Tag Archives: anglicare

Endings and beginnings

At 5:30pm on Friday I rolled out of the Anglicare driveway for the last time, with my car full of flowers, canisters of tea and the contents of my desk. John, the best supervisor in the universe, was waving me goodbye and I had all the saddest songs I know playing in my head.

Finishing up at Anglicare was a bizarre feeling. I am excited about starting my new job in January, but it’s also really sad to leave Anglicare behind. I will miss the people, the work and the place. And on top of all that was the week-long adrenaline rush in the five days leading up to that moment. As the week rolled on it became increasingly apparent that I wasn’t going to wrap up all my projects as neatly as I thought. In between all the farewell conversations, coffee breaks and afternoon teas the work was so frantic it was difficult to process that it really was the end.

But it was the end. Friday came and went and suddenly there were too many emotions to process (“so many feels!”). I will miss being at Anglicare! Thanks to everyone there for making the last four years so rich and wonderful. Thanks for my wonderful Friday afternoon send off! Thanks for modelling Christ in manifold ways, in all your work!

Pictures from the final weeks

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A change

There’s some career-related news I’ve been sitting on for awhile and it’s finally time to make it public. I am leaving my position as a social researcher Anglicare at the end of the year and taking a sideways career step to work with the Sydney University Evangelical Union!

I will be employed as part of the Howard Guinness Project, a two year ministry trainee program that will employ me as kind of an apprentice university chaplain. There are eleven other people starting this trainee program with me, and in 2013 we will be joining a team of eight senior staff and 5 existing trainees who are already on campus working alongside the student group. It’s going to be an epic two years!

The particulars
I know there are plenty of people out there who have never heard of the Sydney Uni EU or the Howard Guinness Project. The student group (the EU) is an affiliate of the Australian Fellowship of Evangelical Students, which in turn is affiliated with the International Fellowship of Evangelical Students. Any overseas readers? I will be working alongside a group that is partnered with the Inter varsity Christian Fellowship (USA), UCCF (UK) and IFES-Nederlands (Netherlands). It’s a non-denominational evangelical Christian group, run by students and supported by graduates.

Why?
There is a list in my desk drawer at work with a list of things that will be awesome about working on campus next year. The list looks like this:

– get out of office
– can wear t-shirts
– experience seasons
– shorter commute
– work with awesome people!
– get to walk around and exercise
– see the sky more -> more vitamin D
– can cycle to work

There are also some serious reasons I am excited. I am excited to have two years to work with students in an important transitional period of their life. I’m hoping that there will be many opportunities to help Christians think about how to integrate their faith into their studies, passions and future work.I’m also hoping that I will get to share the gospel with many people who have never seriously considered Jesus as an adult. Personally I am expecting that the next two years will give me many opportunities to be trained in different ministry and “people” skills. I’m also looking forward to some experience of full-time, people-focused ministry work. I’d like to see if I can actually do it, whether this is a sustainable career option to consider in the long term.

Finishing up at Anglicare
In the midst of all the excitement there is also sadness about leaving my job at Anglicare. Even though I know that my geography brain is not going to switch off with this job move, I’m still going to miss being employed as a geographer. I will miss making maps, I will miss all my work friends, the Monday morning staff devotions, the way that there is always someone turning my attention to the marginalised. I will miss my access to the census database! I will miss helping churches and writing reports for the Diocese. I will even miss providing IT support to all the Emergency Relief social workers who struggle to use their database. I will be finishing up at Christmas so there’s only really a month to go before everything starts changing!

As part of my work I am collecting a group of supporters who will pray for me and the work on campus. If you are a Christian and are interested in praying for me in this new role over the next couple years, mention it in the comments or send me a private message and I’ll send you regular prayer updates by email.

So much excitement!

Silent night, nothing feels right.

I’m currently at work listening to That was the worst Christmas ever by Sufjan Stevens and collating the Food Insecurity survey responses to send back to all the agencies who participated in the study.

Reading everyone’s stories about not having enough to eat, especially the comments reflecting on Christmas, especially while listening to this song – it’s all a little bit overwhelming. I can’t help but wonder whether any of these people are better off a year later, or whether things have gotten worse.

In time the snow will rise, in time the snow will rise.
In time the Lord will rise, in time the Lord will rise.

Not knowing how to make things better is crippling.

GIS Day Preparation

I just sent this email out to my work colleagues and I am very excited:

Hi Advocacy and Partnership friends

GIS Day is coming up next Wednesday. For those who don’t know, GIS stands for Geographic Information Systems (a fancy way to talk about maps) and it’s actually a legitimate thing.

This year GIS Day at ANGLICARE is being postponed to Thursday the 15th because more of us are in the office that day. You are invited to come and celebrate how maps and mapping technology have made our lives that much more wonderful!

Please come by the SPRU area at around 10:30 to eat some of the traditional delicious Map Cake. In the spirit of the day, it would be great if you could bring something map related to contribute to a GIS gallery. It’s going to be my last GIS Day with Anglicare and I’d love to celebrate in style.
Here are some suggestions:
– A map of your favourite place
– A hand drawn map
– A mind map or something more abstract like that
– A poem about the wonder of maps, GPS, your favourite cartographer or any other thing connected to GIS
– A picture of a beautiful or artistic map

Please don’t bring the enormous map that is up in the Parish Partnerships room behind Jenni and Richard’s desk. That would be incredibly cumbersome. However the Parish Partnerships/Disaster Recovery team can get bonus GIS points for having that map permanently on display.

Looking forward to celebrating the day with you

Alison

I am so excited! What map would you bring with you if you were coming to our event?

It is finished

Last Tuesday was World Food Day, and the third day of Anti-Poverty Week in Australia. It was also the day that Anglicare Australia launched their annual State of the Family report, which this year was focused on the food insecurity research that our team has been working on for over a year. It was finally published! So exciting!

PhotobucketThe report authors (minus Sally), with Senator Rachael Siewert (third from left), who launched the report.

The study was centered on a household food insecurity among low income households, who were sampled from clients accessing Anglicare services all around the country. We used a tool developed by the United States Department of Agriculture. The whole experience was incredibly eye-opening, it was very depressing at times and needed lots of hard work to publish it by the World Food Day deadline! I’m so glad I had the opportunity to be involved in this.

You can read the report if you like: it is available here. Volume 1 is mainly reflective essays from different Anglicare agencies; Volume 2 is our research report so download that one! If you are not up for reading the whole thing (it’s very long!) then chapters six through eight are the most interesting. They have the most direct quotes and stories from the clients who participated.

I’m hoping that this research raises awareness bout what poverty is like in Australia, but even more, I’m hoping that Christians especially sit up and pay attention. It would be wonderful if churches started responding as quickly as possible by considering how they can be welcoming places for people who struggle with household food insecurity. That would be much better than waiting for the government to do something.

“It affects everything. The school wants to know why the kids are hungry. You try and avoid as you can’t afford to feed them. It’s embarrassing. My kids have no shoes. He’s come home with black eyes ‘cos he’s the poor kid.”
Page 42

Thanks

On Sunday Jen gave me a big bag full of tea, crockery and other lovely things from my wonderful friends. One of the boxes of tea was a herbal collection from T2 – teas with names like “Refresh”, “Relax” and “Sleepy Time”.

As I opened it I turned to Jen excitedly:
“I’ve been meaning to buy these teas for ages and never got around to it! One of the girls at work says they are great!”
“Hah!” she replied. “I got them because you always sound so stressed on your Livejournal!”

Sorry friends…!

Office survival guide

Those mornings. When the alarm goes off, and it feels like the end of the world. When you are sick but not-sick-enough-to-take-a-sick day. When, half conscious, you talk yourself into sleeping in for an extra half an hour and then have to confess this to your supervisor when you eventually get into work an hour later than normal. I had one of those mornings today. But everything turned out OK – because I discovered an important secret to workplace survival:

The Wellbeing Bag.
Read more Office Survival Guide under the cut!