The Moderator’s elect speak
Three very different ministers in very different contexts have been nominated to the position of Moderator-elect, to take over the role in September 2017 from Rev. Myung Hwa Park.
Rev. Suzanne Stanton – “My story of faith now leads me to believe that we are called to engage in genuine and gentle evangelism that is lived out in every conversation we have and in every action that we take. It also leads me to believe we are called to an active and transformational discipleship in which we stand for peace and justice in the world. My story of faith also reminds me that we need to continue to be a place of welcome. The Uniting Church welcomed me at every stage of my life and waitied patiently to finally understand that God had been calling me into a fullness of life much richer and deeper than the life I set out to lead.”
Rev. Simon Hansford – “In my sense of a journey of faith, I want to know a God who knows my name, who forgives me and loves me and welcomes me home. In my ministry I have worked with people in a whole range of places, people who struggle with struggling or injustice or the rigours of life for them were beyond them. We talk about a God who is rigourously engaged, God who is passionately engaged and passionate, who is with us in our darkest moments and is with us at every turn and at every stumble. A God who intends to save and restore. The journey of my faith has been from a God who knows my name and will forever, but not just mine, each and all of us.”
Rev. Lindsay Cullen – “I’ve always been someone who has wanted to make sense of my faith, not to feel like I had to check my brain in as I came through the Church door. And theological education allowed me to do that, to struggle with the big questions of faith, to really recognise that asking questions is not something to be avoided but is a real treasure, to have a sense that the big questions of life were not something to be afraid of. Theological education changed my life and has given me a real desire to enable everyone to engage in the struggle of making sense of faith. I have loved the opportunities in my ministry to educate and to broaden peoples’ horizons and to enable other people to have the experience that I have had. My certainty that the way we live out faith in the 21st century is changing and needs to change. When I look at my daughter and the way that she and her friends interact with the world, the values and things they hold on to I’m absolutely positive that we need to be making space for younger people to be empowered to lead us to new ways of being church that will make sense to them. That will speak to them and nurture and cherish their faith as the church of the past has nurtured mine and my wife’s and perhaps yours.”
Members of Synod will vote by closed ballot during the meeting and the Moderator Elect declared on day two of Synod.