16 August 2022

4 - 10 August

Light of Christ shines through new stained-glass

Two stunning new stained-glass windows pay testament to 13 decades of ministry at St John’s Anglican Church Flinders.  

In January this year, St John’s Flinders celebrated its 130th anniversary with a wonderful parish service followed by morning tea in the gardens. It was a delight to welcome the Right Reverend Dr Paul Barker, Bishop of Jumbunna, to officiate at the service and the celebration afterwards.  

He blessed a beautiful new Bible, donated by a parishioner, and most especially, dedicated two stunning stained-glass windows which have been installed at St John’s.   


Melbourne’s western suburbs need real solutions, not an anti-trans culture war

If the Victorian Liberals are sensing a mood for change in Melbourne’s western suburbs, they’re not mistaken. 

This fast-growing, diverse region suffers from chronic underinvestment in infrastructure and was hit hard by Covid – and with federal election results showing swings of up to 10% against Labor incumbents, it’s understandable the opposition is hopeful of making inroads west of the Bolte Bridge in November’s state election. 

But the Liberals are missing the mark if they believe the west will be won over by the preselection of radical conservative Moira Deeming for the Western Metropolitan Region. 


Science has hastened and highlighted the perils of climate change, but it may not be the sole solution

The world is at a tipping point. From climate change to COVID to conflict, the future looks not just uncertain, but perilous. 

Since the steam engine and the Industrial Revolution, humanity has believed it is master of its fate. Nature was to be subdued. We wanted to get richer, live longer, and consume more. 

But there was always a cost. Even as we thought we could delay the payment. 


Charming and unapologetic: Sydney’s Anglican archbishop isn’t afraid to be out of step with the times

Kanishka Raffel’s election as Archbishop of Sydney broke the mould. His predecessors are all of European descent; his heritage is Sri Lankan. Many of those who went before him were sons of Sydney’s Anglican dynasties, and attended its sandstone schools; he moved to Australia as a boy and went to Carlingford High. 

But the most unusual thing about Raffel, in the annals of Christian archbishops, is that for the first 21 years of his life he was a Buddhist. He meditated, chanted Buddhist prayers, and went to the temple. 

But that all changed one hot, sleepless summer night, when he picked up a gospel given to him by a friend. By dawn, he was a Christian. “In a sense, it was kind of unavoidable,” he says. “I couldn’t do anything else.” 


Anglican Division over Scripture and Sexuality Heads South

At least 125 Anglican bishops gathered at the Lambeth conference in Canterbury, England, endorsed a decades-old resolution against “homosexual practice” along with a new provision that “renewed steps be taken to ensure all provinces abide by this doctrine in their faith, order, and practice.” 

The conservative Global South Fellowship of Anglican Churches launched an effort last week to have Resolution 1.10, adopted at Lambeth 1998, reaffirmed as the official stance of the Anglican Communion after 2022 conference leaders scrapped an initial plan to affirm the resolution among an array of “calls” or statements on pressing issues. 

Archbishop Justin Badi, primate of South Sudan and GSFA chair has emerged as a leading voice for conservatives and has not minced words in his criticism of liberal theology. To demonstrate their resolve, he and other conservative bishops at Lambeth refused to receive communion at services in the historic 1,400-year-old Canterbury cathedral, where Augustine served as a missionary in the sixth century. 


Sandi Toksvig says ‘lives at stake’ after anti-gay Anglican church declaration

The lives of LGBTQ+ people are at stake, the broadcaster and author Sandi Toksvig has said, after the archbishop of Canterbury affirmed the validity of a 1998 resolution that gay sex is a sin. 

In a letter to more than 650 bishops attending the once-a-decade Lambeth conference on Tuesday, Justin Welby, who is also leader of the Anglican church, said the resolution, known as Lambeth 1.10, was “not in doubt”. 

“It was a sin in 1998 and you just wanted to make clear in 2022 that no one in your finely frocked gang has moved on from that,” wrote Toksvig in her letter published on Twitter on Wednesday evening. “Seriously, with the state the world is in, that is what you wanted to focus on?” 


Religious communities in Ukraine meet with World Council of Churches, call to stop the war

In a meeting with the delegation of the World Council of Churches, the Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organizations appealed to the global fellowship of churches to raise their voices to stop the war of aggression in Ukraine. 

Led by WCC acting general secretary Rev. Prof. Dr Ioan Sauca, the WCC delegation met with the Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organizations on the 3rd of August during its visit to Ukraine, ensuring the participation of the Ukraine’s churches at the upcoming WCC assembly in Karlsruhe. 

“During the Russian aggression, your initiative to visit is very important for us and the religious society of Ukraine,” said Marcos Hovhannisyan, Bishop of the Ukrainian Diocese of Armenian Apostolic Church and chairman of the Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organizations, as he welcomed the WCC delegation. 


Explainer: Why the Unification Church has become a headache for Japan’s Kishida 

Japan’s Fumio Kishida is expected to reshuffle his cabinet on Wednesday, as his party’s ties to the Unification Church have dented public support following the assassination of former premier Shinzo Abe last month. 

Abe’s suspected killer bore a grudge against the church, alleging it bankrupted his mother, and blamed Abe for promoting it, according to his social media posts and news reports.Around a dozen other lawmakers from the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) have since disclosed connections to the church, which critics call a cult. 

The church has confirmed the suspected gunman’s mother was a member. It says it has been vilified and members have faced death threats since Abe’s shooting. 

Here’s why the church is an issue. 


Nigeria arrests men suspected of deadly church attack 

The suspected gunmen who killed dozens of worshippers during a church service in southwestern Nigeria in June have been arrested, Nigeria’s top military officer said on Tuesday, two months after the attack which shocked many in the West African nation. 

“We have arrested those behind the dastardly act in Owo,” General Leo Irabor, Nigeria’s Chief of Defense Staff, said in a meeting with local media, according to the Abuja-based Daily Trust newspapers. 

Neither Irabor nor the police who confirmed the arrest to The Associated Press provided further details into the development. The Nigerian general however said investigations are still ongoing and “in due course, the world will see them and others who are behind other daring attacks in the country.” 


New York’s Hottest Club Is the Catholic Church 

As senior churchmen seek to make Catholicism palatable to modernity, members of a small but significant scene are turning to the ancient faith in defiance of liberal pieties.  

The scene is often associated with “Dimes Square,” a downtown Manhattan neighborhood popular with a pandemic-weary Generation Z — or Zoomer — crowd, but it has spread across a network of podcasts and upstart publications.  

Its sensibility is more transgressive than progressive. Many of its denizens profess to be apolitical. Others hold outré opinions, whether sincerely or as fashion statements. Reactionary motifs are chic: Trump hats and “tradwife” frocks, monarchist and anti-feminist sentiments.  

Perhaps the ultimate expression of this contrarian aesthetic is its embrace of Catholicism.