I made one of the best decisions of my life two-and-a-half years ago. I enrolled to study as an on-campus student at Avondale College of Higher Education (NSW) and moved across the country to join the vibrant Ella Boyd Hall community. I’ve found my place in the women’s residence. New-found friends—who come from near and far—are now like family. They’ve helped me develop a stronger spiritual life, too.
In addition to our personal devotions, we meet together on Sunday evenings to worship and learn more about women in the Bible such as Rachel, Ruth, Naomi and Esther. We’re encouraged to bring new interpretations to the stories. Our monthly residence-wide worships are also a fun way to engage with the stories while building a sense of sisterhood.
Another great initiative: the War Room. This provides a space where we can escape busyness and pray for our needs and the needs of others while thanking God for all He has done. Notes under the headings “Prayer Requests” and “Prayers Answered” decorate the wall. It’s encouraging to see the notes move from being requests for prayer to becoming answers to prayer. The residential assistant on duty visits the War Room to pray over the notes in particular and for the residence in general each morning.
" . . . we’re to build relationships with our sisters in Christ, encouraging rather than judging each other . . ."
A retreat hosted by the residents earlier this year—a morning worship service then afternoon program—built a closer sense of community. Inspiration for the theme, “Gathered in His Name”, came from Hebrews 10:24,25: “Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near” (NLT). The implications are clear: we’re to build relationships with our sisters in Christ, encouraging rather than judging each other, so Ella Boyd becomes a place where we gather to focus on God rather than on ourselves.
My spiritual journey began before I came to college but it’s progressed immensely since I began living in Ella Boyd.
Adelaide Parkin is a Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Teaching student at Avondale College of Higher Education.