My take home message after 5 days last week at the Australian Bishops’ Conference.
A key learning presented by Michael from the Church of England’s ‘Back to Church Sunday’ campaign was for the church to have confidence that the Holy Spirit was at work and that the church, the Spirit’s people, would welcome and enjoy visitors coming back to church at the invite of a friend. See http://www.backtochurch.co.uk/ (PS 19 of the 23 dioceses in Oz, Tas included – of course!, agreed to have a go starting this September).
Secondly, Global Financial Crisis and Implications for Australia” was addressed brilliantly by my great friend Prof Ian Harper. Affirming the Australian Governments actions he also encouraged us to have confidence in the face of these challenges. Confidence in God and the good Government and wider leadership of our nation, Australia.
Thirdly, our guest bishop from NZ, Bishop John, affirmed both the riches of the Anglican Church in Australia and the challenges facing us, concluding “Have confidence” – “Have confidence in God and in the riches of the resources of the Spirit. Bishop John referred specifically to the two eminently gifted Australian Christians who had addressed us: Prof Ian Harper and Mark McCrindle, and of course the assembled bishops! (my apologies)
So, from England, Australia and NZ we were encouraged to “have confidence”.
Let’s do it! Have confidence in God, the Church and capable people of goodwill.