2 - 8 May
"We've all been asleep on the watch when it comes to the persecution of Christians," says British foreign secretary; in the lead-up to the federal election, what are the major parties promising older Australians?; and a wide-ranging Q&A with Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby.
May 8 2019
Pervasive persecution of Christians, sometimes amounting to genocide, is ongoing in parts of the Middle East, and has prompted an exodus in the past two decades, according to a report commissioned by the British foreign secretary, Jeremy Hunt. Hunt, an Anglican, has made the issue of Christian persecution one of the major themes of his foreign secretaryship.
Hear Sandra Hills, CEO of Anglican aged care provider Benetas, discussing last week’s announcements by the major parties on delivering better services for older Australians, with Ian Yates, CEO of Council on the Ageing Australia, and host Fran Kelly on the ABC’s Radio National Breakfast.
The triennial meeting of the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC) in Hong Kong – comprising bishops, clergy and laypeople from across the world – has approved new guidelines to “enhance the safety of all persons – especially children, young people and vulnerable adults – within the provinces of the Anglican Communion”. The guidelines were drawn up by the Safe Church Commission, chaired by Sydney barrister Mr Garth Blake SC, which was established following a request by the ACC at its previous meeting in Lusaka, Zambia, in April 2016.
After nine years at the helm of Australia’s oldest continuous organisation, Dr Greg Clarke has announced he will be stepping down from his position as CEO of Bible Society Australia. Dr Clarke told staff and supporters that he felt like his role at the 202-year-old Bible Society was one he had “prepared for my whole life”.
Early in the Israel Folau controversy, Simon Smart from the Centre for Public Christianity spoke to Uniting Church minister the Revd Bill Crews about how Christians should talk about their faith in public. Hear the interview here.
Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby has shared his thoughts on a wide range of issues during an evening Q&A session in Hong Kong on 1 May. Archbishop Welby answered question about President Donald Trump, Brexit, the Anglican church’s colonial legacy, the efficacy of being a leader of the United Kingdom’s established church, the future of the church, his recent visit to China and his prayer life.
Last month, the South Sudan Council of Churches launched its new website through a slideshow featuring photos from the site reflecting the idea of embracing peace. Several heads of churches attended to express their support for the council and its latest mode of strengthening communication with its members and with peace supporters across the globe. The new website features a definition of the collective church: “By its very nature, the church is a peacemaker,” the site reads. “It is who we are, not just a project that we do. Peace is more than just the absence of war, and we commit ourselves to this long-term process lasting decades.”
In 1997 the Tenison Woods Education Centre (a ministry of the Sisters of St Joseph in the village of Lochinvar in the Hunter Region of New South Wales) invited poet Les Murray to be the guest speaker at its annual dinner. He assented, and he was a delightful guest. Read more in this reflection by Tracey Edstein in Eureka Street.
Rachel Held Evans, a popular progressive Christian writer and speaker, died on 4 May at age 37 after a brief illness. Evans is best known for her popular blog and best-selling books, including the New York Times best-seller A Year of Biblical Womanhood, Searching for Sunday and, most recently, Inspired. She also served on President Obama’s Advisory Council on Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships.
The Great War presented clergymen with the ultimate test of faith: reconciling the benevolence of God with the greatest conflict in modern history. Emily Gibbs, who works at the Australian War Memorial, is conducting research into war relics and religious faith. Read more about her research in this short piece.