21 July 2024


How God shaped the lives of eight everyday saints | Podcasts

The Everyday Saints interviewees. Clockwise from top left: Shanti Michael, Lauren Raiter, Alexandra Amerides, Annabella Rossini-Clarke and Matthew Clarke, Dr Li Wan, Reverend Natalie Dixon-Monu. Images: supplied.

Jenan Taylor

17 January 2024

From a young mother who grappled with cancer to ordinary Christians who confronted modern slavery, in 2023 the Everyday Saints podcasts aimed to shine a light on the faith stories of eight people in our community and beyond.

As we enter 2024, here are the insights they shared about what it means to lead a good life.

Meet the trans non-binary opera singer who found a spiritual home in the Anglican Church

Growing up, Alexandra Amerides loved the Byzantine chanting that was a regular part of services at their Greek Orthodox church.

But the opera singer and St John’s East Malvern choral scholar told Maya Pilbrow that no one could tell them why women never participated in the chanting at that particular church, and why there was much gender-based division of functions and tasks.

The trans, non-binary Mx Amerides related their gender dysphoria and conviction that intolerance towards diversity was incongruous with religion.

Inside the anti-slavery ministry aiming to change the world

From aiding midwives in Ghana to orphans in South Africa, Matthew Clarke and Annabella Rossini-Clarke’s professional and voluntary social initiatives gave them plenty of insight into poverty around the globe.

But they are convinced their efforts to stamp out modern slavery can help change the world for the better.

Their anti-human trafficking ministry is also a thought-provoking exploration of what can lead people to crime and how we approach those who perpetrate it. 

Helping people many have shunned matters to Natalie Dixon-Monu

Growing up a rebel in a violent Christian home, Uniting Church priest the Reverend Natalie Dixon-Monu gained more than her fair share of what it was like to be marginalised.

But her experiences helped many who most people might otherwise turn their backs on.

Her ministry at the award-winning Boroondara Community Outreach is focused on creating hope and care for people with a mental condition or who are socially isolated.

It’s a labour of love that exemplifies how to live a good life.

Ancient, holy music returns to Melbourne churches

A musical director for Chorus Ecclesiae, Shanti Michael was brought up in Malaysia with a strong Catholic faith and a sturdy sense of family. Ms Michael spoke with Kirralee Nicolle about acceptance across religious bounds, and how music helped give her a deeper understanding of faith.  

Having lived and studied in the USA and travelled widely, Ms Michael shared her view on why it is that young people in non-Western countries continue to fill churches and how some of their family traditions seemed to be a driving factor.  

Jan Shattock

For those new to their faith journey or not quite certain that their faith is fully formed, lay minister Jan Shattock’s trust in God, even throughout a cancer diagnosis is humbling.

Everyday Saints interviewee Jan Shattock shared how faith has been a feature of her life for years. Picture: supplied.

As a young girl Ms Shattock learned to contemplate the daily accumulation of sin that she might hold in her heart and ask God to clear it out.

That practise and her conviction that God provided where needed has sustained Ms Shattock through her years as a teacher in places as far as Borneo, and as a mother and lay minister.  It also helped her grapple with a diagnosis of skin cancer as young mother of two – in the days well ahead of knowledge and warnings about skin cancer.

“God doesn’t always give us a perfect answer, but always provides for our needs,” Ms Shattock told host Kirralee Nicolle.

‘I completely forgot I’m a Christian’: A doctor’s journey of discovery

When Chinese-born medical practitioner Dr Li Wan found his busy schedule kept him from practising his faith, he prepared to switch from what was then considered to be the top of the medical profession, as intensive care doctor, to a lower rung position of general practitioner.

The change allowed him to really get to know people and their struggles, and to also focus on lay preaching.

But his faith journey, Dr Li Wan told Kirralee Nicolle, started at a particularly difficult time for him.  

“God knows what we need even before we ask,” he said. “I was right to believe in Jesus and right to believe in Him.”

Lauren Raiter

Missionary-in-training Lauren Raiter’s parents and grandparents were missionaries from American and British-Australian backgrounds, but the most identifying thing about them was their faith rather than their nationality. 

Uncertain about what do with her life on completing high school, she studied to be a paramedic. But Ms Raiter’s deep reverence for God shaped by her family, her enjoyment of diverse cultures stemming from a childhood in various parts of the world, and her involvement with various youth ministries, instilled in her a love for seeing people get to know Jesus.

“God just keeps on nudging me through open doors”, she says about her decision to study at the Church Missionary Society’s training centre, St Andrew’s Hall.

To listen to more Everyday Saints podcasts, see here.

Everyday Saints is a podcast from The Melbourne Anglican which features the faith stories of those from Melbourne and beyond.

For more faith news, follow The Melbourne Anglican on FacebookInstagram, or subscribe to our weekly emails.

Share this story to your social media

Find us on Social Media

Recent News

do you have A story?

Leave a Reply

Subscribe now to receive our newsletter and stay up to date with The Melbourne Anglican

All rights reserved TMA 2021

Stay up to date with
The Melbourne Anglican through our weekly newsletters.