29 September 2023

City on a Hill hoping to spark action with Left and Right Conversations

Guy Mason is the senior pastor of City on a Hill. Image: Supplied.

Kirralee Nicolle

18 August 2022

Interviews with key figures on the left and right of issues such as gender equality and refugees gives an opportunity to talk about Jesus, City on a Hill senior pastor Reverend Guy Mason says.

Mr Mason said in Left and Right Conversations, he wanted to explore the issues currently shaping the church. He said the topics of discussion had been chosen from submissions by the congregation. They also include such issues as euthanasia, abortion and race relations.

“Underneath these big issues are big hungers for true life,” he said.

“My hope is to spark action and that people would see the opportunities and needs in this world.

“We want to be a church marked by Christlike conviction and Christlike compassion.”

He said the leadership team had been planning to run the series for the past three years, but since COVID-19 the topics they were tackling had gained new heat.

“The world became localised, digitised and even our ability to talk about issues became heated and divided,” Mr Mason said.

He said the church leadership felt it was important to enter the conversation about divisive topics to equip those in the church to talk about them. Mr Mason also said it was an issue of discipleship.

“I think it’s important that Christians are grappling with the big issues of this day,” he said.

“The question is not if we are being discipled, but who is discipling us. Are we being discipled by social media, are we discipled by a publication, or are we going to the Bible to hear what Jesus would have to say about the issues of our day?”

Mr Mason said he was also aware that the kind of topics he was raising had not always been handled well in a Christian context.

“There’s a lot of noise in our culture about what Christians believe,” he said.

“We haven’t always handled those issues well.”

Mr Mason said he had tried to get a range of people with a wide range of differing perspectives. He said he valued learning from others and hearing their stories and viewpoints.

Mr Mason has already interviewed Reverend Tim Costello and Aboriginal Christian Leader Brooke Prentis and was set to livestream an interview with Australian Christian Lobby managing director Martyn Iles on 18 August.

Left and Right Conversations includes interviews with key Christian figures in politics, as well as presentations by Mr Mason and other pastors and theologians. It also includes the opportunity for audience members to ask questions.

Discussions have so far been on the topics of Jesus in a Political Age and Transgender Rights. Still to come are the topics of Race Relations, Freedom of Religion, Gender Equality, Euthanasia, Climate Change, Free Speech, Refugees, Pro Life vs Pro Choice and The City of God.

The topic of Freedom of Religion will be presented on 28 August by Ridley dean Reverend Dr Michael Bird.

For more information about the series, see here.

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