Celebrating our MAC Graduates of 2020 and 2021
At the end of 2019, Mary Andrews College graduands were looking forward to a graduation ceremony on the 27th of March, 2020. Together with the graduation ceremony, MAC was to officially farewell then Principal, Rev. Jackie Stoneman, and welcome and commission its new Principal, Rev. Dr Katy Smith.
Like so many other stories from 2020, this one was interrupted by COVID-19.
And so it was with much joy that exactly one year later, on the 27th of March 2021, the class of 2020 celebrated their graduation. And on the same day, the class of 2021 also celebrated their graduation: a bumper crop of graduates for Mary Andrews College.
Rev. Jackie Stoneman was present to congratulate the classes of 2020 and 2021 as they were awarded their certificates and diplomas by Rev. Dr Katy Smith and Prof. James Dalziel, Dean and CEO of the Australian College of Theology.
The CEO of ADM, Rev. Jo Gibbs, addressed graduates at both ceremonies. Mary Andrews College forms one part of the work of Anglican Deaconess Ministries, or ADM. She reminded graduates that they have received not only an award or qualification but also the same three things that God gave to the church in Thessalonica seen in 1 Thessalonians 1:1-10: the powerful gospel; an example to live by; and an enduring hope.
Rev Gibbs reminded them of the powerful gospel that graduates take with them. She encouraged them to regularly reflect on the impact of the gospel on their own lives, to always make sharing the gospel a priority, and to remember that no one is beyond the power of the gospel.
She challenged graduates to follow the example of Christ in their ministries, living a life above reproach and pointing back to Christ. Not a life that models perfection, but a life that shows what it looks like to follow Jesus in the highs and lows of life, a parable of Christ. She also spoke about the enduring hope that our graduates take with them into their lives and ministries –
“Our hope is grounded in what God has done in the past through Jesus and in our own lives. And it gives us an unwavering confidence that God will finish what he has started.”
She reminded graduands that hope enables us to persevere in times of suffering, in the daily challenges and sacrifice of ministry. That there will be times in ministry when we feel like we’ve failed, when there is opposition, when we want to give up –
“And on those days, can I encourage you to lift your eyes to Jesus. The one who willingly faced opposition with gentleness and forgiveness. The one willing to suffer so that we might be set free from our sin. Look back to the cross and to Christ’s work in your life as the foundation for your hope.”
“As you continue in your ministries, or head into new ones, there will be many days when serving Christ involves sacrifice… And on those days, can I encourage you to lift your eyes to Jesus.”
– Rev. Jo Gibbs, CEO of Anglican Deaconess Ministries
We hope that you will join with us in praying for our graduates of 2020 and 2021, that they will have the gospel on their lips, a life that shows forth Jesus to the world, and that their eyes would be fixed firmly on Him in hope as we wait for his return.