Three Australian Lutheran College graduates have joined the ranks of pastors of the Lutheran Church of Australia this week.
Matthew Edgecomb, Lucas Matuschka and Mathew von Stanke were ordained by LCA Bishop John Henderson at Concordia College chapel, Highgate South Australia, on Sunday 9 December.
They will take up their first assignments in 2019.
Pastor Edgecomb, who grew up worshipping at Salisbury Lutheran Church in Adelaide’s north and did his vicarage at St John’s Unley, also in suburban Adelaide, has been assigned to Strathalbyn, on South Australia’s Fleurieu Peninsula.
Pastor Matuschka, who grew up in and around Hobart and completed his vicarage at St Pauls Hahndorf and Nairne in the Adelaide Hills, will begin his ordained ministry at Rainbow Pella Parish, Victoria, in that state’s Southern Mallee region.
Originally from Portland Victoria, where his family were members at St John’s Lutheran Church, Pastor von Stanke did his vicarage at Para Vista in Adelaide’s northern suburbs, and will serve at LifeWay in the New South Wales harbour city Newcastle, north of Sydney.
Bishop Henderson preached at the ordination service on the text Philippians 1:3-11, including: ‘I thank my God every time I remember you, constantly praying with joy in every one of my prayers for all of you, because of your sharing in the gospel from the first day until now. I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work among you will bring it to completion by the day of Jesus Christ.’
Encouraging the ordinands as they prepared to enter the public ministry, Bishop Henderson said, ‘The work of the Christian pastor is the ministry of the Holy Spirit, which is nothing less than the ongoing ministry of Jesus Christ. In Jesus, God loves the world so much that he died for it. Your mission will be to lead the church in carrying that self-same love out into that world’.
‘Following the apostles, and the Reformers, the pastor’s task today is to encourage us to know the Scriptures, to teach the gospel message, and to keep pointing us to Jesus’, he said. ‘Remembering the saints, focussing on Christ, Paul is confident about whatever is coming. He prays of completion, of being pure and blameless, of overflowing love, of having full knowledge and insight and receiving the final harvest of righteousness. Like Paul, our pastors continue to pray for the people, that our love may overflow more and more with knowledge and full insight to help us know what is best, so that in the day of Christ we may be pure and blameless, having produced the harvest of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ for the glory and praise of God.
‘So Luke, Matthew and Mathew, as new pastors let this also be your prayer. Let it shape your ministry as it did St Paul. Be confident in preaching and handling God’s holy things. Go out to be the blessing God has made you to be. And pray constantly for the people, telling them of their salvation in Jesus Christ our Lord.’