Who inspires you?
The Ministry Development Committee is inviting people from across the diocese to contribute towards a collection we’re calling “Abundant Lives” – a book about Christian people that have inspired us on our own faith journeys.
Their saintly lives may have inspired us, their holy writings may have nourished us, their simple companionship may have helped us along the Way. Whatever the case, we hope that in sharing these short stories of the lives of big and little saints alike, that we can all be inspired by these Abundant Lives.
What do you have to do?
Some of the questions you might like to answer when you consider your submission might include:
- What was the person’s life‘s work?
- When and where did they live?
- What did they do?
- What is it about this person that inspires / nourishes you?
- How has this inspiration affected your Christian journey?
- Where could others find out more information about this person?
You may like to include a short prayer either associated with, or written by you for, that person.
In an effort to inspire you, on the page overleaf area couple of examples – one a traditional historical ‘saint’, the other an ‘everyday’ person who inspired the author.
Length of Submission
We would appreciate it if you provided no more than 275 words in total. Photographs can be provided but they must be approved and not under copyright. We reserve the right to edit submissions to length.
Your name and a general location. E.g. “Joe Smith – Parish of Ballarat” or just “Josephine Smith – Casterton.”
Before you start writing
Just so we don’t get 30 articles on St Francis of Assisi – we only need one article per subject – we’ll be working on the rule of thumb that the first to reply gets first choice.
In order to make that happen, before you start writing please contact John at the Bishop’s Registry (firstname.lastname@example.org) to (a) confirm you would like to participate and (b) check that your subject is available. That choice can then be registered for future enquiries.
When you’re done…
You can send your submission to: email@example.com You’ll get a return email acknowledging receipt.
You’ll also be able to check the dNews to check our progress and see when we expect the booklet to be available.
SAMPLE 1 – 265 Words
Hilda of Whitby (c. 614 – 680)
Robyn Shackell – Warrnambool
Hilda of Whitby (614-680) was raised in Northumbrian King Edwin’s court. She became a Christian and was influenced by Aidan, Bishop of Lindisfarne.
Hilda loved God and left to join her sister in a monastery in France, but Aidan, asked her to lead the abbey at Hartlepool. When Hilda replied that she was inexperienced, Bishop Aiden suggested that she learn on the job. Hilda built up the abbey at Hartlepool, then was invited by King Oswy to found a monastery at Whitby.
Whitby was a double monastery, home to both monks and nuns. Five of Hilda’s monks went on to become bishops.
The historian, Bede, praises Hilda’s monastery for ‘…justice, piety, chastity’ and ‘of peace and charity’ where ‘no one was rich, and none poor, for they had all things common’.
Hilda’s faithful ministry continued during six years of illness. Finally, she received communion and died, and one of her sisters, thirteen miles away, had a vision of Hilda rising to heaven. Hilda’s death was confirmed next day.
I value Celtic spirituality with its approach of finding God in the everyday, of seeing everything as sacred, of emphasising community, of affirming creation. I like Hilda’s willingness to serve God in unexpected ways. Though Whitby Synod did not give Hilda the outcome she desired (following Rome rather than Hilda’s preferred Celtic tradition) Hilda continued to serve God faithfully and encourage her community.
Thank you, God, for faithful leaders, who are not afraid to try new things. May Hilda’s courage and dedication inspire us to follow you in spite of any difficulties we might face.
SAMPLE 2 – 267 words
Jock Ryan (1923-2020)
Geoff Ryan – Learmonth
Jock grew up at Diamond Creek near Melbourne, during the Depression and joined the army and later the Airforce after the start of WW2.
During training he was bullied for his faith and moral stance – a boot in the head for reading his bible, an unsuccessful attempt to force him to drink alcohol by 6 soldiers, but he stood up in each event.
He trained as a pilot and went to England but fortunately the war stopped. Before returning to Australia, he and 3 friends revitalised a local English church.
After the war he led parishes at Berwick, St Jude’s Carlton, Holy Trinity Doncaster, St James Glen Iris and was Chaplain of Caulfield Grammar. In retirement he helped at St. John’s Diamond Creek. He was Chaplain for Scouting in Victoria, the Royal Children’s Hospital, Royal Woman’s Hospital and Korowa Girls School.
As a preacher he would help us to understand complex theological issues simply. As a person he would gently share his wisdom and his intelligent understanding of what is important in life, but only if you asked him. He related particularly well with young people.
He faith allowed him to accept that there are things you cannot understand.
Never underestimate what you can do. You are capable of great things
Always agree with you wife
Learn what love is. Love means complete self-sacrifice.
His wisdom, humility, humour and faith had a great impact on those that knew him. When Jock would walk into a church, school, home or a hospital, people would want to talk to him. He could make a room light up.
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