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In 1966, Christians made up 88.2% of the Australian population. 25 years later in 1991 it was 74%. Another 25 years later in 2016 it had dropped to 52.1%. Now in the just-released data from the 2021 Census, we are no longer a majority Christian nation, with only 43.85% of people identifying as Christians. The five largest groups are Catholics (19.97%); Anglicans (9.8%); Uniting (2.65%); Orthodox (2.3% – with Eastern Orthodox at 2%); Presbyterian (1.6%); Baptists (1.4%) and Pentecostals holding steady at 1%. The attached document provides some additional statistics.

Today and always, we are called to be disciples of Jesus – to go before him and announce the breaking in of the kingdom of God. The need to announce the Gospel is becoming clearer. We cannot continue the way that we have been.

“To be a disciple is to be a learner. To be a disciple of Jesus Christ is to be engaged in a lifelong process of learning from and about Jesus the master, Jesus the teacher.” James Mallon, Divine Renovation.

There is a spectrum of belief (Sherry Weddell, Forming Intentional Disciples)

  1. I don’t believe in God – atheist
  2. I don’t know if there is a God – agnostic
  3. I believe in a higher-power or impersonal force – deist
  4. I believe in a personal God but have no relationship with God – census Christian?
  5. I believe in a personal God and have a relationship with God – believer

Come and see the works of God; come and hear – for I will tell what he did in me. (Psalm 66)

  • First Reading ‡ Isaiah 66:10-14 I will send toward Jerusalem peace like a river.
  • Responsorial ‡ Psalm 65:1-7.16.20 Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
  • Second Reading ‡ Galatians 6:14-18 The marks I carry on my body are those of Jesus Christ.
  • Gospel [longer form] ‡ Luke 10:1-12.17-20 Your peace will rest upon him.
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