Two longstanding servants of the LCA – Glenice Hartwich and Stephen Rudolph – are retiring. Combined, the duo has contributed almost 80 years of service to the church and its agencies.
Mrs Hartwich has been Assistant to the Bishop – International Mission since 2016, having served as LCA Program Officer in international mission from 2006 and as Acting Mission Director in 2015. Her church service began in 1973, when she went to Papua New Guinea as a deaconess. Mr Rudolph has held the role of Executive Director of Lutheran Education Australia (LEA) since 2011, and has worked in the Lutheran school system for 43 years.
After training at the then Lutheran Teachers College in North Adelaide, and spending three years in PNG (as Glenice Heinrich before her marriage), Glenice worked at former LCA printer, publisher and retailer Lutheran Publishing House, with the Lutheran Tract Mission and, concurrently, the LLL.
She also worked in youth and family ministry at St John’s Lutheran Church, Unley, in South Australia.
An accredited lay worker, she has also served in many voluntary roles on committees, councils, teams and taskforces, at congregational, district and churchwide levels over many years.
Pastor Neville Otto formerly worked with Glenice when he held the concurrent roles of LCA Secretary of the Church and LCA Mission Director for five years from 2009. ‘Glenice is a joy to walk alongside in serving in God’s harvest field’, Pastor Neville said.
‘She has represented the LCA with distinction and is regarded by our partner churches in PNG, South-East Asia, North America, and Europe as a true partner in the gospel. I feel privileged to have been taught by her and walked with her in service.’
Glenice retired this month as Assistant to the Bishop – International Mission and was succeeded by Pastor Matt Anker.
Stephen Rudolph first taught in 1975 at Grace Lutheran Primary, Redcliffe, in Queensland, and began his career as a principal at the age of 23 at St Peters Lutheran School, Dimboola, in Victoria. He also led other school communities as principal or director in New South Wales, South Australia, Victoria, and Queensland. Stephen has served the LCA more broadly as a volunteer member of various boards, committees and councils.
Chair of the LEA Board of Directors, Dr Neville Highett, said Stephen had ‘demonstrated a genuine and passionate commitment’ to the LCA throughout his career. ‘[He] believes Lutheran education is an integral part of the mission and ministry of the LCA’, Dr Highett said in his citation to Mr Rudolph for a recent LEA Service Award.
‘His faithful and conscientious service to his Lord and the Lutheran Church of Australia, throughout his service in Lutheran education, has been outstanding.’
Stephen retires as LEA Executive Director next month. He will be succeeded by Dr Lisa Schmidt.