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I came to St Andrew’s South Brisbane in 2003, when my husband Tony and I moved from Rockhampton for Tony to take up the position of Chaplain, Brisbane State High School. We came to this church after spending 14 years in another St Andrew’s – St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, Rockhampton, where Tony served as Assistant to the Minister for 8 years (1995-2002).

Professionally, I’ve been a high school teacher, TAFE teacher, public servant, academic and researcher. My PhD thesis, which focussed on the nature and development of chaplaincy in Queensland state schools, was published in 2002 as Chaplaincy in Queensland State Schools: An Investigation. Currently I am a freelance writer and researcher and I have my own website and short story blog: Love in a little black diary.

In terms of Christian ministry, I’ve been a Sunday School and Religious Education (RE) teacher, Girls’ Rally leader, Scripture Union (SU) Queensland trainer, camp leader and cook, Beach Mission leader, Local Chaplaincy Committee (LCC) chairperson and conference speaker.

In the early 1990s, I completed the Moore College Certificate in Theology (Th C). This course is not offered today, although its precursor, the Preliminary Theological Certificate (PTC), is still offered. The latter is an online course I can highly recommend for busy laypersons. Rev John Arnold is currently coordinating the church’s EQUIP Course, which involves online study of PTC subjects.

During our time at St Andrew’s South Brisbane, Tony and I have fulfilled many ministry roles. Currently, I am one of three churchwardens and parish nominators. In fact, this is my 11th year as a churchwarden, a role I feel very privileged to fulfil.

Both Tony and I are passionate about sharing our faith with those who do not yet know the Lord, discipling new believers, and pastorally caring for our fellow believers. For 13 years, 2005-2017, I coordinated the Conversational English program at St Andrew’s, a ministry that gave me opportunity to fulfill all of these passions. As a result of this ministry, Tony and I have many dear friends, including a number of new believers we discipled, scattered all over world!

Although I was brought up in the Anglican Church (baptised as an infant, confirmed at 12 years of age), I did not fully understand the gospel or respond to God’s call on my life until I was in my early 20s. My “rebirth” began in my final year of university, when two “on-fire” Christian friends witnessed to me and encouraged me to read the Bible. As a result, I went to The University of Queensland bookshop and bought my first Bible, a New Testament, Good News for Modern Man.

For the next two years, I read and re-read the New Testament. I came to know and understand the person of Jesus Christ, and all that He had done for me through His death on the cross and resurrection to new life. Both Tony and I (at the same time – we were engaged by then) broke the news to our praying Christian friends that we had accepted Jesus Christ as our Saviour and Lord and that we planned to follow Him for the rest of our lives. That was 47 years ago!

When I was a new Christian, I committed many Bible verses to heart. Once learnt, one never forgets them. I have many favourite Bible passages, too many to share here. I will include just one.

These words, from the Apostle Paul, sum up how I see my life as a Christian:

Whatever was to my profit, I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. … Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. … Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

Philippians, Chapter 3, verses 7, 12, 13b, 14.

Judy
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