Among the seventeen women and men ordained as Deacons in Melbourne on 5 February were three women who are on the journey to become Defence Chaplains. Stacey Slater, Kristen Dillon and Liz Bolton.
Ridley College principal the Reverend Dr Brian Rosner preached on Psalm 29, linking its theme of God’s power in nature to Jesus’ power over the storm displayed in the Gospel of Mark, chapter four.
Dr Rosner said the Psalm’s underlying message was the same as the message throughout the psalter: that no one is like the Lord God.
He said the psalm described the two gifts ordinands needed for their future: strength and peace from God. Strength to face the challenges of living a faithful and fruitful Christian life, and peace to face the inevitable disappointments.
Liz Bolton said that she had doubts about being a young female ministering as a Defence Chaplain but she says “It was soon that I realised that, with God, I would be able to do any ministry that he calls me too. Over the space of eighteen months, God opened many doors and facilitated many conversations that reiterated to me that I was to become a defence chaplain.”
Kristen reflected. “I was rather nonchalant in my response to the phone call to consider returning to the Defence Force as Chaplain, as I was sure my husband would say no. His actual response of “Yes, you go full-time, I will retire” had me pray for God’s confirmation of the call which was perfectly answered within two days. I obediently began the dual process towards ordination and re-entry into the Defence Force. God’s prior preparation for the role became clear, including my heart for soldiers (previous service, DVA Advocacy, RSL), chaplaincy work, theological education (M. Ministry) and various pastoral leadership roles. I continue to depend upon God’s enabling for me to serve where He has called in Curacy formation and future posting.”
Stacey says, “During my ministry apprenticeship, I met some Chaplains. I am thankful to God that these men crossed my path and were open to answering my questions. It was obvious this was the ministry God was calling me to. I have so much peace, comfort, and hope knowing who I am in Christ and who I know God to be. As an Army Chaplain, I will be able to support men and women through the joys and sorrows of serving in the Defence Force by living out and sharing these truths, along with supporting them wherever they may be in their own spiritual journey.”