September 27, 2020
Women At The Frontline Of Social Innovation
By Kara Martin

The seven women are gathered in the boardroom looking at me with expectation. Each of them have been working mostly alone on projects that have absorbed their thoughts, actions, lives for up to 12 years.

We are going to work together over the next ten months to squeeze the most out of their projects for God’s glory. Even after the first day they have gone through a range of emotions, but are excited about the possibilities.

They can’t see it yet, but a past Hub member, Mel Fung, sums up the change that can happen: “As I was driving home on Fri night after a hard day’s Jesus Club work, I reflected that I actually know what I’m doing – where the ministry is heading, what our vision is, how to get there (God willing). When I first met Kara in a Glebe cafe 2 years ago, I was telling her how snowed-under I was and how everything we were doing was reactive – endlessly fighting fires rather than strategically moving ahead. Oh how things have changed. So thank you, Seed. Jesus Club would not be where it’s at right now if it weren’t for God providing you.”

The seven women will imagine better futures for disadvantaged children, women rescued from slavery, impoverished communities in Africa, new mums suffering from psychosis, refugees and new Australians learning English in church communities, those suffering from stress, and people from other countries studying theology in English.

Seed runs this program, called ‘The Hub’, at the invitation of Anglican Deaconess Ministries (ADM).

Dr Kate Harrison Brennan, CEO of ADM, welcomed the 2018 Hub members, saying, “ADM is the place for Christian women leading organisations and initiatives that serve others so they can flourish. This space is your clubhouse for the year ahead, and the people around you a community of grace, as you become more like Jesus and gain the practical skills to do his work.”

Throughout 2018, Hub members will meet fortnightly for group coaching sessions to develop their initiatives and receive mentoring and training, through a curriculum created and delivered by Seed.

The participants now have an instant cheer squad, eager for the development of their projects. There is a common hope that God will be glorified by what we achieve together.

 

Meet the 2018 Hub members:

MARYANN WEBB – PROJECT KIN – a community-centred charity with a mission to help underprivileged children to play and learn

PENNY ATTWELLS – IYSHA – bringing awareness and support to women who have been trafficked

MIGNONNE MURRAY – TRIBES AND NATIONS – selling fair-trade products and increasing understanding about how our everyday choices affect the global poor

DEBORAH VICKERS – BEYOND PP IN AUS/NZ – supporting women who have experienced postnatal psychosis

MEGAN PRESBURY – developing training and resources for churches who want to communicate the love of Jesus to people from non-English speaking backgrounds

KRYSTYNA KIDSON – THE PARACLETE INITIATIVE – helping God’s people to develop stress mastery

WENDY NOBLE – ENGLISH FOR BIBLE & THEOLOGY – enabling Bible college students whose first language is not English to engage with English-language scholarly materials in their studies

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Kara Martin

Kara Martin is a Seed Coach and Facilitator. Kara is a speaker, lectures at Alphacrucis and Mary Andrews colleges, and was formerly Associate Dean of the Marketplace Institute at Ridley College in Melbourne. She has worked in media and communications, human resources, business analysis and policy development roles, in a variety of organisations, and as a consultant. She was Director of the School of Christian Studies for three years and has lectured with the Brisbane School of Theology, Macquarie Christian Studies Institute and Wesley Institute. Kara has a particular passion for integrating our Christian faith and work, as well as helping churches connect with the workers in their congregations. She is married to David, and they have two amazing adult children: Jaslyn and Guy. Volume 1 of Workship: How we can Use our Work to Worship God was published in April 2017. Workship 2: How we can Flourish at Work was published in May 2018. Kara has just started on Workship 3: How to Shape Christians for the Workplace. To find out more about Kara, visit www.workship.com.au

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