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MAC

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

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Rev. Jackie Stoneman Announces her Retirement

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

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

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          
           
              Rev. Dr Keith Condie  
           
          

         
      
       
    

  


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

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          
           
              Rev. Jackie Stoneman  
           
          

         
      
       
    

  


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

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

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

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      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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      Workship – With Author Kara Martin  Kara Martin has wrestled with issues of faith and work for decades. Her new book  Workship: How to Use Your Work to Worship God  is a comprehensive and highly practical guide to integrating your faith and work. Kara shares some of the insights in her book.     

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


      Can you briefly explain why you wrote this book?  I have wrestled with issues around integrating faith and work for 30 years, so this book is a natural outflowing of all my teaching, speaking, preaching and writing. It is one of the first Australian books on this topic, one of the few written by a woman, and it deals with practical as well as theological issues.    How do you define ‘workship’?  Workship brings together two things we often treat as separate: work and worship. Workship also summarises the two approaches we can make to work. We can either worship our work, or we can use our work to worship God.   What are some of the main barriers that prevent Christians (women in particular) from integrating their faith and work?  Generally, we separate 'God's work' from secular work. However, if we see work as anything we do with purpose, we understand that all work can be 'God's work' if we do it with a desire to honour God and serve others.  Studies show that women tend to undervalue the work we do, whether paid or unpaid. We need affirmation that what we do is important to God in fulfilling his commands to steward his creation, to care for his creation, to fill the earth and to do all things for his glory (see Genesis 1:26–28 and 1 Corinthians 10:31). I also think that women tend to struggle to balance our lives, wanting to serve others before we take care of ourselves. We need to learn the spiritual discipline of resting from our work.   What is the main piece of advice you would give to women who are leading two separate lives: the work life and the faith life?  I had this experience in my first job as a TV journalist. I was overwhelmed by the ethical challenges and the challenging work culture. I felt there was ‘Christian Kara’ on Sunday and ‘Journalist Kara’ on Monday. I was literally disintegrating as a Christian. I joined some other Christian journalists and we talked through issues and prayed for each other, and we held each other accountable. They helped me develop a bigger vision for my vocation as a journalist: telling stories, treating people with dignity, revealing truth, inspiring people, exposing evil, demystifying pain and struggle.      

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          
           
              Author, Kara Martin  
           
          

         
      
       
    

  


     So, my tips would be to read the Bible with fresh eyes, looking to see God the worker and how he works, and look for glimpses of him at work in your workplace. Also, share your work struggles with other Christians, so you have people praying for you. We need to see our workplace as our mission field, and we need prayer and support to be an effective witness for God there.   What are some key insights you want readers to take away from this book?  My book has three sections: a biblical theology of work to orient our minds, spiritual disciplines for work to shape our hearts, and some practical wisdom for work to inspire our hands. I hope people will be energised to honour God with their ordinary, daily work, giving people a glimpse of the Kingdom.   When can we expect the second volume of  Workship  to be released?  I have already written Volume 2, which includes some more practical wisdom for the workplace, as well as ideas for churches to better equip workplace Christians. However, the publisher is waiting to see how well Volume 1 sells, so I am hopeful the demand will continue to be strong ...      To find out more or to purchase a copy of Workship, go to    workship.com.au     There are also copies of the book available for loan in the Mary Andrews College library.

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Workship – With Author Kara Martin

Kara Martin has wrestled with issues of faith and work for decades. Her new book Workship: How to Use Your Work to Worship God is a comprehensive and highly practical guide to integrating your faith and work. Kara shares some of the insights in her book.

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      Create & Refresh Weekend     

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


       Our Create & Refresh weekends in the Southern Highlands provide a chance to reflect, relax and be creative. Elizabeth Spencer reviews the Create & Refresh weekend on 7-9 April, which focused on prayer:         

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


     We are often too busy to stop and be still before God, to listen to him and to pray. This weekend retreat provided wonderful opportunities to be creative with our gifts and time, and to be truly refreshed in prayer, quietness and reflection.  Di Morgan offered many tools to help our prayer life and reminded us to boldly and freely approach the throne room of God in prayer. It was also comforting to hear that struggling in prayer is a common problem, and that God calls us to keep persevering and trusting in him.  God used the weekend to free me from some long-standing road blocks in my Christian walk. I came home feeling liberated and joyful, and better equipped to continue the journey.     Click here for more information and to book for the next Create & Refresh  (16-18 June).   ________________________ Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Spencer    

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Create & Refresh Weekend

Our Create & Refresh weekends in the Southern Highlands provide a chance to reflect, relax and be creative. Elizabeth Spencer reviews the Create & Refresh weekend on 7-9 April, which focused on prayer.

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      MAC'S Tour of the Bible Lands   In mid-March, 36 intrepid travellers ventured to the Middle East with Dr Karin Sowada* on the second MAC Archaeology of the Bible Lands Study Tour.           

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


     For most, the visit to Jordan was their first taste of a Muslim country. It was a strange experience to hear the public call to prayer five times each day. Traversing the ancient lands of Edom, Moab and Ammon helped many to see Jordan as part of the Bible’s wider narrative. Ancient churches connected the group with the historical struggles and witness of past saints from over 1,500 years ago. In Israel, the serene beauty of Galilee and the grandeur of Herodian Jerusalem placed the geography and historical reality of Jesus’ ministry into sharp focus.     

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


     In a moving ceremony, three women – Bai (Susan) Sheng, and MAC students Leonie Puckeridge and Sue Hurley – were baptised in the Jordan River by Caroline Spencer.   Other tour highlights included swimming in the Dead Sea, a desert safari in spectacular Wadi Rum in Jordan, ‘glamping’ in goat’s hair tents, examining ancient rock art and eating typical local cuisine.    "After the tour, I am reading the book of Mark with so much more depth as to geography and culture and visualising the historical scenes. This has been life-changing in terms of reading the Bible"   - tour participant Dr Joy Stevens.  ______________________   * Dr Karin Sowada is an archaeologist and former ADM CEO. The Bible Lands Study tour is offered as a unit of study through Mary Andrews College. For more information visit    mac.edu.au/units/archaeology-of-the-bible-lands-study-tour    Photos courtesy of Caroline Spencer

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MAC'S Tour of the Bible Lands

n mid-March, 36 intrepid travellers ventured to the Middle East with Dr Karin Sowada on the second MAC Archaeology of the Bible Lands Study Tour. 

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