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The Rev Gloria Shipp gives an update on the many activities which have taken place throughout her ministry in the first half of this year in the Diocese of Bathurst.
The first six months of 2018 have been a busy time for the Elders Outreach Group who have continued to meet every Tuesday during the school terms at Holy Trinity hall. They have been out to the Taronga Western Plains Zoo in Dubbo for NAIDOC week and cultural days. They were invited to have morning tea at Delroy High School and the Girls Academy interviewed and filmed the Elders about their lives to fit in with the NAIDOC theme of “Because of her, we can”.
Once again, they travelled to Orange to attend the Elders Olympics with Elders groups from around the region joining in. They have travelled to Narromine and Trangie cultural centres. The Elders had a day at the Wanda Wanda campground in the Goobang National Park and were joined by 12 students and 2 teachers from South High School. The students and Elders enjoyed spending time together sharing stories and cultural activities. The day was a great success with the high school planning another day later.
We continue to have health professionals and guest speakers coming to the hall and have also started to learn how to use computers, to make photo books of their activities, calendars and learn how to access services online.
My ministry joined with the North-West River Convention Circuit (run by the Australian Indigenous ministries) and this year the Dubbo rally was held out on Talbragar Mission. We had quite a few people travel here for the rally which was held over Easter. A group of adults went out to the Orana Juvenile Justice Centre to spend time with the boys. They shared their testimonies with the boys and had a singalong. The afternoon at the centre was a success with a group of men from Moree now coming once a month to the centre to share with the boys.
Weekly Bible talks, and monthly church services are continuing to be held at the centre. It has been very refreshing to be back at the centre with the boys with them all very keen to join in with both the talks and services, reading from the bible, asking questions, and seeking answers. Fr Shenouda Mansour from the Coptic Church came for a visit with the boys in April, he had a monk with him for the visit. They prayed and talked with the boys and made an impression with them.
The Women of the Bible afternoon was held in May. After our last afternoon we changed the format slightly by focussing on only two women. We looked at Miriam and The Crippled Woman and there was a lot of great discussion held as we didn’t feel the need to rush onto the next section. We were joined by a couple of new ladies on the day who enjoyed the afternoon and had lots of questions and thoughts on how these bible stories related to their own.
I have had one baptism this year but have been approached by a couple of families about baptisms later.
I am still the Chair of NATSIAC with the annual Gathering being held in October this year.
I continue to be thankful for all the support given to this ministry from ABM which enables these programs to continue.
Rev Gloria Shipp
Thank you to all supporters who give to this project and continue to pray for Rev Gloria and her ministry.