Ordained and lay synod staff were inducted and commissioned into roles within the new equipping Leadership for Mission (eLM) unit at a special service held at the Centre for Theology and Ministry in Parkville last Friday.
Moderator Sharon Hollis told the service that eLM’s job was to resource and equip the church.
“The work of eLM is not to build something for the sake of itself but to create opportunities for others,” she said.
“It is your calling as staff of eLM to equip, to serve, to lead and to guide the people of God in this synod.”
Ms Hollis set out some criteria for judging whether eLM lived up to these tasks.
“When we see people more confident in the gospel, better equipped to proclaim the Good News, sure that they have encountered the bread of life, confident that they have been held through the storms by the goodness of God, active in the public square and advocating for the oppressed and serving the needy, then we will know we have been successful” she said.
“Then we will know we have followed the leading of the spirit, then we will know it was worthwhile.”
The service included reflections by Calynne Nunn, Liz MacMillan and Rev Robin Yang as well as Bible readings, with Rev Dev Anandarajan reciting his in the Tamil language.
At junctures during the service eLM staff brought in sheets of single bright colours, some with words written on them, such as “inspire”, “partner” and “advocate” that reflected the work of eLM.
Near the end of the service the sheets were roughly woven together to symboloise eLM as a work in progress.
The service saw Dr Jennifer Byrnes inducted as the executive officer of eLM.
Rev Assoc Prof Sean Winter was inducted as director, Education & Formation for Leadership and also as Head of Pilgrim Theological College, while Rev Nigel Hanscamp was inducted as director, Priorities, Focus and Advocacy.
Also inducted were Rev Fran Barber as continuing education coordinator and Rev Mat Harry as renewing & communities coordinator.
Those commissioned into placements as pastors were Bradon French as intergenerational ministry: youth ministry coordinator, Deborah Kottek to the role of senior prison chaplain and Mel Perkins as lay leadership development coordinator.
Daniel Murray’s appointment as the new director of UC Camping was recognised, as was Sue Withers and Adrian Pyle’s appointment as co-directors of Relationships & Connections.