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A New Year Prayer

Lord our God we come humbly

into your presence

at the beginning of a new year.

Our years come and go

but you remain and are always the same,

your dominion and your faithfulness,

your righteousness and mercy

have no beginning and no end.

 

You have always been there

going before us to prepare the way,

standing behind us, urging us

towards new hopes and a new creation.

Help us to walk quietly and thankfully

away from the old year.

Help us to see this New Year as you see it.

 

We confess our independence and pride.

We are sorry for our mistakes

and our failure to love as you love.

Lord grant us your forgiving grace.

Let us know your healing power.

 

We dare to believe that this is a new day

not a repeat of the year that’s gone.

In Christ we already have a new beginning.

Your presence is the promise of new life,

Your grace gives us courage,

so we come to worship and serve you today

and all the days of our lives.

AMEN

 

Rev E.A. (Ted) Curnow.

www.tedcurnow.wordpress.com

 

A Bushfire Prayer

When one member of the body is suffering, the whole body suffers with it, as we care for one another. We keep in our prayers the communities across Australia facing the heartbreak of unprecedented fires in New South Wales, South Australia, Victoria, Tasmania Western Australia and Queensland.

Bushfire Trauma

Loving God our prayers in this moment

are for those who have suffered trauma

through natural disaster or accident.

We pray especially for the victims of bushfires

in our district, State and across Australia.

 

We pray in particular for the safety

of those working on fire fronts

and for those who have lost loved ones.

Be with them in their grief and sorrow.

Comfort their torn hearts, heal their memories

and allow hope to visit then again.

 

We pray for those who have lost their homes or property.

As they grieve the loss of treasured personal possessions,

farm equipment, fences, live-stock, hay and feed,

help them know they are not alone.

Bring comfort and at this time restore their hope.

 

We pray for those who are helping others

to  bring the pieces of life together again,

Councillors and helping agencies.

Give us grace to stand with one another

and to listen in a way that respects human dignity.

 

We pray for ourselves as we realize how vulnerable we all are.

Through the ashes and tears renew our awareness

of our need to look to you for wisdom, strength and guidance.

 

These prayers we pray through Jesus our Lord

who inspires our compassion, and through the Holy Spirit

who even now heals the broken hearted.

AMEN.

Rev E.A. (Ted) Curnow.

www.tedcurnow.wordpress.com

United Methodist (USA) - proposed move to separation

The Confessing Movement (within the United Methodist Church) has released the following statement and information concerning the proposed move to amicable separation.

"Confessing Movement Executive Director Patricia Miller has been participating in meetings with representatives from diverse groups of United Methodists for several months regarding a plan for amicable separation. An agreement has been reached by the participants with unanimous support. Following is the official press release which includes links to a FAQ sheet and the Signed Protocol statement."

See their website

or the link below to the Official Press Release from the UMC Bishops.

UMC Bishops Press release

ACC Prayer Retreat, Poatina, Tasmania

Dates: February 24 - 26

Location: Poatina, Tasmania 

One of the three aims of the ACC Prayer Network is “ to encourage congregations to be a people of prayer and fasting so that together we may discern God’s will for the ACC".

The ACC Prayer retreat is aimed at helping members discern the Lord’s whispers for not only our own lives, but also corporately.

On the Tuesday there will be a workshop with teaching and practice on enjoying God’s whispers as God’s family.  On the Wednesday, there will be more of a retreat day with a focus on rest and listening to the Lord for our own life, but also together for direction for the ACC.   

Both days will be facilitated by the excellent leaders - Kathryn and Peter Yaxley.  

Download the flyer for more information.

Rev Anne Hibbard, ACC Prayer Network Convenor

Evangelism and Outreach in the Uniting Church

Rev Steve Everist considers the place and nature of evangelism in the UCA today.

Check out the ACC YouTube Videos - including Gospel and Grace series, and Marriage

See the ACC YouTube for videos for use in your church or small group, including conference presentations and the DVD Series that were provided to congregations: see link below

Gospel and Grace

Marriage

A New Heaven and a New Earth

Progressive or Regressive Christianity?

Rev Ted Curnow provides a personal reflection and account of the development and influence of 'progressive Christianity' in the context of the Uniting Church.

Available as a PDF(5 pages)

or link 

Total Truth: A review

Is religion only a private matter, or does God belong in the public arena?

Total Truth by Nancy Pearcey, in examining this question, follows in the line of, and further develops, Francis Schaeffer’s How Should We Then Live and Charles Colson’s How Now Shall We Live, both of which would be known to many readers.

Subtitled Liberating Christianity from Its Cultural Captivity, Total Truth presents a readable and insightful challenge to evangelical Christians to understand all of society and life through a Christian (biblical) worldview rather than a secular one Christians have adopted. That secular worldview is limited to our culture and binds Christians, who restrict their faith to only the private sphere, leaving it at Church each Sunday.

As our worldview governs our thinking, Pearcey encourages readers to develop and apply a biblical worldview to all of life, arguing that this gives us “a biblically informed perspective on all reality,” – a Total Truth – which enables us to see things more clearly and which we can take into our daily life and the world in which we live, i.e., the public sphere. In this way, Christianity is able to challenge, redeem and renew culture. 

Total Truth comprises 4 parts.

Part 1 explains how to build a Christian worldview by starting at the beginning – in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth – and the Bible’s teaching that God is the only source of the whole created order, and seeing all of history through Creation, Fall, and Redemption.

From here Part 2 examines Creation and science;

Part 3 the decline of Christian thought over the ages;

and Part 4 how to apply a Christian worldview, and integrate our faith, in all of life and daily living under the Lordship of Christ.

Pearcey shows what this Total Truth means for areas of family, business, public policy, education, arts, science, music, law, politics and Christian involvement in society. She “walk(s) you through practical, workable steps for crafting a Christian worldview in your own life and work” and applying it “to cut through the bewildering maze of ideas and ideologies we encounter in a postmodern world. The purpose …. is nothing less than to liberate Christianity from its cultural captivity, unleashing its power to transform the world.”

She believes:

“The most effective work …. is done by ordinary Christians fulfilling God’s calling to reform culture within their local spheres of influence – their families, churches, schools, neighbourhoods, workplaces, …. and civic institutions.”

Although written in 2004, Total Truth is a book highly relevant today. The foundation and explanations laid down by Pearcey are most helpful for Christians  in the present day in understanding that God belongs in the public arena and   in their responding to the push to exclude the Christian faith from the public square.

There is also a study guide edition to Total Truth available – which would be a practical way of reading the book and understanding its message.

Owen Davis is an active ACC member in South Australia.

2019 ACC AGM and Conference News and Presentations

I am not ashamed of the Gospel, for it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes. (Romans 1: 16)

The 2019 ACC Conference and AGM was held 23-25 September in Queensland. 

Brief AGM and ACC News

Download the Brief ACC e-News edition with details of the unconfirmed special resolution approved by the AGM. (1 page PDF)

Keynote presentations (Papers and Video) will be provided here when available.

James Parker - Monday night 23 September: I Am Not Ashamed of the Gospel.

James Parker provides his personal testimony to illustrate the power of the Gospel.

The Video of Jame's presentation and questions is available now.

James Parker Paper (Printed version - PDF 5 pages). James has provided a PDF of his PowerPoint presentation 

Bible Study: I'm Not Ashamed of the Gospel - Tuesday 24 September 2019

Presented by Rev Anne Hibbard - download available for different age groups (2 pages PDF)

Rev Dr Hedley Fihaki presentation - Tuesday 24 September 2019

A biblical excursion on Not Being Ashamed of the Gospel: Romans 1: 16

Video Presentation

Paper (6 pages PDF)

Wendy Francis - Wednesday Morning: 25 September 2019

Action Points for a Public Christian (PDF 2 pages).

Wendy has kindly provided a quick reference guide to the many areas of concern she raised in her presentation.

Rev. Rod James - Resources from Message: Preaching on Wednesday 25 September 2019

Four Important Questions (PDF Booklet 2 pages)

The Core Business of Jesus and the Church (PDF 4 pages)

The Arise Team is prayed for during the 2019 ACC Conference 

 

 

Lenten Studies 2019

ACC Members may like to consider using these Lenten Studies prepared by Leigh Harkness drawing from D.A. Carson’s commentary on The Gospel According to John. Leigh has kindly made them available for wider use. 2019 Lenten Study Series (6 studies): February 2019.

Jesus' Farewell Message (PDF 12 pages - printable in A4 format)