Anglicans for a week

The 2009 Synod is looming, the time when it seems everyone becomes Anglican for a week and takes a great interest in our affairs. This is fair enough, since we are a very public church, but we are about to be inundated with reports, good and bad, on Sydney Anglicans.

1. An unashamed plug, first up, for sydneyanglicans.net coverage of Synod. A special section of the website has been established here so you can bookmark and read each day’s developments. The Presidential address is on Monday afternoon 19th October and debate begins on Tuesday.  The effects of the GFC have been highlighted again by the SMH prior to Synod but the ABC’s Compass is promoting a program on Sydney Anglicans which includes a look at “... the evangelical ministry at the heart of its identity.”

2. An important Anglicare report was launched this week and got major treatment in the papers. The Herald, though, put it as second angle to the Prime Minister’s pay. The Australian website linked it with new government research which revealed one in three Australian families had faced some financial hardship in the first six months of this year.

3. The Washington Times Julia Duin reports on the start of what is expected to be a large exodus from the Lutheran Church in the US because of the recent approval of the ordination of clergy in “life-long, monogamous, same gender relationships”. This mirrors what is happening in the US Episcopal Church, but Lutherans seem to be learning from the Episcopal example that congregations making the break early may be better off in the long run.

4. Nearly one out of every four persons in the world today is Muslim is the finding of a demographic scan of 200 countries. At 1.5 billion, that’s lower than some estimates in the past. The researchers will now move on to collecting the statistics on Christians.

5. Nice to see some positive feedback on church/public school partnerships. You have to search for it though. There was a story on the ABC’s PM program, ‘Schools back chaplain program’. The story details a study which showed of the 1,900 chaplains now in schoos, ninety-seven per cent of principals were really affirming of the contribution that they are making. The finding surprised the researchers and is well timed as the Federal government is about to make decisions on funding.

That’s this week’s top five - more from Synod next week.

Russell Powell has more than 30 years experience across all forms of media, with a long career as one of Australian radio's most prominent journalists and presenters. He was one of the pioneers of the ABC's NewsRadio network. As well as his on-air work, he has taught at the Australian Film, TV and Radio School. He is now the CEO of Anglican Media Sydney and the Archbishop of Sydney's Media Adviser.

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