I can finally tell you that I have a new ministry role from the start of 2014. I will be the Uniting Church's National Director for Formation, Education and Discipleship. This is a five year appointment in a new role arising from the national review of Christian Education. I'm very excited about the role, although the decision to leave Uniting College has not been an easy one. I started at the College 9 years ago, and after a long and complex journey of change, it feels like we are starting to hit our stride, so to speak. I have tremendous respect for my colleagues there and for what they will continue to do for the sake of the mission of God.
I will be based in SA and working from home (no move to Sydney in case you wondered.) There is a new Working Group on Formation, Education and Discipleship with Ian Price as Convenor and a bunch of excellent people on board. It's a developmental role, which I love, and I believe that I can bring my full range of experiences, skills and learning to it. At the same time, there are some significant responsiblities here and I have to grow in the job to be able to do it faithfully and well. And that's the way it ought to be.
I hope to continue as an adjunct faculty member with the ACD, Uniting College and Flinders University.
Regrettably, the decision-making process has been drawn out which has resulted in a very short departure window at the College. So I finish up next week before some study leave and annual leave. That has not been easy for all involved and its seems rather sudden and unfinished at College.
I feel a sense of call from God to this role. I am deeply passionate about helping the church hear and follow Christ's call to transformation, personal and social. I have a vision of congregations as lifelong learning communities of discipleship for the sake of mission, and of church leadership as enabling this. I think that there is a new, strategic opportunity for collaboration across synods and presbyteries. And I believe that the Assembly could and should be more focussed in how its work helps congregations through all of the above. I am also a resourcing junkie, so I hope to help shape how the church can resource congregations well in our changing media world. Hopefully I am finally at the stage when I've realised that I can't save the church by myself (hoping...), so it has to be about recognising, building and learning from the gifts and capacities that exist across the church.
Here is the position description if you're interested. I'm partly putting it out there because the Assembly is often a mystery for people.