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

80 Days Since Africa

It’s 80 days since Mandy, Barbara and I returned from Africa, and although life has largely returned to normal, there is a sense in which I continue to see things differently since visiting Rwanda, Kenya, and Tanzania in April.

Like any cross-cultural experience, there’s learning to be gained from both those who visit and those who host, and this was certainly what we experienced in our journey.

Whilst there were many cultural differences, we had a fresh reminder that we worship the same Lord, and we know him by the same Spirit, through the same Bible, even if it’s in a different language.

At the same time, it’s hard to ignore the differences in wealth between our country and those that welcomed us, which challenges us to consider how to partner with our brothers and sisters on the other side of the globe.

Over the coming months I’m looking forward to establishing a partnership between our church and with ministries in Northern Tanzania, especially since three of us from Jamberoo have experienced this life and ministry firsthand.

What’s more, other local Anglicans have also been involved in ministry in this same area of Tanzania, which opens the possibility of creating partnerships with other local churches and organisations in our area.

Jesus has told us that it is more blessed to give than to receive, and we have experienced this ourselves as we have been blessed by the sacrificial ministry of our brothers and sisters in East Africa as they hosted us.

May he lead us to also bless them as we partner together as the one body of Christ, loving and serving to the glory of the God. 


Strange New World

Over the holidays I’ve been reflecting on the rapid change our world has gone through as we’ve shifted into a state of mind that considers the ‘self’ to be both an authority and an idol.

My thinking partner has been Carl R. Trueman, who has written a fascinating book called ‘Strange New World’, in which he explores how things have changed so much that the phrase, “I am a woman trapped in a man’s body,” has become normal in just one generation.

Trueman begins his analysis by looking at a bunch of old and new philosophers, including Descartes (“I think therefore I am”), Marx (“Religion… is the opium of the people”), Nietzsche (“God is dead”), Freud (“erotism [is] the central point of… life”), and even Oscar Wilde (“A man… may break the law, and yet be fine.”)

These thinkers set the foundation for the radical change that has only fully arrived in our society in the last decade.

But the thing that lit the fuse of this explosive change was technology, including ‘the pill’ that kicked off the sexual revolution, and the internet that normalised pornography and established new communities that have rallied together for support and change.

The result is that our society has closed itself to alternate views, and has developed a habit of silencing speech and cancelling debaters, out of fear of causing harm to a person’s self by injuring their feelings.

In response, Trueman suggests that Christians should make it a priority to invest in Christian community, so that we can show the world that we are Christ’s disciples by our love for one another (John 13:35.)

Furthermore, he encourages us to make our church services special, since, “a large part of the church’s witness to the world is simply being the church in worship.”

So, as we face this strange new world, let’s continue to gather together in love for one another, as we show the world the hope we have in the new creation.


The Gift of Psalms

This week Sydney has welcomed international musicians Keith and Kristyn Getty, and their full band, who served us with a conference and a concert that helped inspire us to enthusiastically sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs.

At Monday’s conference we were reminded of the importance of saying and singing Psalms in church, as local evangelist David Robertson urged churches to use the Psalms each week, as we currently do here at Jamberoo.

Other than the fact that the Bible tells us to, we were reminded that Jesus, himself, sang the same Psalms when he gathered with his people, and that ultimately, they are about Jesus, himself, great David’s greater Son.

Another reason is that they help us have a more authentic view of God, especially now that many modern songs seem to avoid some of the themes that the Psalms mention so often about God’s character, including his anger and judgement, and his glory.

Also, the Psalms express the full range of human emotions, so that we are able to speak and sing together words that connect with our deepest reality, no matter how we’re feeling.

To illustrate this, David shared about someone who, after reading out the Psalms in church, felt that she had been given permission to be depressed, instead of having to show a ‘happy clappy’ attitude that can often feel disconnected from how we’re truly feeling.

Finally, he showed us that Psalms are great for people exploring Christianity, for they can help newcomers see that what we’re saying and singing are the same things that people from other places and times in history have also sung… which gives a unique connection with the saints throughout history.

The Psalms are a rich gift to us from God, and it’s a pleasure and privilege to sing and speak them each week in church!


Swim Between The Flags

Swimming in the surf is great fun, but to minimise the dangers, our Surf Life Saving friends have given us flags to swim between so that they can focus their attention on those who need watching.

I recently attended a conference about pastoral care and the church leader spoke of their small groups as being like the flags on a beach.

He said that in their church, their small groups are the hub of pastoral care, and they help everyone to see when others might put their hand up for help… and when they wander into rough waters without realising their difficulties.

Whilst I seek to care for all our church members, as well as those who reside in our parish, I praise God for our Growth Group leaders who keep a pastoral eye out for those who are part of their group.

This why we encourage every member of our church to be a part of a Growth Group, even a person is not in a position to regularly attend the mid-week gathering of prayer, Bible study and encouragement.

By being a member of a Growth Group, you are swimming between the flags of our church’s pastoral care, and you’re helping all of us help each other to provide care and to refer, as needed.

Our church is blessed to have Sandee as our own Care and Community Chaplain, and she is always ready to help assist our Growth Group leaders and members in caring for each other, providing wisdom in how and when to refer to pastors and professionals.

If you’re not connected to a Growth Group, then we’d love you to swim between our church flags so we can care for you as we go through the challenges of life, as we await the return of Jesus.


(Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)

The Joy of SRE

Possibly the most remarkable hour of my week is spent at Jamberoo Public School each Thursday afternoon as I enjoy the privilege of teaching SRE (Scripture) to 18 kids from Kindergarten through to Year Two.

Within my class there are some children from church members, some kids who have attended our church once or twice in the past, as well as a bunch of kids who can’t remember ever having set foot in a church.

My role is simple: to help every child in my class have a deeper understanding of what it means to be a Protestant Christian… which is what their parent or carer has nominated as their faith.

I sometimes find it hard to teach students across the educational span of three school years, and it can also be a challenge to instruct children with almost no foundational understanding of their faith.

But what makes this hour so remarkable is the number of times that I see the children experience significant ‘aha’ moments about Jesus and what it means for them.

For example, this Easter as we considered the death and resurrection of Jesus, I asked the class, “did Jesus really die,” to which half said, “no,” and the rest said, “yes.”

From this, I explained why Jesus really died, and why he really rose from the dead; from which I explained what that meant for them if they trust in Jesus as their king.

Scripture is such a great part of our state school system, as it means that families can take advantage of public education, whilst still having the opportunity to have tailored religious education for their children.

Keep praying for the kids we teach each week, and ask our Father to use our words to bring these young people to a genuine faith in the Lord Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit.


(Photo: Our special Easter Scripture Assembly this year in our church, with our special guests from Moore College)

Safeguarding Kids

Every three years our Archbishop summons every licensed and authorised church worker in the diocese to be refreshed in their understanding of faithfulness in ministry.

Last Wednesday, our staff team gathered in Figtree for that event, to hear about the important need for churches to help safeguard kids from abuse by providing ‘protective behaviours.’

This is a life skill that gives kids a basic understanding of what should and shouldn’t happen with their ‘private parts,’ so that in the tragic instance of abuse, children will already know what is unacceptable… even if they’re not old enough to be taught everything about sex.

Our presenter on the day was Andrea Musulin, who has been working for the Perth Catholic Archdiocese for a decade (and the WA Police for thirty years before that,) during which time she has prepared a number of excellent resources that are available for free download from

Whilst the resources are obviously written with a Roman Catholic audience in mind, the overall content is ideal for all Christian parents/carers as well as church leaders.

Two resources for leaders and parents/carers include, ‘Protecting God’s Children,’ and for teens, ‘Love, Sex and Relationships.’

In addition, there’s a terrific kids’ story book called, ‘You Are God’s Marvellous Creation,’ that I would particularly recommend to parents/carers to consider reading to their younger children around the age of their first years of school.

It was heartbreaking to be freshly reminded of the abuse of children that has occurred in churches, schools and other environments, and again it brought us to repentance as we recognised the harm that had been done by church leaders.

Let us pray that God would help us to do everything possible to make our churches as safe as possible for children, and to incorporate protective behaviours in their lives as a way of safeguarding them against potential abuse.


(Image credit: Safy Tashkandy, illustrator of ‘You Are God’s Marvellous Creation.’)

Saving Our Region

One of the great things about the Anglican parish system is that every place on the planet is under the responsibility of a minister and a parish.

And so in our context, the parish of Jamberoo extends from Jerrara to Carrington Falls and from the top of Mount Terry down to the other side of Saddleback. That’s the bit of the planet for which our parish takes responsibility.

But it mustn’t mean we don’t have a heart for the lost who live outside our parish boundaries.

Interestingly, more than half of our members live outside our parish region, and some people travel up to half an hour to get to our church.

At the same time, there are people who live in the village and valley of Jamberoo who travel to churches in other parishes as well.

All this means that members of Jamberoo Anglican shouldn’t have any hesitation in inviting people to come to our church, even if those people live half an hour away.

And that’s because we know that our most natural relationships are with people who live in the streets near our home, or who work and learn in our schools and workplaces, many of which are a good distance from our church.

That’s why we pray that each person in the village, valley and region knows how to follow Jesus and why it matters… and that area extends from Lake Illawarra down to Seven Mile Beach, and from Carrington Falls across to the Blowhole.

We are praying that the hundred thousand people who live within 30 minutes’ drive of our church will know how to be saved by Jesus.

And as we pray, we delight in knowing that there are many good, Bible-believing churches within this area, and we pray for them as we partner with them in this mission.

So, what’s stopping you inviting your neighbours, friends and colleagues to church in Jamberoo?


(Photo credit: Ky0n Cheng via Flickr)

Long Term in Fiji

In a few weeks’ time I’m heading to Fiji on a three-and-a-half-week, short-term mission trip… and I’d love you to partner with me.

As our group prepared for this trip, we wrestled with just why we’re going.

In the end, we came up with a concise and reasoned answer to this question, which has helped us as we plan for our journey:

‘Our purpose is to partner physically and spiritually with Fiji, as humble learners, to mutually support growth in a relationship with Jesus.”

Whilst it’s a short-term mission, we also know that it’s long-term in focus.

That’s because 2023 is the 13th year that Year 13 has been to Fiji, and every year our group intentionally returns to the same places and connects with the same people.

This means we can support the ministries already happening on the ground in Fiji, rather than fostering any kind of ‘saviour complex’ that can easily be associated with short-term missions.

Our aim is to support, disciple, encourage, train and equip.

We do that as we purposefully link with Christians who are already doing the hard yards on the ground throughout the year, and who make use of our mission team to help boost their work during the time we’re present.

But the purpose of our trip isn’t just about what we’ll do or what impact we’ll have in our 24 days in Fiji.

The trip will help us learn valuable lessons about God and His world, in deep and meaningful ways.

If you’re willing and able, would you consider visiting to help me raise funds towards this trip? I’ve raised $1400, but still need another $2100.

Most importantly, please pray for us as we prepare to share our lives together in relationship with one another… putting people above programs.


Reaching Australia

Last week, Jacob and I were honoured to attend the Reach Australia National Conference on the Central Coast, along with 1100 others who are committed to seeing Australia filled with evangelistic churches that preach Christ.

It was a very practical conference, as it sought to help be deliberately focused on seeing more people converted from idols to serve Christ, and to practically integrate and involve us all as we work to plant more churches.

One simple and powerful analogy spoke of the trap in finding satisfaction in filling our barns, whilst the fields remain empty.

The barns refer to our nation’s church buildings, many of which are small in size and few in number; and the fields represent everywhere else that the lost people of our nation are to be found.

It would be easy for us at Jamberoo Anglican to focus on how many seats have been filled in our church, and to consider that to be a mark of success.

But we must continue to remember that within 20 minutes’ drive, there are 100,000 people who don’t know the Lord Jesus, even though there’s at least a dozen, healthy churches in the region.

So, what must we do to focus more of our attention on seeing those lost souls saved by believing in Jesus? 

What must we do to be as sharp as possible in our message and ministry so that God might rescue the thousands headed to hell without knowing Christ?

Jacob and I look forward to sharing our lessons from this conference with you all as we join with you in prayer for wisdom in strengthening our ministry, as we seek to better equip us all as together as we work to preach Christ faithfully to his world.


Do you have donkeys?

During our ministry trip to Tanzania, Mandy, Barbara and I had many opportunities to speak with locals about the differences between their life in East Africa and ours in Australia.

As I shared with a local Christian, he asked me whether we had donkeys.

When I told him that we only really have donkeys as pets, he asked me what we used to transport things around the farm and into town.

I told him about our tractors, utes, and trucks… and it was soon obvious that we lived in very different worlds.

Then I talked about the clean running water in my home, and our reliable supply of electricity… not to mention our multiple flushing toilets!

Though we are all equal and precious in God’s sight, not all Christians have the same wealth and ‘standard’ of living.

Yet, the size of a person’s house or bank account does not determine their level of satisfaction and contentment.

For as we experienced the singing and laughter of the Tanzanians, we saw deep joy and happiness amongst those who had far less money than us.

It was a fresh challenge for us to share our wealth with those who are in need… especially those who crave the basics of food, shelter, and education.

As we travelled in Tanzania, we witnessed first hand a number of special projects run by our friends at Anglican Aid… including schools that help protect vulnerable young girls as they face physical harm.

We were challenged afresh to share some of our wealth with those who are in great need of financial support… even though they have a satisfaction and joy that is coveted in the West.

Is this a good time for you to reflect upon your generosity with Christian brothers and sisters in need?

Why not visit Anglican Aid ( and see how you can let grace flow?


(photo credit: Jeff Attaway via Flickr)