ABM Mission Grants Support Northern Territory Children’s Ministry

May 30, 2024

ABM has received a report from the Diocese of the Northern Territory about how one of our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Mission Grants has been used. The Rev’d Naomi Ireland, Diocesan Children’s Ministry Officer, writes:

In 2023 ABM supported the NT Anglican Diocese’s Kids Ministry Leaders Gathering (KMLG). The KMLG ran from the 25-28 September straight after Synod at our favourite campsite, Riyala, just outside of Darwin. There were 15 adults and 14 children who came along from six different communities.

As you may know, the distances people travel from their remote community into Darwin is great and the cost is even greater. For this reason, the Diocese ran our Diocesan Synod (which happens every two years) and the KMLG back-to-back at the Riyala campsite, to capitalise on funding. This, combined with a smaller number of people who came along this year, meant that ABM’s funding covered the cost of the participants travel as well as some of the accommodation and catering costs. Please find attached the breakdown of expenses.

During the gathering we looked at the Fruit of the Spirit from Galatians 5. We started with a short talk from John 15 about Jesus being the true vine who we need to stay ‘joined up’ to if we are going to bear the fruit. It’s through Jesus that we get the good water and food that we need (from listening to God’s Word) to be to live the way God wants us to, and God’s Spirit helps us as we do this.

We then broke into three groups with people from different communities to choose a fruit and a passage that teaches about that fruit. Each group chose the fruit love but had very different Bible stories to teach it. One group chose the story of Jesus having the little children brought to him, one chose the passion narrative and how Jesus showed us his love on the cross, and the third chose the story of the lost sheep.

Over the course of the three days, the groups thought about how to understand their Bible story, what the big idea of the story was, how they were going to teach it to children and at the end of the time each group taught their Bible story to us and the kids as though we were at kids’ church.

It was a great time together. Some people who wouldn’t normally teach up the front had a chance to participate, even in a small way, building their confidence of being able to do this back at home. One of the women said, ‘I’m going to go back and talk to our church leaders about helping with the kids at church’, and another was excited to think about a kids’ holiday program in their community.

Everyone was really grateful for their time together and wanted to say a big thank you to all who supported the training week!

ABM thanks the Diocese of the Northern Territory and the Rev’d Naomi for this report.

We also thank you, our supporters, for your ongoing support of these mission grants which enable the vital work of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ministry to be supported in a variety of ways.

We ask for your prayers for the work of Children’s Ministry in the Anglican Diocese of the Northern Territory.