With these powerful words, the congregation experienced the hope of Good Friday again. Our sins, our failures, our mistakes are not counted against us. God does not want us to carry this sort of burden. God wants us to experience a new and better life.
Many people go through life carrying the huge baggage of mistakes they have made. It gets in the way of them living a happy and purposeful life. They regret their action or inaction. I have done something wrong, or I have failed to do something right. I am disappointed when I have upset someone. I am troubled when I have harmed them.
Helpful regret comes from acknowledging we have not kept our values. I have done the wrong thing. I have been unkind. I have shown up late. I have been careless.
Where do your values come from?
There are people who have clear values and follow them. Others don’t think about their values much. Others don’t worry much if they break a rule or two. There is room for healthy regret. It can help make us a better person. It can help us build healthier communities.
regrets do you think about when you read this article?
It is important to hear that not every feeling of regret is helpful or correct. Did you hear that ‘children should be seen and not heard?’ Did someone tell you ‘women should be silent?’
You may have a wrong sense of regret. Someone has discouraged you from being yourself. They didn’t teach you well.
It is a good idea to check whether our sense of regret comes from ignoring our values or someone else’s values.
People often live by the values their parents taught them. People may learn new values at school, at church, or in their work. It is helpful to know where our values come from.
We have six values in Newcastle Anglican. They are - wisdom, compassion, faith, integrity, courage, and justice. These values come from the Christian story. The way of Jesus inspires these values. These values come from the bible and church teaching. These values are taught as virtues by positive psychologists. They affirm people’s strengths. Our values guide the work we do and the way we behave.
The priest stood before the congregation and said, “God forgives you! Be at peace!” On another Sunday she said, “God forgives you. Forgive others; forgive yourself.”
Have I done the wrong thing?
You might decide that your behaviour has broken your values. I haven’t done a good thing. I have done something bad.
It is good to own up to our actions. Sometimes we can repair the damage we have done. We can say sorry. We can make a commitment to do better in the future.
Going to see a person we have hurt is not always the right thing. We need to check. We can ask ‘will it help them if they see me or speak to me?’
The Easter Message
Christians believe that we grow distant from God when we do the wrong thing. We grow closer to God when we do the right thing. Christians believe that we want to be close to God.
We feel regret when we fail someone or hurt them. We know that this separates us from God.
We know that we are not perfect and that we make mistakes. We also know that we make choices. Some are good and some are bad. Our mistakes and bad choices can separate from us God.
The Easter story makes this better.
Christians teach that in Jesus we see God. Jesus was God in human form. God living among people. We hear stories about him. He was a good man who empowered women and welcomed children.
The Christian story is that people punished Jesus. It is a horrible story filled with cruel behaviour. Jesus taught people about love. People rejected him and killed him.
Christians believe that when Jesus died, he took on the punishment for all the wrong things in the world. He did this to remove any separation from God. He did this to forgive our sins.
You do not need to live with shame. Your regrets don’t need to consume you.
• God’s values inspire your values
• You recognise when you have done the wrong thing
• You do the right thing
• You know that God forgives you
God’s love was revealed among us in this way: God sent his only Son into the world so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins.
Bright and inclusive future for city’s iconic cathedral
“I’m really passionate about this being a place where everyone knows they are welcome, and for LGBTIQA+ rights and First Nations peoples,” she says.
In 2017, Dean Katherine became the 16th Dean of Newcastle. She was the first female and first person born in the Diocese to be elected to the position. As the Parish Priest, she is responsible for connecting with the city and community and also plays an important role in the Diocese due to the Cathedral’s standing as the “Mother Church”, where occasions like ordinations and other celebrations take place. Dean Katherine says she wants people to “feel like they are coming home” when they visit the Cathedral.
“So many people feel like they can’t come in or drive past and don’t realise it’s open pretty much every day,” she says. “I want people to come in, I want them to sit here and wonder: ‘Why was this built? What’s it all about?’
“People asking questions is a really easy point of engagement to start talking about the way of Jesus.”
Born at the Mater hospital and a proud Novocastrian, Dean Katherine is grateful for the Diocese’s encouragement of both women and men to be called to all three orders – deacons, priests, and bishops – of ministry.
She added Newcastle Anglican Bishop Dr Peter Stuart had been a great champion of equality. “Particularly under his leadership, I see that he has been an advocate and an ally in that space,” she says.
“Women have been ordained as priests for over 30 years now, with the celebrations taking place last December.
The role of Dean has not been without its challenges over the past five years, particularly during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dean Katherine says the Cathedral’s dedicated team saw the signs early in 2020 and began to prepare for online services. Live streams, alongside morning and afternoon prayers, have since attracted an impressive following.
The services allowed the Cathedral to maintain a strong connection with parishioners and improved accessibility.
“We’ve been really surprised and thankful for the reach [of our services],” Dean Katherine says. “There’s a person who joins in every morning from his backyard in Queensland because he found it and it’s nurturing for him. In the normal course of events, he wouldn’t have that connection with us.
“Equally, I know of parishioners from the Cathedral who have moved away to be closer to family and they are still able to access that link through the online ministries.
“The role of the Church is to be where people are. If we’re locked away in here, well, that’s beautiful and wonderful, but the people are out there.”
So, what does the future hold for the Cathedral?
Dean Katherine plans to build on the work of previous deans by strengthening the music and family ministries and improve engagement with the wider community. “I want the Cathedral to be a place that is known for being like a centre for excellence or centre for goodness, where there is excellent preaching, teaching, music and liturgy but also that it’s like a real cultural hub,” she says.
“In medieval times, cathedrals were the places that nurtured the creative arts and this cathedral, through lots of previous deans, really sought to do that. I also want to strengthen our engagement with the community. Whatever brings people over the threshold gives us an opportunity to invite them to think more deeply and to reflect.”
A place of inclusion, a centre for excellence and a promoter of the creative arts: Dean of Newcastle Katherine Bowyer has a firm vision for the city’s iconic Christ Church Cathedral.
“I still encounter some people who are surprised that I am the Dean and the Priest here. I love it when they say to me: ‘Oh, can I speak to the Dean? And I say: ‘Yes, you’re talking to her.”
More fans than Keith Urban
Hamish’s Australian Idol journey
He is a humble country lad who US celebrity Harry Connick Jr jokingly claimed has “more fans than Keith Urban.”
Hamish Guiana is a musician on the rise, having recently appeared on season eight of the televised national singing contest, Australian Idol.
The 2022 school captain welcomed camera crews to Scone Grammar School last year, while Connick Jr also surprised students with a guest appearance.
“I didn’t know where I was going to be coming today and I was so happy to see that I’m coming to a school,” Connick Jr, an Idol judge, told the excited students.
“I look out and I see all these beautiful faces and I’ve been going all over Australia trying to find the most talented singers for the next Australian Idol.
“Do you think that person could be from Scone?”
Hamish certainly hoped that would be the case. Midway through a speech, he was informed he would not be travelling to Sydney to audition for the show. Instead, he would be performing right then and there at the school.
Despite admitting he was “freaking out,” Hamish took Connick Jnr into a music room, grabbed his guitar, and performed a nervy, yet stirring rendition of Niall Horan’s “This Town.”
Connick Jnr was so impressed with the performance, he presented Hamish with a ’golden ticket’. That shiny, gold piece of cardboard granted admission straight into the singing contest’s top 50.
Despite his best efforts, Hamish was unable to progress any further. While it marked the end of his Australian Idol journey, it is just the start of his musical career.
After achieving his HSC and graduating from Scone Grammar School, Hamish was accepted into the Australian Institute of Music in Sydney, where he’ll complete a three-year course.
Before he moves to Sydney, the now 19-year-old continues to regularly share his talent with his beloved local community. He continues to perform gigs around the Upper Hunter, including at the recent Scone Literary Festival.
No matter where his musical dream takes him, Scone will always be home. Hamish is highly active in the local community. He has worked with the Upper Hunter Youth Council and took part in a National Leadership Summit in Adelaide.
In January, Hamish was rewarded for his advocacy with the Upper Hunter Shire Young Person of the Year. The award nomination highlighted his respect for others and his contributions to discussions.
With his leadership and musical talents combined, Hamish’s fanbase will only continue to grow. We look forward to seeing what comes next.
Manning Valley Anglican College
The school community gathered on February 27 to celebrate the official opening of the new $3.5 million G Block building. Bishop Peter Stuart and Labor Senator Deborah O’Neill unveiled a plaque to commemorate the new facility. The Federal Government contributed $1.6 million towards the state-of-the-art building.
“This is a huge milestone for Manning Valley Anglican College it means an exciting opportunity for light-filled contemporary learning spaces to help inspire our students to be more empowered for the future.” Principal Darren Parks said.
The event coincided with the College’s 20th anniversary, which is now educating more than 680 students each year.
Bishop Tyrrell Anglican College
Bishop Tyrrell Anglican College has been congratulated for outstanding results in the most recent NAPLAN tests. The school performed highly in comparison to schools with similar socioeducation advantage.
It’s a wonderful affirmation of everything the college is working towards regarding high-quality teaching and learning.
In communications with staff, Principal Paul Humble stated that he is blessed to work with such incredible professionals.
Lakes Grammar Anglican College
Lakes Grammar has launched a middle school Strive program to current and new families at its Warnervale campus. The middle school program will cater for students from Year 5 to 8 to help them prepare for senior school. As we know, senior school can be a big adjustment for students. The new middle school will help make the transition from childhood to adolescence much easier.
Where young minds flourish
An Australia for all people
A Q and A with Aunty Di Langham
Reverend Aunty Di Langham is the Director of Reconciliation for the Anglican Diocese of Newcastle. She is a passionate advocate for the rights of First Nations peoples. She is using her own voice to advocate for The Voice to Parliament.
Aunty Di spoke to Encounter from Awabakal Lands.
What would an Indigenous Voice to Parliament mean?
An Indigenous voice would allow us to tell the government what we, as a people, want to happen for ourselves. It would be our voice not somebody thinking about what they could do to help us, which is what’s been happening since 1788. There has always been people or committees that are not Indigenous who make decisions about what should happen to us.
Why do we need it?
We need it because the Closing the Gap statistics recently are pretty horrendous, and nothing is happening. We need to be able to have a voice, we have never had a voice. The voice will go into the constitution which means that we will finally be recognised as the First Nations people in Australia.
Since 1877, we’ve not been recognised in the constitution at all. In 1967 I was counted in the Census in Australia as an Aboriginal person but before that I wasn’t. Australia knew how many sheep there were in Australia but had no idea how many Aboriginal people were here. Since 1967 not a real lot has changed for Aboriginal people and I think that’s why it’s come up now, The Voice. If we have a voice in parliament, if we have a voice in the constitution, it’ll be bi-partisan so nobody can wipe it out.
If the referendum succeeds, what do you hope positively changes?
We will have a council that Aboriginal people themselves can approach and then the council will take it to the government. For me it’ll make me feel as though I have a voice. I could write a letter to say Minister for Indigenous Affairs Linda Burney and say: This is what is happening, what do you think we could do about it? They would make some decisions and recommendations that would then go to the government. As it is now, I can write a letter to the government, and nothing happens. For us, it will be accountability to the government.
What is The Voice?
This year, Australians will take part in a referendum to recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the Constitution. This will be in the form of an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice.
According to the Australian Government, The Voice is designed to be an independent, representative advisory body for First Nations people. It will provide a permanent means to advise the Australian Parliament and Government on the views of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island peoples on matters that affect them.
What sort of response have you received when you speak about the importance of The Voice?
All over the place. Most people are not au fait with what’s going on and of course they are hearing another voice too that is coming out of the Aboriginal community which is talking about Treaty. So, people are saying: “Well, what do you really want?”
We do want Treaty but that’s not going to happen until there is a voice in the constitution. You can’t have a Treaty when you are not even recognised in the constitution as being Australia’s First Nations people. We haven’t got sovereignty. When we’ve got sovereignty then we can apply for a Treaty. Racism is alive and well today. There has got to be some changes and it’s got to be that Aboriginal people are respected and I think they will be respected if they have a voice in the constitution.
Will this change if The Voice is successful?
Don’t forget that there’s been over 230 years of this rubbish happening. It’s not going to happen tomorrow. I’m quite of the understanding that it’s going to take decades. The Voice, I hope happens in my lifetime, but for the change to happen in the culture of Australia I don’t think that’s going to happen overnight. Once we start to address racism, once we start to address that it needs to be changed then I think things will change. I will feel like I have put my things forward and somebody’s listening. At the moment, I don’t feel like anybody is listening.
For people who are undecided about how they will vote in the referendum, what would you say to them?
I would tell them that they need to vote “yes”. They need to make the first steps into making changes to the constitution. We need to be recognised in the constitution. Australia needs to understand that there is a whole culture that has been here for 60,000 years. The Voice will benefit all Australians. Education will change into understanding what has happened to Aboriginal people. The frontier wars and all those things will be part of our history. When I went to school, we learnt all about the Indian wars. I knew all the names of the chiefs. No one here in Australia knows who our chiefs were. They don’t know who the people were that fought for this country. Once we do this, we will have a better Australia. We need to get out of the colonial picture and become a people altogether, all of us working together. That’s what’s got to happen.
So, my recommendation is that you vote “yes” so we can have an Australia that is for all people.
Vision, Values and Service Philosophy helping our people flourish
Newcastle Anglican is “better together” and as part of our unification a clear vision, values and service philosophy was developed, centred around our people.
When we brought our service agencies, our schools, and our parishes under one governance in 2020, we combined our strengths and our mission.
After extensive consultation, feedback and stakeholder engagement, our vision, core values and service philosophy were established.
We are proud to see this inclusive movement flow through the entire Newcastle Anglican community.
Students offered safe place to study
Samaritans Student Accommodation aims to offer a safe, stable, and secure living environment. Apart from the convenient location, it also provides cheap rent, ongoing support from a case worker, 24/7 security cameras, and free weekly deliveries from food rescue charity OzHarvest.
“Rather than focusing on school, it was like: ‘Where am I going to stay.’”
In April 2022, Josh’s school contacted Samaritans Student Accommodation. The program caters for 16 to 25-year-olds who are homeless or at risk of homelessness and still wanting to complete their educational goals, such as the Higher School Certificate (HSC), an apprenticeship, or university studies. Josh is grateful for the program’s support. “It provided security. I’m quite a driven person but trying to work and do my HSC, as well as cadets, was very hard,” he says.
The program receives no government funding and relies heavily on an annual fundraiser, the Bean Counters Ball. Since its inception in 2011, the ball has raised more than $250,000 for its charity partners – Samaritans and Hunter TAFE Foundation.
Samaritans Student Accommodation Acting Coordinator Matthew Anderson says this year’s event, which will take place on 27 May, is an opportunity to support young people like Josh.
“This program can be a sound base for you to achieve what you want,” he says. “In Josh’s case, he made the best of it. He was able to escape a relationship breakdown and domestic abuse. Where do you go when you’ve got those [educational] aspirations? He didn’t have a lot of money and, when you don’t have that support from your family, it can be pretty difficult.”
*Surname withheld for privacy reasons.
“The accommodation in Wickham also made it easy to get to school and other parts of Newcastle, especially with public transport.”
Josh* was only 17 years old when he moved out of the family home. “It wasn’t safe,” he says. “I was couch surfing for a while but it was getting more and more difficult to find a place.”
“So, not having to worry about where to live took a lot of stress off.
Please help support our community’s most vunerable
Winter brings greater demand for those struggling to pay their bills and keep warm. Increases to the cost of living and a rental crisis are adding strain to many people in our community. Your generosity has never been more important.
Donate today samaritans.org.au
Empowering local families
A Samaritans-led program is helping vulnerable families overcome these obstacles and build resilience within a safe and supportive environment. Brighter Futures provides in-home support to parents with children aged 17 and under who are dealing with issues such as mental illness, drug and alcohol abuse, and domestic violence.
Each family joining the program is encouraged to identify and prioritise their goals for the other family members. A case manager then partners with the family to determine what is going well and tries to develop these strengths.
Lake Macquarie Team Leader, Jo Gerrard said Brighter Futures is a family preservation program.
“Our aim is to keep children at home with the parents wherever it’s safe. So, our referrals are around risk of harm and abuse or neglect of kids and young people,” she said.
“We can work with families for up to 18 months. It’s a case management kind of framework but is very diverse – we do a bit of counselling, advocacy, parent education, and we work a lot in crisis and psychosocial support.”
Jo, who joined Brighter Futures in 2018, said her team of six case managers had to think on its feet and be mindful of risk and safety. While the work can be challenging, the team’s passion and dedication has produced many positive outcomes.
“The last couple of years with COVID-19 have been difficult. We worked all the way through and there was a point, for a few months, where we were still visiting families and going out when other services weren’t,” she said. “I think that was something we managed really well because we saw there was a real need for us to be seeing kids when schools were shut and things like that.”
Jo added it was a rewarding experience to meet parents who had managed to turn their lives around. “It’s always amazing to run into people two, three or four years down the track and they’re doing really well – their kids are thriving at school, and they are able to get housing.
“I recently ran into a mum – who I worked with several years back – when she was on her lunch break from work. She had previously suffered a drug-induced psychosis and harmed her children, so they were removed from her care, and we became involved to help her to keep her new baby.
“When I met her, she let me know her little one was doing really well and still in her care and she was actually in the process of getting her elder children back. So, that’s really a best-case scenario for us – when parents keep their kids or when they are restored.”
Jo said she was proud to be involved in the Brighter Futures program. “The team works incredibly hard, and they are super passionate about what they do,” she said. “We’ve got two good teams – one here and one in Newcastle – and it’s a great program to be a part of.”
“These parents have often come from pretty traumatic and adverse backgrounds.Samaritans Brighter Futures
Parenting can be a joyful, rewarding experience but, for some, it can lead to challenges that seem insurmountable.
Pillows offer comfort for women in need
Women staying at crisis accommodation centres in the Hunter are now being offered a more comfortable and better night’s sleep, thanks to a partnership between two local organisations.
The Pillow Project, an initiative between the Toronto Anglican Church and NOVA for Women and Children, provides women who are homeless or escaping family or domestic abuse with a ‘pillow menu’ and fresh pillowcases.
NOVA Marketing and Community Engagement Officer Wendy Pinch said the project aimed to offer additional support for women in distress.“How many times do you go away and take your own pillow? I know I do. Your own pillow, or a decent one, gives you a much better night’s sleep,” she said. “We wanted to be able to provide that little bit of extra comfort and a variety of pillows to choose from. Some people like a high, firm pillow, others like them cosy and soft.
“I’d like to say a huge thanks to Toronto Anglican Church and all involved – we are so happy to be able to offer this to the women and children we support.”
Reverend Melanie Whalley said the project was part of the Church’s Comfort and Care initiative, which was formed to provide more support to local refuges. “Following a recent visionary meeting, we asked NOVA what they needed and what they would like to see happen, and that’s how the Pillow Project came about,” she said. “The pillows are supplied through donations to the parish and support from local businesses. We’ve delivered dozens of them to NOVA so far.”
Apart from pillows, the church is also donating toiletries, as well as used mobile phones. Reverend Melanie said the donations could help make a difference to the lives of domestic abuse victims or the homeless. “Many women who are escaping domestic and family abuse require a new phone as they often flee without them or their devices are tracked and hacked,” she said. “So, we donate used phones to help them attend court cases, appointments, read emails, and for general communication.”Contact Reverend Melanie on 0488 413 186 or email email@example.com if you’d like to support the Pillow Project.
Newcastle Anglican Bishop supports ban on conversion therapy
Newcastle Anglican Bishop Peter Stuart has provided strong backing and advocacy towards a ban on the highly damaging practice of conversion therapy, saying the bill is “no threat to churches preaching and teaching.”
The Conversion Practices Prohibition Bill 2023 was drafted by Independent MP Alex Greenwich.
The legislation aims to outlaw sustained efforts and treatments aimed at changing a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity.
The proposed law would allow for investigation and potential referrals to the Health Care Complaints Commission, the Ombudsman or the NSW Police.
While some church leaders were vocal in their strong opposition to the bill, the Anglican Diocese of Newcastle advocates for integrity and equity.
Bishop Peter believes the legislation will give NSW world’s best practice.
“Many of our fellow citizens find their journey of selfdiscovery about their gender and sexuality deeply demanding,” he said.
“This awareness can turn into a nightmare when they are challenged by their families, culture,
or religion. The dark face of this challenge is conversion therapy or conversion practice, which has the explicit and implicit message – you are not wanted for who you are.”
Bishop Peter reaffirmed his position as a proud LGBTIQA+ ally.
“I want a safer NSW. LGBTIQA+ people tell us that to be open about their questions is to risk exclusion and isolation,” he added.“There is enough evidence to show that these conversion practices represent a critical risk to LGBTIQA+ people. Those who have experienced conversion practices speak of the damage done to them, including persistent thoughts of ending their lives.
“This proposed bill bans certain practices which are well recognised as harmful. It ensures that our LGBTIQA+ citizens will be protected, especially children.”
The bill has since been backed by both major political parties in NSW and will bring the state in line with Victoria, Queensland and the ACT, where the practice is already banned.
Disability Support Worker
Flexible work hours / Salary packaging up to $15,600 / Entertainment/Meal card up to $2650 / 14 weeks full paid parental leave incl super / Sign on bonuses careers.samaritans.org.au
Storm Village undergoes transformation
Storm Village residential aged care facility is undergoing a major transformation after being seriously sanctioned by the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission (ACQSC).
Anglican Care values integrity, and as such, management took the extraordinary step in December 2022 to proactively meet with the ACQSC to flag concerns about the standard of care being provided at the Taree facility.
Following that meeting, proactive measures were taken to address the issues identified and ensure a reliable service is provided. This approach saw Anglican Care cease admissions and respite services, appoint a clinical director, increase monitoring, and implement additional training for staff.
The ACQSC conducted a site audit in January and formalised those measures and issued Anglican Care with a Notice to Impose Sanctions and a Notice to Agree to Certain Matters.
The sanctions devastated the Anglican Care leadership.
In a frank and transparent letter to the Newcastle Anglican community, Bishop Peter Stuart acknowledged Anglican Care had failed the residents at Storm Village.
“Anglican Care is appalled by what the Risk Escalation disclosed,” Bishop Stuart wrote.
“Its Board and leadership are seeking detailed understanding of why inadequate care was provided, why its systems did not detect this promptly, and what improvements are being put in place.”
Anglican Care is happy to report positive progress has since been made to ensure people are at the centre of all work.
Storm Village has welcomed a new residential manager, regular meetings with Storm Village residents and loved ones, additional training programs and the recruitment of registered nurses.
“As we continue to improve Storm Village, we are engaging with residents and staff to ensure we are providing the highest quality care,” said Toby Mills, Acting Executive Director of People Care.
“We are taking the lessons we have learned from this tough period to improve all aspects of our operations. We are committed to the provision of high-quality care at Storm Village, and across Anglican Care.”
Jesmond Grove ticks all the boxes
A great result for Anglican Care’s Jesmond Grove facility, with a 100% compliance mark after the most recent ACQSC audit.
In passing 42 out of 42 categories, the service proved that it is providing the highest quality of care and fulfilling Newcastle’s Anglican service philosophy of reliability, individuality, dignity and empowerment.
The audit rated categories including personal care and clinical care, services and supports for daily living, as well as consumer dignity and choice.
Save the date
School Term 1 concludes
Thursday 6 April 2023
Good Friday Friday 7 April 2023
Holy Saturday Saturday 8 April 2023
Easter Sunday Sunday 9 April 2023
Easter Monday Monday 10 April 2023
School Term 2 commences Monday 24 April 2023
Bean Counters Ball
Saturday 27 May 2023
Manning Valley Anglican College
Bishop Tyrrell Anglican College
Lakes Grammar – An Anglican School
Scone Grammar School
Toby Mills, Acting Executive Director - People Care
Samaritans Brighter Futures Lake Macquarie Jo Gerrard, Rebecca Smith, and Georgia Cornall
Reverend Melanie Whalley
Toronto Anglican Church
NOVA for Women and Children
Samaritans Student Accommodation’s Matthew Anderson
ThumbstoKindyup back to school ‘23
PHONE (02) 4926 3733
POST PO Box 817 87 Toronto Road, Booragul NSW