• Wartakanlah Injil kepada segala makhluk.
    Mrk 16:15

  • 你们往普天下去, 向一切受造物宣传福音
    谷 16:15

  • Everything is possible by the power of the Holy Spirit’s Grace.
    St Arnold Janssen

  • Segala sesuatu menjadi mungkin dalam kekuatan karunia Roh Kudus.
    St. Arnold Janssen

  • 我当传教士不是为主牺牲,而是上主给我的最大恩赐
    圣福若瑟神父

  • Với sức mạnh Ân Huệ của Chúa Thánh Thần, Mọi việc đều có thể được.
    St Arnoldus Janssen

  • Preach the Gospel to the whole creation./Anh em hãy đi khắp tứ phương thiên hạ, loan báo Tin Mừng cho mọi loài thọ tạo
    Mk 16:15

  • There are many different gifts, but it is always the same Spirit.
    1 Cor 12:4

  • And the Word became flesh and lived among us.
    Jn 1:14

  • Let the word of Christ, in all its richness, find a home with you.
    Col 3:16

  • To proclaim the Good News is the first and greatest act of love of neighbour.
    St Arnold Janssen

  • 传扬天国福音是第一且最大的爱近人行动
    圣杨生•爱诺德神父

  • Có nhiều đặc sủng khác nhau, nhưng chỉ có một Thần Khí/
    1 Cor. 14:4

  • 圣言成了血肉,寄居在我们中间
    若 1:14

  • Ada rupa-rupa karunia, tetapi Roh satu
    1 Kor 12:4

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Thursday, 24 September 2015 17:46

Collaboration with lay people - the future of Mission

 

Palms---Heather-and-English-Teachers-in-Atabae---350Supporting lay people in mission is a key focus for the Divine Word Missionaries, and through a longstanding relationship with lay volunteer mission organisation, Palms Australia, the SVD is sharing its mission experience both in the field and when missionaries return home.

SVD AUS Provincial, Fr Henry Adler, says the Divine Word Missionaries and Palms Australia have had a warm collaboration for many years and are working together to create a strong future for lay volunteering in Mission.

“We love working with Palms because they are a lay organisation whose focus is on Mission and we believe that the future of Mission is a collaboration with the laity,” he says.

Palms Australia started in Sydney in 1956 as the Paulian Association. Groups formed in around 100 communities to identify local issues, reflect on values and take appropriate action to address social inequality and assist people in need.

After identifying that similar issues needed to be addressed globally, in 1961, the program was extended to communities overseas which request the placement of volunteers to assist develop health, education and other facilities. More recently Palms volunteers have been in Africa, Asia and the Pacific, including communities in Tanzania, East Timor, Papua New Guinea and indigenous Australia.

Palms---Heather-Atabae-2015---350Fr Henry says the SVD’s friendship with Palms involves an exchange of various types of support.

“We assist with our missionary expertise and offer help with training and preparation for Mission,” he says.

“And we also provide assistance for lay missionaries when they come back to Australia after an experience overseas, a time when it can be difficult to readjust to life back home after such a rich intercultural experience.”

Similarly, Fr Henry says that SVD missionaries are often the grateful recipients of assistance and support from Palms lay volunteers.

“For instance, when I was a missionary in Papua New Guinea, I had wonderful support from Palms volunteers,” he says.

Roger O’Halloran of Palms Australia says collaboration with religious congregations, including the SVD, are an important part of the Palms story.

“We have relationships with a range of religious congregations who offer us support in various areas,” he says.

“One of the important things for us is to look after the people that engage themselves in volunteering overseas. So our support in the field is quite strong, we debrief when they get home, and then some months later, we offer a ‘Re-entry’ opportunity to process some of the things they experienced.

“We like to say that we send people away as pilgrims, and they share their skills, but also learn a great deal, and they can then return to their own culture somewhat as prophets, to help us understand some of the ideas from the cultures in which they’ve worked, and sometimes some of the ways of living and being that we have lost.”

Palms---Heather-Shirley-and-the-Atabae-team---350Palms lost its regular government funding in 2004 when the government decided it was too difficult to deal with smaller volunteer organisations, and it had its last tranche of one-off funding in 2013.

“So one of the reasons we have been having meetings and holding workshops with our collaborators (including the SVD) lately is so that we can develop a whole-of-Church approach to international volunteering and hopefully put together a program with significantly more numbers and create a potential partnership with the government program,” Roger says.

“And in that way, we can take our values and ideals about international mission and development, and how to work cross culturally, to the government program.

“We take the Micah theme very seriously: ‘To live justly, to love tenderly and to walk humbly with your God’ (Micah 6:8).

“These are the sorts of values we can take to a future partnership with the government program.”

PICTURED, front left, is Heather Henderson, an experienced teacher from Kelvin Grove, Brisbane, who volunteered with Palms for two years (2013-2015) in the SVD Parish of Atabae, East Timor. While in Atabae, she supported the ongoing professional development of 4 Assistant Teachers in planning, teaching and assessment as they have implemented their educational programs for the community of Atabae. (Photos: Heather Henderson)