Ministry Expo: space to explore

Ministry Expo is an annual event organised by the Candidates for Ministry Committee to promote a culture of call in our church. This year’s event was held in May at St Andrews Uniting Church in East Perth and attracted about 30 people.

The purpose of the evening is to provide snap shots of a variety of ministry opportunities within the Uniting Church WA.

Rev Lorraine Stokes spoke of the immense privilege of being a Minister of the Word, walking alongside members in their growth in faith and discipleship. Rev Andy Broadbent shared how, as a Deacon, he has focussed his congregation on responding to the needs of the local community. Julie Ridden talked about her role as a Pastor, working with children and families within the Nedlands congregation. Shirley Francis shared how her studies to become a Lay Preacher had deepened and enriched her faith and her confidence in preaching. And Rev Steve Francis emphasised the importance of loving others, children, staff and parents within the context of being a school chaplain.

Anyone wanting to further explore their gifts and calling to ministry are encouraged to undertake a Period of Discernment (POD). Susan Sydney Smith, who has just completed a POD, shared how affirming this experience had been for her, allowing her time to deepen her relationship with God and explore her calling through conversations with her Mentor.

Samuel Annan, who has just begun formation to become an ordained minister, talked about the affirmation he had received from others as he explored his calling and how he was “learning new things every day” as he engaged in formation. Rev Herman Neinaber shared his journey from the Dutch Reformed Church in South Africa into the Uniting Church WA and what he appreciated about the Uniting Church.

Finally Rev Dr Anne Wright outlined various courses available, including everything from short intensives, to full theology degrees, and emphasised the wide range of styles of ministry options in the Uniting Church WA, including working in remote areas, chaplaincies in prisons, hospitals, aged care and schools, resource and pioneering ministry.

The evening promoted a lot of conversation which continued over a wonderful supper. The next day, left over food was donated to Uniting WA’s Tranby Centre in East Perth.

Please encourage members of your congregation to attend the next Ministry Expo which will be held in May 2022!

Rev Bev Fabb, Chairperson of the Candidates for the Ministries Committee

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