There are a number of changes coming to the Cathedral’s ministry.

Andrew Nixon, The Bible Talks pastor, has now accepted a ministry with Evangelism Ministries. He is to head up the new diocesan scheme known as Connect 09. This is a very important task as the diocesan mission finds focus in a yearlong change of direction. Throughout 2008 there will be training and reorganisation of our parish ministries to prepare for a major effort in 2009. The aim is to connect, or reconnect our congregations with the population around us. Andrew’s new role will be demanding and challenging, but it is of great importance to the spread of the Gospel in Sydney.

Andrew’s leadership will be sadly missed by The Bible Talks congregation. He has laboured long and hard amongst us, caring for individuals as well as the ministry as a whole. He and Jenny have exercised great hospitality and generosity of spirit.

There are three new staff members joining the Cathedral’s pastoral staff.

Alison Napier has been a member of our Cathedral for the last couple of years. A graduate of Sydney University and Moore College, she has been working for the city-based ministry “Evangelising Commerce”. Next year, she is going to join the Cathedral’s staff. Her primary role will be as women’s pastor in the morning congregations. This is a new position for the Cathedral and will hopefully improve significantly our pastoral concern for the many people who are joining our morning congregations.

Last year, we sadly farewelled our friends Jim and Carole Holbeck. Jim was the long-serving leader of the Healing Ministry. Since then we have been involved in a long and difficult task of finding his replacement. I am pleased to announce that Christopher Allan has accepted our invitation to join the Cathedral staff to undertake this ministry.

Christopher is a graduate of the University of Technology and worked in the building industry as a project manager for a large development firm in Sydney and Pyrmont for several years prior to going to Moore College. He is married to Sandra and they have three young sons. For the last three years, he has been on the staff at St Albans Rooty Hill. He was a student minister at the Cathedral in 2004. Christopher’s work life in the city combined with his previous ministry at the Cathedral while living in Newtown has given him a great love for city ministry and inner city living.

It is also pleasing to announce that Michael Turner has accepted our invitation to join the staff of the Cathedral from January next year. Mike will be taking responsibility for the Bible Talks ministry. Mike is a Commerce graduate of the University of Western Sydney. He worked for Qantas prior to entering Moore College to train for the ministry. At present, he is the assistant minister in the parish of Fairymeadow. Mike is married to Vanessa and they have two small children.

These appointments give promise to a great leap forward next year. It will be particularly helpful to have a new leader for the Healing Ministry, as Chris Moroney has had to shoulder such a great load over the last twelve months.

But the obvious question is can we afford such increase in staffing? The answer is uncertain. Two of the appointments are replacements (the leaders of TBT and the Healing Ministry). The only expansion in the staff is the appointment of Alison as our pastoral worker for the morning congregations. This appointment is to be substantially paid for in the first instance by the proceeds of the Glennon Trust. The Glennon Trust allocates money for new initiatives in the Cathedral ministry. It enables us to expand our work by providing the seed funding for new ministries to start. However, in time we will need to meet the costs of the ministries as they become established.

Thus, these appointments will not have a great impact on the budget for 2008. Our problem financially is meeting the budget for 2007. So far we have seen a 9% increase in congregational giving over last year. Most of that increase has come in the last two months when the increase for August and September was 32% and 27% respectively. It is a great encouragement to see the increased support for the ministry of the Cathedral. It speaks well of the steadily improving morale that we feel across all the congregations. The last two months of the year will be critical to overcome the sizeable deficit that we have been operating in for the last twelve months. Please keep giving generously and wherever possible increase this commitment.

On another issue altogether, I will be away for a few weeks.

Next week, I will be preaching in Capital Hill Baptist Church in Washington DC. In order to launch the Sydney publishing firm Matthias Media in the American market, I will be speaking at a clergy conference for the following week.

The week after that, I will be speaking at an Evangelism conference at All Souls Langham Place London. This is to repay the favour of their rector Hugh Palmer coming to us earlier in the year.

After that, Helen and I will return for a few weeks holiday somewhere on the NSW coast. It will be a rest time to get prepared for the Christmas and summer evangelism season. But we will talk of those plans in a future Courier.

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