Leadership that sticks and a financial update

Welcome to 2018

We are excited about what the Lord will bring in the coming year. Thank you for all of your support and prayers in the past few years. There is a multitude of things coming through the various ministries of City Bible Forum, The Edge, Reel Dialogue, Rouse Hill Bible Church, Bible Study Fellowship and scripture classes.

Website

Keep up to date on our Facebook pages and websites for all of the upcoming events.

We are excited to announce to the new Edge website: theedge.live

Check out all of the latest details of upcoming events and videos from previous events.

What is next for The Edge? Leadership that sticks

What does leadership in the workplace look like today? What does ‘leading on the edge’ even mean?

Description of the topic: The way we work has changed dramatically in the past decade. More people are employed in non-traditional industries, working flexible hours and using technology to work anywhere. Expectations of leaders have become a moving target and it is hard to know how to lead and who to follow in this new era.

Speakers: Former NSW premier Mike Baird and Michelle Lim (KPMG, Westpac)

What is The Edge?

Short. Sharp. Smart. The Edge is a talk series that will live up to its name. Like TedEx, two expert speakers will address today’s topics in a short, but content-rich style. But we want to do more. After the talks, Dr. Justine Toh of the Centre for Public Christianity will allow you to interview the speakers and take them to the edge of the topic.

 Financial Update

Thank you for your continued support and prayers. It has been a blessed year for our family. In the coming year, we have a wedding, our first grandchild and the launch of new things in the various ministries.

One of the most exciting parts of these ministries is seeing people come to Christ through these works and His provision. We do our best to keep our supporters informed over the year and we are grateful for your role in these amazing evangelistic works in Australia.

One thing we committed to doing is communicating with you twice a year is our support levels. Our goal is to not focus on finances in most of our monthly communications, but we do desire to keep you up-to-date about our needs. With all of the ever-changing world economics, Australia has been affected by these ups and downs, but we have been very thankful for the continued support from all who have supported us regularly this year.

Monthly support: Due to changes in our support needs (Increases in support levels) and supporters changes in their opportunities to give, we are currently close to our 100% support level. To achieve our monthly support goal we will need to raise $310 per month for 2018.

A one-off need: We are looking to raise $5000 for the sake of supporting the work of The Edge and Reel Dialogue.

We appreciate the consideration from you or your churches when evaluating your upcoming budget discussions. You can give monthly to our ministry or give to the ministry with a one-off gift. The best way to give to our family and the ministries is through this link to ABWE.

Support: ABWE : RUSSELL W. & CATHY MATTHEWS (0132363)

Our family continues to give thanks to God for all you have done for us this year. Know we pray for our supporters regularly. Please keep in contact with us and send us any questions about our ministries or financial details.

Happy New Year and know that the adventure continues for our family.

Russ and Cathy Matthews

 

Support that will take people to The Edge

The team in Sydney is looking forward to an exceptionally busy year in 2017 with our evangelistic endeavours at City Bible Forum. It has been a great year so far, but we have some exciting new projects coming up.

We are looking to introduce a new evangelistic outreach called The Edge (Formerly, The Conversation) in May. All of the details are in place for a set of quality events to occur throughout the year, but we need some help.

We will be charging for the events, but we are hoping to gain supplemental support for the talks to keep ticket prices at an accessible level.

I have attached the details below for The Edge to communicate the details of the funds we need to raise for these events and other projects. We need to raise $10000 for these events.

We are grateful for your prayers over the years and we would like to ask you to consider supporting this evangelistic endeavour or to consider presenting this proposal to your local church for potential support?

After reading through the details, if people would like to support the events.

You can support send in their contribution by going to this link:

ABWE and entering RUSSELL W. & CATHY MATTHEWS (0132363)

If you or others choose to send in support, please have them email us. ABWE does not notify us when gifts are received and we would like to ensure the church or person giving are thanked for their additional support.

Thank you for the consideration and please pray for the upcoming evangelistic efforts in Sydney.

Russ & Cathy Matthews

 Details in place: 

1 The Edge: Thinking for a change

2 Venue: Dendy Opera Quays

3 Frequency:  Once a month, One hour (During  school term) May, June, Aug, Sept, Oct, & Nov

5 Times and nights: Straight afterwork; 6:30-7:45pm;  Thursday

6 Formats: Two TEDtalk style talks with Q&A

Two speakers speaking for 15 minutes 

Talk 1 – Contestability (Head) – (Positive apologetic consideration)

Talk 2 -Plausability (Heart) – (Difference faith makes)

Thank you for a wonderful furlough experience

Goodonya, mates

We are coming into the final week in the US. It has been a busy, but a great experience. The churches have been wonderful and we are grateful for all who were willing to talk with us about the Lord’s work in Australia. We hope we were able to see you.  We have tried to get up with as many friends, family and supporters as the time would allow. Please forgive us if we missed seeing you during this trip.

Thank you for your support and prayers.

We will be at Saylorville Church for our final Sunday in Iowa.

Funds for ministry vehicle

As we conclude the US trip, one of the key fundraising components is to replace our current missions vehicle. Our current van is a 2003 Toyota Tarago with 320km on the metre. We merely what to replace that vehicle with a similar vehicle. We would need to raise approximately $20,000 for the vehicle.

We have received funds for the vehicle, but still need more torch our goal. If you have the capacity to contribute to this project, we would appreciate the support.

Van Donation link: Enter in these details: Matthews ministry vehicle, Account: 0132363

We hope you all have a wonderful Christmas season. Keep living for the Lord and thank you for your support and prayers.

The adventure continues…

Russ, Cathy, Becca, hope, Joshua and Caroline

Living for Jesus links, the van and debunking the rest myth

It happened again this past Sunday, someone asked the question, “Are you getting some rest during your furlough?”

Our friends in Australia may think we are on an extended holiday. Our friends in the US may think we are just resting up for the next few years in overseas ministry. We just wanted to debunk one of the myths of the missionary lifestyle: Furlough is not a time for rest or holiday.

We came to the US to reconnect with supporters and family, share the needs of the ministry and thank those that support the work in Australia. Rest and relaxation are not the priority for this time in the US. We have enjoyed times with friends and family, but rest is not the primary emphasis for this trip. The misconception is completely understandable, due to the historical application of furlough. We wanted to clarify  that our goal is work hard and finish well as we get closer to going home to Australia.

Just to give you a bit of perspective, here are some of the numbers during the last few months: 12 church presentations (Most Sundays we travel to different churches and the day involves 2-3 presentations), we were involved in 2 missions conferences, 29 dinners (Supporters or sharing about the ministry), 3 youth events, a three week Living for Jesus course, supporters road trips to South Dakota and Kansas City, and a multitude of one-to-one meetings (Thankfully most of these involved coffee!). This is not a point of pride, but a way to communicate that furlough is not meant to be a time for rest.

Our only regret would be not being able to see more people during our time in the US, but our time here is coming to an end. We have been blessed by our time here and we are thankful for your prayers and all who took the time to connect with us. Thank you to the churches, pastors and supporters that have opened their doors to our family. It has been a privilege to share what the Lord is doing in Australia.

Thankfully, furlough was not meant to be a time for rest, but a time to celebrate what the Lord has been doing around the world.

Living for Jesus links

The Living for Jesus course at Ankeny Free Church was a one of the highlights of this trip.

Some were not able to come along on the night. Here are the links to the talks. If you are interested in the worksheets, email me.

Week 1 – Remarkable Integrity: Lives worth questioning, answers worth hearing

Week 2 – An Eye for the Harvest: Workplace as a Mission Field

Week 3 – Speaking of God’s Mercy: Talking about Jesus at Work

Thank you to Pastor Colyer and the team at AFC for supporting this course and I pray the Lord uses it to reach more people for Christ.

Funds for ministry vehicle

As we conclude the US trip, one of the key fundraising components is to replace our current missions vehicle. Our current van is a 2003 Toyota Tarago with 320km on the metre. We merely what to replace that vehicle with a similar vehicle. We would need to raise approximately $20,000 for the vehicle.

If you have the capacity to contribute to this project, we would appreciate the support.

Van Donation link: Enter in these details: Matthews ministry vehicle, Account: 0132363

We hope you all have a wonderful Christmas season. Keep living for the Lord and thank you for your support and prayers.

The adventure continues…

Russ, Cathy, Becca, hope, Joshua and Caroline

The Big Picture, City Bible Forum project and ministry vehicle

It has been a busy month in the US, but some exciting things going on…

The Big Picture Missions Conference at Saylorville Church

We had a wonderful time at the missions conference. It was an encouraging time with the church family. Our family enjoyed time with cell groups, men’s & women’s events, the Saylorville Youth, panel discussions, missionary Christmas and the Sunday morning services.

Praise the Lord, the church was very full and a woman came to know Jesus as her Saviour in the morning.

Thank you to Saylorville Church. Please go to the Facebook link and the website to see many of the images and videos from the events.

Funds for ministry vehicle

We need your help: A specific project we are working on is replacing our current ministry vehicle. If you have the capacity to contribute to this project, we appreciate the support.

Van Donation link: Enter in these details: Matthews ministry vehicle, Account: 0132363

City Bible Forum : ABWE project

According a 2013 report in Christianity Today, faith in Christ is on a steady decline in Australia.

To stop this trend, our missionaries are taking the Good News to where Australians spend most of their time: the workplace. By teaming up with the urban evangelism organization City Bible Forum, ABWE missionaries are sharing Christ inside secular businesses and training Christians to reach their unsaved coworkers with the gospel.

You can help us do more. Nearly $10,000 is needed to facilitate the final two 2014 series of The Forum, a bi-weekly public lunchtime discussion that welcomes seekers, questioners, and believers to learn more about the Bible inside their workplace. Your donation will help cover the cost of renting venue space and audio/visual equipment, along with paying for speaker fees and promotional materials.

Will you help us reach more Australians where they work?

If mailing a check: Please make it out to ABWE Foundation and include Urban Ministry-City Bible Forum L1410 in the memo line.

Just a reminder: Living for Jesus course

Regardless of what you do for a living, you may ask ‘How do I live as a Christian at work and how would I talk with work colleagues about Jesus?’

The Living for Jesus course is for you …and here is what it is about and how you can be involved.

The course introduces some basic Biblical concepts in being a Christian at work. Encourages people to see the opportunities for service in the workplace. Motivates workers to pray for their colleagues at work.

Living for Jesus consists of three 45 minute studies…
1. Working for God’s glory… being godly at work + living lives worth questioning & giving answers worth hearing

2. An eye for the harvest… seeing the workplace as a mission field

3. Speaking of God’s mercy… talking about Jesus at work

Audience: Work colleagues, small groups and/ or anyone keen to share their faith at work

Instructor: Russell Matthews

When: First three Thursdays in November:  6, 13 & 20 November

Where: Ankeny Free Church; 118 NW Linden St  www.ankenyfree.org

Time: 7-8:00 pm - Cost: Free to the public

Thank you for your prayers!
The Matthews

Evangelistic event: Cosmic Chemistry with Professor John Lennox – we need your help

 

We are excited to announce the national evangelistic tour: Cosmic Chemistry

About the Prof John Lennox tour

We are very excited to be hosting Prof John Lennox on a national tour in August this year and would like to invite your involvement, given your passion for mathematics, philosophy, education and a good honest and intelligent debate.

John Lennox is a Professor of Mathematics at Oxford University, a best-selling author and international speaker on the interface between science, religion and philosophy. He has debated Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, Peter Singer and Lawrence Krauss around the globe.

Lennox will be touring Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth, Brisbane, Perth and Sydney with his wife Sally and speaking at university events, conferences and our five key evening events. More biographical information on John is provided below. We first invited John to Australia in 2008. He was very well received at IQ2 (Intelligence Squared), on ABC’s Q&A in 2013 and at a number of other events in association with National Science Week.

This year’s tour is of particular significance as it may be the last opportunity for Australian audiences to experience Prof John Lennox on stage in Australia.

City Bible Forum is producing this 5-city headline event series at the following venues: Melbourne City Conference Centre (capacity 700) on Friday 8 August

Bonython Hall, University of Adelaide (capacity 900) on Tuesday 12 August Perth Concert Hall (capacity 1,700) on Monday 18 August
Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre (capacity 620) on Friday 22 August Sydney Town Hall (capacity 2,000) on Monday 25 August

The audiences will largely consist of CBD based professionals and university students. We are partnering with churches in each city for promotion and follow up, and anticipate a strong interest from the science community and secular societies (such as the Australian Skeptics). People will come with a variety of worldviews, from committed atheists to devoted Christian believers. As with our 2013 national tour with Prof Lawrence Krauss and Dr William Lane Craig (entitled Life, Universe and Nothing), we hope to shake a few pre-suppositions and enlighten audiences with state of the art thinking. These events are being promoted through Christian and secular channels, and have been advertised as National Science Week 2014.

At this stage we envisage the evenings consisting of three segments:

A 20-30 minute presentation by Prof Lennox on the intersection of science and religion, followed by
An interview / discussion for 30-40 minutes
Concluding with audience Q&A for 30-40 minutes.

About Prof John Lennox

John Lennox is Professor of Mathematics in the University of Oxford, Fellow in Mathematics and the Philosophy of Science, and Pastoral Advisor at Green Templeton College, Oxford. He is also an Adjunct Lecturer at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford University and at the Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics and is a Senior Fellow of the Trinity Forum. In addition he teaches for the Oxford Strategic Leadership Programme at the Executive Education Centre, Said Business School, Oxford University. John is much loved for his quick, Irish wit and sense of humour. His extensive travels have exposed him to a variety of cultures, including former communist Europe and Asia. He is able to converse in numerous languages including Russian and German.

Prof Lennox has written numerous titles on the interface between science, philosophy and theology, including God’s Undertaker: Has Science Buried God? (2009), God and Stephen Hawking, a response to The Grand Design (2011), Gunning for God: Why the New Atheists Are Missing the Target (2011), Seven Days that Divide the World: The Beginning According to Genesis and Science (2011), as well as 70 published mathematical papers and other academic texts.

As mentioned above he has had public conversations with Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, Peter Singer, Michael Shermer and Lawrence Krauss at events around the globe.

A short reminder of City Bible Forum

City Bible Forum was started in 1991 in Sydney. We now run activities in the mainland capital cities. We are a ‘non-denominational’, not for profit charity that seeks to stimulate discussion among city workers on the bigger questions of life. To this end we have hosted numerous forums on topics such as science, religious violence, happiness, the GFC, euthanasia etc., with notable secular and Christian thought leaders including, among others – Lawrence Krauss, Peter Singer, Edwin Judge, Ian Harper, John Anderson, Jane Caro, Mark Scott, Ross Gittins, Hugh Mackay and Michael Spence.

How can you help?

We need your prays and financial support for the event. We have raised a large portion of the funds to support this national event, but we need help with raising the final portion. The remaining need is $16,000. (Based on a budget of $100k.)

If you have the capacity to give to this event, please go to www.abwe.org/give and enter Russell & Cathy Matthews (0132363) and Lennox event. 

This is an approved event through ABWE and has the capacity to reach many throughout Australia with the Gospel.

Thank you for the prayerful consideration And we look forward to sharing how The Lord worked through this event in the coming months.

The adventure continues…

The Matthews

 

An open letter to our supporters

As we prepare for furlough or US ministry, it can be daunting to look at all the meetings to be organised, the travel to the US and around the country and time away from our home and ministries in Australia. Over the last year, we have been trying to get in contact with all of our supporters through email, letters or phone calls. As we look over this list of partners in the ministry, one feeling tends to overwhelm us, thankfulness.

We have been raising support for over 11 years and we have been in Australia for over eight years. Throughout that time, supporters have come and gone, support levels have changed and many of you have been exceptionally generous during financially challenging times that have come up throughout our ministry life. We know that it is not always easy to keep giving, but we pray you are blessed by your faithfulness.

Furlough (or US ministry) can be considered a time for missionaries to raise support. Realistically, that is part of the process. But as we look through our list of supporters names we are thankful.  As we come to your churches or into your homes, we hope the message that walk away with one of thankfulness.

Thank you.

It may be a simple thing to say, but it is not minimalistic in its meaning. We are thankful for your your prayers and support.

Thank you for supporting our family.
Thank you for supporting the spread of the Gospel in a spiritually dark place of the world.
Thank you for your prayers.
Thank you for communicating with us.
Thank you for your friendship.
Thank you for your partnership in the Gospel.
Thank you for your love for our family And our Saviour.

We praise The Lord for you.

The adventure continues…
Russ, Cathy, Becca, Hope, Joshua and Caroline

US ministry- we could use your help: The family will be heading back to the US at the later part of the year for our ministry. We look forward to sharing all that the Lord has been doing in Sydney and Australia. We look forward to sharing stories of salvations, ministry opportunities and churches doing a great work.

We need some assistance in the cost of our travel. If you have the capacity to help with some of the costs of the travel, please click on the give tab and enter these details: Matthews – Australia – Furlough expenses – 013236

Link: GIVE to the US ministry needs of the Matthews

Happenings in Sydney: David Murrow, Resurrection on Trial & furlough update

The most recent updates have been about about the recent trip to Bangkok and the Urban Missions Summit. But we cannot forget Sydney. We have some exciting coming up in the next few weeks in the city. We would appreciate your prayers.

David Murrow

The Forum has the privilege of having David Murrow speaking at various events around Sydney. He will be part of the Bible on Trial series.

His talk will be The Church on Trial: Why are people leaving religion behind?

Details about David: Why are men and boys fleeing Christianity? David Murrow has dedicated his life to answering that question. He’s a best-selling author of ‘Why Men Hate Going to Church.’ Murrow is an entertaining speaker who handles this taboo subject with humour and grace. He’s a television producer and writer by trade. Murrow comes to us all the way from Chugiak, Alaska. We look forward to learn more from David on why people are leaving religion behind.

He will be speaking at The Forum, special dinners, City Bible Forum Legal, Moore Theological College and Bridge Street Fellowship.

The Resurrection Inquest - Hoax or history?

Two barristers go head to head questioning believer and Bible teacher Ian Powell on the evidence or otherwise for the resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth.

Defence Counsel – Ian Davidson, SC

Ian Davidson became a Barrister in 1991 after legal experience in the US, followed by work as a Solicitor from 1983. His practice is primarily in commercial and equity. Ian also has inquest experience, though never involving a vanishing corpse.

Prosecuting Counsel – Martin Hadley

Martin Hadley became a Solicitor in 1982 and a Barrister in 1990. He is an editorial consultant to The Skeptic magazine and Treasurer of Australian Skeptics Inc, having joined its Board in 2000.

This is an evangelistic event where the audience gets to be the jury.

Rouse Hill Bible Church

We will be concluding the Hosea Series this month. Then gearing up for the Easter holiday season and then… Genesis!

We are loving the church and the opportunity to serve alongside the church family at RHBC.

US ministry- we could use your help: The family will be heading back to the US at the later part of the year for our US ministry. We look forward to sharing all that the Lord has been doing in Sydney and Australia. We look forward to sharing stories of salvations, ministry opportunities and churches doing a great work. We have saved over the past four years for the trip, but costs are higher and we find that we will need some assistance with the airfare and travel. Tickets will cost around $15,000. If you have the capacity to assist with this request, please click on the give tab and enter these details: Matthews – Australia – Furlough expenses – 0132363

Link: GIVE to the Matthews airfare

A fun furlough note: Australian Rules Football season has started in Sydney, we are looking forward to it all. Joshua will be playing for the Kellyville Magpies. When we are back in Des Moines, Josh may get a go with the Des Moines Roosters. Did you even know you had an AFL club in DSM? Go support our friend Tyler and the Roosters!

Thank you for all you do for our family. We look forward to seeing many of you this year. Please keep praying for the ministries in Sydney, Australia and Southeast Asia.

The adventure continues…

Russ, Cathy, Becca, Hope, Joshua & Caroline

PS – For those pedantic folk, we live in Australia and our spelling is in the Australian tradition. Thank you for the editorial comments. 

Excited, Nervous and Thankful for Bangkok trip + a request for our future US trip

I will admit it, I woke up this morning excited and nervous about the today’s trip to Bangkok. I did not sleep well last night. Thinking of all the things coming up in the next week and month. But today, I need to focus on travel, being away from my family, and preparing for meetings. These meetings have the potential to have a significant impact on ministry in our area of the world. Please pray for me,our family and the ABWE team this week. The details are below for this trip and for our trip later this year. Thank you for all who contributed to this event and for your prayers.

Prayer points:

1. The Lord will work in the lives of all who are coming to the Summit and show us how we can reach more people for Christ in SE Asia.

2. Safety in travel to and in Bangkok. Also, for a safe return.

3. For the family while I am away for the week.

Goal of Urban Ministry Summit : to develop and implement an aggressive strategy to reach Asia through the cities.

City Ministry is a central theme of where we reach people for Christ. Thank you to all who have been praying and have supported the upcoming Urban Ministry Summit in Bangkok. Please pray for wisdom and strategies to reach into the cities of Asia/Pacific region. I hope to report some of the details surrounding the event. We have ministry leaders coming from all over the region and world to participate in this unique opportunity.

US ministry- we could use your help: The family will be heading back to the US at the later part of the year for our US ministry. We look forward to sharing all that the Lord has been doing in Sydney and Australia. We look forward to sharing stories of salvations, ministry opportunities and churches doing a great work. We have saved over the past four years for the trip, but costs are higher and we find that we will need some assistance with the airfare and travel. Tickets will cost around $15,000. If you have the capacity to assist with this request, please click on the give tab and enter these details: Matthews – Australia – Furlough expenses – 0132363

Link: GIVE to the Matthews airfare

Thank you for all you do for our family. We look forward to seeing many of you this year. Please keep praying for the ministries in Sydney, Australia and Southeast Asia.

The adventure continues…

Russ Matthews

Urban Ministry Chronicles – Vol 1, Chapter 3: Urban Ministry Summit & US ministry

Goal of Urban Ministry Summit : to develop and implement an aggressive strategy to reach Asia through the cities.

City Ministry is a central theme of where we reach people for Christ. Thank you to all who have been praying and have supported the upcoming Urban Ministry Summit in Bangkok. Please pray for wisdom and strategies to reach into the cities of Asia/Pacific region. I hope to report some of the details surrounding the event. We have ministry leaders coming from all over the region and world to participate in this unique opportunity.

US ministry: The family will be heading back to the US at the later part of the year for our US ministry. We look forward to sharing all that the Lord has been doing in Sydney and Australia. We have saved for the trip, but still find that we will need some assistance with the airfare and travel. If you have the capacity to assist with this request, please click on the give tab and enter these details: Matthews – Australia – Furlough expenses – 0132363

Link: GIVE to the Matthews airfare

Thank you for all you do for our family. We look forward to seeing many of you this year. Please keep praying for the ministries in Sydney, Australia and Southeast Asia.

The adventure continues…

Russ Matthews