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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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      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?

Comment

      Hundreds Experience Life with the Luthers  Mary Andrews College was asked early this year to do something to mark the 500-year anniversary of Martin Luther nailing his 95 theses to a Wittenberg church door in 1517. The outcome of this request was the Life with the Luthers event held on 23 and 25 September and attended by around 800 people. Rev. Jill Williams tells us about the day...     

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          
           
              Life with the Luthers organiser (left to right): Jill Williams, Karen Ray and Marge Mills  
           
          

         
      
       
    

  


     Three MAC lecturers – Rev. Marge Mills, Rev. Jill Williams and Ms Karen Ray – spearheaded the planning committee for this event. From the beginning, we aimed to capture what students most appreciate in their studies at our college: an event that spoke to people personally and engagingly, and that was full of accessible information. We also wanted the focus of the event to be on women.  Before the event, all training rooms and communal spaces in the college were transformed to portray scenes of 16th century Germany: peasant women struggling under the church’s teachings; Luther nailing his 95 theses to the church door; a printer with his printing press; nuns in their nunnery, reading Luther’s works; Luther before the Diet of Worms; peasant women liberated by the teachings of the Bible in their own language; and an older Martin and Katie Luther in their family home. A gigantic timeline, with a multitude of pictures, was set up in one area to show the progress of the Reformation and the key Reformers and their wives.  For the event, student volunteers enthusiastically set up scenes the day before, with many props. Costumes were tried on, scripts were learnt and facts absorbed, so each student could become their character on the day. The planning committee could see all their preparation coming to life before their eyes.  The only question that remained was, ‘Would people come?’     

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          
           
              Mary Andrews College students as medieval peasant women  
           
          

         
      
       
    

  


     At 9.30am on Saturday, 23 September, small groups of students, in costume, were praying for the hours ahead, that God would bring people along to engage with these great events of the Reformation and that through this, he would be honoured.  By 10am a crowd had gathered outside the lifts on the first floor of St Andrew’s House, and the college doors were opened. For the next six hours, over 200 people passed through the doors and experienced these Reformation scenes coming to life. Many lingered at the end of the ‘tour’ to look through projects that students had written and to learn from other resources, either in print or displayed on computer monitors.     

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          
           
              Lots of children came and enjoyed interacting with the Reformation scenes. There was also a dress-up area, and puzzles and games designed especially for them.  
           
          

         
      
       
    

  


     So, what would the second day of the event, Monday, 25 September, bring? By 10am, 75 people were already gathered in the college entrance, waiting for the doors to open. And people just kept coming all day!  Over the two days, it was estimated that around 800 people engaged in this event. There were even greater crowds on Monday than on Saturday. Perhaps word had spread that this was an event not to be missed. The truths of the Reformation – of God’s grace alone, faith in Christ alone, found in the Scriptures alone and to the glory of God alone – were heard in a fresh way by so many.   The students who were involved were excited that they could be part of it. Around 45 students acted as characters to bring each scene to life, many of whom also helped to set up and pack up this extensive re-creation of Reformation times.  The planning committee rejoiced in the way God had graciously responded to many prayers. We also rejoiced in the commitment and dedication of the Mary Andrews College students. Many of these students had been part of a Reformation Study tour, led by Rev. Marge Mills in 2016, or had studied the Reformation in lectures. Others saw an opportunity to put into practice what they were learning in creative arts ministry courses. It was a great testimony to Mary Andrews College that so many of its staff and students worked together to put on such a creative and engaging event.           Find out more about  Mary Andrews College

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Hundreds Experience Life with the Luthers

Mary Andrews College was asked early this year to do something to mark the 500-year anniversary of Martin Luther nailing his 95 theses to a Wittenberg church door in 1517. The outcome of this request was the ‘Life with the Luthers’ event held on 23 and 25 September, at which was attended by around 800 people. Rev. Jill Williams tells us about the day...

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      Mercy & Justice In Action: A Practical Workshop  The recent Mercy & Justice workshop was a great success, with many people taking up the opportunity to connect with ministries that are serving refugees and the homeless, writes Margo Leach, ADM Director of Mercy & Justice Ministries.     

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          
           
              Margo Leach, Director of Mercy & Justice Ministries at ADM (left) and Helen Kim, Executive Director of Hope For Sydney.  
           
          

         
      
       
    

  


     ADM was delighted to co-host, with Hope For Sydney, a Mercy & Justice in Action workshop at the ADM offices on 18 May. The workshop sought to connect lay Christian volunteers with tangible service opportunities in Christian organisations and ministries that serve refugees and the homeless.  The 60 people attending were challenged by speaker Dr Karin Sowada, who explored the biblical foundations for Christian involvement in acts of mercy and justice. Karin also shared her own experience of God leading her to serve in many ways, but particularly through her voluntary service with Australian Racing Christian Chaplaincy.    A highlight of the evening was an interactive Q&A session with two ministry panels – one on refugee ministry and the other on homelessness. Representatives of ministries already serving in these sectors were interviewed by Helen Kim, Executive Director of Hope For Sydney, and Margo Leach, ADM’s Director of Mercy & Justice Ministries. They shared some of the joys and challenges of establishing and growing their ministries, and responded to an interesting range of questions from the floor. Participants on the refugee panel were drawn from churches that recently received grants from ADM under the Anglican Agencies Syrian Iraqi Refugee Response. These grants are enabling churches to serve a diverse range of Syrian, Iraqi and other refugees arriving in the greater Sydney area.     

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


     Workshop participants were invited to connect with the 13 ministries that were represented at the ministry expo. Ministries serving refugees and the homeless showcased their work, answered questions, and provided connection points for interested workshop participants to explore further options for service.  This was the first Mercy & Justice workshop of its kind hosted at ADM. It was inspiring to hear how a diverse range of Christian ministries are seeking to holistically meet the needs of refugees and the homeless, and in so doing, extend God’s grace and mercy to them. It was a great privilege to connect with mercy ministries new to ADM, to meet with likeminded Christian volunteers who are seeking to serve God with their time and talents, and to provide ADM’s ‘garden in the city’ as a place to facilitate connections that will enable people to flourish – both those in need, and Christians seeking to serve them.   We are excited to release information about ADM’s core strategy for our growing Mercy & Justice Ministries.    Click here    for more information, and make sure you sign up to receive updates about our Mercy & Justice Ministries.

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Mercy & Justice In Action: A Practical Workshop

ADM’s recent Mercy & Justice in Action workshop, co-hosted with Hope for Sydney, provided many opportunities to learn from and connect with ministries that serve refugees and the homeless …

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