Welcome to eLM

Jennifer-ByrnesThis year Crosslight will invite a variety of people from throughout the church to speak with our readers through the editorial. Our aim is to represent a diversity of opinions and feature the voices of people who are passionate about the Church’s life and witness.

This month Crosslight welcomes Rev Dr Jennifer Byrnes, executive officer of the synod’s newly-formed equipping Leadership for Mission unit.

It is with enthusiasm and energy that I introduce to the readers of Crosslight the new synod unit equipping Leadership for Mission (eLM). The work and name of this unit is an activity (equipping) rather than a noun; and rightly has its focus on serving and resourcing the presbyteries and congregations, the individuals and groups across the Synod to increase their capacity to engage, lead and thrive as disciples in mission. eLM has three streams: education and formation for Leadership; relationships and connections; and priorities, focus and advocacy.

In this month’s Crosslight, readers will find living examples of the three streams of focus within the life of our diverse and vibrant synod.

Two of the stories in this edition feature Paul Dau and Gospel Ralte. Both demonstrate the impact of education and formation for leadership. As recent ministers, they are contributing to their faith communities through personal   insights and first-hand knowledge of the challenges faced by refugees.   

Rev John Clarke, director of mission for Uniting, highlights relationships throughout the church. In the lead-up to Easter, volunteers from Hobart to Swan Hill don aprons and serve pancakes to support the invaluable work of our agencies.

The priorities, focus and advocacy stream includes the ongoing work of justice. Justice is central to two stories in Crosslight this month, demonstrating that shared conversations and partnerships guide our journey as we walk together as First and Second Peoples. Crosslight features the inspiring work of Leprena in Hobart and reports on the Uniting Aboriginal Islander and Christian Congress (UAICC) conference held in Geelong.

This significant re-formation of the synod-based resourcing for mission and ministry has come with some cost. Faithful workers in several of the previous units have had their employment concluded after years of service.

I ask the people and congregations of this Synod to pray for the unfolding of this new venture in resourcing for mission and the people who are stepping into this new expression of the Synod’s work; and to pray for those whose employment has been concluded in these past months.

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