The Synod of Victoria and Tasmania has asked Brunswick to support the Presbytery of East Gippsland by releasing Ian to do 3 months emergency supply ministry there.

Church Council has considered this request and approved the following recommendation by consensus: “that we agree to release Ian for 3 months from early February.”

East Gippsland has been hard hit by the fire disaster and the Uniting Church has very few experienced ministers on the ground there – a number of congregations are vacant. Ian has been asked to work half-time providing supply ministry at Bairnsdale and half-time with the Presbytery supporting ministers and congregations. Brunswick has been approached to help meet this need because we are a strong and well-resourced congregation that is in a position to share ministry under these extreme circumstances.

Ian says, “I am challenged and excited by this call of God through the church. It provides a way for me to give my gifts in response to this overwhelming crisis and for our congregation to support that response. It will mean that Beth and I will be living apart for this time, but we will organise ourselves to meet regularly.”

Ian will conclude his ministry with us on 9th February and commence his secondment to East Gippsland in the week beginning 10th February. The call is for three months (and three months only).

Supply Ministry in Brunswick

During Ian’s absence from Brunswick, two part time supply ministers will take different parts of his role.

Valentina Satvedi will work with our Worship and Discipleship and Education committees in a preaching and teaching role.  Valentina is an ordained minister in the Menonite tradition who is currently being received by the Uniting Church.  She is a member of our congregation and a past member of our Ministry Team in the Student House Coordinator’s role.

Yoo Mi Park will work with our Pastoral Care Teams in a pastoral support role.  Yoo Mi has just completed her theological studies and ministry formation and is awaiting placement and ordination. She lives in Bundoora where her husband is also in ministry.

Ian says, “I’m delighted that these two gifted women will be part of our ministry team in my absence and am glad to leave you in their capable hands.”  

Saide Cameron, BUC Congregation Secretary


Ongoing Prayers

We continue to pray for the people of East Gippsland and other parts of Australia who have been devastated by these fires.

We pray for all who are in need and all who are working to make a difference.

We pray for Ian and Beth and their family in this time of disruption for them.

We pray for the church in East Gippsland, particularly the Uniting Church Presbytery and congregations who are living with the reality of this cataclysm.

May our offering of time and ministry give support where it is needed.

May God’s loving compassion bring us all to healing and give us hope.

prepared by Ian Ferguson