Ross Ridge’s roles at St John’s Lutheran Church in Bundaberg are varied. He is an elder, an usher, a team leader and a small group leader. On top of that he is also Bundaberg Parish Secretary.
In 2017 he was presented with an even bigger challenge: ‘I was asked by our chairman of St John’s Congregation to be project manager in planning for the 2018 Synod’, Ross says. ‘We have a great local team with different fields of expertise helping with Synod planning for catering, organisation and presentation of the venues, worship planning, Workplace Health and Safety, and St John’s Lutheran Primary School participation in Synod.’
The team started meeting with District representatives in August 2017 and since then have met approximately monthly. A lot of work has gone into making sure everything works for Synod: registration, the catering, the business venue, displays, parking and the worship venue.
‘We aim to make everyone feel welcome’, Ross continues. ‘The district theme for Synod is “Grace to the Thousandth Generation” and our displays and services will reflect how God’s grace has shaped the past, the present and the future. God’s grace is with us always.’
Working alongside Ross, the congregation is helping in many ways with Synod, through volunteers for registration, ushers, catering helpers, parking assistants and in general preparation of the church, grounds and facilities. Closer to the Synod date the Bundaberg parish will welcome volunteers from other congregations who will also help the event to run smoothly.
Ross is excited to be showcasing Bundaberg through the beautiful accommodation venues selected for delegates. During the event optional programs within the Bundaberg region have been organised for partners of delegates. Ross is also eager to present the history of St John’s heritage-listed church and is thrilled about the participation of the primary-school students in the Sunday service.
‘The best part of the organising process is when things fall into place and people step up to help in their areas of expertise. Everyone has been enthusiastic and willing to help’, he says enthusiastically.
Ross admits that a few small road bumps have been hit along the way. ‘There are a few challenging areas where it is difficult to meet expectations for Synod or equipment is not easily obtained locally, but these problems have not been insurmountable’, he says. ‘I hope that delegates will be able to say that everything ran smoothly at Synod, the catering was great, Bundaberg were good hosts and they were uplifted by their experience at Synod.’
Ross is eager for as many congregations as possible to send delegates to Synod and that everyone will enrol well beforehand to help with planning for meals and venue numbers. Ross and his team encourage congregations to offer assistance where they can, participate in services and mingle with the delegates to share experiences.
The 51st Regular LCAQD Convention of Synod was held at St John’s Bundaberg 1–3 June 2018.
For further information please visit http://www.qld.lca.org.au/synod-2018.html