Rev Dr Kerry Pierce, the new Presbytery Minister for Central Queensland, shares her thoughts on returning to the area and taking up the challenge of her new role.
My association with the Uniting Church and my adult faith development really began after reading the Basis of Union for a job interview with Lifeline Central Queensland in 1995. Yes, as a non–practicing Christian I could commit to the ethos of the Uniting Church in Australia.
I got the job and God took over. The spirit of love and grace that moved among the many faithful volunteers and paid staff at Lifeline worked in me and reignited a dormant faith that had been seeded in my childhood.
So Central Queensland has a special place in my heart and my faith. Many of my most profound life experiences occurred here; my sons were both born, raised, and baptised in Central Queensland. My youngest still lives near Rockhampton and my eldest rests in peace nearby.
My husband’s family have lived, worked and worshipped in the Central Queensland rural community for many generations and we met and grew in love under the verandas of the Uniting Church in Australia (figuratively, that is).
Sitting amongst the yet to be unpacked boxes in my new abode, I’m experiencing waves of excitement and trepidation. I could never have imagined that I’d be returning to Central Queensland as presbytery minister, having moved away relatively fresh in faith only 15 years ago.
I’m excited about God’s presence and activity in the diverse communities that make up the presbytery and I’m looking forward to meeting all the leaders, congregations and associated ministries I’ve heard great stories about.
I’m also a little daunted, not just by the unpacking—it’s more the awareness that there is still much for me to learn in this new role.
No doubt there are many challenges and celebrations ahead. Regional, rural and remote ministries have the capacity to compel courageous, compassionate and creative responses from people of good faith everywhere.
The Remote Area Ministry project is a sign of that faith here and I look forward to seeing a range of ministry opportunities develop out of this initiative over the coming years. I am where God wants me to be and I consider myself blessed to be the next in a long line of presbytery ministers serving the people of faith in Central Queensland.