|Receiving a blessing in a PNG church.
© ABM/Brad Chapman 2010
ABM’s understanding of mission is a very holistic one, with development working hand in hand with our mission. In Luke’s gospel, we hear that Jesus read from the book of Isaiah, stating:
‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives
and recovery of sight to the blind,
to let the oppressed go free,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.’
(NRSV, Luke 4:18-19)
Jesus asked us that we love our neighbours. This means doing as Christ did and caring for bodies as well as souls. In seeking to follow Christ, ABM has a mandate to work with Anglican churches in other countries. This involves listening respectfully to how these churches want to respond to God’s mission in their own countries, and discussing together how we might assist them achieve their goals. Caring for souls and bodies – the spiritual and material lives of the people whom they serve –is part of these goals. ABM’s Church to Church Program focuses on souls (or spirituality) and the Development Program relates to the material side (or bodies). Obviously one impacts upon the other as human beings are both body and spirit.
ABM grounds all of its work in one or more of the Five Marks of Mission. Together with this, our development work embraces the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which aim at significantly reducing global poverty, hunger and disease by 2030.
ABM has full membership of ACFID, the Australian Council for International Development, a network of Australian Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) that share a commitment to poverty reduction and the promotion of human rights.
Some of our community development projects are partially funded by the Australian Government through Australian Aid.
ABM’s work is made up of three main program areas - the Church to Church Program, Community Development Program and the Reconciliation Program.
Church to Church Program
ABM’s Church to Church Program is the means by which Anglicans in Australia help our Overseas Partners to be the Church. The program targets two areas – leadership formation and training (including theological education) and evangelism – which are of primary importance.
By assisting our Partners to train clergy and lay people they are providing high-level Christian formation and nurturing discipleship and leadership. In this way, we believe our Partners create a solid evangelistic base for themselves.
Those who are trained are able to turn their parishes into ‘mission stations’ and these stations bring people to know Jesus through their membership of the Church through Holy Baptism and then nourish their faith through the sacraments and through Scripture.
Community Development Program
Jesus came that we might have abundant life, and ABM believes that that life extends to the whole person – not just to the soul, but also to the material needs of the body.
ABM’s Community Development Program is managed by our Anglicans in Development (AID) division. ABM(AID) works with Anglican Church Partners in the Pacific, PNG, Africa, the Middle East, East Asia and South-East Asia to help deliver grassroots, community-driven development and disaster preparedness and response. Our belief is that communities are the best-placed to know what programs they need and what assistance they need from their partners. Partners are encouraged to work closely with communities to ensure communities are “in the driving seat” of development projects.
ABM(AID) works closely with its church partners to strengthen them to be effective and efficient, and to encourage them to strengthen the communities they work with. The programs which ABM funds include adult literacy, improved food security, water and sanitation, gender equality and social inclusion, livelihood support, some health services, HIV testing, counselling and awareness raising. With sustainability in mind, ABM(AID) also encourages its partners both to work with their own governments, and also to help their local communities to advocate for better services from government at all levels.
ABM believes that Indigenous Australians have a special place in this country especially as we look to their ancestry which dates back thousands of years. Many Indigenous Christians believe that God was with them from long ago and they find meaning and hope in the Good News of Jesus Christ.
We believe there is a need for trained Indigenous Christian leaders to minister to their communities. Therefore our program supports Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders who work in their own communities with other indigenous people. Integrating different cultures, they are spreading the Good News by preaching or helping others.
We are proud to support the work of individuals, such as the Revd Gloria Shipp and groups, such as St Andrew’s Cathedral School, in the inspiring work they do. They help to remind us that there is Good News to tell – not just from the Gospels, but from many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities around Australia.
ABM supports our partners not only by providing emergency relief aid, but also by helping to prepare them for emergency situations and educating them on methods to mitigate the effects of climate change.
ABM is a member of, or closely associated with the following organisations:
Anglican Alliance (for Development, Relief & Advocacy)
Campaign for Australian Aid
Church Agencies Network
Church Agencies Network Disaster Operations
ABM is also a Supporting Organisation of: