Dear Friends
The Reverend Stephanie Patching:
It was announced last weekend that Stephanie will be the new Rector of St. Matthew’s Mundingburra. Stephanie is currently an assistant priest in the Parish of St. James Toowoomba, with responsibility for St. Anne’s Highfields.

I will induct Stephanie at 6.00pm on Friday 5th January, 2018. This is the Eve of the Epiphany. I was thinking this would be a great date, the Epiphany being the Manifestation of Christ to the Gentiles, and Stephanie also thought it would be ideal. So together priest and people will set out to make Christ known.

Stephanie has degrees in both commerce and theology and is currently completing a Ph.D in Old Testament studies.

I ask for your prayers as Stephanie responds to the call of God to come the Diocese and the Ministry Unit of St. Matthew’s.

Friends of the Outback (FOTO):
I am currently in Sydney speaking with members of the FOTO. The focus of this visit is to raise sufficient funds to purchase a PA system and contribute towards a new air conditioner for St. James the Great and St. Luke’s Mount Isa Church.

In the past FOTO have supported the refurbishment and upgrade to amenities at Richmond, repairs and air conditioning at Julia Creek, as well as the generous support they gave to areas effected by Cyclone Yasi.

FOTO supports a project in the Outback each year. This year it is the Diocese of North Queensland, next year it will be the Diocese of the Northern Territory and the following year the Diocese of North West Australia.

Anglican Overseas Aid (AOA):
Please find attached a flyer advertising this year’s Advent booklet, “Always Present”. Many people and Ministry Units have found these booklets most helpful. They can be used by individuals or by a study group using the questions provided. This is an easy to read resource. There was a time in the Anglican Church when Ministry Units held Advent Studies, but with the rush of life these days this has fallen by the wayside. Advent is a time for preparation and perhaps now is the time to plan how you will use Advent as your preparation for Christmas so that we can celebrate Christmas with joy and thanksgiving.

Advent and Lent reflection booklets

Gathering at Bishop’s Lodge – Friday 3 November 6.30pm:
Robin and I look forward to hosting a gathering at the Lodge to give thanks to God for your ministry.
The date of the gathering this year is Friday 3 November. Please mark your diaries now and rsvp to my PA at: bishoppa@anglicannq.org for catering purposes.
It is a great way to catch up and celebrate all that has been achieved throughout the year!

Prayers:
Can you please add Mrs Pam Barter to your prayer list. Pam underwent surgery yesterday and needs our prayers at this time of recovery.

Policy on Ministry Unit Audit as from 31 December 2017:
This week, Policy No. 14 will be posted to Ministry Units for inclusion in the Diocesan Information Document (DID). Please note that along with the Policy there is also an updated index. The information can be obtained from the web as well, at: https://anglicannq.org/governance/diocesan-policies-and-regulations

Mission Action Plan (MAP):
Ministry Unit Annual General Meetings will generally be held in the first quarter of next year. Under the new Canon Two, Ministry Units are to be proactive in establishing a MAP. There is a range of MAPs available on the web.

However, in the Diocese we have “Future Direction 2015-2019” which can be used as a basis and guide. I realise that for some Ministry Units this will be the first time they develop a MAP.

A good starting point is the Ministry Square. In seeking to faithfully serve Jesus Christ, what do you believe God is calling you to achieve in the areas of worship, pastoral care, Christian Education and Outreach for 2018?

The idea is that at the next AGM you will give thanks for what has been achieved in the name of Christ in each of these four areas and then set new goals for the forthcoming year.

An Extraordinary Session of Synod – Saturday 10 February 2018:
With the approval of Diocesan Council, I will hold a special session of Synod on Saturday 10th February 2018 in St. James’ Cathedral from 9.30am to 3.00pm, to assent to and/or adopt the General Synod Canons that were passed at the General Synod held last month, in regard to Safe Church and Child Protection.

I will issue the summons to the Synod within the month but I ask that Synod Members please note the date now.

General Synod follow up:
As mentioned, I am in Sydney at the moment and the Synod of the Diocese of Sydney is currently in progress. It is my understanding that Sydney has adopted the General Synod Canons in regard to Child Protection and Safe Church.

Before the Sydney Synod is the issue of Domestic Violence (DV). One of the motions passed at General Synod was as follows:

“The General Synod recognises and shares the deep concern of NATSIAC members regarding the rate of domestic and family violence in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities; and: a) Calls upon the government both federal and state to continue to invest in educational and family support programs; b) Calls upon the Anglican Church of Australia to facilitate a national response through greater education among clergy and church workers with regard to domestic and family violence; and, c) Calls upon dioceses to develop domestic violence policies, with advice for good pastoral practice, consistent with Faithfulness in Service, and in consultation with local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities”.

We acknowledge that DV is a real concern for the NATSIAC, but DV is also a real concern for the whole community and each Ministry Unit.

I will be saying more in time but I ask each Ministry Unit Council to explore ways it can reach out to those in need because of DV. I will be raising this matter at the next Diocesan Council.

Please be assured of my prayers.

Yours in Christ

The Right Reverend William (Bill) Ray
Bishop of North Queensland

Sexual Abuse contact line: 1800 242 544 or 07 3835 2266

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