BLUE Care has welcomed Rev Heather den Houting as the new Director of Mission.
Formerly the minister with Kenmore Uniting Church in Brisbane’s west, Ms den Houting said the transition to Blue Care has been both challenging and inspiring.
“Blue Care is a huge organisation with many facets so becoming familiar with how it works and all comes together has been a steep learning curve,” she said.
“Everyone has been extremely open and hospitable to me which has not only made the learning process so much easier but roused my enthusiasm to be a part of the organisation.
“I have been struck by the commitment I’ve seen so far within Blue Care to the organisation’s values of compassion, respect, justice, working together and leading through learning.”
Working with a team of 38 Blue Care chaplains, Ms den Houting’s role is to oversee spiritual and pastoral care which is embedded in the services Blue Care provides and is central to the organisation’s culture.
“With a strong history of association with congregations, Blue Care is part of the way the Uniting Church expresses itself in the world,” Ms den Houting said.
“As the nature and structure of the Uniting Church changes, we need to remember how to provide vital ministry in spiritual and pastoral care to the community.
“It appears to me that chaplaincy services are one of the key ways of doing this.
Such services provide a fruitful and enriching experience of the compassion of Christ and it is my aim to ensure congregations support and champion the chaplaincy services within the Uniting Church.”
Sustainability initiatives will also fall under Ms den Houting’s broad role with Blue Care.
“The enthusiasm and energy I’ve seen from staff in relation to sustainability has been widely evident which is encouraging me to drive this strongly.”
Ms den Houting has significant experience in the vast and diverse requirements of the position including social responsibility and sustainability.
She commenced her career as a solicitor in private practice before moving into the Queensland Department of Justice/Department of Families, Youth and Community Care in a variety of legal and project officer roles, several involving advocacy for social justice.
She then joined the Uniting Church Queensland Synod office as a Social Responsibility Advocate and International Mission Consultant.
Photo : Bremer Brisbane Presbytery Minister Rev David Baker, Moderator Rev Kaye Ronalds, Blue Care Director of Mission Rev Heather den Houting, UnitingCare Queensland CEO Anne Cross, and UnitingCare Queensland Director of Mission Colleen Geyer celebrate Ms Den Houting’s induction. Photo by Osker Lau