The Assembly Standing Committee has approved the appointment of Rev Dr Apwee Ting as the new National Director of Multicultural and Cross Cultural Ministry.
Rev Dr Ting is a Minister of the Word at Dandenong Uniting Church in Victoria, in one of Australia’s most culturally diverse and multifaith communities. He is a former Chairperson of the UCA’s Indonesian National Conference, as well as a former Chair (2006-2009) and current member of the Assembly’s National Reference Committee for Multicultural and Cross Cultural Ministry, with the specified role of liaison with the Assembly’s Relations with other Faiths Working Group.
Rev Dr Ting completed his PhD in 2005 at STTIP Jakarta (Sekolah Tinggi Teologi International Philadelphia) with an examination of the topic ‘Cross Cultural Ministry is the fulfilment of missional mandate in the areas of Church Unity and Growth’ from theological and ministerial perspectives.
“I strongly feel the hands of God, friends and communities supporting and encouraging me to take this important role. I feel so grateful and humbled by this opportunity and will give myself as a servant to all,” said Rev Dr Ting.
“I look forward to working closely and constructively with my colleagues in Synods, National Conferences, Presbyteries and congregations.
“In this age of rapid global migration, of people and of ideas, churches need to re-discover the art of cross cultural ministry in order to fully engage with their missional mandate. I’m glad to say the UCA is at the very front of this ministry.
“My predecessor Tony Floyd has led UCA into a very firm understanding of being a multicultural church. We will continue this ministry to achieve more fully the experience expressed in our mandate ‘One Body Many Members’. This ministry particularly has a strong link with the work of UnitingWorld, taking in the dynamic relationship between home church, partner churches and UCA, and Relationship with Other Faiths.”
Uniting Church in Australia (UCA) President Rev Prof Andrew Dutney has warmly welcomed Rev Dr Ting’s appointment.
“Apwee Ting brings a wealth of experience in working cross-culturally in congregations and a deep understanding of the UCA’s overseas church partnerships,” said Rev Prof Dutney.
“In this 30th year since we declared ourselves to be a multicultural church, I’m delighted that a minister from a diverse cultural and religious background will be leading our national efforts to support this dynamic area of ministry.”
Rev Dr Ting is the first person from an Indonesian background to be appointed to a senior national role in an Australian mainstream Christian Church.
Outgoing National Director Rev Dr Tony Floyd has expressed his excitement that God through the church has called and Apwee Ting has accepted this new chapter of ministry and service.
“Apwee is a team player, a valued colleague with clear vision and capacity to communicate it,” said Rev Dr Floyd.
“In his own journey from Buddhism to Christianity in multifaith Indonesia, as the son of Chinese immigrants, and as an Australian immigrant with second generation Chinese-Indonesian-Australian children, Apwee lives and thrives in this amazing gift of complexity and richness that is Australia and the UCA.”
“In appointing a person with humility, patience, ability to listen, insight and spiritual gifts, the UCA with their diversity of peoples, languages and cultures, will be blessed.
“Tuhan memberkati anda: Apwee, Ie Shia, Vanessa, Ivan, and Keziah!”
National Chairperson Rev Amelia Koh-Butler, has also welcomed the appointment.
“Apwee Ting is already a significant leader in the life of the Uniting Church in Australia and beyond. His gifts of deep reflective wisdom, clear and authoritative articulation of the Gospel, and genuine grace and humility, will serve the Church well,” said Rev Koh-Butler.
Rev Dr Ting says one of his priorities will be developing more culturally accessible resources for ministry. In his own work, Rev Dr Ting has developed a system using images of seasonal fruit to explain biblical and theological understandings.
Rev Dr Ting’s placement with the Assembly will begin in July 2015.