This is the latest blurb that is published on the front of our weekly bulletin

Mobilised for Mission!

This week our staff team headed off for a two-day retreat to prayerfully reflect on the ministry of our church and our mission for the future.

We considered together a ‘Biblical Theology of Edification,’ that helped us think about how Jesus is building his church (Matthew 16:16) and the role that we are to take.

Then, we reflected on our vision statement, and from this, we began work on an accompanying mission statement to help us think about how we should seek “to see each person in our village, valley and region know how to follow Jesus and why it matters.”

From this we drafted this mission statement, for your reflection and comment:

Our mission is to:
Pray to our sovereign Lord;
Equip people for ministry, and;
Proclaim Christ faithfully.

It’s still a draft, and we’d love your feedback and thoughts as we consider what God expects us to be doing as we take our part in the building of Christ’s church.

But these are the reasons we chose these three words to summarise our role.

Firstly, we want to genuinely depend on the Holy Spirit as we pray to our sovereign Lord about all things… and especially for our vision of our village, valley and region.

Secondly, we’ll focus on equipping every person in our church and beyond to take their part in the ministry that will work together towards the vision becoming a reality.

Thirdly, we’ll devote ourselves to using ‘the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God’, as we proclaim Christ faithfully to all.

Over the next three weeks I look forward to sharing a short reflection on why these are the three things we should focus on as we seek to see our vision become a reality, in the power of the Holy Spirit, to the glory of God.

What do you think of the mission statement? How will it challenge how you think about our church?


(Photo credit: Kentucky National Guard via

The Blessing of Baptism

Baptism is a special washing of water that is a sign of God’s washing away of our sin that comes from believing in the death of Jesus and his resurrection.

Baptism doesn’t save someone from their sin but it does signify that a person is part of the household of God, a member of the church.

When a person becomes a Christian when they are older than a child, they can declare their own faith when they are baptised before the church.

But, when an infant is born into a family with a believing parent, we baptise those babies to show they are a member of the church because they are in a household of Christian parents.

When those infants grow older, we pray that they will own their own faith, and declare it publicly at a ‘Confirmation’ service.

The New Testament shows a close connection between the circumcision of baby boys in the Old Covenant with the baptism of babies in the New Covenant (see Colossians 2:11-12).

There is also a statement in 1 Corinthians 7:14 that says that children of an unbelieving father are considered to be “sanctified.”

Mandy and I baptised our four children when they were babies so that we could receive this wonderful sign from Jesus that declares to the church that our children are Christians because they’re born to Christian parents.

We’ve always spoken of our children as Christians, even before they could walk or talk, and we’ve prayed that our children would one day receive all the benefits of what their baptism points to when they are able to own that faith when they are older.

So, we haven’t prayed that our kids would grow up to become Christians, but instead have prayed that they’d grow up to own their faith, which they publicly declared at their Confirmation service.

If you or a member of your family would like to be baptised, then I’d love to chat with you to make a time for this special event in the life of our church.


(Photo credit: Colin Bowern via

Reconciliation Action

At the recent gathering of leaders at our Sydney Anglican Synod, we affirmed our commitment to seek reconciliation with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

We want to support and encourage every person, parish and Diocesan organisation to partner in Indigenous Ministry through the development of an Action Plan.

As we develop this plan, we pray that it will encourage the development of personal relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples with a view to walk alongside them, as well as partnering in prayer and partnering financially and in other practical ways with one or more Indigenous ministries.

To make this happen, I’m looking to gather a group of people to help us develop such an Action Plan, and if you’re willing and able, please let me know.

After we establish that group, I’m hoping we’ll have a fresh look at ways to appropriately include acknowledgements of country in our ministries.

In the meantime, the Bush Church Aid Society has developed a Reconciliation Action Plan that can help us prepare our own plan at Jamberoo Anglican.

Within that document is this Acknowledgment of Country statement, which I have adapted for our own context.

As we gather here, we acknowledge the triune God, the Creator of heaven and earth and His ownership of all things. We recognise that He gave stewardship of these lands upon which we meet to the Wodi Wodi people of the Dharawal Nation. In his sovereignty, He has allowed other people groups to migrate to these shores. We acknowledge the cultures of our First Nations Peoples and are thankful for the communities that we share together now. We pay our respects to their elders and leaders, both past and present, and those who are rising up to become leaders. 


(This artwork is featured on the cover of the Bush Church Aid Reconciliation Action Plan, and is created by Artist Melissa Lilley, a Yankunytjatjara woman from South Australia)

Hello Sunday Night!

This weekend we’re moving our Saturday night service to the all-new time of 4pm Sunday.

As we’ve been saying for months, the only thing we’re changing is the day and the time… but everything else stays the same.

We’ll start church at 4pm, then around half an hour into the service, the children will head out to their special kids’ programs in the hall.

Then after 5:30pm it’s dinner time in the hall and on our lawn, which will be followed by lots of informal games and hanging out with people of all ages and stages, together.

Saturday night is often when celebrations, events and social occasions occur, so our members have often needed to choose between church or meeting with family, friends and community contacts.

As we seek to connect with the people in our village, valley and region, it makes sense to free up Saturday nights to enjoy hospitality with others not yet in our church, as Christ’s ambassadors.

I’m really looking forward to spending extra time with friends, family and people in my neighbourhood as we all now have an extra spot in our diaries to enjoy meals with special guests in our home… and I’m sure you’ll be able to take up the same opportunity, too.

There are many other good reasons for moving from Saturday night to Sunday, such as helping those who attend two services on a weekend, creating a day’s gap between youth group and church, and enabling people to attend church when they’re away for a weekend.

We’re praying that this change will be a great step forward as we pray that each person in our village, valley and region will know how to follow Jesus and why it matters.

See you at 9am or 4pm this Sunday… or why not both!


Trick or Treat?

When it comes to Halloween, Christians have a wide range of views about whether it’s helpful, harmful, or something in between.

It all started with a pagan festival to mark the start of the darkness of winter, called the winter ‘solstice.’

Then in the fourth century, Christians adopted that festival as their own, calling it ‘All Saints Day’ to remember those who were killed by the Romans for following Jesus.

The night before ‘All Saints Day’ (or all ‘Hallows’ Day) became known as ‘Hallows Eve,’ or ‘Halloween.’

People started to get very superstitious about Halloween, and so they made lanterns to try and scare away evil spirits, with their tricks and treats.

For this reason, many Christians avoid this event because of how it distorts and glorifies the dark, spiritual world.

Yet, most people around us just see it as a fun opportunity to dress up in spooky outfits and walk around extorting strangers to give them lollies.

So, perhaps it might be a really good opportunity for us to talk about how Jesus defeated Satan on the cross?

We could share this verse about Jesus:

For he has rescued us from the kingdom of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of his dear Son, who purchased our freedom and forgave our sins.

Colossians 1:13-14

What’s more, we can tell people that when you trust in Jesus, we can stand against the powers of the devil:

Put on all of God’s armour so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.

Ephesians 6:11-12

Maybe Halloween is another time of the year when people might be more open to talk about Jesus and how he alone can give us certainty for eternity though his victory over evil?


(photo credit: Maddy Baker from

The Irish Un-Settler

Sullivan, our English Settler, is our most effective pre-evangelistic tool, for as we walk him, he brings people to us.

They talk to us about him, ask about the breed, notice our accent, tell us they have a relative in Perth and ask if we’ve met them, then ask, “What are you doing here?”

In Sydney that would be an open door, wouldn’t it?

We’d say, “I’m planting a new church,” or, “I’m starting a new congregation,” or even, “I’m a minister of a church.”

It would be an open door everywhere else we’ve lived, from Southern England and the midlands, to Northern Ireland… but not in Dublin.

Those words mean different things in Ireland.

Grace doesn’t mean, “God’s undeserved favour to us, primarily in Jesus Christ,” and church doesn’t mean, “A gathering of believers in Jesus Christ.”

Tomas, a Dubliner born and bred, and one of our dog-walking contacts, said,“Cam, you’ve got to understand, the Irish have suffered under two oppressors: the English and the Catholic Church.”

To Tomas and to our other neighbours, the words I use to speak about the wonderful message of reconciliation of God to us by the death of Jesus on the cross represent oppression and abuse.

If we say, “we’re planting a new church,” many hear, “we’re starting a new agency of tyranny.”

I also walk Sully in the Silicon Docks, where companies have pet-friendly offices.

Two older men told me much the same as Tomas: “The English tried to crush our culture, and the church tried to crush our spirit.”

We’re working out how to speak about God’s love when the words, ‘Jesus’ and ‘Church’ are associated with abuse, coverup and abduction.

That’s why we’re so thankful for our partnership with Jamberoo Anglican, and we praise God that you are with us as we work to plant a new church in Dublin… and as we try and help people understand why that’s actually a really good thing!.


Nourishing Relationships

Being a Christian woman in today’s world is hard, no matter what age or stage of life you are in.

You may be a young woman leaving school, entering the workforce and navigating new relationships.

Or you may be single, or newly-married, or perhaps you’ve just become a mother.

Or maybe you’ve now become an empty-nester or grandmother or widow?

We know that it really does take a village to raise a child, and our church can provide that village to help each other.

So often women tell me they would love an ‘older’ Christian woman to walk alongside them—sometimes just to listen, to advise, or to read the Bible and pray with them.

This is what Paul talks about in Titus 2 where he calls older women to be mentors, advisors and role models for younger women.

It seems we are all looking for that older, godly woman to be our mentor—but maybe that person might be you?

However, you might look at your life and think that it’s just too messy to have anything to offer another woman.

But here’s the thing: we all have messy lives, and the experiences you have lived will be of great value to help equip you to listen, advise and mentor other women.

That’s why we’ve launched ‘Nourish’: a place for women of all ages and walks of life to connect with one another over a lovely morning tea.

We plan to meet in the hall on every Thursday morning from 9.30 to 11.30am during school terms.

While we’re not specifically a craft group, please feel free to bring your knitting, crochet, cross stitch, or whatever if you’d like.

We love little ones, so please feel free to bring along toddlers… and we’ll even have some morning tea available for the kids!

So whatever your age and stage of life… no matter whether you’re single, married, widowed, a mother or a grandmother, we’d love you to join us at Nourish.


(Photo credit: Bere Vazquez via

Religious Reflexes

Some of the most spectacular moments in sport have come from a reflex reaction by a player, when they have kicked, passed, caught or hit a ball without pausing to think.

This week we witnessed a different kind of sporting reflex reaction when the Essendon AFL Club appointed a new CEO, only to pressure him to resign within a day of the announcement.

It was discovered that their brand-new CEO was also the leader of the board of a ‘controversial’ church that held ‘divisive’ views on abortion and homosexuality.

Yet, ‘City on a Hill’ church is Anglican, and the views it teaches are the same that have been held by mainstream Christian churches for thousands of years.

Most concerning was that Essendon’s reflex reaction was not because of anything the former-CEO said publicly: it was solely due to his affiliation with a church.

It should come as no surprise that we Christians will be persecuted for our faith, for Jesus said:

“If the world hates you, remember that it hated me first. The world would love you as one of its own if you belonged to it, but you are no longer part of the world. I chose you to come out of the world, so it hates you.” (John 15:18-19)

Nonetheless, we should pray that the sporting, political and intellectual leaders of our land might have the courage to listen to ‘dangerous’ views that are no-longer aligned to the ever-changing views of our progressive society.

At the same time, let’s pray that these kinds of ‘free kicks’ and ‘own goals’ of those who attack the teachings of Jesus might lead to increased opportunities to share the message of the love of Jesus with people whose main exposure to the Bible is via the talking heads of the media.


(photo credit: Mark Ehr via

It’s Time For Poker Machine Reform

Australians are the world’s most prolific gamblers, with poker machines causing over half our losses. 

NSW has about double (or worse) the rate of poker machine losses compared to every other Australian state and territory.

About 40% of all poker machine losses come from people experiencing significant harm from gambling.

Worse still, the highest losses are concentrated in the poorest LGAs in Sydney.  

As pastors, we can’t remain silent as we hear from people experiencing gambling addiction, who are at risk of physical self-harm, family members impacted by gambling harm facing repossession of a car or furniture, or even children going hungry.  

Recent research reports the prevalence of harmful gambling has continued to rise over the last decade. 

The NSW Treasury budget papers project taxes on gaming devices in clubs and hotels alone will grow to over $2 billion in the next financial year, with an average annual growth rate of 12.55% over the next four years.

And gambling taxation is rising as a share of NSW Government revenue.  

We lament that it could be said NSW and its government have the world’s biggest, most destructive gambling addiction, and a growing reliance on a truly regressive and socially destructive form of taxation.  

The Bible says, “Whoever oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honours God” (Proverbs 14:31). 

The Bible also reminds rulers to “Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy” (Proverbs 31:9). 

We believe that there are concrete reforms that both the government and the opposition can commit to in the long term.

This is an edited version of an open letter to the NSW Premier and the NSW Leader of the Opposition, by the Dean of Sydney, Sandy Grant, and the CEO and Superintendent of Wesley Mission, Stu Cameron

Jesus Walks Us Through Death

Three years ago I had an oesophageal cancer removed.

I had hoped that was the end of it, but last Friday I was informed that my cancer has returned, and it’s spreading.

Initially I was in shock, but then shock gave way to sadness, and after sadness I found thankfulness.

I’m sad to have to say farewell sooner than I expected: to my family, to my Christian family, and to God’s beautiful world.

But I’m thankful that when I was 20 years old, and heedless and ignorant of God, he laid his hand on me.

I am foreknown, predestined, called and justified by God (Romans 8:29), and I will be glorified.

I’m thankful he gave me Lesley, and for the privilege of many years of ordained ministry, amongst a multitude of many other things.

In the imagery of Psalm 23, the Lord who is the shepherd walks with his sheep through the valley of the shadow of death.

The Christian meaning of this psalm is that Jesus, who is revealed as the good shepherd, walks us through death, as the one who died for our sins.

Then the psalm moves to the imagery of a banqueting table set up by God, which is surely a picture of table fellowship with him in heaven.

How do people face death without God?

There’s euthanasia, of course, which is a tragic attempt to try and stay in control and chose when to exit.

Then, there’s the ‘Thanksgiving Memorial Service,’ where a lineup of family and friends praise your achievements.

But one of the wonderful things about our late queen’s funeral was that she was the one person of whom an endless list of celebrities could have truthfully praised her.

But instead, she chose for us to have a simple service in the Abbey of hymns, Bible readings, prayers, and a sermon.

When the time comes, that’s what I want… minus the pomp and ceremony, of course!

It’s hard to be told the cancer is back, but we’ll keep praying and seeking treatment, as we give thanks to God for your love, support and prayers through this difficult time.


(Photo credit: brewbooks via Flickr)