Ministers

Wesley Uniting Church

in Forrest, ACT

Our Ministers

Our Wesley ministers have a tradition of excellent preaching. There is usually a team of two full-time Ministers settled in the Parish. We also have a wonderful group of ministers-in-association, ministers-emeritus, lay preachers and worship leaders who bring energy and creativity to our services.

Minister in Placement Rev'd Dr Geoff Dornan

Geoff’s work has been balanced between congregations, administration and policy development with both the Synod and Assembly of the Uniting Church. His work in the more secular field has involved two areas both connected to government policy: the first in aid and development through the Dept of Foreign Affairs and Trade who fund a proportion of the Uniting Church’s developmental work in the developing world; and the second in bio-ethics through the NSW Government’s “Human Research Ethics Committees’ (HRECs). Beyond this he maintains his broad interest in and commitment to theology and philosophy. Geoff’s deeper interest in Christian identity in the social and political world, was sparked by the rise of liberation theology in Latin America during the 1970s and his involvement in the movement during the Pinochet Dictatorship in Chile and the civil war in El Salvador. His involvement in progressive theologies, has been of a dual nature: practical pastoral engagement and the debate of ideas.

Minister-in-Association Rev’d Elizabeth Richardson

Elizabeth entered church ministry after a career in libraries. She obtained a BTh at St Mark’s College in Canberra and also undertook pastoral studies. She was a lay member of Wesley.  After the death of her husband, Jack, she did lay ministry work, was commissioned as a Lay Pastor and then was ordained in October 2009 – all at Wesley.  The years 2010 to late 2014 were spent at Batemans Bay and Moruya, first in supply and then in placement until her retirement.  Elizabeth has step children and step grandchildren, and other family members, some of whom live in Canberra.

Ministers-in-Supply Rev Karyn Burchell-Thomas and Rev Gareth Thomas-Burchell.

From Monday 11 July they will occupy the Wylie Street Manse. As office commitments allow, Karyn and Gareth will visit small groups and will be present at both services on 17 July. There will of course be Morning Tea between those services. Experienced in the Supply role, they have just completed a month in Yamba. As a couple their work at Wesley will be 75% or three weeks out of four. Karyn and Gareth have a home in the Blue Mountains.

A bit of background on our new ministers - Karyn was born in Sydney. She spent her first 4 years in Revesby in the south, after which moved to St Mary's in the west. She had the wonderful privilege of growing up with the children of refugees after WWII. Gareth was born in Uganda to Welsh parents and is now naturalised Australian. He is proud of being a hybrid Ugandan Welshman and naturalised Aussie. His claim to fame is that his location of birth was Nakasero Hospital, that in turn was later converted to Idi Amin’s palace 20 years later!

Minister-in-Association Rev’d Dr Bruce A. Stevens (PhD Boston University, 1987)

Bruce is the Wicking Professor of Ageing and Practical Theology at Charles Sturt University in Canberra. He was ordained in the Anglican Church in 1980 and served in parish ministry until 1993. He is an endorsed clinical and forensic psychologist, who has written ten books. His latest book is The Storied Self (Fortress Academic, 2018) on narrative gerontology. He has four adult children. 

Active Retired Minister Rev'd Ian Diamond

Ian was educated at Newington College in Sydney and candidated for the Methodist ministry whilst completing a BA at the University of New England. He then gained a BD at the University of Sydney whilst residing at Wesley College.  His exit appointment was to Lake Cargelligo, and, following ordination, he served as Chaplain at Wolaroi College [now Kinross Wolaroi School] in Orange. He then travelled to the UK and obtained an MA from the University of Lancaster.  Following his return home, he had placements at Ingleburn, Bowral, Broken Hill and Dubbo, retiring in 2005. He also took time out on two occasions to work with the Probation and Parole Service, first on the Central Coast, and later in Dubbo.  Ian has been a Police Chaplain for 27 years and currently has pastoral responsibility for the Monaro Local Area Command based in Queanbeyan.  Ian is married to Kay and they moved to Canberra in 2011. They have two sons, Elliott, a Physiotherapist at Bendigo Hospital, and Campbell, a Music student [Classical Guitar] in Cologne, Germany.