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Summer 2006/2007 Friends of ACS Newsletter

Friday 1st of December 2006

Dear Friends,

The Archbishop of Sydney, Peter Jensen recently spoke at the 150th Anniversary of the beginning of Sydney Anglicare. He spoke to the question, ‘Do we still need Anglicare?’


The Anglican Counselling Service (ACS) celebrated the 20th Anniversary of its beginning in 2006. I ask the same question, ‘Do we still need ACS?’


Do we need rain to break this drought? Do we need family, friends and neighbours for support in the good as well as the tough times?


Some people do not have family or friends to provide that support; to listen or to share their pain. ACS aims to provide support, to provide a listening ear, to provide a safe place for people to unburden their pain—for the lonely and isolated, and the single parents, and the grieving and the abused, and the children, and the misunderstood.


ACS’ aim is ‘to strengthen and support individuals, families and communities in their relationships with each other’. The Bible’s command to love stresses the importance of relationships. If these relationships are in conflict or broken, we will often find much unhappiness—broken marriages, rebellious children, abused children, suicide, depression, poverty, homelessness, violence, mental illness and the list goes on.


ACS does not simply provide counselling, run courses or train counsellors. ACS exists to strengthen and support individuals families and communities in their relationships.


What motivates the Board and Staff of ACS is essentially the message of Christmas. When God our creator made this world all relationships were in harmony—with God, each other, and nature. When humans rejected their proper relationship with God, our world has since been in turmoil. But God as an act of grace, sent his only Son, into our world that first Christmas, so that we may be reconciled to him, through Jesus Christ. By the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, there comes the possibility of forgiveness and peace with God, restored relationships with God and possibly with each other. This can result in immense power to do good in our communities.


Do we still need ACS? Each year ACS staff care for over 1500 people throughout the northern inland of NSW. As you remember and celebrate this Christmas offer your vigorous and generous support as one of the authentic ways of showing Christ’s love, of being a neighbour to those in need.


May the God of peace and love bless you





Executive Director Resigns

It was after much prayer and meditation on God's Word that I decided not to extend my contract. Instead, I will be returning to parish ministry. I have accepted the invitation to be the next Vicar of the Moree Parish.


I have enjoyed my 5 years at the helm of ACS. It has been great working with the staff and Board who are professional and committed to their work and clients. The last 5 years has involved much change and growth.


Please pray for the Board and Bishop as they seek to find a suitable replacement.


Also, I want to thank the ‘Friends of ACS’ for your prayerful, financial and personal support during that time.


Manilla Family Support

Haidee Lea is doing a fantastic job with a highly successful Open Day held on 25th November. ACS is now seeking to provide a counsellor on a regular basis to the community.


Indigenous Work

The project with indigenous people in the Coledale Community received high praise from a recent Federal Government audit prompting a renewal of funding for a further 6 months.


ACS has instituted a ‘traineeship’ programme whereby recommended College students are invited to commence their internship earlier in their training to meet the growing demand for counsellors.

  • We have also had a request from Warialda for a counsellor one day/week.
  • We plan to re-institute a counselling service to Narrabri for 1 day/week from February 2007.


Mental Health Award

Counsellor Ruth Blakely, after accepting the award from NSW Govenor Marie Bashir.
Counsellor Ruth Blakely, after accepting the award from NSW Govenor Marie Bashir.

Ruth Blakely, Tamworth counsellor, travelled to Sydney recently to accept a ‘Mental Health Matters’ Award on behalf of the ACS.


ACS was presented with the Award in recognition of the role we have played in presenting a number of Mental Health First Aid Courses throughout the region.



  • Pray for the appointment of a new Executive Director
  • Pray for rain
  • Pray for counselling staff as they travel and counsel around the region
  • Pray for the College as it seeks to satisfy the NSW Higher Education Unit for re-accreditation of its Degree
  • Pray for Faith Boehm, Financial Counsellor, as she tries to meet the growing need with limited funding



Anglican Counselling Service, Executive Director: Rev Brian Kirk

Lois Reid College of Counselling Studies, Principal: Jenny Regan

Financial Counsellor: Faith Boehm

Relationship Counsellors: Ruth, Donna, Libby, Catherine, Judy, Sharon, Cheryl L, Caroly, Wendy, Ros, Jenny M, Ran, Bettina, Jenny R, Shirley, Betty

Other Staff: Cheryl C, Lois, Fran, Meryl, Carol, Elaine, James, Sharon, Joy, Kate, Mattie, Bruce, Haidee, Rosemary

Volunteers: Barb, Colleen, Eleanor, Phyllis, Jane, Suzanne

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