THE FORTIETH anniversary of Rev Dr Norma Spear’s ordination was cause to celebrate at Forest Lake Uniting Church, in
Brisbane’s west, in October.
Dr Spear was the fi rst woman to be ordained in the Methodist Church in Queensland prior to church union in 1977.
The Forest Lake Uniting Church congregation hosted a morning of celebration for Dr Spear on Sunday 16 October
commencing with a thanksgiving service conducted by Rev Russell Reynoldson and at which Moderator, Rev Kaye Ronalds, preached and Bremer Brisbane Presbytery Minister, Rev David Baker, led in the service of Holy Communion.
Ms Ronalds paid tribute to a close association with Dr Spear since her early teenage years and, together with Mr Baker,
acknowledged the mentoring role she has played in their lives.
Over 50 people from past congregations joined with the local congregation at the service which was then followed by a
special morning tea.
Many of those present spoke of Dr Spear’s ministry and of some humorous events as well as the life-changing moments that had been shared.
A framed certificate and a beautiful orchid were presented to Dr Spear who then shared some of her life story.
Being the first and only woman ordained in the Methodist Church in Queensland, joining together as the Uniting Church
gave her opportunities of being chosen as a guest speaker both locally and overseas, attending the United Nations for six weeks and most of the Assemblies of the Uniting Church.
Being the trailblazer for women in ministry meant some difficult times for Dr Spear including overcoming the nonacceptance of women in the field.
For those present it was a time of rejoicing, blessing and for individuals to say thank you to God for the Ministry of Rev Dr
Norma Spear, not only in her 40 years of ordination, but also in the earlier 10 years of ministry in the Deaconess Order.
Photo : Rev Dr Norma Spear does a Bible reading at the induction of Rev Kaye Ronalds as Moderator in October. Photo by Osker Lau