This is my first contribution to Anglican News since arriving in the Diocese mid-April. It has been a personal rollercoaster ride of meeting people and becoming acquainted with mission and ministry within the Diocese. At the last Bishop-in- Council (BiC) Meeting for 2021, I presented a number of motions in the areas of Mission and Chaplaincy and thought AN Readers would like to hear what’s happening.
Embracing Ministries (EM) has become a Chaplaincy Unit. One of my joys has been to come alongside everyone at EM – one of the best good news stories in our Diocese. For the last nine years EM has enjoyed ‘exploratory’ status within the Diocese. The recent BiC decision to create EM as a Chaplaincy Unit signals that we are committed to the ministry of EM continuing and growing in our Diocese and community. EM is a unique ministry that reaches out to families with youth and children affected by disability. EM seeks to educate Christians to include such families in their parishes and Christian communities. EM has much planned for 2022 including a new monthly ‘Cafe Church’ as well as the usual programs and retreat weekends. (I’ll be leading a Dads’ Retreat on the last weekend in February. If you are a Dad of a child with a disability then this weekend is for you!) We are also looking for volunteers, especially for someone to join our EM Advisory Committee with secretarial skills. Read more about EM here.
The Village Church (TVC). On 3rd December BiC created TVC as an Exploratory Ministry Chaplaincy Unit. (TVC replaces what was previously known as the Snowy Mountains Ministry.) There is more here than just a name change. The creation of TVC signals a transition to the ministry taking responsibility of its own affairs. TVC is essentially a strengthening and developing of Anglican ministry in Jindabyne previously under the Berridale + Snowy Mountains Parish. TVC is still led by the Reverend Trent McGrath and is supported by the Parish of Berridale + Snowy Mountains and BCA. 2022 will see the development of its own Constitution or Ordinance to set in place its future governance framework. For more information see here.
Revitalise CG Pilot. BiC endorsed and calls us to pray for a new Episcopal Office initiative in 2022 called Revitalise CG. This is a partnership with City to City Australia who seek to assist parishes to revitalise and plant ministries and congregations across denominations and across the country. In 2022 we are selecting a number of Pilot parishes with a view to assisting them to revitalise their ministries. We are deliberately selecting parishes from a variety of contexts, rural/ coastal/city, and with a variety of worship styles in order to maximize our learnings. Our hope is that we will be able to offer the Revitalise CG program more widely from the second half of 2022 and into 2023. Read more about CTCA here.
South Sudanese Anglican Ministry (SSAM). It was a real delight for me to bring official greetings to Bishop Mark and BiC on behalf of the South Sudanese Community at our recent BiC Meeting. In 2018 BiC established the SSAM as a Chaplaincy Unit. The Founding SSAM Constitution calls for a Review of the Chaplaincy Unit after three years. During 2021 I began that process and look forward to continuing working with SSAM to bring that Report to the Diocese in 2022. I will be chairing their AGM on the 6th of February and on the following Sunday 13th of February at 1.30pm, Bishop Mark will celebrate with the SSAM Community. See their Facebook page here.
Pelican Foundation (PF). The work of the Pelican Foundation will be well known to many AN Readers as the Foundation has been established for decades. BiC has now reappointed a renewed Board who will be working to support new ministry initiatives in 2022 and beyond. The PF Board is hoping to relaunch PF at Synod in 2022. Individuals and parishes are invited and encouraged to give to the Pelican Foundation which then makes annual disbursements to support ministry initiatives within the Diocese. The website (which is to be updated soon) still has the basic information about the Pelican Foundation here.
There’s plenty else going on across the Diocese. The above just represents what went through BiC in December. In 2022 I will be looking to set up a peer network for all our school chaplains. I’m also keen to be working with St Mark’s Theological College to develop training in the area of Chaplaincy. There are currently F/T Chaplaincy positions in Junee and Goulburn Correctional Centres and there is a desperate need for an Anglican Chaplain at the Canberra Hospital. If you’d like to talk with me about any of the above, or other areas of mission and chaplaincy across our Diocese, then please contact me through the Diocesan Office.