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2009 Pew Reflections – First Quarter (Jan – March)

Children in the Philippines. (Image: ABM/Steve Daughtry 2007)Holding A Light For Others

As the precentor at St Paul’s Cathedral Reverend Canon Rachel McDougall takes care of the day-to-day running of the Cathedral. She grew up in Tasmania and was ordained there. She studied in Melbourne and before coming to the Cathedral, worked at Holy Trinity Pascoe Vale and Oak Park, where she undertook a special project on spirituality and aging. Whilst she was a theological student Rachel travelled with ABM to the Philippines in 2004, which she describes as a formative experience in her ministry. She appreciated the opportunity to see how Christianity exists in a different country and culture. She went to the garbage dump of Manila and stayed with the garbage pickers and learnt so much from their hospitality and faith. Supporting ministry that is already there, in communities in their own countries is very important. She talked about the ecumenical cooperation she witnessed as multi-coloured threads of different denominations being woven together. “God is found in the stories of our lives…and is enfleshed in other cultures.”

Rachel encourages us to reflect on how we meet God face to face in the local community. “Mission” writes Rachel, “is about reaching out, being involved in what other people are involved in,” and it “is about being concerned for the whole person, that the whole of your life is touched by the God of love.”

Working with the whole community is the cornerstone of ABM’s work. As a single organisation we are involved in bringing the kingdom of God to fruition, both in terms of the proclamation of the gospel (ABM’s Evangelism and Church Support Program), and in working to bring justice and enabling the relief of poverty and other physical and community needs. (ABM’s Community Development Program). We understand this to be holistic mission, we are committed to working this way and see it very much as the way in which the Anglican Church in Australia is able to reach out to its many partners. We hope you will too.

Melany Markham
Communications Coordinator
Anglican Board of Mission-Australia Ltd

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