Worship! With all the senses!  Mary Andrew College lecturer Louise Gosbell gives her reflections on the value of taste and touch in connecting with God.        

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


       
   
     “ In what ways can we use tactile and sensory worship to further our memory and understanding of God’s word and make the most of the sensory abilities God has endowed us with? In what ways can we use our sensory experience to bring others into an understanding and experience of God for themselves also? ” 
   
  
 
      Read the Eternity News article

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Worship! With all the senses!

An article by MAC lecturer Louise Gosbell on the value of taste and touch in connecting with God.

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      Rev. Canon Dr Alison Milbank's keynote lecture  at STCPE in January 2019  The following is a video of the Rev. Canon Dr Alison Milbank’s opening keynote lecture at the 2019 School of Theology, Culture & Public Engagement. She is Associate Professor of Literature and Theology at the University of Nottingham, in the UK, and a leading thinker on imaginative apologetics.                
   
     “ Works of the imagination, just like Jesus’s parables, are proposals of a way of seeing reality ” 
   
   — Alison Milbank

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Rev. Canon Dr Alison Milbank's keynote lecture at STCPE 2019

The Rev. Canon Dr Alison Milbank’s opening keynote lecture at the School of Theology, Culture & Public Engagement in January 2019.

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       Q&A  with Michaela O’Donnell Long, 2019 ADM Visiting Fellow     

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


      Scheduled around this year’s    Annual Funding Event   , ADM will host Dr. Michaela O’Donnell Long from Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, CA as a Visiting Fellow. Because she’ll be involved in a variety of events during her time at ADM, we wanted folks to get to know her a bit.    ADM caught up with her recently and asked her the following questions.     ADM:   You grew up in the U.S. midwestern state of Nebraska, much of which is made up of farming communities. Tell us a bit about how the landscape/community might have shaped some of your perspectives and pursuits.    Michaela:  Ah, yes. I did grow up in Nebraska. Although it was nothing like bustling Sydney, I grew up in the city of Omaha. With about a half million people, it was a mid-sized city mostly made up of houses and shops and other suburban amenities. Outside the city in nearly any direction, you’d find agriculture of various kinds.   Reflecting back, I realise that a large swath of the year was measured by the production of corn. In summer, the mantra was that corn would be “knee high by the 4th of July.” In August, farmers would load up their freshly harvested corn and drive into Omaha to sell their harvest out of the back of pick up trucks. And by late September the leftover stalks in the field would turn to golden brown. So, although I’ve never picked an ear of corn in my life, the rhythm of planting, growing, and harvesting is forever sketched into the aesthetics of my brain. And that aesthetic has shaped my own expectation for my work. I trust the rhythm of what I have seen, that there is a time for planting, a time for growing, a time for harvesting, and a time to clear the fields.       ADM:   When you decided to attend university, the word on the street is you got an athletic scholarship. True? What sport/position? And so, from your personal experience, how might sports serve as a metaphor for working in ministry, business or an organisation?    Michaela:  It’s true. I had the privilege of playing softball for a few years in college—as pitcher first, then short stop. My husband and I were recently talking about how formative sports have been for me, and about how great athletes are coachable. They learn quickly that there is always room to grow, that critique of their game isn’t personal, and that in order to achieve big goals you’ve got to ever evolve in your game.   I carry this same belief into my work as a leader, writer, mother, and creative. Early on in my PhD process, I remember turning in a paper that I thought was profound. When I got it back from my professor, there was so much red ink on the page that I gasped. And when my face reflected my disappointment, he said something that any good coach would agree with: “In order to be a top level thinker, you’ve got to love the critique.” And, now my own leadership style resembles that of a coach—always working with my team to finesse their gifts and skills so that they might flourish in their work.        ADM:   You’re now at Fuller Theological Seminary in southern California, serving as the senior director at the    De Pree Centre    and a lecturer of practical theology—a long way from the softball field or Nebraska farmlands. You’re also an entrepreneur and co-founder of a branding and video production company. Tell us a bit about your journey and how God lead you there? And how does theology mix with business?    Michaela:  Life really is unpredictable, isn’t it? When I look back, I can see how all these different parts of my life weave together. But at first glance, one might wonder how all these parts make up a whole. My husband Dan and I both graduated with MDivs from Fuller and started our creative agency soon after, mostly as a way to make money in the middle of a recession. God has been very good to us through Long Winter Media. We’ve learned lots of lessons, met amazing people, created meaningful projects, and paid our bills.   A few years into that, I sort of twisted my own arm into going back to school to get a PhD. And because I was desperate to integrate my work as a business owner with my work as student of practical theology, I studied people who had charted their own way in work, people who I called faithful entrepreneurs. This work eventually led me to the De Pree Center. In my role, I get to bring my full self to the role: entrepreneurial in that I get to create programs and resources rooted in my research; writing and teaching about calling, work, and leadership; and because I have a background in creative content, I serve as creative director on many of our multi-media content offerings. It’s actually sort of a dream. And I don’t take that privilege lightly. I’m committed to stewarding the resources God has given me in this season (including the resource of myself!).       ADM:   What sparked your interest in practical theology as well as helping women in particular develop leadership skills?      Michaela:  Practical theology is a discipline that revolves around four basic questions:   1) What’s going on in the world?   2) Why is it going on?   3) How might the Bible or Christian tradition speak into it?   4) What should we do going forward?    Over and over again, practical theologians seek to answer these four questions in particular contexts with particular praxis. A quick example of how I might answer those questions around one particular reality of women in leadership , given my role at De Pree Center, might include: 1) Women lack adequate mentorship in the workplace; 2) Statistics show that a majority of senior level men are uncomfortable mentoring women in 1 on 1 situations. Because so many men occupy leadership positions, women are missing out on key mentoring relationships; 3) Right from the start, we see a biblical commissioning of men and women working together in the Garden; 4) What if we created resources that outlined for men “how to mentor a woman” in an approachable way? Therefore, how can we work toward more opportunities for women to be mentored? This is why I love practical theology. It’s critical, synthetic, and practical.        ADM:   Deaconess Mary Andrews, after whom our Bible college is named, once said that, “The measure of what you can do for the world will be simply what you let God do with yourself. With most of us God can do so little because we are so little between his hands. That Jesus really wants me and needs me is the wonder and strength of my life. He has met my every need and in him I am fully satisfied.”  In what ways might this resonate with you and your scholarship/work on vocation, calling and entrepreneurship? Are there any easy steps to discovering our calling, or “what you let God do with yourself”?    Michaela:  Wow, this quote resonates so much with me. It is convicting in that it highlights how our best  doing  comes not from getting great at  doing , but by deepening our  being . When we know who we are, and are deeply satisfied with Christ, it becomes like a wellspring bubbling up and impacting every move we make in the world.   I am convinced that most of what we think about how God’s calling works in our lives is limited and therefore unhelpful. I think God is much more interested in the long haul of our formation than any one thing we might put our hands to. And in that, the things we put our hands to are part of how God is always forming us. To let our beings sway in intimacy with God and all that God calls us to, we must ready ourselves to be disrupted over and over again.       ADM:   As Visiting Fellow for ADM, you’ll be coming to Sydney in August with your family during the time of our Annual Funding Event. Have you ever been to Australia?     Michaela:  It’s our first time. I’m bringing my whole crew: husband, two young children, my mother, and her husband!      ADM:   What do you think you’ll find in the land down under?     Michaela:  My three-year-old daughter talks nearly every day about seeing a kangaroo. She’s a big Winnie the Pooh fan and imagines that Australia is full of Kanga and Roos. So, fingers crossed.       ADM:   Finally, as women prepare their pitches for the    Annual Funding Event   , what advice or guidance would you give them? Could you recommend a few resources that might help women work toward their goals and/or consider how God is calling them? Final insights?    Michaela:  I am so excited to hear pitches from women there. I’m already praying for you and cheering you on! And, I know first hand how vulnerable it is to put yourself out there, so you’ve already got my respect. I’m excited for you to learn. Whenever I’ve given pitches (and I’ve given a lot), I inevitably have to get a little clearer on who I am, what I’m doing, and why it matters. And that process of refining and clarifying is a gift.  If I were going to encourage you to think about one thing for your pitch it would be  value add .  Value add  is a shorthand way to think about the benefit that you and/or your idea adds to society. As Christians, we might think explicitly about how what we’re doing is a  value add  for the Kingdom. What I’ve learned over time is that while ideas and stories might overlap, each person brings a unique  value add  to the table.   This means that even if there are five people who pitch an idea for a coffee shop that furthers justice in their community, each will do so in a unique way and therefore add unique value to the Kingdom. In this, we can helpfully shift our internal focus from competing with all the other ideas of the day and instead think about how together we can get clear on the unique  value add  of our idea, organisation, or project!

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Q&A with Michaela O'Donnell Long, 2019 ADM Visiting Fellow

Scheduled around this year’s Annual Funding Event, ADM will host Dr. Michaela O’Donnell Long from Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, CA as a Visiting Fellow. ADM caught up with her recently and asked her the following questions…

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      Q&A: Bernie Black steps up in the brave world of leadership   When Bernie Black pitched at    ADM’s 2018 Annual Funding Event   , she knew exactly why she needed to be there: leadership development. Her organisation had grown and she needed help to lead well. Bernie’s idea landed and she won funding to participate in Harvard’s Kennedy School as well as in year-long mentoring through ADM’s Hub program of innovation. ADM wanted to hear about some of the things she learned in Boston—beside Red Sox baseball—knowing her insights would be helpful for others.       ADM:  In 2009, you founded the Brave Foundation in response to your own experiences as a teen parent. Tell us a bit about how the work has grown since.    Bernie : The vision of the Brave Foundation is to build a village of support and acceptance around expecting and parenting teens. Brave is the 10-year over-night success; in fact, we celebrate our 10-year anniversary in July 2019, with Her Excellency Kate Warner hosting us at Government House in Tasmania.   I am the Founding Director and essentially Brave is what I looked for and couldn’t find as a 16-year old expecting teen. I was shocked, very alone and scared at this time. So I made myself three promises late into my pregnancy: 1.) to somehow be a good mum – I’d hardly held a baby and wasn’t a maternal girl; 2.) to finish my secondary school education —I had no idea how to do this either; and 3.) if I fulfilled the first two, I would write something for others in the same situation.   In 2006, I wrote  Brave Little Bear  (this is the meaning of my name Bernadette), and due to its success, created Brave Foundation in 2009. Soon, people called me from all over Australia to find out how the expecting or parenting teen in their life could be connected to education and support. That was the beginning of our Directory of Services, which now has over 600 organisations listed and referred to nationally.   What I didn’t realise in the early days was that it would take time for Australia to have a conversation about how to help young parents. I learned how important it is to share a compelling vision with widely varied stakeholders. For me it’s now about knowing my audience and why my message matters to them. For example, the economic benefits of supporting young people in vulnerable situations may be more important to some, while others might care about the social impact we have.   But whether we have ever supported or known a young parent or not, we are all part of the Brave village. Just one positive voice, one ‘You can do it! ’ or one smile that smashes a stigma reminds us that we all have a role to play in helping those at risk of disadvantage, which many young parents can be.      

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          
           
              Bernie graduates from her leadership course at Harvard’s Kennedy School.  
           
          

         
      
       
    

  


      ADM: Last year, you pitched at our 2018 Annual Funding Event. What were you hoping to get out of that experience? What happened?    Bernie:  It was a very empowering experience, and one I’m grateful for. A dear mentor and friend nominated me, so I felt encouraged from the get go. At the time, I was dreaming about the possibility of learning from an executive course at Harvard’s Kennedy School in Boston, MA. But that course, “Women and Power: Leadership in a New Generation” is one I couldn’t fund myself, even though I knew it could help solidify my leadership skills while strengthening and expanding the work of Brave Foundation where I serve as CEO.   So when I filled in the application for the Annual Funding Event, I explained that I would use the prize money to pay those course fees. I was astonished when I won my category!  Not only have I been blessed by participating in the Harvard Kennedy course (even to go there!), but the growth, strategy and direction of Brave has since increased dramatically. That means we’re able to help more people at risk of experiencing disadvantage, especially expecting and parenting teens. The women and team at ADM really champion women in the unique lanes they run in. The whole experience (of AFE and The Hub) has been a massive gift, personally, spiritually and professionally.      ADM: So your dream came true and you travelled to Harvard earlier this year for its leadership course. What were some of key insights you gained during your time there?    Bernie:  I learned that according to research most women are reluctant to ask questions. We likely get sweaty palms, question our questions a million times over, and even after this arduous process, we often decide  not  to ask the question. Research also shows that most men skip this process entirely and just ask a question without over-thinking; nor are they worried if the question doesn’t sound great. The moral of the story here is we need to ask questions and then ask more questions. Ladies, raise a hand because we need your perspective and influence.  Another key insight was realising that our vulnerability is a gift to others and can be a strength. The power of your ‘North Star’ story can also gain more traction in the career world, rather than your ‘Gold Star’ story, according to research. The Gold Star story is the one we often tell on our CV’s and biographies, which include your qualifications, roles, leadership advancement, experiences, etc. Your North Star story, however, uses your personal story of survivorship and vulnerability, and this creates a community of followers who are energised by your ideas, leadership and pioneering. When both the Gold Star and North Star elements of a person’s career and life story are told together, there is an increased opportunity for career advancement and personal joy and fulfillment.      

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          
           
              While in Boston, Bernie managed to catch a Boston Red Sox game.  
           
          

         
      
       
    

  


     Finally, I learned about transformational and transactional leadership styles. I use a transformational leadership style, and research shows that women innately use this style because it creates longer lasting changes in a culture.   Four core ingredients of transformational leadership are:  •Individualised attention: why does what you are saying to someone matter to  them ?;  •Inspirational motivation: where you are taking the listener inspires them;   •Idealised themes: how connecting values and ethics with the person listening motivates them;  •Intellectual stimulation: acknowledges and challenges intellectual gifts.  Studies show women come out stronger than men in the use individualised attention.      ADM: What would you say are practical ways women can grow as leaders or as people of influence in their respective areas?    Bernie:  Perseverance, passion, persistence, sacrifice and lifelong learning! Keep knocking on doors and be bold. Keep asking questions. I went to Canberra 10 years ago but we didn’t receive federal funding until 2018. We need to remember why we’re doing what we’re doing.   I now have the privilege of reading the stories of young women in our Supporting Expecting and Parenting Teen program (who we assist intensively). As I do, I learn of the promises they make themselves, changing their own lives and their child’s as well as the generations beyond. Honestly, I didn’t know if I would live to see what is currently operating across Australia and am so grateful that I kept at it to be a part of this work.     ADM: As one of the winners last year at the AFE, what advice would you give to those women who are pitching this year?    Bernie:  Practice your five-minute pitch, but don’t overcook it. Authenticity is key. I wrote down five key points for each minute on a small palm card, in case I needed it, and it did help with my nerves.   By sharing a part of your personal story in your pitch, you can create a sense of transparency and vulnerability, which is a real strength. Be  you — that’s who all of us want to see because the world needs  your  idea. Enjoy the moment and regardless of the outcome, be prepared to make connections that will last, friends you haven’t met yet!       ADM:  What verse continues to inspire you as a woman flourishing in your work?    Bernie:  “If you are faithful in the little things, you will be faithful in the large ones,” -Luke 16:10.     Find out more about our    Annual Funding Event    and    Hub    for Christian women    here         At the Annual Funding Event (AFE), ADM awards funding to Australian Christian women to support them and multiply their effectiveness as they use their opportunities and gifts to develop gospel-shaped innovations. Applications are now open!    At the AFE, invitations will also be issued to become part of our Incubator Program. Our incubator is a community for Christian women leading for-profits, charities or community initiatives seeking to do gospel-shaped work.

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Q&A: Bernie Black steps up in the brave world of leadership

When Bernie Black pitched at ADM’s 2018 Annual Funding Event, she knew exactly why she needed to be there: leadership development. Her organisation had grown and she needed help to lead well.

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       Rev. Jackie Stoneman Announces her Retirement    “Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labour in the Lord is not in vain.” — 1 Corinthians 15:58    After 25 years on the faculty at MAC, including 12 years as Principal, Rev. Jackie Stoneman will retire at the end of 2019. Anglican Deaconess Ministries is grateful for Jackie’s faithful “labour in the Lord” and invites you to hear from her directly in the video below.                 Paul’s encouragement in 1 Corinthians 15:58 has always had a deep meaning for Rev. Stoneman. From the time she began her ministry, throughout her varied roles at MAC and now as she heads into retirement, she believes God’s call to “stand firm” and continue “fully in the work of the Lord” will continue to guide her in this next season.   Her faithful example is one which we at Anglican Deaconess Ministries will always value, especially as we celebrate the great work she’s helped establish at MAC in equipping women to serve Christ throughout the world.   Soon, the role of Principal will be advertised to enable a smooth transition for the College and students. Please pray with us that God will send us just the right person to continue building on Rev. Stoneman’s vision and work at Mary Andrews College as Christian women receive theological training to care for a world in need of Jesus. And please rejoice with us at God’s abundant provision of grace in and through Rev. Stoneman’s impact.   

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Rev. Jackie Stoneman Announces her Retirement

After 25 years on the faculty at MAC, including 12 years as Principal, Rev. Jackie Stoneman will retire at the end of 2019. Anglican Deaconess Ministries is grateful for Jackie’s faithful “labour in the Lord” and invites you to hear from her directly in this video.

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                 Celebrating History in the Making                 Thirty years ago as Queen Elizabeth graced the front page of The London Times, 14 Anglican women made their own headlines seven pages later in the same edition. The reason? They were the first women ordained as deacons in the Sydney Diocese.   This May, over 200 ministers and friends gathered in St Andrew’s Cathedral to celebrate the thirtieth anniversary of that historic ordination, which also included 14 men. Rev. Jackie Stoneman, Director of Mary Andrews College, Rev. Jacinth Myles, ADM Chaplain to the Deaconesses and Retired Deacons, and Rev. Jan Donohoo, ADM board member, as well as Rev. Keith Condie, Co-Director of the Mental Health and Pastoral Care Institute, who were all ordained in 1989, took part in the anniversary service.     


  

  


 
   
    
      

        
          
             
              
                    
              

              
                
             
          
          
        

        

        

      

        
          
             
              
                    
              

              
                
             
          
          
        

        

        

      

        
          
             
              
                    
              

              
                
             
          
          
        

        

        

      

        
          
             
              
                    
              

              
                
             
          
          
        

        

        

      

        
          
             
              
                    
              

              
                
             
          
          
        

        

        

      

        
          
             
              
                    
              

              
                
             
          
          
        

        

        

      

        
          
             
              
                    
              

              
                
             
          
          
        

        

        

      

        
          
             
              
                    
              

              
                
             
          
          
        

        

        

      

        
          
             
              
                    
              

              
                
             
          
          
        

        

        

      

        
          
             
              
                    
              

              
                
             
          
          
        

        

        

      

        
          
             
              
                    
              

              
                
             
          
          
        

        

        

      

        
          
             
              
                    
              

              
                
             
          
          
        

        

        

      

        
          
             
              
                    
              

              
                
             
          
          
        

        

        

      

        
          
             
              
                    
              

              
                
             
          
          
        

        

        

      

        
          
             
              
                    
              

              
                
             
          
          
        

        

        

      

        
          
             
              
                    
              

              
                
             
          
          
        

        

        

      

        
          
             
              
                    
              

              
                
             
          
          
        

        

        

      

        
          
             
              
                    
              

              
                
             
          
          
        

        

        

      
    
   

  

 


  

     
      

        
           
        

        

      

        
           
        

        

      

        
           
        

        

      

        
           
        

        

      

        
           
        

        

      

        
           
        

        

      

        
           
        

        

      

        
           
        

        

      

        
           
        

        

      

        
           
        

        

      

        
           
        

        

      

        
           
        

        

      

        
           
        

        

      

        
           
        

        

      

        
           
        

        

      

        
           
        

        

      

        
           
        

        

      

        
           
        

        

      
     

  





      “This is a wonderful opportunity to thank God for the significance of this event in the Sydney Diocese in terms of recognizing the ministry of women,” said Rev. Stoneman. “Here was an acknowledgement of the diaconal ministry that women were already doing.” Since 1989, 95 women have been ordained as Deacons in the Anglican diocese.    Rev. Condie considered it a great honour to be ordained alongside the history-making women. “The ordination service acknowledged that these women already had significant ministries which we men hadn’t had because we were just starting out,” he said. “Many have continued to make extraordinary contributions in a range of contexts since that time, which has been inspiring to see.”      
   
     “ God has indeed been faithful and continues to equip women, both ordained and lay, to serve Him to His glory. ” 
   
  
 
     Dean of the Cathedral, Kanishka Raffel, led the 30th anniversary service, and Rev. Di Nicolios, the first Archdeacon for Women’s Ministry, preached on 2 Timothy 4:1-8. The current Archdeacon for Women’s Ministry, the Ven. Kara Hartley, then interviewed Rev. Donohoo, ordained in 1989, and Rev. Ruth Schoeter, ordained in 2016. Archbishop Glenn Davies offered closing remarks and spoke of the significance of the ordination of women to the Diaconate and the importance of their ministry in the diocese. Following the service, ADM hosted a dinner for the original female deacons and those who’d come to celebrate.   “This is one way we could honour the many women who have become deacons in the Anglican church in Sydney,” said Rev. Stoneman. “God has indeed been faithful and continues to equip women, both ordained and lay, to serve Him to His glory.”        
  

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Celebrating History in the Making

Thirty years ago as Queen Elizabeth graced the front page of The London Times, 14 Anglican women made their own headlines seven pages later in the same edition. The reason? They were the first women ordained as deacons in the Sydney Diocese. This past May, over 200 ministers and friends gathered in St Andrew’s Cathedral to celebrate the thirtieth anniversary of that historic ordination.

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       Deaconess House Update   16 April 2019     

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          
           
              Deaconess House  
           
          

         
      
       
    

  


     For over 125 years, Anglican Deaconess Ministries (ADM) has been focused on raising up women with theological formation for practical and public engagement.  More than 100 years ago, several Deaconesses, along with the women and men who supported them, sought a permanent place for the headquarters of the ministries and 26-28 Carillon Ave, Newtown, (Deaconess House) was purchased.  Over this past century, Deaconess House has been an important investment in the preparation of women for the work of God, either in Australia or overseas, and a symbol of that same commitment. We are grateful to God for Deaconess House which has enabled so many women to be formed theologically and prepared for ministry and mission, in the varied ways in which that has occurred. Deaconess House was even the first place in Australia to offer accommodation to overseas students.   Since January 2008, ADM has leased the Deaconess House buildings to Moore Theological College to accommodate Moore’s single female students. Consistent with our organisational commitment, we leased the buildings to Moore College in good faith so as to support the theological formation of their female students.  To that end, ADM undertook $250,000 of works on the buildings prior to the lease, a lease which then included $1 per year rent for Moore College to pay. Under the lease, Moore also agreed to maintain the buildings and to comply with OH&S requirements to ensure the ongoing safety and comfort of its residents, while charging its single female students residential fees. The lease stated that ADM and Moore would equally share the cost of any major repairs over the value of $5,000.  On Friday 12 April 2019, ADM’s Board of Directors reviewed the findings and recommendations of an OH&S Report it had commissioned of the site, and which it had received just prior to the meeting. The findings of life-safety concerns highlighted in the OH&S Report necessitated a difficult decision and immediate action: ADM Board instructed the College to vacate the buildings immediately for the safety of the remaining five students living there and terminated the lease of 26-28 Carillon Ave to Moore College. (In October 2018 Moore had asked the rest of the student body to vacate these buildings for safety concerns and had been in dialogue with ADM’s Board regularly.)  ADM’s Board has made a one-time gift of $100,000 to Moore College to assist with transitional housing arrangements for their female students and those who would have been residents in the buildings this academic year.  Appropriate members of Moore College and ADM are continuing to work together to bring positive resolve and care to those involved. It is our hope that these actions will not compromise our partnership for the Gospel of Jesus Christ, as we look forward to continuing to support one another’s efforts in helping Christian women flourish in God’s Kingdom. 

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Deaconess House Update

For over 125 years, Anglican Deaconess Ministries (ADM) has been focused on raising up women with theological formation for practical and public engagement.  More than 100 years ago, several Deaconesses, along with the women and men who supported them, sought a permanent place for the headquarters of the ministries and 26-28 Carillon Ave, Newtown, (Deaconess House) was purchased.

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      Australia: The Good Neighbour?  ADM and Micah Foundation Co-Host Panel Discussion on Foreign Policy  In a time of global suffering and political unrest, how can Australia best serve its global neighbours? As the nation approaches a federal election, how can Christians think biblically about engagement in politics?   Anglican Deaconess Ministries and Micah Australia teamed up to explore these questions in an evening of public discussion with Christian thought-leaders and elected representatives, including Dr. John Dickson, Senator Jenny McAllister and Dr. Kate Harrison Brennan.     “Australia: The Good Neighbour, A Conversation on Our Foreign Policy Trajectory”   took place Wednesday, 27th March 2019, at ADM’s office, Level 1, St Andrew's House, 464-480 Kent Street, Sydney. Nearly 75 people attended the evening event.  “We are blessed and privileged to live in Australia, but this comes with a responsibility to prayerfully consider, and actively engage, how we want to shape our nation’s future. We have an incredible opportunity to be a nation known for compassion and leadership as a good global neighbour,” said Libby Sanders, ADM’s Program Manager of Mercy and Justice. “As Christians, this should excite and compel us to participate prayerfully in discussions such as this.”      
   
     “ We have an incredible opportunity to be a nation known for compassion and leadership as a good global neighbour. As Christians, this should excite and compel us to participate prayerfully in discussions such as this. ” 
   
  
 
     Dr. John Dickson, an author, speaker, theologian and the founding director of the Centre for Public Christianity, kicked off the event with reflections of what where he saw first hand during a recent trip with Australian Aid supporting Syrian refugees in Jordan and Lebanon.  Next, Senator Jenny McAllister, an Australian Labor Party Senator for New South Wales and the Shadow Assistant Minister for Families and Communities, offered a few remarks. Senator McAllister then joined Dr. Dickson and ADM CEO, Dr. Kate Harrison Brennan, a former Advisor to Prime Minister Julia Gillard, for a panel discussion moderated by Micah Campaign Director Matt Darvas. (A representative from the Liberal party was invited to participate but had to send regrets.). Questions of foreign policy positions and Australia’s role as a global neighbour guided the conversation.   "This is an important moment for Christians to consider our responsibilities to the poor and the vulnerable who are on our doorstep as a nation,” said Darvas. “Even as we near an election that will be focused on domestic issues, this will be a night to talk about those who don't have a vote in this election and what our responsibility is to them."      
   
     “ This is an important moment for Christians to consider our responsibilities to the poor and the vulnerable who are on our doorstep as a nation ” 
   
  
 
     Everyone is welcome. Tickets and more information are available  here

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Australia: The Good Neighbour? ADM and Micah Foundation Co-Host Panel Discussion on Foreign Policy

In a time of global suffering and political unrest, how can Australia best serve its global neighbours? As the nation approaches a federal election, how can Christians think biblically about engagement in politics?

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      How to Care for Those with Mental Illness:  New courses provide practical help   – By Hayley Lukabyo   When friends confide about their struggles with a mental health challenge, it’s not always easy for Christians to know how to respond. Beyond dropping off a casserole, what practical ways can we offer genuine love and Christian care?  Considering almost half of all Australians experience a mental illness in their lives, the question is both timely and relevant, reflecting an ever-growing need for Christians to have biblical and practical ways to address such challenges. Sarah Condie, co-director of ADM’s Mental Health and Pastoral Care Institute (MHPCI),  notes that  “with mental health challenges on the rise – whether depression, loneliness or more difficult illnesses ­– Christians are increasingly faced with questions of caring more deeply for those in our midst.”  Several new short courses, then, have been created with these questions in mind. Co-sponsored by the MHPCI and Mary Andrews College, a variety of upcoming short courses focus on equipping church members, ministry staff and leaders to care for those in their congregations facing mental health challenges:      Mental Health 101 on 27th March      Mental Health Masterclass on 3rd April     Times and fees vary and enrolment has filled up quickly for this term; however, some spaces are still available through:   www.mentalhealthinstitute.org.au/shortcourses    “There is great encouragement when a group of like-minded people gather around a topic that is significant for them, and that is why I’m excited to be a part of the short courses developed here”, says Kerrie Newmarch, ADM Director of Church Engagement and Training. “These new courses provide a great opportunity to develop our understanding and compassion of areas for well being, which can be difficult.”   The Mental Health and Pastoral Care Institute takes a holistic approach to addressing various challenges and aspects of mental illness, combining elements of pastoral care with current research in psychology.      

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          
           
              Rev. Dr Keith Condie  
           
          

         
      
       
    

  


     “Our starting point is God’s loving concern for the spiritual, mental, emotional, physical and social well being of all”, says Rev. Dr. Keith Condie, co-director of the MHPCI. “We are convinced that the Gospel of Jesus Christ speaks into all life contexts to provide grace and encouragement, and to alleviate distress.”    Mental Health 101  provides participants with an overview of common mental health disorders, how the mental health system works in Australia, the role of the church and how to respond to a crisis. Dr. Condie will conduct the course, which is open for all church members seeking to understand the needs of those within their communities.    Dr. Condie, alongside Jackie Stoneman, Director of Studies at Mary Andrews College, will also run a  Mental Health Masterclass  for ministry staff and pastoral care workers, which provides a theological and practical framework for navigating mental illness and church life with wisdom.       

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          
           
              Rev. Jackie Stoneman  
           
          

         
      
       
    

  


     Rev. Stoneman will teach  People Matters , introducing specific and practical skills for all church members who want to build effective and caring relationships that honour Christ. Grounded in biblical principles, the course deepens participants’ understanding of people and knowledge of what makes healthy relationships while carrying out God’s work in caring for others.   To find out more about the Institute’s ongoing short courses, or other new initiatives such as the Building a Safe and Strong Marriage course and the Raising Resilient Parents course, visit the website  here .

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How to Care for Those with Mental Illness: New courses provide practical help

When friends confide about their struggles with a mental health challenge, it’s not always easy for Christians to know how to respond. Beyond dropping off a casserole, what practical ways can we offer genuine love and Christian care?

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      ADM Celebrates Launch of “Building a Safe & Strong Marriage”   Five-Part Video Enrichment Course Highlights Research and Biblical Perspectives       by – Jo Kadlecek         Sometimes even the best marriages need a little help. Whether they’ve celebrated their first or their 25th wedding anniversary, many couples today live very busy lives and time to connect and talk openly and honestly can be missing.  To that end, Anglican Deaconess Ministries has created a new marriage enrichment course called,  Building a Safe & Strong Marriage , to be launched on 28 February and available for purchase through ADM’s BuildingMarriage.com.au. Drawn from the work of Sarah and Rev Dr Keith Condie—who have spent the past 15 years facilitating marriage workshops in churches, theological colleges and small groups— Building a Safe & Strong Marriage  is a five-part video course for couples in church or group settings or at home and includes accompanying workbooks and resources.       
   
     “ Building a Safe & Strong Marriage is a unique approach in that it draws on biblical truths and wisdom, as well as leading marriage research ” 
   
  
 
     “Building a Safe & Strong Marriage is a unique approach in that it draws on biblical truths and wisdom, as well as leading marriage research,” said Dr Condie. “We’ve brought these elements together for couples to strengthen and develop their relationships, but we’ve done it through an Australian lens and a Christian perspective.”  The course encourages couples to do “little things every day” to keep them well connected.  ADM’s Mental Health and Pastoral Care Institute developed the course in response to increasing challenges for today’s marriages. Statistics show that approximately one in three Australian marriages end in divorce.  “There has never been a more crucial time for Christians to lead the way in helping to build healthy marriages, both within our churches and in our communities,” said Dr Kate Harrison Brennan, ADM’s CEO.             The  Building a Safe & Strong Marriage  course was created by Keith & Sarah Condie, who have successfully helped thousands of couples build their marriage over the 15 years they have been running the course.         The video course is designed for flexible use in small or large groups. Facilitators are provided with a comprehensive manual for hosting a course in their local church or community setting.  During the course, couples have time to talk together on their own in response to the video content. Topics explored include: God’s design for marriage, what damages connectedness, building the positives of friendship, communication, sex, spirituality, and managing conflict gently.   Responses to the content in  Building a Safe & Strong Marriage  have already been positive. One couple said that though they have been married twenty years, the course “gave us a chance to set aside a night for five weeks to focus on ‘us’ and talk about things we don’t normally talk about. Our marriage was going well, but this course helped us not to take that for granted, to value doing the daily things that keep us connected.”   “The legacy of strong, healthy marriages will benefit children, church communities and the wider society,” said Sarah Condie. “We know from our own experience that building a strong marriage is not easy but with the right tools and support, it’s not only possible, it’s worth every effort.”        
	 visit www.buildingmarriage.com.au 
      Word is getting out about the course!  Read the Eternity News article and watch their interview with Keith and Sarah.

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ADM Celebrates Launch of “Building a Safe & Strong Marriage”

Five-Part Video Enrichment Course Highlights Research and Biblical Perspectives

Sometimes even the best marriages need a little help. Whether they’ve celebrated their first or their 25th wedding anniversary, many couples today live very busy lives and time to connect and talk openly and honestly can be missing.

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      Bernie Black’s Brave Foundation Supports Teen Parents to Become Healthy Families       – By Sophia Auld   Bernadette Black was only 16 when she unexpectedly became pregnant. She was living in Melbourne with her parents, devoted Catholics, and two siblings and she wasn’t sure what to do.  Her situation grew more difficult when she experienced first-hand the stigma and lack of support associated with a teenage pregnancy.   “Throughout my pregnancy, so many people looked at me critically and judgmentally and made me think I should be embarrassed and ashamed,” says “Bernie”, now 41. “I desperately needed help and inspiration from others who had been in my situation but I found none.”   As a result, Bernie established the Brave Foundation in 2009, a not-for-profit organisation that equips expecting and parenting teens with resources, referrals and educational opportunities for achieving a happy and healthy family. The national charity connects expecting and parenting teens with more than 500 outreach and educational services that exist to support them.   Such connections to local support “builds a village of acceptance around them and helps them have the same outcomes that any other young person in Australia would have,” Bernie says. Brave Foundation’s website also provides advice for young men, families, friends and professionals who are involved in a teen’s journey.     

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          
           
              Bernadette Black (centre) with ADM Chair of Board Jenni Stoddart (left) and ADM CEO Dr Kate Harrison Brennan (right), at the ADM Annual Funding Event in September.  
           
          

         
      
       
    

  


     Thanks to this vision for supporting teens through the Brave Foundation, Bernie recently won the “Do” category and a grant at ADM’s Annual Funding Event in September 2018. She expects to use the grant for develop her leadership skills as she takes the Brave Foundation into its next phase.   The funding she received through ADM enables her to attend an intensive leadership program at the Harvard Kennedy school in Cambridge, designed to help women advance to top positions of influence in public leadership. Bernie says this will enhance her ability to influence policy in helping people experiencing heightened vulnerability in Australia and beyond.   While Bernie is thrilled with the opportunity this funding provides, she acknowledges it’s a long way from where she started. At 16, she promised herself three things: to be a good mother, complete her education, and write a book to encourage others in her situation. That book,  Brave Little Bear , is the story of Bernie’s experience as a teenage mother who goes on to qualify as a registered nurse and become the Barnardos Australian Mother of the Year.   Written in 2006, the extraordinary response to the book became the catalyst for the Brave Foundation. After its launch, Bernadette received emails from expecting and parenting teens Australia-wide asking where they could finish their schooling and find local support.   Bernie says her Christian faith has underpinned the journey from talking about her vegemite-smeared manuscript in churches to running a national foundation she hopes will grow in impact and resources in the $20 million mark.   But Bernie’s vision didn’t always look like it would come to fruition. In fact, she lobbied federal government for 12 years for better support for expecting and parenting teens while exploring ways to improve their lives before her work was recognised.  Finally, following 12 months of particularly intensive lobbying, the Brave Foundation was invited to develop a best practice strategy for expecting and parenting teens in Australia. Bernie and her team worked for 18 months with 30 people – including psychologists, nurses, school principals, federal and state children's commissioners and members of parliament – to create a 380-page document outlining a national pathway plan.  It worked. Last year, they were awarded $4.5 million to implement it.   “To see that in my lifetime . . . is nothing short of miraculous and amazing for these young women,” Bernie says. “They have high hopes for their dreams, aspirations and careers but often don’t know how to reach them – they haven't had a pathway.”   Bernie says that this lack of clear direction has led to 79 per cent of teen parents ending up on long-term welfare. But when young mothers are supported, they are “incredibly resilient and resourceful” and enabled to reach educational goals or enter the workforce. In turn, this helps break the generational cycle that can happen with the children of teenage parents becoming teen parents themselves, Bernie says.  In 2018, the Brave Foundation worked with 350 expecting and parenting teens through its intensive pathway plan. The foundation has employed 10 mentors, each of whom works with 25 expecting and parenting teens from pregnancy through their child's first year. Of the 150 enrolled so far, Bernie says, “60 are already meeting their first goals towards education, workforce participation and maternal and child health.”  While Bernie is deeply committed to seeing the Brave Foundation develop to its full potential, part of her journey, she says, has been learning “to surrender it to God. I am here to be a good steward of what I’ve been given for the period that I need to. I [want] to make sure that the legacy I can leave for . . . Brave Foundation . . . is one that is left for many lifetimes ahead of me. I'll just be a small part of it.”                          Find out more about the 2018 Annual Funding Event  here .

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Bernie Black’s Brave Foundation Supports Teen Parents to Become Healthy Families

Bernadette Black was only 16 when she unexpectedly became pregnant. Her situation grew more difficult when she experienced first-hand the stigma and lack of support associated with a teenage pregnancy. As a result, Bernie established the Brave Foundation in 2009, a not-for-profit organisation that equips expecting and parenting teens with resources, referrals and educational opportunities for achieving a happy and healthy family.

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      ADM Awards $60,000 in Funding for Initiatives to Christian Women Leaders     

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          
           
              Pitchers, panelists and ADM board members after our 2018 Annual Funding Event.  
           
          

         
      
       
    

  


     Anglican Deaconess Ministries has awarded over $60,000 to Australian Christian women from across the globe in its third Annual Funding Event on Wednesday, 19 September.  Selected women representing four states across Australia as well as Norway, Papua New Guinea and the UK received funding for a variety of unique Christian initiatives and ministries. Aligning with ADM’s 127-year old commitment to theological formation, mercy and justice and public engagement, this year’s 17 applicants presented projects within the categories of IDEAS, FORM, DO and ENGAGE. Applicants offered five-minute pitches in front of expert panellists and an audience of over 80 guests including church ministers, business women, lay leaders and artists.  “We want to affirm the innovative ideas and excellent work of Australian Christian women throughout the world, and our Funding Event is one way we can do that,” said ADM Director of Public Engagement Dr. Annette Pierdziwol, who oversees the event. “ADM's Annual Funding Event provides a unique forum for entrepreneurial Christian women to bring their ideas and initiatives before a panel and pitch for up to $25,000 in no-strings attached funding. It’s inspiring to see the breadth and depth of creative ways women are using their gifts to serve God and their neighbours. ”     

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          
           
              Overall winner, Jen Logan of Fer, was presented with her award by Rev. Jenni Stoddart, ADM’s board chair, via a video call as [from left to right] Sono Leone, Anna Weir, Bernadette Black and Dr Kate Harrison Brennan look on.  
           
          

         
      
       
    

  


     After the pitches were considered, Dr. Kate Harrison-Brennan, CEO of ADM, and Rev. Jenni Stoddart, ADM’s board chair, presented the winners in each category. Capturing the overall award of $25,000 of the day, and winner of the ENGAGE category, was  Jen Logan, Director of Fer , an international visual arts initiative based in the U.K.   Bernadette Black, CEO & Founding Director of the Brave Foundation , an effort that assists teen parents, won $12,500 in the DO category.   Anna Weir, Founder & Leader of The Fireplace , a Christ-centred gathering for professional and emerging artists in the entertainment industries, won $12,500 in the category of FORM.  The People’s Choice award of $2,000 went to  Sono Leone, Founder and Director of Strong Women Talking , a ministry that addresses domestic violence within Indigenous communities.  All of the other women who pitched during the day also received $1,000.  In addition to cash prizes, the three category winners will become part of the 2019 cohort of The Hub at ADM. The Hub is a unique, year-long mentoring program designed to enable entrepreneurial Christian women to take their initiatives to the next level.       
   
     “ ADM is thrilled to support Christian women who are creative, innovative and passionate about serving the good of the world, ” 
   
  
 
     said Dr. Kate Harrison-Brennan, CEO of ADM. “It’s our privilege to come along side faithful women leaders in promoting theological formation as they engage with the public and do mercy and justice work, all in the name of Jesus.”              Find out about the category winners at our 3rd Annual Funding Event and read more about their initiatives…

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ADM Awards $60,000 in Funding for Initiatives to Christian Women Leaders

Anglican Deaconess Ministries has awarded over $60,000 to Australian Christian women from across the globe in its third Annual Funding Event on Wednesday, 19 September….

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       Half-yearly update: ADM Fellows share their progress    Four of ADM’s 2018 Fellows reflect on their progress over the past six months. Read what they’ve been doing, how ADM has supported them, and their plans for the next steps in their projects:         MONICA COOK       

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          
           
              2018 ADM Senior Research Fellow, Monica Cook  
           
          

         
      
       
    

  


     When in life do you get to focus solely on a project of your dreams, receive regular mentoring and opportunities for Christian growth, have sharp minds to bounce ideas off and a dedicated space and resources to make it happen? The last six months have been a unique opportunity for all of this and much more for me as an ADM fellow putting together a unique course for couples in the area of sex and fertility called ‘What to Expect when you’re Expecting’.  Amidst speaking to professionals, reading books and articles, attending relevant conferences, and listening to podcasts, I’ve had the opportunity to do some of my own formative thinking on how to bring academic research and information related to sex and fertility into a theological framework. It's also helped me recognize the need to break a rather large topic down into four distinct sections aimed at slightly different audiences: (1) Natural Fertility; (2) Facing subfertility; (3) Preparing for the unexpected; (4) Back in the SAK – Sex After Kids.        
   
     “ Seeing the way ADM is a ‘garden in the city’ inspired me to start thinking about the way sexuality could also be viewed as a garden. In light of this, part of my project is now a practical exploration of our ‘gardens’ – its layout, its soil, its weeds and looking at the impact of weather and seasons.  The best thing about a garden is it is dynamic – always open to new growth and change and therefore a beautiful metaphor to use in exploring sexuality.   ” 
   
  
 
     In thinking through some key topical issues I’ve had the opportunity to draft a number of articles that I hope to publish in the near future on topics such as ‘desire discrepancy’ which I hope will help others in understanding how science, psychology and theology intersect on these matters. I’ve also had the chance to present part of my presentation on natural fertility to general practitioners at a conference, which was an exciting opportunity to test out some of my material with a key audience. As my courses get closer to completion I’m looking forward to interacting with churches and other local organisations, many of whom have already shown great interest in the topics.  In meeting with other Christians working in fields related to sexuality, I’ve also realised there would be great benefit in bringing everyone together so as to support one another prayerfully and practically, as well as to learn from one another’s different areas of expertise. To this end, I will be hosting the first of these gatherings next month and am very excited to see how they might serve to support Christians working in the area of sex and relationships.        KATE BRADFORD      

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          
           
              2018 ADM Senior Research Fellow, Kate Bradford  
           
          

         
      
       
    

  


     The opportunities afforded by my ADM Fellowship so far have been invaluable in assisting me to extend the pastoral theology I am working on and engage with ‘my public’ – people who are working and ministering in areas of pastoral care.  As a researcher in pastoral theology, I have had many fruitful conversations with people in chaplaincy, churched based pastoral ministry, pastoral care and spiritual care working with churches, in the Defense Forces, aged care and hospital and prison settings concerning the nature of their Christian ministry. A reoccurring theme through these conversations is a limited understanding of holistic pastoral theology, particularly the inter-disciplinary boundary between theology and anthropology and over-dependence on  only  one school of thought – biblical studies, integration psychology, chaplaincy methods, spirituality or clinical pastoral training.     Through my Fellowship project, I am excited about developing a holistic pastoral theology. The opportunity to work in a full-time capacity on my research has deepened my appreciation of theological concerns, as I attempt to cohesively stitch together disparate disciplines to better equip the people of God in soul care ministries. Through this concentrated research and writing process, I have been able to focus my area of inquiry on the early to Mid-C20th, looking at four European and British Pastoral practitioners.  I have had the opportunity to be exposed to ‘world’s best practice’, attending five conferences in the US and Australia covering Christian psychology, secular spirituality, ministry and theology. These include: Christian Association of Psychological Research, both international and Australian Spiritual Care Conferences, Oxygen Ministry Conference and Theology Connect conference.      
   
     “ I have also taken up opportunities to present my research, which has lifted the quality of my output and engagement with various public audiences. Formally this has occurred through presentations at Moore Research Community, Engage Evening Sessions at ADM, and with papers to be delivered at the Evangelical History Society and the Australian Centre for Wesleyan Research Conference.  ” 
   
  
 
     I also plan to prepare one chapter of my thesis for submission to a peer-reviewed journal. In May I launched a website,  Pastoral Thinking   www.pastoralthinking.org  to engage with people ministering in various soul care roles. The website has blog posts, links frameworks, resource book lists, and a reading room, with links to interesting websites and articles.  Sharing the Fellow's room with other researchers has been an enriching and dynamic process with the added advantage that many of this year’s Fellows are working in integrative fields between theology and the humanities. I have benefitted in numerous ways from the skills and expertise of the other Fellows through conversations, sharing of articles, books and relevant conferences. It’s hard to believe that nearly half of the Fellowship has passed! It has been a time of immersion and engagement across a diverse range of experiences and development opportunities.        KIRSTY BEILHARZ      

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          
           
              2018 ADM Senior Creative Fellow, Kirsty Beilharz  
           
          

         
      
       
    

  


     My creative Fellowship is to compose a folio of music that will serve as a vigil to support emotional and spiritual needs of a person at the end of life and their family and friends, to help them experience a serene, dignified death.  It may be surprising that there is almost no purpose-specific music of a reflective, calming, contemplative nature appropriate for living well until the very end and dying well – i.e. tranquilly, in a state of peace, reconciliation, and acceptance, quietly, without pain or regret, and with adequate spaciousness for spiritual preparation of one’s own – whether that be the prayers of a believer or spiritual growth and focus for any person. We are, after all, Spiritual Beings. When impending death strips bare all redundant material security and everyday distractions, what at the core helps us find meaning in life, in life already lived, purpose, and legacy for those who survive longer than us? Who are our family and community in this situation? What gives us a sense of value and worth as human beings?  We might be surprised how ill-prepared we are, that is until we realise that we live in a society largely in denial about the reality of death, the normalcy and indeed the spiritual right for final personal growth through that experience, because we don’t talk about what it means to have a good death, or about what we find genuinely and deeply comforting and important. Many people have not witnessed the bodily process of departure: its noises, changes, breathing, potential agitation and anxiety. The music will be there to underpin the simple presence of the friend or family member, patiently being, perhaps holding a hand, beyond words and superfluity, at this defining time that will also shape the memories for friends for the rest of their lives. I have noticed how difficult this stillness and waiting can be for families in my work in palliative care.  Music can reduce pain, agitation, anxiety, and provide an atmosphere for deep calm and emotional expression, especially if words have gone due to dementia, frailty, medication or disease progression – restorative and peaceful for the embodied soul.      
   
     “ Researching attitudes about meaningful and ‘good’ death in antiquity and in other cultures, I have discovered a wealth of art, wisdom literature, and ceremonies for appreciating and remembering a person that have been lost in ours. The Fellowship experience has provided a rare ‘oasis’ of time to seriously reflect, think, read, enter the creative ‘zone’, and deepen my own spiritual practice. ” 
   
  
 
     It is also impossible to think about humanity and frailty without also engaging fields of ageing, mental health, and general pastoral care. The Fellows collectively form a unique empathetic bond. We frequently engage in deep and theologically grounded conversations that traverse our pastoral interests, and in so doing, the experiences of others enrich our own and challenge assumptions in the healthiest way. The people at ADM are the jewel of the Fellowship, whom I couldn’t have anticipated beforehand: I feel certain that these people will be lifelong friends, connected spiritually and intellectually, and with whom networks are growing constantly. I’m deeply in awe of my fellow Fellows for the integrity and quality of their work, as well as encouragement and inspiration: it is a fantastic creative environment when traditionally composing is a hermetic, isolated activity.  The ADM Engage Evening Sessions are launch pads for hatching new ideas and building confidence to explore these hatchlings further afield. We have all submitted our work to conferences and publications. For me, the time at ADM has coincided with a keynote, several talks, working in dementia and palliative care community engagement intersecting with music and spirituality, and writing a few book chapters. The affirmation of interdisciplinary work as a vehicle for Kingdom expression has been tremendously encouraging for my theological studies, reinforcing the value of growing where you’re planted and harnessing the gifts you have, in the context of daily work, to further the Gospel and honour God no matter where that occurs.         YIXIN JIANG XU         I am writing this on the last day of my ADM Fellowship, with feelings of immense gratitude for my time here in the past five months. ADM has truly been a garden in providing me with the nourishment, inspiration, and encouragement for my project to grow.  In my first few months, I had the luxury of time to immerse myself in books about parenting, particularly from a Christian perspective. While I have engaged with psychology research on parenting and family relationships, this was a rare opportunity for me to pursue a deeper theological engagement with this topic area. I have read some fantastic books, including Harriet Connor’s  Big Picture Parenting , Tim Chester and Ed Moll’s  Gospel-Centered Families , and Ross Campell’s  How to Really Love your Child . These, and other books, have helped me start to form a good Biblical framework for parenting – which is important for my project and future work with Chinese Australian parents.       

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          
           
              2018 ADM Senior Research Fellow, Yixin Jiang Xu  
           
          

         
      
       
    

  


       
   
     “ My Fellowship has also afforded me with opportunities to network with other people working in the area. This included corresponding with Harriet Connor, meeting Sarah and Keith Condie  (co-Directors of ADM’s Mental Health & Pastoral Care Institute), and other parenting education experts, as well as talking to Chinese Australian parents about their personal experience. I have also had wonderful encouragement working alongside my peer Fellows, as well as benefitting from project planning and detailing in the mentoring workshops led by Kara Martin from Seed. ” 
   
  
 
     In May and June, I ran a six-week Circle of Security parenting course (an evidenced-based course focused on parent-child attachment) at West Sydney Chinese Christian Church. Alongside this, I also attended a parenting course for Mandarin-speaking parents to gain insight into a Chinese parenting course.  Over the past months of the Fellowship, I have been able to refine my vision and project – how I can serve Chinese Australian parents over the long term, and what resources are needed. Achieving this greater clarity has been perhaps the most helpful aspect of my Fellowship.  While my work is far from complete, I have been able to finish a detailed book outline and draft the first chapter of my book on Christian parenting for the parent with a Chinese background. The Fellowship has allowed me to do this foundational work, and I hope to continue to work on my book and other parenting resources in the future. For now, I look forward to starting my own parenting journey in the next months!                  Find out more about ADM Fellowships . Applications are open 1 July, 2018 – 20 August, 2018.

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Half-yearly update: ADM Fellows share their progress

Four of ADM’s 2018 Fellows reflect on their progress over the past six months. Read what they’ve been doing, how ADM has supported them, and their plans for the next steps in their projects…

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