On 23rd February four new deacons were ordained in St Saviour’s Cathedral. As the exhortation from the prayer book, put before the new deacons by Bishop Trevor, says:
‘Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ lived and died as the servant of God.
All who follow him are called to serve God in the world,
Setting forward Christ’s kingdom through the power of the Spirit.
Christ has called you to the office of deacon.’
The Reverend Wendy Anderson has been licensed Honorary Deacon Assistant Gundagai Parish. The Reverend Gaynor Elder has been licensed Honorary Deacon Assistant The Canberra Hospital. The Reverend Heather Millard has been licensed Honorary Deacon Assistant Gungahlin Parish. The Reverend Craig Rogers has been licensed Honorary Deacon Assistant
South Wagga Wagga Parish.
In his ordination sermon the Reverend Peter Rose exhorted the new deacons that they had been chosen by God and called
by God for a purpose: to bear much fruit, fruit that will last, and thereby to bring glory to God.
Wendy is mum to four wonderful young men and grandma to twelve amazing grandchildren. My calling to serve God came late in life. He never ceases to amaze me. He took a woman who was so broken that she didn’t think she could be whole again and gave her life. A life I didn’t know existed, a life given by a God I didn’t know. His amazing love, forgiveness and mercy healed me, through His Son and my Lord and Saviour Jesus. He is my life, my heart and my soul. He is the reason I get up each morning.
Gaynor was born in Adelaide and moved to Cooma, NSW, after finishing school, to begin nurse training in the last hospital-based intake at the local hospital. It was while she was there that she met Bill and they married in 1984; once married they moved to Queanbeyan. They have three adult children, Jessie, Casey and Connor. She is blessed beyond measure for the presence, support and love of her family.
While Gaynor always had a belief in God it wasn’t until January 1997 that she had a dramatic conversion experience at a baptism at Christ Church, Queanbeyan. She was so affected by this that her life completely changed and she left church that day giving her life to Jesus. Since then her desire is for others to know the unbelievable richness of God’s love, forgiveness, mercy and presence, which is available to all no matter what their lives look like.
Gaynor is a Third Order Franciscan which shapes and influences her approach to life and ministry. She currently works in the Anglican Diocesan office, continues to be actively involved in her local church and is a lay minister as part of the Anglican Pastoral Care team at the Canberra Hospital where she will continue to work out her call as a Deacon.
Born in Melbourne, Heather moved to Canberra in 1995 and has called Canberra home ever since. She began her theological studies while participating in the Ice Stocks World Championships in Germany in 2012, studying the Old Testament in Austrian cafes between training sessions.
Her love of travel and the Bible later combined in a study tour following some of Paul’s missionary travels in Turkey and Greece.
She is a member of Gungahlin Anglican Church where she has served as Warden and Chair of Parish Council. After nine years on Parish Council, Heather is now working with staff and members to develop a new pastoral care system for the parish. She still enjoys leading worship and singing on Sunday mornings.
Heather has worked in the Commonwealth public service for 15 years and has been volunteering with Anglicare Disaster Recovery for nearly four years. She hopes to continue serving in the field of emergency relief after ordination, taking on a chaplaincy role when needed. Heather is also helping to create a suicide-safer community by training her work colleagues and the Gungahlin community in suicide awareness and assistance skills.
Heather is looking forward to what God has planned for her as a permanent deacon and asks you all to pray for the work of deacons in our communities.
Craig currently serves on the ministry team at South Wagga Anglican Church. While studying for his Bachelor of Theology degree, Craig worked as a licenced lay minister. His responsibilities include preaching, service leading, pastoral care and coordinating the men’s ministry. Craig senses a strong call to minister to the ageing members of the parish in both liturgical and pastoral roles.
Craig is married to Sharon and they have two adult sons, lain and Seamus. He grew up in Hornsby in Sydney’s northern suburbs, and has fond memories of a childhood living close to the bush. With an interest in aircraft from an early age, Craig joined the RAN straight from school to train as an aviation technician. Over a twenty-year career, he served at sea and ashore in a variety of helicopter-related roles, before becoming a civilian trade trainer at RAAF Base Wagga.
Craig’s earliest memories of church are of a very traditional family service and of Sunday School at St Peter’s Anglican, in Hornsby. Although Craig drifted away from church in his teens, he reconnected after moving to Wagga Wagga in 2000, where he sensed a strong ‘pull’ back to God. A significant point of Craig’s faith journey was in 2003, when he was
confirmed alongside his family as they were also baptised, confirmed, or both.
Craig is encouraged by Micah 6:8 and other Scripture which calls on God’s people to act with justice and demonstrate God’s love for others, as we walk humbly with God. Craig is excited about the opportunities to minister as an ordained deacon, as he continues to serve as part of the ministry team at South Wagga Anglican.