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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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      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...

2 Comments