- The circle indicates the unity we have in Christ. We are contained in his grace. We are in this journey together, not because we agree with each other, but because God has adopted every one of us into his family.
- We recognise that this path is painful. The colour palette is sage. Sage is an ancient symbol of healing.
- The end of the pathway is not defined. We do not know exactly where it will lead us, but by faith we know that God is already there ahead of us, leading us towards his light.
- The two figures represent the different views on ordination we hold in the LCANZ. Both figures have shades of light and dark; we are at once saint and sinner. Whatever view we hold about ordination, we are each a broken person and a redeemed person.
- Together we carry the cross of Christ on this journey. Together we fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, our only hope, the joy of our salvation.
The General Church Board and College of Bishops are the steering committee for the Way Forward project. Overseeing the deliverables and day-to-day operations and reporting to the steering committee is the project management team (pictured): Stella Thredgold (part-time), Tim Niewand (full-time) and Tony Vong (part-time). Supporting them is a three-member reference team and eight working groups comprising experts in their respective fields: (1) Synod Agenda and Outcomes Planning, (2) Theological Requirements, (3) Constitutional Requirements, (4) Governance Requirements, (5) Pastoral Care, (6) Candidacy, (7) Communications and (8) Finance and Budgeting.
The project team's primary task is to deliver to the 2024 General Pastors Conference and Convention of General Synod a detailed framework through which the Lutheran Church of Australia and New Zealand could function as 'one church with two different practices of ordination' – in accordance with the resolution of the 2021-2023 General Synod. This process involves gathering possible models from across the church, developing an evaluation matrix, and using it to distil the multiple submissions down into a manageable shortlist (approximately three) for further work by the eight working groups. There will be regular information and updates to all church members and a socialisation phase during which the proposed detailed framework will be shared with the wider church for broad discussion and feedback prior to the 2024 General Pastor Conference and the Convention of General Synod.
The project management team (Stella Thredgold, Tim Niewand, Tony Vong) and eight working groups were appointed to work towards presenting a model to General Synod 2024. The working groups are comprised of people from across the church who are experts in their respective subject areas.
Call for models
The entire church was invited to submit models for the Way Forward that aligned with the intent of the General Synod resolution. More than 50 models were received along with more than 50 responses providing suggestions of a general nature.
During this phase the models are being evaluated and shortlisted for further consideration and development.
During this phase the shortlisted models (up to three) will be further enhanced to meet the requirements of the General Synod resolution. Ultimately one will be chosen as the best fit.
Engage community on model
There will be opportunities for the wider church community to be engaged with the model. More details to come.
General Pastors Conference and General Synod
In accordance with the General Synod resolution, General Pastors Conference will review the proposal for the Way Forward, which General Synod delegates will debate and vote on.