May 192019

I’ve been so encouraged by a number of things happening recently within our church and beyond, particularly with regard to ministry with young people. Here are just some of the things that are encouraging me.

Partners in Prayer

It is fantastic that there are almost 60 people in our congregation praying specifically for one of our young people. There is no question that this will be significant in the lives of our young people and in the life of our congregation.

CRUWest Partnership Dinner

Last Monday night, seven people from St Philips attended the CRUWest Partnership dinner. It was excellent to hear about the impact of CRUWest’s camps, school groups, Interschool meetings and training. We heard a testimony from a local independent school student who committed her life to Jesus on the Spring Leadership Camp last year, that Kieran and a number of our teenagers attended. She is now looking to start a Christian group at her school.

Family Gatherings

Families, and others who are interested in journeying alongside families, continue to gather over lunch on the first Sunday of each month. It’s a good time of connection and growing in relationship. At the family gathering this month, we used a resource of FaithTalk With Children cards which opened up interesting conversations between people about life and faith. I was encouraged last Sunday to see one of our teenagers and a 1-y-o interacting, proceeding from the deepened connection at the Family Gathering the previous week.

Youth Group

As many of you will be aware, a couple of weeks ago we had our first youth group night which included Year 5s and 6s. It was an excellent night. I was particularly encouraged by the number of young people who invited friends along, and also the desire of our young people to engage with the Bible.

SU Camps

As the SU camps opened for the next school holidays, parents and young people discussed which camps they might register for.  There is eager anticipation amongst these young people of times of fun, faith and friendship during the July school holidays.

North Cottesloe Primary School

Each week six people from our congregation are present within North Cottesloe Primary School, working alongside children there in various ways. Their presence is deeply appreciated by the school. I am also about to start a lunchtime board games group which has been requested by the school.

New City Catechism

We continue to use the New City Catechism as the framework of our learning times for our young people on Sunday mornings. I’ve loved watching our kids drawing on previous questions as we discuss what we are learning. That’s the kind of foundation we are aiming to give them.

I give thanks to God for what He is doing in our midst, through us and in the schools in our area. Thanks for your part in it.


May 122019

This week a number of people with some degree of profile in the Christian world have died. I’ve watched the outpouring of grief and the recognition from many of how these people have impacted them personally, often from a distance, through books, speaking engagements and the significant choices that these people made in how they lived and what they gave themselves to.

One of these people, a man named Bruce Chapman, who many of you won’t have heard of, died on Tuesday morning. Bruce was involved in youth ministry leadership from the late 80s. He and his family moved to Darwin from Sydney just over a decade ago, where he has been the Anglican Diocesan Youth Minister with Bush Church Aid.  As he ministered there, he chose to keep giving himself to the cause of young people growing in their faith, alongside his journey with melanoma. This commitment, and his passion for young people, encourage me to continue to press on in giving of myself so that more young people might be strongly grounded in their knowledge and love of Jesus.

Another person who has died this week is Jean Vanier, the founder of the L’Arche communities where “people with and without intellectual disabilities create places of welcome and celebration, sharing in life together.”

Starting in 1964, there are now more than 150 L’Arche communities in 38 countries around the world. (For those of you familiar with the writing of Henri Nouwen, these are the communities that he was a part of and that he speaks of in some of his writings.) Over the years I’ve been significantly influenced and challenged by Vanier’s work, especially his book Community and Growth. Some of my favourite quotes from that book are:

“Be close to those God has given you in community today”;

“Sometimes it is easier to hear the cries of poor people who are far away than it is to hear the cries of your brothers and sisters in your community”;

“The poor reveal to those who have come to ‘help’ them their own poverty and vulnerability”;

“Members of a community have to be friends of time.  They have to learn that many things will resolve themselves if they are given enough time”;

“We are all responsible for the atmosphere of the community”;

“The more we become people of action and responsibility in our community, the more we must become people of contemplation”.

His was a life well-lived that powerfully impacted the world.  It encourages me to live likewise.

These two people have been rich towards God. Their lives inspire us as we follow Jesus. They inspire me in ways that Jesus calls us to. Who is inspiring you to be rich towards God at the moment?


May 052019

To St Philips Anglican Church congregation,

Thank you so much for your donations of food to the Willagee / Kardinya Anglican church to allow the food ministry to continue.  Between 25 and 35 people come and choose 5 or 6 food items plus bread every week.  Families get extra items.  Jesus is surely working miracles in the continuous supply of food and in our contacts with the people who come.

We now encourage people to stay for coffee and a biscuit and have a talk.  This is very important to some people who have let us know that they appreciate this opportunity.

One lady said (after being invited to come to church) that she thought God had recently been leading her to come to church.   One man said thank you for the bible we gave him and said he reads his bible every day and prays to God.

This is a very fulfilling ministry for those who do God’s work, for those people who provide the food and bring it along and for those people come on the day, who talk to people and give out the food and make coffee as well.  We are all working for God as a team and God uses every opportunity to work His miracles.

Thank you again,
William Phoebe (Wally)


Apr 282019

The Carrs have been in Perth for just over a year now. There is plenty to celebrate! Allow me to share a few things that I am grateful for at the moment. Tim Dyer Visit I’m very grateful for Malcolm’s investment in helping the staff team clarify our sense of where God is leading St Philips in the years to come. Tim Dyer will be flying in from Tasmania to guide us through a kind of ‘visioneering’ process for two [continue reading…]

Apr 232019

Good News. Such good news. That’s what we are celebrating this weekend. I wonder what your Lent has been like. I’m someone who finds rhythms very helpful and the rhythms of the church year are often a part of that. But this year, for various reasons, I haven’t engaged strongly in a Lenten journey – well, not deliberately and intentionally anyway. God, on the other hand, has been doing His work of leading me to the Cross! So I’ve come [continue reading…]

Apr 142019

Easter is upon us.  Once again the holiest season for Christians will vie for some space in that desire to grab the last warm holiday before winter. Seasons are a gift from God.  They are necessary.  They provide great metaphor for the ebbs and flows of life. Easter, in the Emotionally Healthy Spirituality sense, is part of God’s rhythm in our year. Today is Palm Sunday.  Palm Sunday emerges out of the weeks of Lent.  Lent is the season of repentance, [continue reading…]

Apr 072019

So often we get complacent about praying for those around us who don’t know Jesus and I want to take this opportunity to encourage us all in this. Last Sunday, James Duff reminded us of the immense gift we have been given in the gospel. What a treasure, what a gift, what good news – good news that those around us desperately need! Certainly we need to take every opportunity to share this good news with people, but, as most [continue reading…]

Mar 312019

The Bible is shallow enough for a child not to drown, yet deep enough for an elephant to swim – St Augustine. The problem for most of us is that we stay in the shallows. That is what researcher, David Kinnaman, argues in a book called You Lost Me: Why Young Christians Are Leaving Church. For Kinnaman it all boils down to this: The Christian church…has a shallow faith problem because we have a discipleship problem. Moreover, diagnosing and treating [continue reading…]

Mar 242019

Everything feels tricky at the moment.  Family is tricky, our leadership priorities at St Philips are tricky, the YouthCARE Chaplains’ Board is tricky, people in business say life is tricky, politics is really tricky.  Have you ever noticed how life can seem so tricky that you just want to get off?  I can be tempted to see it all as so complicated that I just think up ways to absolve myself and disappear out the back way. Just so NOT [continue reading…]

Mar 172019

After my sermon last Sunday, Jenni Hinspeter and I had a long conversation and a good pray around some of the particular issues that arise for us around the Sabbath as single people in vocational ministry. Later in the day, as I was driving home from something where I was the only single person, Brenda, who would often have been there, rang knowing that it is often a transition that I find difficult. It was one of those times when [continue reading…]