Where does one begin? I don’t know that I am able to mark a particular day or occasion where I felt that I was called to be a deacon, rather there were many things that took place over time that brought me to this point.
Coming from a ‘non-church’ family, at the age of ten I was sent to an Anglican boarding school – mother, grandmother and aunts went there – where I was introduced to this thing I knew nothing about: chapel/church. My house mother, choir mistress and organist encouraged and supported me in those challenging years. I guess that is where it all began.
In my early adult years, I dipped my toes in and out of ‘church’ depending on where I was at in life. Though I always knew that when I had children, I wanted them to grow up knowing God and His love for them.
I began attending St John’s, Wagga Wagga while pregnant with my first child. I was warmly welcomed and encouraged. Not long after my first child was born, the parish admin position came available. I really felt that it was my job, but the timing was not right.
Eight years later with my youngest in kindergarten, when the job became open again, the timing was right. I was thrilled!! And I have loved my job every day of the last ten years.
A couple of people on various occasions had asked if I had considered ministry but my response was always surprise and ‘not me’. But the questions made me think, consider and prayerfully wonder.
In 2016 I decided to do a Diploma of Christian Ministry and Theology at St Mark’s, to see if I was up for the challenge of study with two young children. Juggling work, family, children, and study was a full load, but I did it, and I quite enjoyed the learning.
The load was a lot so I felt at the time that I could not manage university study. Twelve months later the Deaconate subject was on offer over the summer session. I was encouraged by my then Rector David Ruthven to do this as it would be a good introduction into all that is involved in being a deacon. I really enjoyed it.
Okay!! So here we go. I enrolled in the Bachelor of Theology. Still, with work, family, kids, life, I was only able to do one subject at a time, with the odd session off with COVID and a house renovation. At this rate it was going to take me a long time. Bishop Trevor revealed to me that I didn’t need to complete the Bachelor to be a deacon but could withdraw at the Graduate Diploma of Theology Studies. And here I am, completing my final subject.
I was ordained in February this year. The journey to ordination, as it seems to be for anyone I’ve spoken to, is not straight forward. There was many a hurdle along the way. But, when the time is right …
I am still in the job I started ten years ago and love, but with a bit more on the plate. I did not think I would ‘enjoy’ taking funeral services as much as I do. What a wonderful opportunity to journey with people in their time of need.
The ministry I feel called to is walking with the Rainbow community of Wagga, encouraging and doing what I can to welcome and support them to come as they are, to experience God’s love for them in this place.