A focus on the future

Posted in Leadership

Mark Schultz has had a busy few months! At the November 2017 meeting, the Presbytery and Synod resolved to ordain him as a Minister of the Word. Since that time he has also been announced as the new Team Leader for Mission Resourcing, a position he will take on in April 2018. New Times spoke to Mark (pictured left) about his call to become a minister in the Uniting Church.

Can you tell us a bit about your background in the Uniting Church?

I am actually a recent returnee to the Uniting Church! I grew up in an Anglican Church along with my parents, grandparents and my sister, nieces and nephews.

However, for 19 years I worked with Scripture Union, both in SA and the ACT, which gave me many opportunities to connect with a range of churches. When I began thinking and praying about candidating for ministry I was drawn to the Uniting Church because of its sense and understanding of mission, the centrality of its focus on justice issues and First Peoples, and its approach to the ministry of every member. The longer I have hung around the more I have had a feeling of coming home to my own church – not bad for five years in!

When did you start taking on more leadership roles within the church?

I think I was dropped into ministry for the first time when I was 16 years old. I found myself on one of Scripture Union’s Family Mission holiday programs. Since then I can’t remember a time when I hadn’t been in ministry in some form.

When I was 23, I went on staff with Scripture Union coordinating those same holiday programs I had found such joy in. I was leading and managing around 250 volunteers across seven locations along the SA coast in a day and a half a week – a certain cure for any remaining perfectionist streak I may have had. From there I spent 14 years as the Executive Director of Scripture Union, first in ACT then SA. 

It was five years ago that I sensed God’s call into congregational ministry. I found myself in a four month part-time supply placement at Glenunga Uniting Church, which eventually led to a Ministry of Pastor placement. Since then I have been involved in a number of other wider church areas, most notably recently, as a member of the Mission Leadership Development Board and managing the KCO team this year.  

I love inspiring people to know and grow in Jesus, and helping individuals, congregations and the church more broadly to catch the wind of the Spirit and jump on board with the mission of God. I am passionate about connecting in grounded ways with communities on matters that God is passionate about. 

What are your hopes for the Uniting Church?

When I read the Basis of Union for the first time, I was struck by how future-oriented it was. It is fantastic and echoes much of my own heart. I hope that the Church will keep meeting the opportunities and challenges it faces with hope, faith and integrity. I hope that God will bring hope in tangible ways to our communities, both within and beyond the Church. I hope the Uniting Church will continue togrow lifelong disciples of Jesus and that we will keep on becoming the Church that God wants us to be.  

Mark’s ordination service will take place at Glenunga Uniting Church on Monday 12 February at 7pm.

Pictured: Mark Schultz (left) with Jesse Size and Rev Sue Ellis at the November 2017 meeting of the Presbytery and Synod.

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