You can reach Rev Phil Hoffmann or Tyler Vaughn via our Contact page.
Rev Phil Hoffmann
The Rev Phil Hoffmann formally accepted our invitation to be our full time Minister, and started with us on the 1st of June 2013 and was inducted in the Blackwood Uniting Church on Wednesday June 12th.
Phil is an Adelaide boy, born at Blackwood in the autumn of 1958. During his growing years at Seacombe Gardens, one of the activities of his family’s local church (Church of Christ) was weekend home-stays for children at Colebrook House at Eden Hills. This brought two Aboriginal sisters into Phil’s family home.
After a family shift when he was seven years old, Phil attended Westbourne Park Primary and Unley and then later, Modbury High Schools. After gaining an economics degree, during which time he ‘accidentally’ won the University Prize, Phil spent time as a community youth worker with the Uniting Church at Tea Tree Gully. During this time Phil attended a World Methodist Youth Conference in Truro, England with several now-members of Blackwood Uniting.
Phil then had time in Canberra as an adviser in the Prime Minister’s Department before three years (1988 – 1990) living in the Middle East accompanying his then wife who was posted there with the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs. This experience and the exposure to the cultural backgrounds of the Bible inform his preaching to this day.
In 1997, Phil married Karen, who had come with her family from Cardiff, Wales, when Karen was 18.
With a further degree in theology, Phil was ordained in 1998, serving at Brougham Place Uniting Church at North Adelaide and, prior to taking up his appointment at Blackwood, Rosefield Uniting Church at Highgate.
Phil is the proud father of five children, three of whom are adopted. He is a cricket lover, passionate football follower and avid watcher of current affairs.
His other pursuit has been in comedy, having been a member of the former “Flying Fettuccinis”. He is a storyteller and one of his many heroes is Garrison Keillor, the American author of the News from Lake Wobegon (on the radio show A Prairie Home Companion) where “all the women are strong, all the men are good-looking and all the children are above average.”
Recent Past Minister (Deacon) Rev Coral Cogs Smith
Rev Coral Cogs Smith (Deacon) was welcomed to Blackwood Uniting Church as our 0.5 mission Outreach Minister on 22nd May 2011.
Coral enjoys meeting the many varied groups at Blackwood and being involved in our community life. Warm-hearted and conscientious, she works with determination to establish harmony around her. As a Uniting Church Deacon Minister, her interests lie not only within the church but also with the wider community.
She believes that true community is life giving in our day-to-day world. And can provide a safe place that helps to us deal with the constant changes that are happening around us – a space to work out what we think and feel about life and to assist in deciding what is important in this time and place.
Coral is married to Dave and they have three adult children and a grandchild.
Cogs accepted a position with Willunga Uniting Church in July 2015. We wish her well in her new posting and look forward to continuing to see her around!
Recent Supply Ministers:
Our own Rev Dr Adrian Brown supported Rev Cogs in January and February as well as March, April and May of 2013 while we awaited the arrival of Rev Phil Hoffmann.
Robyn Caldicott served us for nine months that finished on Palm Sunday, 1 April 2012. We were delighted to have her back with us while Rev Cogs was on leave (4 March – 21 April 2013).
We were pleased to have the Rev Dr Dean Eland as an interim supply minister from 5th of August to 30 December 2012.
Recent Past Minister: Rev Leanne Jenski
Our congregation welcomed Rev Leanne Jenski in 2006 as a minister of the Word experienced in working in aged care as well as with congregations in the West Australian Synod. Her ability in leading worship inspired many of us and caused us to think more deeply about our faith and how we can live out our mission statement which says:
The people of Blackwood Uniting Church are called by God to be an inclusive Christian community committed to justice, learning, service and care.
Open minded, approachable, creative, enthusiastic, level headed as well as with the ability to think outside the square are just some of the attributes Leanne brought to her ministry here. Her IT expertise was also much appreciated and she extended many members’ skills through her involvement and input. She worked as a team member with our other minister, who is employed part time at Blackwood. She related easily to people of all ages and was well able to discuss joys and sadnesses, needs and ideas with those who come seeking counselling or conversation.
Her own faith story reveals the importance of family and extended family as well as a deep sense of calling to the ministry and a fervent desire to enable the gospel to be relevant in the 21st century to those both within and outside the established church family. In her relationships with all those with whom she deals, Leanne believes in building bridges as well as courageously striving to break down any barriers which may prevent the furthering or establishment of true Christian community.
Leanne lives with her partner Rev Susan Wickham and they have three adult children and one grand-daughter.
Leanne accepted a new position as Chaplain at Flinders Medical Hospital and we bid her farewell from Blackwood Uniting Church on the 22nd of July 2012.