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January 2021 Project Update: Walkabout Ministries (The Reverend Gloria Shipp)
Despite the COVID-19 restrictions, the Reverend Gloria Shipp has been busily pursuing her ministry of encouragement, connection and hospitality among Elders, children, families of her local community. The Elders group has been very busy, participating in meetings with the Aboriginal Law Reform Working Group and the NSW Aboriginal Land Council, among others. Read Gloria’s report below.
The Elders Outreach Group continued to meet every Tuesday in the hall at Dubbo Anglican Church. The Director and ATSI Liaison Officer from Dubbo Christian Preschool spent a morning with the Elders developing the school’s Reconciliation Action Plan. Elders were invited to take part in talks and a tree planting/pledge signing for an alcohol and drug rehabilitation centre in Dubbo. They were also invited to attend the ARTC (Inland Rail) NAIDOC Day. Due to COVID-19 restrictions we could not attend the schools, however I was interviewed and filmed for the South Primary School NAIDOC Day. The group were also invited to participate in meetings with the Aboriginal Law Reform Working Group, Charles Sturt University, NSW Aboriginal Land Council, NSW Government – Dept of Customer Service and Dubbo Hospital. Margaret Walker has also been asked to do Welcome to Country on numerous occasions throughout the year. The Elders were also “Calendar Girls” in 2020.
A Women of the Bible afternoon was held in October. This year we looked at Jehosheba and Deborah. Although our numbers were low due to COVID-19, there was a lot of in-depth discussion regarding the women studied and relating them to our lives today. The women took extra booklets away with them to give to others who were unable to attend and some booklets were also left in the back of the church (these were all taken by congregation members at the next service).
I held a luncheon and fellowship gathering on Melbourne Cup Day in the Church hall with select members of the community invited. We had 31 people attend the lunch, with everyone enjoying the day.
I was asked to do a Blessing service in Dubbo for two children, I will be baptising them both along with their new sibling (when born) next year.
The Elders Christmas party had 41 attendees. Members from the Three Rivers Assembly, Dubbo Anglican Church and community joined the festivities. Certificates of appreciation were handed out to individuals who had assisted the Elders during the year. A great time was had by all who attended. The Elders also travelled to Wellington to join the Elders group for their Christmas party. The two groups continue to provide support and fellowship with each other.
The Elders were invited to attend the NAIDOC week celebrations in Dubbo with the Australian Rail Track Corporation. The Elders enjoyed the day out.
The Dubbo Anglican Church held a Blessing service in the Church for the Aboriginal print Altar cloths and Vestments. The Elders donated the material to the church and were provided with a Certificate of Appreciation.
I continue to be thankful for all the support given to this ministry from ABM which enables these programs to continue.
Rev Gloria Shipp