Bishop Bill's Bulletin
Robin and I had a wonderful time away. We spent two weeks with our family in Dallas Texas and then just over two weeks in England and Wales.
We worshipped in Cathedrals and Parish Churches. We experienced a range of worship styles and were stimulated by some very good preaching. Sadly, on one Sunday there was no sermon. I remind clergy and Lay Ministers of the rubric in the Prayer Book, (page 164, No 8) “The Sermon is integral to the Ministry of the Word. A sermon should normally be preached on Sundays and Holy Days.” The same rubric is in the Prayer Book of the country we were in as well!
I was impressed at how well the Church grounds were kept and the cleanliness of the Churches and Cathedrals we visited.
I thank Bishop Ron and Mrs Katie Williams along with the Archdeacon for their ministry while I was away. I knew the Diocese was in good hands. I have received a briefing from the Archdeacon yesterday and I am still to read the file notes left by Bishop Ron, which I will do as soon as I am able to.
Upon my return there has been a number of immediate matters to address, including abuse matters. I have attended to as many of them as I could yesterday. Today I am on Palm Island and then on to General Synod, after celebrating the New Guinea Martyrs at St. Peter’s West End on Sunday morning. I will be in touch with people from Monday 11th September, 2017, to address the matters that are awaiting my attention.
Please pray for the General Synod as it meets on the Sunshine Coast from Sunday evening until midday on Friday (8th September). The Primate, Archbishop Philip Freier of Melbourne will be presiding at this Synod. Please pray for the Primate, the General Secretary to General Synod, Ms Anne Hywood and her staff along with the members of the Synod. This Diocese is represented by Archdeacon Wright, The Reverend Jeff Coop, Mrs Christine Grimwade and myself. (Mr Ed Bray is recovering from ill health and is not able to attend.)
The Reverend Dalton Cowley will be representing NATSIAC at the Synod.
I will forward a Bulletin reporting on the General Synod on Tuesday 12th September, 2017.
I have been asked how the representation to General Synod worked out. Briefly, it is the Diocesan Bishop and one clergy and one lay person for every twenty Ministry Units (or Parishes). In this Diocese there are 54 Ministry Units, so two clergy and two lay representatives plus myself.
Please pray for the people and Government of Texas and the USA as they address the severe flooding issues. The situation has deteriorated with the likelihood of leakage from chemical storages.
Several people have asked if our family in Dallas are O.K. with the current flooding in Texas. Thank you and our family is fine, but it is a sad situation.
The Indian Sub-Continent:
This area has sustained flooding and loss of life as well. We pray for those who are rescuing people as well as caring for those who have lost loved ones.
In both places it will take a long time before life returns to normal. I know I have said this before, but it is easy to pray for those in need when the items are on our TV screens and news bulletins. However, when the floods are no longer news items, the people will still be struggling. Please keep praying.
The Reverend Canon Sharon Hayston is unwell and is in hospital in Brisbane.
The Reverend Scott Hedley, Bec and the family need our daily prayers.
I had not been back twelve hours when I heard there have been many people who either have had or currently have a flu virus (including the Archdeacon). I assure you all of my prayers.
I was shocked to learn just before returning to this great country of ours that there is to be a plebiscite by postal vote on the issue of same sex marriage. (Or is it a postal survey now?) If I am correct, and I am still to establish the facts, this process is a big departure from the purpose of a referendum or plebiscite. A referendum is an avenue to change the constitution of our nation, such as in 1967, which voted to include our indigenous sisters and brothers in census and to allow the Commonwealth to legislate on their behalf.
Marriage in this country comes under the 1961 Marriage Act, therefore it is the responsibility of our politicians.
As I said, I was shocked to learn of this development. I was asked yesterday about marriage. In this country and in the Anglican Church, marriage is between a man and woman. I was also asked if the issue of same sex marriage is going to be discussed at General Synod. I do not know for sure, but I suspect it will come before the Synod. There are many ways this issue could be placed before the Synod.
New Guinea Martyrs:
St James’ Cathedral will be celebrating New Guinea Martyrs with Festal Evensong on Sunday 3 September at 6pm, all are invited to attend.
Australian Anglicans Remember:
This Broughton publication is edited by The Reverend Dr Charles Sherlock. It provides information about Anglicans who have added to the life of the Church. The Church gives thanks for the life and ministry of John Oliver Feetham on the 15th September. Please find attached his entry from this publication.
Wishing you every blessing.
Yours in Christ
The Right Reverend William (Bill) Ray
Bishop of North Queensland
Sexual Abuse contact line: 1800 242 544 or 07 3835 2266