Our latest podcast
11 December 2023
Christmas is the time of year when we can expect more visitors to our churches than usual. What impression will they have of us? Based on our welcome, are they likely to come back again? Director of Lutheran Media and former LCANZ Executive Officer for Local Mission shares some insights into the importance of a warm welcome and how to create the sort of community visitors will want to return to.
In case you missed them ...
Taking church to the streets
24 November 2023
Many of us find it difficult to talk about our faith with friends and family who aren't Christians, let alone with strangers. And when those strangers are from a cultural background different from our own, it can be even more daunting. But for Craig and Beverly Heidenreich, cross-cultural faith-sharing is a regular and enjoyable part of life. Be inspired as they share why - and how - they do it.
Taking church to the streets
7 November 2023
We often hear that we live in a post-Christian society. And yet, the LCA and other denominations are planting new churches among our growing suburban communities. Church planter and newly ordained Specific Ministry Pastor Matt Schubert, of Everhope Church south of Perth, offers his reflections on why church plants can reach people established churches have not, as he talks about his journey in ministry and the formation of his new faith community.
Hope after the floods
23 October 2023
In recent years, many people in Australia and New Zealand have been impacted by disasters such as droughts, floods, bushfires, earthquakes and the COVID-19 pandemic. Among towns particularly hard hit by floods in late 2022 were Forbes and Eugowra in Central West New South Wales. Almost a year on, Central West Lutheran Parish Pastor James Leach and his wife Adele share their reflections on serving in the relief effort there on behalf of the church.
Angels and Demons
9 October 2023
In the Lutheran church, we don't tend to talk much about angels and demons. Yet Martin Luther had plenty to say about the devil and spiritual warfare, as well as the forces of light. And the Bible is full of references to spiritual beings and activity. Pastor Michael Dutschke, who leads prophetic ministry workshops about understanding the spiritual realm, shares a little of what he has learnt about these topics, including how what happens in the world we cannot see affects us, and how what we do can affect what happens there.
What is the Way Forward?
25 September 2023
The question of ordination to the public ministry, or more particularly women's ordination, has been a topic of much debate and, sadly, division in LCANZ over several decades. Earlier this year, the LCANZ's General Synod asked the church leadership to explore the theological, constitutional and governance issues involved in establishing one church with two different practices of ordination. The resulting project is the Way Forward. Three members who are involved in the project explain the background structure, work and expectations of the Way Forward.
Into the light
8 September 2023
Three decades ago, at a Lutheran church in South Australia, Ryan Williams was sexually abused – while his parents were chatting with other adults after worship. Now a pastor of a church in New Mexico, Ryan explains what happened, why it often takes so long for survivors to talk about their abuse, and why it’s so important to bring what happens in the darkness into the light.
If you need support:
If you want to report abuse that has happened to you in our church:
- You can call the police in Australia on 13 14 44, or the police (Nga Pirihimana O Aotearoa) in New Zealand on 105.
- National Redress Scheme https://www.nationalredress.gov.au
Young leaders – our hope and joy
25 August 2023
If you are troubled by the lack of young people in our congregations today, then this podcast will offer some hope and some joy. Two of the LCANZ's young leaders, Elsa Matthias and Joel Grieger, share uplifting stories about their faith and leadership journeys - and their reflections on how we can continue to encourage and support young leaders in our church.
11 August 2023
Having been involved over many years with programs connecting young students with retirement home residents, school principal Darren Stevenson has long known the wonderful benefits of intergenerational relationships. So, with his mum - retired teacher Gill Stevenson - Darren introduced a program at his suburban Adelaide state school which sees a group of Lutheran ‘grannies’ teach English to children, many of whom are refugees or new arrivals in Australia. And they say the blessings are amazing.
Coffee, connection and country music
24 July 2023
We know that our call as Christians is to 'go and make disciples', but often we see being involved in mission or getting active in outreach as too daunting. We don't want to make a mistake or say the wrong thing. However, as Lisa McIntosh discovered by speaking with Pastor Rob Edwards from Gatton in Queensland, mission doesn't need to be complicated. It can be as easy as inviting a friend to church.
Australian Lutheran College – what's the same, what's different?
17 July 2023
Like the rest of the LCANZ, Australian Lutheran College (ALC) is facing changes and challenges on many fronts. Lisa McIntosh spoke with Principal James Winderlich and Director of Applied Learning Emma Graetz to find out how ALC is reinventing itself to meet the emerging mission and ministry needs of the church.
ALWS and the Good Samaritan
30 June 2023
On World Refugee Day, Lisa McIntosh chatted with someone who has given decades of service to the church and to refugees. Australian Dr Brian Neldner, 90, is the former World Service Director of Lutheran World Federation (LWF) and the former head of Lutheran World Service Australia, the forerunner to Australian Lutheran World Service (ALWS). Photo LWF/T. Miller