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5 minutes with Shannon ...

Where do you live? I live in Lugarno, along the Georges River, in NSW. What do you love about living where you do? It’s has a lovely community feel, great parks, and established tree-lined streets. Because it’s a peninsular there’s no through-traffic so it’s not loud or busy. So essentially, it’s within Sydney without feeling like Sydney! Also, the kids’ school is a short walk away which is so convenient. Something the local church is doing that inspires you. Our church has a strong emphasis on connection and serving the community. It means that people who come don’t feel left out or like they don’t belong. There is a priority on discipleship and unity, so that everybody is on path of becoming more like Christ, but also alongside each other. They are very much a grace-based church that practices what it preaches in loving people in the community who are in need. A little about yourself. I am married to Robert and together we have three children. I am a psychologist working in a Christian school offering support and counselling to teenagers. I am an avid reader, camper, and introvert. What is your favourite bible passage & why? Waaayyy too many to count! But two that come to mind are verses that tell me how God feels towards me, and also how He wants me to live: Zeph 3:17 – “The Lord your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing." Micah 6:8 “And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and love mercy and walk humbly with your God." How do you keep your eyes focused on Jesus? By praying daily and incorporating talking about God a lot in my everyday life with like-minded people. I try to read the bible every day. Sometimes I screenshot verses I like on my phone through the bible app and flick through the photos when I have a couple of minutes. I also listen to podcasts when I’m driving. What would you like the next generation of Christian women to know? That they have so more much to offer than just the more traditional roles of ‘helper’ wife and mother. This is especially unhelpful to single or childless women. I want them to know that in their woman-ness they reflect the character and nature of God in a way that brings Him glory. Regardless of what history or society tells us, the God of the bible does not view women as second-class citizens, but rather as worthy, prized, and full of purpose. What’s one thing you love about your local church? The heart of its people and leaders. Individually we all make mistakes, but there is no mistaking the loving, passionate, and generous heart of those in my church. What did you learn about God at a time in your life you found hard? I have learnt that God is always good, always loving, and always for me, regardless of what has happened or how I’m feeling. I’ve realised how faithful God and how deeply and personally He cares for me. I have found the God has a supernatural ability to redeem all things and bring good out of every painful situation. What are you passionate about? I am passionate about living a life that is authentic and vulnerable, taking off masks and laying down protective walls, to engage with others in a real heart way, and to share in each other’s journey. What do you enjoy doing when you rest? Reading a book by the fire, being surrounded by nature’s beauty, watching Netflix with a glass of wine, and sleeping.

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