Hello from City on a Hill
INTRODUCING CITY ON A HILL
City on a Hill is a movement of eight churches in the Anglican tradition. Our first church was planted 15 years ago in a pub in Melbourne. Our central mission is knowing Jesus and making Jesus known. God sent Jesus to offer you love and life. Jesus is beautiful, relevant, and true. Jesus demonstrated unconditional love for everyone, and we seek to follow in his footsteps.
Reverend Guy Mason serves as Senior Pastor of our movement, and as Archdeacon and priest in charge for our five churches within the Anglican Diocese of Melbourne. While cherishing the best of our Anglican traditions, we welcome people from all backgrounds, including those of any gender, sexuality, faith or no faith.
ARE YOUR VIEWS EXTREME?
Knowing Jesus and making Jesus known means we seek to live out Jesus’ teaching on love and life in our own lives. Listen in on our recent sermons on current issues and you’ll find very common Christian perspectives on marriage and pro-life issues (as well as refugees, climate change and race relations). While they reflect what Christians have believed and practised across the world for millennia, we realise some of these are minority views today in Australia. We respect that other people have other views. Our mission is to serve the community and shine the light of Christ.
We are grateful for the public support this week from a wide range of faith leaders of various denominations and other religions. You can read a statement by our own Archbishop, Dr Philip Freier here.
ARE YOU ANTI-ABORTION?
Jesus calls us to care for vulnerable people. For us, this includes unborn babies and their mothers. We respect that in Australia, like many countries, responsibility for life-and-death decisions around birth rests with the mother. We recognise unplanned pregnancy and termination is a complex, difficult issue for many women. Nobody should feel pressured into having an abortion. Our calling is to support a choice for life whenever possible, not to judge. We support, love and welcome all women, no matter what choices they make.
We are always seeking to learn as we wrestle with big issues. We are grateful for those who have raised concerns about one particular sentence in a sermon preached at one of our churches in 2013. The preacher has apologised for his choice of words, and would not use them today. A note has been added to the transcript.
In addition, we are undertaking a review of our publishing policy and procedure. While this review is ongoing, due to our desire to avoid unnecessary offence, we have decided to temporarily pause access to other sermons that address abortion so that we have a moment to assess how to best share our preaching on this topic. Note, however, to avoid confusion, we continue to provide access to the specific sermon from 2013 mentioned above, with our apology and warning note.
ARE YOU HOMOPHOBIC?
Every human is made in God’s image and demands respect and love. Jesus is for everyone – no exceptions. To mistreat or demean anyone based on their sexuality is wrong. With the Archbishop, we stand against homophobia. We stand against hate in any and all forms. Like Jesus, we welcome you whatever your sexuality, politics, culture, religious beliefs … or even football club.
As for us, our ministers share a traditional understanding of Christian marriage: a man and a woman, together for life, serving God and bringing new life into the world. We do not believe that marriage is the only way of living Jesus calls people to. Many in our church, including same-sex attracted or bi-sexual Christians, would share this perspective.
DOES BEING PART OF A CHURCH MEAN YOU ALL THINK THE SAME THINGS?
We are united around knowing Jesus and making Jesus known. As an open community we come from diverse cultures, religious backgrounds, political persuasions and life experiences. Being allowed to totally disagree with the Sunday sermon is an ancient and cherished Anglican tradition. We have never been afraid of discussing controversial and sensitive issues, because Jesus leads by example in respecting all people – even those who totally disagreed with him.