Over the past few months, despite COVID-19 restrictions, ABM’s volunteers, our Diocesan Representatives and their Committee members have been out and about physically and virtually sharing the stories of love, hope and justice coming from our partners. From Tasmania to Queensland and across to South Australia, our volunteers have been helping people see what God is doing through ABM and our partners.
The Tasmanian ABM Committee travelled from the north to the south of the island state, visiting several parishes in September. The Rev’d Warwick Cuthbertson showed pictures of his ABM Larapinta Challenge trip to appreciative audiences at Bruny Island, St Aidan’s Church Fellowship in Launceston, St Mathew’s New Norfolk, and St Andrew’s Westbury.
He also shared how the $124,000 raised by the Larapinta participants would build up Indigenous community leaders in Australia, improve food security in rural communities in the Philippines and Myanmar, and help people living with a disability in Kenya to earn an income and communities in Vanuatu to prepare for and respond to natural disasters.
Home-made goodies were also on sale, thanks to the ever-talented Dennis Mann. Another Tasmanian Committee member, Sue Bedford, accompanied Warwick and helped to make these events run smoothly.
Face-to-face events have also occurred in Brisbane, Rockhampton and Adelaide. The ABM Brisbane Committee hosted an information stall at the recent On Earth Festival, organised by St Francis’ College and the Anglican Church of Southern Queensland. The event raised more than $2,000 for ABM’s projects in Melanesia.
At the Rockhampton Diocese Synod, long-term ABM supporter Val Gribble spoke about the work ABM and promoted our various mission education resources for personal and group use.
In Adelaide, ABM Larapinta Challenge participants have been sharing their experiences. The Rev’d Julia Denny-Dimitriou and the Rev’d Ruth Mathieson shared their reflections from ABM’s Larapinta Challenge on reconciliation at a gathering of Anglicans engaged in reconciliation work. Another Larapinta participant, Jill Rivers, convened this gathering. Meagan Schwarz, ABM’s Committee Support Officer, spoke with several Adelaide Diocese Synod participants during their meal breaks at Synod and has been a guest speaker at parishes, where she shared how participating in God’s mission is “like doing a really big jigsaw puzzle”.
While the Melbourne Diocese Synod was unable to meet in person with the usual physical ABM display, an ABM video was played during the virtual Synod held earlier in October.
ABM has also utilised Zoom to overcome state border closures. The ABM Executive Director, the Rev’d Dr John Deane, met with clergy from two dioceses in the South Australian province, sharing the latest updates from our partners and developments in missional theology. While such technological solutions won’t replace face-to-face gatherings, they do help address the ”tyranny of distance” and allow more frequent discussions at a lower cost to ABM and our supporters. ABM is keen to explore how video conferencing can be used to better engage with our rural dioceses and their parishes.
ABM would like to thank all our volunteers, Diocesan Representatives and their Committee members, for their wonderful efforts to promote ABM and share stories from our partners.
There are so many ways in which Anglicans around Australia can engage in mission, from using one of ABM’s mission education resources, to praying with our partners using our monthly prayer diary, Partners Praying Together, or supporting ABM’s work through financial donations.
We encourage parishes to invite an ABM speaker to visit their parish, whether it be in person or online, to learn more about ABM and the ways you can participate in God’s mission.
If you are interested in having an ABM speaker please email firstname.lastname@example.org.