It’s important to take moments to stop and reflect in order to see the ways God has worked in our lives. We want to celebrate how God has blessed churches, sustained and expanded ministries, and grown his kingdom this year. Join us in giving thanks for the year that has been!
God developed new ministries and buildings
At the start of the year we celebrated flourishing Sudanese and Mandarin ministries, and when COVID-19 forced us online, we saw some churches taking this opportunity to serve the Deaf community as well. St Paul’s, Canterbury used the limits placed on church services creatively by planting an Easy English service. After many years of planning and development, Stanhope opened its doors and Hope Church Leppington turned the sod and started construction.
God continued to provide workers for the harvest
We’ve had a big discussion about the need for people to step into ministry, both in Sydney and beyond. Churches thought hard about how to develop a culture that encouraged people into ministry, and MTS Recruit conference helped more than 1000 people around the world stop and think about serving in vocational ministry.
We had 22 men and women deaconed, and eight more deacons ordained as presbyters (the next step in preparing to lead a parish). In addition, Moore College continued to train people in its distance programs, awarding 148 preliminary theology certificates at an online graduation event.
God cared for our communities
We fed a lot of people this year! Greenacre provided 85 families with groceries each fortnight,
Church Hill and inner city churches found their food programs overwhelmed with demand and Shellharbour put together bags of groceries for needy families in their community. Church by the Bridge even assisted people almost 1000 kilometres away.
We didn’t just feed people, though. God showed us ways to help unemployed people find work, to share the gospel with our neighbours, and to support families raising children with disabilities. Our prayers for the drought were also answered, with God bringing rain and reviving our rural communities.
God matured us in our faith
This year, so many Sydney Anglicans have shared how they have come to faith. We started the year celebrating baptisms at Parramatta and confirmations. We saw significant growth in evangelistic courses, with some doubling in number. Faithful Christians shared the secrets of their prayer lives, how reading the Bible with others has deepened their understanding, and the things that helped them grow in their faith.
God continued to sustain us in our journey with Christ. One woman shared her experiences of raising two boys with autism; another shared how God helps her deal with the grief of multiple miscarriages; and a single mum told us what it was like for her in isolation. Joseph explained how God brought him from a cult to knowing Christ and attending Christianity Explored helped Kelly understand her heart problem and make sense of God.
God is still carrying us through a global pandemic
Coronavirus brought a lot of sudden changes. With very little notice we shut churches, figured out how to go online and livestream our services, and worked out what to do with youth group ministries, Scripture and how to care for our older members.
Under God, we have adapted and made the best of a bad situation, and the gospel has been preached. Although we are still navigating what normal looks like, God has blessed us and sustained us so far and we can trust he will continue to do so.