Thursday, August 10, 2023
Brenton Stacey
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Brenton Stacey

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Brenton is Avondale University’s Public Relations and Philanthropy Officer. He brings to the role experience as a communicator in publishing, media relations, public relations, radio and television, mostly within the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the South Pacific and its entities.

Students serve at schools in Sydney

The return of a service learning trip saw our students helping chaplains and teachers at every Seventh-day Adventist school in Sydney connect with their students.

The students organised and presented chapels, read and told Bible stories in classrooms, played sports, cleaned and removed rubbish.

The STORMCo trip proved popular, with 40 students signing up. “It got bigger and bigger so we divided the students into teams and visited multiple schools,” says Lake Macquarie campus chaplain Priscilla Mariassouce.

One team served at Mountain View Adventist College for the week (June 13-16). Another organised chapel at a different school each day—including Hills and Macarthur Adventist Colleges and Wahroonga Adventist School—and served at Hurstville Adventist School. The final group served at Sydney Adventist School Auburn.

Wahroonga lead chaplain Pr Nick Kross says students at his school enjoyed the music and the testimonies at chapel. “The Avondale students held the audience well.” A lunch time basketball game between the students and the STORMCo team members strengthened the connection.

Ethan Redman attended a physical education class at one of the schools, which helped him learn the names of the students. As the students were leaving for the day, they spotted Ethan and other STORMCo team members with a handball “and ran over wanting to play. Games and sports, that’s how we made the most impact.”

The STORMCo trip is the first organised by Avondale since 2017. Teams usually go to regional and rural towns, but with previous experience as a school chaplain and as a member of a touring vocal band, Priscilla wanted to take hers to the city. “Coming from Endless Praise, this is what we did—we used our talents to minister in schools.”

Ethan did, too. The ministry and theology student said “yes” to going on the trip because STORMCo can help change lives—of those who give and receive. “I want to serve others, and I believe that’s what God has called me to do.”

Priscilla plans to return with our students to the schools next year.