Online Magazine: Edition 75
Autumn (Mar-May) 2023
Welcome to the Seventy-fifth Edition of the Online Magazine of the Thornleigh Seventh-day Adventist Church.
- Pastor's Piece - Fast Listener
- You know you are getting older when ... (by Erica Green)
- Health Matters: Are Meat Alternatives Healthy?
- Book Review - Women Who Risk, by Tom & Joanne Doyle with Greg Webster
- Recipe - Zucchini and Corn Salsa (by Erica Green)
- Recipe - Veggie Chili with Cornbread Topping (by Erica Green)
- Recipe - Greek Lemon and Herb Butter Bean Salad (by Erica Green)
- Recipe - Greek Chickpea and Spinach Salad (by Erica Green)
Welcome to the Autumn edition of our online magazine.
The month of Jan 2023 saw the news of the death of Cardinal George Pell, at the age of 81.
He leaves behind a mixed and complex legacy:-
- From his position as Australia's highest-ranked Catholic cleric;
- He was responsible for significant reform of the churches financial processes in Rome;
- To several appearances before the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, with regards his knowledge of paedophile activity, under his watch, and the adequacy with which it was dealt;
- Through to the controversy claims of his own sexual abuse for which he was convicted in 2019;
- Ending with the subsequence quashing of this conviction, by the high court, just over a year later.
I do not intend to comment on either his guilt or innocence, there are plenty of people out there on both sides of that discussion. But rather, I want to take this opportunity as a reminder to me of the responsibility that the Bible places on the shoulders of those who claim the name of Christian.
The Bible tells us that amongst other things, we are charged with the protection of the oppressed and the vulnerable within our society. Who amongst us is a more deserving beneficiary of this admonition than a child?
- "Defend the weak and the fatherless; uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed. Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked." (Psalm 82:3-4, NIV)
- "Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow." (Isaiah 1:17, NIV)
Unfortunately, it has at times, been Christians in positions of power who have been on the wrong side of this fence. Those who act as perpetrators rather than protectors. The Bible drives home the heightened responsibility of religious leaders quite clearly.
- "… From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked." (Luke 12:48, NIV)
- "If anyone causes one of these little ones-those who believe in me-to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea. Woe to the world because of the things that cause people to stumble! Such things must come, but woe to the person through whom they come!" Matthew 18:6-7 (NIV)
These responsibilities not only apply to refraining from sexually abusing children ourselves, that is a given, but they extend to a responsibility for calling it out wherever and whenever it is seen and to actively put in place methods of prevention.
The population of Australia is approximately 26 million of which around 50% claim to be Christians. Imagine the widespread impact, if 13 million Australian were to seriously take to heart the "protect the vulnerable" challenge in the Bible and go into full-on child protection mode. The graph of child abuse incidents would drop like lemmings off a cliff face. Can you even start to imagine the impact on the lives of so many people?
This is a challenge for us all. Let's start to make a difference in our sphere of influence.
In this Edition
In this edition, it is a pleasure to introduce our new Pastor. Pr Andy joins us at the Thornleigh Adventist Family having worked in education support, in youth work, in working with families and really values the opportunities we have daily through the work of God to support and develop stronger communities. Pr Andy's favourite follower of Jesus in the Bible is Barnabas because of his heart felt desire to encourage. His article is a reminder of the healing value and relation benefit of listening.
Erica shares with us the frustrations of grey hair along with the upside of getting older.
Health Matters: Are Meat Alternatives Healthy? - by Sanitarium Health Food Company (writing for "Sings of the Times")
The Sanitarium Health Food Company investigates the health credential of plant based meat alternatives, that are becoming increasingly available in our supermarkets.
Book Review - Women Who Risk by Tom & Joanne Doyle with Greg Webster
Our resident book reviewer challenges us with true stories of the struggles that woman and families living under Islamic conditions face.
Vegetarian and Vegan Recipes - Erica Green
Our recipe column for this edition goes us to Mexico and Greece.
Copyright © 2023 Thornleigh Seventh-day Adventist Church