All posts by Simon Carter

Gender Confusion Talks

Gender confusion is a topic that is hugely relevant in our society today and as Christians we  want to strive for a biblical compassionate and loving response.

In the last few decades in the western world there has been huge cultural change. Some of these changes relate to how we see our sexuality and gender. In the past assigning someone’s sex had traditionally been based on biology – “It’s a boy or it’s a girl”. Yet now, in the media, we often hear stories of people transitioning from one sex to another, sometimes through hormone treatment. We have debates on whether we should have male and female toilets or what prisons transgender people should go to or even what we should teach our children in our schools concerning gender – and more.

How should Christians respond to all this? How do we react in the public sphere to these issues? or closer to home – how do we respond towards those whom we know and love who feel like the sex they were assigned at birth doesn’t correspond to who they feel they are? What do we say to our children who are confronted with these new changing attitudes at school? What does the Bible have to say concerning these things?

The following talks were delivered in September 2018 by Rob and Claire Smith in Tamworth and were organised by the Anglican Diocese of Armidale Commission for Education and Mission

Making Sense of Gender Confusion Talk 1

Making Sense of Gender Confusion Talk 2

Making Sense of Gender Confusion Talk 3


Wrapping up gifts for Families in need

OVACC Youth spent some of their school holidays wrapping up gifts for families in need. Here’s an article that the local newspaper wrote


WHILE most kids are spending their school holidays at the shops, movies or in the sunshine, a group of locals are doing their bit for the less fortunate.

Members of the Oxley Vale Anglican Church Youth Group spent their Monday wrapping donated gifts to give to local families doing it tough this Christmas as part of Uniting Care’s Christmas Appeal.

Uniting Care is celebrating 25 years of giving in Tamworth this year.

On Sunday, volunteers packaged up 140 hampers, before Monday was spent wrapping up gifts donated by local families to local families.

Families from as far away as Quirindi and Gunnedah will benefit from the charity drive, with more than 300 gifts being wrapped up.

“Each gift is individually wrapped,” a Tamworth Uniting Care Christmas Appeal organiser said.

“We find it very important because lots of families face debt, or broken down families or bills racking up (at this time of year). Unfrotunately, the last thing on the list is buying gifts.”

Women’s Morning Tea


Saturday the women of OVACC came together for morning tea. They heard from Yui on her journey from Thailand to Australia, and how she moved from Buddhism to trusting that Jesus was her Lord and Saviour. Of interest was her reflections on the difference between praying as a Buddhist, to praying to a personal Lord who loves her.


Enjoying morning tea together




Yui Sharing

OVACC YOUTH at Chaffey dam


Here are some pictures of when we went to Chaffey Dam DSCN0573


Contemplating fishing, and what to do if one bites
Praying in the rain. The Megaphone is so we can hear over the rain
Holding the eating area down in the wind
Holding the eating area down in the wind
Marshmallows and camp fire after the storm

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Canadian Thanksgiving

At OVACC we have a family on exchange from Canada. They were sad that they would miss thanksgiving in Canada, so as a church family we have joined them in a great day giving thanks to God for many things, including the family from all over the world united by Christ. OVACC is a church with members from many cultures. It was a great day that we could spend together.

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Women’s Brunch with Maama Eva from Uganda

OVACC Church along with the Anglican Diocese of Armidale partner the North Kigezi Diocese in Uganda. Maama Eva from North Kigezi Diocese spoke to the women of OVACC. She spent time outlining some of the great work Mothers Union was undertaking in her diocese helping families in poverty through income generating projects like piggeries and coffee growing


Brunch with Caz and Annette
some of the women of OVACC


Maama Eva from North Kigezi Diocese


Ashley Madison Scandal

AM_OVACCTamworth has almost 1800 Ashley Madison accounts according to the Sydney Morning Herald, which the newspaper describes as being almost 5% of the postcode.  For some of the neighbouring towns the numbers and percentage are higher.

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OVACC is a safe place for hurting families and for couples wanting to reconcile their relationships.  We recognise that we are all broken in some way and need help. At OVACC we have been involved with helping people who are hurt through adultery, broken relationships, divorce and porn addictions.

If you are struggling, either because you have hurt someone or been hurt, and you would like to see if it’s possible to fix things with God and your spouse then it’s possible we can help.

You can talk to me, another of our staff team, or an experienced Christian couple and can find us either  on Sunday at 10:00 at Oxley Vale Public School or call 02 6761 7271 for a confidential chat.

Here’s a short message from a friend of mine that you might like to watch or listen to as you attempt to process what is happening with some thoughts on what to do now.

Youth Group Science Weeks

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Water Rockets
Human ‘foosball’


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Water Rockets


Silly Putty
Silly Putty
Making Silly Putty
Making Silly Putty















Over the last couple of weeks we have been thinking about Christianity and Science. We have been looking at the idea that Science and Christianity are not enemies but rather are intertwined through history and the desire to understand the world that God has made.

Our first week we discussed that God has made a world that is ordered and discussed the discipline of science. That is, the desire to know God’s world. (Gen 1)

We then looked at how the bible uses miracles. If God upholds and sustains the world through his divine will, then everything that happens is part of that will and his knowledge. This means, whether what seems to occur under natural processes and ‘laws’, or even ‘supernatural’, these are part of the world that is being upheld by God.

Finally we though about the world that we live in is a reflection of God’s character and purpose. The world is ordered because God is ordered and is not fickle (Ex 34:5-7). Also there is a purpose for this creation. That purpose is to glorify Himself (Colossi ans 1:16) and for us to live in this world (Is 45:18 and Ps 104).

So how do we now live? We live wisely in God’s world (Prov 3:19-20 and Jer 10:12). To live wisely means that we recognise that God is God and we need to be reconciled to him in Jesus. Then in response to that, we will live with respect to the creation that God has made.

Working with Children Check for OVACC Staff and Volunteers


  1. The applicant should fill out an online application at:
  2. The applicant will need to nominate whether they are a paid employee or a volunteer. Under child-related sector the applicant should select “religious services”.
  3. Once the online application has been completed a WWCC Application Number will be issued to the applicant.
  4. The applicant must then take their WWCC Application Number and proof of their identity to the Roads and Maritime Services registry (formerly RTA).
  5. If the applicant is in paid child-related employment, an application fee of $80 will be payable. There is no fee for volunteers.
  6. Once the application has been processed, the applicant will be advised of the outcome by email. Most applications will be processed within 48 hours.
  7. The applicant should immediately provide your parish (email details to  please include your date-of-birth) with the WWCC Application Number in order for the check to be verified.
  8. After the check has been processed, the applicant will receive a clearance or a bar. Workers must receive a clearance within the time frames stated in order to undertake child-related work.

Safe Ministry Training Seminars

Safe Ministry Training: Our Commitment

safe ministry 1

safe ministry 1safe ministry 1The Anglican Diocese of Armidale affirms that all people have the right to be spiritually, emotionally, mentally and physically safe.

The Bible identifies classes of vulnerable people who are to be protected and given special care and treatment in society because of their powerlessness such as the poor, widows, orphans and aliens. As His people Christians are called to act justly, love mercy and walk humbly before Him (Micah 6:8).

The Anglican Church in Australia has made a commitment to keeping all people safe through the passing of canons and/or model ordinances relating to professional standards which have been adopted by our Diocesan Synod. Further to this, our parishes and special districts operate under the Parish Structures Ordinance 1979-2000 which seeks to govern the safe and respectful conduct of ministry at the local level.

We also live in a country that legislates for people’s safety, including legislation and regulations for the safety of children and vulnerable adults. Our Safe Ministry policy takes into consideration relevant legislation and regulations such as, but not limited to, the Work Health and Safety Act 2011, the New South Wales Crimes Act 1900, the New South Wales Child and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Act 1998 and the Child Protection (Working with Children) Act 2012.

The Diocese’s policies aim to:

  • ensure that leaders and programs are safe;
  • ensure that all people are respected and valued;
  • minimise the risk of abuse, ministry misconduct and the misuse of positional power having leaders and programs appropriately vetted; and
  • ensure that all cases of suspected abuse, ministry misconduct and grievances are handled in a fair and just manner.

At OVACC, we have been conducting our Safe ministry training using the material provided by Youth Works.  If you have any questions please request a contact to our Safe Ministry Officer via the contact us form on the home page.

Children’s Ministries Training Day

On the weekend 65 Scripture teachers, Sunday School teachers, and children’s ministry leaders gathered in the Hall at Oxley Vale Public School to enrich their skills in teaching the bible to children . The Kidswise Tamworth Training Day was very well received and the three seminars were great. The seminars were:

  • Building An Effective Children’s Ministry,
  • Presenting The Gospel To Children,
  • Group Management were very helpful and informative.

OVACC takes seriously our responsibility of caring and teaching the children who are entrusted to our care.

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Solidarity Sunday

We at OVACC are praying for our brothers and sisters in Iraq. We are also participating in “Solidarity Sunday ” on the 2nd November. If you would like t-shirts (large size) for $7 for the occasion please tell one of the staff on Sunday. If you would like to find our more go to this address here.Prayer for Iraq

We Are N


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While our services are usually happy occasions. Today we prayed for, gave and stood in solidarity with our brothers and sisters in Iraq.

With us were also the other churches across Tamworth in their own services

The sign that is being held by everyone is the arabic letter “N”. This symbol is being painted on Christians houses to designate where Christians live. Christians in Iraq are being forced to convert to Islam, forfeit their property or leave otherwise they will be killed. Even if they do pay the tax, most reports state that the militants come and still kill and take what they want. Today we prayed for them and supported the Bible Society in Kurdish Iraq

Prayer Day for Iraq

On Sunday 24th the churches across Tamworth are joining in prayer for the victims of persecution in Iraq.

Prayer for Iraq


Each church will be praying in their individual services and also taking a collection to support the victims of persecution from IS (formerly ISIS or ISIL). At OVACC we will be praying both in our 8am and 10:00 am services with a special collection going to the Bible Society.

You can see the Prime 7 news article  here

More information about what is happening on the ground can be found at the Bible Society: Support for Iraqi Christians and persecuted minorities

Patricia Weerakoon Visit

Patricia’s first events will be in Tamworth from the 30th July – 1st August.
Her first public event will be at St Peter’s Anglican Church on Wednesday the 30th July. She will be speaking on Living with Sexual Integrity. This event is for women, and girls aged 15 and over are invited. 7pm-9pm. By donation.

Thursday 31st July she will be speaking at West Tamworth Public School from 7pm-9pm (by donation). Her topic is Parenting in the Cyberworld. This is suitable for parents of children of all ages. Older teens are also welcome.

A description of her seminars and dates can be found here:

Friday 1st August will be a youth event held at Tamworth Baptist Church from 6pm-9:30pm. Her topic will be Teen Sex – By the Book.

Men’s Breakfast


July 19th will see the Men of OVACC sharing breakfast together, hearing from Chris Trethewy and working together supporting our local Public School by doing some odd jobs around the school. Contact Simon via the email link if you would like to participate.Screen Shot 2014-06-28 at 23.29.32


On the 17th August we give thanks for another year of sharing the gospel in Northern Tamworth. Anyone is free to join us for a thanksgiving service at 9am with Communion.  The AGM will start at 10:00. After the AGM concludes we will have lunch together in the School Hall. Hope to see you thereScreen Shot 2014-06-30 at 14.44.35