It was with much joy and excitement that members of Outer Eastern Lutheran Church (OELC) and Doncaster–Ivanhoe congregations in outer suburban Melbourne came together last month for the installation of lay member Ed Blow into word and sacrament ministry at Immanuel Lilydale.
Ed has been licensed for this ministry by Victoria–Tasmania District Bishop Lester Priebbenow and was installed by District Pastor for Congregational Support Brett Kennett (pictured left above with Ed, OELC Chairperson Sabine Haeusler and Doncaster Ivanhoe Chairperson Mick Ampt).
How did this happen? In 2018, the Doncaster-Ivanhoe congregation approached the district to see whether any congregation would be willing to enter a pastor-sharing arrangement. OELC and Pastor Tom Peitsch accepted with Pastor Tom agreeing to a change to his full-time call.
After Pastor Tom’s retirement in 2020, the shortage of pastors in the LCA was a consideration as our church council looked at options available to continue our mission within our community. A concern was to ensure that members were able to receive communion regularly.
In December, Ed approached the church council to share that he felt called to serve and support OELC with word and sacrament. He had completed divinity studies many years ago but had chosen not to be ordained. Ed began working with Pastor Brett and Bishop Lester regarding this call and Pastor Tom agreed to be Ed’s mentor.
We have been working with Doncaster–Ivanhoe, and Ed has indicated he is also willing to serve there. We hope to have a continuing, close, and collaborative relationship with each other.
I have learnt that no matter how much we plan or organise we never know what God has planned for us. ‘Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails’ (Proverbs 19:21).
—Sabine Haeusler, Chair, Outer Eastern Lutheran Church Council
This story first appeared in District eVoices from the LCA Victoria-Tasmania District. Read the full story at www.vic.lca.org.au/2022/04/05/many-are-the-plans-in-a-persons-heart-but-it-is-the-lords-purpose-that-prevails/
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