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Life in Abundance

Life In Abundance Anglican Conference 2016




Notes, videos and information from the Anglican Gathering in Melbourne from 9th  to 13th February, 2016. Read about the Young Anglicans Conference, Australian Anglican Climate Change Forum and the Life in Abundance Conference.

Visit this page for videos of presentations given by keynote speakers the Rt Rev Dr Stephen Pickard and the Rev Prof Stephen Bevans: Life in Abundance Conference Videos.

Also, the Reverend Professor Stephen Bevans’ video message introducing the ‘Together Towards Life’ statement on world mission and evangelism from the World Council of Churches: Together Towards Life Statement.


Anglican Gathering, Melbourne 2016



The final day of the Life in Abundance conference and the Australian Anglican Gathering in Melbourne.

Morning Bible Study 3 was on ‘The Presence of Christ’ referencing Matthew 28:1-10, 16-20 and led by the Rev Canon Professor Dorothy Lee.

Keynote Speaker the Rt Rev Prof Stephen Pickard gave a presentation on the Great Mysteries of the Church, looking at “how do you embody the mystery of the Church to maximise praise of God?” 

The Final Eucharist and Commissioning Service was held in the chapel with Bishop Kay Goldsworthy, the Rev Canon Prof Dorothy Lee, the Rev Lenore Parker, the Rev Samuel Dow and with Rose Elu in procession. During the service, the special conference video was shown. 

There were many people to thank, from the organisers, speakers, workshop facilitators and helpers. All in all a very successful conference which has been thought-provoking, encouraging, inspiring and planting seeds of hope for the future of the Church and its mission.

You can view the Life in Abundance Conference video here.

Day 4 – life in abundance conference – Friday 12th February

The 4th day of the Australian Anglican Gathering continued today with the Life in Abundance conference.

The conference streams continued in the morning.  Attendees could choose to go to one of the following workshops:

1. Local Mission, welfare and the role of the Church by the Right Revd Andrew Curnow

Notes by Archdeacon Jan Crombie/Melbourne

– Be aware of our motives – serving the community should come from an authentic desire to serve, not as a recruitment strategy
– How do we connect to those in our communities with the greatest need? – homelessness, poverty, mental illness… “Blessed are the poor” ….especially in the city when no parishioner lives in the parish
– Thinking past the desire to make money, ie, Op Shops… and being involved in being in community/working with the community to add value to the lives of community in some way
– “Share the Benefit” – look it up
– Parish members gaining insight to welfare clients in a holistic way
– Community engagement supporting volunteers and workers who are at the coal face
– Increasing culture gap between the church and the community
– Young people cannot be the scapegoat for older people to not do anything

2. Learning to live together for mission by the Revd Dr Don Saines

Notes by Archdeacon Jan Crombie/Melbourne
– Need for deeper learning alongside the surface learning
– Expanding the environment of learning
– EfM groups/Trinity Certificate/Lenten Studies
– Including a social setting in learning environment, ie, dinner/lunch (hospitality)
– Creating an experience around learning
– Create a learning environment around liturgical practices
– Be aware of the ‘language’ required for effective learning
– Learning has to connect with the learner’s experience in life

3. The call of the disciple by the Right Revd Justin Duckworth

Notes by Archdeacon Jan Crombie/Melbourne
– What about women and children and probably a husband responding to the call of Jesus “to leave family for my sake”.  It is probably easier for men.
– How do we be disciples of Jesus and work within/with our institutions and government systems?
– How do we talk kingdom when there is a push for republic?
– We need to role model the change we want to see in our people
– How does our discipleship impact our wallets?
– We need to spend more time becoming White Hot for Jesus
– What does ‘taking risks’ look like?  different for everyone
– Renewal will not happen with a  low commitment benchmark
– If you want to make an omelette you have to break a few eggs
– “Most people want the kingdom but they reject the king” +Justin

4. A theology of refuge by the Revd Prof Mark Lindsay

5. Transforming unjust structures in mutuality
 by Debra Saffrey-Collins

Notes by Archdeacon Jan Crombie/Melbourne
– How can the church engage with the modern disadvantaged and vulnerable communities?
– How can we be community together?
– Where do we fit faith communities/parishes and agency work together?

6. An Indigenous theology of Mission: A perspective from the Torres Strait by the Revd Victor Joseph

Notes by Julianne Stewart/ABM
– Fr Victor took us through his own journey to priesthood and a theology which is contextualised by the Torres Strait Islander culture.
– He stressed the importance of such cultural contextualisation for TSI Christians. An example of such contextualisation is the Eucharist, with the gathering of the people and careful preparation of the meal. 
– This was compared with the Kup Murri (earth oven) in the Torres Strait communities, where people are gathered to share in the meal that is carefully prepared in the earth ovens, which are themselves carefully prepared first.

7. Open Space by the Revd Jan Crombie

– How do we encourage the clergy to join Jesus in transformational/radical leadership?
– leading beyond where we are now, discerning for and with the people.

After morning tea, which included space for networking, another set of workshops were on offer for people to attend:

1. Reconciliation by the Revd Helen Dwyer Junior

2. Radical discipleship
 by the Right Revd Justin Duckworth

Notes by Archdeacon Jan Crombie/Melbourne
– Leaders in the church need to be profoundly missional
– People in our churches, after the time taken by houses, nuclear family life, good jobs, recreation, only have 1.5 hours a week for discipleship – not enough.  They need leaders who talk about this problem and model a life that is not risk-averse in following Jesus
– Christians use the term “kingdom of God” – how can we make this term change/perhaps to be more relevant to our culture, to understand?  (youth, secular society)? or not?

3. A theology of development by the Revd Dr Bob Mitchell

4. Transforming leadership structures within the Church
 by the Revd Dr Cecilia Francis

Notes by Archdeacon Jan Crombie/Melbourne
– Balance of caring for leaders and being accountable
– Retaining a belief in each person’s personhood
– Expectations of one another in leadership
– Aware of projections attracted toward/by those in leadership

5. Climate Change & sustainability by Damian Sullivan & Dr Victoria Johnson Burge

Notes by Archdeacon Jan Crombie/Melbourne
– Creating a sustainable community to model own trial living sustainability
– How do we care for those affected/disadvantaged by the outcomes of climate change?

6. Open Space by the Revd Jan Crombie

Lunchtime worship was inspirational, and possibly confronting for some, but after some prayer, people really got moved by the spirit. People requested some of the prayers and so here they are:

>> Download a .pdf version of prayers by the Rev Jamie Lee Callard.

In the afternoon, Keynote Speaker, Bishop Stephen Pickard talked about ‘Wicked Problems:The Ecology of the Praise of God.’ After which the Rev Canon Professor Dorothy Lee led Bible Study 2 on ‘The Joy of Heaven’, Luke 15:1-10. Evening prayer was led by the Taize CBD Prayer Network in the chapel, with the Lord’s Prayer spoken in different languages.

The evening ended with a Public Lecture by the Rev Assoc Professor Stephen Bevans on the theme ‘Dreaming of a “Missionary Option”: Pope Francis’s Vision of a Missionary Church.’ What would the church look like if we took on Pope Francis’s dream? A dream of all Christians becoming a community of missionary disciples, living simpler lives, showing God’s tenderness and mercy in becoming “a poor church and for the poor” and a listening church? As he said tonight, “It’s a big job!”


DAY 3 – Life in Abundance Conference – Thursday 11th February

Day 3 saw the start of lectures and seminars for the first day of Life in Abundance conference.

First up was Bishop Stephen Pickard, Executive Director of the Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture, Professor of Theology at Charles Sturt University, Canberra and also an Assistant Bishop in the Anglican Diocese of Canberra & Goulburn. Bishop Stephen talked on the conference theme of Life in Abundance. He noted that to live abundantly, our first call is to offer our praise. Even faith becomes a gift – it’s not self generating from God. It is about the life of God within us. For Christians, Praise lies at the heart of their identity.

Professor Dorothy Lee lead the conference’s first bible study, on John 4:16-26, 31-35, on the subject of Worship and Mission. “I have food to eat that you don’t know about,” said Jesus to the disciples.

Participants were then lead in worship by the Revd Aunty Lenore Parker from the Grafton Diocese.

After lunch were a selection of streams, or separate seminars, that people could choose from.  These were:

1. What does Evangelism look like in Australia in 2016? by the Right Revd Garry Weatherill

2. Worship & Mission by the Revd Assoc Prof Stephen Burns & The Revd Jasmine Dow

Notes by Archdeacon Jan Crombie/Melbourne
– Welcome is essential
– Disconnect re music; prayerbook (freedom?)
– Genuine-ness is compelling
– Sacramental worship to be outward looking
– Symbols can invite cross-cultural experience and transform
– Mission and praise connect
– Opportunity of transformation during liturgy = Eucharist or song or prayer

3. Multicultural church: Our best kept secret? by Heidin Kunoo & Moe Win Tun Kin

Notes by Archdeacon Jan Crombie/Melbourne
– To break down the barrier of language – solution – sharing art, music, dancing, etc
– Children are learning from action, therefore giving them roles and responsibilities in church worship and activities
– Try to find their spiritual gift and encourage them to use in the church’s mission
– To have a strong, active and faithful church we need four pillars (Men’s Society, MU, youth and young people and Sunday School children)
– Sunday School are the church now and the future (Proverbs 22:6)

4. A still small voice: Transforming the Fourth Mark of Mission by the Revd Dr Sarah Bachelard

Notes by Julianne Stewart/ABM
– How the church can be formed in order to transform unjust structures in society
– Focussed on three elements: Kenosis, Discernment and Transformation.
– Keinosis requires that we “empty ourselves” of self-justification, and try to allow God’s view of things to come through.
– Discernment requires that we don’t simply impose our agenda on the world, but we become our community’s answer to the call of God. We must be prepared to listen and wait, to engage in hospitable conversation.
– And finally, Transformation requires that we are transformed by God’s reality, we are drawn into a new way of being, modeled by Jesus.
– Thus our Christian activism needs to emerge from our personal transformation, not from ego-driven conformity to “Christian Values”.

5. Open Space by The Revd Jan Crombie

Emerging issues from this stream:
– How do we (Christians) subvert expectations of sterotypes of Christians/Christianity?
– Are ‘our’ agencies sufficiently missional?  Are ‘our’ parishes sufficiently missional?
– How can we best use the available communication tools?
– How do we take the world’s moments to engage in substantive kingdom change?

There were another set of streams after coffee. Participants could choose again from the following: 

1. Workshop: Missional perspectives from the New Testament by The Revd Prof Dorothy Lee & The Revd John Dean

Notes by Julianne Stewart/ABM
– John talked on the broader context of the sometimes marginalised Book of Revelation, before focussing on Ch21:9-27 which is indicative of the mission of the church at that time (probably Circa 90 CE). 
– The major sense is that mission is to be a living witness to the Lamb, rather than any going out to convert people. 
– Dorothy focussed on Romans 8:18-27, which describes God’s groaning creation, and the wordless groans of the Spirit who intercedes for us in our weakness. 
– We were challenged to see how this could be seen as God’s mission.

2. Exploring faith in a faith based development by the Revd Dr Bob Mitchell

Notes by Vivienne For/ABM
– What difference does faith make in doing community development?
– Talked about different concepts such as development, types of faith based organisations.
– The Church understands charity better although secular organisations are seen to be doing the same community development work.
– Only in the last 5-10 years has the role of religion been taken seriously in development.
– Faith as a base has advantages and disadvantages. A great strength of faith based development work is that it communicates hope at a deeper level. Understanding the importance of inner change or transformation.

3. A theology of ageing by Pam Storey

Notes by Archdeacon Jan Crombie/Melbourne
– Language and cultural differences as barriers to ministry
– Dementia causing relationship changes – expression of personhood
– Emerging Issue : the challenge to enable dementia sufferers to find a voice – and for us to stop and listen!
– We invest heavily in schools and schools as church plant – why not aged care?
– The challenge of integrating more effectively Aged care with parish/community
– Benetas may be able to assist churches (partnership) to the Church Pastoral Care Group, eg, advice, assistance, and help in visiting

4. Transforming injustice: Practicing reconciliation in exile by the Revd Glenn Loughrey

5. Connecting the local and the global Anglican Alliance by Tagolyn Kabekabe & The Revd Andy Bowerman

6. Open Space by the Revd Jan Crombie

A reception with the Primate was then had before dinner where a Q&A Panel session took place with the Right Revd Justin Duckworth, the Revd Christy Capper, the Revd Prof. Stephen Bevans, and the Revd Jasmine Dow. ABM’s Brad Chapman hosted the event.


Day 2 – Climate Change Forum and Life in Abundance Registration – Ash Wednesday 10th February, 2016

Press Release from today’s Australian Anglican Climate Change Forum

Day 2 of the Anglican gathering at Trinity College started with morning prayer.  Two confronting prayer videos were shown. The first was a montage of images from around the world of the beauty that we have been entrusted with and then some of the impacts that humans are having on it. The second was “A Pacific Prayer for the Moana Ocean EPLD” by Archbishop Winston Halapua, from the Anglican Archdiocese of Polynesia.

The Rev’d Andy Bowerman, Co-Director of the Anglican Alliance, then opened the forum. You can download a copy of Andy’s talk here. He then introduced Dr Rose Elu from the Torres Strait and Lay Member of NATSIAC (National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Anglican Council) and Tagolyn Kabekabe from the Solomon Islands and Pacific Coordinator for the Anglican Alliance.

Mick Pope, eco-theologian and lecturer in meteorology and climate, then talked to the forum about reconciling science and theology. “It’s a commitment to the truth.” “Creation has a future.” “A God who loves justice.” “Being a prophetic church: Prophetic proclamation – speaking truth to power; Prophetic presence in protest; Prophetic practice – divestment; Prophetic patience.”

Professor Neil Ormerod from the Australian Catholic University, talked about Pope Francis’ Laudato si’ climate encyclical with attendees. Climate Change is “a debt that is owed to the world’s poorest nations”. “We may well be leaving to coming generations debris, desolation and filth. The pace of consumption, waste and environmental change has so stretched the planet’s capacity that our contemporary lifestyle, unsustainable as it is, can only precipitate catastrophes.” “Environment destruction is a sin.”

After lunch, people heard from other forum participants about how their local church is engaging with the fifth mark of mission (protect, care for and renew life on our planet).

Ncumisa Magadla, from the Church of Southern Africa (ACSA) Environmental Network, talked about what they are doing to reverse the effects of climate change. ACSA are training clergy in a “reverence for creation: green theology training; use of season of creation; blessing of sacraments; creation Church; action and advocacy; liturgy; and carbon fast.” An example given was that when a baptism takes place, the family are encouraged to plant a tree so they can see the tree grow as their faith grows. ACSA also introduced a “Carbon Fast for Lent” resource with 40 actions for each day of Lent.

A World Cafe discussion event then took place where participants were asked to consider the questions: What should the Anglican Church do to respond to the challenge of Climate Change? They were encouraged to look at the question from a local, national and global perspective. The World Cafe discussion was based around four tables, each with a facilitator, talking about the question for 15 minutes and then moving onto another table to continue the conversation. 

Presentations from the climate change forum Day

Presentation 2 – Mick Pope: Focus on theology and science of climate change

Presentation 3 – Neil Ormerod: Focus on Laudato si’

Presentation 4 – Ncumisa Magadla: Focusing on ACSA Environmental Network




Day 1 – Young Anglicans Conference – Tuesday 9th February, 2016

EMERGING ISSUES FROM “RADICAL DISCIPLESHIP” – Young Anglicans Day (Notes by Archdeacon Jan Crombie)

  • Established a need for change
  • Change will come from the ‘crazies’ – we need more ‘crazies’
  • Respect for young people – take their ideas seriously
  • Need to be wary of Hoarding
  • What would it look like building a sustainable Anglican community from the ground up?
  • The importance of Church
  • The importance of the diversity of practice
  • The issue is being stuck in a rut
  • Challenging idolatry within the church
  • Active listening towards community and acting on what we hear
  • The idea of rethinking the Anglican formation experience so that it discerns particular gifts and offers support and affirmation of those gifts
  • Forming better connection with Dioceses around the world and tapping our respective strengths
  • Growing spiritually.  Patterns of prayer.  How we share our blessings.
  • Communicate with other youth leaders – network with one another


The Young Anglicans gathering at Trinity College today brought 40 young people from around the Australian Anglican Church together to learn, share and pray together.

The day started with registration and refreshment before the taking part in Holy Communion together.  After Communion, everyone introduced themselves and talked about what their Anglican Community back home looked like. All Provinces (WA, QLD & NT, NSW & ACT, VIC and SA) and the Extra-provincial, Tasmania, were represented and many various worship styles were mentioned. Everybody was bonded in commonality by their love for Jesus Christ and their love for their Anglican Community.

Lunch was catered by Trinity College and Melbourne University and then Justin Duckworth, Bishop of Wellington, New Zealand, kicked off the afternoon.  He talked about his journey from non-Christian to Christian and then his journey from lay-Christian to bishop.

He then led a “Zoom” session where people had to order a story book by only talking about the image that they had but they weren’t allowed to show the image to anyone else.  This lead into a talk about what makes us Anglican and how we’re bonded together. 

Run Sheet for the day

Opening Worship for the Young Anglicans




Welcome and general introduction to the conference by Trinity College

Program for the week

Communications’ Guide for conference attendees