New faces join eLM team

Rev David Kim and Rev Sandy Brodine have joined the equipping Leadership for Mission team.

Can you describe what your new role within eLM will entail?

David Kim, Multicultural Ministries Co-ordinator

The main role of Multicultural Ministries Co-ordinator entails the strengthening of culturally and linguistically diverse communities to actively engage in the wider Church by enhancing multi and intercultural ministries within the Synod of Victoria and Tasmania.

This is achieved in a number of way, namely by encouraging the ongoing formation of CALD ministers and lay leaders; enhancing the missional capacity of migrant communities; fostering the wider engagement of migrant communities and CALD leaders in the Synod; growing the cultural competence of Synod, presbytery and congregational leaders, and Synod processes; emboldening the leadership and ministry of CALD women in the church; and identifying and resourcing further significant opportunities that assist the church to live out its multicultural commitments.

Sandy Brodine, Education and Strategy Co-ordinator

My new role is as part of the Younger Generations team, as Education and Strategy Co-ordinator. I’m excited to be able to help and encourage church communities around Victoria and Tasmania to grow their capacity as intergenerational faith communities where people of all ages, including children and their families, can come to faith and can grow as disciples of Jesus.

Can you provide a brief overview of what you have been doing until taking on this new role?

DAVID: I have served in various placements, including as a church planter, church revitalised/rebuilder, lead minister, mission advocate, and a certified educator for training organisations. Each placement has nurtured me to embrace and implement different ways of serving churches and organisations in South Korea, the USA, China, and Australia.

I began my church ministry as a children’s ministry pastor in South Korea and, after moving to the USA for further training in ministry, I was mainly involved in next-generation ministries and inner-city homeless and domestic violence ministries. After being ordained as a Minister of the Word, I was called to revitalise local and migrant churches and faith communities in Maryland and California.

Upon returning to Australia, I discerned about planting a local church for Korean migrant communities, and a faith community was planted in Brisbane in 2006. During the process of planting faith communities in Brisbane, the Synod of Queensland welcomed and invited me to settle in the Uniting Church in Australia.

While I was supported to complete the ‘Reception of Ministers’ processes, I received training for better understanding of Australian churches and communities within and beyond the UCA, opportunities to build collegial relationships with local presbyteries, congregations, and colleagues, and invitations to get involved in various ministry and leadership areas within the UCA. Since then, I have participated in the life of the UCA as a member of several Synod and presbytery committees, and reference groups for worship and multicultural ministry. It was a great opportunity for me to understand and to make commitment deeper into the life and ministry of UCA.

SANDY: I come from a teaching background. I am a fluent speaker of Mandarin Chinese, and taught Chinese, English and Religious Education in secondary schools. I enjoyed taking kids on cultural and linguistic study tours to China, and also set up a St John Ambulance Division. I am a big advocate of experiential/real world learning.
Since my ordination 12 years ago I have been a part of the ministry team in the Banyule Network of Uniting Churches, where my role description has changed many times. I am most proud of the Fresh Expressions of Church that we grew from scratch there: A Messy Church, the Common Ground Community (an intergenerational Sunday morning community that meets in the Sycamore Tree Cafe) and the SPACE Contemplative Community. These growing communities are home to people finding their way into the church. We have also developed a ‘theology hub’ in conjunction with Pilgrim Theological College. Adults from across the generations (from 30 to mid 80s) have undertaken theological study, some for credit, and others as ‘audit students’. This has really enlivened their faith journeys and deepened our leadership teams in our Fresh Expressions communities.

Sandy Brodine has enjoyed seeing congregation members embracing theological study as part of their faith journey.

Have your current roles prepared you in any way for the new role you are undertaking?

DAVID: My last placement was a typical local Uniting Church, which was monocultural, aged, small, and traditional. Moreover, the church paid minimum attention to the Presbytery and other bodies of the UCA.
I noticed a significant gap in communication between the church and the Presbytery, so I intentionally kept encouraging the Church Council members to get to know the Presbytery by inviting the Presbytery minister and mission officers to preach and holding a series of sessions for discipleship and leadership development for local churches. Later on, with the Church Council’s support and prayer, I was nominated and elected as a member of several committees of the Presbytery and the Synod. It became a leverage for me to keep the church members informed about the current news and matters. I would like to share my ministerial experiences to identify and embolden churches in the Synod of Victoria and Tasmania to grow to be multi-intercultural and to support their members in discerning a calling into ministry.

SANDY: I feel as though both my teaching career and my work with younger generations at Banyule have absolutely prepared me for this new role.

What do you hope to achieve in this new role with eLM and what makes you so passionate about it?

DAVID: The area I am passionate about is equipping and supporting CALD communities and leaders, both ministerial and lay leaders, particularly women and the next generations. I am committed to paving avenues for CALD leaders to engage in practising their ministerial, administrative, and spiritual leadership throughout wider churches. Supporting and empowering women and emerging leaders from CALD communities is another aspect of the role that greatly appeals to me.

SANDY: I am incredibly passionate about growing disciples and helping people deepen their faith in Jesus, right across the age spectrum, but particularly with younger generations, who I have worked with my whole life. I am also passionate about helping people from right across the age spectrum engage in faith development together. My hope for this new role is to help communities across the Uniting Church in Victoria and Tasmania to seed new expressions where younger generations can be nurtured, or to slowly add intergenerational elements into our more traditional liturgical styles of church. Even small changes can create a more welcoming and faith enlivening environment.

What might some of the challenges be in the role? And possibilities?

DAVID: The prospect of working with CALD leaders and congregations is challenging because there are diverse traditions among CALD churches and different educational and denominational backgrounds for church leaders. However, this role truly excites me because I am one of them, which means I intimately and genuinely understand their joys, hopes, needs, and struggles. Therefore, the first important step would be to listen to their stories and learn the reasons why they do what they do. To do so, I need to create a safe and welcoming space for CALD churches and leaders where all may sit together to communicate with each other.

SANDY: I think the biggest challenge is the prevailing language of a ‘dying church’ and the fact that three or more generations are now missing in many congregations. I’m looking forward to working with communities who are interested in making small changes, and planting tiny seeds that might grow into healthy communities over time. If you’re keen … please give me a call. My experience in both teaching religious education and working with younger generations at Banyule is that there are many people who are very keen to explore ideas of spirituality and Christian faith. Young people are often very passionate about social justice and making real change in the world. I look forward to finding ways to tap into that.

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