From The State Director - November Update
There’s such a sense of hope that comes with the freedom experienced as we emerge from this long season of lockdown. There is a growing sense of optimism across the movement. School Camps have returned to Coolamatong, with 24 camps scheduled for this term. This is great news for school campers and for our interns! All students have returned to school, with chaplains on hand to engage and support them as they transition back. Summer mission and camp teams are planning creative mission expressions to effectively, and safely, engage children, young people and families.
In response to the formal review of our bushfire safety, and in light of the pandemic, we are developing COVID safety and bushfire safety plans. These plans, and the training provided, will guide our ministry teams in their preparedness for summer.
Our Regional Coordinators - Chris (Eastern Region), John (Western Region) and Di (Northern Region) - are meeting with churches, school communities, and SU supporters as they explore opportunities for new ministries in new places. Schools have been required to submit new applications for funding for the National Schools Chaplaincy Program and we’ve been supporting current and new schools with their application. Pray God will continue to build local partnerships to help people of all ages experience God’s love and Good News.
The national integration journey is picking up steam. This month, SU Boards from around Australia will confirm whether they will formally be part of the Transformation Agreement that members will vote on in March. The SU Victoria board continues to be enthusiastic about the national integration and its benefits for sustaining and growing ministry in Victoria. Alison Hunter, our former Board Chair, has been appointed as inaugural Chair for the new Scripture Union Australia Board. Please pray for Alison in her governance of the formation of the SU Australia movement. Staff from across different states are working collaboratively on ministry improvements, including around volunteer processes, training, camping, and chaplaincy. Staff from across the country are praying together on a weekly basis.
As I look back over the year, there is much to celebrate. We’ve seen incredible ministry adaptation as teams pivoted to continue to serve in often-changing contexts. We’ve seen innovation in our online engagement to resource families and churches and to equip volunteers, not only in SU Victoria but across Australia and around the world. As I look around, I see creativity and determination as SU mission and camp teams plan for a very different summer. We continue to depend on God to enable our ministries! Thanks for being part of SU Victoria, your involvement, your prayer, and your generosity mean so much. Together we look forward to summer with great anticipation. God is at work in SU Victoria!
God bless you!