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June Mission and Parish Council Update

Church Governance, Ministries, Missions

Mission Update – Scripture Union & Bible Society

In July, Mission of the Month giving is divided between Scripture Union and Bible Society. The title of each organisation reminds us of the importance of taking in and passing on God’s truth in Scripture.

I have recently been reading The Bible In Australia: A Cultural History, a new book from historian Meredith Lake, which has been well reviewed in major Australian newspapers and literary journals. It’s a thick book, but fascinating to read of the breadth and depth of the Bible’s varied impact in Australia. Sadly too few young Australians are experiencing that, and Scripture Union and the Bible Society are trying to change that!

Scripture Union is an interdenominational movement, working with the churches to passionately, creatively, and prayerfully share the Good News of Jesus. Importantly to the Illawarra, their ministries include camps, student Christian groups (SUPA clubs in primary and ISCF groups in high schools), and their largest ministry, SUFM (Scripture Union Family Mission – also known as ‘Beach Mission’). For more see sunsw.org.au/.

I am thankful that students from St Michael’s can attend Christian lunchtime groups in their public schools because of the ‘covering’ of SU. Likewise I am thrilled that numbers of St Michael’s members volunteer serve each January on SU beach missions!

Bible Society Australia has pursued its goal for over 200 years: to translate, publish, distribute and engage people with the Bible. E.g., the Bible Society provides thousands of Bibles are each year to chaplains for distribution in hospitals, prisons, prisons and within the Australian Defence Force, and via overseas projects. They also partner with Australian indigenous communities to translate and distribute the Bible in indigenous languages.

Parish Council Update – June
  • As usual, we opened with Bible reading and prayer, this time led by Catriona Williams.
  • We reflected on the great work put into the church conference. Despite lower numbers, feedback has been positive, in particular for deepening church family relationships, alongside excellent talks from Youthworks CEO, Craig Roberts.
  • We noted that our Women’s Ministry Trainee, Skye Walker, will finish early in order to move with her husband Mitch to teaching roles at an international school in Tanzania.
  • Following reference checks, and subject to maintaining professional qualifications and insurance, etc., Sandy has appointed Jennifer Willis in an honorary role offering low fee counselling to people connected to St Michael’s, in areas such as anxiety, grief, chronic fatigue, adjustment to change, and only by reference from pastoral staff.
  • Parish Council is currently working with Sandy to consider staffing pathway options beyond 2018. Please pray for wisdom and insight in assessing our needs.
  • The Parish Council welcomes suggestions for one off Christian ministry or charity projects to support during the Annual Thanksgiving Day appeal in September.
  • Noting difficulty of heating our buildings in winter, we approved purchase of lap blankets and suitable storage containers, which has already been implemented.
  • Jon Baird and Varun Varghese visited to report on their ministries at 11am and among international students and others, including on UOW campus.
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Corner of Church St and Market St Wollongong