Easter Message: Glenn Davies

Glenn Davies

The leader of Australia’s largest Anglican Diocese, the Archbishop of Sydney, Dr Glenn Davies, has paid tribute to those who risked their lives to perform rescues in the recent cyclone and flooding.

“Australia is a nation that honours rescuers.” Dr Davies said in his annual Easter message. “We have seen in recent days, those who selflessly rescue people from cyclone storm and flood. They have our admiration, gratitude and thanks.”

“Destructive winds wreak havoc in a moment. The TV news shows us people who have been quickly surrounded by floodwaters. How welcome are the brave faces of those who appear just in time to bring them to safety?”

Dr Davies linked their selfless acts with Easter – saying “Jesus is the ultimate rescuer. His name, in Hebrew, means ‘God saves’. There are some who would say the events on a Judean hill two thousand years ago have no relevance for the 21st century. But that first Easter tells us that Jesus is alive today and rescues those who cry to him.”

Archbishop Davies will preach at the Cathedral on Easter Day (Sunday).

In his Easter Message, Archbishop Davies urged a spiritual renewal, saying “You and I need someone to rescue us from sin and bring us back to God. Jesus is the only one who can do this. No-one who is in trouble looks at a rescuer and says – don’t rescue me. This Easter, get to know Jesus – the greatest rescuer of all.”

The main service at St Andrew’s Anglican Cathedral, Sydney Square (next to the Town Hall) on Good Friday will be at 10am led by the Dean, the Very Revd Kanishka Raffel. Archbishop Davies will preach on Easter Day (Sunday) at 10:30 am.

Anglican Church Diocese of Sydney 2017 Easter Message

Australia is a nation that honours rescuers.

We have seen in recent days, those who selflessly rescue people from cyclone storm and flood. They have our admiration, gratitude and thanks.

The need for rescue comes suddenly. Destructive winds wreak havoc in a moment. The TV news shows us people who have been quickly surrounded by floodwaters. How welcome are the brave faces of those who appear just in time to bring them to safety?

Jesus is the ultimate rescuer. His name, in Hebrew, means ‘God saves’.

There are some who would say the events on a Judean hill two thousand years ago have no relevance for the 21st century. But that first Easter tells us that Jesus is alive today and rescues those who cry to him.

You and I need someone to rescue us from sin and bring us back to God. Jesus is the only one who can do this.

No-one who is in trouble looks at a rescuer and says – don’t rescue me. This Easter, get to know Jesus – the greatest rescuer of all.

Churches grapple with questions of survival through research

A major new doctoral initiative aimed at equipping leadership in the non-western andvinay s
persecuted church has been launched by two
leading academic institutes – the Oxford Centre for Religion in Public Life (OCRPL) and the Theology department of the South African University of Stellenbosch.

The collaboration aims to research questions of mission and ministry that are central to the survival of churches under pressure and persecution. Researchers, who will work towards a PH D, will remain in their place of ministry but complete their research through study time and under the guidance of supervisors from Oxford and Stellenbosch.

The four year programme will combine internet study and four month’s worth of residential seminars.

Dr Vinay Samuel of OCRPL said: “Christian faith in the West has been undermined in the last one hundred years by the intellectual attack of the rationalist enlightenment on the reliability of the Bible and the historical reality of Jesus. This has meant that theological study in the West has been largely focused on apologetics, either by orthodox scholars addressing the sceptical questions of the rationalist to give a reason for the hope within them, or by liberal scholars finding ways to make the intellectually discredited faith “relevant” to the prevailing culture.”

Dr Samuel pointed to exponential growth of Christianity in Africa and China and the massive challenges to Christian mission and ministry in those areas. He said the questions which will be addressed by researchers are: “How can churches maintain security and freedom to witness in the face of aggressive nationalistic religions; how can churches engage with those members of those religions on the basis of common citizenship of their countries; how does Christian faith bring change and healing to those with mental, psychological and sexual problems; when people convert from one faith to another, how much continuity, if any, is to be expected in their religious outlook and personal identity; what impact has a Christian community had on the life chances of people in their neighbourhood and how; what balance should be maintained between prophetic challenge to injustice and freedom to evangelise; what practical steps can churches take to eliminate corruption, especially within its own ranks.”

Dr Samuel argued that these were not the questions raised by the average theological curriculum, but they are the questions that trouble senior Christians in non-western countries. “Answering such questions depends on careful research of available information and case studies, and on engaging the questions and perspectives of biblically-based theology with the questions and perspectives of other branches of knowledge.”

It is vital, he said, that global south church leaders have access to such research and where possible were training in researching such questions themselves.

The first seminar is being held in Stellenbosch South Africa from September 1 -22 2017.  Barnabas Fund and East Mountain Ministries South Africa are providing support for students in the programme for which applications are now welcomed.