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Corner of Church St and Market St Wollongong 8am, 9:30am, 11am, 5pm & 7pm each Sunday
On Tuesday 5th February over 400 people got together to attend the annual SRE conference at Dapto Anglican Church; 400 volunteer SRE teachers committed to taking God’s word into our public schools. (SRE = Special Religious Education, a.k.a. ‘School Scripture’; there were another 1000 teachers at the Sydney day.)
Each year these teachers receive spiritual encouragement (this year from Sandy and Psalm 61) as well as assistance to update strategies and their skills, to enable them to give a clearer and more loving presentation of the Gospel.
Attendance at this conference or an equivalent is required for continued accreditation. But it is uplifting to know there are so many other Christians out there willing and able to take the Gospel to children who would not otherwise hear of Jesus, their Saviour and King, their comforter and rock.
The closing session at the conference is an update on all things SRE, including statistics from the latest research. Earlier this decade SRE was under threat in public schools and a difficult time was forecast. Since then, great progress has been made, and both the NSW and Queensland Governments have given full support to maintaining SRE in schools and have endorsed the curriculum and system of accreditation and training set up by Youthworks, which is now the benchmark for all providers.
God has graciously heard and approved our prayers on this matter. Please continue to pray for SRE teachers, coordinators and the students who attend (and for those who don’t). For example…
There are 2,200 SRE teachers in the Sydney Diocese but still more are needed. St Michael’s provides around 20 primary teachers across 15 public schools locally. Pray that more teachers and helpers will answer the call. The research stated 14% of SRE teachers in 2018 were in their 1st year and 25% had been teaching for more than 20 years. Praise God for this long-term ministry.
In our high schools, the WCCEB (Wollongong Combined Church Education Board) ministry continues to be fruitful with our 4 teachers; Jonny Hann, Georgia Clements, Samar Mikhael and Heather Grant continuing in Keira, Wollongong, Smith’s Hill and Illawarra Sports high schools respectively. Keep praying and supporting these teachers and the WCCEB, as it manages the teachers, schools and supporting churches.
Numbers and classes remain fairly consistent this year; pray this may continue and that parents will keep choosing SRE as a valuable lesson for their children.
– Jenni Williams