Welcome to the Pastor’s Pen.
Here is a brief reflection from the interview last Sunday. As Stew suggested, we put the roles of Lead Pastor and Families Pastor from 2022 into a “blender” and see below what popped out as Stew and Ritchie lead our church family in East Lismore!
Vision, Leadership and Community Pastor:
Stew is the vision, leadership and community pastor at Southern Cross. In this role Stew leads our staff team, is the chairperson of our leadership team (elders) and our committee of management. In his role as community pastor, he aims to provide resourcing, training and mentoring particularly to our vision coordinators who lead our gospel communities. Stew has a huge passion to see the precious gospel entrusted to the next generation of Christian leaders. Following this passion, he oversees the leadership development and ministry to our young adults and provides ministry supervision to the staff at SCPC who drive our ministry to kids.
Stew enjoys leading a Gospel Community (GC) with his wife Susan and teaching the kids in his GC the wonder of prayer and backyard cricket. When Stew is tempted to lose heart, he realigns his vision to Jesus’ call to take up your cross daily, knowing his father God will meet all his needs in Christ.
Regionally Stew serves on the executive of the Northern Rivers Presbytery, heading up its training and resourcing. In 2023 he will also serve as the Interim Moderator of Crossroads Presbyterian Church in Wollongbar.
For fun Stew loves sports and will try his hand at most things, he can also be found visiting a local park run on Saturdays. Stew is married to Susan, has three fascinating kids and perhaps some chickens sometime soon. Over the last ten years Stew has been encouraged by three Tims! Tim Keller, Tim Chester and Tim Dyer from Johnmark Extension in Tasmania.
Preaching and Mission Pastor:
Ritchie leads our church’s preaching ministry and Sunday gatherings. He longs to see people grow in their love for God as they hear, and are nourished by, His word. Ritchie is also passionate about our church reaching people with the good news of Jesus, and he oversees our local and global mission strategy.
Ritchie is currently also providing oversight and support to Southern Cross Goonellabah, as well as mentoring Cameron Bryant during his ministry apprenticeship.
The thing that helps Ritchie not lose heart in the Christian life is… Jesus. Being reminded of, and continually refocusing on, Jesus is exactly what Ritchie needs to keep him going. He also deeply treasures Christian relationships and the way that being part of a gospel community impacts his own life.
His favourite Christian author is Michael Reeves, and he loves the way Reeves’ books have helped him genuinely know and enjoy God better.
Ritchie is married to Jasmin and they have two young kids who are a source of much joy and fun. Ritchie likes cricket, touch footy, novels and historical documentaries on YouTube. He is also a very keen and very ordinary surfer.