News Stand

Newsstand 16 - 22 April

The Melbourne Anglican Foundation's donations to bushfire-affected communities in Gippsland and Wangaratta dioceses aid recovery; the crucial role of hospital chaplains during COVID-19; is coronavirus an act of God?; looking back at rock star and former church chorister Nick Cave's view on religious belief; and more ...

April 22 2020

The April edition of The Melbourne Anglican (TMA) is now 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.

 

Generosity to fire-affected strangers ‘humbling’

Anglicans giving through the Melbourne Anglican Foundation, and donors across the world, have contributed well over $115,000 to the Diocese of Gippsland’s Diocesan Emergency Relief Fund to assist people during and after the summer 2020 bushfires, while donations to the Foundation have assisted fire-affected communities in the Diocese of Wangaratta, such as Corryong, with repairs and fencing for damaged properties, counselling services and continuing Anglican ministry.

 

Role of hospital chaplains ‘has never been so crucial’

Hospital chaplains are playing a vital role during the COVID-19 pandemic. With patients confined to their rooms and allowed only one visitor a day, patients are feeling very isolated and even claustrophobic, the Revd Chris Morris, Anglican chaplain to the Alfred Hospital, told TMA. They need not just spiritual and pastoral care from the chaplain, but also companionship. And staff also need more pastoral care than normal, given the stressful situation.

 

Deciding who lives and dies

A shortage of ventilators in Italy and Spain has forced doctors to make heartbreaking decisions about who lives and dies during the COVID-19 outbreak. This problem may spread to more countries as the pandemic gets worse. Christian ethicists have a responsibility to contribute to the development of appropriate policies to guide their practice, argue two British academics.

 

Sharing the bread and wine on Zoom

Churches services on Zoom have become standard practice in the new age of social distancing. But what are the challenges involved in taking communion over the internet?

 

A lucky escape for travellers as pandemic hits Sri Lanka

Bert and Marlene Thurgood, parishioners at St Aidan’s Noble Park, were left stranded in Sri Lanka as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and were lucky to get home. The Thurgoods were enjoying a relaxing holiday when their airline, Singapore Airlines, abruptly cancelled all flights out of the island. Had it not been for a generous travel agent, they may have been stuck there. 

 

Now is a time for compassion

In a crisis of this kind we must not forget we are a community, and that the most vulnerable – those who are unable to put food on the table, pay their bills and rent – need our support now, writes Brotherhood of St Laurence Executive Director Conny Lenneberg.

 

Beyond binaries in COVID-19 discussions

The COVID-19 lockdowns raise an important issue — what is government for and how much power does it need? Jesuit priest and lawyer Justin Glyn says in this piece for Eureka Street that we must imagine a relationship between government and people that is not limited to a cruel liberty/oppression dichotomy.

 

No, the coronavirus is not an act of God

University of Cambridge Old Testament scholar Katharine Dell writes that rather than calling the coronavirus an act of God, or trying to understand it in those terms and blaming God for it, "let us find God in the midst of our suffering, alongside us in our hour of need". "And then, when a brighter day does eventually come — and it will come — let us rejoice in the fact that, ultimately, life triumphs over death."

 

From the archive: In the dark with the light behind him — Nick Cave interview

Australian-born, British-based rock star Nick Cave, who spent three years singing in the cathedral choir in Wangaratta where he grew up and went to Sunday school, talks to British religious writer Peter Stanford about life, music and belief in this 2003 interview from the Church Times archives.

 

Practices of resistance: How not to respond to the lockdown

We’re facing new challenges, establishing new habits, and encountering new temptations. How do we sustain life in a season of involuntary isolation? So conscious of what is prohibited, how do we cultivate what is possible? How do we resist the pathologies of this new time, and live lives of resurrection? What does it look like for Christians to live faithfully in the midst of confinement?