Field Staff - Role Focus Changes

Hi Friends,

At Mission Centre Conference we announced several role focus changes among the paid field staff team. These changes have been made, effective July 1, to align with the priorities of the strategic plan:

Kassandra Unger: Children’s Minister. Australia Wide. Kass will focus on program creation and delivery for early childhood and primary aged children. This will include nationwide programs, however will have a specific focus on Sydney. She will be responsible for resource production for this age group, to assist congregations and camp directors with materials for camps, worship and classes. This role now includes the responsibility of the CYP Officer for the church in Australia. The idea here is to appropriately resource children’s ministries to ensure the future of our church is strong!

Alicia Turner: Youth and Young Adult Minister. Australia Wide. Alicia will focus the majority of her time on Community Plus, continuing to enhance what has already been established. The intention here is to expand its ministry, re‐building the Leaders‐in‐Training (LIT) program and lead the team into the future. Her responsibilities will also include identifying ways to encourage our people to do World Service Corps, and to foster sites locally for volunteers to be based in Australia. She will develop pathways for those who are on the upper edge of CPlus to experience ministry in the community through cell groups and other initiatives. She will create resources for families, congregations and individuals to strengthen their discipleship, specifically in this age group.

Robert Thompson: Minister. Australia Wide. Rob’s focus will be on a new style of ministry we are calling ‘congregational companioning’. He will walk with 3‐4 congregations per year to assist them in finding new ways of being, to help them question and vision for their future. Among the first group of congregations will be Brisbane. While doing that, he will teach, preach and provide pastoral care in those places. He will develop training for others to become volunteer congregational companions, and build a network of companions. The other part of Rob’s role will be to develop and deliver innovative events that provide people with an opportunity to experience community, including WoW. The idea here is to develop discipleship and enhance spiritual formation through new expressions of ministry.

Wendy Ballard: Tiona Chaplain. Mid North Coast, NSW. Wendy will be focused on continuing her work in the community, but with a shift towards the Tiona Chapel and Green Cathedral. She will coordinate ministry in those locations and build a team for delivery of events and programs at the new Tiona Chapel. While it’s being built, she will develop material and training resources for volunteers in that space. Then, once it’s built, she will coordinate the delivery of those programs. She will continue in her role as a hospital chaplain in Forster, and the Cluster Coordinator for the Mid North Coast.

This is an exciting time for the church, and for us as a team! For some time now we have been following the patterns of the past decade or so, however it is now time to set our focus towards the priorities in the strategic plan. It is a time of change, and that’s always difficult. We are generating a new way of being for our community, and the wider community, and I believe what we do over the next few years will lay a foundation for a fertile field in years to come. We have discerned. We have listened. Now it is time to be bold and courageously live out our actions.

As President Veazey says in the last line of his recent words of counsel “Trust what is being born. Have faith in divine purposes. Persist in Hope.”

The Spirit is birthing a new creation, and we are required to listen and act. I trust each of you. Your gifts and callings are a blessing to me and the church, and I’m filled with great hope for what we can all achieve.

In faith,

Ben Smith

Australia Mission Centre President

Australia Mission Centre Field Staff Team (L-R):

Kass Unger, Alicia Turner, Robert Thompson, Wendy Ballard