D2 – President-elect Profile – Gordon Ramsay

Regulation 3.7.5.1 requires that the Assembly Standing Committee provide advice to the Church on the challenges and issues which may be faced by the President and the Assembly in the next seven years. This is to assist the discernment process as the Church nominates and elects the President – elect.

In July 2014 the ASC addressed itself to this responsibility and offers this guidance to the Church.

“As the Uniting Church continues to move through a season of significant change, the ASC believes that the challenges and issues likely to be faced by the President and the Assembly in the next seven years will include:

• Embracing a fuller participation in Christ’s mission in the world; and finding fresh words and deeds to bear witness to the gospel
• Achieving or recovering a common vision of the nature, function and ordering of the Church
• Deepening the Covenant between the Assembly and the UAICC
• Living faith and life cross-culturally in an increasingly multicultural church and society
• Developing new habits and new models of national cooperation
• Rethinking the place of the church in a secular, multi-faith Australian society
• Developing structures and patterns of church life that are financially sustainable
• Seeking structures and patterns of church leadership in all areas (in local churches, the church’s councils, the church’s agencies) that are coherent and sustainable
• Attending to the issues of morale and care for one another that arise in a period of significant change”

Gordon_RamsayName: Gordon Ramsay (Mr)

Nominated by: Presbytery of Canberra Region

Synod of residence: Synod of NSW / ACT

Age range: 50-59

Personal Interests
I am a musician, and occasional composer and arranger. Most
of my composing days are probably behind me, but if you let me loose on a piano you’ll probably see me relax and enjoy life a bit more.
Although I haven’t managed to convince anyone that it is a good idea to stand in my kitchen and yell “Yes Chef”, I love cooking -with a particular disposition towards spicy curries and just about any dessert.
Throughout cold Canberra winters you will also find the ascetic part of me coming out as I stand in minus 4 degrees to cheer on the Brumbies (that’s a Rugby team).

Placement / employment:
Kippax UCA (1997 – present)
& Chair UnitingCare NSW.ACT (2014- present)

Relevant church experience:
Member of 13th Assembly
Member of 14th Assembly
Associated with 10th Assembly (KUCA-A)
Member 7th Assembly Worship Planning Committee

Assembly Church Polity Reference Committee 2006 –
Assembly Development Committee 1993-1997

UnitingWorld National Committee 1997-2000

UnitingCare Australia UnitingforChange, 2011-13
UnitingCare Australia Mandate consultancy 2002-3

UnitingCare NSW ACT Chairperson 2014-
UnitingCare NSW ACT Board member 2011 –

Synod NSW & ACT Strategy Group
(restructuring and refocusing) 2010-2011

Chairperson Canberra Region Presbytery 2006-2008

Because of Church-based advocacy and involvement, I have been a member of a range of bodies contributing to the creation of a stronger, more just and equitable society, including:
ACT Better Services Taskforce 2013 –
Chair ACT Targeted Assistance Strategy 2011-12
ACT Community Inclusion Board and Advocate 2008-2010

Passion:
My core passion for many years has been to help form and
develop new, strong sound expressions of the Body of Christ
for a post-Christendom, post-denominational world.

I am passionate about the integration of all aspects of life and for the right of all people to live a decent life. I delight in the role of the Church as an agent in this movement. I have been privileged to seek to live that out in a number of bodies beyond the immediate life of the church.

I am passionate about the reality of an engaged, contextual faith. The UCA’s story is one which celebrates a risen Christ in the midst of this world, and that therefore the presence of God is found here and now. That discovery leads us into creative and respectful relations – First and Second Peoples, across genders, between different faiths and no faith.

Vision for the UCA (400 words):
My vision for the UCA is that we act with the call of God on us rather than react as an institution under pressure.

I believe we have been too quick to accept that we are a ‘dying church’ and have assumed the need for a shrinking institutional expression. We have been too slow to modify, adapt and develop the life of the church in keeping with the world around us. Too often we tell our story negatively and timidly.

We have been called by God to this place and this time.

We, as the UCA, are currently connecting with more people in Australia than at any time in our history: congregations, faith communities, schools, community service sites and other expressions. All are local expressions of the movement of God within the Uniting Church. My vision is of a church that celebrates and is energised by this.

I have a strong sense that “Christ’s own strange ways” now calls us to a new form of being: one which draws on the strengths of these many expressions and allows the birth of something quite new.

I value having been in a local community that has developed one contemporary model of church, combining active congregational life with a professional community service agency. It has become known as a place of hope, quality care and integrity in its living.

I value having been involved in transformational life of Presbyteries. I believe that with creative responses and relationships, Presbyteries can reconfigure themselves even more into collegial, empowering and enabling bodies.

I value having been in leadership with the Synod of NSW & ACT as it works to develop a new understanding of its purpose and its role, and the steps it must take to enable this to happen. I believe that a re-working of Synod priorities can take significant burden off other Councils, so that their ministry and mission can flourish.

I value having been in significant leadership with the UnitingCare network. nitingCare NSW.ACT has re-formed itself and is in the midst of re-understanding and re-presenting itself in relationship with the rest of the Uniting Church so that its missional heart can be re-emphasised.

I look forward to the courageous creativity of the Spirit of God guiding us so that together we may enter more fully into mission.

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