Saturday, June 30, 2012

Resources for those who are grieving

Grieving is something everyone experiences.  

At you will find some resources that will help you when you grieve, and also help you help others as they grieve in a way that connects them to God. 

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Lutherans in Australia according to the Census

In 2011 the Australian Bureau of Statistics undertook a census of the entire Australian population.  

Those indicating that their religion is Lutheran is as follows.     

State 2011 2006 Change % change Capital City % Country %
SA 71427 71249 178 0.25% 38533 53.95% 32894 46.05%
Vic 41498 42420 -922 -2.17% 23703 57.12% 17795 42.88%
WA 13135 11948 1187 9.93% 9465 72.06% 3670 27.94%
NT 7900 7505 395 5.26% 1652 20.91% 6248 79.09%
Qld 79179 76694 2485 3.24% 34120 43.09% 45059 56.91%
NSW 33091 35344 -2253 -6.37% 16966 51.27% 16125 48.73%
ACT 3480 3746 -266 -7.10% 3480 100.00% 0 0.00%
TAS 2210 2188 22 1.01% 952 43.08% 1258 56.92%
Australia 251920 251094 826 0.33% 128871 51.16% 123049 48.84%

What do this figures tell us?
Are we still the rural church?
How doe these figure correspond to out membership records and worship attendance?
What do these figures mean for mission and ministry?

Christian views and responses to Gay marriage

The topic of Same Sex/Gay/Homosexual marriage has become one the hottest discussion points not only in Australia, but in various other places around the world.   Below is a collection of resources that may help you as a Christian or Christian Lutheran to form an opinion, defend a position and hear the various voices for and against homosexual marriage so you gain a greater understanding of where Christian pastoral care is needed.   

If you have some other suitable resources that you believe will help others feel free to send them to me at  

Lutheran Church of Australia's position
Press release
Doctrinal Statement on Marriage
Theological opinions

Denominational perspectives on homosexuality

Centre for Public Christianity -  John Dickson's thoughtful discussion on Gay Marriage 

Gay Marriage? from CPX on Vimeo.

Australian Christian Lobby webcast recording of Defining Marriage

Statement by 19 churches in Australia

a discussion on the biblical view of homosexuality including homosexual marriage

From ChristianAnswers God's plan for sexuality

Gay Marriage - one Christian's perspective

From the Gay Christian Network
Ron's view that gay people should remain celibant
Justin's view that God blesses gay marriage

Lutheran (LCMS) view of Gay Marriage
from Higher Things

Lutheran Church Missouri Synod
What does the bible say about homosexuality?
Views on Marriage and Human sexuality?

Should we support Gay Marriage?  NO Wolfgart Pannenberg

What does the theology of the cross say about gay marriage ban
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America support of Same Sex Marriage news report
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America report on Human Sexuality

Real Marriage by Peter Jensen from the Anglican Church Sydney Diocese
Andrew Corbett discussion on same sex marriage in the context of family

Gay Marriage in the bible - bible study from Christian Gays
Biblical arguments against Gay Marriage

Neil Hart -  A pastor of the Lutheran Church of Australia, thoughts and reflections

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Video resource: Father's love letter

What is Father's Love Letter?
Father's Love Letter is a compilation of Bible verses from both the Old & New Testaments that are presented in the form of a love letter from God to you. Each line in the Father's Love Letter message is paraphrased, which means we have taken each Scripture's overall message and summarized it as a single phrase to best express it's meaning. We have heard testimonies from thousands of people all over the world who have had a life-changing encounter with God while experiencing the message found in Father's Love Letter. Since 1999, this message has been downloaded from our website in 99 languages from people in almost every nation. It has also appeared as full page newspaper ads and has even been delivered home to home in entire countries

Visit to look at this video and other resources.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Book: The Church Comes from All Nations: Luther Texts on Mission

The Church comes from all nations: Luther's texts on mission is a collection of key excerpts from the writings of Martin Luther on Christian missions. 
Drawing from Martin Luther's lectures, sermons, treatises, hymns, and devotional writings, the author presents the excerpts according to themes and provides commentary on the reformer's understanding of mission in the world.

Contents include:

I. Biblical Foundation for Mission
All Christians from the patriarchs to us ourselves are called to mission
Steadfastness in faith leads toward a missionary expansion of faith
Abraham was effective as a missionary in Egypt
Jacob preaches to the Gentiles
Mary and Joseph were missionaries in Egypt like the Wise Men were in their land. Persecution leads to the expansion of the church.
On the missionary effectiveness of the treasurer in Africa
A Christian lives for the sake of proclamation
Every Christian is bound by duty to give a missionary witness
The missionary witness is linked to prayer
The movement that began with the apostles continues until Judgment Day
As a stone that falls in the water
The kingdom of Christ is a constant happening
We are still calling today
The preaching of Christ is God’s blessing for all people—as preaching of Law and Gospel
The whole of theology is therein summarized
The preaching of repentance and forgiveness of sins addresses all people
Reformation of mission practice

II. Practical Realization of Mission
Congregational work with missionary orientation
Missionary forms of liturgy
Catechetical instruction as preparation for missionary witness
The singing of Christian songs as Gospel witness
Mission prayers
Your kingdom come
Lord, convert
The missionary witness toward the Jews
Biblical teaching and Christian life must come together
Common hearing of the witness of the Bible
The missionary conversation must not demand too much of our Jewish partners
Luther reports on his conversations with Jews
The meaning of the Reformation for the Jewish mission
Instructions on the Baptism of a Jewish maiden
Conversion or banishment
The missionary witness toward the Turks
The missionary responsibility of the pastoral office
How righteous Christians should confront the Turks
It is chiefly a spiritual confrontation
The Qur’an is to be tested by the witness to Christ
Prisoners of war as missionaries

III. The History of Mission
The mission stretches through all time from the beginning to the end of the world
From the beginning of the world, Christ has been preached and believed
The different religions must be derived from the one true religion
Only the preaching of Christ actually makes God known
The movement of the Gospel through the world before the coming of the end
The end of the preaching of the Gospel is near
The church of God must resist the church of Satan
Mission and reformation are very closely connected. This is already demonstrated by the biblical example of Egypt.
The church always lives in severe tribulation
The last confrontation between church and antichurch
The worldwide gathering of the people of God
How Christianity spread through the world
The gathering of a people of God from all peoples
Now there are still many islands and lands that have been newly discovered
God fulfills his promise in the history of mission

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Something to think about: the importance of team.....

In Australian Rules Football......Gary Ablett jnr.  is curently considered one of the superstars of the game...He regularly accumulates statistics quicker than the cookie monster eats cookies.....last week he scored a very high 53 disposals...that is huge....(see an article on how good he is )   but here is the problem....Australian Rules Football is a team sport.....Gary Ablett jnr is a team player....but the rest of his team (Gold Coast Suns) are not  performing anywhere near the performance of Gary the team is has one game after 10 games this season it sits 17th (in an 18 team competition) with one win.   Why?   because it takes a team contributing to fulfill their mission of winning games.

Now translate this into congregational life....if one (or maybe 2 or 3) are putting in a lot of effort, no matter how good they are, the congregation and church will still struggle.....why because it takes everyone contributing.....not just one or two....

This concept is not just good organisational practice, it is a spiritual concept.....

Take a look at 1 Corinthians 12.......

Key verse 1 Corinthians 12:27......Now you are the body of Christ and each one of you is part of it....

Think about yoru congregation
What will it take for you to have more people involved in your congregation's mission and vision?

Saturday, June 02, 2012

Free bible story illustrations and photos

Free bible images is making available free photos and illustrations relating to bible stories......their quality is very good

This is what they are about.....
To create a visually accurate journey through the Bible as a resource for teaching all ages – available for free download by anyone, anywhere at any time.

  • This resource is free to all users. There is the option to donate for those who want to fund the development of further Bible story images.
  • FreeBibleimages is run by committed Christians. However, we give you the Bible reference for any set of Bible story images, but no message or commentary to accompany them so we remain free of any language, doctrinal or denominational bias.
  • We aim to make the images as historically, geographically and culturally as accurate as possible.
  • This resource is intended to be timeless and suitable for any age group or culture across the world.

FreeBibleimages is the vision of a group of Christians in England who found there were few visual resources to help parents, teachers, lay people or clergy teach Bible passages. We attempted to create images as though someone with a digital camera had been at there at the time. The images on our site can be viewed on any computer or large handheld device such as an iPad. They can be projected onto screens, monitors, smartboards and TVs as a visual aid in retelling Bible stories and events to any age group.
The current team of FreeBibleimages is:
  • John Horncastle (Chairman)
  • Raphe Palmer (Finance)
  • Paul Thompson (Creative Director)
  • Alan Bird (Database)
  • Gary Adams (Marketing)
  • Gill Thompson (Editorial)
The images are created by Tim Wilson an experienced photographer and digital retouching expert and Malcolm MacKinnon a portrait artist who works digitally. Both are Christians worshipping in Churches in England. We have the goodwill of Peter Hutley and the Wintershall players to use their costumes and facilities to shoot scenes for Bible stories. Our Web site is developed by David Gosnell, at Goznet Systems, who has developed web sites for many Christian organisations.
FreeBibleimages is a registered charity in the UK under the umbrella of the Seedbed Trust. Reg. Charity No. 1108363.