The Uniting Church Queensland Synod expresses its gratitude to Dr Shirley Coulson. Mardi Lumsden reports.
Uniting Church members from all over the country joined Dr Shirley Coulson for a moving service of the closure of her ministry as Queensland Synod General Secretary on 31 January.
Attendees included Assembly General Secretary Rev Terrence Corkin and Synod of NSW/ACT General Secretary Rev Dr Andrew Williams.
Past Moderator Rev Bruce Johnson spoke highly of the colour, movement and faithfulness Shirley brought to the role of General Secretary since she began in 2008.
“Shirley came among us and brought many gifts that have enhanced our Church’s journey.
“Shirley brought colour,” he laughed. “I never think of Shirley in black and white, and I know that not only has she brought colour to the Church as a whole, but she has brought colour into many individual lives.
“Shirley visited presbyteries and congregations sharing her passion for the Together on the way process and invited everyone to join us on this risky journey.
“On behalf of the Synod of Queensland I want to thank you Shirley for all that you have given us of your gifts, time and your very self. You have brightened our lives, helped us move on and encouraged us in prayer,” he said.
Former Associate General Secretary Rev John Cox has been appointed General Secretary by a decision of the Synod Standing Committee to fill the vacancy which emerged upon Shirley’s resignation.
John will serve in the role of Queensland Synod General Secretary up to and including the 31st Synod this October. Synod Standing Committee is reviewing the role of the General Secretary and will conduct a selection process with a view to bringing a name for consideration to the next Synod in Session.
Moderator Kaye Ronalds asks people to keep John in their thoughts.
“We pray for John as he takes up this position and I encourage you to give him every assistance as he seeks to serve the Synod Office and the wider Church,” she says.