Newsstand 30 July - 5 August
Christian book of the year shortlist announced, fair trade fortnight, calls for sanctions to protect religious freedoms, why priests and TV comedies go so well together, and more
August 5 2020
The August edition of The Melbourne Anglican (TMA) has been posted to parishes and subscribers, and is also available in various formats for reading online and printing. Please click here. The Prayer Diary can be found within TMA and also in a print-friendly version here.
The shortlist for the 2020 Australian Christian Book of the Year awards has been released and includes a number of Anglican academics and authors, including last year’s winners, academics Stuart Piggin and Robert Linder. Other shortlisted Anglicans include executive director of Christians in Science and Technology (ISCAST) the Revd Dr Chris Mulherin; actor, playwright and recent Christian convert Anna McGahan; academic, writer and speaker the Revd Dr John Dickson; and academic and former Sydney Anglican Bishop Paul Barnett.
The Archbishop of Canterbury was “praying for all those affected by the terrible explosion in Beirut yesterday, and for the people of Lebanon”, he said on his Twitter feed on Tuesday evening [UK time]. The explosion and its shockwave felt 15km away left at least 100 people dead and more than 4000 others injured. Rescue workers in Beirut from the Red Cross and other organisations are searching for more than 100 people who are still missing. People have been left homeless after the widespread damage to buildings.
Lectionary resources for Fair Trade Fortnight
Fair Trade Fortnight is observed in Australia from 7 to 20 August. Fair Trade Faith Australia has prepared worship resources linked to the Revised Common Lectionary for the two Sundays during the fortnight.
Read tributes to a number of Anglicans who have passed away in recent months: Melbourne priest and long-serving Victorian prison chaplain the Revd Jonathan Chambers; former Senior Chaplain at the Brotherhood of St Laurence, the Revd Don Edgar OAM; the Revd Professor Francis Ian Andersen, a highly regarded international scholar in Biblical studies and Hebrew whose teaching career included two periods at Ridley College; and Mrs Evelyn Dibbs, a lifelong parishioner at St John’s Brunswick West, who has died at age 103 and whose family connections to the parish date to 1911.
A new study guide on Christian doctrine has been published by the Anglican Communion. What do Anglicans Believe? is an introduction to Christian doctrine. It draws on both Anglican and ecumenical statements of belief.
A new system of targeted sanctions could be used against the perpetrators of “gross human rights abuses” on the Uighur people in China, a Church of England bishop has told the House of Lords. The Bishop of Rochester, James Langstaff, also urged the UK Government to consider the use of sanctions specifically to protect freedom of religion or belief around the world.
Church leaders in Ireland have paid tribute to the Nobel Peace Prize winner and Northern Ireland politician John Hume -- a key figure in peace talks that led to the Good Friday Agreement in 1998 -- who died on 3 August, aged 83. The Church of Ireland (Anglican) Archbishop of Armagh, the Most Revd John McDowell, said: “John Hume will be remembered not only as a significant politician in Ireland, but also for his unambiguous dedication to making political change happen by purely peaceful means.”
In an essay entitled “Are we shooting ourselves in the foot?” in the Sydney diocese’s Southern Cross magazine, recently retired rector the Revd Canon Simon Manchester tackles the issue of services that are badly done – in leading, reading, preaching and singing. “I’ve visited lots of churches this year (in person or online) and too many of our church services are just too terrible to be helping the gospel cause,” he says.
Christian clergy are always something of a puzzle. They express the paradox of living a life devoted to God, while at the same living that life as an embodied, imperfect, human being. No wonder priests have been fodder for comedies – the most moral of the narrative forms.
Watch the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church in the US offer a meditation on prayer in a time of pandemic, which concludes with a famous prayer linked directly with action.