REV JOHN Mavor is finally retiring at 73 years of age after a lifetime of service to the Uniting Church in Australia.
Mr Mavor will wind up his role as project officer for the Pacific with Uniting International Mission in April to travel with his wife Rae.
Mr Mavor’s multi-faceted career has taken numerous twists and turns.
He has worked extensively in the Pacific in Christian education and has served many committees, boards, and agencies.
Mr Mavor served as director of Mission and Parish Services for the Uniting Church in Queensland, then as Moderator from 1988 to 1989 and was the 8th president of the Uniting Church from 1998 to 2000.
Since his first retirement he has spent years working as a voluntary part-time project officer with Uniting International Mission before taking the helm as Acting National Director during the last 15 months.
Assembly General Secretary Rev Terence Corkin, describes Mr Mavor “as a person who fills the room with his presence and personality and his genuine interest in people.”
Uniting Church President Rev Gregor Henderson, says he has “a huge heart for the gospel, for the church, for people.
“He’s a big hearted fellow and a big bloke.
“His compassion and commitment to people and the church is second to none.”
Mr Mavor gave his life to Jesus as a 14 year old teenager in 1948.
“The four key passions of my life have been mission, Christian education, evangelism, and ecumenical affairs.
“Everything I’ve done has been built around that.”
Mr Henderson said Mr Mavor’s life in the church has been marked by “passion for the faith,” and “helping people grow in the faith.”
“He’s given terrific leadership in pastoral care, in going out of his way to care for people and for congregations that were hurting, and in holding the church together despite differences of opinion.”
Mr Mavor maintains that for all he has given the church he has received much in return.
“I’ve had a marvellous life. I’ve faced huge challenges and tried to meet them,” he said.
“There have been immense rewards. I’ve been to almost every Pacific country you could think of. I’ve got an international network of friends as a result.”
Having recently been given a clear bill of health Mr Mavor is planning to step out of active ministry and into mentoring up-and-coming ministers.
He is particularly passionate about his work on the Queensland Synod’s Future of Ministry Task Group which aims to recruit more people for ministry.
“This is a tremendous concern,” he says.
“In Queensland this year 20 ministers will retire and five will be ordained. That’s a huge challenge for the church.”
Asked how he envisions his days from here on in Mr Mavor says he has a garage full of books and papers and that “my wife has a clear vision that I’m going to get something done about it”.
As Mr Henderson was quick to point out John Mavor is “one of those who will keep going till the day he dies.”
Photo : Rev John Mavor AM. Photo courtesy of the Uniting Church Assembly