This weekend nearly 30 of our teenagers head to Katoomba for KYCK Youth Camp. KYCK challenges and equips high schoolers to boldly live the Christian life. This year they’ll be exploring Mark’s gospel in the Bible.

Please join me in praying for safety for them all as they travel up, camp on site and interact with a thousand or so other teenagers also attending. Pray for our Youth Leaders: that they will have energy and enthusiasm for the weekend; that they would be strengthened to live a godly life; and that they would love and lead the teenagers well.

These weekend camps often have a formative place in our lives as we are challenged and encouraged to live for Jesus Christ. Pray that these teenagers be transformed more into the likeness of Christ, not just for a weekend, but for their lifetime and eternity.

Yours in Him,


Check out these photos from a few past years at KYCK. (see how they’ve grown)


Today* is the third day of the Sydney Anglican Synod – its the AGM meeting of the Sydney Diocese of the Anglican Church.  It’s a 5 day meeting of 800 or so people representing around 270 parishes, plus diocesan organisations, schools and boards.  It’s a business meeting with motions, bills and complex rules of debate that take quite some getting used to.  We hear the Bible taught, pray together and discuss and debate a wide range of matters from financial and governance, to theology and political issues.
Highlights for me of the last few days include hearing from 3 indigenous brothers and sisters about their views on the upcoming referendum**; motions encouraging political engagement to curb the effects of poker machines and online sports betting; and many other important matters.
Michael Duckett, pastor of the Macarthur Indigenous Church, described the referendum for the Voice to Parliament as a bus.  He said our tendency is to inspect the bus to see how well its built, find out how many seats its got and to criticise all the details.  But he said his indigenous brothers and sisters have been waiting at the bus stop for a long time, and never before has a bus come along.  He said from their perspective, there is excitement that any old bus might be coming along to help them.  It might not be the best bus, but at least its something.
He also said that the most important reconciliation we can focus on is the reconciliation with God that can only come through Jesus Christ.  Whatever your opinion on the voice to parliament, can I encourage you pray as you prepare to vote, and perhaps consider reading the arguments for and against linked to in the word from our Archbishop on this matter that appears at the bottom of this E-News.
Yours in Him,
*I’m writing this on the morning on Wednesday 13th September.
** Read more about what they said here:

3,2,1 Challenge

We are about to enter the evangelistic season of our Church life.  Who are you praying for?
Let me encourage you to spend some time identifying three non-Christian friends or family members that you can focus on praying for and seeking opportunities to invite to Church, or speak to about Jesus.  Once you’ve done this, commit yourself to praying for them by name every day for the rest of this year and look for opportunities.  
I call this the 3,2,1 Challenge.
On the bookmark you’ll receive at Church, write down three people you’re praying for, two people you’re going to invite to a Church event, and one person you’re going to attempt to speak to about Jesus.  Put the bookmark in your Bible and then use it everyday to remind you to pray.
Here’s an example prayer:
“Dear Lord, I pray that you will reveal yourself to X, Y and Z, so that they find life in Christ.  Give me courage and opportunity to tell them I go to Church, or explain to them why I’m a Christian or to invite them along to a Church event.  Help them to see that they need to repent and trust in Jesus for forgiveness and eternal life.  Amen.”
Yours in Him,

It’s finally happening…

After a lot of prayer, discussion and planning, its finally happening. We will grow from two into three congregations on Sunday the 8th October: Picton 9am; Wilton 10am; and Wilton 5pm.

It’s a simple and necessary change: we want more people to be able to fellowship with us and find life in Christ, so we need an additional congregation in order to fit them in.

The next step for us all is to nominate which of the three congregations we plan to be a part of – so we’re inviting you to complete our very short survey, below.

I expect the difficult thing about this process is that you want to know what your friends are doing, before you make a decision yourself. You might be wondering ‘what if all my friends choose to go in the morning, but I didn’t realise, and I said I was going in the evening’. Don’t worry, this is not a once and for all time decision, you can always change your mind.

I expect that most people will continue attending the congregation they are already a part of. Our Picton congregation will stay the same, with very few people considering making a change to join the Wilton morning congregation. I expect that most people currently attending the Wilton 5pm congregation will continue to attend that same congregation. There is a group of a dozen Wilton 5pm congregation members who are committed to starting the Wilton morning congregation, and there are a few others considering joining them. My advice and encouragement is that if you’re not sure what you’re doing, just stick with the current congregation you’re a part of, you can always decide to make a change later.

Another piece of advice and encouragement, use this moment to pray and consider how you might get involved in serving at Church in some way. There will be needs and opportunities for people to ‘step-up’ and serve, as some people move on to start new things.

Please fill in the survey as soon as possible, so we can understand your intentions and plan accordingly. Click here to complete the survey:

Yours in Christ,


Welcome to the Family

My favourite moment in Church last week was at Wilton when Michael explained why he and Katrina wanted to have Jack baptised.  They want to embrace their Christian beliefs in Jack as he grows up and for him to be baptised in the Wilton Church so they can get the congregations help and support in raising Jack.
It was a beautiful moment in several ways: to see the chuffed look on this nearly 8 year old boys face as he declared his faith in Christ (supported by his parents); as he ran down the aisle high-fiving the congregation afterwards; and as it expressed something very important about our Church community.
One of the important realities of the New Testament letters in the Bible is hidden from us by our English translations.  In English, the word ‘you’ can be either referring to an individual or a group of people.  We like to read it as individual because we tend to value our individuality rather than our place in the community – we like to think about our own relationship with God.  But in fact, the original Greek of the New Testament has a separate word to address individuals and it is very clearly addressing the Church in community almost all of the time.
God never intended the Christian life to be lived alone.  The Christian community / Church family is God’s gift to each other for teaching, encouraging and life together.  This embraces all kinds of people – as older Church members take a keen interest in the lives of young people, as single men and women participate in the family life of others, as deep friendships form and grief and joy are shared together.  Our confirmation service on 13th August will be another opportunity to support our brothers and sisters in Christ as they publicly declare their faith in Christ.
‘Welcome to the family – everyone is welcome’.
In Christ,

God doesn’t get sick!

I hate being sick*. It doesn’t feel good, and its frustrating having to cancel things and let people down. But it’s a good reminder of my limitations and it helps me to rely on others. I’m weak and I’m fragile and I need to rest. And then I discover that the world doesn’t stop turning when I’m unable to contribute to it, which is both humbling and a huge relief. It’s OK for me to rest and recuperate.

God never gets sick. He never has to cancel his plans or postpone his promises. And its a good thing too, because the world really would stop turning without his sustaining it in motion.

In Psalm 3, King David feels vulnerable and weak and is literally under attack from his son Absalom, but he can rest because he is confident of God’s care:

‘I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the LORD sustains me.’ – Psalm 3:5.

In Christ,


*I’ve just got some sort of cold – frustrating, but not life threatening.

Wollongong Regional Conference

We* spent most of this week down at Youthworks Shoalhaven Conference centre meeting with all the Anglican Church leaders of the Wollongong Region of the Sydney Anglican Diocese.  It was such an encouraging time: hearing from 1 Kings about King Solomon’s successes and failures and God’s grace through it all; reflecting together on our constantly changing culture and the power and relevance of our unchanging gospel; and catching up with ministry colleagues from Churches around the region.
It was incredible on Wednesday morning to hear story after story of people coming to faith in Jesus Christ through these Churches and its awesome to be able to return to our Church, where exactly the same thing is happening.  Many are coming to our church services and are finding life in Christ with us!  
The only problem with a great conference, is that the normal things that have to be done each week get squeezed into just two days!  
In Christ,

*Kate, Scott and I all attended.

Training + Coffee = Be There!

This term we’re focussing on equipping ourselves to serve – and we’ve organised three special training seminars for you to participate in.

The first seminar is focused on Welcoming and Integration on Sunday 21st May 2-4pm at Wilton, by guest trainer, Craig Glassock. Craig will help us understand best practice in this area and develop our welcoming and integration ministry.

This is especially important as we anticipate welcoming hundreds of new people into our Church over the next few years as they move into our suburb and the area grows exponentially.

Sadly, it’s in transitioning to a new area or a new phase of life that people often drop out of the habit of going to Church, and then fall away from faith in Christ altogether over time. We have the opportunity to make an eternal impact by helping these people integrate into a new Church well and continue to grow in Christ. We also have the positive opportunity of helping people who don’t know Jesus yet, find life in Christ and become part of our Church family.

To help entice you to come along, Scott will be bringing along our new Church Coffee machine for its maiden voyage. Come at 1:30pm for a coffee before the training starts at 2pm.

In Christ,


Compassion Sunday

Join us for ‘Compassion Sunday’ this weekend as we hear from guest speaker, Spiro Cassis! For more info about compassion go here:

My own compassion story…

We started sponsoring Agbessi in June 2014 when he was 5 years old (he’s now 14). We picked him out from the Compassion ‘line-up’ because he was in the middle of the ages of our children and we did it with them to help them practice showing the love of Jesus through care and generosity.

Agbessi lives in Togo with his parents and with 5 other kids in the house. He’s part of the Compassion program and because of Compassion he is able to go to school, in the equivalent of Year 7.

Our letter writing habits haven’t been great – but we do pray for Agbessi regularly and its been really beneficial for the kids to understand a bit about life in Togo, to not take their own circumstances for granted and to practice generosity in the name of Christ.

Our sponsorship allows the staff of the local Compassion project team in CDE Salut et Joie to provide Agbessi with Bible teaching, choir, hygiene and nutrition education, health screenings, nutritious food, games, field trips, community service opportunities, tutoring and educational materials. The centre staff also provide training for his parents.

We’re really thankful for all the work Compassion does for more than 2 million children world-wide and the impact it has made over the past 60 years releasing children from poverty in Jesus’ name.

Yours in Him,


Humans of PWAC #4

This is part of a series of articles by Rachel Winn (member of St Mark’s, Picton), helping us to get to know other Church members.

“I grew up on the far South Coast of New South Wales, in a small country town called Pambula, right down the bottom near the border of Victoria. It’s a very beautiful place and always windy. My father used to work a lot. My mum worked a lot too, so I was usually babysat during the day as a young child. My parents separated when I was eleven and I went to live with my father after that but I still got to see my mother. I was a pretty busy kid. I was either at school or playing sports (including representative AFL) and if I wasn’t doing either of those, when I got old enough I would usually be at work with my father, who didn’t let me leave school but made me finish Year 12. He would say, “If you don’t work hard at school you’re going to end up doing hard work like this,” which was a pretty good life lesson. I do remember when I was younger, after an AFL game I’d played, a minister spoke to me and said that I should come along to church on Sunday. I did try to go but I was a little bit late and the door was shut, so I didn’t actually make it to church. But I think that was really the beginning of me wondering if maybe there is a God and wanting to know more about him. I was coming from a household where both of my parents were somewhat religious in their upbringings but didn’t entertain it (Christianity) at all for their children. It kind of came about later in life where life got hard that I thought, there’s got to be something here, and investigated it myself. I attended a heap of different churches across Sydney and it was really difficult. I would show up to a service and have no idea what to do. I had no idea about Jesus, I had no idea how to behave at church.

I went to churches where I would be told where to sit and told there’s certain things you can’t say when they would pray or sing. I didn’t understand the different denominations; I didn’t understand anything. But I felt like there was something that was telling me, “You need to sort this out, you need to go to church, you need to see what it’s about.” I ended up trying All Saints church at Parramatta and I really enjoyed spending time with the men there. I actually didn’t learn much about Jesus there, more like just going to church, praying, singing, having a coffee and a chat afterwards. What I think is so special about PWAC is that Ben gives so much opportunity for people to look into who Jesus really is and how knowing him can be a big part of your life. So I’d been going to church and listening all about Jesus and trying to understand the bible. I thought I had started to get it – I thought I was getting it. But it was really when I was doing the Christianity Explored course with Ben and others that it was broken down for me. The presenter of Christianity Explored was a big guy who played footy, so I could really relate to him. I still remember the moment when I thought to myself, “Now I know Jesus!” and a weight being lifted off my shoulders. I even remember where I was sitting at the time. It was quite a special moment.”

How am I going: “Zoe and I will sit down every night and set aside at least half an hour to listen to the bible. We listen to it and if something comes up we pause it and discuss it. I think the discussion is really important for me because I can listen to the bible and miss things. Whereas the discussion not only gives me Zoe’s point of view but also helps me understand how I feel about what I’ve just heard. We’re currently going through Romans. I really like it. Romans is great because to be able to hear the way Paul explains it is important to someone like me because I didn’t grow up with it (the gospel) and didn’t understand. Sometimes the next night I’ll go over what we listened to the night before so it really sticks in my head. I’ve really struggled with having Jesus in my life all the time. I’ll sometimes think, “Oh, that wasn’t very Christian of me.” It’s one thing to talk about Jesus but it’s another to act in a heavenly manner. But I think it’s important to recognise those moments so that as you move on through life they happen less often. Sometimes I don’t really feel confident enough to talk to people about Jesus because a lot of people nowadays, especially the people I hang around with, already have an opinion about it and they’re ready for a debate. I’d rather just be someone who when asked questions is happy to answer them, rather than trying to confront people. In situations where I’m not around Christian people and I openly say I am a Christian, ninety nine percent of the time I’ll hear, “I could never be a Christian because I’m so bad.” So I’ll reply, “You have no idea how important it is for me to hear you say that because I’m the same! Jesus came here to save people like me and you. People who have done it tough, people who have made mistakes. You’re taking the first step, you’ve recognised that you’ve made mistakes and done bad things.” I still have people that I talk to now who will go away and stew about it (our conversations) but they might come back 2 weeks later and ask me another question.”

How am I growing: “I want to be the best Christian that I can be. I want to meet Jesus and not be ashamed, which is a big thing that weighs on my mind. Also, now with Zoe being pregnant I want to be a really good role model and the best dad I can be. I want to show her (my daughter, and the type of man that she needs to look for. And you know, the opportunity to raise a child in a Christian household is a blessing. (I have two children with a previous partner, Noah and Hayden. They live with their mother full-time. Noah is 14 and Hayden is turning 12 in June.) It’s giving them opportunities that I never had to experience life the way it should be. It’s madness the fact that people raise children without God – why would you do that with your child? That’s probably the best thing I can do for my family and I do hold myself accountable. If you asked me what I was passionate about before I became a Christian it would be different. Now I would say that I want to have a strong family, which is something that Zoe never had; I never had. Through Jesus that can happen.

I’ve also been working really hard on my physical fitness and my mental health. I’ve lost 37 kilos to date, through going to the gym and trying to learn to box.That’s been a really good opportunity to be in spaces with non-Christians and to have those uncomfortable discussions. I don’t think men have previously had to grow up in this kind of environment as now. The social pressures are different for young men now, conforming with what society expects. It’s much easier to conform with what Jesus expects because it’s written! Some of these young guys (at the gym) will twist what the bible says to try to make a point and it’s hard to pull them up on it. But you have to draw the line somewhere, while still maintaining a healthy friendship. I’ve made so many connections with many young guys through that. It’s a positive atmosphere. I wear religious shirts. It’s been a great conversation starter to put it all out there, be completely approachable. I do boxing at the park with a trainer and we do group sessions as well, so again, that’s been another good opportunity. My trainer was raised as a Catholic but is now an atheist, so we have many great discussions. I’ve actually had the opportunity in the middle of a session to say, “Hey guys, we don’t have to talk about it now, you’re all welcome to come to church on Sunday and we can talk about it as much as you like.” I’m taking those little opportunities.”

— Matthew Warnock, member of 5.00pm @ Wilton Anglican Church 

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Sundays 9:30am @ Picton and 5pm @ Wilton (with Kids Program). Also livestreamed on YouTube.

New!  Wilton 10am service starts 8th October. (and Picton 9:30am service moves to 9am).