More opportunities for women in ministry

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The Australian Union Conference (AUC) has appointed Pastor Lyndelle Peterson as a part time Associate Ministerial Association Secretary, after the position was created by the AUC Executive Committee in May this year.

Pastor Peterson is the first female to be employed to work across all areas of the Ministerial Association, including ministry development, resourcing and working with conference Ministerial leaders to develop and implement strategies to support and inspire pastors around Australia.

The role will also include a focus on encouraging, mentoring and representing woman in pastoral ministry. In addition, Pastor Peterson will continue to lead the Sabbath School and Stewardship departments of the AUC.

“I am honoured and excited to be able to serve in the ministerial association,” Pastor Peterson stated, “and I’m looking forward to working with the team of ministerial secretaries across Australia.”

“Women make up 10% of the pastoral workforce at the moment and being able to have representation in these types of conversations is a good step forward.”

“I have been blessed to be able to work as an associate pastor, a lead pastor, a chaplain and departmental director and I hope to be able to use my experience, as I work with the team, to find ways to better support pastors,” Pastor Peterson added.

The AUC Executive Committee also voted to introduce a Women in Pastoral Ministry (WiPM) scholarship, which will assist women who are already studying or thinking about studying ministry at Avondale University or Mamarapha College, with their tuition fees.

“We want to support and enhance the role and voice of women in pastoral ministry,” explained Pastor Brendan Pratt, Ministerial Association Secretary at the AUC.

“Regardless of if a pastor is a male or female they are gifted and called by God.  We want to support and honour that calling the best way possible. We have many gifted females in pastoral ministry who are already making an excellent contribution – our scholarship seeks to encourage more females into pastoral ministry,” he added.

“I look forward to working with Lyndelle in this new role, it will be great to have an enhanced voice for women and for someone to bring a different perspective when we discuss initiatives and challenges.”

In addition to Pastor Peterson joining the AUC Ministerial Association, last year Pastor Murray Hunter was appointed as Associate Ministerial Association Secretary – School Chaplaincy.  This role focuses particularly on the ministry challenges, resourcing and support of chaplains in our schools which is an area of ministry that has rapidly increased.

“It’s excellent having an extended team,” Pastor Pratt stated, “it brings extra creativity and enthusiasm, allowing us to better serve our Ministerial Association.”

“Resourcing, supporting and developing our pastors and chaplains is crucial for the mission of our church. I am excited about the possibilities and what our team can achieve over the next few years,” he added.

AUC President, Pastor Terry Johnson is encouraged that the Union is making these appointments and showing support of women in pastoral ministry and in leadership positions.

“The AUC wants to show that we value the contribution women make to ministry, it is important to have good representation across our pastoral team, at a union level, conference level and local church level,” Pastor Johnson stated.

“Having Lyndelle and Murray working in the Ministerial Association and introducing a Women in Pastoral Ministry Scholarship are good steps on the journey of support for our pastors and churches.”

For more information on the WiPM Scholarship and to apply, please visit http://aucministerial.org/aboutus/wipmscholarship/

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