Friday, July 31, 2015

Contemporary Lutheran Musician - Kip Fox

Kip Fox is a songwriter, a Worship Leader at St. Luke's Lutheran Church in Mesa, Arizona, and a nationally recognized Worship Leader and Clinician.  His great passion is to inspire people to worship, by writing new songs and more importantly teaching the church to sing them! offers music resources for churches

Many of his songs are available on his youtube channel 

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Book: God next door

What if God lived next door?
Would you recognise him?
Would you talk to him at the fence or avoid catching his eye?
Would you love him as you love yourself?
Simon Carey Holt has listened to the experiences of numerous men and women of faith living in a variety of urban and suburban neighbourhoods, and uncovered the spiritual possibilities of our neighbourhoods. His inspiring stories open up exciting new possibilities for 21st-century mission.

Review by Rev Peter MacPherson Anglican Priest

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Hymn Competition

As part of the 125th Anniversary Celebrations of St Paul’s Cathedral, Melbourne, an International Hymn Competition is being held to find a new celebratory Pauline hymn.
The hymn needs to have a focus on St Paul's life, theology or teachings..
The terms and conditions of the Competition are included in the Guidelines attached.
St Paul’s Cathedral acknowledges the generous support of the S. R. Stoneman Foundation in sponsoring this project.
All entries must be submitted by 5pm local Melbourne time on 18 September 2015 to:
Hymn Competition, St Paul’s Cathedral, 209 Flinders Lane, Melbourne VIC 3000 Australia
or by email to

More information is available at

Book: Thank God its Monday: Sunday's not enough

Let's face it: this generation is increasingly not waking up Sunday morning thinking, what's a great church I can go to today? Part of the problem is that for too long we've made church mostly about Christians doing spiritual stuff on Sundays. Of course, we love our Sundays, but we should be even more excited about our Mondays, because on those days God has positioned us in shop fronts, in salons, in classrooms, in playgroups, on building sites, and in boardrooms where we can engage with those who don't yet know Him. Church must be less about us and more about others. We should be empowering Christians to act as Christ in their communities Monday through Saturday. That's why Christians should be waking up on Mondays declaring, “Thank God it's Monday!” In this thought-provoking book, Paul Bartlett encourages us that can have a huge influence in our community, across our town or city, and throughout the nation. . . and it starts on Monday.

Chapters include:
They're not that just into us just yet
It's not about us
It's not about the building
It's not about the pastor
It's not just about Sundays
It's about the whole week
It's about our people
It's about serving others
A different way to transform our communities

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Book: God's word my voice - a lectionary for children

Want the children in your congregation to leave with God’s Word on their lips and in their hearts? This collection of The Revised Common Lectionary readings (Old Testament, Psalm, New Testament, and Gospel), are paraphrased for children to be read aloud in Sunday morning worship, will help kids easily read and understand the word God has for their lives. This collection of lectionary paraphrases is written in a child’s speaking voice, NOT as an adult telling a story to the children. The psalms include a refrain for the entire congregation that closely parallels to the Book of Common Prayer’s version.

This book is for:

  • congregations who are trying to engage their kids in God’s Word in worship
  • clergy who don’t have a knack for creative children’s liturgy, but the deep desire to connect with kids
  • use in additional settings, including Christian day schools, children’s chapels, family liturgies

Reviews and recommendations
“The Rev. Lyn Zill Briggs has given to us an invaluable resource that can be used to make the lectionary readings come alive for children and adults. After all, aren't we (adults) children at heart? When one reads these texts one is struck by the immediacy of the lessons. They communicate in a way that brings the stories and lessons to life. This is so because the Bible is so very alive for The Rev. Briggs. A great big thank you to Lyn for this volume that will be treasured by all who will read it and use it.”
––The Rt. Rev. Scott B. Hayashi, Episcopal Diocese of Utah

“There are so many possibilities of using this resource in worship, bible study with children, children’s chapel, or intergenerational gatherings, that this is a must have for anyone who does liturgical planning, ministry with children and youth, or intergenerational ministry. God’s Word, My Voice is a great resource for the whole church as we seek to more fully engage in what God’s Word says to each of us.”
––The Rev. Shannon Kelly, Associate for Curriculum Development, Living Compass and Acting Missioner for Lifelong Formation, The Episcopal Church

“A gift for Episcopal school chaplains and parish clergy who have been looking for a way to remain true to the richness of the lectionary but in words that young children can understand. Look no further. This is it.”
 ––Ann Mellow, Associate Director, National Association of Episcopal Schools

 “It helped improve my understanding of the Bible with excellent, clear writing. After church, I would sometimes pick up the bulletin just to re-read the lessons. I hope other readers feel the same appreciation that I do about these stories.”
––Rhys Harwood, twelve-year-old lector, Church of the Resurrection, Salt Lake City, Utah

“Instilling a heartfelt relationship with Holy Scripture is one of the primary tasks of the Christian educator, and this volume should be one of our primary resources. Within it, you’ll find our common lectionary paraphrased with uncommon sensitivity to the voices of young people, and to their roles as learners and leaders within congregations and families. And don’t be surprised if you find your adults listening and learning anew as well, as always is the case when we allow the children to lead us.”
––The Rev. Julia McCray-Goldsmith, Ministry Development Officer and Working Group Head for Discipleship Ministries, Diocese of California

“Lyn Briggs offers us a book that breaks open the words we say at baptism, “Give them an inquiring and discerning heart, the courage to will and to persevere, a spirit to know and to love you, and the gift of joy and wonder in all your works.” This book presents the lectionary in a way that our children can more fully discern and inquire the meaning of the biblical text. I believe that when we use these texts, children will enter into the wonder of the Word of God.”
––The Rev. Shawn Schreiner, Rector of Grace Church, Oak Park, Illinois and co-author of The Rite Place: Kids to Worship! Adults Do Too!

“This new lectionary for children feeds the child in us all with fresh words that are true to the Good News and true to a child’s capacity for mystery, awe, and wondering. It will be a most-excellent resource for those faith communities rich in children. It will be a most-excellent encouragement to those faith communities who yearn for children in their midst. Receive the gift––fresh voice, fresh words, fresh lives.”
            ––The Rev. Jan Smith Wood, Rector of Grace Episcopal Church, Sandusky, Ohio

Monday, July 27, 2015

Mission Planning resources

ELCA congregations have developed a number of mission planning resources that help congregations and their leaders develop mission that relates to their context and giftings.
The resources include:
Essential Background
Guiding Principles for Mission Planning
Marks of a Missional Congregation
Model for Thinking About Mission
Paradigms for Mission Renewal
Worship and Mission

Do it yourself resources 
Adaptations of 1-to-1's
Beyond Our Doors
Building a Mission Table
Congregation Life Cycle Question
Discovering Approaches to Mission
Front Porchin' Workbook
Growing Congregational Vitality
Guide to 1-on-1 Conversations
Manual for Congregational Mission Planning
Process for Discerning Purpose Statement
Read, Reflect and Respond Bible Study
Season for Prayer and Renewal
Some Basics for Evaluating
Some Basics for Planning
Story Matters

Resource Lists
For Deep
For High
For Wide
Missional Leadership Books
Resources for Going Deeper
Web site Links

Mission Planning resources are available at

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Father's Day resources

Resources for Father's Day

What the bible says about fathers day
What the bible says about fathers

Famous fathers in the bible

Article:  Father's days lessons from the Bible's lousy dads

Sermon Illustrations
Movie illustrations

Sunday school lesson

Concordia Publishing House worship resources
Worship resources from Re:Worship
Worship resources from Affrican American lectionary
Lutheran Church of Australia

Sermons - SermonCentral
Sermon:  Fatherhood of God

CBN devotions
Lutheran Spokesmen devotions


Bible Study using the video the Grace Card

This bible study around the theme of grace uses the following format:

If you would like more information please contact Pastor Richard Schwedes

The Grace Card movie also offers 4 bible studies 

Article: A ministry of the mundane

The life of a pastor is filled with high spiritual moments, but it’s mostly conducted in the quiet, ordinary routines of church life.  Daniel Darling

This article, A ministry of the mundane,  explores the reality of pastoral ministry for many that there are far great number days of the mundane than the magnificent...

Resource: A guide for Christian families - learning about sex

Learning About Sex teaches preschoolers through adults about God’s great gifts to us as males and females and how we are uniquely made to love Him and serve others.

“The Learning About Sex series has long aided parents who wish to impart godly values to their children. With this latest revision, they have done an incredible job of helping youth and adults alike understand the challenges of sexuality, relationships, and personal identity within the larger context of our faith. Sadly, many youth today, including in the Church, treat their sexuality as something entirely removed from their spiritual lives. I am pleased to say that this series grounds these delicate matters in the Word of God and does so with compassion, conviction, and enthusiasm for the blessings that come from pursuing God’s beautiful design for our lives. This deeply Christian approach to education about sex, the body, and relationships is a rare gift to the world. Every parent should seize it.”  —Daniel Weiss,

Free videos include:

  • Where to Begin
  • Teachable Moments
  • Sex and God’s Design
  • When Do I Start?
  • The Bible and Sex
  • When Does Life Begin?
  • What Are My Kids Learning?
  • Sex, More Than Mechanics
  • Sex and the Church
  • Parenting Moments
  • How Do I Protect My Children?
  • Developing an Internet Use Plan
  • Teaching Media Discernment
  • How Can I Influence My Kids?
  • What If My Teen Is Pregnant?
  • What to Do about Dating?
  • My Child Is Having Sex …
  • What about My Sexual Brokenness?
  • Hot Topics
  • What Is Sexting?
  • Is Sexting Legal?
  • Is Homosexuality Genetic?
  • Is There Pressure to Be Gay?
  • How to Respond to Homosexuality
  • The Effects of Pornography
  • Is Pornography Addictive?
  • Online Sexual Predators
  • Sex in the Media
Book resources include:
Why Boys and Girls Are Different -  Ages 3 to 5
Where Do Babies Come From? - Ages 6 to 8
How You Are Changing - Ages 9 to 11
Sex & the New You - Ages 12 to 14
Love, Sex & God - Ages 14 and up
How to Talk Confidently with Your Child About Sex

Discover more about these resources at

Friday, July 24, 2015

Brochure: Coping with Grieving

Helping people with grieving is one of the key pastoral care areas for many congregations and pastors.
This brochure 'Coping with grieving' is a summary of the grieving model from Granger E Westberg and has been used to people to understand what happens when we grieve.

The book Good Grief provides more detail about Westberg's model


Book: Jesus in John's Gospel

Jesus in Johns Gospel by Victor C Pfitzner
The portrait of Jesus in John's Gospel is unique. The gospel's language and imagery are simple, yet its message has layers of meaning not immediately apparent to modern readers. This book helps us to appreciate the dramatic quality of John's Gospel, its world of thought, it's confession to Jesus as God's special emissary. As the witness of a faith-community John's Gospel tells us less who Jesus was than who he is now - the one from above who draws us into God's very life - and invites us to meditate on this gift while worshipping the Giver.

CD: Together in Song Hymn book audio cd

Together in Song is an Australian Ecumenical Hymn Book.  They have released  cds of 80 songs played on the pipe organ accompaniments  by the organist Siegfried Fanke..

Together in Song CD 1 and 2 includes:
1 The Lord’s my shepherd, I’ll not want
2 All people that on earth do dwell
3 Sing, all creation, sing to God in gladness
4 From all who dwell beneath the skies
5 Praise the Lord, you heavens adore him
6 All creatures of our God and King
7 Now thank we all our God
8 Now thank we all our God
9 Amazing grace, how sweet the sound
10 Praise, my soul, the king of heaven
11 All things bright and beautiful
12 Eternal Father, strong to save
13 Immortal, invisible, God only wise
14 Ye watchers and ye holy ones
15 Joyful, joyful, we adore you
16 God has spoken by his prophets
17 Tell out, my soul, the greatness of the Lord
18 Praise with joy the world’s Creator
19 On Jordan’s bank the Baptist’s cry
20 Hark! the herald angels sing
21 Once in royal David’s city
22 Away in a manger, no crib for a bed
23 Ride on,ride on in majesty
1 Tune Light’s reddening through the sky
2 Jesus Christ is risen today
3 Christ the Lord is risen today
4 Yours be the glory, risen conquering Son
5 Filled with the Spirit's power, with one accord
6 Christ is made the sure foundation
7 For all the saints who from their labours rest
8 Lord Christ, at your first eucharist you prayed
9 Be thou my vision, O Lord of my heart
10 Guide me, O thou great Redeemer
11 Abide with me, fast falls the eventide
12 O perfect love, all human thought transcending
13 Lord of all hopefulness, Lord of all joy
14 Almighty God, lift up our eyes
15 Lord of creation, to you be all praise
16 Lord of the living, in your name assembled
17 May flights of angels lead you way
18 Lord of earth and all creation
19 When the light of first creation
20 Lord God, you now have set your servant free
21 Praise God, from whom all blessings flow
22 Worship, honour, glory, blessing
23 In the same night in which he was betrayed

Together in Song CD 3 and 4 includes:
1 God is my strong salvation
2 Our God, our help in ages past
3 Let us with a gladsome mind
4 Sing praise to the Lord
5 We praise, we worship you
6 Praise to the living God
7 You holy angels bright
8 God is the refuge of his saints
9 The God of Abraham praise
10 O worship the king all glorious
11 Praise to the holiest in the height
12 Father all-loving and ruling
13 Let all creation dance
14 Where wide sky rolls down
15 You servants of God
16 Love divine, all loves excelling
17 Glory to God on High
18 I will sing the wondrous story
19 We have a gospel to proclaim
20 When pain and terror strike
21 Joy to the world
1 While shepherds watched
2 At the cross her vigil keeping
3 God is gone up on high
4 Now the green blade rises
5 At the dawning of salvation
6 Lord your almighty word
7 Worship the Lord in the beauty
8 Your hand, O God, has guided
9 The church’s one foundation
10 The day you gave us
11 Rejoice in God’s saints
12 Community of Christ
13 I bind unto myself today
14 Hallelujah! sing to Jesus
15 An upper room
16 I heard the voice of Jesus say
17 What a friend we have in Jesus
18 Jesus Christ is waiting
19 A new commandment
20 Darkness lay upon the waters

Illustration/devotion: When fishermen don't fish

“When I was in high school, our family used to fish every year during spring
break. One year my brother and my mum couldn’t go, so my dad let me invite a
friend. I asked Mark. He was a good pal and a great sport. He got permission
from his parents, and we began planning our tip.
Days before leaving, we could already anticipate the vacation. We could feel the
sun warming our bodies as we floated in the boat. We could feel the yank of the
rod and hear the spin of the reel as wrestled the white bass into the boat. And
we could smell the fish frying in an open skillet over an open fire. We could
hardly wait.
Days passed like cold molasses. Finally spring break arrived. We loaded our
camper and set out for the lake. We arrived late at night, unfolded the camper,
and went to bed ---dreaming of tomorrow’s day in the sun. But, during the night,
an unseasonable strong norther blew in. It got cold fast! The wind was so strong
that we could barely open the camper door the next morning. The sky was gray.
The lake was a mountain of white-topped waves. There was no way we could
fish in that weather. “No problem,” we said. “We’ll spend the day in the camper.
After all, we have Monopoly. We have Reader’s Digest. We all know a few jokes.
It’s not what we came to do, but we’ll make the best of it and fish tomorrow.”
So, huddled in the camper with a Coleman stove and a Monopoly board, we
three fishermen passed the day---indoors.
The hours passed slowly, but they did pass. Night finally came, and we crawled
into the sleeping bags dreaming of angling. Were we in for a surprise. The next
morning it wasn’t the wind that made the door hard to open, it was the ice! We
tried to be cheerful. “No problem,” we mumbled. “We can play Monopoly…again.
We can reread the stories in Reader’s Digest. And surely we know another joke
or two.”
 But as courageous as we tried to be, it was obvious that some of the gray had
left the sky and entered into our camper. I began to notice a few things I hadn’t
seen before. I noticed that ark had a few personality flaws. He was a bit too
cocky about his opinions. He was easily irritated and constantly edgy. He couldn’t
take any constructive criticism. Even though his socks did stink, he didn’t think it
was my business to tell him. “Just looking out for the best interest of my dad’s
camper,” I defended, expecting Dad to come to my aid. But Dad just sat over in
the corner, reading. Humph, I thought, where is he when I need him? And then,
I began to see Dad in a different light. When I mentioned to him the eggs were
soggy and the toast was burnt, he invited me to try my hand at the portable
stove. Touchy, touchy, I said to myself. Nothing like being cooped up in a
camper with someone to help you see his real nature.
It was a long day. It was a long, cold night. When we awoke the next morning to
the sound of sleet slapping the canvas, we didn’t even pretend to be cheerful.
We were flat-out grumpy. Mark became more of a jerk with each passing
moment; I wondered what spell of ignorance I must have been in when I invited
him. Dad couldn’t do anything right; I wondered how someone so irritable could
have such an even-tempered son. We sat in misery the whole day, our fishing
equipment still unpacked.
The next day was even colder. “We’re going home” were my father’s first words.
No one objected.
I learned a hard lesson that week. Not about fishing, but about people. When
those who are called to fish don’t fish, they fight. When energy intended to be
used outside is used inside, the result is explosive. Instead of casting nets, we
cast stones. Instead of extending helping hands, we point accusing fingers.
Instead of being fishers of the lost, we become critics of the saved. Rather then
helping the hurting, we hurt the helpers. The result? Church scrooges. “Bah
humbug” spirituality. Beady eyes searching for warts on others while ignoring the
warts on the nose below. Crooked fingers that bypass strengths and point out
weaknesses. Split churches. Poor testimonies. Broken hearts. Legalistic wars.
And, sadly, poor go unfed, confused go uncounseled, and lost go unreached.
When those who are called to fish don’t fish, they fight. But note the other side
of the fish tale: When those who are called to fish, fish—they flourish!
Lucado, Max: In The Eye Of The Storm, W Publishing Group 

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Article: The blessing of chaplains in sport (and school and work)

Chaplaincy and pastoral care value at times can be questioned...however fortunately there is an increasing understanding of the blessings and benefits of chaplaincy and pastoral care.
Recently in Australia the senior coach of the Adelaide Crows Football Club, Philip Walsh, was allegedly killed by his son.   This devastated many people as Philip Walsh had been an assistant coach at a number of clubs.
As result of this tragedy the work of the chaplains became very apparent...take a moment to read the article...why a hard working chaplain can be a blessing to an under pressure football club 

If you are interested in sports chaplaincy visit Sports Chaplaincy Australia

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Web Site: Dr John Kleinig resources

Dr John Kleinig is a Lutheran lecturer, pastor and teacher who lectured and taught at Australian Lutheran College.  

This resource page includes talks, courses, lectures, and papers from Dr John W. Kleinig,

Full Courses include:

  • Christian Spirituality
  • Bible Introduction
  • Old Testament Theology
  • Worship
  • Liturgics
  • Psalms 
  • Leviticus

Extra Courses include:

  • 'An introduction to worship and daily chapel'
  • 'Pastoring as blessing' 
  • Pastoring as blessing  
  • Levticus at Fort Wayne
  • Grace upon Grace at Langmeil
  • Preaching on Hebrews
  • The Blood of Jesus 
  • Ecclesiastes - Joy for Workaholics
  • Exodus - From Slavery to Divine Service
  • 'The Glory and The Service: Worship in the Old Testament'
  • The Ongoing Reception of the Holy Spirit
  • Bach, The Evangelist

For these resources and many others from Dr John Kleinig visit

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Conference Recordings: Speak Lord Your servant is listening

Speak Lord Your servant is listening conference took place in Tanunda in May 2105
The main foundational theme of the conference was 'Why should we trust the Bible, and how should we interpret it?'

Speakers were Rev Dr A. Hensley, Rev Dr M. Lockwood, Rev G. Baikovs, Rev D. Kohrt

Presentation Topics were:

  • The origins of Scripture and the Formation of the Canon I & II
  • Luther’s principles of Biblical Interpretation
  • Luther and the idolatry of human wisdom
  • Methods of Biblical Interpretation in Modern Times I & II

Friday, July 10, 2015

Conference: Luther 500 festival

Luther 500 conference is an international conference will explore, positively and critically, the reception of Martin Luther’s theology today and its significance for Christianity in the future. The exploration of Luther’s theology will be three-dimensional: ecumenical, global and future-focused.

Five international Luther scholars, as well as several ALC and other Australian Luther scholars, will present papers based on original research and thought.

Presenters to date include:

  • Dr Franz Posset, - OUR Martin: Catholic sympathisers yesterday, today and tomorrow.
  • Professor Kirsi Stjerna - Luther for the future.
  • Professor James Nestingen - the contemporary significance of Luther’s teaching on the ‘communicatio idiomatum’.  
  • Professor Risto Saarinen -Luther’s theology of giving and the gift.
  • Professor Theodor Dieter - Martin Luther’s ninety five theses: reconstructing a ‘debate which did not take place’.

More presenters are to be added to the program.

Luther 500 conference is being co-ordinated by ALITE (Australian Lutheran Institute for theology and ethics), Australian Lutheran College and University of Divinity Melbourne

Dates:  28th June to 3rd July 2016

Location:  Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

For more information and to register visit

The conference is open to everyone!!

Thursday, July 09, 2015

Resource: The apostles creed - I believe I belove I belong

The apostles creed I believe I belove  l belong resource has been developed to help people explore the apostles creed deeper but in a way many people can understand.  To explore this resource visit

Saturday, July 04, 2015

Responses to same sex marriage

The same sex marriage is creating significant discussion and debate in the broader community and the Christian community.  Even amongst Lutheran Churches there is no clear and consistent agreement on this issue.

A note:  the following resources will present different views of the arguments regarding same sex marriage and whether homosexuality is sinful or not sinful.  This entry is not about us defining or supporting a position but the information is presented so you can research the area.   

The following are some responses::
Lutheran Responses to same sex marriage
Lutheran Church of Australia's statement
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
Lutheran Church Missouri Synod
Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod
North America Lutheran Church
Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada
Lutheran Church Canada
Evangelical Church in Germany
Reconciling Works - an advocacy site for LGBT in the Lutheran Church

Ecumenical summaries to same sex marriage
Pew Research - overview
A paper giving an ecumenical perspective
A summary of some Lutheran responses from around the world (Wikipedia) 

Articles relating to same sex marriage
Got Questions -  What the bible says!!
Christianity Today
Some advice from a Canadian church a helpful perspective for pastors
Australian Marriage Forum
Australian Christian Lobby
Reasonable Faith - A Christian perspective on homosexuality
In my opinion 
Religious Tolerance
Gay Christian Network
40 Questions for those who support same sex marriage - Gospel Coalition 

Bible Studies
What about homosexuality?
Changing Currents - The Bible and same sex marriage
Making Love Just
Gay (Same Sex) Marriage - Dr Andrew Corbett
What does the bible say about being gay?

If you have some further material to recommend regarding same sex marriage, from any perspective please feel free to email with the information.

Book: Post God Nation

Why religion fell off the radar in Australia - and how it can get back on.

At the time of Federation 98% of Australians identified themselves as Christians. Now only 8% say they regularly go to Church. What's changed? How did Australia become a post-Christian nation and what part did the Churches play in their own decline?

Author Roy Williams (God, Actually, In God they trust?) has long been an impassioned defender of Christianity. Here, he tackles the decline of the church head on, acknowledging that in many cases, inflexibility, negativity and a refusal to listen have led to a tarnished image. But he also argues that Australia had a long and often misunderstood Christian heritage. And without it, he says, we will become a society with no moral centre, a community where rampant materialism is the only rule.

Offering a bold roadmap for the Church to change, Williams challenges atheists, agnostics and true believers to a genuinely open debate about the force of faith.

Paperback available from booktopia 

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Article: 5 prompts for praying the news

Everyday, right before our eyes we are given opportunities to pray...every news story is an opportunity to pray....
In the article 5 prompts for praying the news Kristi Atkinson discusses a way of praying the news....take a moment to read, reflect and share this article