NewsStand 11 - 17 June
Churches ease into post COVID-19 world, reflecting on racism, and what exactly is 'weird Christianity' and why are young people embracing it?
June 17 2020
The June edition of The Melbourne Anglican (TMA) – a special digital edition – is available in various formats for reading online and printing. Please click here. The Prayer Diary has not been included within the pages of TMA this month, but can be found here.
A number of Anglican churches are expected to reopen for worship in Victoria following the easing of COVID-19 restrictions, although stringent requirements for physical distancing and cleaning mean that many will remain closed.
This year, Refugee Week has been swallowed by the disruption caused by COVID-19, and by the fracturing of society in the US, writes Andrew Hamilton. "In a world where people naturally turn inwards, those who seek protection from persecution receive little public attention or sympathy," he writes in Eureka Street. "It becomes all the more important to reflect on the world of which refugees are part and why their lives matter to us." (Find some resources for Refugee Week here.)
One of the most shocking aspects of US police officers’ brutal treatment of George Floyd, which caused his death, was that it was so brazen and so calmly and routinely carried out, writes former TMA editor Roland Ashby. This suggests a fundamental and intrinsic problem of those officers seeing him as less than human. Hence the resurgence, and necessity, of the Black Lives Matter campaign.
The Catholic Church has asked some priests receiving JobKeeper to donate almost half of the payment back to the organisation. ABC Investigations has obtained letters sent to priests in the Diocese of Parramatta about the taxpayer-funded payment which ask them to hand back some of the money to help make up for a plunge in donations from parishioners.
Francis I. Andersen, an Australian scholar who spent more than 35 years analysing the syntax of the Hebrew Bible and created a powerful computer dictionary of the Scriptures’ clauses, phrases, and text segments, died last month at the age of 94. Andersen’s teaching career included two periods at Melbourne’s Ridley College.
Trinity College Theological School’s Bromby Senior Lecturer in Old Testament, Dr Rachelle Gilmour, explains how the Old Testament draws parallels to this new world we find ourselves living in.
Archbishops and bishops of the Church of England, rallying to the support of the Black Lives Matter movement, have said that it is time to “own up to” and “repent” of white privilege, within the Church as in other parts of society.
For many of us, “church” over the years has become synonymous with steeples, programs, music and attire, writes Californian pastor the Revd Samuel Rodriguez, President of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference. But to the first believers, the church meant an intimate, family-centric community of faith. "Nowadays, churches have specialised ministries for every age group ... and for life’s different stages ..." he writes. "These ministries provide a wonderful service to our community, but over time, we have allowed them to replace the home as the primary place where we learn spiritual values."
For 15 years, Archbishop of York John Sentamu, who laid up his pastoral staff on 7 June, has been among the best recognised, most loved figures in the Church of England. He’s also a man who knows what it’s like to be on the receiving end of vicious racism. Here, he speaks to BBC Wales shortly before his retirement. Archbishop Sentamu's successor, Stephen Cottrell, is to officially take up the role on 9 July.
In an era when Kanye West runs gospel-inspired services, and megachurches, like Hillsong, release chart-topping hits, these ancient Christian traditions like Gregorian chanting and renaissance choral music are, unexpectedly, having a moment. And they're not just resonating with older generations, either.