Bishop Mark’s Christmas Message

From the website of the Diocese of Canberra and Goulburn

At Christmas God shows a fractured world what it takes to be a generous host and a gracious guest.

The recent Australia Talks survey found that almost half of Australians experience loneliness at some time. Contrary to popular expectation, some of the loneliest Australians are not older people living in remote locations but younger people living in inner city suburbs.

Generous hosts and gracious guests have the potential to transform this situation. Generous hosts create comfortable space for people to connect. They take the initiative in welcoming newcomers into neighbourhoods, workplaces and community groups. They help people feel at home and look for ways for them to celebrate together.

Gracious guests enter unfamiliar space for the sake of connecting with others. They love saying ‘yes’ to an invitation, and help neighbours and colleagues feel that their hospitality is noticed and valued.

The amazing news of Christmas is this: God becomes our gracious guest for a time so that He might be our generous host for eternity.

Think of the first Christmas. Here is Jesus, God the Son, becoming a guest in our world. First in His mother’s womb, then in a feeding trough He moves into our neighbourhood. God becomes one of us, receiving food and drink and companionship from His creation.

That is not the end of the story. Jesus also comes into our world so that He might be our host. Entering into a creation gone astray from its maker, He offers hospitality and table fellowship to all as a sign of God’s coming Kingdom. In His life, death and rising again He does all that is needed to welcome us home for eternity, if we say ‘yes’ to His invitation.

On behalf of the ministries and agencies of the Anglican Diocese of Canberra and Goulburn I wish you and your loved ones a safe and joyful Christmas season. You are very welcome to join us at church so that together we might make space to connect with God.

Communiqué: Meeting of Bishops, 20 November 2019

Bishop Mark Writes:

21 November 2019

Dear sisters and brothers,

Please find attached a communiqué from the National Bishops' Meeting, which I attended yesterday. Thank you to those of you who were praying for the meeting. I believe God graciously answered those prayers in the manner and content of our discussions.

The communique confirms that General Synod will meet in ordinary session in June next year. Business sessions will provide an opportunity for debate and decisions on a variety of matters, including the implementation of recommendations from the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. General Synod will also convene in conference mode to consider matters relating to human sexuality, same sex relationships and marriage. I am aware of the importance of listening carefully to the experience and input of Christians who will be most impacted by this particular conversation, and intend to liaise with our General Synod Representatives to discuss how we might best do this at the local level.

Your ongoing prayers for the life our National Church as we seek to discern and display the mind of Christ are greatly appreciated. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions about the communiqué or this email.

Yours in Jesus,

+Mark

The Right Reverend Dr Mark Short
Bishop of Canberra & Goulburn

A pdf of the attachment is here

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