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Deaconess events

                 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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      Celebrating our deaconesses      ADM was delighted to welcome a number of deaconesses and female deacons for a lunch in our offices on Friday, 13 April. These women have played a vital role in churches and communities across Sydney and beyond.     

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


     Deaconesses were first ordained in the Sydney Anglican diocese in 1886. They worked in parishes – visiting people in their homes, ministering to and nursing the sick, teaching at Sunday schools and Scripture in schools and conducting evangelistic meetings, among other activities.  Over lunch, several deaconesses shared their memories of working in Sydney, as well as overseas. These days the deaconesses are cared for by Rev. Jacinth Myles, ADM’s Chaplain to Deaconesses & Retired Female Deacons. The clerical role of deacon was opened up to women in Sydney in 1989. Since 1991, women became ordained as deacons rather than deaconesses. Several of the next generation of women in ministry were also in attendance at the lunch.  Guests enjoyed tasty food, prayer and sharing together, and were also presented with a beautiful floral brooch to wear and take home. The deaconesses and female deacons were asked to share some words of encouragement for the next generation of Christian women, and their responses were deeply inspiring:   “In the midst of different interpretations of what people understand women’s ministry should look like, be encouraged that God, in his wisdom, has a wonderful ministry for you, which may not be the ministry he has organised for someone else. Enjoy what you have been raised up to do, and rejoice that God will always use your ministry, that you may be a blessing to others.”  – Gill Jones, Deacon       

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


      “In everything, give thanks to the Lord who has called you to ministry, because the Lord is a faithful Lord, friend, teacher, provider. He cares and he will supply all your needs as you serve him faithfully and with joy.”  – Lay Kum Ho, Deaconess     “Trust God for your future. His plans are always more amazing than we could think of – and he’ll go with us and never let us down!”  – Kay Clark, Deacon     “Commit your life to Christ fully, and make sure to ask him what he wants you to do with your life. Pray very hard and be very sure – there is always something that God wants you to do that could be very special. Work hard at finding out what that is.”  – Doreen Garrick, Deaconess     “Always be listening to what God might want you to do. Walk every day listening to his voice, reading his word and asking the Holy Spirit to guide you. The opportunity will come up at the right time. Know that God is sovereign. Trust God and he will fulfil his purpose for each one of us.” –  Joan Egan, Deaconess    We thank God for the gifts and service of these women and the many others who have served so faithfully as deaconesses and deacons in the Sydney diocese.     Discover more about ADM's programs and funding for women...

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Celebrating our Deaconesses

ADM was delighted to welcome a number of deaconesses and female deacons for a lunch in our offices on Friday, 13 April. These women have played a vital role in churches and communities across Sydney and beyond…

Comment