We send 10% of our budgeted giving income to missions and we also support the Anglican Diocese of Melbourne. This means over 20% of our budgeted giving supports organisations other than St. Columb’s. We do this because we want to be generous and model generosity to our members. The organisations we support are reviewed every two years by our Parish Council and have at least one of the following characteristics:
People from our congregation are involved with the project
The project reaches a people group we are also reaching in our Hawthorn based ministries
The project is informed by Biblical truth and values – whether educational, evangelistic, social justice or development projects.
We also set aside 20% of our annual mission budget for one-off discretionary projects.
We have established a number of partnerships with organisations outside of St. Columb’s. These partnerships contribute a great deal to our life together and we are planning to develop more partnerships as opportunities arise.
Australian Fellowship of Evangelical Students
Christian Union at Swinburne University is now combined with the Overseas Christian Fellowship. It is overseen by AFES. We plan to deepen our relationship with CU by providing facilities and resources but chiefly by supporting staff workers at Swinburne CU that are also part of the St. Columb’s staff team. We are aiming to provide up to two days per week of support by the end of this plan.
With this we are planning to employ, part-time, a minister who will help us to establish a congregation at St. Columb’s based on our contacts with people from Sri Lankan and Indian backgrounds.
Diocese of the Northern Territory - St. James Kewulyi
In 2017 we began a partnership, through the Anglican Diocese of the Northern Territory, with indigenous Christians from St James Kewulyi. The aim of the partnership is to build a long-term relationship between St Columb’s and our indigenous brothers and sisters in Kewulyi so that we can learn from each other and grow in faith together. We are planning to arrange regular visits by St Columb’s parishioners (who have been recognised by the Diocese of the Northern Territory and accepted by the people of Kewulyi) to develop the relationship by working on projects together. The first project is to refurbish a building in Kewulyi to make it suitable for church meetings. It is a ministry adventure that we can give little firm direction to but it is written into this plan as a sign of our commitment to pursue the relationship where ever the Lord may lead it. Funding for this project will come from individual donations towards the expenses of those travelling to the Northern Territory, from the discretionary component of our mission budget and from funds for building works held by the Diocese of the Northern Territory.
Keriva Counselling services is a ministry we run and support. Keriva consists of independent counsellors who are vetted by our church wardens and agree with the goal of this counselling ministry. Keriva's goal is to enable its clients to deal with the life issues they are facing by providing professional counselling and psychological services with counsellors who are familiar with Christian commitment. Since the Bible is clear about the uniqueness, value and worth of all people the counsellors aim to make counselling available to all, including those who may be struggling financially. Keriva specialises in its service to those with issues that relate to their faith journey, over the years this has included clergy, missionaries, chaplains and other pastoral and church workers. Our plans for 2018-2022 are:
To develop new counsellors who are able build their own regular client base. At least one of these counsellors will be a qualified Psychologist so that Keriva can take advantage of the Medicare rebate for counselling sessions.
To develop skills for longer term, affordable, counselling for those who have suffered trauma from church institutional abuse as part of an Anglican response to the Royal Commission into Institutional Child Abuse.
We will continue to maintain the web site, email system, calendar booking system, printed flyers, on-line advertising, insurance and general management of this ministry. We will continue to make sure Keriva complies with State and Federal laws on child safety and any emerging policies of our Diocese on safe ministry practice.
We will maintain and gradually develop the counselling area to give it a professional and welcoming aesthetic in order to assist those with deep needs to feel more secure in this environment. This is to be paid for by the counsellors with St. Columb’s contributing at its discretion.
Romana House (revised parish council July 2020 - from the AGM report November 2020)
Caring for the poor not only demonstrates God’s love of the poor but also enriches those who serve the poor. In this spirit Parish Council established a ministry in 2020 that:
meets a real and existing need,
does not duplicate existing services that are provided to the materially poor in the local community,
is sustainable in the sense that the St Columb's community is prepared to support it in the long
term, taking into account the location, time, resources and other commitments of its members, and
is accessible by a broad cross-section of the St Columb's community, recognising that we do not all
have the expertise needed to deal with many of the issues that cause material poverty (including mental illness and addiction).
Romana House: Servants Community Housing
Servants was set up by the Hawthorn West Baptist Church in 1986 to provide affordable accommodation that is safe and secure for vulnerable individuals, many of whom suffer from long-term mental illness. Many have been homeless. Servants provide live-in care and logistical support, together with an evening meal six nights a week (Sun-Fri). Their first residence was Carrical House, West Hawthorn, now with 38 residents. In 2011 they established Hamer Court, High Street, Kew (28 residents); in 2014 Romana House, Kew (24 residents); and in 2018 converted the Hawthorn West Baptist Church manse into accommodation for six women.
Servants' CEO advised that since the COVID-19 restrictions began, a monthly Saturday drop-off of packaged food suitable for a meal (lunch or dinner) that day, cookies and a quantity of fruit sufficient for each resident, was very much needed at Romana House. This would not only be of material benefit to the residents, but also be interpreted as a mark of respect, dignity and acceptance from the local community.
Parish Council's request for volunteers drew an enthusiastic response from the parish, indeed an entire Small Group volunteered to be on the roster as a team. Another member of our group has enlisted the assistance of a warm-hearted neighbour. Armed with an initial bulk package of 500 fully compostable food containers and 500 paper bags, we set to work and delivered our first effort on 5 September. This has been followed by deliveries on 3 October and 7 November. Currently we are on a 4-monthly rotation for the first Saturday of the month and experimenting with what each of us is best able to cook in bulk that the residents enjoy. So far so good! New cooks and bottle washers are always welcome in this ministry team.