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Spring 2005 Friends of ACS Newsletter

Thursday 1st of September 2005

From the Pen of the Executive Director

What does one do when God makes no sense?


How can we make sense of the child diagnosed with leukaemia? or the young, sexually abused by an adult? or a young man killed in a motor bike accident, just beginning his adult life?


Why didn’t God answer the desperate and agonising prayers of a husband for his sick wife riddled with cancer and leaving behind 2 children?


I have no doubt we could come up with numerous examples. What purpose is served by their tragic loss? I think there are simply times when things go wrong for reasons that may never be understood.


Wars, famines, disease, natural disasters and untimely deaths are never easy to rationalise but human suffering does produce inevitable questions that trouble the soul. Typically, God does not rush in to explain what He is doing.

Isaiah 55:8-9 says: ‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways’, declares the Lord. ‘As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts’. (cf Ecclesiastes 11:5, 1 Corinthians 2:16)


The Bible tells us that we lack the capacity to grasp God’s infinite mind or the way He intervenes in our lives. Unless God chooses to explain Himself to us, His motivation and purposes are beyond the reach of human beings. We will not have the total picture until we meet in eternity.


But, in our human frailty, it is not uncommon for those in crisis to feel great frustration with God. I suspect Joseph in Genesis 37—45 wondered where God was in the midst of his trials. He faced the danger of becoming confused and disillusioned with God.


Even Job, in the midst of great loss and sickness reached a point of despair coming from his inability to find God (Job 23:2-9).


How do we cope when God does not make sense? By faith!


It is a determination to believe when the proof is not provided and when the questions are not answered. God will not do anything to destroy the need for faith. In fact, he guides us through times of testing specifically to cultivate that belief and dependence on Him (Hebrews 11:1, 6, 7).


This answer doesn't take away the pain and frustration we experience but where else do we go? Isaiah 44:6-8 says No, there is no other Rock; I know not one.


Staff Matters

Jenny Regan (counsellor) has been invited to speak at a Rural Mental Health conference on ‘Counselling Indigenous People’ in November at Tweed Heads


Voluntary Positions:

  • Graphic Artist—to help redesign ACS brochures
  • Architect—to draw up a plan for a preferred building in Tamworth
  • Business or Financial Advisor—to assist in drawing up a Business Plan for ACS

Money Matters

On behalf of the Board and staff of ACS, thank you for your prayerful and financial support. ACS was able to end the financial year with a small surplus whilst the College ended the year in a strong position. As we look to this coming year, we value your continued interest and support of ACS and the Lois Reid College of Counselling Studies.


From the Board

  • The Inaugural LRCCS Graduation is to be held on 26th November in the St Peter’s Cathedral Parish Centre Armidale at 2pm. If you are interested in attending please contact (02) 6765 2527.


Problem Gambling Programme:

All service providers such as ACS, in order to receive any new funding for gambling counselling, will have to meet approval requirements.


Family Relationship Counselling and Education:

Significant increases in service use at Armidale, Glen Innes, Inverell and Moree

97% increase in service use by 18—21 year olds


Financial Counselling:

Of all clients seeking help:

  • 55% for Credit Card over-commitment
  • 87% were aged 26-45
  • 10% aged 46-60
  • 58% were receiving government benefits

Equal numbers of male and female


Strategic Planning Process—This has begun, with staff and Board via email. If any friends are interested in taking part, please contact the Executive Director on (02) 6762 4380.


New Premises for Tamworth—St Paul’s Anglican Church has decided to proceed towards the sale of the building which currently houses the Counselling Centre in Tamworth. Further, growth of the training College in the Administration Centre is placing pressure on office space. The ACS Board’s preferred option is to have all Tamworth operations in the same complex. Estimated costs for such a building are about $1.2 million.


Praise Matters

  • God’s protection over staff and clients
  • God’s provision of finances
  • LRCCS currently has 60 students


Prayer Matters

  • Provision of a suitable building for Tamworth and the necessary funds
  • That the Holy Spirit will guide the Strategic Planning Process
  • The successful re-accreditation of the College Counselling Degree
  • Jenny Regan as she conducts a Self-Awareness course at the Sydney Anglican Youthworks in October and speaks at the Rural Mental Health Conference
  • For Faith Boehm (Financial Counsellor) who is recovering from an operation to have a pin inserted in her back
  • For parity funding from the Australian Government for Family Relationship Counselling
  • For the ACS Board that they may make wise and godly decisions
  • For ACS as we celebrate 20 years in 2006—how best to celebrate the milestone?


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, Caroly, Wendy, Ros, Lynn, Jenny M, Ran, Jenny R, Shirley, Betty

Other Staff: Cheryl, Lois, Fran, Meryl, Carol, Elaine, James, Allan

Volunteers: Barb, Colleen, Eleanor, Phyllis, Karen

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