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Volume 109, Number 1 February 2012

Published in Gippsland Diocese since 1904

The Gippsland Anglican is your award winning newspaper: Best Regional Publication Silver Award (ARPA) 2010; Item or Feature that
shows the most originality Highly Commended (ARPA) 2010; Best Social Justice Story Highly Commended (ARPA) 2004; Best Regional
Publication (ARPA) 2003; Most Improved Newspaper (ARPA) 2001.
AWA about uniting
Christian women
pages 5 to 8
Bairnsdale honors the
emergency services
page 4
Leongatha parish
hosts Bishop Alexis
page 9
Cowes parish supports youth
IN 1868, when the township of Cowes was established,
the Church of England Reserve at the corner of
Thompson Avenue and Church Street was at the edge of
the township. Since then, the shops have extended up
the hill from Western Port, well past the Church of
England Reserve, which now is more or less inthe middle
of the town and opposite two important civic buildings,
the Cultural Centre and the Heritage Centre.
Both these buildings are set well back from the foot-
path. As is St Philips Church, opened in 1870, and the
parish hall, built by volunteer labor and opened in 1935.
(Volunteering must have been different in those days;
anyone missing a working bee was fined 10 shillings).
The setback of these four public buildings means there
is an oasis of green in the centre of Cowes and space for
outdoor activities, whether sitting comfortably watching
the world go by or enthusiastic young people inviting
their peers to a sausage sizzle.
The holiday season begins with Schoolies Week, which
is a very mixed blessing in holiday areas. The fast food
and bottle shops do a roaring trade. The people who are
paid to pick up rubbish work overtime; and many more
people pick up rubbish. We listen with some apprehen-
sion every time the fire siren sounds.
No, Schoolies Week is not an easy time for the local
community, but we receive very positive help from the
Student Life and Red Frog organisations. Both these
groups of young people have free access to all the
grounds and facilities at St Philips and do a splendid job
caring for their peers. They also find the time to provide
other more conventional forms of Christian ministry.
Just after Christmas, the Theos team from Scripture
Union set up their drop-in centre at the parish hall. Once
again, there was food available plus various games, a
band and some comfortable couches to sit on, relax and
talk. Once again, it is young people caring for other
young people and doing a job others cannot do. Of
course, what the rest of us can do is provide the facilities
and encouragement.
Contributed by Margaret Hancock
ABOVE: Youth at a sausage sizzle held by Red Frog for
the many who attended Schoolies Week on Phillip Island.
Photo: Student Life
A bet t er
l i f e on
show at
open day
THE Abbey of St Barnabas
is the setting for a
Sustainability Open Day on
Easter Saturday. Held at
Raymond Island, the open
day will begin at 10am on
Saturday, April 7, finishing
at 4pm.
Participants will hear pre-
sentations and demonstra-
tions of practical ways to
live a more sustainable life-
Leader of the Abbey
Environmental Taskforce,
Ann Miller, has organised
activities about competent
composting, sustainable
gardening, water, reduce-
reuse-recycle and new
from old (clothes and
Other activities will help
participants understand
how good design can save
you money and the bene-
fits of bicycle power. More
hands-on activities will
teach cooking by the sun
and jam and preserve
Activities for children
include learning about the
food that is all around us.
For enquiries, contact Ann
on telephone 0427 445866
or email tarkaan@net-
Further information about
the Abbey of St Barnabas,
on inside pages.
2 Our Diocese - Missions and Ministries February 2012
The Gippsland Anglican
The Gippsland
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the Editor.
Abbey open day 1
Healing conflict 3
Bairnsdale safety 4
AWA feature 5-8
Graduations 9
Top students 10
GFS camp for kids 11
Childrens ministry 12
Anam Cara 13
Elizabeth Alfred 14
Listening process 15
Faith issues 16
Parish news 17
Literary reviews 18
Diocesan calendar 19
Parish news 20
Letters to the Editor
Dear Editor,
Recently I filled in a ques-
tionare handed out at our
church which purported to
examine what the congre-
gations thoughts about re-
ligion in general really
area. I noted that, al-
though many of the ques-
tions were important, what
I consider the most impor-
tant question was not
asked: Why do I, as an
individual, support the
Perhaps, since this ques-
tion is impossible to an-
swer in a simple yes or no
form, that was the reason
it was left out. Since I be-
lieve it to be the most im-
portant, also possibly the
most controversial, then I
will try to outline my rea-
How did religion begin in
the first place? Stone Age
man could not write.
Therefore he had to rely
on word of mouth for in-
formation. The most unre-
liable method known to
man, as any policeman
who has had to gather evi-
dence of a simple but
deadly road accident from
six separate witnesses will
He also had to relate
what information he could
gather to his own experi-
ence of life. An experience
which was limited by the
number of people belong-
ing to his own immediate
tribe and the limited geo-
graphical area his tribe
controlled. This is com-
mon, even in this modern
world, for a limited few.
Questions that asked ex-
planations of dreams, vi-
sions, how did it all start,
are complicated even in
todays world, with four- or
five thousand years of in-
formation to draw on.
The result was that any-
one in the tribe who could
answer such questions,
even though in most cases
he had to make them up
into some believable story,
found themselves in a so-
cial position of importance.
The ancestor of the mod-
ern day priest was, in fact,
the local witchdoctor.
Today, 200 years after
the birth of the steam en-
gine which made travel so
much easier, coupled with
the printing press and the
introduction of modern ed-
ucational services, infor-
mation is so much more
readily available and gen-
erally more accurate. Is
the the reason why our
churches find it difficult to
fill their pews compared to
50 or more years ago?
To those who dismiss this
question as inappropriate,
I would ask why is it that
even today there are peo-
ple who still refer to
Charles Darwins work as a
theory? I realise, with
pleasure, many in the
church recognise Darwin
may not have been 100
per cent correct in detail,
but he was on the right
team without doubt. Why
has the church taken so
long to recognise this??
Society needs social or-
ganisations such as the
church can provide. In the
past, the church has been
a major force in uniting
people together. Even
though it has also been
guilty of at times disunit-
ing them.
The church has a social
role to play, it always has
as far back as the Stone
Age. That role is still
needed today. But the
church must enter the 21st
century. Stories that were
appropriate 2000 years
ago, do not cut much ice
I do not pretend to know
how the church should go
about this. I have been a
regular member for most
of my 84 years but have
spent the past at least 30
years, hoping against hope
that I would live long
enough to see it flourish
once more. Instead I see it
slowly dying.
I remember one well-
known politician who,
when asked what would
the church say about the
matter being discussed, he
replied, The Church, they
are yesterdays people
and that was 20 years ago.
I believe there are many
in the congregations who
would agree with this let-
ter in principle, if not in
Graham Budd,
Dear Editor,
A number of columns in
The Gippsland Anglican
(one which was reprinted
in The Age, August 12,
2011), authored by the
Bishop of Gippsland, John
McIntyre, have counte-
nanced the issues of the
day. Specifically, illegal im-
migrants (asylum seek-
ers), the Carbon Tax,
support to Aborigines and
welfare contributions.
Bishop McIntyre has not
confined himself to the pen
but has also used the pul-
pit for these and other po-
litical issues.
Rather than adopt the
precepts of leadership,
Bishop McIntyre has re-
sorted to the harangue
and the denunciative in his
The position of the Bishop
of Gippsland is a leader-
ship position appointed by
the Gippsland Bishop Ap-
pointment Board. Leader-
ship defined as the activity
of leading a group of peo-
ple or an organisation, or
the ability to do this. In its
essence, leadership in an
organisational role involves
(1) establishing a clear vi-
sion, (2) sharing that vi-
sion with others so that
they will follow willingly,
(3) providing the informa-
tion, knowledge and meth-
ods to realise that vision
and (4) coordinating and
balancing the conflicting
interests of all members or
Bishop McIntyres politics
are from the political left
and he has a right to
those. However, in denun-
ciating political conserva-
tives, and I am one, and
their views, he has abro-
gated his leadership func-
tion in the Gippsland
Anglican community.
Invoking Gods name to
denounce those who hold
opposite but reasoned, by
dint of experience, views,
is an ecumenical slur. He
has used such epithets as
unchristian, uncaring, in-
excusable, a selfish dere-
liction of duty, scare tactics
and deceit, unthinking,
cynicism, cynical exploita-
tion, genocide, devoid of
principles, easily exploited,
unjust and slaughter.
When invoked with Christ-
ian obligation, those epi-
thets are intemperate,
inaccurate and insulting.
Bishop McIntyre has se-
lectively used fact to suit
his arguments; facts that
fail the test of scrutiny.
In his field, Bishop McIn-
tyre is highly regarded.
Perhaps he should have
remained in his comfort
zone, because, while he
may be doctrinally pure,
he has failed to bring all
his flock to willingly coop-
erate with him to achieve
his outcome. Continued
haranguing does not
achieve his desired out-
comes; it merely hardens
the resolve of those of us
who have beliefs contrary
to his.
In an era of intense politi-
cal debate and instability,
Bishop McIntyre has taken
sides and polarised
the Gippsland Anglican
community. Where is the
separation between Church
and State?
Also failing the leadership
test was the Bishop Ap-
pointment Board. They
failed to carry out due dili-
gence because they did
not take into account the
characteristics of the Gipp-
sland constituency, be it
Anglican or the commu-
nity; they knew Bishop
McIntyres politics, person-
ality and the potential to
engender controversy.
Bishop McIntyre and the
Bishop Appointment Board
should note that successful
leadership requires inclu-
sion, ownership and an
affinity with its Gippsland
constituents; not alien-
Yours sincerely,
Bill Westhead,

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February 2012 Our Diocese - Missions and Ministries 3
The Gippsland Anglican
Dear friends,
HOW do we live together as Chris-
tian sisters and brothers in com-
munity, when we recognise many
strengths and many frailties, differ-
ence of opinion and of interpreta-
tion? It is a question facing the
Anglican Church internationally and
dioceses and parishes near and far.
The Anglican Communion has
sought to face this question in the
development of the Anglican
Covenant: how do we belong to-
gether when we disagree on mat-
ters which are vital to us? How will
we relate to each other when we
disagree? How will be worship to-
gether when our disagreements
are paramount in our minds? How
will we continue to serve Christ and
Christs Church when all else seems
to be tumbling around us?
It seems to me, we do have a re-
sponsibility to take care in our
words and action when we dis-
agree. Our words and actions can
either make this disagreement
worse or better; the choice is ours.
At a local level, we experience this
in parish conflict over everything
from how money is spent to per-
sonal conflicts between those who
would otherwise seek to worship
and work together.
Conflict might also be a very pos-
itive force. Some of the most im-
portant reforms in history, such as
universal suffrage and abolition of
slavery, have only emerged and
become the norm after many years
of conflict and determination on the
part of a small group of people. It is
what we do with our difference and
tensions that matters.
Indeed, it could be said that a
church without conflict might be a
church where nothing much is hap-
pening to conflict about! Or where
only one voice is heard! Yet I sus-
pect if we sometimes thought more
carefully about something as sim-
ple as how we speak to each other,
we might avoid a great deal of un-
necessary heartache.
Covenant Commitments for Chris-
tians in Times of Tension, distrib-
uted last year to parishes in
Gippsland is a one page document
with some excellent and very prac-
tical guides for acknowledging ten-
sion and conflict and for restoring
good relationships. I commend it to
you for your reflection as we begin
a new year together.
The Anglican Covenant could
therefore be seen to be an expres-
sion of what is already true.
Covenant is the nature of our rela-
tionship in Christ. God in Christ
has brought us into a relationship
of covenant; a covenant which God
will not break and we are not to
Covenant is also the nature of our
relationships with each other in
Christ; we share a life together not
just a set of beliefs or statutes.
We also have guideposts. The tra-
dition of our Church, the Scriptures
given us from within that tradition,
our capacity to think and reason
and debate. With all these, it be-
comes possible for new ideas to
emerge and for such exploration to
take place. Diversity of opinion can,
after all, be seen as a sign of a
healthy community committed to
seeking, but not always possess-
ing, truth.
If we want a Church that is open,
caring and just in all its dealings,
then we need to ensure our con-
versations, our debate and our re-
lationships are also managed in
this spirit of openness and care and
The end goal does not justify any
means. Rather, how we go about
discussion and dialogue is actually
part of the end result: the truth of
God in our midst.
With peace and shalom,
The Venerable Archdeacon
Heather Marten
Vicar General of Gippsland Diocese
Covenant Commitments for Chris-
tians in Times of Tension is avail-
able from the Registry or
A wet year doesnt mean were safe
from bush or grass res.
Rain encourages growth. It only takes
a week or two of hot, dry weather to
turn growth into fuel for a re. Fires
dont just threaten people who live in
the bush. Anyone can be affected.
Write or review your Bushre Survival
Plan and practise it.
Even if youve already written your
plan its no time to be complacent.
Give yourself and everyone you love
a better chance of survival by thinking
through your decisions and reminding
everyone of what they should do.
You think that you are ready, but are
you really ready?
Do you have a good understanding
of the risk around you and have you
thought through all of the possible
scenarios and what you will do? Find
out for sure by taking the FireReady
Quiz or the FireReady Challenge at
Be prepared for a bush or grass re, wherever you are.
Dont risk your life on
a last minute decision.
Tolmie 2007 Bushres
Make your plan at cfa.vic.gov.au or call 1800 240 667.
It could save your life.
How will be worship together when our
disagreements are paramount in our
minds? How will we continue to serve
Christ and Christs Church when all else
seems to be tumbling around us?
Caring to heal the conflict
4 Our Diocese - Missions and Ministries February 2012
The Gippsland Anglican
SHERYL and Paul Selliani
have been staying in Ena
Sheumack House at the
Abbey of St Barnabas,
ABeckett Park. Before
Christmas, they moved into
Ena Sheumack House to be
at The Abbey to welcome
and care for visitors during
Christmas and the busy
holiday period.
When you stay at the
Abbey its like you are in a
whole different world, said
In trying to capture the
wonder and majesty of The
Abbey, Sheryl immediately
spoke of the environment.
There are the kookaburras,
who left The Abbey during
the busy two weeks when it
was full with people from St
Hilarys Kew. The refur-
bished units and the old
dormitories were full and
there were tents on the
oval. Families, older people
and young people and
boats could be see every-
where. The kookaburras re-
turned after the group from
St Hilarys left and the en-
vironment became quieter.
One koala knocked at the
back door of Ena Sheumack
House and others are in
trees in the back garden.
Birds, pelicans, tawny frog-
mouths and echidnas are all
frequent visitors.
At The Abbey, there is a
sense of remoteness and
tranquillity and we see mar-
vellous sunsets, said Sh-
At the same time, a feel-
ing of community and
friendliness among the peo-
ple who pass by. You are
just immersed in creativity.
Paul welcomed guests as
they arrived at The Abbey,
gave them keys, attended
to the settling-in routine for
larger groups and generally
ensured all was smooth.
Paul and Sheryl have also
been the first port of call for
any emergencies or just to
respond to the things that
require special attention,
like fixing the dishwasher or
organising rubbish removal.
The Ena Sheumack
House is wonderfully easy
to live in, even with eight
adults and five children
under five for a Christmas
celebration, said Paul.
During 2012, The Abbey
will continue to be available
for use by individuals and
families, groups and confer-
ences, at weekends and
during the week, for casual
accomodation, retreats and
To enquire about or book
into the refurbished accom-
modation units and West
Cottage, telephone Sue
Gibson on 03 5156 6580.
The full Abbey Program
will be available very soon.
In the meantime, mark out
Easter Saturday, April 7,
2012 and come to The
Abbey for the Sustainability
Open Day; then stay on for
the Easter Light Service at
5pm in St Barnabas
See page one for details.
ABOVE: One of the guests
at The Abbey this year was
Ian Walker, who has been
staying at ABeckett Park
since the 1960s when he
attended youth camps on
the island.
The Abbeys looking
good, he said.
Ian was staying in West
Cottage, which some years
ago he painted. In fact, Ian
chose the yellow and green
color scheme that is still on
the outside walls. Ian was
also on the work team that
fixed the roof.
When reflecting on why he
keeps returning to The
Abbey, Ian said: It is a re-
connection with Gods cre-
ation, an openness, a
peacefulness; reconnecting
with the majesty.
Dimity Fifer, visiting with
Ian, was visiting The Abbey
for the first time. Dimitys
first response was to de-
scribe the peaceful wel-
come; the land and sea has
a gracious peaceful feel.
Ian and Dimity are pic-
tured with their catamaran,
before sailing on the lake.
Contributed by Edie Ashley
Photo: Edie Ashley
Be a part of supporting the
Aboriginal Ministry

The AMF exists to resource employment of
Aboriginal people in ministry; training of
Aboriginal people for ministry; development
of Aboriginal ministry in the community; the
planting of Aboriginal churches; education
of the Diocese about Aboriginal issues.

Be a part of achieving these aims.

Contact the Diocese of Gippsland
453 Raymond Street, Sale, Victoria
PO Box 928, Sale, 3853
Telephone 03 5144 2044
Fax 03 5144 7183
Email registrar@gippsanglican.org.au

The Church, over the years, has been blessed with the generosity of Anglicans and others in support
of its mission. One way you can support this ideal in a relatively easy way, is to make a gift through
your will. In the first instance, of course, you will consider carefully the needs of your immediate
family and friends before proceeding with a bequest to the church.
We offer a way of helping you to carry out your wishes. Your gift, through your bequest, will be very
much appreciated. You may wish to support the Diocese of Gippsland as a whole, or your own parish,
or for a particular purpose.
Making your bequest in your Will is a simple procedure, although in preparing or amending your Will
you should always consult a solicitor. The Registrar of the Diocese of Gippsland has information to
assist you in making a bequest, including the form of words you and your solicitor might want to use.
Telephone Brian Norris on 03 5144 2044, or go to www.gippsanglican.org.au
A LASTING GIFT: A bequest to the
Anglican Diocese of Gippsland or your parish
Good life at the Abbey
Keeping Bairnsdale
safe and reassured
AT the annual Thanksgiving service for Emergency Serv-
ices held at St Johns, Bairnsdale on December 4, Rev-
erend Tony Wicking invited members of the services
present to explain to the congregation their response to
an hypothetical incident.
A tanker had overturned on the Paynesville Road carry-
ing a dangerous substance. So much and so many were
involved. The CFA was in control. An ambulance and SES
were on standby. Red Cross was ready with food. DSE had
concern for wildlife. A United Nations expert could be
reached within minutes if needed.
It was most interesting and reassuring to hear about the
response to such an event. We were pleased at the will-
ingness of the members to talk so well about their serv-
ices, not having been given any notice by Rev. Tony
Now, in the new year, Johnnos volunteers are looking
forward to the impending opening of the extension to their
Outreach Centre.
Contributed by Ursula Plunkett
ABOVE: Members of the Country Fire Authority and State
Emergency Service who attended the annual Thanksgiv-
ing service for Emergency Services, in Bairnsdale parish.
Photo: Ursula Plunkett
February 2012 Our Diocese - Missions and Ministries - Anglican Women of Australia 5
The Gippsland Anglican
By Jeanette Severs
THERE is an organisation
that has, as a guiding pur-
pose, the intent to be an in-
valuable support group for
all initiatives and activities
undertaken by the diocese.
Members consider it a priv-
ilege to act as coordinators
for many parish and dioce-
san activities which support
the Anglican Church family.
The organisation is Angli-
can Women of Australia, a
group that turns 50 this
year in Gippsland Diocese,
and closes as at March 6 at
its final gathering, at St
Pauls Cathedral, Sale.
Anglican Women of Aus-
tralia (AWA) grew out of a
perception in the 1940s, by
the late Bishops wife, Mrs
Moira Housden of Rock-
hampton, of a number of
groups of women spread
across a vast region, but
there was no way for these
women to meet together.
Armidale, with the leader-
ship of a Mrs Moyes, had
made a practice of holding
an annual womens confer-
ence that brought all the
parishes together. A clergy-
mans wife from Armidale
mentioned this to Mrs
Housden and, with the help
of Mothers Union to spon-
sor a Diocesan Church of
England Womens Group,
the women came together,
meeting during Synod sit-
ting time.
The Rockhampton confer-
ences became a means for
the women of the diocese
to meet and provided unity,
in a district where people
were scattered and iso-
lated. Mrs Housden was the
inaugural president. In May
1988, Mrs Housden was the
honored guest speaker at
the 40th anniversary cele-
bratory lunch in Rockhamp-
When Bishop and Mrs
Housden moved from Rock-
hampton to Newcastle, she
was again instrumental in
introducing a womens con-
ference, bringing together
the women of the diocese.
Once again, Mothers Union
was the main supporter.
This strong feeling of sup-
port caused the Diocesan
Mothers Union of Newcas-
tle to help form the Angli-
can Womens movement.
By the early 1960s, New-
castle had established sev-
eral practices, some of
which were adopted by
other dioceses after the
concept of AWA was for-
malised following the 1964
and 1966 meetings. Since
the inception, retreats are
conducted at least annually
and provide popular with
members. After the found-
ing of Anglican Women of
Australia, the practice of
holding rallies was intro-
duced in Newcastle, twice
annually, in May and Sep-
tember. A guest speaker
would work solidly over a
week addressing all the ral-
lies in various deaneries
throughout the diocese.
The Thankyou Box was
introduced after Mrs Hous-
den observed an idea on a
trip to America, from the
Episcopal Church Womens
movement. Each diocese
was asked for an offering
and each year a decision
was made to support a wor-
thy cause.
From the beginning in
Newcastle, the gatherings
began with the eucharist, a
short sermon and prayer;
reports; and a guest
speaker. Inclusion of every
organisation, guild and aux-
iliary was enabled to hold a
trading and information
table. In 1966, a special
prayer for the national or-
ganisation was adopted.
The idea of a national or-
ganisation was formed with
the intent to help unite,
support and strengthen the
varied interests and activi-
ties of Anglican women.
During General Synod in
Sydney, in October 1964, a
meeting of Bishops wives
felt there was a need for all
Anglican womens groups
and organisations, as well
as individual women, to be
brought together under one
umbrella, a national organ-
isation. This was a continu-
ance of the original reasons
forming AWA in the 1940s.
In 1966, Mrs Marcus Loane
chaired a meeting of
Bishops wives at Bishop-
scourt in Sydney, where all
the dioceses were asked to
send representatives to dis-
cuss forming a national
group of Anglican women.
AWA was to be initiated
through the Primate and
diocesan Bishops, with the
Primates wife as leader.
Mrs Housden, Mrs Kenneth
Leslie and Mrs Evanne Gar-
nsey formed a secretariat
for the next three years, to
oversee the formation of
the national group.
Gippsland had two repre-
sentatives at the inaugural
meeting, Mrs Garnsey and
Mrs Knife. Mrs Garnsey
took on the role of collating
responses from each dio-
cese to the question of
what the aims of AWA
would be.
Membership as per the
Newcastle model was to be
open to all women who
wished to serve the Angli-
can Church, which also
meant making provision for
members of various organ-
isations who were not nec-
essarily Anglican. Mrs
Housden was also in favor
of holding a gathering at
the time of General Synod,
open to anyone interested
for the purposes of study,
fellowship and spiritual re-
By 1968, 50 wives of the
General Synod attendees
met in Sydney at Bishop-
scourt to discuss Anglican
Women of Australia,
chaired again by Mrs Hous-
den. At diocesan level, AWA
was seen in most places as
coordinating existing
groups in one or more extra
meetings in regions, to
stimulate thought, service
and fellowship. The secre-
tariat was re-formed with
Mrs Housden, Mrs Garnsey
and Mrs Leslie again ap-
By this time, AWA was
considered well established
in Gippsland, along with
many other rural dioceses.
In Gippsland, it was named
Anglican Womens Fellow-
ship, with an interest in
missions and giving for mis-
sionary projects. To meet
the needs of women who
worked, Gippslands AWF
was to hold an evening rally
in the Latrobe Valley.
Growth in
womens roles
FROM 1968 to 1992, along
with changes in society, the
role of women in the Angli-
can church increased dra-
matically. Women became
members of parish councils
and Synod; were allowed to
become servers, lay read-
ers and to administer the
chalice in many dioceses;
debate began on the ordi-
nation of women; but the
traditional role of women in
the church remained as de-
manding as ever.
In 1976, Mrs Joan
Chynoweth reported to

Anglican Women of Australia
Gippsland Diocese
Closure and Celebration to
Give Thanks for 50 years of
Service, Worship and Fellowship.

Tuesday, 6
March 2012
St Pauls Catbedral Sale
9.30am Morning cuppa
10.30am Eucharist, Bishop John presiding
12.30pm Lunch, $10 per person
2.30pm Afternoon Tea

RSVP through your parish representative, by
21st February 2012, for catering purposes.

Please wear a touch of gold.

ABOVE: These Anglican women were photographed, pos-
sibly at St Saviours, about 1938.
BELOW: Anglican Churchwomens Union Members at the
Sydney Diocesan Conference Centre, April 1963.
A union of women
continued next page
6 Our Diocese - Missions and Ministries - Anglican Women of Australia February 2012
The Gippsland Anglican
from previous page
Synod on continued interest
and development of the
concept of the Anglican
Womens movement. In
Canberra and Goulburn dio-
cese, a motion to adopt the
draft constitution for Angli-
can Women was carried
unanimously following a
motion to suspend the
Diocesan Constitution of
the Churchwomens Union.
Parish, regional and dioce-
san affiliation was with
Early in 1982, a national
newsletter began and a na-
tional meeting of AWA was
called, with dioceses invited
to send three representa-
tives, enabling clergy wives
to attend. Joan Chynoweth,
Audrey Matthews and Joan
Lees were the Gippsland
By this time, it was felt
AWA was accepted in many
dioceses as an umbrella
organisation, but still per-
ceived as yet another or-
ganisation in some
It was recognised that
AWA needed to attract
women, in particular, with
young families, because the
image projected appeared
to be irrelevant to younger
One innovative idea that
came out of the national
meeting was the suggestion
to produce a book or a one-
act play as a means of
making the voice of Chris-
tian women heard in con-
junction with the Australian
Bicentenary celebrations.
This suggestion was later
developed and became
THYAMA: Two Hundred
Years of Anglican Women in
Reaching out
GIPPSLAND was the venue
of the next national meet-
ing, held at Bishopscourt
Sale, in 1985. Joan Lees,
Audrey Matthews, Joan
Chynoweth, Jenny Ross,
Judy Reynolds and Anita
Johns represented Gipps-
In 1987, many in AWA
were supportive of the pos-
sibiilty of the ordination of
women to the diaconate in
the Anglican church, with
hope for progression to the
priesthood. Despair was the
sentiment used by some to
describe the narrow loss at
General Synod, of this aspi-
ration to have women or-
dained in the priesthood;
however, hope was again
restored and patience and
faith encouraged.
In 1988, Mothers Union
joined with AWA for the
nine-day THYAMA Festival
in Canberra, held at the
Canberra Church of Eng-
land Girls Grammar School,
October 1 to 9. The festival
offered thanksgiving for the
foremothers of the church
who had given Australia
and the church their firm
foundations as well as look-
ing at the present day AWA
women and ahead into the
future. A pageant pre-
sented cameos of seven
women: Mrs Jane Barker,
Sydney, 1807-1876;
Mother Esther CHN, 1858-
1931; Mrs Olive Jose, Mel-
bourne, 1912-1966; Mrs
Fanny Perry, Melbourne,
1815-1892; Mrs Julia Farr,
Adelaide, 1824-1914; Dea-
coness Mary Andrews, Syd-
ney, 1915- and Sister
Angela CSC, Newcastle,
Each diocese that at-
tended was asked to pres-
ent an item describing the
contribution of a woman or
women to the active life of
the diocese. Gippslands
delegates presented the life
and work of the early Dea-
conesses of that diocese
and their ministry working
and living in isolated and
scattered areas of the re-
National guidelines for
AWA were drawn up during
the national meeting. A
group of women from
South Africa addressed the
meeting, describing Arch-
bishop Tutus desire to see
an international group of
AWA formed, to help
women in SA to make con-
tact outside their own coun-
try and break down barriers
of isolation.
AUSTRALIAs links with
South Africa continued,
with two SA representatives
at the 1991 triennial con-
ference. Social responsibili-
ties and issues continued to
be a focus of AWA. The di-
verse representation of
women ranged from guild
groups to leaders of the Or-
dinations of Women move-
ment, pastoral assistants,
study leaders and those sit-
ting on national committees
of the Anglican Church in
Australia; with women still
making time for the tradi-
tional roles in the church
such as cleaning, fundrais-
ing to keep the roof on the
rectory and making large
donations to the clergy
Gippsland women stepped
up to lead the national
AWA, with Annabel Gibson
appointed national coordi-
nator, Beryl Brien her sec-
retary, Pat Cameron
treasurer and Shirley Sav-
ige as publicity and com-
munications officer.
The 1990s saw strength-
ening of links nationally and
internationally with South
Africa and New Zealand.
AWA rallies, newsletters
and other activities were
common in dioceses nation-
In 1992, the Primate of
the Anglican Church of Aus-
tralia, Keith Rayner, wrote
about AWA:
Anglican Women of Aus-
tralia has filled a gap in the
life of the Church around
the country by providing an
umbrella organisation to
which Anglican women may
belong. It does not aim to
compete with other existing
womens organisations in
the Church, but rather to
bring them together in a
spirit of partnership and co-
operation. Women may be
only 50 per cent of the
nominal membership of the
Church, but the reality is
that their contribution in
faith, worship and total life
of the Church has
amounted to far more than
50 per cent. I trust that
Anglican Women of Aus-
tralia may be the means of
strengthening the witness
and fellowship of women as
we seek to proclaim and
demonstrate Christian faith
and values in the world.
A book, Anglican Women
of Australia: The Strength
of Hearts that Serve, was
published in 1994. A follow-
up book, The History of An-
glican Women of Australia
was written in 2008 and in-
cluded the history to 1994.
The follow-up book in-
cludes a message from the
Primate, Dr Phillip Aspinall,
describing the continuing
relevance and strength of
AWA and the changes that
have occurred in the
church, including ordaining
of women to the diaconate
and priesthood and conse-
crated bishop.
Dr Aspinall commended
Archbishop Rayners origi-
nal comments, the reality
that [womens] contribution
to the faith, worship and
total life of the church
amounted to far more than
50 per cent. This observa-
tion remains true today.
and it is important we do
not lose sight of the vital
ministry and witness of lay
women throughout the na-
tional church. Anglican
Women of Australia exists
to celebrate and support
women, both lay and or-
dained in their ministries
and in their witness by pro-
viding opportunity for fel-
lowship and the concrete
expression of their unity in
Mrs Moira Housden be-
lieved AWA was necessary
because Anything that will
bind us together in one
group is of much more use
than little specialised
groups everywhere. AWA
has been the umbrella for
groups for religious educa-
tion, guilds, Caritas, choirs,
Girls Friendly Society,
Mothers Union, Anglican
Womens Fellowship, youth,
missions, outreach, prayer
and bible study. As AWA
ceases to be in Gippsland,
the question has to be
asked, What now?.
References: Squires D and
Tarpey J (1994) Anglican
Women of Australia: The
Strength of Hearts that
Serve; Ison A (2009) The
History of Anglican Women
of Australia.
ABOVE: At lunch at the Gippsland Diocesan Conference 1985 were Jenny Ross, Barbara
Priest, Lynette Bignell, Joan Keith, Bishop Neville Chynoweth, Joan Chynoweth, Valerie
Beal and Anita Johns.
ABOVE: Mrs Evanne Garnsey (left) plants a snow gum in
the grounds of St Pauls Cathedral, Sale, at the 20th an-
niversary celebration of AWA in Gippsland.
ABOVE: Pat Cameron has
organised AWA bus trips.
February 2012 Our Diocese - Missions and Ministries - Anglican Women of Australia 7
The Gippsland Anglican
By Jeanette Severs
THE major purpose of An-
glican Women of Australia
(AWA) in Gippsland was, as
it was nationally, to unite
groups of church women
across the region. These
women were dedicated
church workers whose love
of God and their fellow
human beings was the in-
spiration for the tasks they
carried out. They commit-
ted themselves to upkeep
and maintenance of
churches and church build-
ings and industriously
raised funds to help local
needs and missions, as well
as those of the wider
Today, AWA promotes
service and worship, pro-
vides a point of contact, or-
ganises retreats,
conferences and rallies and
operates to meet the needs
of each diocese.
AWA aims to work towards
the extension of Christs
kingdom through worship,
study, service, fellowship
and giving and promote co-
operation and understand-
ing between groups that
may exist in any one parish
and to make provision for
those not included in such
groups (independent or
lone members).
Membership in AWA in-
cludes all women who be-
long to the Anglican
Church. There is no sub-
scription or admission serv-
In Gippsland, Bishop Gar-
nseys wife, Mrs Evanne
Garnsey, is credited with
founding this dioceses AWA
group, in 1962. Evanne
Garnsey was very involved
with AWA from its early
days on the national front
and naturally thought it
would be an ideal organisa-
tion to bring together
women across the scat-
tered, disparate and remote
outreaches of Gippsland.
Mrs Garnsey was, in fact,
guest speaker at the 20th
anniversary of AWA in
Gippsland. Other Bishops
wives have been active
supporters of AWA in Gipp-
sland, particularly Mrs Ena
Sheumack and Mrs Joan
Mrs Garnsey founded what
was then known as the An-
glican Womens Fellowship
in 1962, shortly after her
husband became the fifth
Bishop of Gippsland. Fol-
lowing the diocesan guild
rally held in Sale on Octo-
ber 2, 1961, a committee
led by Mrs Garnsey met to
plan the formation of an or-
ganisation to link up the
various womens groups at
work in the diocese.
The following May, Mrs
Garnsey sent a letter to all
ladies guilds in Gippsland
outlining the committees
recommendations, which
included the Bishop ap-
pointing Mrs Garnsey chair-
man of the organisation, to
be known initially as Gipps-
land Churchwomens Fel-
lowship. She explained she
saw this as a temporary ap-
pointment, believing lead-
ership of the group should
be in the hands of women
who were not clergy. Mrs
Garnsey went on to be
chair for the next 10 years.
The chairman benefitted
from the appointment of
three people to the role of
vice chair each year.
A planning meeting was
set for October 2, 1962, in
Sale, with representatives
of all rural deaneries. Out of
this meeting, a fellowship
manual with prayers for use
at home and at meetings
was compiled and pub-
lished, designs for a fellow-
ship badge were
considered, a leadership
training day for women was
organised at Morwell, on
February 14, 1963, with
study sessions on the spiri-
tual basis of leadership in
the church and practical
sessions on committee
members roles.
There was also a picnic at
ABeckett Park organised
for March 1963 and a com-
mitment to supporting the
camp. The first project was
to raise money to build an
ablutions block on the site
and buy new rubber mat-
tresses for the 10 beds in
the old house (more mat-
tresses would be needed for
the new dormitory blocks,
which were expected to
begin building in 1964).
The parish ladies guild
groups were active in rais-
ing this money.
Mrs Garnseys vision for
AWA is what it became. A
means to link women to-
gether at annual rallies for
worship in a larger congre-
gation than normal, fellow-
ship and learning from a
guest speaker; the ex-
change of ideas and knowl-
edge; educational
programs to help women
participate fully in all as-
pects of church and com-
munity life in the home and
at parish and diocesan
level; affiliation with other
groups in the diocese and
nationally; and supporting
ABeckett Park, an asset
given in trust to the Gipps-
land Diocese by the ABeck-
ett sisters.
In 1967, Mrs Garnsey ac-
knowledged the support of
the Guilds, with special
contributions enabling 84
pillows to be purchased for
the ABeckett Park camp on
Raymond Island. Surplus
funds were put aside for fu-
ture needs at the camp.
Mrs Garnsey wrote regu-
larly to parish womens and
parents groups, linking
them with news of AWAs
activities and information
about mission giving and
other happenings in the
diocese. From the first, she
held strongly that regular
correspondence kept mem-
bers interested and in-
In 1967, her letter sug-
gested members make an
effort to invite to the rallies,
women who are not mem-
bers of any parish organisa-
The name, Anglican
Women of Australia, was
adopted in 1980.
The annual womens re-
treat came into being in
1982 and rapidly became a
popular activity of AWA.
Also in 1982, at the 20th
anniversary, attendees
were set the task of dis-
cussing the future of AWA,
particularly in responding to
the question of what bond
links them together in a
common mission and fel-
lowship. Discussion in-
cluded seeking help to
broaden horizons, deepen
faith and quicken spiritual
awareness; and to grow in
knowledge about the role of
groups, that even two peo-
ple meeting together are
blessed by our Lords pres-
In 1983, Mrs Anne Con-
nelly took on the role of
AWA diocesan mission sec-
retary and attendees at the
rallies heard about planning
for retirement and ageing.
In October 1985, Gipps-
land hosted the tri-ennial
AWA national conference.
During her time with AWA,
Mrs Ena Sheumack was a
strong supporter of AWAs
involvement in supporting
medical missions and
ABeckett Park. Mrs
Sheumack was vice-chair of
AWA Gippsland for a num-
ber of years before taking
on the role of mission sec-
retary in 1991 and 1992.
Mrs Chynoweth chaired
AWA Gippsland for four
Mrs Annabel Gibson, wife
of past Dean of the Cathe-
dral, Archdeacon Ted Gib-
son, was chairperson for
four years and during this
time the format for the ral-
lies changed, to all be held
in one week each year. Mrs
Gibson wrote a number of
times of the care and sup-
port offered her regularly in
her role, from other mem-
bers of AWA. Mrs
Sheumack was mission sec-
retary during this time, suc-
cessfully encouraging
strong support for medical
missions and a wider vision
of various mission needs,
including ABM (Anglican
Board of Missions - Aus-
On June 16, 1990, a dis-
play of AWA, including its
activities and affiliated
groups was part of the open
day and dedication of St
Barnabas chapel on Ray-
mond Island.
AWA honored the Dea-
conesses in 1990, raising
money to pay for a wooden
memorial cross and plaque
to be placed in honor of the
Deaconesses, lay workers
and nursing sisters. Callig-
raphy for the plaque (and
copies) was completed by
John Delzoppo.
AWA members began
compiling and contributing
information and photo-
graphs about the life of the
Deaconesses in Gippsland
at about this time. The
Deaconesses of Gippsland
was authored by Archdea-
con Ray Elliot and published
in 1996.
In 1992, the first Sunday
in October was chosen to
be AWA Sunday, to take ef-
fect in 1993. Until then,
Mothering Sunday was used
as a joint acknowledgement
of AWA.
Annabel moved in to the
role mission secretary when
Mrs Elvie Olden, a lay per-
son, was appointed chair by
Bishop Colin Sheumack.
Mrs Valerie Jones was
chair of AWA Gippsland
from 1995 until 2000, when
she moved into the newly
created role of immediate
past chair.
Mrs Lindy Driver took on
the role of vice chair while
her husband, Jeffrey, was
Bishop of Gippsland and
Mrs Merrill Johnston and
Mrs Michele Chidgey were
each in the role of chair.
This was at the time AWA
Women dedicated
to Christian values
ABOVE: Lindy Driver, Heather Baker, Peggie Arthur, Jean
East and Pat Cameron at the Anglican Women of Australia
deanery rally at Bruthen, in 2002, the centenary year of
the Diocese of Gippsland.
continued next page
8 Our Diocese - Missions and Ministries - Anglican Women of Australia February 2012
The Gippsland Anglican
from previous page
drove support for the Cash
for Cows program, an initia-
tive to help with rebuilding
parishes in Rwanda, sup-
plying a dairy cow to each
pastor. In 2004, a novel
way of promoting the pro-
gram in parishes was
formed, with various AWA
members acting as milk-
maids and others as cows.
The Cash for Cows program
was launched at the AWA
rallies in 2004.
Other initiatives, driven by
Bishop Jeffrey Driver, in-
cluded supporting a veteri-
narian and a genetics
company to provide artifi-
cial insemination for the
cows and training for the
Rwandans caring for the
At the end of September
2004, the appeal had raised
more than $34,000, en-
abling every parish in
Gahini diocese to receive a
cow, support the AI and
veterinarian program and
buy dry feed. Subsequently,
some parishes enabled two
cows to be donated to some
In 2003, a diocesan group
began working towards
halting a downhill slide in
the condition of ABeckett
Park. In 2004, Bishop Jef-
frey brought the issue to
AWAs general meeting in
Bishop Jeff reported the
park was the dioceses
greatest asset but there
was concern about its run-
down state. The park was
rarely used by parish or
diocesan groups. The focus
was on improving the facil-
ities and environs. Ideas in-
cluded selling a portion of
the park to raise funds to
build self-contained self-
catered cottages. Bishop
Jeffrey reported the group
was seeking architectural
and legal advice about the
proposed changes. AWA
had already established the
Ena Sheumack Appeal and
Bishop Jeffrey was sympa-
thetic that any money con-
tributed from this appeal to
support ABeckett Park
would be used respectfully
and with the cooperation of
Bishop Jeffrey also
brought news to this meet-
ing, on May 11, 2004, of his
involvement in drafting
leglisation for General
Synod regarding the ordi-
nation of women to the
Episcopate and his work in
listening to and speaking
with people in every
province in Australia in an
effort to bring them to-
gether and care for those
people who do not support
the idea of a woman
In 2002, to celebrate the
centenary of Gippsland Dio-
cese, attendees at the AWA
rallies in March were en-
couraged to wear colonial
Also in 2002, described as
the beautiful diocesan ban-
ner, was designed and
made by Anne Connelly,
with timber work crafted by
John Delzoppo. The banner
was dedicated at the AWA
diocesan rally at St Pauls
Cathedral in Sale on Octo-
ber 15, 2002; also the 40th
birthday celebration of AWA
in Gippsland.
The banner eventuated
after the centenary service
held at St Pauls Cathedral,
Melbourne, in October
2001. Gippslanders attend-
ing noted other dioceses
provided banners, but this
diocese did not have one.
AWA members took on the
challenge of raising money
to pay for and gift a banner
to the diocese and Mrs
Anne Connelly was asked to
undertake the work.
The rallies in 2002 fo-
cussed on history, with pre-
sentations from historians
and various members on
people of note in the history
of Gippsland and the Angli-
can church in the diocese.
People of note included Eliz-
abeth Alfred, of Bairnsdale,
Bishop Charles Murray, of
Bruthen, the Deaconesses
of Gippsland, Annie Pain,
wife of the first Bishop of
Gippsland, Beatrice ABeck-
ett, organising secretary of
the Fellowship of Gippsland
Women in the early 20th
century, Edith Reece, who
came from England in 1920
and worked in East Gipps-
Gippslanders, led by Mer-
rill Johnston, attended the
first AWA rally in Bendigo
Diocese on May 7, 2002.
They were treated to a
flower display by Barbara
Watson, with a history of
working on the Chelsea
Flower Show in England.
By 2002, the third Sunday
of October had been chosen
for AWA Sunday.
In 2003, the triennial na-
tional conference of AWA
was held in Gippsland, May
5 to 9, with the Primate, Dr
Peter Carnley, attending as
guest speaker. Invitations
were sent to South Africa,
United States of America
and New Zealand, as well
as throughout Australia.
Gippslanders were well rep-
resented on the organising
committee, with Merrill
Johnston the national con-
ference coordinator, Mrs
Valerie Jones the national
coordinator of AWA and Mrs
Ethel Armstrong the na-
tional secretary. Bishop Jef-
frey and Mrs Lindy Driver
provided hospitality at Bish-
Bus trips
IT would be remiss to not
mention the annual AWA
bus trips. The first six bus
trips were organised by Mrs
Joan Chynoweth, wife of
Bishop Neville, with help
from Joan Less of Maffra
and Shirley Ferguson of
Sale. There was an histori-
cal tribute to the bus trips
in The Gippsland Anglican
December 2011 issue.
Mrs Chynoweth was keen
to encourage the women of
the diocese to get to know
one another and saw the
bus trips as one way to
achieve this.
The first trip was in 1982
and has been every year
since, to 2011; except
1988. It would be sadly re-
miss if The Gippsland Angli-
can did not pay tribute to
Mrs Pat Cameron, who has
been a leader and organiser
of the bus trip since 1989.
Pat worked with Anne
Connelly and Joan Lees in
1989 and with Anne and
Bev Barnes in 1990, before
Merrill Johnston came on
board (so to speak) in
1991. Anne and Pat organ-
ised the bus trips of 1992 to
1997 collectively, then Mer-
rill and Pat worked on the
1998 trip to Ballarat.
This partnership continued
to 2011 and Pat was absent
last year only because of
health concerns needing
further investigation at the
time of the bus trip.
In 2010, when AWA began
having problems with gain-
ing enough people for the
executive committee, Pat
was adamant at that annual
general meeting that the
bus trips would continue in
2010 and 2011.
The last celebration of
AWA is on March 6 at Sale.
to The Gippsland Anglican
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OFFICE OF THE Director of
Professional Standards
The Anglican Womens Prayer
Eternal God,
the Light of the minds that know you,
the Life of the souls that love you,
and the strength of the wills that serve you.
Help us so to know you,
that we may truly love you,
so to love you
that we may fully serve you,
for to serve you is perfect freedom,
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
Leaders of AWA Gippsland
Chairman: Evanne Garnsey, Audrey McDonald, Au-
drey Delbridge, Audrey Matthews, Joan Chynoweth,
Judy Reynolds, Annabel Gibson, Elvie Olden, Valerie
Jones, Merrill Johnston, Michele Chidgey, Jane Mac-
Chaplain: Reverend Janet Wallis, Rev. Lyndon
Vice chair (up to three): Joyce Knife, Dr Kathleen
Taylor, Mrs Littlejohn, Nancy Darley, Audrey McDon-
ald, Jenny Ross, Mrs Batten, Mrs Holloway, Elvie
Olden, Shirley Ferguson, Eileen Cox, Elinor Scott,
Joyce Elliot, Val Manchester, Annabel Gibson, Jenny
Rainsford, Fay Woodward, Gloria Baker, Judy
Reynolds, Jan Huggins, Ena Sheumack, Anne Con-
nelly, Trish Shiboaka, Merrill Johnston, Pam Pincini,
Ethel Armstrong, Beryl Brien, Pat Cameron, Marion
Jones, Heather Baker, Roma Durham, Margaret Scott,
Lindy Driver, Neila Peart, Jane Macqueen.
Secretary: Gwen Graves, Nancy Darley, Elinor Scott,
Margaret Smallbone, Eileen Cox, Shirley Ferguson,
Nell Jones, Trish Wright, Anita Johns, Jenny Ross,
Cherry Ireland, Beryl Brien, Pat Cameron, Ethel Arm-
strong, Pam Davies, Sue Gerard, Carolyn Raymond.
Treasurer: Miss E Whitehead, Eileen Cox, Hazel
Fuhrmeister, Shirley Ferguson, Joan McLauchlan (or
McLaughlin), Joan Lees, Rosemary Cooper, Anita
Johns, Beryl Llewellyn, Pat Cameron, Merrill John-
ston, Edna South, Ethel Armstrong, Marion Jones,
Jane Macqueen, Heather Toms, Denise Rich.
Mission Secretary: Joyce Knife, Anne Connelly, Mar-
garet Pamphlet, Ena Sheumack, Annabel Gibson,
Joyce Elliot, Merrill Johnston, Michele Chidgey, Pat
Cameron, Ethel Armstrong, Elizabeth Crichton.
Publicity: Audrey Matthews, Michele Chidgey, Edna
South, Claudette Mogensen, Roma Durham, Pat
Cameron, Pam Davies, Michele Chidgey.
Mothers Union: Joyce Elliot, Jenny MacRobb, Marion
Jones, Jan Misiurka, Karin McKenzie.
Executive members: Beryl Brien, Heather Baker,
Roma Durham, Pat Cameron, Edna South, Margaret
Scott, Claudette Mogensen, Peggie Arthur, Jane Mac-
queen, Pam Davies, Marion White, Margaret Down,
Lynne Beaty, Denise Rich, Carolyn Raymond, Eliza-
beth Crichton.
Retreat organiser: Claudette Mogensen, Ethel Arm-
strong, Merrill Johnston, Jane Macqueen.
February 2012 Our Diocese - Clergy Ministries 9
The Gippsland Anglican
THE diocesan Theology
Working Group, established
as a result of Gippslands
Synod, is planning a series
of activities in 2012, follow-
ing the seminar in April
2011 with Reverend Dr
David Powys.
Readers of The Gippsland
Anglican and attendees at
Synod last year will remem-
ber the Primates presenta-
tion on the Anglican
Covenant and a listening
process. A further article
about the Listening Process
is on page 15 of this issue
of The Gippsland Anglican.
In July last year, Bishop
John McIntyre asked the
Theology Working Group to
oversee a Listening Process
within our diocese. The
group is convened by Dean
Dr Don Saines, with Mr
Peter Anderson, Archdea-
con Edie Ashley, Reverend
Bruce Charles, Rev. Greg
Magee, Canon Amy Turner
and Dr Colin Thornby.
The group aims to find a
way of implementing the
Listening Process, develop-
ing it as a model for use
when we encounter dis-
agreements in our life to-
gether and to provide
resources to support the lis-
tening process. Linked to
this is the provision of re-
sources to encourage us to
think about how we under-
stand and use the Bible.
The first event planned for
2012 will be led by Dean of
Trinity College Theological
School, Reverend Dr
Dorothy Lee, on the topic
How do we read the
Bible?; on July 7 in Drouin
and on July 8 at St Pauls
Cathedral, Sale.
Your prayers for the work
of the group and any feed-
back is welcome. You can
provide your feedback and
keep up-to-date with the
work of the group, at
Contributor: Don Saines

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Main Office:
176-178 Graham Street, Wonthaggi, 3995 Fax: (03) 5672 1747

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ABOVE: Enjoying the Christmas carol service at St Johns
Metung were Reverend Canon Barbara Logan and musi-
cians, Sarah Caddie and Ernie Walker.
Photo: Jacki Walker
BISHOP Alexis Bilind-
abagabo, of Gahini Diocese
in Rwanda, has been
elected President of The
Council of Protestant
Churches of Rwanda, a fel-
lowship of 23 Protestant
churches and Christian or-
ganisations. The CPR was
created in November 1962
to create a forum promot-
ing unity and cooperation
among the Protestant
churches of Rwanda and
has worked tirelessly to
promote healing, forgive-
ness and reconciliation
among all Rwandans, fol-
lowing the genocide of
It is respected by church
and government leaders for
its transparency, unity and
harmonious operations and
promoting the same across
all denominations and
Christian organisations.
In November last year,
Bishop Alexis visited Gipps-
land while in Australia. On
November 2, Bishop Alexis
visited Leongatha parish.
Bishop Alexis said his
motto is People before
Programs and his joy is to
be with people. That joy
was evident in the enthusi-
asm with which he spoke of
Gahini and the partnership
with Gippsland. He visited
us to celebrate with us and
to consider future directions
for the partnership.
Bishop Alexis urged Leon-
gatha parishioners to con-
sider June 2012 a perfect
time for a group to visit. In
the third week of June
there will be a large con-
vention in Gahini. The
bishop described the part-
nership between Gippsland
and Gahini dioceses as
friends walking together as
the Spirit leads, thanking
Gippslanders for their sup-
port through the provision
of cows for parish pastors,
and the Seeds of Peace
He said the 12 rooms now
completed at the guest
house and Conference Cen-
tre are just beautiful and
will be a big asset to the
diocese. Through small in-
vestments, we are able to
create assets, both material
and human, of great value.
Bishop Alexis commended
his book, Rescued by An-
gels, for anyone planning to
visit Rwanda. He said infant
mortality is falling, as very
few women now give birth
without medical assistance.
The Gahini hospital is one
of the oldest in the country,
built in 1822 and belongs to
the Anglican Church. It is in
great need of improvement
to its infrastructure, as the
government of Rwanda has
been concentrating its re-
sources on rebuilding its
own hospitals and schools.
Primary education is avail-
able to all and there is a
campaign to extend com-
pulsory education first to
nine years and later to 12
The Neighbours Eye pro-
gram identified 600 chil-
dren not attending school
and enabled them to re-
ceive an education. Bishop
Alexis is keen to extend a
sponsorship program, al-
ready operating in a small
way, where Gippslanders
assist Rwandan students
complete their secondary
education. (Reported in Oc-
tober 2011, December
2011 and back issues of
The Gippsland Anglican.)
Mission is not from north
to south or south to north,
but from everywhere to
everywhere, Bishop Alexis
said, telling us about his
son, studying at an Ameri-
can college, found there
was no Bible study group
on campus; so started one
himself. There are now 15
Bible study groups at that
college. The American stu-
dents have established a
project providing books to
schools in Gahini. Rwandan
students are also training to
go as missionaries to Tan-
Bishop Alexis and his wife
Grace have 12 children: six
biological and six adopted.
The genocide left Rwanda
with 400,000 orphans to
care for, so Bishop Alexis
began the Barakabaho
Foundation, which now
cares for 8000 children in
foster families and has pio-
neered trauma counselling
in the country. To lead by
example, the Bishop and
his wife adopted six or-
phans; they have five
grandchildren from their
adopted children.
Contributor: Heather Scott
ABOVE: Bishop Alexis with
Leongatha parishioners and
Reverend Janet Wallis.
Photo: Heather Scott
A journey begun in Febru-
ary 2008 ended in Novem-
ber 2011 for Reverend
Canon Barbara Logan and
Dr Colin Thornby when they
graduated from the Living
Well Centre for Christian
Spiritualitys four year for-
mation program for spiri-
tual directors.
Spiritual direction is a
ministry in which one per-
son, the spiritual director,
helps another, the directee,
become more aware of
Gods self-communication
in his or her life, respond to
this self-communication
and live out the gifts of that
relationship. Spiritual direc-
tion is a ministry in the
Church concerned with fa-
cilitating a persons growth
in intimacy with God which
leads, as a consequence, to
right relationship with all
creation. The ministry has a
long and revered history in
the Christian tradition and
has been practiced by lay
people, vowed religious and
ordained ministers.
During the program, Barb
and Colin worked with other
students to develop their
spiritual direction skills and
understand the large and
demanding body of knowl-
edge accompanying profes-
sional spiritual direction
Participants in the forma-
tion program gather to-
gether four times annually
and spend time listening to
lectures, reflecting on con-
tent, practising spiritual di-
rection skills and
developing a contemplative
awareness to inform their
ministry. Each participant
was closely supervised and
their vocation to the min-
istry of spiritual direction
discerned and affirmed.
During the year, each par-
ticipant was required to
submit reflective essays
demonstrating their devel-
opment and grappling with
the challenging material.
To successfully complete
Graduates theses commended
the program, Barb and
Colin each wrote a minor
thesis of 10,000 words,
taking their interests and
research and applying
these to the real practice of
spiritual direction. Barb
wrote on the vocation of
the parish priest as spiritual
direction and Colin wrote
on the spiritual journey of
the gay Christian. Barb and
Colin received praise for
their work and at the grad-
uation Eucharist, their vo-
cations as spiritual
directors were affirmed and
they were commended to
the care, support and su-
pervision of the leaders of
Gippsland Diocese.
Barb and Colin practice as
spiritual directors in Gipps-
land Diocese and are happy
to see any person who is
seeking direction. A num-
ber of other spiritual direc-
tors are also in ministry in
the diocese.
Alexis elected to
prestigious role
10 Our Diocese - Youth Ministries February 2012
The Gippsland Anglican
THE Dux of Gippsland
Grammar and the Dux of St
Pauls Anglican Grammar
School are looking forward
to careers in medicine,
along with some of their
contemporaries. Dux of
Gippsland Grammar, Lachie
Evans, of Bairnsdale,
achieved an ATAR score of
99.45 and accepted an offer
to study medicine at
Monash University this year.
Dux of St Pauls in War-
ragul, Sanamdeep Dhillon,
who received an ATAR score
of 99.5, will study medicine
at James Cook University,
with a focus on rural health.
Both students were school
prefects and combined busy
school lives, sport and in-
volvement in their commu-
nities with their secondary
Last years final VCE re-
sults were another strong
performance for Gippsland
Grammar. The schools
mean ATAR score was 77.8;
25 per cent of students ob-
tained an ATAR score of
more than 90, putting them
in the top 10 per cent of the
state; 71 per cent obtained
an ATAR score in excess of
70, placing them in the top
30 per cent; 96 per cent of
students placed in the top
50 per cent of Victorias
At St Pauls Anglican
Grammar School, the VCE
results are another strong
performance for the school;
10 per cent of students ob-
tained an ATAR score above
95, putting them in the top
five per cent of the state;
39 per cent obtained an
ATAR score above 80, plac-
ing them in the top 20 per
cent; 91 per cent of stu-
dents placed in the top 50
per cent.
The schools mean ATAR
score was an impressive
73. Four boys and two girls
obtained ATAR scores
above 98.
ABOVE: St Pauls Dux,
Sanamdeep Dhillon, with
principal, Ms Lisa Moloney.
Top students benefit from
Anglican school system
GFS honors Neils
20 years service
THE adult friends of GFS
Kidsplus+ Gippsland held a
thanksgiving service in No-
vember last year and made
a presentation to Reverend
Neil Thompson in apprecia-
tion of his 20 years service
as Chaplain to Gippsland
GFS, CEBS and Kidsplus+.
New diocesan GFS chair-
man, Lauren Jankovic, and
outgoing chairman, Mary
Nicholls, are pictured with
Neil at St Lukes Moe
(above).The plaque has the
GFS motto Bear one An-
others Burdens [Galatians
2] inscribed on the Gipps-
land red banksia wood.
During the service we
were pleased to welcome
Gippslands first male GFS
members to the fellowship
and national network.
In January this year, the
22nd National Council of
GFS Australia Inc (Kid-
splus+) was held at St
Catherines College Ned-
lands, Western Australia.
The Victorian contingent of
17 attendees included six
Gippslanders supporting
Lauren Jankovic of Moe
parish as she continued her
Junior delegate role on Aus-
tralian executive.
Lauren presented her re-
port presentation on her
2011 experience at World
Council in Ireland.
Bishop Kay Goldsworthy of
Perth presided at the open-
ing service held at St
Georges Cathedral. Na-
tional chaplain, Rev. Josie
Steytler, welcomed all to
seek ways to better serve in
our ministry to children,
youth and families.
We were implored to take
up the challenge of recog-
nising our God given gifts
(often recognised through
our passions) and en-
trusted to us to use in fur-
thering Gods kingdom. We
were challenged to use the
method which comes most
naturally to us, be it testi-
monial, confrontational, in-
tellectual, interpersonal,
serving and caring or invi-
tational. Be a, make a,
bring a friend we were en-
Business of the confer-
ence included highlights
from world, national and
diocesan reports. Such re-
ports help us recognise the
breadth and diversity in the
world wide ministry of GFS,
recognizing local needs and
making a response.
Solomon Islands was wel-
comed to GFS world mem-
bership. Solomon Islands
ministry to training women
for leadership commenced
through GFS Australia some
years ago; in January it
was accepted as the world
wide mission project. Fund-
ing will support a Train the
Trainer program over the
next three years and per-
sonnel, supported by
Grafton Diocese.
The 2008-2011 Papua
New Guinea world project,
providing training and pro-
duction of childrens min-
istry resources based on
the Lectionary, was com-
pleted thanks to Val Grib-
ble, Cheryl Selvege and
other GFS leaders.
Australian GFS has agreed
to finance followup training
and maintenance of the
GFS Training Community
Centre in Poppendetta.
In South Korea, the GFS
Caf Grace project has ex-
Photo: Annette Lade
continued next page
February 2012 Our Diocese - Youth, Family and Childrens Ministries 11
The Gippsland Anglican
from previous page
panded to two cafes, each
providing training and em-
ployment for North Korean
refugee girls.
GFS has commenced a
World Emergency Relief
Fund, inspired in reaction to
the Japan Tsunami around
the time of the last World
Council. The Australian
trading table at the Ireland
Council meeting raised
more than $1000 for the
Australian GFS is prepar-
ing a proposal to host the
2017 World Council in
National secretary of Cebs
The Anglican Boys Society,
Chris Oliver, reported on
current initiatives and vi-
sion for boys ministry and
Mothers Union Australia
vice chairman, Kaye Healy,
reported on MUs ministry,
much of which is comple-
mentary to our work among
women and girls.
Attendees at the gathering
were privileged to have the
services of Dr Jenny Bick-
more-Brand, who led us
through a series of work-
shops for ministry and per-
sonal growth. Initially we
were challenged to view our
ministrys statement of pur-
pose within a framework
which encouraged inten-
tional programs focusing on
God, self knowledge,
growth and community and
A consciousness and con-
tinual evaluation of our core
business, gifts, skills (trea-
sures) and new initiatives
was encouraged.
Jenny Bickmore-Brand led
us through personal reflec-
tions based on ideas from
Rick Warrens book, A Pur-
pose Driven Life. As individ-
uals, we were given space
to reflect on how God
shapes us for our ministry,
through our spiritual gifts,
heart, abilities, personality
and experience, SHAPE.
This conference can be
noted as one of the experi-
ences which has encour-
aged us for our ministry in
the diocese and beyond.
A social day out was much
enjoyed where an intro-
ductory DVD on the life and
tragic death of C Y OCon-
nor, engineer of Fremantle
harbour and the Western
Australia water pipeline.
This inspired the bus route.
The final service was held
at Swanbourne parish
where Bishop Goldsworthy
commissioned the new ex-
ecutive for the next trien-
nium. Ms Julie Smith,
current Tasmanian GFS
chairman, has been elected
as national chairman.
Our Gippsland council par-
ticipants, Gary Prosser,
Lauren Jankovic, Mary and
Graeme Nicholls, Dean and
Matthew Prosser were
greatly appreciative of the
encouragement and spon-
sorship received from Bal-
larat Diocese, State GFS,
Melbourne GFS and the Pat
Franklin Memorial fund.
Camp for kids
ALL boys and girls aged
between 6 and 18 years are
invited to join us at this
years diocesan Kidsplus+
camp. Application Forms
were sent to parishes last
November, however further
forms can be obtained from
secretary Carol Johnstone,
03 5174 4885 or Mary
Nicholls, 03 5127 2929.
The camp will be held
March 23 to 25; with a cost
of $120 per camper.
Parishes are asked to con-
sider potential participants
and approved group lead-
ers are most welcome to
attend with their members.
Offers of sponsorship of
children would be greatly
appreciated and enquiries
to obtain sponsorship are
welcome and should be for-
warded through the tele-
phone numbers above.
Contributor: Mary Nicholls
TOP: Victorian and Gipps-
land delegates at the Na-
tional Council of GFS
Australia, held in Western
Australia in January.
ABOVE: Lauren Jankovic,
Gippsland GFS chairman.
Photos: Mary Nicholls
RIGHT: The Christmas
services in Bairnsdale
parish were well attended;
the family service on
Christmas Eve popular, with
130 family members at-
tending. As well as carols,
there were readings with
children participating. The
lifelike figures of the nativ-
ity by the communion rail
added to the atmosphere at
the midnight Eucharist.
Photo: Judi Hogan
THE Crib service held at St
Pauls, Korumburra began
the Christmas celebrations
with about 140 parents and
children present to partici-
pate in the presentation of
the Christmas story.
Carol singing opened the
service and then Santa ar-
rived and gave each child a
candle. He then sat down
and began to tell his elves
about the true meaning of
Christmas. At intervals in
the story, while appropriate
carols were sung, children
brought parts of the nativ-
ity scene (right) and put
them in place in the stable
at the front of the church.
When this was complete,
Santa told the elves they
needed to give their hearts
to Jesus (below right).
They were a bit reluctant,
trying to leave their hearts
by the manger, but when
they moved away their
hearts came with them. Fi-
nally Santa had to use his
special scissors to cut the
strings tying up their hearts
and so the elves were able
to give their hearts to
Jesus. In return Jesus gave
them new hearts filled with
love; these on the night
came in the form of choco-
late hearts which the elves
handed to each person as
they left the church at the
conclusion of the service.
Photos: Lyn Gilbert
AT St Marys Morwell, the
Sunday School involved
many children in an involv-
ing play, led by Reverend
Joedy Meers, about the
Christmas story; the star
role was the innkeeper.
Everyone in the congrega-
tion helped the child actors,
supplying sound effects for
the story, such as the
knocking on the door and
the innkeepers snoring.
For some years, St Marys
has hosted the Carols by
Candlelight for the city of
Morwell. The parish is sup-
ported by Rotary which
supplies a barbecue, so
people can meet for a meal
before the carols.
At the childrens service
on Christmas Eve, children
dressed as shepherds, wise
men and angels. The fig-
ures of Joseph and Mary
walked around the church
on their way to Bethlehem.
The service finished with a
modern rendition of the 12
Days of Christmas in which
children held up number
Contributor: C Raymond
Christmas among the parishes
12 Our Diocese - Family and Childrens Ministries February 2012
The Gippsland Anglican
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facilities available
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Bain M and Horton L (2011) Me Too! Plan-
ning, starting and running a ministry with
children. RRP $25.
By Jo White
ME Too! is a training program designed for small
churches to prepare for or enhance their ministry
to children. Me Too! is presented as two CDs so ac-
cess to a computer and some simple computer
skills are needed to use this training tool.
Disc one contains all the video presentations for
the program while disc two conveniently provides
all the documents needed to run the training pro-
gram. It is simply a matter of loading the disc, se-
lecting the document, printing a copy and
photocoping the materials for each session.
Disc two also provides material for Gods Big Res-
cue, a 14 week Childrens Ministry Program. This
program does not need many leaders or elaborate
resources and could be used as a holiday program,
on camp or as an afterschool program.
The first thing you notice about the video pre-
sentations, is these are Australian presenters. Matt
Bain and Libby Horton present their ideas clearly
without resorting to fancy tricks or flash graphics.
Its like having the best trainer come to your
The downside is you cannot ask questions. The
upside is you can replay what they said and work
through suggested outcomes together, while build-
ing a strong sense of ownership and team work.
Each training module (of which there are six)
takes about one-and-a-half hours to complete and
includes times for the practical application of new
learning. The material is based on sound educa-
tion principles and Biblical examples. The presen-
tation of ideas respects the children to whom the
ministry is directed and those undertaking train-
ing. At every step, projected outcomes are pro-
vided and good clear summaries help reinforce
The material is broken up by visuals and activi-
ties, provided via participant worksheets. Each
module builds on the previous one, so it is impor-
tant those who decide to serve God as childrens
ministers are able to commit to six sessions. Doing
the activities together will help build a strong and
supportive team but, if someone was unable to at-
tend a session, they could catch up on their own.
I particularly liked the Ministry Environment Audit
(module two), a challenging activity but one offer-
ing a chance for those involved to discuss and
record how they wish to minister; what that might
look like in their context; what the current ministry
is like; and what needs to change.
Having things like this written down provides a
great evaluation tool and an excellent motivation
to effect change and celebrate achievements.
The leaders notes are extremely thorough. It is
important as a leader to prepare well so everything
runs smoothly. This material is fool proof. Every-
thing has been carefully set out so the leader
knows exactly what will be required prior to each
training session. This kind of detail gives anyone
the support they might need to confidently lead
the training course.
The expected outcomes set the scene for each
session. A list of needs sets out everything the
leader will require, right down to paper and pen-
cils; you could use this list as a checklist or even
delegate this part of the preparation. I really liked
how the leaders preparation included a list of
things to pray for.
The session agenda which follows these prepara-
tions is set out, including when to play and when
to stop the DVD, as well as little suggestions to ei-
ther farewell the group or (if you are continuing on
to module two) direct the group to refreshments
and a break.
The participants handouts follow the same for-
mat as the leaders notes. They include expected
outcomes and activity instructions identical to
those contained in the leaders notes. Activities re-
quiring written responses are carefully set out so
participants are guided to review and reinforce
new learning. These handouts are an essential part
of the training program but also offer a way to take
home and review learning.
Again, there are suggestions for prayer at the end
of each session. For example, pray for children you
know and the ministry you hope to have to and
pray with them.
Both the leaders notes and the participants
handouts are clearly set out with the minimum use
of colour so printing costs are kept low.
Gods Big Rescue is a separate childrens ministry
program, serving as an example of what can be
done following the training program offered in Me
Too! The program offers a very quick summary of
salvation history. It chooses key stories in the
overall flow of the Bible to help young people trace
the great themes of Gods ownership of the world
and the work of salvation through Jesus.
The purchase of the Me Too! Package allows free
use of Gods Big Rescue for the purposes of Chris-
tian ministry within the context for which it was
originally purchased; however it cannot be
changed, modified or claimed as your own. Within
this context, owners of Me Too! can make unlim-
ited copies of the files provided.
This program is again clear and beautifully set out
step by step. Pictures, games and stories are pro-
vided in full. Suggestions for songs are also pro-
vided; largely from Colin Buchanan, an Australian
Christian musician whose CDs are easily available.
Each session includes introductory questions, a
kind of attention grabber; a time to pray; a game,
usually chosen to support the theme a song (if
you have a live musician, so much the better); a
story, presented in a variety of ways throughout
the program; a skit or a dramatised interview, the
script for which is included in full; an activity, the
materials are not too difficult to come by; a time to
review with a quick quiz; and a time to pray and
farewell the children.
The 14 sessions include 12 sessions for children
and two sessions for parents or carers to attend.
This would be a great time to celebrate and link
the children and their families into whatever else is
happening in the life of your local ministry setting.
Color-in picture:
Mary Jones and her bible
Copyright: Bible Society of Australia
Childrens ministry
February 2012 Our Diocese - Missions and Ministries 13
The Gippsland Anglican
THE Anam Cara Commu-
nitys mission is to provide
support, fellowship and re-
sources for those who are
making the inner journey
into God. Each year, a num-
ber of events are held on a
Saturday across the diocese
and in Canberra. These
events are designed for pil-
grims to come together,
learn and encounter God.
Everyone is welcome to at-
tend any event and infor-
mation about membership
of the community is avail-
able at an event or on the
website www.anamcara-
The first event for 2012
will be held on Saturday,
March 11, at Christ Church
Drouin, learning about the
way of Christian medita-
tion. The day will be pre-
sented by Ms Ruth Fowler, a
senior teacher from the
Australian Christian Medita-
tion Community.
Ruth was the co-founder
of the Christian meditation
community in Australia in
1985 and led the commu-
nity in its formative early
years. She is national coor-
dinator of the School for
Christian Meditation and in
this capacity has presented
School weekends in Aus-
tralia and New Zealand.
She also contributes at an
international level as a
member of the Interna-
tional Resource Group of
The School to develop re-
sources for the WCCM. Ruth
leads a meditation group
and has given many pre-
sentations to groups inter-
ested in Christian
She has lived in western
and eastern monastic set-
tings and is interested in
the points of meeting be-
tween the two.
Everyone is welcome to
attend this activity, begin-
ning at 9.30am with re-
freshments and concluding
with worship at 4pm. Atten-
dees should bring their own
lunch. Tea and coffee sup-
plied. A small donation of
$5 or $10 is suggested. For
further information, contact
Colin Thornby, email
nity.org or telephone 0403
Meditation is a universal
spiritual wisdom and a
practice we find at the core
of all the great religious tra-
ditions, leading from the
mind to the heart. It is a
way of simplicity, silence
and stillness.
It can be practised by any-
one from wherever they are
on their lifes journey. It is
only necessary to be clear
about the practice and then
to begin; and keep on be-
In Christianity, this tradi-
tion became marginalised
and even forgotten or sus-
pect. In recent times, re-
covery of the contemplative
dimension of Christian faith
has been happening. Cen-
tral to this is rediscovery of
a practice of meditation in
the Christian tradition that
comes to us from the early
Christian monks, the Desert
Fathers and Mothers and al-
lows us to put into practice
the teaching of Jesus on
prayer in a radical and sim-
ple way.
John Main, a Roman
Catholic Benedictine monk,
has a major role in this con-
temporary renewal of the
contemplative tradition. His
teaching of this ancient tra-
dition of prayer is rooted in
the Gospels and the early
Christian monastic tradition
of the Desert.
Meditation has the capac-
ity to open up the common
ground between all cultures
and faiths today. What
makes meditation Chris-
tian? Firstly, the faith with
which you meditate, some
sense of personal connec-
tion with Jesus; then the
historical scriptural and the-
ological tradition in which
we meditate.
Also, the sense of commu-
nity it leads to: when two
or three pray together in
my name, I am there
among them; the other
means by which our spiri-
tual life is nourished, the
other forms of prayer like
scripture, sacraments and
worship. Meditation does
not replace other forms of
prayer. Quite the reverse; it
revives their meaning.
Finally, but also primarily,
we meditate to take the at-
tention off ourselves. In the
Christian tradition it is seen
as a work of love. It is not
surprising then if we find
we become more loving
people as a result of medi-
tating and this will express
itself in all our relation-
ships, our work and our
sense of service especially.
Meditation helps people of
all ages and cultures find a
simple and practical way to
awaken and deepen their
spiritual life. Children can
and do meditate and their
example shows us all how
simple and natural it is.
Contributor: Colin Thornby
Anam Cara
ABOVE: Church records
dating back to the 1870s
and all handwritten are now
converted into digital im-
ages, thanks to collabora-
tion between St Phillips
Anglican Church, Phillip Is-
land and District Genealog-
ical Society and Phillip
Island Historical Society. A
valuable archive of all An-
glican church baptisms,
marriages and burials are
now preserved onto com-
puter discs. David Rathgen
delivered a copy of these
records to Margaret Han-
cock, secretary, St Phillips
church and John Jansson
of Phillip Island Historical
Society. Other church
records will be similarly
recorded in due course. All
enquiries for family tree re-
search are welcome by the
Phillip Island Genealogical
Society on 59523736 or pi-
Contributor: D. Rathgen
ABOVE: At a Mothers Union working bee at Warragul, be-
fore Christmas, Jeanette Blackstock, Jenny MacRobb,
Hazel Carne, Jan Osborne and Ethel Armstrong wrapped
dolls and gifts for Anglicare. Some dolls were new, some
preloved and renovated. The dolls are hopefully to go to
Sudanese refugees.
Photo: Bev Foster
Reaching out

CHURCHES across Aus-
tralia gave generously to
the Christmas Bowl, help-
ing rebuild communities
and save lives in some of
the most conflict-ravaged
regions of the world. The
Christmas Bowl is the an-
nual program of Act for
Peace, the international aid
agency of the National
Council of Churches in Aus-
tralia. Funds raised will
support Act for Peaces
partners who are helping
more than one million peo-
ple affected by conflict
Churches in Victoria and
Tasmania have thrown their
support behind the Christ-
mas Bowl. The Brighton
Covenant Churches, a
group of Anglican, Catholic,
Uniting, Churches of Christ,
Baptist and Assemblies of
God churches in suburban
Melbourne, have for eight
years held a street collec-
tion outside the local super-
market in Brighton, with
volunteers from each
church collecting donations.
Act for Peace executive di-
rector, Alistair Gee, said:
In 2012, thanks to the
Christmas Bowl, Act for
Peace will be able to imple-
ment food security pro-
grams in Zimbabwe,
provide health care in re-
mote northern Pakistan,
support refugees living in
camps along the Thailand
Burma border and more.
to the Bowl
14 Our Diocese - Celebrating Ordained Women February 2012
The Gippsland Anglican
By Jeanette Severs
REVEREND Elizabeth Al-
fred, born in 1914, was just
17 years old when she felt
Gods call to ministry. This
was at a time when the op-
tions for women in general
in society and in the Angli-
can Church in Australia
were limited.
Elizabeth thought to live a
life of ministry in the
church, for example, as a
curate, meant she would
have to marry a clergyman.
Elizabeth Alfred went on to
be an inspiration to other
women with her courage
and commitment and, 20
years ago in December,
1992, she was the first
woman ordained priest in
the Anglican church in Vic-
Elizabeth Alfred was born
and raised a country girl.
She was born in Yarra-
wonga and moved with her
family to Bairnsdale when
she was three years old.
Elizabeth completed her
primary schooling in Bairns-
dale, graduating as equal
dux of Bairnsdale Primary
School (754) at the end of
grade six when she was 10.
Elizabeth was one of six
girls, with an older brother,
and the family worshipped
at St Johns Bairnsdale,
where Elizabeth joined the
I went to Sunday school
and church. I loved singing
the canticles and psalms.
When I was nine and a half,
I decided I would go to
church every Sunday and
sing in the choir, she said.
Elizabeths father, a bank
manager, was also choir
master and both parents
were very involved in the
The family moved to
Bendigo after Elizabeth
completed primary school,
where they joined the All
Saints parish. She joined
the brownies troupe of St
Pauls Anglican church in
Bendigo, progressing to
guides at All Saints when
she was 14.
Elizabeths continued as a
guide well into her adult-
hood, eventually serving a
number of years on State
I found guiding a wonder-
fully fulfilling life, like my
work in ministry, she said
When she was 18, her fa-
ther retired and the family
moved to Melbourne. Eliza-
beth, as already men-
tioned, felt a strong calling
to ministry, but did not feel
called to be a missionary or
to the sisterhood of the
Community of the Holy
Name. Nor did she feel a
call to the work of Dea-
She applied for nursing. In
the meantime, she was of-
fered a role as typist at Girl
Guides headquarters in
Melbourne and took this up,
rejecting an offer to train as
a nurse.
The family joined the con-
gregation of St Johns East
Malvern, when Elizabeth
joined the choir and be-
came part of St Johns fel-
lowship, a congregation of
young people worshipping
in St Johns East Malvern
and in Latrobe Street in the
She recalls during this
time her spiritual life was
developing deeply. Then,
several people said signifi-
cant things either to her or
in her hearing.
In one conversation with
Mrs Baker, the wife of the
then Bishop of Bendigo
again urged Elizabeth to
speak to Deaconess Kath-
leen. Percy Baldwin, chap-
lain at St Johns East
Malvern, in an address said,
if you are a Christian, you
should be doing a job that
is worthwhile, making a dif-
ference. Canon Hudson, of
St Pauls Cathedral in Mel-
bourne, preached that
sometimes you have got to
take your courage in both
Elizabeth was running a
guide company and had
completed the first year of
a ThA at Ridley, with the
encouragement of Padre
Gordon. She knew she did
not feel called to being a
sister of the Community of
the Holy Name and had her
doubts about being a Dea-
coness. She found out from
Deaconess Kathleen what
deaconess students were
I felt God wanted me to
do this work, such as parish
visiting and running youth
groups, she said.
I applied for and was ac-
cepted as a student at Dea-
coness House and
continued studying the sec-
ond year of the ThA.
At the end of my first
year in Deaconess House,
they wondered what to do
with me. Normally, a
woman would study the
two years of the ThA during
her training at Deaconess
House, but here was I, hav-
ing completed it at the end
of my first year. So they
sent me off to Ridley to
study the ThL.
At about the time she was
graduating from the degree
three years later, Melbourne
University began a course
for youth leaders.
Elizabeth was enrolled and
took up one more year of
training. At this time she
was already working as a
training womens worker at
St Marks Fitzroy.
She felt an ambition to be
a professional youth leader
in the Anglican church but
eventually answered Gods
call to be a Deaconess and
was ordained in 1944. She
spent the next three years
at St Marks and remem-
bers her admiration for the
most remarkable people in
Her life in ministry contin-
ued in Melbourne diocese,
with only two years else-
where; one year in England
as a tutor in missionary
work and one year in
Bendigo teaching Divinity at
Girton Grammar College.
(Elizabeth is now the old-
est living ex-Girtonian.)
Battle begins
AS the poem states There
was movement at the sta-
tion ... and internationally
the movement was for the
ordination of women in the
Anglican Church (or Church
of England). The first
woman to be ordained a
priest occurred in Hong
Kong, although there was
very quick pressure applied
to the Bishop to reverse the
In England, women began
to believe they could be or-
dained to the three-fold
In the 1960s, Archbishop
Woods called together a
committee, chaired by
Bishop Muston and peopled
by Elizabeth, in her role as
principal of Deaconess
House, the Reverend
Mother of the Order of the
Holy Name and others.
Thats when the battle
began in earnest in Mel-
bourne. We began to be-
lieve women could become
deacons, she said.
Bishop Muston travelled to
England and took some
personal time to speak with
other Bishops and learn
about the Movement for the
Ordination of Women
He returned to Australia
and said we need to be pre-
pared to push for women to
be ordained priests.
Melbourne Synod was only
prepared to accept Dea-
conesses if they sat in the
House of Laity. Elizabeth re-
members feeling angry
about this as she knew the
Deaconesses in Gippsland
sat in the House of Clergy.
The Archbishop wanted to
recommend a reluctant
Elizabeth be elected to
But Bishop Arnott said it
was the only way at the
time for the Deaconesses to
have a voice and it was im-
portant women were repre-
sented, and Elizabeth
agreed. She was one of two
women at Synod and joined
MOW, which was growing in
(Bishop Arnott had taken
the position of Bishop Mus-
ton, who had moved to
Perth, Western Australia.)
During this time, Eliza-
beth, in her role as principal
of Deaconess House, usu-
ally supervised five trainee
Deaconesses but the size of
the building meant they
could take in boarders.
From her nine years in the
role, Elizabeth remembers
women who were kinder-
garten teachers, a woman
from Korea and one from
Zimbabwe who were study-
ing other courses and two
domestic science teachers
from Tanzania who were
studying for post graduate
qualifications at Emily
McPherson College.
Elizabeth negotiated for
teachers to travel to Dea-
coness House from the uni-
versity in Parkville, rather
than the Deaconesses
travel from Fairfield, which
was a fair distance.
After nine years, Elizabeth
had completed an addi-
tional CPE qualification and
sought advice on where her
vocation lay, as she felt her
time as principal of Dea-
coness House needed to
come to an end.
I had this feeling within
me that God wanted me to
move on.
In 1970, Elizabeth began
working as a full time chap-
lain at Royal Womens Hos-
pital in Melbourne. She felt
comfortable in this role but
uncomfortable with how
she was being treated.
It took them about a year
to make up their minds
they would have me, she
I convinced them my role
was to listen, not preach.
(Fortunately, Elizabeth sat
next to a hospital board
member at lunch one day
and this woman explained
why they were unsure of
her; it was because they
thought she might interfere
with the doctors work and
pray over the patients. Eliz-
abeth was able to reassure
the board and everyone re-
laxed about having a chap-
lain in the hospital.)
Wish granted
ELIZABETH retired on Jan-
uary 10, 1979 but main-
tained an active interest in
MOW, which had become
nationwide by this time,
and the politics of ordaining
When the decision was fi-
nally made to ordain
women as deacons, Eliza-
beth was quick to ask the
Archbishop to include her.
Because I had been
working so hard for it, for
so long and I realised God
was calling me to this, she
I spoke to Archbishop
Penman about my wish to
be ordained and how I felt
that if I came out about
this, other women would
feel inspired in seeking to
be ordained.
On June 2, 1986, Elizabeth
was the second woman in
the first group of women to
be ordained deacon in Vic-
toria. The first woman was
Marjory McGregor, who was
the senior Deaconess at the
The first group of women
were all Deaconesses, ex-
cept Kate Proud who was a
ministry student. (Kate was
ordained at the same time
as her husband, Roger.)
The other women were
Olive Dyson, Kay Goldswor-
thy (now Bishop of Perth,
WA), Angela Carter, Carlie
Hannah and Bessie Pereira.
Six years later, however,
Elizabeth Alfred had the
distinction of being the first
woman ordained priest in
Victoria, on December 13,
(I interviewed Elizabeth in
January this year, after she
turned 98, and I found her
a delightful, articulate,
humerous woman, still pas-
sionate about women in
ministry. She said she prays
every Tuesday for the
women clergy of the Gipps-
land Diocese and Dea-
coness Nancy Drew.)
ABOVE: Reverend Elizabeth
Alfred in June last year at
the 25 year celebration in
Melbourne of the first
women ordained deacon.
Photo: Anglican Media
A priest with courage and commitment
February 2012 Our Diocese - Faith Issues 15
The Gippsland Anglican
By Dr Don Saines
and Dr Colin Thornby
church has been a common
experience throughout its
history. One only has to
read the Hebrew Scripture
to realise differences of
opinion and practice pre-
date the coming of Christ.
Most of our Christian theol-
ogy was sharpened, and
often changed, in the face
of controversy and debate,
especially as these related
to our understanding of the
nature of Gods saving
grace through Christ in the
Very early, the church had
to come to terms with an
encounter with different
people and different cul-
tural practice. The Apostle
Peters God-given vision
opens the way for a more
expansive understanding of
the people of God; but
Peter took some convinc-
ing. When he hears the tes-
timony of the Roman
centurion Cornelius, his
conclusion is: God has
shown me that I should not
call anyone profane or un-
clean [Acts 10.28].
Controversies have contin-
ued, including over the date
of Easter, the role of the
Pope, the nature of the
church, the nature of Jesus,
the forms of ministry and
so on. In more modern
times, we are familiar with
significant controversies
over the ministry of women
in the church and the pas-
toral care of divorced peo-
ple. The use of
contraception for birth con-
trol, we might be surprised
to realise, was a key ethical
issue frowned upon by the
Lambeth gathering of Angli-
can Bishops until the mid-
20th century and later.
Some of the issues in the
life of the Church are small
and are, perhaps, matters
over which we can agree to
disagree; they are things
that do not make a differ-
ence to the heart of our
Christian faith (for which
the term in Greek is adi-
aphora). Part of the prob-
lem the church has is
defining what things might
be termed adiaphora and
about which Christians can
legitimately disagree while
remaining in fellowship. A
key issue in our discern-
ment here is the way we
read and interpret the
At present, there are a
number of issues causing
division, pain and disorder
in the life of the church. The
place of people in the
church who are of homo-
sexual orientation has been
and remains an issue for
some within the church and
has been an issue that has
caused hurt and division
within our Anglican Com-
munion. At the core of this
difference is the disagree-
ment about the nature of
the Bible and the ways it
can be interpreted and
The 1998 Lambeth confer-
ence has been for Anglicans
something of a watershed
in this matter of difference
and fellowship. At this 1998
conference, the issues of
same sex unions and atti-
tudes within the church to
people of homosexual ori-
entation led to a special
commission set up by the
Archbishop of Canterbury
on how to deal with diver-
sity and conflict.
This has led to the devel-
opment of the Anglican
Communion Covenant cur-
rently being considered by
Anglican provinces around
the world. It grows out of a
realisation that, as a
church, we need to grow in
our relationship, trust and
responsibility to each other.
A decade later, at the 2008
Lambeth Conference, in re-
sponse to high levels of
conflict and discord, the
bishops present committed
themselves to a process de-
signed to provide a theolog-
ical way of exploring the
issues and seeking the
common mind of the
church. This way is known
as the Listening Process
and although it is com-
monly thought of only in
connection with questions
about homosexual people,
it is, in fact, a communica-
tion process about which
we can all learn. This very
much echoed the call in
2003 by the Archbishop of
Cape Town, who pleaded
for an ethic of together-in-
There is in this listening
process a strong Christian
ethic; though not limited or
unique to Christians, of
course. It can be thought of
as a helpful and healthy
way of being in community
or in relationship with oth-
ers more generally.
Too often our communica-
tion as Christians has in-
strumental value at its fore;
what we can get out of it or
achieve in terms of what we
think is right or wrong. No
marriage or friendship will
ever survive this way of re-
The listening process is a
respectful way of encoun-
tering the world and
thought of another person
or group to whom you are
listening and, correspond-
ingly, a commitment on
their part of encountering
your world and thought.
There is no presumption
the process will result in
agreement or disagree-
ment, it is simply an at-
tempt to be present
together, honestly, respect-
fully and empathetically.
It is designed to bring
people together, asking
questions such as What
would I feel in that situa-
tion?, What would I have
done? How does that per-
son think, what is her world
view? rather than, How
can I counter that argu-
The listening process is
therefore not a debate. It is
a meeting of people, not an
attempt to persuade or
seek a compromise. It is
also not intended to define
theology or win the theo-
logical argument. Anglicans
do theology through the
lens of Bible, tradition and
We also, today, add expe-
rience and learning from
the human sciences as part
of our understanding of
reason. All this goes toward
our Anglican way of inter-
preting scripture and of
doing theology.
Anglicans have a high doc-
trine of scripture but we
have a living faith and An-
glicans have always held
the view the church is the
guardian and interpreter
of holy scripture. Scripture
is never to be viewed in iso-
lation from a community of
interpretation. Our commu-
nity listening may influence
theology and, inevitably,
will change the way we
speak in different times and
contexts about Gods great
love for the world.
In July last year Bishop
John McIntyre asked the
Theology Working Group in
this diocese to oversee a
listening process within
Gippsland Diocese. The
Group is convened by Dean
Dr Don Saines and includes
Mr Peter Anderson,
Archdeacon Edie Ashley,
Reverend Bruce Charles,
Rev. Greg Magee, Canon
Amy Turner and Dr Colin
Thornby. The aim of the
group is to find a way of im-
plementing the listening
process and developing it
as a model for us to use
when we encounter dis-
agreements in our life to-
The group has met twice
and is planning to run a se-
ries of events throughout
2012 and provide resources
to support the listening
process. Linked to this is
the provision of resources
to encourage us to think
about how we understand
and use the Bible.
Your prayers for the work
of the group is welcome, as
will any feedback you have.
Further reading:
Philip Groves (ed) (2007)
The Anglican Communion
and Homosexuality: A Re-
source to enable listening
and dialogue; London:
Introduction by Michael
Kirby, foreword by Bill
Countryman (2011) Five
Uneasy Pieces: Essays on
Scripture and Sexuality;
Adelaide: ATF.
Church of Australia Doc-
trine Panel; Faithfulness in
Fellowship: Reflections on
Homosexuality and the
Church: Papers from the
Doctrine Panel of the Angli-
can Church of Australia.
Listening in Gippsland
THE Listening Process within the
Anglican Communion is available
online for study, at
http://www. angl i cancommu-
The Gippsland Anglican briefly
outlines the content of these on-
line pages, particularly for readers
without access to the internet. In
the online pages you will find re-
sources to assist your church in
the commitment of the Anglican
Communion to listen to the expe-
rience of gay and lesbian people.
The pages also contain a sum-
mary of the work of monitoring the
response of the provinces of the
Communion to the commitment
made by bishops at the 1998 Lambeth Conference to lis-
ten to homosexual persons. These summaries were pre-
pared in 2007.
There is also an introduction to the work of Mutual Lis-
tening requested by ACC-13 and following ACC14 being
taken forward in Continuing Indaba.
What is on these pages?
What is the Listening Process?: This page sets out an un-
derstanding of what is meant by a Listening Process in
general terms. It encourages you to be involved where
you are. You can also refer to chapters one and two of The
Anglican Communion and Homosexuality.
Listening to the experience of gay and lesbian people:
This page sets out some general principles for listening to
the experience of homosexual persons; a commitment
made on behalf of the Anglican Communion by the bish-
ops at the 1998 Lambeth Conference. You can also refer
to chapters two, six and seven of The Anglican Commun-
ion and Homosexuality.
Practical advice: This section offers some practical ad-
vice for those seeking to commit themselves to listening
to the experience of gay and lesbian people. You can also
refer to chapter two of The Anglican Communion and Ho-
The Anglican Communion and Homosexuality: These
pages support the book published by SPCK in 2008; it of-
fers resources and insights from across the Communion.
It has been commended by a wide range of people and is
a unique resource for listening. The webpages offer the
introduction to the book in full and each chapter, bibli-
ographies and additional resources linked to source texts.
Contributions from around the world: These pages have
contributions submitted to the ACO office from around the
world and allow you to hear the voices of a number of per-
spectives. You can also refer to chapters three, four, five
and eight of The Anglican Communion and Homosexual-
Reports from the Provinces: These pages present the re-
sult of the monitoring process of 2006. Provinces were
asked to summarise how they responded to the commit-
ment of their bishops to listen to the experience of ho-
mosexual persons. The agreed summaries were published
in 2007 and are available on these pages.
Mutual Listening: ACC-13 asked the Communion Office
to facilitate mutual listening. ACC14 endorsed the Con-
tinuing Indaba project as a practical response to this re-
quest. Continuing Indaba is a journey of conversation to
strengthen relationships for mission. Continuing Indaba
has its own section on the Communion Website.
The Listening Process
16 Our Diocese - Faith Issues February 2012
The Gippsland Anglican
Col, Pal & Brad Semmens
~Servicing Gippsland~
Maffra 5147 1954
Sale 5144 1954
Heyfield 5148 3354
24 Hour Service
Our Family Caring For Your Family Since 1979
Brad Pal Col
Perspective ...
on being Australian
By Sue Jacka
WE have just celebrated
Australia Day. What does
being Australian mean to
My father grew up in a mi-
grant family. His parents
left England with one young
son and, although my fa-
ther was born here, he was
very conscious of England
as home.
He had no relatives in Aus-
tralia until his uncles fam-
ily migrated after my father
was already married.
Dad encouraged me to be-
friend migrant children,
who were always welcome
at our place. My life was en-
riched as I experienced
Greek dancing, sampled
Erikas Jewish treats at
school (I lived in Ormond)
and helped classmate Mark
from Poland (now a doctor)
with his English grammar.
I grew, along with Aus-
tralian society, because we
opened our neighborhoods
and our lives to these im-
migrants. We know how
much they have con-
tributed to our nation, in
wealth, cultural diversity
and compassion.
In Gippsland, our farming
and mining communities
particularly benefitted
greatly from the contribu-
tions of people who were
born across the seas. Aus-
tralians have always said
we value giving people a
fair go and want to see a
just and compassionate so-
Many would see our coun-
try is based on Christian
values of Jesus golden rule,
Do unto others as you
would have them do to
you. As ambassadors of
Jesus in our churches and
local communities, we are
called to speak out the
Gospel in our everyday
I recently read a damning
article from a Christian psy-
chologist who worked at
the Woomera Immigration
centre about the way our
current detention policies
add further damage to
Lyn Blender writes: I wit-
nessed riots, hunger
strikes, escapes, attempted
suicides (including by chil-
dren as young as 10 years
old) and depression so pro-
found as to render the suf-
ferer mute and inert.
I sat in the dust with de-
tainees and heard acounts
of war, persecution, torture
and loss.
It was clear this environ-
ment was re-traumatising
and toxic. No treatment
could neutralise this im-
pact. What was needed by
detainees was normal life.
From her experience, Lyn
Blender writes that asylum
seekers display uncommon
resilience and courage; a
different image than that
the media often portrays in
its quest to sell a sensa-
tional story. Blender con-
cludes that refugees need
to be accorded their legal
rights under the refugee
convention and to receive
justice and respect rather
than their current treat-
You can read (or listen to)
the full article at www.eu-
rekastreet.com.au January
9, 2012 edition.
As I pondered this report,
I wondered how many of
the migrant families I grew
up with would have been
locked up while they were
processed. Would they
have been able to over-
come these additional prob-
lems caused by detention
to contribute positively to
our community?
How do we respond as
people who seek to follow
Jesus? For those of us from
parishes where there are
few recent arrivals, perhaps
we can partner with
parishes that have mem-
bers for whom this is first
hand experience. Maybe in
the listening and under-
standing, we can open our-
selves to where the Spirit is
leading us.
By David Pettett
CLARA is a widow aged in her early
nineties who lives in her own home, is an
active member of her local church and reg-
ularly connects with her adult family. For
many years, Clara visited prisons and sup-
ported the families of prisoners. She now
attends a regular hospital outpatient clinic.
Clara and her therapist were talking as
she went through her exercises. She asked
him if he was born overseas or in Australia.
His family is from the Middle East but he
was born here, attending a Catholic school.
The therapist asked Clara what she
thought of the boat people issue. Clara
said: I think they should be processed in
Australia. He replied he thought so and
asked why Clara was so supportive of
mainland processing.
Clara replied: I guess we are like the
older brother in the parable of the prodigal
son. God has given to us everything we
need so generously. We live in this beauti-
ful land with food, clothing and shelter. The
elder brother did not want to share any of
the Fathers things with his brother when
he came back. If we dont let other people
in and share it, well, they might never
know peace or have enough food and they
may never hear the Gospel of Jesus or
know its freedom; and if we close our
doors, well, they might never hear it.
Clara calls this chattering the Gospel, en-
gaging in conversation about current is-
sues and referring to the Gospel without
needing to kick goals.
Source: Southern Cross, December 2011
Chattering the Gospel
TWENTY women from
countries including Aus-
tralia, Bangladesh, Uganda
and India will visit the An-
glican United Nations Office
(AUNO) next month to en-
gage with the UNs 56th
Commission on the Status
of Women, which this year
has empowerment of rural
women as its priority
Members of the Anglican
Communion have always
been involved with speak-
ing out for and with those
suffering injustice and the
effects of poverty, said
Rachel Chardon, Special
Assistant at the Anglican
United Nations Office.
Increasingly Anglicans
around the world are recog-
nising they share particular
issues common to all their
provinces: promoting birth
registration, the impact of
climate change and envi-
ronmental degradation, the
abuse of women and girls.
One key Communion-
wide initiative, endorsed by
a range of Primates and
bishops, including the Arch-
bishop of Canterbury, is the
campaign to end sexual vi-
olence. Anglicans and Epis-
copalians worldwide are al-
ready working with other
Christian traditions and the
World Council of Churches
to address violence against
The International Anglican
Womens Network (IAWN)
is helping to promote this
initiative, one aiming to end
an abuse affecting people
worldwide. The Interna-
tional Anglican Family Net-
work (IAFN) is focussing on
tackling violence within
At an event hosted by
AUNO, the Anglican women
will hear a presentation on
the latest developments in
the campaign by the Angli-
can Communion Offices
Networks coordinator, Rev-
erend Terrie Robinson.
Other speakers include
provincial delegate Canon
Jill Hopkinson, who is the
National Rural Officer for
the Church of England.
Another topic for discus-
sion is the urgent need for
clean, safe, sufficient water
for all. Global water re-
sources continue to be de-
pleted due to rising global
temperatures, pollution and
unsustainable extraction
from rivers and deep water
Commodification of water
restricts access for vulnera-
ble communities and
causes ecological harm in
the name of profit.
The Anglican UN Office
and Anglican Communion
Environmental Network are
pursuing a program of edu-
cation and advocacy around
these issues.
Other topics to be dis-
cussed at the event include
IAFNs emerging initiative
to promote universal birth
registration, empowering
women and girls and the
scourge of human traffick-
Note: The women attend-
ing are from Australia,
Bangladesh, Burundi,
Canada, Haiti, Japan,
Kenya, Korea, New
Zealand, North India, Pak-
istan, Philippines, Scotland,
South Africa, Tanzania,
Uganda, United Kingdom
and the United States.
Source: http://www.an-
Empowering rural women a priority
THE Archbishop of Cape
Town, Dr Thabo Makgoba,
has written to the Arch-
bishop of Canterbury, re-
flecting on the Anglican
Covenant as necessary
for Anglicans in recalling
us to ourselves and urging
the provinces to vote in
favor of the Covenant.
He argues the Covenant
must be considered on the
basis of its ability to help
Anglicans recover their true
vocation within Gods One,
Holy, Catholic and Apostolic
Church. This includes grow-
ing more fully into the life
of mutual responsibility
and interdependence
which the 1963 Toronto
Congress identified and
from which the Communion
has since drifted.
Recalling how the Com-
munion was able to stand in
solidarity with Southern
Africa in the past, he sees
the Covenant as being an
effective vehicle for more
fully expressing Anglican-
isms theological, pastoral
and missional understand-
ings and callings.
Therefore, he says, it is a
mistake to focus too nar-
rowly either on the dis-
agreements around human
sexuality, or on seeking
legally or structurally based
solutions to current Angli-
can difficulties. The identity
of the Communions mem-
ber churches should not
principally be conveyed
through legal prisms,
whether of some form of
centralising authority, or of
provinces constitutions
and canon law which must
be safeguarded from ex-
ternal interference.
Though recognising the
reality of human fallibility,
the Communion should look
to the salvific work of
Jesus Christ and put its
trust in him, rather than
appearing to seek struc-
tural or legal solutions to its
difficulties. He sees the
Covenant as a means for
doing this, since it places
Gods vision for Gods
Church and Gods world
centre-stage; and then in-
vites us to live into this as
our ultimate and overriding
context and calling.
Source: http://www.angli-
THE Anglican Allianceis
seeking views on develop-
ment, relief and advocacy.
The Anglican Alliance has
launched an online consul-
tation about the priorities
to overcome poverty and
injustice worldwide. You
can take part in the consul-
tation, until February 29, at
The results will help the
Alliance take forward a
global workplan on devel-
opment, relief and advo-
Anglicans in Africa, the Pa-
cific, Asia and Latin Amer-
ica and the Caribbean were
consulted over priorities for
the Anglican Alliance and a
summary of the workplan is
available on the Anglican
Alliance website.
Survey seeks
Anglican views
Makgoba argues for Covenant
but against legal solutions
February 2012 Our Diocese - Parishes 17
The Gippsland Anglican
ABOVE: It was open house at the Trafalgar rectory for
New Years Eve. During the evening, a good number of
parish families visited to enjoy some fellowship and give
thanks for 2011. There was lots of talk about 2012 and
our plans and hopes for it. Rhiannon Mason tried out the
stilts, with a little bit of help. Her sister Charlotte Amelie
enjoyed the Connect 4. The rectory garden provided a
pleasantly cool place for a bring and share meal.
Photo: Ross Jacka
ABOVE: The Australian Electoral Com-
mission has issued a 2012 calendar com-
memorating the 50th anniversary of the
Indigenous right to vote. The Louder
than one voice calendar includes images
of Indigenous community leaders and
cultural identities. All are recognised by
Indigenous Australians for their achieve-
ments and community contributions. For
their part, the calendar participants are
strong advocates of other Indigenous
Australians exercising their democratic
rights. In March 1962, the Common-
wealth Electoral Act 1918 was amended
to allow Indigenous Australians to enrol
to vote in federal elections, a change
which enabled participation in the his-
toric 1967 referendum. The calendar was
designed by Indigenous designers.
ABOVE and below: Early in January, the three parish centres of Cowes Phillip Island
combined to hold the annual parish fair and a secondhand book stall. The fair has all the
usual stalls, including lots of food, plus very popular visit from an animal nursery. In De-
cember, the Centrelink travelling roadshow parked their van in the driveway of St Philips
and were able to takeadvantage of our central position to inform many passersby of the
benefits and programs available.
Photos: Ralph Leditsche
18 Literary and Media Reviews February 2012
The Gippsland Anglican
Genova L (2011) Left
Neglected; United
Kingdom: Simon &
By Jeanette Severs
THIS work of fiction is
heavily based in fact and
the quality of the work re-
flects the extensive re-
search of the writer. Left
Neglected is multi-layered,
involving, insightful and
even amusing. Lisa Genova
deals with a number of sub-
jects but in particular, and
with sensitivity, with the lit-
tle-known syndrome of Left
The main character, Sarah
Nickerson, is forced to go
on a journey that is as con-
fronting as it is unexpected.
We meet Sarah as a career-
obsessed wife and mother.
Her constant refrain is, that
as a Harvard-educated per-
son, she should be able to
come up with a solution to
any and all problems and
challenges in her life. This
includes her love life with
her husband, her relation-
ship with her children, her
high flying career and even
the injuries resulting from
the car accident that leaves
her with traumatic brain in-
jury and Left Neglect.
Genova enables the reader
to travel with Sarah on her
journey as she learns about
her situation, participates in
rehabilitation, comes to
terms with her new life and
her relationships; and re-
alises what matters the
most in her life. Her rela-
tionship with God also
changes, from a cursory ac-
knowledgement to more
deeply understanding the
role of God in her life and
how Sarah can herself help
Along the way she recon-
nects with her mother and
comes to terms with the
longterm effects after her
brother drowned when
Sarah was six years old.
Through Sarahs journey
with Left Neglect, there are
so many amusing passages
in the book it is apparent
Genovas sensitive research
enabled many of the people
she spoke to, to be frank
about their achievements
and their challenges as they
recover, or not, from Left
Neglect. The characters she
has drawn of each actor in
Sarahs life, are sympa-
thetic and believable; these
are people with flaws and
strengths who could be liv-
ing next door to you or me.
This is a story to remind
the reader how important it
is to make time in life to
enjoy our relationships
fully, to make time to
breathe and be still, to lis-
ten, to give of ourselves to
others and allow them to
give of themselves to us
and simply to be.
Left Neglected is available
in Australia at bookstores
and department stores.
Book explores faith and life
Story of love and faith
Brooks G (2011)
Calebs Crossing;
Fourth Estate.
By Sue Fordham
THE publishers blurb on
the back cover describes
this novel thus: In 1665, a
young man from Marthas
Vineyard became the first
Native American to gradu-
ate from Harvard College.
From the few facts that sur-
vive of his extraordinary
life, Geraldine Brooks cre-
ates a luminous tale of love
and faith, magic and ad-
While Caleb Chee-
shahteaumauks achieve-
ment provides the
framework on which Geral-
dine Brooks hangs her
story, of equal import is the
story of Bethia, his Puritan
friend and supporter. An in-
telligent girl, Bethia is de-
nied the education she
craves because of her gen-
der and strictures of the Pu-
ritan world she lives in.
Structurally, this book is
written in three parts, fol-
lowed by an historical after-
The first section, Great
Harbour 1660, details the
early years in which Bethia
and Caleb meet, develop an
unsanctioned friendship
and Caleb is taken into
Bethias missionary house-
hold to be prepared for an
education to equip him with
the skills and knowledge to
convert his people.
In the second section,
Cambridge 1661, we see
Caleb, Bethia and Bethias
brother, Makepeace, move
to a preparatory school in
Cambridge so the boys may
be prepared for Matricula-
tion and thence go on to
Harvard University. Bethia
takes on an indentured role
to pay for her brothers tu-
Section three, Great Har-
bour 1715, is a reflective
account of what followed
The narrative voice is
Bethias as she becomes a
sort of diarist of what she
concedes is a dissonant
and tragical lament.
The story is freighted with
injustice, death, hardship
and disease. It covers the
gamut of wars between the
Indians and the English set-
tlers, drought, epidemics
and fires. Yet, despite the
blackness occasionally per-
vading the narrative, there
is still the brief light of
hope; the faint hope white
man and Indian may ulti-
mately co-exist; the hope
that gender equality may
one day become the norm.
But for the Christian, this
wonderful novel raises the
dilemma that has faced so
much of mission activity
through the past 2000
years. So often, the imper-
ative to convert has over-
ridden the imperative to
serve, with disastrous con-
sequences to life and cul-
ture. (Barbara Kingsolvers
The Poisonwood Bible is the
most graphic account of the
worst of these excesses,
with the best of motives, I
have yet to read.)
New ways of doing and
understanding mission, of
doing and being the gospel
rather than preaching it in a
rigidly prescriptive and ex-
clusivist way, had yet to
come to the world of Puri-
tan America. Some might
even say to modern Amer-
ica. The world of this novel
is the one where the fleeing
persecuted Puritans be-
come the persecutors in
their turn.
It is only towards the end,
when Bethia seeks a way to
help Caleb, that she is
forced to compromise her
Christian certainty to ac-
commodate and accord re-
spect to the Indian
heathen. It is only then
she questions the Puritan
dogmatism that has formed
her and remarks: I have
come to believe that it is
not for us to know the sub-
tle mind of God.
Amen to that, I say.
This is a wonderful story.
The crossing of Caleb be-
tween two cultures requires
him to back track a little
because, as Bethia discov-
ers, it is not possible to
abandon entirely all that
has formed the person.
Eldredge, J&S (2005) Captivating:
Unveiling the mystery of a womans
soul. Tennessee: Nelson Books.
By Jeanette Severs
JOHN and Stasi Eldredge have written a
number of books, for men and women, to
guide the reader to a fuller relationship
with God and the life he wants us to live.
Captivating is written for women and dis-
cusses subjects such as The Heart of a
Woman, Wounded, Healing the Wound,
Arousing Adam, Mothers, Daughters and
Sisters and Warrior Princesses. It includes
prayers and inspirational quotes.
In Captivating, the Eldredges discuss
women as the more complicated of the two
genders trying to navigate love and life
together. They write about a womans
heart and soul as treasure with a rich fem-
ininity that speaks to us of the heart of
The authors encourage readers to get to-
gether with a group of woman friends to
read and discuss Captivating and the mes-
sages in the book. The text is, in particular,
a guide for women to help men understand
them and their desires and spirituality.
There is a guide book, Captivating: A
Guided Journal, the authors recommend to
be read with this book. Captivating is avail-
able at Christian bookstores.
Womans heart speaks of God
February 2012 Literary and Media Reviews 19
The Gippsland Anglican
Diocesan Calendar
TBA Blessing of Ena Sheumack House; Abbey of St
Barnabas at ABeckett Park, Raymond Island
Begins: International Year of People of African Descent, National Year of the
Farmer, Year of Reading
3 Intentional Pastoral Practice Seminar, Bishopscourt, Sale; 8.45am; contact
Archdeacon Heather Marten at the Registry, 03 5144 2044
4 Dinner with guest speaker, John Leslie OBE, Delbridge Hall, Sale; 6pm to
6.30pm; tickets $25/$20; enquiries and reservations to St Pauls
Cathedral office, 03 5144 2020 or email stpaulssale@wideband.net.au
12 Harvest Festival, Lakes Entrance and Metung parish; auction proceeds to
14 Induction of Reverend David Head as priest-in-charge, Heyfield parish;
21 Shrove/Pancake Tuesday
22 Ash Wednesday
28 Mothers Union Executive meeting, Morwell; 9.30am to 11.30am; Karin
McKenzie, 03 5662 2148
3 Safe Ministry Education, Christ Church Drouin; 10am to 12pm; The Many
Faces of Trauma with Reverend Brenda Burney; contact Archdeacon
Heather Marten or Registry office, 03 5144 2044 to register.
3 Safe Ministry Education, St Matthews Bruthen; 10am to 12pm; The Many
Faces of Trauma with Brian Norris; contact Archdeacon Heather Marten or
Registry office, 03 5144 2044 to register.
6 Anglican Women of Australia Gippsland 50th celebration; 9.30am to
2.30pm; St Pauls Cathedral, Sale; $10 per person; RSVP to your parish
10 Growth in Ministry training for candidates, priests and deacons; TBC; Sale;
contact Archdeacon Heather Marten, 03 5144 2044 or Dean Don Saines, 03
5144 2020
18 Mothering Sunday
23 - 25 Kidsplus+ Gippsland camp, Philip Island; contact parish for application
forms, or Mary Nicholls
26 Mothers Union Lady Day; St Pauls Cathedral Sale; 10am to 3pm; guest
Anne Kennedy, junior vice president, Mothers Union Australia; BYO lunch;
contact Karin McKenzie, 03 5662 2148
1 Palm Sunday
1 Serra Club Golf Day; TBC
3 Renewal of Ordination of Vows and Blessing of Oils service, 11.30am to
3pm; St Pauls Cathedral, Sale; light lunch at Bishopscourt; contact
Registry to confirm details, 03 5144 2044
5 Maundy Thursday
6 Good Friday
7 Environment open day and workshops, The Abbey of St Barnabas,
ABeckett Park, Raymond Island (Paynesville parish); 10am to 4pm;
contact Ann, telephone 0427 445866 or email tarkaan@netspace.net.au
7 St Nicholas Easter Craft Fair and Easter Bonnet Parade, Lakes Entrance;
7 9 St Johns Metung Giant Easter Book Sale; donations, telephone Ann and
Andrew, 03 5156 2502
8 Easter Day
14 15 Growth in Ministry training for ordination candidates, priests and deacons;
venue TBA; overnight at Bishopscourt, Sale; contact Archdeacon Heather
Marten, 03 5144 2044 or Dean Don Saines, 03 5144 2020
21 Bishop in Council planning day, Registry, Sale
25 ANZAC Day
30 - May 2 Clergy conference; The Abbey of St Barnabas, ABeckett Park, Raymond
April 30 - May 2 Clergy conference; The Abbey of St Barnabas, ABeckett Park,
Raymond Island
18 20 Gippsland Anglican 36th annual Synod, Sale
27 June 3 Vocational panel interviews; venue TBA
29 30 Victorian Council of Churches Emergency Ministry Training, Level 2;
Traralgon; contact 03 9650 4511 or email emergencies@vcc.org.au
2 Lay Reader training, 9.30am to 4pm; Korumburra; contact Reverend Jenny
Ramage, Rev. Tony Wicking and Rev. Bruce Charles; register at Registry, 03
5144 2044
13 Mothers Union June Join In; St Marys Morwell; 9.30am to 3pm; Karin
McKenzie, 03 5662 2148
14 Safe Ministry Training; 7.30pm to 9.30pm; St Pauls Cathedral, Sale; The
Many Faces of Trauma with Brian Norris; contact Archdeacon Heather
Marten or Registry office to register, 03 5144 2044
16 Safe Ministry Training; 10am to 12pm; St Peters Leongatha; The Many
Faces of Trauma with Reverend Sue Jacka; contact Archdeacon Heather
Marten or register with Registry, 03 5144 2044
Dates and events as provided to The Gippsland Anglican at time of printing
By Fay Magee
I THOUGHT we could look
at some of the musical op-
portunities for the coming
season of Lent. Maybe a
Lenten discipline could be
to look at a different angle
on our usual Sunday reper-
I have been in congrega-
tions which sing a Eucharis-
tic setting who have then
used a different version of
the Kyrie for Lent, number
736 in Together in Song
from the Ukrainian Ortho-
dox church. It is relatively
easy to learn and sing un-
accompanied in three to six
parts and has a wonderful
resonance in the simple
This is worth trying even if
you dont usually sing the
Kyrie; and the Greek lan-
guage version is easy to
learn, too, and adds to the
Another idea is to use one
song for several weeks as
the Gradual, the song be-
fore the Gospel reading.
One suggestion, Create in
us a clean heart by Digby
Hannah, is number 712 in
Together in Song. This is a
simple chorus which could
also work as a more or less
spontaneous song to sing
during the reception of
Love with be our Lenten
calling is a text by Elizabeth
Smith which uses the well
known tune Picardy, 684 in
Elizabeth writes that this
song: is my attempt at
providing more life-affirm-
ing images for the season.
It moves gradually from the
changes inside us that God
is making (v1), to the
change of direction we take
when we repent, like the
prodigal son of the parable
turning home again (v2), to
the end of our self-absorp-
tion when we see beyond
ourselves to the astonishing
God made known in the
death and resurrection of
Jesus (v3).
Love will be our Lenten
love to shake and shatter
waking every closed, cold
stirring new life deep
till the quickened heart re-
what our Easter birth can
If you are wishing to try
new repertoire, its good to
repeat it on two to three
Sundays, in order for it to
become familiar enough to
be owned by the congrega-
(Fay Magee is a musician,
music educator and com-
munity music catalyst, also
researching aspects of con-
gregational song.)
Reference: Milgate W and
Wood, DA (2006) A Com-
panion to Together in Song:
Australian Hymn Book Ii;
Sydney: The Australian
Hymn Book Pty Ltd.
Singing through Lent
A NEW Australian Gospel
musical, Nicodemus, writ-
ten by Matthew Adams
(lyrics and drama) and Rus-
sell Larkin (music) is mak-
ing its Sydney launch in
March, 2012.
Inspired by the fact that
some other musicals
treated Jesus Christ as
nothing more than a man,
they felt someone ought to
write a musical that shows
Jesus as the Son of God,
complete with the Resur-
The result is Nicodemus, a
totally Australian musical
revolving around the inner
turmoil of Nicodemus, the
Chief Teacher of Israel,
when he is confronted with
the works of Jesus.
Torn between a life of lux-
ury, privilege and entitle-
ment on the one hand and
the devastating loss of
everything he has worked
for and achieved in life on
the other, Nicodemus con-
tains all the elements of be-
trayal, intrigue and
personal anguish, address-
ing issues relevant to peo-
ple today. The cast and
crew of 60 people are from
30 churches and denomina-
tions throughout Sydney.
Purchase tickets at
Australian Gospel
musical launched
20 Our Diocese - Missions and Ministries February 2012
The Gippsland Anglican
Summer in Seaspray
THE sixth Summer in Seaspray program organised by Sale parish and staffed by more
than 20 volunteers from St Pauls Anglican Cathedral was again very successful between
the Christmas and New Year period. The program again benefitted from funding by
Wellington Shire.
More than 140 children and their families attended the free activities during the week.
There was four morning activity programs for children, a family fun day on New Years
Eve and a barbecue on New Years Eve. A worship service on the New Years Day Sun-
day, at The Epiphany Seaspray, concluded the program. Seventy-three children attended
one morning activity and more than 90 children attended the fun day.
Coordinator of the program, Christine Morris, said families really appreciated having a
place to go where their children could participate in a variety of activities, craft and
games and see Millie the puppet.
Apparently, some children talk about Millie all year and cant wait to see her again,
said Christine.
Woodwork was introduced this year and was very popular. We had an increase of par-
ents, especially fathers, staying to work with their children. Amanda Ballantyne from
Bairnsdale parish assisted Christine. Many locals and visitors were very impressed with
the work conducted by the church in the community and wanted the program offered
on more days.
ABOVE left: Robyn with her daughter, Elle, were on holiday from Tasmania and partici-
pated in craft activities.
ABOVE: Children holidaying in Seaspray enjoyed watching Millie the puppet.
Photos: Christine Morris
Fete to repair roof
ST Nicholas church, in the parish of Lakes Entrance and
Metung, held its annual fete on Saturday, January 7. A
great crowd of holidaymakers and local people made their
way to the church grounds early to pick up some bargains
at NicholasJohn Op Shop. There were also stalls of plants,
crafts, cards, cakes and bric-a-brac; lucky dips, a spin-
ning wheel and a pet parade. An auction of donated goods
was popular, as were devonshire teas. Many other stall
holders sold everything from fairy floss to furniture. Bruce
Arnup (a Gippsland antique appraiser) was there all day to
advise many of the people the value of their treasures.
NicholasJohn Op Shop was fortunate to receive a gener-
ous donation of a watercolour painting from a regular vis-
itor to the Lakes area. The painting of Nungurner Jetty by
Derek Kent was raffled at the fete and the lucky winner
was Clare of Lakes Entrance.
Money raised from the fete and the raffle will go towards
paying for a new roof for NicholasJohn Op Shop.
ABOVE: Working on the craft stall at St Nicholas fete were
Fay Kleehammer and Renate Grieb.
Contributor/Photos: Sandra McMaster
THE parish of Boolarra Yinnar
and Churchill is pleased to wel-
come Reverend Marilyn Obersby
as the supply minister, while we
await a permanent incumbent.
A combined service of lessons
and carols was held at Churchill
on December 18, followed by
morning tea. It was a wonderful
time of musical and choral items
and fellowship. A family crib
service was held at Churchill on
Christmas Eve and a Commun-
ion service at Boolarra later in
the evening. On Christmas Day
there was a 9am service held at
both Churchill and Yinnar.
George and Rae from Morwell
had a picnic trip to Walhalla on
December 29 and attended a
special communion service at St
Johns, joining a congregation of
30, including three holidaymak-
ers. It was the final service
there taken by Rev. Neil Thomp-
son, just prior to his retirement.
On January 1, an appropriate
Service for the Turning of the
Year was included in our Com-
munion celebration. Seasonal
hymns added to the atmosphere
of new life and hope.
Contributor: Rae Billing
New life
and hope
A GROUP of parishioners at Metung and Lakes En-
trance got together and wrote their own bright new
script for a Nativity Play, following the traditional
Gospel narrative but involving just a lttle touch of
The modern touches were a surprise but wel-
comed by the audiences. The Angels announced
themselves to Mary with blasts on plastic vuvuzela
trumpets as used at the last World Cup soccer,
played in South Africa; Mary, on the road to Bethle-
hem, used the time-honored travellers phrase: Are
we there yet?; and the knees of the three ageing
Wise Men sounded like exploding popcorn as they
knelt before the Baby Jesus.
Serendipity also played a part in the magic mo-
ments; the somewhat mature actors playing Mary
and Joseph at Lakes looked uncannily like Abraham
and Sarah and the lad who was chosen to help the
Town Crier by ringing his bell turned out to be
named Sam, thus prompting the immortal line:
Play it again , Sam.
The pantomime was acted before Metung Primary
School, Metung Seniors Group and the congrega-
tion of St Nicholas church, who all enjoyed the per-
formance. The players appreciated Reverend Barb
Logans encouragement and participation.
Thank you to all our players, helpers and musi-
cians who had the courage to be involved. Discus-
sions are already underway for next year. Can you
imagine the classic pantomime format such as:
King Herod: Im really a very nice king.
Audience (shouting): OH NO YOURE NOT !
Contributor: Alan Marchant
A new take on an old
story, of Jesus birth

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