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Intern Update – Sam Crosson

NZCMS - Mon, 03/12/2018 - 15:29

I’ve been in Kenya for just over two months and I am entering into my final month of my placement. As I reflect on what I’ve been able to do, I’m filled with a joyful gratitude.

Nairobi Chapel, where I have been serving, has been an incredible work place of ministry with amazing people. I’ve been able to serve in many different contexts including the youth department, young adults, PPI (Bible in Schools) with the younger kids and am also involved with the worship team.

I’ve been struck by the faith that the leaders have and the amount of prayer that backs this faith up. There is no limit to what God is capable of in the eyes of the Kenyans and in a lot of cases it is all they have. This is something that’s really challenged my way of thinking and something I hope to bring back with me. It is a challenge to the church in New Zealand and an opportunity to learn from our Kenyan brothers and sisters. An example of this is the vision statement of Nairobi Chapel – planting 300 churches by 2020. They have set an impossible task in the eyes of men but have decided to look at it through the eyes of our Father to whom nothing is too big or too impossible. 

The last two months have been filled with highlights and memories I will never forget. I’ve seen my faith tested, my dependence on God challenged and my relationship with him grown. God is working in big ways and I’ve learnt a huge amount about myself and also about Him. 

I’m constantly thrown in the deep end and it has been a sink or swim reality. I‘ve been given responsibilities of preaching, leading Bible studies and prayer groups, all of which has thoroughly put me out of my comfort zone. Through all of this, I’ve been learning about the limitations of my own abilities and how to depend on God when I find myself stretched. 

As I head into my final month I’m praying that I finish my time here strong and that the Lord continues to teach and mould my character into more of a Christ-likeness. 

I want to be able to continue to serve at full capacity and be available in any way I can. I’m so grateful for the support from those in New Zealand and the constant prayer. It means the world to me to know that, as I walk out the door, I’m doing so with the prayers and faithfulness of people back at home. I’m also so thankful to the Lord for making this opportunity possible in the first place.

Blessings from Kenya,

Sam Crossan.

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Know your HIV status: message from Anglican leaders on 30th World Aids Day

Anglican Communion News Service - Sat, 01/12/2018 - 05:58

Anglican and Christians from other Churches are marking the 30th annual World Aids Day by promoting the importance of HIV testing.

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Anglicans around the world prepare to take part in the AdventWord digital Advent calendar

Anglican Communion News Service - Sat, 01/12/2018 - 03:38

The global digital advent calendar AdventWord is once more seeking to engage Anglicans with a series of online interactive reflections.

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Resumen semanal de noticias del Servicio de Noticias de la Comunión Anglicana a viernes 30 de noviembre de 2018

Anglican Communion News Service - Sat, 01/12/2018 - 02:46

Resumen semanal de noticias del Servicio de Noticias de la Comunión Anglicana a viernes 30 de noviembre de 2018 

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Résumé des nouvelles hebdomadaires de l’Agence d’information de la Communion anglicane, le vendredi 30 novembre 2018

Anglican Communion News Service - Sat, 01/12/2018 - 02:46

Résumé des nouvelles hebdomadaires de l’Agence d’information de la Communion anglicane, le vendredi 30 novembre 2018

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Transformed by the Trinity

NZCMS - Fri, 30/11/2018 - 17:28

The early Christians were Jews and strict monotheists – believers in only one God. But they came to believe that God should be called both ‘one’ and ‘three’ at the same time. Their belief in the Trinity became a central belief (even though ‘Trinity’ is a Latin word not found in the Bible). What persuaded them to do this?

 

Some New Testament Foundations

 

Look at the following four New Testament passages and ask, “How do they speak of some kind of ‘threefold’ (Father, Son, Spirit) action of the living God?”

  • John 16:13-15 The Son speaks of his Father and the Spirit
  • Ephesians 1:13-14 Our God-given salvation
  • Romans 8:9-11 The Spirit does God’s work
  • 2 Corinthians 13:13-14 One God of love, grace and fellowship

None of these passages “proves” the Trinity – but they do show how the one God works in a threefold way in our world. That’s why the idea of the Trinity became the heart of the Christian understanding of God. The belief says that God is relational in his very being. The one true God is social not solitary.

 

God as Trinity

 

We know the doctrine of the Trinity is true by experiencing and worshiping God as Father, and as Son, and as Spirit – rather than by working it out in our minds. God cannot be fully known by reason; but God can be fully loved and worshiped. The personal salvation we experience reconciles us to God the Father, through the life and death of God the Son, in the power of God the Holy Spirit. So, our Gospel is Trinitarian, and the Trinity is the Gospel. Our eternal life comes from the Trinity, happens through the Trinity, and brings us home to the Trinity.

Our God is not an isolated ‘individual’. Our God – Father, -Son, Spirit – is, we could even say, a ‘small group’. And in the doctrine of the Trinity we feel the heartbeat of God for salvation and mission:  moving away from isolation to fellowship and community, and lovingly longing for this for others too.

 

The Trinity as a ‘divine dance’

 

This is the suggestion of Baxter Kruger in his book The Great Dance. Kruger uses the image of a ‘divine dance’ to try to explain a key word used in the early church: perichoresis. This word means ‘interpenetration’ – the way in which the concerns of one member of the Trinity become the concerns of each. So, whatever is the ‘work’ of one is the work of each – whether it’s creation, salvation, mission, making us holy, and so on. All three work together in each of these areas and the image of the three dancing is a lovely one that preserves their individuality and their perfect harmony together. So, writes Kruger,

“The logic of the incarnation and death of Jesus lies in the determined passion of the Trinity to share their life, their glory, their great dance with us – and not just with us, but with the whole creation. The dance of the Triune life is no longer just a divine dance. It is now and forever a divine-human dance.”

 

It’s all about ‘interdependence’ and partnership

 

Our God is a relational God and he intends that we reflect his relational nature in our lives. This can only happen if we move out of our isolation and into relationship with God and others. Community is not simply one aspect of human life; community is found within the divine essence of the living God. There is a relational heart to our understanding of God. Remind one another of John 3:16. From that “giving” of the Father and Son eventually comes the outpouring of the Spirit – look again at John 16:13-15. By growing the fruit of this Spirit in our lives (look at Galatians 5:22-23a, 25) we live out the message that Jesus, risen from the dead, is indeed Lord.

The self-giving life and serving of the Trinity becomes the model for the self-giving life and serving of God’s people.

 

The transforming difference that belief in God as Trinity makes

 

The argument runs like this: since we are made in God’s image and likeness (Genesis 1:26-27), God is the model and standard for humanity. The essential inner nature of God shows how we should live both as individual Christians and as the Christian community. The model does not focus on us as solitary individuals, but on ‘persons-in-community’. Nor does this life destroy our individuality. This is not independence, and it’s not dependence. It is interdependence. This becomes the ideal for us as people who are made in the image of our Triune God.

Knowing our God as Trinity influences and models the way we should act towards one another. So, what are some practical everyday ways we can partner with our God – Father, Son, Spirit – to bring God’s love and healing to family, neighbours and friends? Imagine how different our world would be if families, marriages, communities and nations lived according to the loving, serving, harmony of our one-but-three God. Now turn that imagining into prayer.

Finally, go back over what’s written above. And then prayerfully think about and respond again to the four bolded paragraphs.

Categories: Affiliate News

Anglican leaders conclude regional Primates’ Meeting with hope

Anglican Communion News Service - Fri, 30/11/2018 - 07:48

Anglican Primates from the Americas and the Caribbean have Committed to continue meeting regularly and working together in future.

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Zambia’s churches to work together to lead National Dialogue process

Anglican Communion News Service - Fri, 30/11/2018 - 04:14

The Churches of Zambia will lead the country’s “National Dialogue” after reaching agreement with the Zambia Centre for Interparty Dialogue.

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Archbishop of Central America elected to Anglican Communion’s Standing Committee

Anglican Communion News Service - Thu, 29/11/2018 - 08:46

Archbishop Julio Murray of Central America has been elected as the Americas Primate on the Anglican Communion’s Standing Committee.

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South Sudan’s Primate, Justin Badi Arama, prays for peace with President Kiir

Anglican Communion News Service - Thu, 29/11/2018 - 05:47

Archbishop Justin Badi Arama has paid a visit to South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir to pray for peace in the war-torn country. 

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