Six Australian Lutheran College graduates have joined the ranks of pastors of the Lutheran Church of Australia this week.
Roelof Buitendag, Tim Castle-Schmidt, Joseph Graham, Peter Heintze, Matthew Huckel and Darryl Shoesmith were ordained by LCA Bishop John Henderson at Concordia College chapel, Highgate South Australia, on Sunday 3 December.
They will take up their first assignments in 2018. Pastor Buitendag has been assigned to Ipswich Parish in south-east Queensland. Pastor Castle-Schmidt will begin his ordained ministry on assignment to the South Australia/Northern Territory District with a locum placement at McLaren Vale, south of Adelaide. Pastor Graham has been assigned to Gilgandra–¬Dubbo Parish in regional New South Wales, while Pastor Heintze will serve at Coonalpyn, in rural South Australia. Pastor Huckel has been assigned to Pasadena in Adelaide’s southern suburbs, and Pastor Shoesmith will minister to the Christchurch Parish on New Zealand’s South Island.
LCA New South Wales District Bishop Mark Lieschke preached at the ordination service on the text Matthew 11:28–30, including: ‘Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest … For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.’
Encouraging the ordinands as they prepared to enter the public ministry, Bishop Lieschke said it was important to note Jesus’s words in these verses were ‘not “Come to me you who are strong and faithful and have got your lives in order”. But “Come to me all you who are weary and burdened”’.
‘That’s whom he wants to reach out to’, he said. ‘That’s whom he loves. And that’s whom he invites and expects to be part of his church: people who are hurting and in pain because of what has happened to them, or because of what they’ve done to themselves … people who are guilty of sin because they’ve messed up big time.
‘Brothers in Christ being ordained into the ministry of the church today, what a privilege you have to proclaim this. What an honour you have to be able to announce, declare, preach, teach and live out this precious message of the God’s grace in Christ.
‘It may not always feel like an honour and privilege. There will be expectations and pressures on you to perform, and to serve and to give, and to go beyond what is appropriate. So listen to Jesus’ words yourselves. Listen to his invitation to you to come to him and receive his rest, his word of forgiveness, and hope and peace. ‘