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It is with a sense of great joy and honour that today I announce that I have accepted the invitation of the Archbishop of Sydney to become the new Rector of the Anglican Parish of Oak Flats.

Oak Flats is located around half an hour south of Wollongong, near Shellharbour and Albion Park on the shores of Lake Illawarra.

After ten years with Youthworks serving in youth ministry training, discipleship, outdoor ministry and writing, I am delighted to have the opportunity to return, with my family, to a parish-based ministry in a local church.

We will be leaving Youthworks and our current home, church and school at the end of September, and will begin at Oak Flats at the start of October.

We would be delighted if you could pray for me and Mandy, and for our children as we prepare for many changes, and that God will ready us for our new role in the future.

Please also pray that God would prepare the members of the church at Oak Flats, as they get ready for a new stage of ministry together.

Finally, please pray for everyone who lives in Oak Flats and the wider Shellharbour region, that God would be kind to use the combined ministry of the McNeill family and the Saints of Oak Flats Anglican to bring the good news of Jesus Christ to those who are perishing without him.

Details of our commencement service will be available shortly.

 

The other day, as I trained a bunch of youth and children’s leaders at my church, I was vividly reminded of the impact that youth leaders have on the teens in their group.

For many years I’ve trained youth ministers and leaders about the importance and impact of their ministry.

But now, as a parent of teenagers of my own, the significance of youth ministers on the teenagers has arrived very close to home.

Read my tribute called ‘Thank you, youth leaders’, in today’s sydneyanglicans.net.

Call it a midlife crisis if you will, but it’s more than just a little weird seeing the little babies you once held in your arms turn into five-foot-something young women who have one foot firmly placed in adulthood.

This is very exciting and rewarding. God has made beautiful young women out of our lovely little girls.

But the process of development is something that Mandy and I still try to come to terms with on a regular basis.

With this in mind, I wrote this article Who’s that adult in my car for the Growing Faith website.

When I write for Fervr.net, I deliberately try and pitch it at teenage girls aged 13 and 14… just like my two teenage daughters.

After all, if we who write for Fervr can connect with that specific demographic, then we’ll be more likely to connect with the wider youth audience… or so we imagine.

With that in mind, I’ve written an article about cute cats.

This article focuses on the reality of human conflict. I noticed that our cats had conflict, yet still appeared to remain as friends… and realised that the same was also true for humans.

It tries to encourage children to not freak out when their parents fight… and for them to realise that just because they have conflict with a friend that it doesn’t mean the end of the relationship.

Hopefully there’s something helpful in the article for all of us… whether we are 13 and love cats, or 40 and prefer dogs.

Here’s the article http://fervr.net/teen-life/lets-agree-its-ok-to-disagree

Choosing songs at church can sometimes be harder than it seems.

Sometimes we seem to have too many new ones. Sometimes there are too many old ones.

So, here’s a guide to choosing the right mix of oldies and newies… using the same formula as the radio stations.

Read the article here at sydneyanglicans.net.

 

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