Dear Blackwood Uniting Community,
It is with heartfelt appreciation of you all that I advise that I will be moving on to further ministry at year’s end as Senior School Chaplain at Westminster.
This has been a difficult and quite emotional process for me. I have valued so many interactions and shared moments with people of Blackwood Uniting.
I treasure your stories, your goodness and your challenges.
This is therefore not a decision to leave Blackwood; I have been very pleased to lead this community for the past four-and-a-half years. And wasn’t seeking to leave.
The opportunity to serve in a school environment, with a part in the formation of young lives and with families at the ‘edges’ of Uniting Church life was too good a ‘fit’. And ultimately, I hear the call to serve where any gifts and skills I bear are put to best use for the wider mission of faith in God and the vision of the Uniting Church. It will stretch me.
Particularly I find it sad to end my partnership in the Office with Jacqui who has been one of the finest, most competent workmates I have had in any of my working contexts. I have served under three Chairs of Church Council in Ray Bown, Ian Penny and lately Chris Bray, and have marvelled at each’s dedication to the community. I have appreciated all those who have given time and thought to Council in my time with you.
Because the School requires me for the start of the 2018 school year, my departure happens with some haste. My final service will be a Combined one at 10:00 a.m. on December 31st, appropriately on the eve of a year of new things for us all.
I join with Karen, Olivia and Lewis [and at a distance, Fabian, Matilda, Alex and Emmett, and Clancy] in thanking you for your trust in my leadership, your co-operation in the many activities of service we share and, finally, your understanding of my response now to a further call.
With Affections, Phil