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5-12 December

Archbishop Freier calls on people to cut through the distractions around Christmas to reach its central meaning; institutions put on notice over redress; and Episcopalians remember a Genesis moment in space exploration 50 years ago.

December 12 2018


‘A Time for Joy and Peace’: Archbishop Philip Freier's Christmas Message

Watch and read Archbishop Freier’s 2018 Christmas message, in which he says that while Christmas can be sentimentalised, trivialised and challenged by the pressures of ordinary life, reflecting on Jesus Christ and how He fulfilled the promises of God is inspiring.


Threat to name and shame sex abuse redress laggers

The Age reports that non-government institutions that have not signed up to the National Redress Scheme for survivors of institutional child sexual abuse have been warned by federal, state and territory ministers that they will be named and shamed if they do not commit.


Adapted baptism liturgy can celebrate gender transition in Church of England

The Church of England House of Bishops has said that, where churches wish to recognise a person’s gender transition, baptism would be the “natural liturgical context for recognising and celebrating their identity in Christ and God’s love” for the person.


Brisbane Anglican diocese welcoming more women than men to the priesthood

Jessica van Vonderen of the ABC reports that in the past decade, Brisbane has ordained 43 women, compared with 35 men. But one of the Queensland capital’s newest female priests says there remained issues on which the Anglican Church was "trying to catch up".


Tough times for church building new connections: Bishop Condie

Bishop Richard Condie of Tasmania writes that the controversy over the sale of some church properties, while “extremely challenging”, has increased the connections between church communities and their local community. “Confident in God’s care for each one of us, I hope these connections will continue to grow and bring renewal to the church in Tasmania,” he says.


‘No one is happy’ — C of E Bishops react to Brexit non-vote

Bishop Nick Baines of Leeds says the UK is “a very, very divided country — everyone feels betrayed” after Prime Minister Theresa May’s postponement of a parliamentary vote on her Brexit deal, Adam Becket reports for Church Times.


Surprised by Peter Singer

Listen to historian Sarah Irving-Stonebraker talk to Natasha Moore and Simon Smart on this Life & Faith podcast for the Centre for Public Christianity about how a series of Oxford lectures on ethics by Professor Peter Singer helped lead her from atheism to Christianity.


What it will take to redeem the banks

Jesuit priest Andrew Hamilton writes in Eureka Street that the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry will be successful if it leads to change within all the relationships that constitute financial institutions. “They (the institutions) must create a culture of awareness and responsibility in all their relationships.”


Why the media is unable to report on a case that has generated huge interest online

Patrick O’Neil and Michael Bachelard write in The Age that the wide dissemination online of suppressed information in a court case involving a prominent public figure highlights the challenges of the suppression regime in some high-profile cases of public interest.


‘In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth, and the earth was without form and void’: Episcopalians remember Apollo 8 mission to Moon 50 years on

A few days after hosting the state funeral of former US President George H.W. Bush, Washington National Cathedral remembers the Apollo 8 mission to the Moon, the first time humans had left Earth’s orbit, 50 years ago this month – and the spiritual meaning of exploration and the unity created by the mission’s Christmas Eve broadcast of the opening words of the Bible and the iconic “Earthrise” photo taken by astronaut Bill Anders.