Rev Dr Amelia Koh-Butler
24 November 2022
To Eastwood Uniting Church Council and Eastwood Uniting Church Congregation
Dear Beloved Friends
I write to inform you that I have accepted a Call to be the Mission Secretary for Education and Empowerment with the Council for World Mission. I will commence on March 1, 2023, and will be based in Singapore, although the role will necessitate travel around the world for at least the next four years.
It has been a difficult decision to leave Eastwood, for you are a truly wonderful community and I have felt deeply privileged to have journeyed with you this last while. I came here to focus on change management and help you refocus on your named mission, to become a more multicultural church and more effectively reach the local evolving mixed-Asian-Australian community. Despite the challenges of COVID, we have risen to the tasks together.
With new preachers just commissioned, and more to come in the next couple of months, and an experienced and skilled team of lay and ordained ministry leaders, the awarding of the Growth Fund Grant, and with the prospect of two Mission-workers to start next year, this is the time to hand over to someone to take the next steps with you. I believe Eastwood is well set up to move confidently into the future. It also makes it amongst the most attractive of Placements for a Deacon or Minister of the Word. I am aware of several good people coming onto the list of ‘available’ ministry people. I am confident you will have some wonderful conversations and a number of possibilities will open up for you.
Yes – there is a lot of work to do – and you will all need to step up to fulfill God’s purposes for this community. I know God will bless you in each word and action you offer. God can take small things and turn them into miracles. There are so many among you who are ready to say YES to God. Don’t hold back. Get to know each other better and become God’s Team in this place.
My intention was to stay between 2 and 3 years. However, COVID accelerated some of the changes and the promise of Growth Fund for next year means that earlier next year will be a better time to seek a new Minister than later. This has certainly been a factor in my consideration of several international offers. The sense of call for me about the next phase of ministry is strong. Before coming to Eastwood, I was not really considering a Congregation as an option for me, but you have gifted me with so many things and relationships that I will treasure the rest of my life. There will be time over the next three months to talk of them, but I want to say to you all how very grateful I am for your ministry to me and the way you continue to shape my life and spirit.
My prayers for each of you will continue and I hope you will pray for me in this time of transition.
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