth examining): Renew the city spiritually, culturally, and socially.
  • They have a desire to be ‘Missional’: the whole church facing the whole city in mission (gospel, community, and life)
  • They are positive to other denominations.
  • They have adapted to the new reality: It is a post-Christendom world.
  • They have clearly identified, and articulated the needs of the city, and they speak to those needs.
  • They have clearly identified, and articulated certain ‘defeater beliefs’.
  • They have something to say about being a professional, and the value of work
Key Aspects of Co-mission initiative, London

(Mostly Anglican Congregations in City of London. They are classically reformed and Evangelical.)
  • The words of the Gospel mark their language.
  • They appear free to plant churches well before the most churches would plant.
  • They have about 10 relatively small congregations that appear to plant assertively.
  • They have strong, clear, unafraid and unambiguous leadership.
  • They are strongly Evangelistic in the classic sense of the word. They are outward focused.
  • They may not seen as Anglican ‘kosher’. They capture a young and confident crowd?
  • They work hard to connect with young people (workers in the city).
  • They are great at staffing.
Key Aspects of Holy Trinity Brompton, London (Nicky Gumbel)

(Large Anglican Church in the City of London. Charismatic Evangelical.)
  • The Holy Spirit and change mark their language
  • Long term leadership from Sandy Miller and then Nicky Gumbel.
  • Exciting vibrant meeting (music and ‘worship’ is a big part of the ministry).
  • Found one thing that has made their name known in world: Alpha.
  • Positive, positive, positive.
  • Positive to other churches. They are very warm and accommodating (too accommodating?)
  • Simple and clear messages that touch the heart.
(We could discuss other churches, but that would be for another thread.)

Have I got anything wrong? Have I missed anything?


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Sydney Bloggers to meet July 20. Mark it, dude.

Had a great time last night with some great peeps. It's $10/Gormet Pizza at the Nag's Head. So we ate for $10/person, and the two poor Moore Students ate for $5.

It was interesting a couple of times when someone gave their initial impressions of a person by reading their Blog, and how it compared with reality. Someone thought that Craig would be opinionated and loud, and was surprised to meet a very mild mannered person. Someone thought I'd be a very straight-down-the-line kind of guy (I think that was the impression), and was surprised to find me warmer than expected.

Good fun.

We'll do it again in 2 months. Monday nights are good. July 20 sound good? I want Mark Barry to come to this one -- it was his idea in the first place. So speak now.

Mark it, dude.


Monday, May 25, 2009

Sydney Blogger Pub Visit is on *Tonight*

We are on tonight. It's Monday May 25. We will meet from 6-8PM?

I think that there are some 10-12 who are interested, perhaps more.
  • Looking forward to hanging out with my friend Craig again, and talking Richard Johnson.
  • I'm looking forward to plumbing the depths of Michael Canaris's brain.
  • I'm looking forward to reminisicing with Ben about CMS Summer School, Moore, and other good things.
  • I'm wondering how pyscho, dougie will be.
  • So, I finally get to meet /Karen/, and see the person behind her profound and thoughtful posts.
  • I'm wondering if Stephen Kryger be as positive and as constructive as his online persona? And meeting the man behind 'Communicate Jesus'.
  • And seeing again, hopefully, Ali, the Blogger-poet.
  • And Georgina, who doesn't have Bible Study tonight.
  • And I'm looking forward to meeting Earngey, and not as in a mirror dimly.
Bring anyone you like (significant others, kids etc -- we were yesterday evening with ours).

Any last minutes takers?

I will bring a laptop and a remote connection, so I'm pretty sure there'll be a few live posts.


Saturday, May 23, 2009

Slumdog Suffering

Report on yesterday's post: I crashed last night. Got 15 hours sleep. Back on my feet. All good.

Tonight, Dr Laurel and I watched Slumdog Millionaire again. I've reviewed it before. I now know what I like about the film. It is a picture of this truth: that one's suffering can be one's ally on the road to Glory. That Glory comes not despite suffering, but in it, through it, and then beyond it.
The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.
That's from Romans 8:16-17.

Thanks be to Christ, who went before us.


Friday, May 22, 2009

Going Down?

Sick this week, and down for the count:
  • The Little Man: Sunday.
  • The Little Lady: Tuesday.
  • Junior: Wednesday.
  • Dr Laurel: Thursday and Friday.
  • Me: ??
I do feel a little achy right now.

Which is painful, since we have a gathering tomorrow, and Bishop Rob Forsyth coming to St Philip's on Sunday, and I want to be at both.

Pray that I am just being paranoid.

Pic on Flickr by Harraz.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Podcasting Help.

I was using Switchpod, but they are closing up shop next Monday, and they are recommending everyone transfer to Libsyn. Libsyn appears to cost money.

Where do you upload your sermons etc?

Where could I?


Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Sydney Blogger Event Postponted until Monday

You are not going to believe this: but a few days ago, a welcoming function for Dr Laurel and me was moved from Friday Night to Wednesday Night. That's May 20. In other words, I'm now not free for the Nags Head event.

Now, you are all free to meet: to go ahead without me. No problems. But there were a lot of people not free on May 20 anyways.

I've sampled a few peeps.

New time: Monday Night May 25? 6-8PM?

The Nag's Head on 162 St John's Road, Glebe?

With the new time, is anyone in?


Best Websites Ever (Help us design a Site)

I've been a bit absent recently. Just a lot on. But you can still help me:

York Street Anglican is going to upgrade it's website. It may take some time. There is a lot of work that needs to go into it (the wording of the site, which requires painstaking thought matched with an articulated vision, as well, of course, as the look and usability of the site).

So help us out of the gate:
  • What are some good websites you've seen?
  • And why do you like them?
Any kind of website, of course.

But it would be helpful if you pointed out some church websites too.

Pic on Flickr by Even Farinosi.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Blog Statistics...

I have a friend (really I do) who wants to follow his stats and hits etc on his Blog.

What do you use? Statcounter? Google Analytics? Something else?
And what are the advantages of the one you use?

Pic on Flickr by Nsgoh(song).

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Breakfast with Mikey Lynch

Caught up with Mikey Lynch this morning for breakfast in Glebe. Mikey is a Blog friend from Tasmania. I enjoyed our conversation, but there is never enough time to talk.

Good man. God has gifted him.


Two Verses to Change the World

I reckon that if people who are in Christ took these two verses seriously, we would take our place in changing the world:
Hebrews 13:2- Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.  

Mark 9:41- For truly, I say to you, whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because you belong to Christ will by no means lose his reward.
True or False?


Pic on Flickr by Matt_So.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Rugby League, Sexual Sin and the Holy Spirit

I blogged about these three things over HERE at Sydney Anglicans.

And I just watched the Four Corners show: Code of Silence.

I am praying for miracles: miracles of healing, and miracles of transformation by the work of the Holy Spirit.


Monday, May 04, 2009

Gone for a break

We are away for 5 days break: Up north to a lake near Foster. Our first break in a little while.

Will see you on return. Perhaps on May 20.

The pic is of The Little Lady's feet, taken by our friend Yvette D'Elia at The Met in NYC. If you are a friend on Facebook, you can see more pics here.


Sunday, May 03, 2009

Over at Sydney Anglican's Blog

I also Blog over at Sydney Anglicans.

My latest post is called: "Our Hidden Baby Pain", which picks up Hugh Jackman's comment to The Sun last Thursday about Adoption.

Australian actor Hugh Jackman spoke up this week about his experiences in adopting a baby. Jackman and his wife, Deborra-Lee Furness adopted their children after suffering several miscarriages.

And I’m glad he spoke up.

I’m glad he spoke, not because I want to (or can) comment on his criticism. I’m glad he spoke because the more I move on in pastoral ministry, the more I see that people in our churches and in our communities are suffering a trinity of silent pain. And I think it’s good to talk about it.

My other Articles are:

Einfeld’s story is my story
Gingrich swims the Tiber
Allah/Christ ‘follower’ defrocked in Seattle
Post-Christian Australia: a taxi-driver’s perspective
What my friend Habbukuk tells me about the Recession

Pic on Flickr by Pink Betty.

Sydney Bloggers to Meet on Wed May 20?

What about Wednesday May 20? From 6PM (after work)? The pub won't be full of Thursday night students, and Friday and the weekend are too complex, aren't they?

How about the The Nag's Head on 162 St John's Road, Glebe? Any bus going down Parramatta Road or Glebe Point Road should do it.

Does the night work? Would you prefer Wednesday May 27?

Speak now, because I am going away for a few days and won't pick up internet or email. I will make a decision by Monday morning.

Moffatt, Mark, Georgina and Craig S are in for that date so far...


Friday, May 01, 2009

Sydney Bloggers to Meet

My friend Mark suggested in a comment:
Can I make the outrageous suggestion that maybe someone (Justin?) could designate a pub or park in the city and once a quarter we have a live, in the flesh, Sydney bloggers meet?
I'm happy to. But what do you all think? Would anyone enjoy a quiet ale in the city, for all the Bloggers that come from Sydney Anglican-kind-of-circles?

Mark and I would be in.
Sometimes you eat the bar, and sometimes the bar eats you.
  • Who is in?
  • What constitutes a 'Sydney Blogger'?
  • When is a good time?
  • Where?
Pic on Flickr by 'Bobesh.

Oh, forgot to say...

Vale Maria.


Two People...

Here are two people I see around the Blogosphere, but have never made any contact...
I feel like if I interacted with these two people, my life might be richer.

Who are your two people?

Pic on Flickr by meek_rgt.