From Galston to Parramatta City
Rev. Geoff Smith will begin as the new Minister of the Word at Parramatta City Uniting Church in March. The placement comes after 11 years as Minister at Galston Uniting Church.
Rev. Smith told Insights he was looking forward to engaging Parramatta’s diverse and growing community.
“I am also engaged with the idea of being a new church in a new city,” he said.
“The transformation of Parramatta reaches far beyond the boundaries of the CBD and will take decades to take shape. I look forward to working with our communities to see where the journey takes us.”
“Part of the journey will, I truly hope, help us to more intentionally and constructively engage with as many of the varied communities in our region as possible.”
Rev. Smith said the call to Parramatta came about as a result of his trying to discern God’s calling.
“As the time has been approaching for me to leave Galston I have been trying to attend carefully to my next call,” he said.
“Over the past 20 years in particular I have tried to discern God’s call whenever possible.”
Having consulted with the Joint Nomination Committee and his “most trusted” friends and colleagues and entering into prayerful reflection, Rev. Smith felt called, “to help Parramatta City in whichever ways I can.”
“It was not an easy choice, but it was a clear one,” he said.
“God’s call is not a guarantee of success… but it’s a great place to start.”
A wonderful place to be called to
Rev. Smith told Insights he would miss Galston’s people the most, both in the congregation and wider community.
“It has been the most wonderful place to be called to and trusted in,” he said.
“Both the congregation and community have brought out the best in me with their trust, confidence, and encouragement.”
“Then there’s the kids (once a youth worker…) – whether through our KUCA and youth groups, schools, and our early learning centre, I have been richly privileged to meet kids of all ages and stages.”
“Having been in the community so long, some of the ‘kids’ are now parents, homebuyers, university graduates, tradespeople and more – such a joy to be a part of their lives.”
“Then there’s the walking. Whether it’s in the wonderful Fagan Park, around the community or on many fire trails and bush walks I have spent many, many hours wandering – meeting people, basking in the beauty, seeing the flora and fauna we live with.”
“We just won’t talk too much about the red bellied black snake that bit me 12 months ago.”
Looking ahead, Rev. Smith said he was looking forward to the next challenge, but admitted he was, “nervous about all that lays in front of us.”
“I trust in God’s leading absolutely but also hope that many people I’m the Synod will be praying for God’s guiding and inspiration as we embark on this great adventure,” he said.
Rev. Geoff Smith begins at Parramatta City Uniting Church on 1 March.
His farewell service at Galston Uniting Church takes place on Sunday, 5 February from 10am. There will be a shared lunch after the service.
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