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Mercy & Justice

      When Christian women speak up   Mercy and justice program manager Libby Sanders on her recent visit to Canberra with Christian women leaders from across denominations advocating for action regarding violence against women and children in the Pacific region.       

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


       
   
     “ Our closest neighbours, our brothers and sisters in Christ, are facing crises that diminish their flourishing and that we as the Australian Church must recognise and respond to. ” 
   
  
 
      Read Libby's article here

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When Christian women speak up

Mercy and justice program manager Libby Sanders on her recent visit to Canberra advocating for action regarding violence against women and children in the Pacific region.

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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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      Helping churches support refugees     

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          
           
              An excursion to the Blue Mountains for refugees, run by St Andrew's Anglican Church, Lakemba  
           
          

         
      
       
    

  


      In early 2017, ADM was privileged to award over $50,000 in small grants to eight churches in the greater-Sydney region for ministries to welcome and support arriving Syrian and Iraqi refugees.     The grants were provided as part of the Syrian Iraqi Refugee Response led by Anglicare, in collaboration with five Anglican agencies, including ADM.    Around 1,200 refugees have been served this year by ministries funded through ADM grants. Churches have used the ADM grants – ranging from $1,300 to $16,000 – to create programs including welcome BBQs, homework clubs, ESL classes, playgroups, day trips, women’s dinners and employment support.      Now, reports have come back from some of the churches and we share a selection of their encouraging stories. God has certainly been at work!       Bankstown Anglican Church  received a grant of $4,000 to fund an English conversation class and to provide employment support to refugees and asylum seekers looking for jobs. The grant enabled connection with over 150 Syrian and Iraqi refugees.  Former Assistant Minister Rev. Grant de Villiers shared this encouraging story:   Majd* and his wife came to Australia with their young son. Majd is in his early thirties and is very eager to make a new life in Australia. When I met Majd and his family, he had been in Australia about two weeks. I asked,“   Majd, how can our church help you?”      He said, “I am a forklift driver. I need to get a license to work in Australia but it is very expensive”.     With the ADM grant, Majd was able to pay for the license and undertake the course. Not long after he messaged me and wrote, “Good evening Priest. I am so happy I passed writing test and verbal test. I got through forklift license. Thanks Jesus and thank you a lot”.    Soon after, Majd found a job locally and started full-time work. It has made many things possible. He has bought a car, found a better unit to rent and Majd’s English is improving all the time because no one speaks Arabic at work. In January, their family welcomed the arrival of a baby boy.    Majd and his family are Syrian Orthodox, yet they became some of the familiar faces at our Bible meeting and community dinners. The ADM grant made all of this possible.    *Name changed for privacy reasons             Gymea Anglican Church  received a grant of $4,100, which allowed them to renovate a church house in order to accommodate a refugee family. The refurbishing of the house was done (where possible) by church volunteers, with the grant helping to cover hiring a plumber and electrician.  Coordinator of the project, church warden Stephen Leitch, shared:  “This project brought the volunteers together – all were enthusiastic and worked well. All the family living in the house have now connected with the church and attend our services on Sunday, and also Bible study.”               Hoxton Park Anglican Church  received a grant of $16,000, which funded a range of activities and ministries. These activities met people’s practical needs for food, clothing, heating, and assistance in organising accommodation.  Hoxton Park has an Arabic language service, and Senior Minister Rev. David Clarke reported this wonderful story:   M is from Bagdad, Iraq, and came to Australia as a refugee. He came from a committed Muslim family. But over several years he had three dreams of Jesus, where Jesus reached out and pulled him out of the pit of mud that he was stuck in.     Once he got to Australia, he was curious about church but did not know what to do or where to go. An acquaintance invited him to the Arabic church service at Hoxton Park. He came and heard the gospel preached in his own language, and he put his faith in Jesus.     M now comes to church every week and rejoices in what God has done for him. He was baptised at the Arabic church conference in January, along with six other people. Join us in praying for the rest of M’s family, that they also come to know Jesus as Lord and Saviour.                

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          
           
              St Andrew's Anglican Church, Lakemba used their grant to reach almost 200 new migrants and refugees through programs and excursions, including this one to Palm Beach.  
           
          

         
      
       
    

  


     At  St Andrew’s Anglican Church, Lakemba,  a grant of $16,000 funded a variety of programs and opportunities to reach almost 200 new migrants and refugees! The church ran excursions for refugees to beaches and the mountains, a spring market, various community picnics and barbecues, and a Christmas dinner for approximately 80 women and their children.  Margaret Powell, cross-cultural worker, shared this exciting news:   “S has been part of our community with her husband and children for four years. They came via boat and Christmas Island, and continue to wait for news about their status in Australia. They hear stories of Jesus and take part in discussions about him regularly. At the women’s Christmas dinner, I told the story of Jesus’ birth from Matthew 1. S has heard this many times before and so, at this time, on this night, the light turned on and S realised that Jesus was special and she needs to follow him. She and her family were baptised last month!”                  Find out more about  ADM's Mercy & Justice work

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Helping churches support refugees

In early 2017, ADM was privileged to award over $50,000 in small grants to eight churches in the greater-Sydney region for ministries to welcome and support arriving Syrian and Iraqi refugees. Now, reports have come back from some of the churches and we share a selection of their encouraging stories…

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      William Cooper: a Yorta Yorta Christian and his Bible   (Edited extract from  The Bible in Australia: A Cultural History  by Meredith Lake – available at    www.newsouthbooks.com.au/books/bible-australia   )         

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


     In the aftermath of World War One, Indigenous Christians offered an urgent critique of white Australia’s track record of living out its professed faith. In the north of the continent, massacres continued – most famously at Forrest River, Western Australia, in 1926, and Coniston Station, Northern Territory, in 1928. In the south-east, a ‘Naboth’s Vineyard’ scenario played out again and again, as Indigenous land reserves were turned over to white farmers.  Yorta Yorta man William Cooper grew up in a world shaped by these realities, and spent decades of his adult life challenging its injustice. Cooper had learned to read and write, and converted to Christianity, at Daniel and Janet Matthews’ Maloga mission on the Murray river. As early as 1887, he was appealing to his local member of parliament with biblical arguments for land tenure: ‘As there have been no grants of land made to our tribe … I do trust that you will be successful in securing this small portion of a vast territory which is ours by Divine Right’.    In 1893, Cooper married Agnes Hamilton, one of the exiles from Coranderrk station, and joined the campaign against closing the reserves. When war broke out in 1914 their son Daniel enlisted, only to be killed in Belgium on 20 September 1917. Private Cooper was buried in Perth cemetery, Ypres, under a cross inscribed ‘Father’s Son’.  The bereaved William came to think that Australia did not deserve the loyalty of its Indigenous people: 'the Aboriginal now has no status, no rights, no land … he has no country and nothing to fight for but the privilege of defending the land which was taken from him by the white race without compensation or even kindness'.  Cooper devoted his own life to what he called the ‘uplift’ of ‘the whole dark race’. Paying tribute to the ‘generally unselfish … work of all denominations among the Aboriginal population’, he looked for missionary co-operation. At the same time, he insisted that his own people held the potential to achieve transformation: ‘The Aboriginal must be a partner in his own uplift … he must “work out his own salvation”’ (Philippians 2:12).       
   
     “ On 26 January 1938, as white Australians celebrated their 150th anniversary, Cooper and his colleagues gathered in Sydney to observe a Day of Mourning. This powerful political gesture made headlines, and instigated a public critique of Australia Day that remains potent decades later. In the 1940s, Cooper’s associated efforts to establish the nearest Sunday as a ‘National Aborigines Day’ was taken up by several churches, and eventually led to the designation of NAIDOC (National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee) week. ” 
   
  
 
     Crucially, for Cooper, the Bible helped expose the failures of settler Australia. It was a text that crossed cultural boundaries, that in his hands undermined imperial and nationalist conceits. At the same time, he found in the Bible an affirmation of the inherent equality and dignity of Aboriginal people, of their right to fair treatment, and of their ownership of the land as a God-given heritage. In Cooper’s hands, the Bible sharpened his critique of colonialism and nourished his vision for a more truly Christian community. He called on white politicians as Christians, to live out the principles of their shared Scriptures.  In March 1938, Cooper wrote to Prime Minister Lyons ‘from the standpoint of an educated black who can read the Bible upon which British constitution and custom is founded’:  White men … claimed they had ‘found’ a ‘new’ country – Australia. This country was not new, it was already in possession of and inhabited by millions of blacks, who … owned the country as their God-given heritage.  I marvel at the fact that while the textbook of present civilisation, the Bible, states that God gave the earth to man, the ‘Christian’ interferes with God’s arrangement and stop not even at murder to take that which does not belong to them but belongs to others by right of prior possession and by right of gift from God.  Every shape and form of murder, yes, mass murder, was used against us and laws were passed and still exist, which no human creature can endure. Our food stuffs have been destroyed, poison and guns have done their work, and now white men’s homes have been built on our hunting and camping grounds. Our lives have been wrecked and our happiness ended. Oh! Ye whites!  How much compensation have we had? How much of our land has been paid for? Not one iota. Again we state that we are the original owners of the country. In spite of force, prestige, or anything else you like, morally the land is ours. We have been ejected and despoiled of our God-given right and our inheritance has been forcibly taken from us.  When we learn … the history of the manner in which we have been treated these last 150 years, our confidence in the professed Christian nation – standing for good government, justice and freedom – is sadly shaken.  Are you prepared to admit that, since the Creator said in his Word that all men are of ‘one blood’ we are humans with feelings like yourselves in the eyes of Almighty God, that we can have joys and our sorrows, our likes and our dislikes, that we can feel pain, degradation, and humiliation just as you do? Will you … do your bit to see a great injustice at least mollified by agitating for us to get a fair deal before it is too late?   Cooper’s questions – his challenge to white nationhood – remain significant today. They go to the heart of what it might mean for the Bible to continue to shape the Australian nation.                 Find out more about  ADM Fellowships   Find out more about  NAIDOC week

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William Cooper: a Yorta Yorta Christian and his Bible

“…Yorta Yorta man William Cooper grew up in a world shaped by these realities, and spent decades of his adult life challenging its injustice.” In this extract from 2017 ADM Senior Research Fellow, Meredith Lake’s book, ‘The Bible in Australia: A cultural history’, we hear about the life and work of William Cooper: a Yorta Yorta man, a Christian, and a man who fought injustice and was central to the founding of NAIDOC week…

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      Because of Her, We Can!   Grief, hope and unity    Larissa Minniecon is on the frontline of a new pilot project by    AEF    and ADM that is bringing hope and healing to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and communities. We are sharing this story as part of NAIDOC week. This year, the theme of    NAIDOC Week    is 'Because of her, we can!' and we wanted to celebrate the work of Larissa and the other women involved in 'Our Story'.      

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          
           
              Larissa Minniecon, project manager of  Our Story: Finding Hope Beyond Grief   
           
          

         
      
       
    

  


     Larissa Minniecon is a Christian Aboriginal woman, born in Sydney. Her father, Ray, is from the Kabi Kabi and Gureng Gureng nation, and is also a descendant of the South Sea Islander people. Her mother, Sharon, is from the Meriam Mer language group from Ugar Island, in the Torres Strait.  Early in her life, Larissa moved with her family to Western Australia, when her father was called to ministry there. Many of Larissa’s family live in far north Queensland. “We know a lot of Christian Aboriginal folks from all over Australia!” she says.  Larissa and her family, especially her parents, are prominent figures in the Aboriginal Evangelical Fellowship. They spend much of their time working alongside other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Christians to spread the gospel, support their people and push for a better future for Australia’s first inhabitants.    Being an Indigenous Australian is a joy for Larissa, but it’s also a great challenge. The weight of a traumatic and sad history is upon Larissa’s shoulders. Even today, she and her fellow Aboriginal sisters and brothers still face racism regularly.  The complexity of these issues doesn’t disappear in churches. “We believe the message of the gospel, but we couldn’t understand the messenger,” Larissa explains. “When white people came here, there were people saying from the pulpit ‘don’t kill your brother’, but outside, they were massacring my people.”  She continues, “Seventy-three percent of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people call themselves Christians. This is because Aboriginal Missions were run by Christian denominations. The government moved my people off our lands and we were to be assimilated into white society, at the cost of our Aboriginal society."  “So though we are Christians, we don’t really have many Aboriginal churches here. I grew up in the Assemblies of God, and my grandparents, for over 30 years, started churches in Far North Queensland. Growing up in the church, I witnessed white ministers and pastors who’d discriminate and unfairly treat my grandparents, aunties and uncles, telling them they were not qualified enough to preach the gospel or run a church. But my grandparents, aunties and uncles were champions of the Christian faith, and they built their own church, their own denomination, called the Gospel Outreach Centre. It's in Ayr, QLD. It's the one Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Church that I know of in Australia.”  "So even today, we’re still asking: what does it mean to have an Aboriginal church; to have Aboriginal ministers? They’re so very rare.”  But even as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people continue to wrestle with what it means to be involved in, form or lead churches, Larissa is on the frontline of an exciting new, biblically-based project. This project provides a biblical foundation for understanding and responding to the loss, grief and trauma experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women.  Titled  Our Story: Finding Hope Beyond Grief,  the   pilot project has been co-designed by the Aboriginal Evangelical Fellowship (AEF) Women’s Fellowship (Eastern Region) and ADM. As Project Manager, Larissa has helped to run  Our Story  workshops in communities and enabled other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women to implement this training in their local area.  The training content presents the historical and clinical context for the Aboriginal experience of loss, and provides a biblical foundation for understanding and responding to the loss, grief and trauma experienced by Aboriginal women – both historically and currently. The training uses story sharing, lamenting and culturally-appropriate creative expression as healing tools, embedded in the belief that hope and healing can be found in a relationship with the living God.  “It’s called ‘Sorry Business’, what we do when someone has passed on” Larissa explains. “There are a lot of cultural protocols that go along with it, depending on where the people are from. In some tribes and nations we don’t say the [deceased’s] name, in others there are certain families that will prepare the funeral on behalf of the grieving families, or a certain cultural songs or dance must be performed. So we just call it Sorry Business, which covers all those different things.”  Larissa says Sorry Business can be incredibly sad and difficult – and with the high mortality rates in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, it happens regularly, which perpetuates cycles of grief.  Other organisations have sought to bring assistance to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people going through the trauma of regular deaths in the community. “All these health services and NGOs will come in to try and give us a medical model for dealing with our loss," Larissa explains, “but that doesn’t give hope, it gives labels and information.”  She notes the difference of the  Our Story  program, which is both “fully Indigenous and fully Christian”. Larissa says, “It breaks the cycle of loss, grief and trauma by giving the hope of a better life in knowing God. It reveals hope to women in the midst of challenge, and Aboriginal women overcome challenge by talking in community.”  The program has so far been trialled in Queensland, where Larissa shares, “The impact was so amazing. One of the ladies being trained, Aunty Tracy, said it beautifully:       
   
     “ The is the first time we’ve had a biblical model, and we can actually talk about loss, grief and trauma without feeling guilty about why we feel this way. In the end, we’re looking for hope for another day, and the biblical model gives us hope. God is there, in all the dark places. ” 
   
  
 
     As the program continues to be trialled and refined, Larissa hopes that it will continue to impact many – and even provide a cross-cultural bridge between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. “My hope is that we get to do this together, because we are a community of Christians. You can’t do grief alone because you won’t survive. Hopefully one day, we will all be brothers and sisters under the same roof, as an Australian Church. We’ll all be together, and we’ll be able to say, ‘this is what church looks like’.”                  Find out more about  Our Story: Finding Hope Beyond Grief        

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Because of Her, We Can!

Larissa Minniecon is on the frontline of a new pilot project by AEF and ADM that is bringing hope and healing to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and communities. We are sharing this story as part of NAIDOC week. This year, the theme of NAIDOC Week is 'Because of her, we can!' and so we wanted to celebrate the work of Larissa and the other women involved in 'Our Story'…

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      ADM celebrates successful completion of refugee grant programs      In early 2017, ADM was privileged to award over $50,000 in small grants to eight churches across greater Sydney and Wollongong, for ministries of welcome and support to arriving Syrian and Iraqi refugees.  The grants were provided as part of the Syrian Iraqi Refugee Response, a consortia group of five Anglican agencies led by Anglicare.  We were thrilled to see how the grants were used to resource and expand a range of ministries including a homework club, welcome dinners, employment support, ESL classes, playgroups, hospitality, and Arabic language church gatherings.  One year later, the grant-funded activities have come to completion. Earlier this week, representatives of grant recipient churches gathered at ADM to share stories of encouragement, to discuss lessons learned, and brainstorm ideas for furthering ministry to refugees throughout greater Sydney. New connections were made and opportunities for future collaboration discussed.  It was a privilege for ADM to host these ministry leaders in a brief time out of their demanding ministry lives. It was an inspiration to hear of the many ways these churches are reaching out to refugees, and others new to greater Sydney, with the good news of Jesus in word and deed.     

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


     Present were (L-R in photo):    Margo Leach, Director, Mercy & Justice Ministries, ADM    Pastor Sami Youkhana, Jesus Light of the World Arabic Church, Hoxton Park    Ian Moore, Regional Manager Community Services Western Region, Anglicare    Sue Radkovic, ESL Coordinator, St Michael’s Anglican Church, Wollongong    Rev Grant De Villiers, Assistant Minister, St Paul’s Anglican Church, Bankstown    Rev David Clarke, Senior Minister, Hoxton Park Anglican Church    Rev Margaret Powell, Cross Cultural Worker, St Andrews Anglican Church, Lakemba    Keep an eye out for further information on everything achieved by the grant recipients!

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ADM celebrates successful completion of refugee grant programs

In early 2017, ADM was privileged to award over $50,000 in small grants to eight churches across greater Sydney and Wollongong, for ministries of welcome and support to arriving Syrian and Iraqi refugees. Here's the latest update on these grants…

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       Struggle and healing: National Sorry Day     An interview with Ray Minniecon       Ray Minniecon is an Aboriginal pastor. He is a descendant of the Kabi Kabi nation and the Gurang Gurang nation of South-East Queensland. He is also a descendant of the South Sea Islander people, with connections to the people of Ambrym Island. He is married to Sharon and they live in Glebe, in Sydney. Together, Ray and Sharon have had an extensive ministry serving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities over many years. As we mark National Sorry Day, Ray spoke with ADM about his work with the Stolen Generations …         Can you tell us about the focus of your current ministry work?   The short answer is, I’m trying to follow the footsteps of Jesus in the community. There’s so many challenges there and I just love the way that Jesus just did it: he got out there in the streets, in the highways and byways, amongst people in the communities. I’m just trying to do what Jesus did.  This could be ministering to a family that has lost loved ones – that takes a lot of my time and energy. It might mean helping people connect to the services they need at a certain time. It means a lot of praying with people. And that’s just this week!  Then there’s ministry with different denominations, including Anglicans, to help them come to grips with Aboriginal ministry and my work in building the capacity of Aboriginal Christian organisations to meet the huge challenges that we face as Aboriginal pastors. And also being at the cutting edge of helping the Stolen Generations with the many, many serious challenges that they face, both personally and collectively. Or you might find me helping out with whatever needs to be done at our local Aboriginal school,  Gawura , as well working on the broader challenges we face with our young people.       You work with people from the Stolen Generations, particularly those who were in the Bomaderry Children’s Home and the Kinchela Boys’ Home. Could you share what you do and what that experience is like for you?   I’ve worked amongst Stolen Generations nearly my entire ministry – almost the last 40 years. Here in NSW, I started the Kinchela Boys’ Home Aboriginal Corporation (KBHAC) with the men who were placed in the home. It took 13 years to get that established, registered and funded to go and to grow. KBHAC has helped the men to take control of their own future for the first time in their lives, helping not only them, but also their families. The same with the Bomaderry Children’s Home.  Even though they’re all people from the Stolen Generations, each one has unique experiences and unique problems according to the way they were treated in those specific homes. It’s been, for me, the greatest joy of my life to work with such incredible people in their challenges and their struggles. When I see them have their own voice, find their own way forward, do their own thing in terms of their own ways of healing, it gives me great satisfaction and joy.      What difference does National Sorry Day make for people from the Stolen Generations?   First and foremost, it ensures we remember the ‘ Bringing them Home ’   report and the national apology, made by Kevin Rudd. This day reminds our nation that these important events took place. And Sorry Day continues to challenge us because we can see that the issue has not gone away. Children are still being removed from their homes, and this is a growing issue around the country. We need to start looking at how we can rebuild families and homes.      How has your faith and trust in the Lord Jesus influenced your work with the Stolen Generations?    It’s simply fundamental. I’m just trying to do what Jesus would do. I would not be able to do what I’m doing if it wasn’t for the Lord’s help and the role of the Holy Spirit in my life.      What would you like non-Aboriginal Christians to know about Sorry Day and the Stolen Generations? Is there anything practical that Christians could do as part of National Sorry Day and Reconciliation Week?   It would be good to see the church get a little bit more fair dinkum around it. The church can insulate itself from this kind of pain and struggle. And yet the church should be the very first place that someone from the Stolen Generations can seek help (within the congregation of the local church), where they can find fellowship. The church is a fair distance from this, and I’d like to see it playing an active role in closing the gap between the nation and the pain and the struggles of my people.  Come and support National Sorry Day events. Listen to the stories and hear what the Lord is saying to you, personally, in terms of what you can do. There could be a whole host of things you might do as a result, and I wouldn’t want to pre-empt anything that might come from an interaction with one of our members of the Stolen Generations.      To find out more about National Sorry Day, visit    www.commongrace.org.au/may_26_national_sorry_day          To find out more about the Kinchela Boys’ Home Aboriginal Corporation, visit    www.kinchelaboyshome.org.au

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Struggle and healing: National Sorry Day

As we mark National Sorry Day, Pastor Ray Minniecon spoke with ADM about his work with the Stolen Generations …

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      ADM Invited to Attend Skoll World Forum  ADM’s Director of Mercy & Justice Ministries, Margo Leach, was privileged to attend the 2018 Skoll World Forum on social entrepreneurship in Oxford, England. Running over four days in mid-April, the Skoll World Forum seeks to connect the world’s leading social entrepreneurs and accelerate their impact in large-scale social change.     

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          
           
              Keynote speaker, President Jimmy Carter, addresses the Skoll World Forum.  
           
          

         
      
       
    

  


     The Skoll World Forum is a time for invited global leaders of social change initiatives to connect and share ideas, celebrate achievements and explore challenges as they work to address some of the world’s most pressing problems.   Inspiration  was provided in plenary sessions through keynote addresses by international leaders including President Jimmy Carter, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka – the Executive Director of UNWomen – and Fred Swaniker, the Founder and CEO of African Leadership University.   Challenge  was prompted through the many panel discussions on topics ranging from impact investing, emerging technologies and climate change initiatives, through to gender equity and power structures.   Connection  was created through ‘quick connections’ introduction meetings, serendipity dinners at various colleges around Oxford, structured small group conversations and through sharing of personal experiences over coffee and lunch.     

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          
           
              ADM's Director of Mercy & Justice Ministries, Margo Leach.  
           
          

         
      
       
    

  


     The theme for this year’s gathering was ‘The Power of Proximity’. Participants were all seeking to be effective ‘proximate partners’, whether they were funding or implementing initiatives for change.  Margo says:   “It was truly inspiring to be around so many talented, thoughtful and determined people who, in their enormous variety of ways, were all seeking to make an impact for good in the world – to be merciful, to achieve justice, to serve those in need and, ultimately, to advance the common good.”              Learn more about ADM's Mercy and Justice Ministries...

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ADM Invited to Attend Skoll World Forum

ADM’s Director of Mercy & Justice Margo Leach was privileged to attend the 2018 Skoll World Forum on social entrepreneurship in Oxford, England. Running over four days in mid- April, the Skoll World Forum seeks to connect the world’s leading social entrepreneurs and accelerate their impact in large-scale social change…

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      ADM hosts Walk with Me (Mercy & Justice in Action) Workshop      The inspiring Walk with Me (Mercy & Justice In Action) workshop at ADM on 28 November 2017 explored the challenges facing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women.   Special guest speaker Andrea Mason – 2017 NT Australian of the Year and 2016 Telstra Australian Businesswoman of the Year – shared about her experiences as an Aboriginal Christian leader and gave insight into the challenges facing Aboriginal women in remote areas. As Chief Executive Officer of Ngaanyatjarrra Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Women’s Council (NPYWC), Andrea spoke about the council’s successful work to break the cycle of domestic violence and other challenges in remote communities.  During an interactive Q&A panel session, Sharon Minniecon (Scarred Tree Indigenous Ministries, Glebe) and Kayleen Manton (Mt Druitt Indigenous Church) shared about ministry among their Aboriginal communities in greater Sydney.  Many attendees came with questions for the panel, and took the opportunity to listen and learn about how non-Indigenous Christians can better support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.       

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          
           
              Left to right: Margo Leach (ADM's Director of Mercy & Justice Ministries), Sharon Minniecon (Scarred Tree Indigenous Ministries, Glebe), Andrea Mason (Chief Executive Officer of Ngaanyatjarrra Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Women’s Council), Kayleen Manton (Mt Druitt Indigenous Church) and Kate Harrison Brennan (ADM CEO)  
           
          

         
      
       
    

  


      

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          
           
              Left to right: Andrea Mason, Kayleen Manton and Sharon Minniecon

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ADM Hosts Walk with Me (Mercy & Justice in Action) Workshop

The inspiring Walk with Me (Mercy & Justice In Action) workshop at ADM on 28 November 2017 explored the challenges facing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women. 

Special guest speaker Andrea Mason – 2017 NT Australian of the Year and 2016 Telstra Australian Businesswoman of the Year – shared about her experiences as an Aboriginal Christian leader and gave insight into the challenges facing Aboriginal women in remote areas. As Chief Executive Officer of Ngaanyatjarrra Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Women’s Council (NPYWC), Andrea spoke about the council’s successful work to break the cycle of domestic violence and other challenges in remote communities.

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      ADM Supports New Domestic Violence Shelter in Vanuatu     

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          
           
              Celebrations as construction begins on the Women's Safe House and Care Centre  
           
          

         
      
       
    

  


     In March 2015 Cyclone Pam, the most powerful cyclone ever to hit the Pacific, tore through Vanuatu. In the wake of this disaster, ADM gave $50,000 to Anglican Aid's Emergency Appeal (which equated to almost half of all funds donated).   ADM is thrilled to see these funds now being used to construct the first domestic violence shelter in Santo, Vanuatu, in partnership with the Anglican Church of Melanesia, Diocese of Vanuatu. The Women's Safe House and Care Centre will provide a safe space for women fleeing domestic and family violence. Tragically, domestic violence is a significant issue for the women of Vanuatu, with 70% of women and girls in the Pacific experiencing rape or sexual violence in their lifetime.    The women who are welcomed into the Women's Safe House and Care Centre will be loved and cared for by Sister Phyllis and her team, who also run the only domestic violence shelter in the Solomon Islands. Women will be provided with safe accommodation, counselling, appropriate health care and income-generating skills to provide for themselves and their families.    Please join with us in praying for the construction of the centre, for those who will serve and work there, and for the women who will seek shelter there.   To read more about the project, or to contribute to it financially, please visit  Anglican Aid's website .

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ADM Supports New Domestic Violence Shelter in Vanuatu

In the wake of the Cyclone Pam disaster, ADM gave $50,000 to Anglican Aid's Emergency Appeal (which equated to almost half of all funds donated). 

ADM is thrilled to see these funds now being used to construct the first domestic violence shelter in Santo, Vanuatu, in partnership with the Anglican Church of Melanesia, Diocese of Vanuatu.

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      AEF and ADM Launch Project for Aboriginal Women  Loss, Grief & Trauma Care Pilot Project for Aboriginal Women begins                        Aboriginal Evangelical Fellowship Australia (AEF) and Anglican Deaconess Ministries (ADM) have come together to design a Loss, Grief and Trauma Care Pilot Project for Aboriginal Women.  The 11-month project – beginning on 31 July 2017 – will be rolled out initially across Queensland, NSW and Victoria. It aims to enable Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women to explore their experiences of loss, grief and trauma, and facilitate healing through the use of creative tools – all within a biblical framework.     

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


     The idea for the project stemmed from the AEF Women’s National Conference in November 2016. Speaking at the conference, Keren Masters, clinical counsellor and lecturer, addressed the historical and clinical contexts for Aboriginal experience of loss, grief and trauma, and outlined a biblical foundation for understanding and responding.      
   
     “ Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women have experienced, and continue to experience, profound loss, grief and trauma, ” 
   
  
 
     says Kathie Naden, Secretary, AEF Eastern Area Ladies. “Losses are at a personal level through experiences such as family violence, substance abuse, children removed into care, incarceration, suicide, and unemployment. Losses are also at a societal or community level, through experiences including intergenerational loss and grief, loss of land, loss of culture, loss of language, stolen generations, racism, and legal exclusion.”  In helping to address these traumas at the conference, AEF member and artist, Ngardarb Francine Riches, worked with the women present using tools of creative expression for healing.  The Loss, Grief and Trauma Care Pilot Project will take the learning and skills taught at the conference and share them with women (both Christian and non-Christian) throughout the AEF Women’s network in the Eastern states. Under a train-the-trainer structure, around six pairs of women will be trained as volunteer Master Trainers, who will then carry out training in their local communities. Training materials will be developed – including a manual, workbook, presentation resources, and creative expression tools.     

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          
           
              Women from AEF and ADM work on the developing the pilot project.  
           
          

         
      
       
    

  


     An AEF Project Manager will assist with implementation of the project, while ADM will provide project design expertise, implementation guidance, and finances. After 11 months, AEF and ADM will together evaluate the impact of the project and consider expanding it in the future.  “We hope this project, with possible continuation beyond the pilot, will be a small step toward wholeness and flourishing for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women in AEF’s networks,” says ADM’s Director of Mercy & Justice Ministries, Margo Leach.  She continues: “We believe that by seeking to recognise, acknowledge, understand and help process these losses, women will take positive steps forward on the path towards healing. When we place this experience of loss within a Christian theology – with ultimate hope being found in the radical love and healing of Christ – women can experience a deeper, holistic healing that recognises past and present experience, yet brings hope for the future.”   Read more about our Mercy & Justice projects here.

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AEF and ADM Launch Project for Aboriginal Women

Aboriginal Evangelical Fellowship Australia (AEF) and Anglican Deaconess Ministries (ADM) have come together to design a Loss, Grief and Trauma Care Pilot Project for Aboriginal Women.

The 11-month project – beginning on 31 July 2017 – will be rolled out initially across Queensland, NSW and Victoria. It aims to enable Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women to explore their experiences of loss, grief and trauma, and support hope and healing through use of creative tools, all  within a biblical framework.

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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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      Mercy & Justice In Action     

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


     How can Christians respond to refugees in our community? How can we serve those who are homeless?  Be inspired about how you can become involved in ministry to refugees and the homeless at this practical workshop, run by ADM and Hope For Sydney.  ·       Be challenged  by speaker Karin Sowada as she gives a biblical framework for mercy and justice ministries. Karin will also share about her own involvement in this area as a Director of Mission Australia and Chair of the Anglican Church’s Social Issues Committee in the Sydney Diocese.  ·       Ask questions  to our panel members   during a Q&A session, and hear about their ministries in action. The panels include churches running refugee programs that received ADM small grants, and organisations on the frontline of homeless ministry, including Surry Hills Urban Mission and Street Growth.  ·       Connect  with ministries that are reaching out to refugees and the homeless, and explore opportunities to get involved.   When : Thursday 18 May 2017, 6.30–9pm   Where : ADM, Level 1, St Andrew’s House, 464–480 Kent St, Sydney   How:  To register for this FREE workshop, visit  deaconessministries.org.au/mercy-justice

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Mercy & Justice In Action

Be inspired about how you can become involved in ministry to refugees and the homeless at this practical workshop, run by ADM and Hope For Sydney.

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      ADM Awards $50,000 For Refugee Support     

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          
           
               Grant recipients at Hoxton Park Anglican Church – Rev David Clarke, Senior Minister, with wife Janine and their children, and Pastor Sami Youkhana, Pastor of the Arabic congregation, with his wife Sarah and their children.   
           
          

         
      
       
    

  


     ADM is delighted to announce the recipients of over $50,000 in small grants for programs to support refugees in their local communities.  Grants have been awarded to eight Anglican churches in the greater Sydney Diocese, with sums ranging from $1,300 to $16,000. The grants form part of the Syrian Iraqi Refugee Response, led by Anglicare in collaboration with four other Anglican agencies, including ADM. Churches will use the grants to help run English classes and playgroups, provide accommodation and employment support, and even to help run an Arabic church service.  Margo Leach, Director of Mercy & Justice Ministries at ADM, said: “We are thrilled to provide funding to these churches, enabling them to help meet the needs of refugees in their communities. Through these grants, we hope these churches will lead the way in welcoming, supporting and demonstrating the love of Christ to refugees who have fled Syria, Iraq and other nations in conflict.”  To find out details about grant recipients and their refugee support programs, head to  deaconessministries.org.au/mercy-justice

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ADM Awards $50,000 For Refugee Support

ADM is delighted to announce the recipients of over $50,000 in small grants for programs to support refugees in their local communities.

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