VISITING Indonesian minister Rev Novita Sutanto took a host of valuable experiences and fond memories home to Jakarta when she departed the synod after a three-month stay at the end of last month.
Ms Sutanto is a congregational minister with Gereja Kristen Indonesia (GKI, the Indonesian Christian Church) based in North Jakarta’s Muara Karang district. She was on an exchange as part of a partnership program involving GKI West Java Region, the Centre for Theology and Ministry (CTM) and Mulgrave Uniting Church-Indonesian Congregation (MUCIC).
She is part of the Pastoral Committee in GKI West Java Region which is responsible for supporting candidates for ministry. The committee also offers ongoing education opportunities to ordained ministers. Ms Sutanto took the opportunity to learn as much as possible about the work being undertaken at CTM. This included ethics training, transitional ministry fundamentals, church awareness workshops and pastoral ministry classes.
Ms Sutanto also spent time with several congregations in the Port Phillip East Presbytery, particularly the MUCIC. She travelled to Tasmania for a School of Ministry gathering at the end of last month.
She said she had learnt many things as a result of her visit and was particularly impressed with the Uniting Church’s consensus approach to decision making demonstrated at Synod.
“It allowed everyone to speak out and that is a good idea,” she said.
“I certainly learnt more than I expected.”
Ms Sutanto said she was impressed with the Uniting Church’s approach to ministry and believed it would continue to play an important role in the Christian life of the nation.