Last week and weekend Dave and Kathy Thurston and Phil Strong were in Adelaide to celebrate a fresh start for Adelaide Presbyterian Church. On Saturday, Davo Gunning was ordained and commissioned as the new Lead Pastor. On the same day, the Presbytery appointed Ben Harvey as a new pastor with the Adelaide team. Ben starts next Monday and will work closely with Damien Carson in the northern suburbs. Members of the Adelaide church community were very encouraged by the weekend, with many seeing the arrival of the Davo and Megan Gunning and Ben and Bronwyn Harvey as a tangible expression of the ministry plan for Adelaide becoming a reality.
God is doing something great in Adelaide! In a few short weeks, the team has grown from one permanent appointed pastor to three permanent appointed pastors. It has changed from being six churches struggling to survive on their own, to one church in six locations with a clear vision to Reach the City, and Reach the World with the gospel of Jesus. The Elders agreed on the weekend that the ministry of the six congregations will come under the one banner of Adelaide Presbyterian Church. These leaders in Adelaide have a strong desire to see the vision to reach the city of Adelaide with the gospel to become a reality in which they and the people can participate. We give thanks for these Elders who God has brought to Adelaide with a vision that matches that of the new ministry team.
The arrival of the Gunning’s and Harvey’s also allows Damien Carson to take long service leave later this year. We rejoice with Damien and Kelly in thankfulness for their many years of service in Adelaide. Now they can take this well-deserved leave knowing that the new Adelaide ministry team will continue to carry the ministry forward, whilst they are refreshed and made ready for their part in a new season of team ministry in Adelaide.
We also rejoice in the generous support this Adelaide vision is receiving from around Australia, especially from the three Presbyterian state organisations of Qld, Vic and NSW. Only in the last couple of weeks, we also heard that our denomination’s national finance committee dedicated an additional $120K to church revitalisation in South Australia. Praise God for the tangible way many people are catching the vision for what’s happening in Adelaide!
Over the last week in Adelaide, Dave and Kathy Thurston had really fruitful meetings to launch the mentoring, coaching and resourcing ministry that Church2Church is providing in 2018 and beyond. The launching of Church2Church at the same time as the new Adelaide ministry team is being launched is something to celebrate and thank God for. The support of Church2Church is key to making the Adelaide vision to Reach the City, and Reach the World with the gospel of Jesus a reality. Instead of a team being ‘parachuted in’ and left to work it out by themselves, the new team is starting as a well-supported and resourced team. This is great for Adelaide, and a model for how church planting and revitalisation can be resourced elsewhere through Church2Church. Praise God for what he is doing in Adelaide through the team he is gathering! Praise God for the Church2Church mentoring, coaching and resourcing that is backing the Adelaide Team!
(Prepared by Davo Gunning and Phil Strong)