BETTER TOGETHER 2017: WOMEN AND MEN: ONE IN CHRIST
APRIL 28–30th APRIL 2017
ST THOMAS ANGLICAN CHURCH
More information and registration here.
More information and registration here.
Welcome to the Website of the Sydney chapter of Christians for Biblical Equality.
CBE affirms and promotes the biblical truth that all believers—without regard to gender, ethnicity or class—must exercise their God-given gifts with equal authority and equal responsibility in church, home and world. More about us on the About & Links page.
CBE international recently held a four-day conference in Johannesburg, South Africa. President of CBE Sydney Paul Perini attended the conference and reflects on his experience here.
The recent Truth Be Told conference, held in Johannesburg, focused on gender equality, paying special attention to the scourge of violence against women. The conference attracted 3000+ delegates on Wednesday night to hear advocate Thuli Madonsela speak. A training workshop was held on Thursday. 300+ came to both morning and afternoon sessions on Friday, and 350+ attended the conference on Saturday (with some 110 university students). The conference was hosted by Rhema Bible Church, and was the initiative of both Rhema and CBE International. The scriptures were consistently taught, one example being a carefully constructed and passionately presented address on the rape of Tamar (which is recorded in 2 Samuel 13).
Speaker after speaker, talking from their own area of ministry and experience, concluded that gender inequality in church, society and home works against both women and men flourishing. Such inequality provides fertile ground for violence against women. The primary cultural and national focus was South Africa, but speakers from Kenya, Uganda and from the U.S helped give the conference cross-cultural relevance.
Rhema is a large Pentecostal church. Some members of its leadership team have lived in an intentional mixed racial community for over twenty years. Through that setting Rhema gave a tangible challenge to the previous apartheid system which governed South Africa. Rhema has a respected presence in the life of Johannesburg with established ministries of social advocacy and action. Now, in part due to the influence of CBE, Rhema has a freshly discovered commitment to gender equality.
The person invited to be the opening speaker for the conference was Thuli Madonsela, who serves as Protector Advocate and Public Protector for South Africa. Her office was established, in terms of South Africa’s Constitution, to investigate complaints against government agencies or officials, including the president. She spoke with power and clarity from a Christian conviction about the need for gender equality throughout the culture and institutions of her nation.
As I participated in the conference I reflected on my own city of Sydney, and on the attitudes and practices of my ‘spiritual home’: the Anglican Church. Regretfully I concluded that the Anglican Church in Sydney, despite all its strengths, is a community in which male privilege is entrenched. Therefore it is an unjust community.
In the Sydney Anglican Church, membership to the office of presbyter (priest) is exclusively male. All rectors are therefore male. All bishops are male. The majority of members of key committees are male. The regional mission area meetings, designed to facilitate outreach and growth, are dominated by males. In numerous churches within Sydney, men are the only ones who preach to the whole congregation. The existence of such privilege, based on gender, devalues women, who are excluded from opportunities and roles for which they have the character and understanding. Women are prevented from expressing their full potential in the life of the church. Such a situation invariably gives the privileged gender a sense of entitlement. This entitlement, and the resultant devaluing of the other, are antithetical to the gospel of grace and reconciliation. They are a denial of the equally shared image bearing capacity of men and women and the mandate given to both to establish family and to care for creation.
Social research and the work of aid and development organisations, such as World Vision and TEAR, point to individuals and communities flourishing when men and women have equal opportunity and participation in education and employment, and have equitable representation in leadership. The United Nations’ set of Sustainable Development Goals includes, as the fifth goal, gender equality:
‘While the world has achieved progress towards gender equality and women’s empowerment under the Millennium Development Goals (including equal access to primary education between girls and boys), women and girls continue to suffer discrimination and violence in every part of the world. Gender equality is not only a fundamental human right, but a necessary foundation for a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable world. Providing women and girls with equal access to education, health care, decent work, and representation in political and economic decision-making processes will fuel sustainable economies and benefit societies and humanity at large.’ (Source)
As a church we must have a world concern. We must be part of the civil society which recognises the importance of gender equality. We must strive for all people to flourish. Such striving is the outworking, rather than the denial, of God’s purposes and plans presented in scripture and encapsulated in the gospel; the gospel that proclaims Jesus as king. Our attitudes and practices, which prohibit women from leading and teaching in the life of the church, limit our ability as church to contribute to the civil society. Our prophetic edge is blunted rather than sharpened.
Our next CBE-Sydney brunch will be held on Saturday November 5, when we will explore the important topic of single Christians in today’s church.
Our special guest is international speaker Tania Harris, who will be speaking on:
“What singleness teaches us about God’s vision for gender equality”
Tania Harris is a pastor, speaker and founder of God Conversations, a global ministry that equips people to recognise and respond to God’s voice. Tania has a diverse history as church planter, pastor and Bible College lecturer, and is currently completing her Doctorate in Ministry researching people’s experiences of hearing God’s voice.
Tania’s talk will be followed by a Q&A with a panel of Christians who are all single (unmarried or divorced) or who have single for many years. The panel includes Stephanie Penny, a psychologist and author of a soon-to be-published book “Surviving Singledom.”
Date: Saturday November 5
Time: 9.45 for a 10 am start
Venue: Stanmore House Conference and Training Centre
97 Cambridge St, Stanmore.
Cost: $20, includes a light brunch
We hope you can make it. Bring your friends and bring your questions.
Register via email: email@example.com
Modern technology means that those of us who cannot make it to the CBE International Conference in Johannesburg this September can watch the talks online.
The theme of the conference is:
Truth Be Told: Speaking Out Against Gender Based Violence
The aim of the conference is to lay a biblical foundation for equal respect, service, and authority for men and women, and to empower local leaders to positively impact the families, churches, and communities they serve.
The conference will be held at Rhema Bible Church North in Johannesburg and will kick off on Wednesday night, September 14, at 7:30pm (South Africa Time). But you can virtually attend this event as it will be live-streamed on Rhema’s website.
Time differences will make watching the event live quite a challenge for us in Australia: 7.30pm in South Africa is 3.30am here on the east coast, but our friends in Western Australia may be able to watch live.
Starting on Thursday, September 15, you can access a videotaped recording of the Wednesday night’s meeting at gemarhema.org. Click the “Events” tab and scroll down, or watch CBE International’s Facebook page for direct links.
The Southern Sydney group “Bible Conversations” will be watching a recording of this introductory talk at 7.30pm on September 21 at a meeting room at Gymea Baptist.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org for details about this.
For others who are tech savvy, you may want to invite a few friends around and watch recordings together. Also, recordings of all conference sessions will be available for free after the conference.
More information about the 2016 international conference is on the CBE International’s website here.
CBE in Australia will be hosting a national conference next year in Melbourne, with a great lineup of speakers and a variety of workshop options. So save the date!
KEY SPEAKERS AND TOPICS
Dr Mimi Haddad
President of CBE International
Why would a good Lebanese girl devote her life to promoting biblical gender equality? My personal and professional journey as a Christian feminist
A Theology of Abolition: How we read Scripture has a global impact on girls and women
What language Shall I use? Reexamining Feminine Metaphors for God and inclusive Language for People
Rev Dr Kevin Giles
Anglican Minister, Scholar, and Author
Was Paul a Misogynist?
The Trinity without Tiers
Rev Patti Ricotta
President of Life Together International
Patti Ricotta will speak on her work to eradicate female genital mutilation in Africa.
A choice of workshops will be offered on both theological and practical topics. Presenters include Karina Kreminski and Margaret Mowczko.
The full conference program can be viewed here.
Biographies of the speakers and presenters can be viewed here.
Registration options can be viewed here.
The super early bird special of $150 for the full conference ends on the 28th of December.
Some of our members and friends may be interested in the annual general meeting of the the Sydney Movement for the Ordination of Women (MOW).
MOW exists to promote the ordination of women to the priesthood in the Anglican Church, and to promote the full and equal ministry of women with men in the Anglican Church.
Date and Time: Saturday the 17th September 2016, at 2.00pm
Guest Speakers: Robyn and David Claydon
Topic: Doors are for Walking Through: Women’s Leadership in the Worldwide Anglican Church—Reflections on Change.
Venue: St Albans’s, Epping
Parish Hall, 3 Pembroke Street, Epping
For more information, including RSVP details and parking information, click here.
MOW’s Facebook page is here.
Join us for dinner in a historic home with turn of the century decor and an open fire.
The Dining Room
Stanmore House Conference Centre
97 Cambridge Street, Stanmore, NSW
Paul Perini will give a short talk and there will be live music.
Cost is $50 for a main course (including turkey and traditional honey glazed ham) and dessert, plus soft drinks, tea and coffee.
RSVP by 8th July to email@example.com Please title email ‘Christmas in July Dinner’
Bookings are now closed.
More information on the printable flyer: CBE Christmas in July 2016 Invitation.
Our next public event will be held on Saturday morning, the 7th of May, and our guest speaker will be Rev Dr Andrew Sloane.
Andrew will be speaking on the way Genesis chapters 2–3 have been understood by a variety of scholars, some of whom see the Genesis passage as egalitarian, others as oppressive, and others as irredeemable. Andrew will challenge these ideas as an egalitarian evangelical.
Topic: “And he shall rule over you”: Evangelicals, Feminists, and Genesis 2 -3
Date: Saturday the 7th of May 2016
New Venue: Stanmore House, Conference and Training Centre
97 Cambridge St, Stanmore.
On and off-street parking available, and the venue is an easy walk from Stanmore railway station. (Map)
New Cost: $20, includes morning tea.
Bio: Born in Scotland, Andrew Sloane was raised in the western suburbs of Sydney. He studied medicine at the University of NSW and practiced briefly as a doctor before studying at Morling College. He graduated from Morling in 1990 and was ordained as a Baptist minister in 1991. Andrew ministered in Baptist churches in Sydney and Newcastle before joining the faculty at Ridley (Anglican) College in Melbourne in 1996. He is currently Director of Postgraduate studies at Morling Theological College, having joining the faculty in 2002 as Lecturer in Old Testament and Christian Thought.
Andrew’s academic interests include Old Testament and Biblical interpretation, philosophical theology, bioethics and epistemology (philosophy). He has published articles in bioethics and philosophy.
His first book, On Being a Christian in the Academy (Paternoster, 2003), is based on his 1994 doctoral thesis. Andrew’s second book At Home in a Strange Land (Hendrickson, 2008) is available through Morling Press. More recently, he edited Tamar’s Tears (Wipf and Stock, 2011), and contributed a chapter which forms the basis of the talk he will present at our meeting.
Andrew is married to Alison, and they have three daughters, Elanor, Laura and Alexandra.
We look forward to a stimulating talk and conversation. See you then!
RSVP to Lesley via firstname.lastname@example.org
A printable flyer is here.
NSW Police have released an excellent video addressing domestic violence. Here’s the statement that accompanies the video.
NSW Police has today launched a powerful new video campaign to raise public awareness about the issue of domestic and family violence.“It’s not your fault” is the theme of the campaign, which consists of a 30-second community service announcement (CSA) for TV, as well as a longer version for cinemas and social media.In NSW, police respond to more than 140,000 incidents of domestic and family violence per year. This translates to about 380 cases every day.
Today’s CSA launch coincides with a state-wide roll-out of a new process for targeting repeat domestic-violence offenders.
For over a decade, NSW Police has used a process called the Suspect Targeting Management Plan (STMP) to deal with high-risk and repeat offenders.The process has recently been adapted to include high-risk domestic violence offenders, and following successful trials in the Central Metropolitan Region, this refinement is now being introduced state-wide.
“The STMP model will ensure the state’s most serious domestic-violence offenders face the highest level of scrutiny by police, and allow us to intervene before they commit their next offence,” NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione said. “This renewed focus on offender accountability is part of our ongoing commitment to providing the utmost level of support to the victims of domestic and family violence.“
“We have made other significant headway. For example, in a world first, NSW police can now record domestic violence video evidence at the time of an incident, which relieves the victim of the emotional burden of giving evidence in court. But a problem of this magnitude won’t go away in a hurry. We still have much more work to do, and that includes raising public awareness about the issue through campaigns like the one we are launching today,” he said.
Members of NSW Police’s Domestic Violence Team used their own front-line experience investigating and prosecuting domestic-violence cases to write, direct and produce the community service announcement. The aim of the campaign is to remind people there is no excuse for domestic and family violence, and it is never the victim’s fault.
“Domestic violence is a serious crime and police are committed to bringing offenders to justice,” Commissioner Scipione said. “Every day police battle the community perception that domestic violence is a ‘family matter’ or ‘private business’.“That is most definitely not the case. If you are aware this is occurring in your community, you are obliged to report it, like any other crime.“
Some may find the images in these videos confronting; we do not apologise for this. Domestic and family violence is a confronting issue, and one we must continue to face head-on,” Commissioner Scipione said. NSW Police Force’s Corporate Spokesperson on Domestic and Family Violence, Assistant Commissioner Mick Fuller, said it is only fitting the videos were developed by police.“ Police officers attend hundreds of domestic-violence incidents every day and see first-hand the impact and harm it has on families,” Assistant Commissioner Fuller said.
“Children are the hidden victims of domestic violence, which is why children feature so prominently in the campaign.“There are no innocent bystanders in this space. By reporting domestic violence, you could prevent the next homicide,” Assistant Commissioner Fuller said.
Police urging anyone with information about domestic-violence crimes to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or use the Crime Stoppers online reporting page: https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au/ Information you provide will be treated in the strictest of confidence. We remind people they should not report crime information via our Facebook and Twitter pages.
Posted by NSW Police Force on Tuesday, 23 February 2016
If you are on facebook you can watch the video by clicking here: It’s Not Your Fault. Or watch the video here. This 2 minute video shows both the new video and some of the launch of the domestic violence campaign.