Stalwarts Return To NSW ACT Synod
The Synod of NSW and the ACT has regained two of its previous stalwarts, with Rev. Elizabeth Raine and Rev. Dr John Squires recently returning from Western Australia.
“We are both pleased to be back in the NSW/ACT Synod. We’ve been involved here for many years, so it felt like quite a challenge to be transported into a very different Synod when we moved across to Western Australia in 2017,” John said.
“Now that we are back, we are looking forward to working with a number of people that we know well, as well as picking up working relationships with others we don’t know as well, or at all.”
John and Elizabeth are both currently in placements for 75 percent of a full time load. They say this will mean they can “have some time together on a regular basis, aside from the demands of ministry.”
“We have negotiated each to work the same three days during the week each week, and to be leading worship and preaching on the same three Sundays in each month. We are grateful for flexibility in each of the Church Councils as they agreed to this pattern of work,” said John.
Elizabeth is in a ministry placement with the Tuggeranong Uniting Church, the only Uniting Church in the suburbs to the south of Canberra. Elizabeth has been in placement there since December.
“We live in the suburb of Gordon, which is almost at the most southern point in the Canberra suburban sprawl. Living in this area is very pleasant,” Elizabeth said.
The Tuggeranong congregation wanted a minister who would help them to develop a prophetic voice in society. Elizabeth and John have already joined eight members of the Tuggeranong congregation at a rally at Parliament House.
“We both have an interest in living a sustainable lifestyle, so this fits with the commitment of many in the congregation,” Elizabeth said.
“There has been an active community garden on the grounds of the church, in which members of the congregation are actively involved. And a benefit of that is that there is regularly some vegetables available for people to take home at the end of Sunday services.”
John Squires was previously the Principal of Perth Theological Hall. He commenced a period as Intentional Interim Ministry with the Queanbeyan Uniting Church in February.
Intentional Interim Ministry is a process that is for a limited time—in this case, 12 to 18 months; with a particular focus and intention. Out of this understanding, it is hoped, there will emerge a clearer focus on the next steps in ministry and mission to be undertaken by the people of the Congregation.
The Intentional Interim minister is not there to “fix things”, but to work carefully and patiently with people, in addressing matters that need to be dealt with.
Jonathan Foye is Insights’ Editor