It will be a “Sunday of lasts” at the Gunnedah Anglican Church on the weekend.
The church community will farewell assistant minister Aiden Sibrava and Ministry Training Strategy (MTS) trainee Matt Stones on Sunday as they prepare to move away.
Matt, his wife Deanna and their children Poppy and Boaz are shifting to Newtown, Sydney so Matt can start a three-year Bachelor of Theology at Moore Theological College. It will be the first time the Gunnedah man has moved.
“We will be leaving our family and kids’ grandparents behind and needing to significantly downsize as we move into a two-bedroom unit,” Matt said.
“We are a little bit excited about the move and the different experience that living in Sydney will bring… but also a little nervous to live in the middle of the city with the busy nature, traffic and lack of space.”
Matt has been training under MTS with Aiden Sibrava for two years and said it had given him “a good taste of ministry of a wide range of contexts including kids, youth, young adults, elderly and leading and preaching in church”.
“The apprenticeship provides great context for the practical side of what we learn while in Sydney,” Matt said.
“[I] hope that when we are finished, God will provide the opportunity for us to move back to the area to work in pastoral ministry in some form.”
There are still a lot of unknowns for the next three years, but we are stepping out in faith.Matt Stones
Matt said the family would trust in God as they navigated the changes.
“There are still a lot of unknowns for the next three years, but we are stepping out in faith, trusting that God will provide for us and allow us to form good connections for a lifetime of ministry,” he said.
“Our society is very quickly walking away from it's Christian roots and there are many people who have next to no real understanding of who Jesus is, so it's our prayer that he will use us to make the name of Jesus know to many who we come in contact with over the next three years and beyond.”