Tuesday, November 30, 2010

An Invitation to hear Redeemer City to City Next Thursday

You can get all this information off of the FACEBOOK Event Page. And RSVP there too.

Redeemer City to City (Terry Gyger, Stephen Um and Jay Kyle) will be here in Sydney primarily to learn from those of us in Sydney, but are also happy to share what the Lord has been doing at Redeemer in NYC (as a case study) and what they are learning in large cities around the world.

So York Street Anglican, together with Vine Church, are gathering friends and partners to the heart of the city next Thursday December 9th from 7:30PM to 9:30PM.

Two presentations, followed by Q&A:

Terry Gyger, (Executive Director, Church Planting)
‘Redeemer, A Case Study in Church Planting’
  • A Biblical Case Study: Philippi
  • A Missional Church: DNA
  • A Compelling Vision: For the whole city
  • A Workable Plan: Context and Cooperation
  • Training is the Key: Equipping is More than Telling
  • Keeping our Eyes on Outcomes
Stephen Um (Associate Training Director, Asia/Australia)
Jay Kyle (International Director, Asia)
‘Global Cities Strategy, City To City - Church Planting’
  • The Goal is to create new movements of gospel-driven, urban-center church planting
  • Four Underlying Guiding Principles
  • Eight elements entailed in our strategic approach to any given city
  • Best Practices

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Vine Church is now meeting...

Haven't Blogged for a while, but HAVE to Blog this:

VINE CHURCH from jason perini on Vimeo.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

A psychic gave three Australians in NYC $20 to buy a Bible

From a dear friend in New York City:
I was just sitting in a Borders bookstore--in the religion section--to kill some time this afternoon. Three twenty-something girls came in and started looking for an "easy-to-read" Bible, so I asked them what they were doing.

They said a psychic had just given one of them $20 and told them to go buy a Bible! They picked up an NIV, so I told them that'd be a good one, and it was exactly $20.

They had accents so I asked them where they were from. They said, Australia! I said, Sydney? They said, yes! They said they're leaving NYC tomorrow.

So I said, listen, you must find my friend Justin Moffatt back in Sydney. I gave them your website and your name, and told them you were at York Street. One of the girls said she worked a block away.

They were walking away saying, "Wow, that was totally meant to be. You know, we have to go now."

And, opinions on psychics aside, I must agree! I'll pray that they do indeed show up.

How about that?
Great Story! Haven't seen them yet! But we shall see...

Pic on Flickr by Serhio.

Friday, August 06, 2010

Now I know where the noise comes from...

We can hear the rumble of trains underneath our home. It's not noisy. But you can feel it. If I'm up, I can tell the first train coming into the city at the crack of dawn. We live just above (and to the north) of Wynyard Station in the heart of the City. We live in the end of town that Miranda Divine from the Sydney Morning Herald calls "The Manhattan end of George Street."

But thanks to my friend Jasper Lee, I can now see how close to my home the trains actually are. The photos above are from the State Archives. The Train line was opened in 1932. The building of the church I pastor is in each of the photos.


Sunday, August 01, 2010

Today's Hymns and Songs

OK, Craig blogged the songs they sung at Annandale today. I thought I might blog ours, just for fun:

8:30AM Book of Common Prayer: (Mark 12:41-44)
  • O Worship the King
  • I know that my Redeemer Lives
  • Thank you, O Lord of Heaven and Earth.
10:15AM City Church: (Mark 12:41-44)
  • Put a New Song in my Heart
  • Worthy of all Praise
  • Take my Life and Let it be
  • Blessed Be the Name of the Lord
6PM Evening Church (Text: Jonah 3)
  • God of Wonders
  • Come Thou Fount
  • The Lord is Gracious and Compassionate.
Let Glory be Given to God alone, right?

Picture by our Staff Member Jenny Ihn.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

$30,000 to announce that you already live together?

Just read this on Sam Brett's Blog. The quote below is in the comments section of the Blog, by a guy called Steve. It's worth reading:
Honestly? I think a lot of women just want to have a "wedding"; a day for the world to truly revolve around them. I see this all the time. It just seems to me that in my gen (gen Y) the girls have all bought the fairy tale package hook line and sinker. Even smarter women.

I have a mate who's getting married soon, and although he technically asked her, she more or less coached him into the position. She's a modern, capable and smart progressive woman, but she's totally bought all the wedding crap and wants to have this big fancy do.

It all sounds pretty stupid to me... the two have been living together for 6 years, so the wedding really just seems like an overblown birthday party with an expensive fancy-dress theme. Think about it - they're about to spend about 30K to basically announce they're going to be together. Well... we kinda already knew that.

And while I appreciate the sentiment, a smart couple who were confident in the depth of their love for each other would have just gone to the registry and then put that money on a house.
Harsh? But Fair on modern marriage?

I'm marrying young people here at York Street all the time. I like being involved in their lives. More couples are living together than are not. The third paragraph in the comment above is what gets me: the couple have been living together for 6 years, and then they decide to get married in a $30,000 party. Often, the groom will leave their home the night before getting married, to almost simulate what used to happen! That does seem odd. I'm very happy that couples get married, but we have things upside down now.

In the Bible, the movement is: Commit covenantally (vows), then commit domestically and sexually (the last two being in the one act of 'leaving mother and father' - Genesis 2:24).

But today, its reversed: Couples commit sexually, then domestically, then covenantally (if at all).

Does any of this ring true? You got thoughts on modern marriage?

Pic on Flickr by Janelle Madalone.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Make sure your acts of righteousness are seen.

We made a discovery in Staff Meeting yesterday. We read Jesus' words in Matthew 6:
“Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven. 2 “Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. 3 But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
It assumes one thing: That it is fundamentally right and good to practice your acts of righteousness in order to be seen and rewarded.

Have a careful read.

In fact, only when we get this right can we be truly freed of the sin of hypocrisy, and of our thirst to be recognised by 'other peeps'.

Get it?

I can feel a C.S. Lewis quote coming...

Pic on Flickr by Steve Wampler.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

City. Contemporary. Bold. *Kind*

We've had this huge sign on our city deck for a few months now. It says of our New Evening Congregation: 'City. Contemporary. Bold. Kind.'

We like the word 'Kind'. Mostly because that's what people who are caught up in the story of Jesus Christ are meant to be: 'Therefore, as God's chosen people, wholly and dearly loved, clothe ourselves in kindness.'

But also becasue it is actually countercultural to be kind here in the city.

An example: I received this email from person at our New Evening Congregation this afternoon:
Kathryn (not her real name) was sick on Tuesday, and I emailed her to ask if there was anything we could do for her .. she's ok now, back at work, but she said it was the first time in a decade since coming to Sydney that anyone's ever offered her help. It made me think of the evening church word of being 'kind' - Sydney can be quite an uncaring place, Sydney needs Jesus!
Love hearing that.


I'm Back, I Hope

Been thinking of getting back into regular Blog posting.

Said that before.



Wednesday, May 12, 2010

LAND and ISRAEL in the Jewish Scriptures

I wrote this a number of years ago in answer to someone who asked about the fairness of the Conquest of Canaan. There is more to say about this. But here are three things about the LAND in ISRAEL and the promises of God in the New Testament:

1. God always intended his people to inhabit a PLACE.

We know from the Story of the Garden of Eden that God always intended his people to live in an environment. A ‘place’. A ‘good’ one. We were never intended for an existence outside of an environment (if that were possible). But it is only ‘good’ when God’s people live in that place under his rule (as God wills it). In the Garden, Adam and Eve did not live that way, and so the whole world is now subject to frustration. (Romans 8:19-20)

The Story of Abraham (Genesis 12) begins a new chapter in God’s redemption of the universe. God said that he would give a particular land (called Canaan) to Abraham's descendants. And in that land, by one of Abraham's descendants, God would bless the whole world (not just that particular land). The New Testament claims that Abraham’s descendant (seed) was Jesus, and in that land, God forgave sin, and provided new blessing to the world, in anticipation of a New Heaven and a New Earth.

So what is the progression from a nomadic Abraham pitching his tents in Canaan to the promise of a New Heaven and a New earth?

As you read the Old Testament, you begin to realize that God is always lifting the sights of the people higher and higher. Better and better. More and more glorious. There would be a land where justice and righteousness always reigned. And you begin to realize that even the land of Israel in the Old Testament was an image, a metaphor, a picture of what God promised to do with the whole world!

The fulfilment of God’s promise to Abraham is in Jesus, who by his death and resurrection, invites us to the ‘New Heavens and the New Earth’, in which sin is dealt with and God’s people live in a land flowing with more than milk and honey!! You can read about it both Isaiah 65:17-25 as well as in Revelation 21-22.

2. God always intended to remove SIN and INJUSTICE.

The second thing about the land is this: That God’s intention was not just positive, but negative (although negative is the wrong word). God needs to remove sin and injustice. He needs to remove opposition to him. He is a just God, who cannot stand evil in any form.

So we learn as we read the Scriptures, that God asks Israel to rid the land of all opposition to him. And he asks them to never adopt the practices of the nations around them. That is what is going on in these verses. You can see in Deuteronomy 7:4-5 that the 7 nations who occupied the land were in opposition to the one true God. That is, in part, what the Conquest of Canaan was all about.

‘It’s still unfair’, we say.

But not if the wages of every sin for every person is death (Romans 6:20-23). Take a quick read of Genesis 15:16. There, Abraham is told he cannot have the land yet because the sin of one of the nations living there had not ‘reached its full measure.’ In other words, the conquest that you read about in Deuteronomy is not simply over innocent people and it’s not framed as simply one aggressive nation conquering an innocent one in the name of God. It is, in part, about God’s hand of justice.

The ‘conquest’ also just an image, a metaphor, a picture of what God promised to do with the Devil, with all sin and opposition to him. This is what Christ conquered on the cross. (Revelation 18).

3. God has always been free to GOVERN the world as he pleases.

The last thing to say about the Conquest is this: That God is free to govern people and nations as he pleases. In the OT, God chooses 'little Israel' to display his Glory to the world. In Romans 9-11, God displays his Glory back to Israel by having Gentiles believe the Gospel of Jesus. In other words, these Israelites, the Canaanites and all people are guilty of sin, and God will be glorified!

God’s Grace is the only possible salvation for anyone to enter the fulfilled ‘land flowing with milk and honey’.


Pic on Flickr by Karen_Horton

Monday, May 10, 2010

Help me with Divorce (and Marriage and Remarriage)

My Text for Sunday Evening at St Philips: Matthew 5:31-32:
"It has been said, 'Anyone who divorces his wife must give her a certificate of divorce.' But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, causes her to become an adulteress, and anyone who marries the divorced woman commits adultery.
  • Is this the final word on divorce?
  • How does divorce cause her to become an adulterer?
  • Is there room in Scripture for a person to get remarried after divorce?
  • Historical situation?
  • Pastoral Implications?
  • Best things to read? Sermon to listen to?
  • Anyone I should call?
I want to get this one right.

And it is not easy.

Pic taken from my iPhone of Evening Congregation out for dinner last night. A local city restaurant opened for us, and about 75% of the congregation came. It was fun. They had to find more seats and make more food!

Friday, April 23, 2010

New Sermon Series in the Morning

In addition to our EVENING CHURCH Preaching Program (below), we are working our way through Romans in the mornings at St Philips. Martin Luther famously wrote in his Preface to Romans:
It is well worth a Christian's while not only to memorize it word for word, but also to occupy himself with it daily, as though it were the daily bread of the soul. It is impossible to read or to meditate on this letter too much or too well. The more one deals with it, the more precious it becomes and the better it tastes.
Here is the Series:

ROMANS: Making Sense.

11 April (R 1:1-17)
Making Sense of Romans

18 April: (R 1-2)
Making Sense of Wrath and Judgement

25 April: (R 3:9-31)
Making Sense of Justice and Grace

2 May: (Speaker: Toby Neal on Matt 13:44)
Finding Happiness

9 May: (R 4:1-3, 16-25)
Making Sense of the Old Covenant

16 May: (R 5:1-11)
Making Sense of Love

23 May: (R 5:4) Pentecost Sunday
Making Sense of The Holy Spirit

30 May: (M 6:5-18) Trinity Sunday
The Ethical Implications of the Trinity

Pic is a page from Paul's letter to the Romans from the Chester Beatty museum.

Sermon Series in Evening: Sermon on the Mount

A Friend of mine became a Christian by reading Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount. He said that "Finally, someone wasn't changing the goal posts!" He said: "Reading Jesus is like looking into the eyes of God and falling in." So we are going to spend a fair amount of time just really meditating on each part of it. What do you think?

11 April: (M 5:1-12)
Looking into the Eyes of God

18 April: (M 5:13-17)
Salt of the Earth

25 April: (M 5:20-26, 43-48)
Surpassing Anger and Enemies

2 May: Speaker: Huw Jones
The Reason for Music

9 May: (M 5:27-30, 33-37)
Surpassing Lust and Lies

16 May: (M 5:31-32)
Surpassing Divorce

23 May: (M 6:1-4)
Taking Care: Poverty

30 May: (M 6:5-18)
Taking Care: Prayer

6 June: (M 6:19-24)
Taking Care: Money

13 June: (M 6:25-34)
Taking Care: Anxiety

20 June: (M 7:1-6)
Taking Care: Judgmentalism

27 June: (M 7:7-14)
Two Paths: Finding the Right One

4 July: (M 7:15-20)
Two Trees: Discovering the Nourishing One

11 July: (M 7:21-23)
Tough Words and Authenticity

18 July: (M 7:24-27)
Two Foundations: Building a Confident Foundation


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

I think you need to read this Psalm...

Call me Moffatt the Prophet, but I think you need to read this Psalm:
1 My heart is not proud, O LORD,
my eyes are not haughty;
I do not concern myself with great matters
or things too wonderful for me.
2 But I have stilled and quieted my soul;
like a weaned child with its mother,
like a weaned child is my soul within me.
3 O Israel, put your hope in the LORD
both now and forevermore.
Am I wrong?


Friday, April 16, 2010

Those African Americans know how to preach

The cleaner -- a top guy -- and I just watched this in my office -- Little Hogwarts.

Keep watching to the end.

Man -- they don't preach like this any more.



Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Saturday, April 10, 2010

C.S. Lewis on Church Music

C. S. Lewis from his essay entitled ON CHURCH MUSIC:
When it (music in the church) succeeds, I think the performers are the most enviable of men; privileged while mortals to honour God like angels and, for a few golden moments, to see spirit and flesh, delight and labor, skill and worship, the natural and the supernatural, all fused into that unity they would have had before the Fall.

But I must insist that no degree of excellence in the music, simply as music, can assure us that this paradisal state has been achieved. The excellence proves 'keenness'; but men can be 'keen' for natural, or even wicked, motives.

The absence of keenness would prove that they lacked the right spirit; its presence does not prove that they have it. We must beware of the naive idea that our music can 'please' God as it would please a cultivated human hearer. That is like thinking, under the old Law, that He really needed the blood of bulls and goats.

To which an answer came, 'Mine are the cattle upon a thousand hills', and 'if I am hungry, I will not tell thee.' If God (in that sense) wanted music, He would not tell us. For all our offerings, whether of music or martyrdom, are like the intrinsically worthless present of a child, which a father values indeed, but values only for the intention.



Pic taken by Jenny Ihn!

Friday, March 26, 2010

New Website for York Street Anglican

I present to you: The NEW WEBSITE of York Street Anglican.

Take a look.

Comments, corrections and suggestions are always welcome.

Those Moore College students made us work this week (not that we don't every week!). And on the the things that tumbled out this week is a new website. It has been a few months in the making. And, of course, we've got somethings to work out next week (sermons online, for example). Bonnie is our Executive Administrator has been brilliant throughout this process. Give us feedback.

(You can also follow us on TWITTER and find us on FACEBOOK.)

Pic is by Bonnie Rozorio.