"Praise the Lord, all you servants of the Lord!" Psalm 134:1Written by Tod & Ana Gobledale
November 17, 2006
Tod & Ana Gobledale – Australia
We recently spent 5 days in Darwin, at the northern tip of the Australian continent. We were invited by the Churches of Christ Conference Minister to provide ears to listen and a couple workshops for crisis management and future directions, and to preach on Sunday. It was a wonderful opportunity to be with a great group of committed Christian folks. We felt so at home in the heat, the sun and the smaller city (about 100,000). If we weren't committed to other responsibilities, we'd agree in a heartbeat to accept a call to ministry with the Churches of Christ congregation there! Multi-racial, multi-cultural, and broad theology...a small congregation just through ministerial crisis, but ready to be dynamic and valuable to the community. A true mission post, as the nearest Churches of Christ congregation is about 2000 kms away! It was a wonderful time.
Life at the Churches of Christ Theological College (CCTC) continues to challenge and sustain us both. Our preaching class meets on Wednesdays. It includes students from several churches: Salvation Army, Uniting Church, Roman Catholic, Anglican, Rumanian Reformed and Churches of Christ, and from several countries: China, Rumania, and Australia. A group Ana started this year, WIMIN, Women In MINistry, meets monthly on the second Thursday -- about 10 women are showing up -- Anglican, United Church, Churches of Christ, and Christian Reformed. One of the women was in the first group of Anglican women ordained as priests about 20 years ago...she's 82! On the third Fridaywe host our monthly “Movies with a Message” program at which we show a film and have a discussion afterwards. Recent films have included “The Sum of Us”-- a must see Australian film on homophobia and love (with a young Russell Crowe), “Maria Full of Grace” about the drug mules between Columbia and the USA to focus concern on Columbia and the Christian Women's Fellowship project there, and "Australian Rules" which addresses racism and domestic abuse in small town Australia. We get between 15 and 50 people each month...all ages, 18+. On the third Monday we host our monthly continuing education for ministers’ program “In-Formation”, at which we get 20-55 people, ecumenical. Folks present on a variety of ministry and justice-related topics which have recently included Drug and Alcohol Ministries, Creative Liturgy, and Our Muslim Neighbors. Our Fair Trade workshop 2 years ago has resulted in several churches, and the College, becoming Fair Trade users and promoters.
God's work is wonderful to behold!
Please hold the students and faculty of CCTC and the members of the Darwin Church of Christ in your prayers, especially Tarun who was baptized during our visit.
Tod & Ana Gobledale
The Gobledales serve the Common Global Ministries Board at Churches of Christ Theological College (Seminary) in Australia. Currently, their son, Mandla,attends Occidental College in Los Angeles, and their daughter, Thandiwe, has begun a 2-year appointment with Global Ministries at the Family Village Farm near Vellore, India.
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