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Presbyterian Pulse – August/September 2012 Issue

Latest news from the Presbyterian Church of Australia in the State of New South Wales.
Download or open the pdf here.
I’ve missed posting links to the last couple of these, but past issues are still available at the PCNSW website.

Congratulations to Trevor Cheetham on his appointment as State moderator for the next year.

In this issue:

  • School Chaplaincy program safe for now: But PY urges prayer as further potential High Court action is threatened.
  • Vale: Rev Robin Turner: We pay tribute to a minister who stood for Jesus and made an impact on countless people.
  • Charities and Churches: Federal Government planning to intervene.
  • Work and prayer: Our ethicist John McClean continues his column on what the Bible says about work; while Bruce Meller discusses prayer and who should be doing it.
  • Re-tired? No, re-treaded: NSW ministry team Rod and Dawn Mallinson have joined PIM’s new Kimberley Patrol in WA.
  • PLUS: Three special lift-outs provide all the news from three unique ministries – Presbyterian Inland Mission; Presbyterian Aged Care and Presbyterian Youth


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Presbyterian Pulse – February / March 2012 Issue

News from the Presbyterian Church of Australia in the State of New South Wales.
Download or open the pdf here.
With this issue The Pulse moves to a bi-monthly (every two months) publishing schedule. You can read the background behind this change, as well as some more information about the new AP magazine in this issue.

  • Presbyterian Publishing: Change and growth for both our national journal AP and our State magazine The Pulse in 2012.
  • Christian medico appointed to Allowah: Former Westmead senior nurse Scott Hurren is Allowah Presbyterian Children’s Hospital’s new Executive Director of Nursing – and he’s a Christian.
  • Advanced training status for Timothy: The Timothy Partnership has been accredited to offer a Certificate in Theology in 2012 – and you can do it from home!
  • Where we stand on same sex marriage: David Jones. Bruce Christian. Jen Law.
    Why the Bible doesn’t support marriage between same sex couples and how God helped a Presbyterian woman find her way home.
  • Focus on world missions: We welcome the Australian Presbyterian World Mission (APWM) to the pages of The Pulse.
  • PLUS: Chris Balzer shares the goods news of a marriage made in Heaven – between Presbyterian minister Granville Pillar and his new
    wife Ibolya.

Just the thing to read during those slow moments of committee meetings.


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A Remarkable Story About What God Is Doing In Egypt (via Tall Skinny Kiwi)

Andrew Jones, the Tall Skinny Kiwi recounts the following story, heard from multiple sources, about what God is doing in Egypt.
I liked it.

Some stories go viral because they somehow capture the heart of whats going on. This one has been told to me here in Egypt a few times now, by different people. I ask about the revolution and what God might be doing. They reply . . “I tell you a story.” And tears well up in their eyes and they choke their way through this story.
Here’s the story.

On January 5, 2011, a woman runs into a church and prays loudly, disturbing all the Orthodox Christians. She falls on the floor and shouts out,
“God I have prayed to you and you have not heard me. But now I pray to you, Jesus. Save my son.”
“The church does what any church would do – they call security. They thought she might have a bomb. The police arrive and take her away for questioning. She tells the police her son, Mohammed, was innocent of a drugs charge but sent to jail. For 25 years he has been in prison. Her prayers for his release have gone unanswered. Now she wants to ask Jesus.
They let her go. A few weeks later, on January 28th, she has a dream. She sees Jesus standing there and He says, “Here is your son!”
Then she wakes up and her son walks in to her room. It’s really him. The revolution has broken out and the prison was burned, the prisoners walked out and so he came home. The mother is so overjoyed she goes to where the revolution is taking place and joins the “mosh”, shouting to everyone, “Jesus is God! Jesus is God!”
As for her son’s court case to determine if he should return to jail or not, well . . the court burned down and all the papers were destroyed. There is no record of her son. He is free. He is free indeed.


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Tom Cannon’s Blog – A Cold Day In Hades

Tom Cannon was part of the Presbyterian Church of Victoria in the 80’s and early 90’s. He was gone before I got there, but I think he was a guest at one of the family camps for pastoral families that the PCV host.
He’s long since returned to the USA where he currently pastors Red Mountain Church. I’ve recommended Red Mountain Church’s music previously.
Recently, perversely challenged by the notion that blogging is no longer fashionable, he has commenced a blog.
Like many of his people, he tells a good story.
Such as this one.

HT: Andrew Clarke.


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Australian National School Chaplaincy Program Review 2011

The Australian Federal Government, as part of its commitment to extend funding for the National School Chaplaincy Program (in both duration and scope) until December 2014 undertook to a process of national consultation to review the program.
The discussion paper for the review has just been released and submissions about the program are open until March 18, 2011.
The report contains a comprehensive overview of the program and also suggests particular areas in which feedback and opinion are being sought, particularly in the area of qualifications for chaplains and the function of the role in schools. (These two are somewhat overlapping, as qualifications will be expressed in function.) One feature of the program so far has been the capacity for schools to tailor the role to meet their particular needs or strengths. The discussion paper features a lot of observations about the program drawn from a number of sources. Of its 32 pages, 22 are given over to the body and appendices of the report and the remaining 10 pages provide a template for the submission process.
The government currently support the program. From the discussion paper:

The National School Chaplaincy Program (the program) commenced in 2007 to support schools to establish or expand school chaplaincy services. The Gillard Government recognised the valuable contribution this program makes to many Australian Schools. It has made the commitment that all schools currently receiving funding under the program will continue to receive funding until the end of the 2014 school year and that up to 1000 additional schools will receive funding for three years from 2012-2014.

From the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations website:

National Consultation Process

The national consultation process is considering the achievements and effectiveness of the National School Chaplaincy Program, its relationship with other student support activities, and canvassing stakeholder views in relation to future chaplaincy and pastoral care services. A number of issues are being examined including:

  • Achievements of the program
  • Relationship with other student support activities
  • What is/ is not working well
  • Current and future needs
  • Potential target group(s)/ priority areas
  • Possible future program options
  • Funding model/ mechanisms and funding requirements

The national consultation process will include two stages:

  • Stage One – Stakeholder Meetings
  • Stage Two – Public Discussion Paper

The first stage of the national consultation process involved meetings with key stakeholders around Australia.
A Discussion Paper has been developed on the basis of perspectives and issues raised in the stakeholder meetings. The Discussion Paper provides an overview of the information provided and proposes options for the future.

Responses to the Discussion Paper are now invited from all interested parties. This process is open until 18 March 2011 and all comments received will be collated and analysed for the development of future program options.

Responses
If you would like to provide a response to the Discussion Paper, a questionnaire has been developed to assist you.
You can also provide a response or comments by the following methods:

  • email the NSCP Consultation mailbox chaplaincyconsultation@deewr.gov.au
    or
  • post to:

    NSCP Consultation
    Australian Government Department of Education,
    Employment and Workplace Relations
    GPO Box 9880
    Adelaide SA  5001

Updates and further information on the consultation process will be available on this website as the process progresses. If you have any questions in relation to the national consultation process, please contact:


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Australian Presbyterian Magazine Available Online At Alliance Of Confessing Evangelicals

Congratulations to the team at Australian Presbyterian magazine for getting a shout-out on the Reformation21 blog.
AP is co-hosted at the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals website, and the February 2011 issue is available there as a pdf for immediate viewing.

Robert Brady writes:

Did you know that The Magazine of the Presbyterian Church of Australia is co-hosted at AllianceNet.org?  The February issue is titled “in the beginning” and offers articles titled:
Did you know that The Magazine of the Presbyterian Church of Australia is co-hosted at AllianceNet.org? The February issue is titled “in the beginning” and offers articles titled:
MORE THAN HISTORY: Historical facts are just the start of God’s revelation.
DUD RECIPE: Despite six decades of scientific effort, nothing’s cooking in Darwin’s kitchen.
A SURPRISING TESTIMONY: Corroboration of the Bible from ancient China
CLIMATE QUESTIONS: The science and politics are far from simple.
TRIUMPH IN WEAKNESS: The most encouraging of Christ’s many paradoxes
It also includes Bible study, news, book reviews, and prayer requests. If you enjoy this, encourage our brothers by emailing manager@ap.org.au.

If you’ve never read a copy of AP, or haven’t read one for a while, here’s a good way to access our national magazine.


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The Silence After The Storm (via Andrew Clarke, North Toowoomba Presbyterian)

Andrew Clarke, pastor of the North Toowoomba Presbyterian Church offers this reflection on the aftermath of the devastating storm and flash-flood which swept through the town last week.
Copied from Andrew’s Facebook page.

The Silence After the Storm
by Andrew Clarke on Saturday, January 15, 2011 at 10:29am
[Andrew has written this piece for his local paper (for 20th January).]

After the Toowoomba Tsunami, silence is a luxury.
I watch the sudden profusion of butterflies in the front garden, and think of the chaos theory that says that all the destruction around us can be traced back to the flap of one of their wings. Have they come to confess their shame or to admire their power?
But then the thumping rescue helicopters rise again from Murphy’s Creek, where only the army can penetrate the devastation. What have they found? We prepare ourselves for pain, like when the phone rings in the middle of the night.
A morbid curiosity has kept us turning back to the television for days. It is called “news” but really seems like entertainment. Another scene, another development, another statistic. We love and hate the drama.
Our political leaders assure us of their “thoughts” with hardly a mention of “prayers”. The bottom line, they say, is that we have the ability to get through this together.
Yet according to Jesus, this is not the moral of the story. The calamities of this world serve to awaken us to the fragility of our lives. They point us to a safety that does not depend on the weather or our health and possessions. All of this can be swept away, and will be sooner or later, but the rescue that Jesus gives lasts forever.
Our hearts ache for those who have lost family and friends. We should do all we can for those whose homes and livelihoods have been destroyed. But the deliverance we all need is one that only Jesus can provide. He said, “In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
Jesus presents us with the astonishing prospect of a new and perfect creation. When He calmed the waves and healed and fed, He was showing us a crack in the wall into His eternal kingdom. When He died for our sins and rose again for our salvation, He was opening the door to this future. Now is the time to pray for this to be yours – in the silence after the storm.