The General Church Board (GCB) and College of Bishops (CoB) have appointed the members of the eight working groups which will contribute to the preparation of the Ordination Way Forward proposal to come before the 2024 General Synod.
The recent call for expressions of interest to join working groups saw more than 500 people download the application form and 59 apply within the two-week timeframe.
The Standing Committee on Nominations (SCON), which processed the expressions of interest, and GCB and CoB, which made the appointments, aimed for diversity across the working groups (including gender, age, cultural background, conviction about ordination) and people from all districts of the church.
Colleen Fitzpatrick, chair of SCON, said the calibre of the applicants was extremely high.
‘The application process also brought to our attention a number of people with significant relevant experience and expertise who had not previously been on our radar’, she said. ‘We are truly blessed as a church to have so many of God’s gifted people stepping up to serve in this way. In particular, I was really pleased to see the number of young people who applied.’
It is anticipated that members of the working groups will be inducted into their roles and convene in their first meetings before the end of May. As subject matter experts, they will advise and support the project management team coordinating the Ordination Way Forward response.
Stella Thredgold, the project director, said she is delighted with the appointments to the working groups.
‘The level of interest shown in the application process, and the high calibre of the people appointed, are clear indicators that church members are invested in the ordination conversation and they are prepared to work hard to bring about the best possible outcome.
‘Along with the other members of the project team, Tim Niewand and Tony Vong, we extend our thanks to all the people who applied to the working groups, including those who were not appointed, for being prepared to volunteer their time, experience and expertise to this project. We thank God for you, and we look forward to engaging with those appointed to the working groups as we implement the resolution your General Synod delegates have placed before us.’
The members of the working groups are:
Working Group 1 – Synod Agenda and Outcomes Planning
Chair: Rev Neville Otto
Members: Chris Antonini, Brett Hausler, Dr Gillian Heintze, Dr Nigel Long, Eloise Quinn-Valentine
Working Group 2 – Theological Requirements
Chair: Bishop Paul Smith
Members: Rev Dr Stephen Haar, Kathleen Mills, Rev Fraser Pearce, Maria Rudolph, Rev Tommi Vuorinen
(note: one more to be finalised)
Working Group 3 – Constitutional Requirements
Chair: Faye Schmidt
Members: Bruce Arnold, Kim Baumeler, David Dreckow, Bruce Lockwood
Consultant: Rev Ben Hentschke
Working Group 4 – Governance Requirements
Chair: Michael Stolz
Members: Nancy Fox, Dr Cathryn Hamilton, Rev Paul Traeger, Rev Dr Mark Vainikka
Working Group 5 – Pastoral Care
Chair: Gary Jewson
Members: Joanne Chamberlain, Dr Christine Materne, Rev David Wear, Sue Westhorp
Working Group 6 – Candidacy
Chair: ALC Principal (currently Rev Dr Stephen Haar while Rev Dr James Winderlich is on leave)
Members: Kate Burke, Rev Ian Rentsch, Assoc Prof Lisa Schmidt, Kate Traeger, Assoc Prof Tanya Wittwer
Consultant: Dr Christine Materne
Working Group 7 – Communications
Chair: Trevor Ruthenberg
Members: Sean Doyle, Annissa Hansen, Linda Macqueen
Working Group 8 – Finance and Budgeting
Chair: Mel Zerner
Members: Ben Gargett, Brett Hausler, Leanne Latz
The project team welcomes suggestions from the wider church regarding the way forward towards ‘one church with two different practices of ordination’. Emails can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
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