While our minds are rightly focussed on the Christmas season, the Chapter has been approving the plans for the expansion of the Cathedral’s ministry for 2004.
One of the important parts of Cathedral life is to set the example to the Diocese of being concerned for wider ministry than our own particular congregations. The Cathedral, in order to be the mother church of the Diocese, has to be committed to starting ministries outside the Cathedral, to be prayerful for other ministries, like our overseas missionaries, and to be training people for ministry elsewhere in the Diocese and beyond.
With this in mind, the Chapter has agreed to appoint several people to different training positions within the Cathedral.
Of first importance is the expansion of our Asian ministry with the appointment of Lucy Lim. After graduating from UTS Lucy worked as an accountant and undergoing ministry training with the Ministry Training Strategy. Lucy has just completed her BTh at Moore College and has been one of our student ministers in 2003. She and her husband Andrew have been active in commencing some new Asian ministries around the Cathedral.
Another recent graduate of Moore College that the Chapter has agreed to appoint is Michael Clark. Michael was the senior student at Moore College in 2003. He was raised in Hong Kong where his parents were serving as missionaries with CMS. He is an honours graduate in history from UNSW and was for some time a music teacher. Married to Caroline with one son Thomas – Michael and his family hope to become missionaries in a few years’ time. But first he is to be ordained in February and become the Cathedral’s curate.
While several of our student ministers (or Catechists) are leaving us there are about six more joining us in the new year. Details of all this will be made clear when they come. Mark Charleston who assists me in Diocesan Ministry Training and Development will be helping Chris Moroney in the training of these student ministers.
Next year we are also starting the Ministry Training Strategy programme in the Cathedral. This is a full time two-year pre-theological college training program. There is a part-time version of it that we will start later, maybe in 2005. The trainees are paid a modest scholarship in order to help them preserve their savings for the cost of college. The Bible Talks congregation at Sydney Boys High has been training MTS workers for some years. Our first MTS trainee from our FIX congregation is Jason Perini. He will be starting with us in 2004.
Naturally all these expansions are going to involve an increased commitment to our Cathedral giving. We will have to give our time to them in training, bear with the mistakes of novices, pray for their growth and development, encourage them in their tasks, and give more money to support them in their work. As I shared with the congregational meeting last Sunday, the budget for next year will be substantially greater than for 2003. But through these appointments we will also grow in our generosity of spirit and our partnership in the gospel. They will reach new people for us, and we will need to support them by welcoming into our congregational life their new contacts.
These will be exciting developments for the life of the Cathedral, and I would commend the particular people to your prayers.