It has now been six months since I took on the role of National Director of EFM Australia from The Rev’d Trevor Smith and I believe it is more than timely to give trainers, co-ordinators, mentors and participants an update on progress and developments with the change of leadership as well as the transition into the newly revised EFM program.
These first months have essentially been taken up with establishing the EFM office, now re-located to the Parish Centre at the Anglican Parish of Gisborne in Victoria where I am the Parish priest. At the same time I have been handling the administration of those groups who re-registered or began the newly revised program. I am pleased to announce that we now have sixteen groups operating the revised program. Two other groups are about to commence at the end of this month with I hope one or two more groups to begin as well. Of course at the same time we do have groups that have finished their four years and who are going into recess for the time being.
I am pleased to report that the transition to the newly revised program has gone smoothly with no real problems being raised to date. The feedback so far has been positive but equally I look forward to further feedback as our experience of the program grows. This feedback will be important as we prepare to edit/adapt the materials [ie: RRG] for 2016. This process is beginning now so any feedback mentors can provide over the next few weeks would be particularly valuable.
So far this year, two mentor trainings have taken place: one in Hong Kong (which comes under the EFM-Australia banner) and one in Maitland with participants from both the Diocese of Newcastle and Bathurst. Planning for further mentor trainings is now underway for the remainder of this year and into next year. Priority needs to be given at this point to those mentors (irrespective of whether re-accreditation is due or not) who need to participate in a training that focuses on the newly revised program. If as a mentor you fall into this category could you please make contact with myself as soon as possible.
On the administrative side I am pleased to announce that I have invited a small group comprising of trainers, co-ordinators and mentors to be a reference/advisory group to assist me in developing and growing Education for Ministry within our church. The members of the group who have accepted my invitation are: Helen Malcolm [trainer/mentor]; Barbara Booth [trainer/mentor]; Jan Craft [trainer/co-ordinator/mentor]; Lynelle Osborne [trainer/mentor]; Michael Richards [co-ordinator/mentor]. We are planning to meet in Canberra in August in conjunction with a meeting of local mentors where a de-brief/feedback session on the new program will be undertaken.
Issues to be explored include:
- 2016 RRG preparation
- on-line groups
- publicity, promotion, website, brochures/prospectus
- alumni groups
- independent accreditation as an optional extra
I am also pleased to announce that a new administrative assistant has been appointed to assist me with EFM Administration. Jude Walker is the new EFM administrative assistant and will be in the EFM Office on Fridays.
I am also pleased to announce that The Rev’d Kevin Bourke has accepted the appointment of EFM coordinator for the Brisbane Diocese.
I take this opportunity of thanking you all for your prayers and support. Please keep EFM in your prayers as we face the challenges of Christian faith formation within our church. I believe we have been blessed with a wonderful resource in EFM and all who over the years have experienced the EFM program. We need to tap this great resource of people and ministry experience as we confidently move forward in promoting and growing EFM here in Australia and Hong Kong.
May God continue to bless you in your ministry.