Category: Sydney Anglican Diocese

Tonight I successfully moved this amendment in Sydney Synod:

“Add the following words at the end of the motion–

and requests that before the book is published, the Archbishop’s Liturgical Panel further develop the four services of the Lord’s Supper to accommodate the contemporary practice of using multiple cups and common words of distribution by the minister.”

Here was my speech:

Mr President,

Jodie McNeill, Oak Flats Parish.

I rise for my maiden speech in the house, seconded by John Woodhouse.

I propose an amendment to the motion concerning the new ‘Common Prayer’ liturgical resource.

My amendment simply asks the Archbishop’s Liturgical Panel to develop the four services of the Lord’s Supper in our new prayer book to accommodate the contemporary practice of using more than just one ‘cup’ during the Lord’s Supper.

My amendment does not prescribe the exact details of those changes, but grants the Liturgical Panel the opportunity to simply include an explanatory comment in the introduction, or perhaps even better, to make changes in the rubrics, the red words of instruction to the minister.

For some parishes, this motion will simply mean that the new prayer book will reflect the fact that multiple chalices are currently used during the distribution, for the sake of efficiency.

For other churches, this proposed amendment will mean that our new prayer book accommodates the current, accepted practice of using multiple, personal cups during the service.

This practice currently occurs for several reasons.

Firstly, we provide multiple, personal cups for reasons of health and safety; many people choke at the idea of a hundred people drinking from the same cup.

Secondly, we provide multiple, personal cups for the care of those for whom alcohol is inappropriate or harmful, such as those with an addiction, or for children.

Thirdly, we provide multiple, personal cups to enable every participant to drink their cup at a common time, a powerful way for a congregation to express their unity in Christ, despite having separate, individual cups, or multiple chalices.

In relation to this third reason, I propose we ask the Liturgical Panel to have the new prayer book accommodate the preference of a minister to say one, common, word of distribution for the whole congregation.

Friends, the purpose of this new prayer book is to help keep our liturgy fresh by reflecting the appropriate development and the continuing reformation of our church practices.

I believe my amendment will update an anachronism in the service of the Lord’s Supper as it stands in the current version of this document, so that we might instead have a fresh, new prayer book that reflects the widespread practice in our churches of using more than one cup at the Lord’s Supper, and the preference of some ministers to lead the whole congregation to drink at the same time.

I commend this motion to the house.

Here’s an additional positive outcome from doing Year 13 that’s often overlooked. Read the full article here:

A special welcome, too, to Andrew Nixon in his new role heading up this ministry. I’m praying it’s a great year of ministry with his awesome team.

If you, or someone you know, is thinking about Year 13 this year, then there’s still time to enrol. Don’t miss out on a year that changes lives forever.

Last week I addressed the new Mission Areas leaders of our Diocese to discuss the place of church camps as a tool for mission in our community.

In my presentation I made that point that our church houseparties (as we commonly refer to them) are often considered to be events that primarily develop community, rather than outreach.

Yet, thinking that defines an activity of the church as achieving only evangelism or discipleship is unnecessarily narrow.

Read my full thoughts in my latest article at


I am thrilled to announce that from January 2008 I will become the Director of Youthworks Camping Ministries. It is a great privilege and honour to lead the outstanding team of staff across our many outdoor centres and specialist ministries throughout Sydney and New South Wales.

Mandy and I are sad to move on from our role in leading the Year 13 Gospel Gap Year course, but are confident that this groundbreaking ministry will continue to grow from strength to strength, under the hand of our great God and the wonderful staff.

In my new role I will be responsible for the overall leadership and development of the Youthworks Camping Ministry Division and the ministry programs conducted from the three main Sydney conference centres at Port Hacking, Shoalhaven and Springwood, and other locations. I will also have specific leadership over the activities at the Port Hacking Conference Centres. I will lead a team of around 100 staff, with whom I will minister to around 45,000 people throughout the year.

It is an exciting challenge, and I look forward to working alongside the outstanding team of skilled and gifted staff, at our world-class conference centres. I am amazed and impressed at the scope and depth of ministry activities performed by the Camping Division, and I look forward to building upon this terrific foundation as we continue to grow the opportunities to proclaim the gospel of Jesus to the people of NSW and beyond.

Please pray for me and Mandy as we change our ministry focus and energy. Please pray that the Camping staff would have great patience with me as I learn the ropes (literally!) and begin to fathom the depths of this extensive ministry. Pray also for Youthworks as we seek my replacement at Year 13, and as the team prepares further for the huge jump in students projected for 2008.

For more information, read the story ‘McNeill’s Mini Move’ at

I’m thrilled to spread the news that a new CEO is heading to Youthworks. Zac Veron, currently the senior minister at St George North Anglican Churche, has had loads of experience in growing ministries, and I’m looking forward to seeing how he weaves his magic (so to speak) over Youthworks in the coming years.

For full details of the appointment, including comments from Zac and others, read this press release or this article from