“A celebration of women in the church”
Rev. Sally Yabsley-Bell was ordained as a deacon on 15 January in a service held at St Matthews Uniting Church in Baulkham Hills.
Rev. Yabsley Bell told Insights that the service was “a celebration of women in the church”, with Rev. Christine Balis Kelly, Rev. Karen Mitchel Lambert, and Rev. Dr Rhonda White taking part.
The service was limited to 50 people in person due to COVID limitations in place at the time.
“It feels a bit strange that this thing I have been working towards for so long has just happened. Is some ways it changes everything and in others it changes almost nothing,” Rev. Yabsley Bell said.
“I really struggle with having people see my ministry differently now that I am ordained. The Uniting church policy states that a lay person can hold most any role in the Church, so I have always felt the work I was doing prior to being ordained is equally relevant and worthwhile. I feel like while it is special to acknowledge the lifelong nature of my call, the work I provide is not different to a qualified lay person.”
Rev. Karen Mitchel Lambert told Insights that she and Rev. Yabsley Bell had, “journeyed together for a long time, since when I first met her in the Ministry of Chaplain at Western Sydney Uni, watching her grow into Leadership as a Mission Worker and a nurse, then see her pursue ministry with children’s and family ministry.”
“Her journey has not been easy but every step has been a deepening of her faith and growth in her leadership.”
Rev Yabsley Bell recently began a placement at MLC School in Burwood.
“I know it is good to do things that challenge you, and I know this placement will do that,” she said.
“The staff have been so welcoming and they really seem to take a lot of pride in the school and the students. The school’s tag line for its mission plan is ‘The girl is the heart of all that we do.’ And that statement guides how we plan and structure all our programs.”