Sharing the love of Jesus at Mardi Gras?
Earlier this week I blogged the following:
“I go to Solemn High Mass (almost) every Sunday at Christ Church St Laurence, Railway Square in Sydney. It is an Anglican parish of the Anglo-catholic tradition. On the Sunday that just past, after Mass, I picked up a copy of the February-March 2023 edition of Southern Cross, the news magazine for Sydney Anglicans. For reading on the way home.
Page 10 had an interesting story on “Clinical trials for old people and 4 year olds”. Page 14 had an even more interesting story on “Sharing the love of Jesus at Mardi Gras”, with “A Better Story To Tell” (on GAFCON Response to CofE Bishops Statement) on the same page. Page 17 has a St James’ Institute event ad titled “Two Gay Anglican Leaders on Sexuality & Faith”. Very interesting.”
Lo and behold, this appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald yesterday:
“The conservative Anglican archbishop of Sydney has apologised to clergy for causing them distress after the diocese’s newspaper mistakenly promoted a talk by a gay Anglican who is one of the world’s leading authorities on harm caused by conversion therapy.
The diocese’s Southern Cross newspaper ran an advertisement for talks by Jayne Ozanne — who has discussed the harm of conversion practices with Pope Francis — and US evangelical Wesley Hill, whose view that gay Christians must choose heterosexual marriage or celibacy aligns with the position of Sydney Anglicans.
The ad for the talks at the St James’ Institute was withdrawn from the online edition and replaced with a picture of a sunset. Ozanne’s talk is entitled, Unashamedly Gay. Unashamedly Christian. In his newsletter to clergy, Archbishop Kanishka Raffel said he regretted the decision to accept the advertisement.
“I apologise for doing so, and for the distress it has caused,” he wrote, saying the editorial processes would be reviewed to stop such a mistake from happening again. “I do not support the views of Ms Ozanne, and I do not recommend attendance at the event.”…
Raffel said the local bishop, Michael Stead, would attend Ozanne’s talk. “The appearance of the ad in the diocesan magazine created distress among some that the diocese was advocating a position on human sexuality which was not consistent with the Bible,” he said in a statement.
“I clarified that this was not the case and apologised for the distress that had been caused. Ms Ozanne has recently participated in the UK General Synod which rejected the clear teaching of scripture, putting itself at odds with the vast majority of the world’s Anglicans.”
But the same ad promoted Wesley Hill, so what gives? Also, “the local bishop, Michael Stead, would attend Ozanne’s talk,” but the Archbishop does not “recommend attendance at the event?” I shouldn’t be surprised though, see “A Better Story To Tell” in the photo above. It gets interesting when you start reading the Archbishop’s comments in “Sharing the love of Jesus at Mardi Gras”:
“Archbishop Raffel commended the church’s efforts and hopes those visiting Sydney for World Pride 2023 take up the opportunity to visit one of our churches while they are here.
“I hope that this is an opportunity to build bridges and break down unhelpful stereotypes,” he says. “The reality is that all people are welcome to visit our churches and attend worship services, whatever they believe. We believe that God made us all, loves us equally, and invites everyone into a relationship with him through Jesus. Our churches aim to be as welcoming as God is.”
#OKArchbishop, I’m one of those volunteers who will be partnering with Vine Church Surry Hills, reaching out with the love of Jesus to those attending the Mardi Gras Parade in Sydney later this month. And attending Jayne’s talk.