NewsStand 23 to 29 April
A Dutch resistance veteran living in Pakenham speaks about keeping the faith in wartime; Christian symbolism and Anzac Day; a Melbourne bishop reflects on how the Christian response to epidemics in the Roman Empire spurred the growth of the faith; the Archbishop of Canterbury launches a new way to bring worship into people's homes during COVID-19; and much more...
April 29 2020
The May edition of The Melbourne Anglican (TMA) 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.
Jan Vis, who worships at St James’ Pakenham, is a World War II veteran who joined the Dutch resistance. He told TMA his faith helped him get through the war and then adapt to life in Australia after he emigrated from the Netherlands in 1952. During the war he joined the Dutch underground resistance, which meant churchgoing was not feasible. “But I was boarding with people who were of my same faith so we always had evening prayers and Bible reading,” he said. “I never doubted my faith.”
As we reflect on the coronavirus crisis and its impacts on society, we must take a different approach which prioritises the well-being of all the community, not only the strong and powerful, writes the Revd Dr Ray Cleary.
Anglican Indigenous leaders have reported from around the Communion that already-stressed indigenous health systems now face pressure to perform on lower resources than non-indigenous health systems as they work to protect their people from COVID-19, the Anglican Communion News Service reports.
The coronavirus supplement should be made permanent even though such a measure won’t solve the nation’s “massive” lack of affordable rental properties, according to Anglicare Australia’s latest Rental Affordability Snapshot report. The report found that virtually all rental properties forced low-income earners in Australia to spend more than 30 per cent of their household budget on rent. This is a breach of internationally accepted benchmarks, said Anglicare Australia.
Archbishop Justin Welby of Canterbury has launched a free national phoneline as a simple new way to bring worship and prayer into people’s homes while church buildings are closed because of the coronavirus. Daily Hope offers music, prayers and reflections as well as full worship services from the Church of England at the end of a telephone line. Although thousands of churches across the UK are now running services and prayer groups online while public worship remains suspended, many people – especially older people – do not have access to the internet.
The Tamil family of four, detained on Christmas Island, had a significant win in the Federal Court this month. They were taken by Border Force from their home in the Queensland country town of Biloela to Melbourne detention centre in March 2018. An attempt to remove the family to Sri Lanka in August last was prevented by an urgent interim injunction in the Federal Court. And on 17 April, the Federal Court ordered that Immigration had failed to comply with procedural fairness for the family.
The new Anglican Bishop to the Australian Defence Force, former army colonel Bishop Grant Dibden, speaks about commemorating Anzac Day in the context of coronavirus and in the aftermath of the ADF's key role in responding to the devastating bushfires of the summer.
The Anzac Day ceremony draws directly on our Christian heritage. Every year, when we gather at dawn, we proclaim the resurrection. May we also employ the Anzac liturgical elements to pray for the spiritual renewal of our nation.
Bishop Brad Billings reflects on the early Christians' response to outbreaks of disease in the Roman Empire and that, by acting as they believed, their self-sacrificial deeds for all people was a significant factor in the expansion of the faith.
American Jesuit priest Thomas Reese said the coronavirus pandemic is a marathon, not a sprint -- and he fears his countrymen and women aren't prepared for it. "As a social scientist I confess I am very pessimistic that we can change in time to save ourselves," he writes. "As a Christian, I must believe in the power of the Spirit to lead us to conversion, for conversion is what we need ... The COVID-19 pandemic is a wake-up call for political, economic and spiritual conversion. Returning to 'normal' is not an option."