MAC’s new Northern Beaches teaching centre

A new teaching centre is not only creating learning opportunities, but also forging pathways into the local community, writes Hayley Lukabyo.


Mary Andrews College is excited to announce the launch of a brand-new teaching centre at Christ Church Northern Beaches, Manly Vale – and classes have already begun!

The centre kicked off this semester with the ‘Pastoral Care’ unit, and nine students are enrolled.

Senior Minister of Christ Church Northern Beaches, Robin Kinstead, opened up the church as MAC training centre after seeing the benefits of pastoral care training among members of his own congregation who were already MAC students. Robin is now urging other church members, including their pastoral care team, to consider taking the unit.

“My expectation is that this unit will complement and extend the gifts and skills of our church members in caring pastorally for one another and for members of our local community,” he says. “My hope is that it will also continue to expand our appreciation for ongoing theological training, and how we can prayerfully, lovingly and practically apply God’s word in our pastoral relationships.”

Beyond his own congregation, Robin is also spreading the word among other local Christians. “As a mission area leader, I have been promoting the unit beyond the parish to colleagues across the Warringah mission area,” he says.

Building on the success of this unit, MAC intends to expand the number of units run at the centre next year, with a specific focus on pastoral care. The units form part of a Certificate or Diploma course*, which in turn offers students a pathway into community chaplaincy.

Lecturer for the Pastoral Care unit, Di Morgan, hopes the course will give students a greater understanding about how Jesus is calling them to live in practical and generous ways.

“The unit teaches people how to put God’s love into action … The pastoral care course isn’t just learning a whole lot of theory. It is intensely practical and often, personally, very challenging.” she says.

The unit is run over five days, spread out over the 10-week semester. Di notes that this flexible format is useful due to the practical and personal nature of the course. “It’s helpful to have time to reflect on what you are learning,” she says.

According to Di, this unit is applicable to everyone who wants to grow in their knowledge of the Bible and in their ability to care for those around them. She says, “Having taught this unit for three years, I get students saying to me constantly, ‘Everyone should do this course!’”

* Certificate and Diploma courses at MAC are accredited by the Australian College of Theology

Details about 2018 pastoral care courses at the Northern Beaches Training Centre will be available on the MAC website soon, or you can email Jackie Stoneman for more information


Christians unite in new plan for Northern Beaches Hospital

Sarah Kinstead, MAC faculty and member of The Hub, shares her vision for an integrated chaplaincy service for the Northern Beaches Hospital.

What project have you been working on in The Hub?
I’ve been developing the Northern Beaches Hospital Community Co-ordinated Christian Chaplaincy Service (NBHCCCCS), seeking to provide chaplaincy to the new private Northern Beaches Hospital [which is expected to open by late 2018]. We are also looking to link up any local organisations beyond the hospital that provide Christian-based services, to work in a more co-ordinated fashion.


What does your project aim to achieve?
The service aims to provide a different model of pastoral care, with all the Christian local churches combining forces to work together to provide chaplaincy to the hospital. This will happen via an ecumenical Christian Board, supporting paid Christian chaplains to go into the hospital, as well as training local laity in pastoral care skills. Ultimately, we would love all people entering the hospital (staff, patients and visitors) to experience God in some way before they leave – through chaplaincy, worship services held on the premises, Bibles that will be available on all wards, Christian TV and radio being available at bedsides and via podcasts, or through the atmosphere in a Christian gift shop in the entrance hall.


What challenges do you face in developing your project and how are you overcoming them?
The model we are proposing is unique, which means starting lots of things from scratch. It is a slow process to gather, communicate and negotiate across the number of different Christian organisations, people and systems, as well as the hospital’s Executive. It has taken lots of prayer, patience, persistence, ingenuity, exploration, flexibility and lots and lots of communication!


What is next for the NBHCCCCS project?
We have lots of big things coming up, starting with creating a Board and tax-deductible status, so that we can start to receive donations to fund a chaplain. We also need to create a web presence and communicate the needs of the project to churches. We are aiming to train 100 pastoral care volunteers to an accredited level before the hospital opens.  To that end, I am seeking to set up a regional pastoral education centre and make use of MAC’s new teaching centre at Christ Church Northern Beaches, through which students can undertake pastoral care units that could lead to further training in community chaplaincy.


What was the biggest benefit of The Hub for you?
The Hub was of huge personal benefit to me, in both the support and inspiration of the group and the individual mentorship of Kara Martin (Project Leader, The Hub). The timing of The Hub couldn’t have been better for me. I had been prompted by God for a couple of years to do something about this project, but I also knew I didn’t have all the skills or the time required. Joining The Hub has given me a supportive environment and the motivation to focus on the project each week. If I hadn’t been a part of The Hub this year, the NBHCCCCS wouldn’t be happening!


What would you say to someone who is thinking about applying for The Hub 2018?
Go for it! It is a wonderful opportunity to expand whatever idea God has put on your heart and enable you to make an impact for God’s Kingdom.


Applications for The Hub 2018 will open 16 October. Further details will be released shortly on the Anglican Deaconess Ministries website and through our social media channels – stay tuned!



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