Members of the 31st Queensland Synod celebrated the men and women in specified ministries and have retired, graduated or passed away since the last Synod meeting in May 2014.
Synod General Secretary Rev John Cox read Isaiah 40:3-11 and Trinity College Queensland Principal Dr Aaron Ghiloni read Matthew 25:1-13 to begin the celebration of people committing their lives to the work of God in this way.
Associate General Secretary Rev Andrew Gunton and Rev Suzie Castle brought minutes of appreciation to 18 ministers who have retired, memorial minutes for nine ministers who have passed away and celebrated five people who have graduated since the last Synod.
Retirees present at the celebration were Rev Allan Kuchler, Rev Mervyn Brooks, Rev Colin Munns, Rev Gwen Fisher, Rev Dr Graham Beattie, Rev Ian Lord and Rev Harold Kilah.
Apologies were received from retirees Rev Lucie Bennett, Rev Glenn Ingram, Rev Janice Whyte, Rev Shayne Blackman, Rev Iris Carden, Rev Lynne Davis, Rev Paddi Mullan, Rev Beryl Nielsen, Rev Yvonne Sutherland, Rev Dr Susan Algate.
Those who have been ordained since the last Synod are Rev Stephen Rothery, Rev Jennifer Coombes, Rev Faye Talatonu (all present), Rev Lynnette Falkenhagen and Rev Melissa Lipsett.
Rev Colin Munn on behalf of the retirees:
“We were all called to ministry. Mine was an incredibly clear call and I am so glad because ministry is so demanding.
“I thanks God that I know that I was called.”
“If you have not been called to ministry, do not touch it! Avoid it like the plague. But if you have, don’t let anything stand in your way!
“To be a MOV is an amazing privilege and an incredible responsibility.
“In ministry, you know you made a difference but gee it is slow, hard work.”
I thank God that we can look back and see the kingdom of God is where it needs to be. [check wording]
“Thank you for the journey. Thank you for the privilege of serving God through the church. Thank you to God.”
The work you have done in God’s name is never in vein.
Rev Faye Talatonu:
“It is a privilege to be part of a church that ordains both men and women.
“When I first started [college] I went in as a youth worker.
“For current candidates: really embrace that time in college and that community. You are surrounded by people who know what you are going through.
“You just have to go with the flow with God because he doesn’t listen to you! I am evidence of that.
“For those who are thinking about ministry: go for it! If I can do it, anyone can do it.”
Synod members heard memorial minutes for the ministers who have passed away since the last Synod. These were stories of remarkable and tirelessness service to God.
Rev Ellis Bramley, Rev Allan (Ken) Cutmore, Rev Louise Edwards, Rev Dr Moira Laidlaw, Rev Ken Neill, Rev Corin Nyree Svenson, Rev Keith Thompson, Rev Ronald Wallace, Rev Godfrey Williams.
Andrew and Suzie prayed for all those mentioned during the service and all those who have and will support them.
Synod members stood and affirmed their faith by reciting paragraph 3 of the Uniting Chruch’s foundational document, the Basis of Union.
The service closed with the hymn O thou who camest from above.