Praying as we cross the cultural divide

The Edge is excited to cross the cultural divide with the former Chief Secretary of Hong Kong and a cultural expert as we venture into the new Australian cultural landscape.

Australia is a multicultural country. Our workplaces are increasingly multicultural. In the supermarkets and boardrooms, we rub shoulders everyday with people originating from all over the world. And yet, while we live in the same city and we work side by side every day, it’s easy to feel disoriented. It’s not hard to feel so far apart.

How can we live better together in our offices and neighbourhoods? How can we adapt without losing our own story? How can we learn from each other, grow closer together and find a new richer collective identity that will carry Australia into the future?

Speakers:

Stephen Lam - Hong Kong has a rich history influenced by both East and West. Throughout his political career there, Stephen Lam has crossed the cultural gap – nevermore so than as the director of the Handover Ceremony in 1997 when the sovereignty of the region was handed to China after decades of British rule. At this momentous juncture, how was the cultural gap crossed? How can societies be lead so that cultures are drawn closer rather than segregated? Come to hear Stephen share how the gap was navigated, what cross-cultural leadership looked and what cross-cultural leadership looks like today. After the Handover, Stephen stayed in politics and became Chief Secretary of Hong Kong in 2011.

Deb Hannaford is a cultural transition specialist. For over a decade, she coached and trained executives and their families on how to migrate to new countries, helping them settle and thrive in their new cultures. Drawing on her experience in psychology as a clinical therapist, Deb will give us the practical tips to help ourselves and others find their feet in the world they step into every morning. 

Please pray for the opportunities that will come from The Edge where our audience hear from two different specialists who have found the sweet spot bridging different cultures.

Please consider supporting this effort:

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 $175 per month for 2018.

A one-off need: Working with the new payroll system at the home office, we had to deal with a clerical error that put our accounts in deficit for the first time in 15 years. After working with the home office on this issue over the past few months, we have helped to ensure this does not occur again. Anyone who would like to walk through the details of this issue, please contact me. Due to this clerical error, we need to raise an additional $5000 to eliminate a deficit in our accounts at ABWE. 

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. 


Finding Validation events

Imagine there was a place that we could go to get ‘validated’. To be reassured that we are significant, valuable, an approved human being. The trouble is, those sorts of affirmation are so fleeting. Fashions change. Achievements fade. Photos can only represent the past. They all slowly lose their power to assure us, and in a week’s time, we’re likely to wake up and begin the search for validation all over again.

But it’s very human to look for validation. We all want to know that we look ok, that we’re doing ok – in short, that we are ok. We want to know that our experiences and opinions matter. We want to believe we’re an authentic person, living a worthwhile life.

In August, come to The Edge to explore validation and well-being at multiple events with various speakers in the city at a location close to you.

We have one-off events throughout the city and Max Jeganathan will be speaking at Bible Shots, City Legal and The Edge on Thursday, 16 August.

All of the details at The Edge website

Mon, 6 Aug 

Central Station

Did I do alright?, Speaker : Sam Chan

Wed, 8 Aug 

Parramatta

Which guru got it right?, Speaker : Max Jeganathan

Wed, 15 Aug 

Wynyard

Which guru got it right?, Speaker : Max Jeganathan

Thurs 16 Aug 

North Sydney

The quest for meaning - dead ends and answers, Speaker : Al Stewart

Finding validation

Thu 16 Aug, 6.30pm-7.45pm

The secret to wellbeing and how to maintain it

City Legal

Starts on Thu 9 Aug, 7.30am-8.20am

What does real success look like?

Bible Shots

Thu 9 Aug, Fri 10 Aug

Markets, Materialism and the search for meaning

Finding Validation

Please pray for the upcoming city-wide mission

The secret to well-being and how to maintain it

You walk into a lobby and you see a sign. It says:

GET YOUR VALIDATION HERE

- and just for a moment, before you realise it’s talking about car parking, you wonder if it might mean something more…

Imagine there was a place that we could go to get ‘validated’. To be reassured that we are significant, valuable, an approved human being.

Interestingly, most people act as though they think there is. They go to their wardrobes and look for validation in their clothes. They go to work and look for validation in their achievements. They go to their photos and look for validation in their relationships.

The trouble is, those sorts of affirmation are so fleeting. Fashions change. Achievements fade. Photos can only represent the past. They all slowly lose their power to assure us, and in a week’s time we’re likely to wake up and begin the search for validation all over again.

But it’s very human to look for validation. We all want to know that we look ok, that we’re doing ok – in short, that we are ok. We want to know that our experiences and opinions matter. We want to believe we’re an authentic person, living a worthwhile life.

This is much, much more than a pair of shoes can offer. Even Nikes. So where do we go to get the sort of validation that lasts a lifetime?

Some people say lasting assurance lives in a healthy bank account. Others say you find it in healthy children. And still others, in a healthy relationship with God.

In August, come to The Edge with us, and let’s see if we can discover the source of real validation together. We’ve gathered some brilliant minds to help us think through the problem– add yours to the mix! – and discover a source of validation that will not only last the night but will build as the days go by.

Be part of a change you want to see in the world

We want to thank you for your prayers and support.

Our family have committed to communicate our financial needs twice a year. Would you consider helping our family with these requests? If you wonder what these funds go to funding, we have provided a list of our ministry efforts and partners in Australia.

  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. Please keep in contact with us and send us any questions about our ministries or financial details.

Check out our new website: matthewsdownunder.com

OUR MINISTRY PARTNERS

ABWE - The church planting mission agency that we work within Australia and throughout the world.

City Bible Forum - Russ oversees evangelistic events and Reel Dialogue at City Bible Forum which is reaching city workers with the Gospel. Check out our latest promotional video

Rouse Hill Bible Church - Pastor Ben Kwok and our church family in Rouse Hill, NSW Australia

Bible Study Fellowship - Cathy is a children's leader with Bible Study Fellowship

SRE - Scripture Reading - Cathy teaches scripture in the public schools

Geneva Push - An amazing Australian initiative for effective church planting

Russelling Reviews - Russ' blog of recent reviews with a Gospel challenge

Reel Dialogue - Partnership with reviewer and editor Adrian Drayton with Gospel conversations through film

Vinegrowers - Col Marshall's ministry that helps build churches around biblical discipleship: sacrificing, serving, speaking.

Thank you for prayerfully considering supporting our work in Australia,

Russ & Cathy Matthews

The new Matthews Down Under site

We have moved to a new site, but we kept the same name.

Check out the new site features and details about the family. We will be working to update the site and the information, but you can find out more about our various ministries and family details here.

One detail we will need to work out is how to set up a mailing list, but we will forward these details to you soon. 

Thanks for your support and prayers.

Russ & Cathy Matthews

Matthews Down Under 2018-2.png

The Imposter Syndrome, Sydney Prayer Breakfast and For the Love of God

Key dates for prayer

24 May - The Edge - It's Ok, You belong

Ever feel like you’re a fraud? That you’re just not cut out for your job? And that someday, you’re going to be found out—and cast out?

You’re not alone. Tech billionaires, Hollywood celebrities, award-winning authors, business executives, and many other highly capable individuals all suffer from Imposter Syndrome: the persistent fear of being a fake.

Come hear two speakers grapple with their imposter experience, the strategies they use to keep their fear of phoniness at bay, and then pose your own questions to them.

You might find you’re in good company.

Come along to The Edge to hear from two thought leaders in this field of study. After the talks, Dr. Sam Chan of City Bible Forum will allow you to interview the speakers and take them to the edge of the topic

Speakers:

Dr. Justine Toh is Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Public Christianity. She worked at Fairfax Digital and Reuters Australia before completing her doctorate in Cultural Studies at Macquarie University. Justine speaks and writes about the way the Christian story renews all of life, and is especially interested in exploring big questions of meaning and purpose through the (seemingly) mundane moments of the everyday.

Steve King is the Senior Product Manager for Enterprise offerings at Atlassian, sits on industry boards and panels and is a passionate advocate for social impact and early-stage corporate philanthropy with Pledge 1%. Steve speaks and teaches about modern teamwork, abstract problem solving and product management for startups. Do more with less, and always do what you love to.

30 May - Sydney Prayer Breakfast

The Sydney Prayer Breakfast is an annual prayer gathering of Christians from all denominations who work or live in the Sydney CBD.

Join 1,200 other Christian business professionals as we pray for the welfare of our city and encourage one another in our walk with God.

Speaker: Os Guiness

12 June - For the Love of God

How the Church is better and worse than you ever imagined

Christian history offers plenty of ammunition to its critics

Crusades, inquisitions, witch trials, the oppression of women - not to mention the horrific incidence of child abuse, covered up in recent decades by the institutional church

For the Love of God: How the church is better and worse than you ever imagined is a documentary by the Centre for Public Christianity. It addresses the worst of what Christians have done, but also traces the origins of Western values like human rights, charity, humility, and non-violence back to the influence of Jesus.

This is not the history we think we know. Join us as we weigh up the good, the bad, the ugly - and the unexpected - impact Christianity has had on the world we live in.

How the Church is better and worse than you ever imagined

Christianity may be the wellspring for many of our most cherished values today, but Christians should be the first to admit that there’s been plenty of bloodshed along the way.

John Dickson is founding Director of the Centre for Public Christianity. He has a degree in theology and a doctorate in ancient history, specialising in the birth of Christianity. An ordained Anglican minister, he is also a Senior Research Fellow of the Department of Ancient History, Macquarie University, and he teaches a course on the Historical Jesus at the University of Sydney. He has hosted two nationally televised documentaries (The Christ Files and Life of Jesus), authored over a dozen books and is a busy public speaker.

Simon Smart is Executive Director of the Centre for Public Christianity. A former English and History teacher, Simon has a Masters in Christian Studies from Regent College, Canada. He has years of experience writing and editing both academic curricula and popular books. He is the author of For God's Sake: An Atheist, a Jew, a Christian and a Muslim Debate Religion, and editor of A Spectator's Guide to Worldviews.

Justine Toh is Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Public Christianity. She worked at Fairfax Digital and Reuters Australia before completing her doctorate in Cultural Studies at Macquarie University. Justine speaks and writes about the way the Christian story renews all of life, and is especially interested in exploring big questions of meaning and purpose through the (seemingly) mundane moments of the everyday.

Thank you for your prayers and support,

The Matthews

A wedding, a baby, the Apostle Paul and mastering the fear of feeling fake

We come to you in celebration and looking ahead to an incredible month of activity

The Baby - Welcome George Gibb to the world!

On 13 March at about 5:03 pm, little George Matthew Frank Gibb was born weighing in at 3.9 kgs (8 lbs, 6 oz) and measuring 52 cm (20"). Mum and baby are doing well. Thanks so much to everyone who has prayed for them, loved their family and supported them during their journey. We are incredibly blessed and humbled.

The Wedding

Our daughter Becca will be marrying Warrick Hall on 14 April. We are thrilled to be including this young man in our family and to be part of his family. Please be praying for all of those coming in for the wedding, that the Lord will be glorified throughout the day and that this lovely couple will have a wonderful start on this adventure of marriage.

Reel Dialogue - Paul, Apostle of Christ

Thank you for the prayers for the amazing night of film and discussion with the Sony release of Paul, Apostle of Christ. We had a full house to see the latest release and then proceeded to a great panel discussion. Nathan Muse and Natasha Moore were able to field questions from the audience who were curious about the accuracy of the history and storytelling aspects of the film. We had over 30% of the audience who were from an enquiring position in their faith.

The Edge - Leadership that Sticks

What a night of talks, discussion and lessons in leadership.

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

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. Mike Baird and Michelle Lim delivered fantastic talks and answered questions on the panel led by Dr. Justine Toh.

Check out the videos on The Edge website

It’s OK, you belong: Mastering the fear of being a fake

Ever feel like you’re a fraud? That you’re just not cut out for your job? And that someday, you’re going to be found out—and cast out? You’re not alone. Tech billionaires, Hollywood celebrities, award-winning authors, business executives, and many other highly capable individuals all suffer from Imposter Syndrome: the persistent fear of being a fake.

Please pray for our two speakers as they grapple with their imposter experience, the strategies they use to keep their fear of phoniness at bay, and then pose your own questions to them.

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. Sam Chan of City Bible Forum will allow you to interview the speakers and take them to the edge of the topic.

Thank you for your support and prayers,

Russ and Cathy Matthews

 

 

I love washing my car

I honestly love washing our car. Not that I have the nicest car on the street or that I am the most detailed person when it comes to cleaning the car, but I enjoy seeing my car clean. It stems from my father who always took such pride in the care of his vehicles and his example was an outward expression of the statement, 'If you take care of your car, it will take care of you.'

My family would tell you that it is a bit of a ritual for me that when the weather is clear on a Saturday morning, I will be out in the front yard washing the car.

This past week this routine took on a whole new value to me. I was washing my car in the beautiful autumn sunshine (remember we live on the opposite side of the world) and something interesting began to unfold before me. First, one of the neighbour kids rode by to say hello and asked if our daughter was able to come out to ride around the neighbourhood and then another neighbour stopped to chat. What made this second opportunity unique was that this woman lives in seclusion across the street and rarely acknowledges our family. On this day while I had a soapy sponge in my hand, she was keen to talk. We discussed the changes in the neighbourhood, the growth of our community, the weather and then she asked me more in-depth questions about our family. Then with a smile and a wave, she went on with her day and I went back to getting tree sap off of the car. It was a lovely connection and left me with a smile on my face.

As I progressed around the car, all of a sudden a familiar friend laid a red frisbee at my feet. Another neighbour's border collie looked at me expectantly to throw the toy for him to fetch. As I succumbed to his request, I knew that not too far behind him would be another neighbour. This young husband and future father came over to say G'day and with the same sponge in hand, we had a simple but enjoyable discussion. We talked about his future as a father, the majesty of the country we live in and due to his faith in Christ, we had a great conversation about the blessings we have in the Lord. As we talked about the more significant things of the world, we threw a spit covered ball and a chewed up frisbee for a few minutes and then he headed off to the local park.

Something that stuck with me about the conversation was how this young bloke stated how much he enjoyed just popping over to have a chat. Something we seem to miss out on in amongst the busyness of this modern life.

He is right. Do we take time to reach out to our neighbours? We could be more intentional in reaching out to those who live around us, but have you considered the opportunities that may come about by just being there? Getting out and living in your community and look to see how the Lord will bless you by merely being available to those who live closest to us.

Sure, I was able to incorporate the message of the Bible into my conversations with my neighbours, but I think these discussions were even more meaningful to me than to those people that I had the privilege of conversing with on that day. My car did get cleaned eventually, but more importantly, I saw the value of getting out and living in my community and to watch to see how the Lord will work by just living for Him.

I love washing our car.

 “Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?” Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’  This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.” - Matthew 22:36-40

Matthews Down Under Prayer Points

One of our supporting churches has a wonderful group of people who contact us monthly and merely ask for our prayer points. They want to know about ministry opportunities, but more importantly, they want to know some of the personal things we need prayer for in our lives. What is so encouraging about this faithful team of prayer warriors is that we know that they are praying for us. When we visit the US, they ask us specifically about the things that they have been praying for our family. We are exceptionally grateful for the prayers and the encouragement of knowing someone is there for us. Thank you to our Harvest team at Grace Church.

This update will not be a list of things we are doing, but merely prayer points.

Family

  • Becca's wedding in April
  • Hope's pregnancy and the birth of her baby in March
  • Caroline starting a new year of school (Year 8)
  • Joshua working at Saylorville Church and PDI this year
  • Cathy and my adapting to new seasons of life with adult children, new in-laws and a grandchild

Ministry

  • The Edge - Leadership that sticks - 22 March
  • Reel Dialogue event - Mary Magdalene national screenings
  • Bible Study Fellowship beginning in February
  • Scripture classes in public schools beginning in February
  • Rouse Hill Bible Church - Growth and starting a new year
  • Russ attending the FELTS conference in Indonesia at the end of February
  • Raising support due to increased expenses from ABWE and support adjustments at supporting churches
We appreciate your prayers and know we are grateful for your support in 2018
Russ & Cathy Matthews

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

 

The Edge: Beyond Worry - Video links

Beyond Worry: The science and stories behind anxiety, fear and depression.  As a nation we have never been richer, and yet we have never been so anxious. For many Australians anxiety affects all of life, for others of us it’s constantly in the background. What are the causes of anxiety? Where does this fear and heartache come from? What are the biological, mental and even spiritual factors that cause it? Are there solutions for those who suffer from anxiety, or those who wish to help others who do?

At The EDGE on 12 October our two expert speakers, Dr. Jee Kim and Peter Hughes addressed the issues of anxiety, its causes, its effects and strategies in dealing with it.

Check out the links on our City Bible Forum YouTube Channel:

Dr Jee Kim, Peter Hughes and the panel discussion

Speakers :

Dr Jee Kim graduated from the University of New South Wales (UNSW) in Australia with the prestigious University Medal in Psychology. She has completed a PhD at UNSW. She is now the Head of Developmental Psychobiology laboratory at the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health/University of Melbourne.

Peter Hughes has a degree in neuropsychology and has worked extensively in pastoral care and Christian ministry across many socioeconomic groups. He has many years of front line experience in dealing practically with those who suffer from anxiety.

Our moderator:  Justine Toh is Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Public Christianity. She worked at Fairfax Digital and Reuters Australia before completing her doctorate in Cultural Studies at Macquarie University. Justine speaks and writes about the way the Christian story renews all of life and is especially interested in exploring big questions of meaning and purpose through the (seemingly) mundane moments of the everyday.

Thank you for your support for this event and for the incredible year at The Edge

Russ Matthews

 

Merry Christmas... Wow what a year! Thank you

Merry Christmas from the Matthews

It has been an incredible year of evangelistic events, Bible teaching and films. Thank you for all you do to support the ministries in Australia.

We launched The Edge this year, Reel Dialogue made a splash in theatres and we are still able to teach the Bible in the public schools. Next year is bringing a grandbaby, a wedding and new opportunities in reaching people for Christ. Please keep praying for all the Lord is doing in our nation.

We get requests for the names, websites and contact details for the people or groups we work with and we thought you would appreciate a simple list of these organisations. Check out their websites and contact us with any questions.

Our ministry partners

City Bible Forum - Russ oversees evangelistic events and Reel Dialogue at City Bible Forum which is reaching city workers with the Gospel. Check out our latest promotional video 

Rouse Hill Bible Church - Pastor Ben Kwok and our church family in Rouse Hill, NSW Australia

Bible Study Fellowship - Cathy is a children's leader with Bible Study Fellowship

SRE - Scripture Reading - Cathy teaches scripture in the public schools\

ABWE - The church planting mission agency that we work in Australia and throughout the world.

Geneva Push - An amazing Australian initiative for effective church planting

Russelling Reviews - Russ' blog of recent reviews with a Gospel challenge

Reel Dialogue - Partnership with reviewer and editor Adrian Drayton with Gospel conversations through film

The Big Picture - Podcast and radio ministry work from cultural commentators Ben McEachen and Mark Hadley

Centre for Public Christianity  - Promoting the public understanding of the Christian faith

Vinegrowers - Col Marshall's ministry that  helps build churches around biblical discipleship: sacrificing, serving, speaking.

Have a great season and know we are thankful for you all.

Russ, Cathy, Becca, Hope, Matt, Joshua and Caroline

With the craziness of Christmas around the corner... we appreciate your prayers

Thank you for your prayers for The Edge / Beyond Worry event. We had a full house and great feedback from the event. Please pray as we follow through with all who came along and look ahead to 2018.

Specific feedback
“Great combination: to hear the scientific and personal stories was very helpful” Jessica H
“The topic and delivery of this was relevant, engaging, informative, personal, and in touch. Thank you for pulling this session together. This was the most helpful talk that I have heard on Christian world view and mental health issues. This was really helpful!” Julie H
“It was wonderful - so much information but snappy, easy to understand and venue was easy to get to.”
“Probably the best Edge this year” Joshua L

Upcoming Events for prayer consideration

Reel Dialogue is proud to partner with Icon Films to offer a special pre-screening event of The Man Who Invented Christmas

After the film, The Big Picture's Mark Hadley and The Edge's Justine Toh will be on a panel to discuss the history and themes brought about by the film.

Please pray for the evangelistic opportunities of this event as we challenge people to consider  the joy of the season and the real 'inventor of Christmas.'

Synopsis: Based on the book by Les Standiford, THE MAN WHO INVENTED CHRISTMAS tells the story of how Charles Dickens (Dan Stevens from TV’s Downton Abbey) actually revived the holiday of Christmas with his self-published novel, A Christmas Carol. Facing pressure with looming debt, a feckless father (Jonathan Pryce) and recent critical failures, Dickens confront his past by conjuring up fantastic characters including Ebenezer Scrooge (Christopher Plummer), for his now classic Christmas tale. Full of wit and warmth, THE MAN WHO INVENTED CHRISTMAS will bring out the holiday spirit in everyone.

What if there was no Christmas?

30 November

Most of us have mixed feelings about Christmas. There’s the fun, feasting, and family part. But there’s also the running around, the busyness and those ugly Christmas jumpers. We also sense that there should be more to my life than mere survival.

Pray for Sam Chan as he shares what life would be like without Christmas and how we might need it more than it needs us. This is an evangelistic talk to conclude the season of talks in the city. This is an extension of The Edge ministries.

Speaker: Sam Chan is a global citizen - born in Hong Kong, studied Medicine in Sydney, got his PhD from Chicago. Just like you, he senses that our world has changed - we work more, but are less happy. Sam loves helping people rediscover the joy that comes from faith, spirituality, and the Christian tradition. But he also knows that Australians don't want to be too serious. That's why Sam has discovered humorous ways to talk about the important issues in life.

Family prayer requests and praises for the rest of the year

Praises

  • Successful conclusion to The Edge ministries for 2017 and plans for the 2018 season
  • The announcement that Hope and Matt Gibb are expecting thier first child and our first grandchild  in February
  • Growth of the Bible Study Fellowship, SRE and Reel Dialogue ministries in 2017

Requests

  • Wisdom with plans for the ministry efforts for City Bible Forum and Rouse Hill Bible Church in 2018
  • The Lord would bless the plans and wedding of Becca and Warrick
  • Wisdom and direction for Joshua in the US (Provision of a car)
Thank you for your prayers and support
Russ, Cathy and the family

Beyond Worry, What if there was no Christmas and changes at ABWE Australia

October is here and things start happening

Spring is upon us and October/November is a busy season in ministry in Sydney. Here are some of the upcoming events, please be praying for each event.

The Edge: Beyond Worry

12 October:  The science and stories behind anxiety, fear and depression. 

As a nation we have never been richer, and yet we have never been so anxious. For many Australians anxiety affects all of life, for others of us, it’s constantly in the background. What are the causes of anxiety? Where does this fear and heartache come from? What are the biological, mental and even spiritual factors that cause it? Are there solutions for those who suffer from anxiety, or those who wish to help others who do?

At The EDGE on 12 October our two expert speakers, Dr Jee Kim and Peter Hughes will address the issue of anxiety, its causes, its effects and strategies in dealing with it. This is the final Edge for 2017, pray that many people would come along to hear the talk and consider how the Gospel provides answers in this area of people's lives.

Speakers :

Dr Jee Kim graduated from the University of New South Wales (UNSW) in Australia with the prestigious University Medal in Psychology. She has completed a PhD at UNSW. She is now the Head of Developmental Psychobiology laboratory at the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health/University of Melbourne.

Peter Hughes has a degree in neuropsychology and has worked extensively in pastoral care and Christian ministry across many socioeconomic groups. He has many years of front-line experience in dealing practically with those who suffer from anxiety.

Our moderator: Justine Toh is Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Public Christianity. She worked at Fairfax Digital and Reuters Australia before completing her doctorate in Cultural Studies at Macquarie University. Justine speaks and writes about the way the Christian story renews all of life and is especially interested in exploring big questions of meaning and purpose through the (seemingly) mundane moments of the everyday.

What if there was no Christmas?

30 November

Most of us have mixed feelings about Christmas. There’s the fun, feasting, and family part. But there’s also the running around, the busyness and those ugly Christmas jumpers. We also sense that there should be more to my life than mere survival.

Pray for Sam Chan as he shares what life would be like without Christmas and how we might need it more than it needs us. This is an evangelistic talk to conclude the season of talks in the city. This is an extension of The Edge ministries.

Speaker: Sam Chan is a global citizen - born in Hong Kong, studied Medicine in Sydney, got his PhD from Chicago. Just like you, he senses that our world has changed - we work more, but are less happy. Sam loves helping people rediscover the joy that comes from faith, spirituality, and the Christian tradition. But he also knows that Australians don't want to be too serious. That's why Sam has discovered humorous ways to talk about the important issues in life.

ABWE Australia - Changes

The ever-changing world of ministry has had an impact on ABWE Australia. With some personnel changes on the field, there will be some adjustments in roles and procedures for our ABWE team. This should not have any direct impact on our ministry efforts, but we do appreciate your prayers as the team adapts during this time of transition. It will be exciting to see how the Lord works through these changes.

Rouse Hill Bible Church

We are excited to have the founder of City Bible Forum speaking at Rouse Hill Bible Church in the coming weeks.

Craig Josling is the Founding Director of City Bible Forum, having started Ecom (now City Bible Forum) in 1991. He currently oversees ministry efforts with Sydney prayer teams, equipping activities and opportunities in North Sydney, Chatswood, St Leonards and Parramatta.

Pray as he comes to share about the ministry work in the city and helps to challenge the church in evangelistic endeavours.

We are grateful for your support and prayers. Please contact us with any questions about the ministry effort in Australia.

Russ & Cathy Matthews

 

Bigger Questions - Is there an even better story?

...than the 600 films released each year

We love films. Every year Hollywood releases around 600 films. 

Why do we love films so much? And why do some have such a profound effect on us? Is there an even better story that films might provide a way into?Also, do our film choices point to something bigger in our lives?

Russ Matthews was recently in the studio with the Bigger Questions team. He had a great time discussing film, culture and life's bigger questions.  Russ is the film reviewer with Insights Magazine, Russelling Reviews, Reel Dialogue, City Bible Forum and Entertainment Fuse.

What is 'Bigger Questions?' 

Bigger Questions is a radio show recorded in front of a live audience in Melbourne's CBD.

A guest is interviewed on a particular topic or theme. We hear their story and their reflections on a short passage from the Bible. The concept is a fun and thoughtful forum - all recorded in half an hour at lunch.

Check out more from Bigger Questions and be a part of a stimulating public forum in Melbourne that reflects this great, thoughtful city. Who said exploring the big questions of life shouldn't be fun?

Getting Reel with Reel Dialogue

Thank you for your interest and support of Reel Dialogue

During our recent furlough to the US, we had opportunity to share about the work of Reel Dialogue.

The events, reviews and resources are all available on reeldialogue.com

We are excited to share that you can get regular updates from Reel Dialogue. 

We have had followers of the Reel Dialogue site requesting a way to get regular updates.

Here is your chance... On the front page of reeldialogue.com you can sign up for our newsletter

Thank you for the interest and support of the work of Reel Dialogue.

Get Reel and sign up today!

reeldialogue.com

 

The Matthews Down Under - The 'Up Over' tour comes to an end

Thank you to our family, friends, and supporters

We are heading home to Australia with our hearts full of gratitude. It was an amazing adventure in Iowa throughout July.

What did the month have in store for us?

  • Six churches visits
  • Two Lord of the Lens events
  • Multiple coffees and dinners
  • A trip to Kansas City
  • A cousin's reunion
  • We were able to see Joshua during his internship
  • Cherished memories with family and friends

Thank you to all of the churches and individuals who came out to share in the ministries in Australia.

We appreciate your prayers and support,

The Matthews family

The Edge: Behind the magic - Why do films matter? - City Bible Forum event

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What does the film industry do to keep you coming back for more?

Each and every year, people line up all over the world so they can hand over billions of their hard-earned dollars, to sit in a dark room together … and dream.

Hollywood, Bollywood and dozens of other movie industries exercise an undeniable influence over our public consciousness. They are the modern myth-makers. Their stories excite our imaginations, shape our aspirations and inform our expectations.

Why do some films soar while others bomb? Which stories are destined to find a home in our hearts – and why? In short, what’s the formula to creating Movie Magic?

Join us at the Edge

Join us at the Edge on 22 June to consider why movies still matter, and why there are only 3 Australian films.

When you register, you may also buy tickets for a special screening of The Case for Christ.

Why movies still matter

Thanks to the Internet, we’ve got thousands of hours of streaming TV at the flick of switch, and millions of miniature stories to follow on our portable devices. But two-hour movies still persist as a major medium.

Despite technological changes, these long-form tales continue to occupy the heights of story-telling. Some succeed; some flop. Others annoy the critics but still do well at the box office.

One thing is for certain: genres may wax and wane, characters enter and exit, but our 150-year fascination with film shows no sign of faltering.

Giles Hardie has an enviable CV: he watches film for a living. He is a regular entertainment reporter and critic for the ABC, as well as the Assistant Showbiz Editor for Daily Mail Australia. His opinions air nationally across ABC radio, are collected in the Culture Wars podcast, and distilled for your reading pleasure in Time Out Sydneyand ABC online.

There are only 3 Australian films

The Australian film industry is a collection of diverse stories that highlight the rich panoply of people, histories and faith-positions that make up our culture – or not.

New, locally produced titles surface at the cinemas with seasonal regularity but, like those seasons, they present strangely familiar themes.

In fact there are only three genres that appear to make it from pitch to popcorn – and they say a great deal about the way we see our world.

Mark Hadley gets paid for telling true stories. As a documentary scriptwriter, he’s worked for all of the big acronyms: the BBC in Britain, PBS in the United States, the ABC and SBS in Australia, as well as all of our home-grown commercial networks. He works all over the world, but lives in Sydney where he writes regular reviews and co-hosts the national radio show, The Big Picture.

Our moderator

Justine Toh is Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Public Christianity. She worked at Fairfax Digital and Reuters Australia before completing her doctorate in Cultural Studies at Macquarie University. Justine speaks and writes about the way the Christian story renews all of life, and is especially interested in exploring big questions of meaning and purpose through the (seemingly) mundane moments of the everyday.

 

More details at citybibleforum.org

 

 

Matthews Down Under ministry partners and what we can look forward to in 2017

As we prepare for a short furlough, we wanted to repost these details for our supporters. Over the past we have had the privilege to work alongside some amazing organisations. Through Facebook, our website and conversations we have mentioned various ministry connections. We get requests for the names, websites and contact details for these people or groups. We thought we would do a simple list of the organisations we work with regularly. Check out their websites and contact us with any questions.

Our ministry partners

ABWE - The church planting mission agency that we work with in Australia and throughout the world.

City Bible Forum - Russ oversees evangelistic events and Reel Dialogue at City Bible Forum which is reaching city workers with the Gospel. Check out our latest promotional video 

Rouse Hill Bible Church - Pastor Ben Kwok and our church family in Rouse Hill, NSW Australia

Bible Study Fellowship - Cathy is a childrens leader with Bible Study Fellowship

SRE - Scripture Reading - Cathy teaches scripture in the public schools

Geneva Push - An amazing Australian initiative for effective church planting

Russelling Reviews - Russ' blog of recent reviews with a Gospel challenge

Reel Dialogue - Partnership with reviewer and editor Adrian Drayton with Gospel conversations through film

The Big Picture - Podcast and radio ministry work from cultural commentators Ben McEachen and Mark Hadley

Sow and Harvest - ABWE Australia's publishing

Vinegrowers - Col Marshall's ministry that  helps build churches around biblical discipleship: sacrificing, serving, speaking.

During our furlough, we will highlight some of these great ministry opportunities. If you have any questions about our furlough, please contact us.

Thank you for your prayers and support,

Russ, Cathy, Becca, Hope, Joshua and Caroline