After enjoying a rewarding career in the Royal Australian Navy, and while serving as a civilian instructor at RAAF Wagga, I was prompted by a desire to better equip myself for ministry to enrol in a Bachelor of Theology through St Mark’s. Although I didn’t realise it at the time, this is where my journey towards ordained ministry began. Encouraged by both lay and ordained members of the parish to enter into the ordination discernment process, I increasingly sensed that God was calling me into the role of deacon.
Since my ordination a little over two years ago, I have had the privilege of serving in a number of contexts, and each has been both a blessing and a rewarding experience. Licenced initially to the South Wagga parish, a typical month would include preaching and service-leading across the parish’s two worship centres, leading a Bible study, hospital and nursing home visits and working alongside others in our pastoral care team. I also led a Carevan team which connected our church with a team of volunteers and guests from all walks of life as we hosted community meals.
Each of the ministries I have served in has brought me into contact with such a diverse group of people, both from within the church, and from the wider community. Since ordination, I have been privileged to lead a number of funeral services within the South Western region of the diocese. Ministering to those who grieve the loss of loved ones, and being able to share the love of Christ and the hope we have through him has been incredibly rewarding. It has also been a joy to celebrate God’s grace through the ministry of baptism.
January 2021 saw in a new season of ministry with a move to the Wagga Wagga parish to start a new role as the Anglican chaplain to The Forrest Centre’s two residential aged care facilities – Mary Potter and Loreto Home of Compassion.
I work within a team of dedicated carers to provide spiritual and pastoral support to residents, family members, staff and volunteers.
In addition to leading a weekly worship service at each of the centres, I conduct room visits and spend time with residents and family members. It has been such a blessing to get to know many of the residents, and to be a listening and supportive presence. It is such a privilege to be able to minister to the elderly, and although there is often sadness in their circumstances, and indeed loss for both family and staff in their passing, this role is such a rewarding one. I rarely leave the centres without feeling uplifted by the interactions I have with residents and staff alike.
To better equip myself for this role, I have recently commenced a Graduate Certificate in Ministry with an emphasis on chaplaincy and pastoral and spiritual care of older people.
As a member of the household of deacons, I am greatly encouraged by my fellow deacons who serve throughout the diocese, and by those who lead us. A deacon’s role is to serve, however, through our baptism we are all called to a ministry of service, modelled on the servant ministry of Jesus Christ. May I encourage us all to prayerfully and continually seek to discern God’s will for us in our own ministries so that we may faithfully live out our calling.
by Reverend Craig Rogers