The Rev Gloria Shipp was the first Aboriginal woman ordained in the Anglican Church of Australia. Her outstanding ministry of healing and hope extends beyond her home of Dubbo in regional NSW to her Chairing of NATSIAC (the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Anglican Council). This report from Gloria talks about some of her activities over the past 12 months. Please continue to pray for Gloria and her husband Eddie and all who she ministers among.
|Archbishop Philip Freier, Rev Gloria Shipp and Archbishop
Glenn Davies at the NATSIAC Gathering last year.
© Edwin Porter/ABM 2015.
The Elders Outreach Group continued to meet every Tuesday during the school terms at Holy Trinity hall and some Mondays at Gloria’s house. Earlier in the year they travelled to Condobolin and spent the day at the Wiradjuri study centre. This was a great day out for the Elders (despite the rain). They were very appreciative of Eddie driving them to Condobolin in the mini bus. They have continued to have guest speakers during the year as well as visits from health professionals and a massage therapist. Besides the fellowship they also enjoy craft and sewing. This year they have been busy sewing Chasubles, Stoles, ties and hats with Aboriginal print material.
The Christian rally was held on the 4th, 5th and 6th September in Dubbo at the Holy Trinity church hall. Saturday was fellowship with people coming in and out, when they wanted to. The Saturday night was a meal and sharing stories, singing and enjoying a great night of fellowship. On Sunday the members of the Holy Trinity 10am congregation along with Reverend Daryl McCullough joined us for our service and lunch.
A Reconciliation Luncheon was held on the 13th October with the NAIDOC theme “We all Stand on Sacred Ground: Learn, Respect and Celebrate.” Aunty Pat Doolan was our MC for the day and the Welcome to Country was given by Margaret Walker. Our Aboriginal dancers were joined by students from Dubbo North Primary School, with two of the girls also singing a son in language. Mal MacCallum from ABM was our guest speaker and his talk on Reconciliation was well received. One of the Dubbo Elders, Uncle John Hill, then spoke about his life growing up on the mission in Dubbo, and then entertained all singing a few songs, including one which he wrote about the mission gate.
The Men’s camp was held on a private property, 45kms from Dubbo on the 8th and 9th August 2015. The men got back to nature, with them all sleeping in tents or outside on the ground. The men spent a lot of their time learning about Aboriginal culture and spirituality. Eddie once again led the camp.
The Women’s camp was held at the Lake Burrendong Holiday park from 14th to 16th August. Saturday was spent with the ladies doing craft, relaxing and enjoying each other’s company, renewing the spirit within. Our church service was held on Sunday morning. After the women’s camp, I was approached by Mission Australia to hold a women’s healing camp, for women who had suffered domestic violence. This weekend was also held at Lake Burrendong. The ladies participated in a few workshops during the days. An Aboriginal Healing Dance took place on the Saturday evening, and a church/healing service was held on the Sunday morning.
A Women of the Bible afternoon was held in May 2015, where we had 10 ladies participating. The format was along the same lines as last year. The women looked at were: Esther, Rahab, ‘Woman at the well’, Abigail, and ‘a sinful woman’. Great discussions were held during the afternoon with the women sitting in a circle rather than at tables. The ladies all enjoyed a high tea during the afternoon break.
Our Christmas party was held on the 8th December, and we had a few new ladies at the dinner. The guest speaker was Frances Peters-Little, who is the daughter of the late Jimmy little, and Chair of Trustees for The Jimmy Little Foundation. This foundation works with “Australia’s most remote communities in consultation with Elders and Councils, government and non-government agencies, health and community services, schools and individuals, to ensure a healthy future for Indigenous Australians”. Frances spoke about the foundation, and encouraged all the women at the dinner to write down their stories for future generations. All the women were very inspired by Frances and enjoyed listening to her. The night was finished off with prayer and singing a few Christmas carols.
The following email was received the following day from a participant;
Thank you for your email today. It was my pleasure to help out. It was a great night, wasn’t it? Thank you for your organisation for last night, your persistent and faithful ministry and for being ‘fair dinkum’ in your love, witness and service for the Lord Jesus.
I hope you can have a rest for a while now over Christmas and New Year. You deserve it.
Chaplaincy services are still provided at the Orana Juvenile Justice Centre. I am working in the centre 2 days per well, as well as holding Sunday services out there once a month, and on special occasions. The boys continue to attend weekly bible talks with some of them stating in their client service meetings that these are the best times of their week. We have also held loss and grief workshops, along with screen printing workshops. In these, the boys have made banners for the chapel at the centre, which was extremely well received. I also baptised one of the boys in the centre earlier in the year. The boys all enjoyed the Christmas service and were each given a gift.
I have also conducted a couple of funeral services, 3 weddings and 12 baptisms.
NATSIAC continued to take a lot of time for both myself and Jenni (the NATSIAC Chair assistant), although this is now decreasing. I had the pleasure of attending the consecration of the Reverend Chris McLeod as the Assistant Bishop of Adelaide, with a special ministry of Aboriginal people. Chris has since been made the National Aboriginal Bishop. The Gathering was held in Stanmore and NATSIAC was extremely appreciative of the reception hosted by ABM during the Gathering and for all the assistance given to them by Mal MacCullum.
Eddie continues to be a great support to me. He is always willing to lend a hand whenever I need him, helping with the transportation of people and equipment to numerous church events. Another support is Jenni, who provides administration support for NATSIAC and the ministry.
I continue to be thankful for all the support given to this ministry from ABM, which enables these programs to continue.
The Rev Gloria Shipp