Welcome to the Pastors’ Pen – a written update for life at Southern Cross.
We are thankful for Matt Oates’ willingness to join us on ZOOM on Wednesday night for an information briefing. Matt is the Superintendent of Ministry and Mission, assisting Presbyterian Churches across NSW to live out their mandate ‘to proclaim Christ as supreme and the way for cities, towns and the people that inhabit them, to be reconnected to God, the place of ultimate contentment and satisfaction’.
Wednesday night with Matt was a briefing on the pathway we outlined in a congregational meeting in November 2021. Our time with him on ZOOM was for around 30 minutes, as he outlined the path that we need to head along towards filling the vacancy at SCPC.
The timing of the briefing in Term 2 was due to my absence in Term 3, rather than a procedure that needs to occur to move things along.
Our next step is for LT and CoM to prepare the ‘Terms of Call’, a document that gathers statistical data from a church family to prove they have the conditions suitable to maintain a pastor for up to three years. This document then needs to be approved by the Northern Rivers Presbytery and Ministry and Mission (of which Matt Oates is the chairperson). From there we would hope to have a preliminary information session in Term 4 before a congregational meeting.
It was great to hear from Matt, for we realise we are not the only church like this in NSW. There are many and varied tasks that he is sought out for to gain his insight and wisdom. Generously he has volunteered more support for LT and CoM across Term 3 if they wish to have further assistance as they negotiate this process.
Personally, I have been working my way through Proverbs this week and many verses have come to mind as I have been thinking about these opportunities ahead for us. I have been particularly thankful for Christian leaders like Matt Oates, who serve with Ministry and Mission and provide great counsel to churches across our state so we can keep going in our core business of growing followers of Jesus.
I love this verse from Colossians when thinking about the heart of our mission and our core business in Lovemore:
6 So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, 7 rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. Col 2:6-7