You will have seen in the news that the cities of Palu and Donggala in Central Sulawesi were hit by a magnitude 7.4 earthquake. The earthquake triggered a tsunami along coastal areas in Palu, killing 1,234 people and displacing roughly 50,000 from their homes.
The event has been very personal for us. UnitingWorld staff and our partners in Indonesia have lost friends and loved ones.
More than 4000 vulnerable people in Central Sulawesi who are clients of a microfinance project supported by our partners, Tanaoba Lais Manekat (TLM), have been affected by the disaster. TLM are in the process of evacuating their team there but it will be some months before they are able to locate and assess the impact on the people they serve.
Our Southeast Asia Regional Office staff have lost family members and are waiting for news from friends.
Friends, we are asking you to pray for our staff and partners during this time. We are walking with them as they assess the impact and determine how they are best placed to serve.
If one part of the body suffers, all suffer together with it – 1 Corinthians 12:26
If you would like to support our partners as they respond to this tragedy, please donate through Uniting World at www.unitingworld.org.au
St Luke’s is very pleased to welcome Reverend Paul Stephens to our congregation as Minister of the Word, and his wife Jenny and children Emma, James and David. Paul’s first service of worship will be this Sunday the 18th of February at 9:30am – the first Sunday of Lent.
A message from Paul
Thank you for the warmth and energy that marked the service of induction last Sunday.
I am most appreciative of the many ways in which people have sought to make Jenny and I welcome; and also acquaint us with the life and ministry of the congregation.
I look forward to sharing with you in worship, witness and service.
Paul was born in Portsmouth, England and came to Australia in the mid-1960s when his family immigrated as “ten pound poms.”
He grew up in Lara and completed his secondary education at St. Joseph’s College, Newtown. He was amongst the first graduates from Deakin University receiving a degree in Science. He then worked for a few years as an industrial chemist before being accepted as a candidate for ordained ministry.
Paul for nine years was minister within the Bairnsdale Parish, and for fifteen years served at Wesley, Geelong where he was also the director of the Wesley Centre for Life Enrichment. For the last eight years he has been Presbytery Minister for Mission and Education within the Presbytery of Yarra Yarra and was seconded in 2017 by the Synod to convene the Presbytery Transition Team.
Paul enjoys walking, cycling and reading.
He is married to Jenny, a registered nurse who hails from Leongatha. They have three adult children: Emma, James and David.
Taste sustainably and organically grown, local food, soak up lots of information about Geelong’s flora and fauna, view the beautiful film “Melbourne Down Under”, let the kid’s make “wild animals”, find out about our endangered Great Barrier Reef, have a go at “Cluckar” and much, much more