Kathryn Jensen, Robyn Song and Christine Wanstall – a historic day for BUV Ordination

This year, the BUV held an ordination service on Saturday, 27 February at Mill Park Baptist Church. This was the rescheduled service that would have occurred in October 2020 had we not been in the grips of the COVID-19 pandemic. If this is not history-making enough, the service was a celebration of the setting apart of three women to pastoral leadership – perhaps the first time in the history of ordination within the BUV that the ordinands standing before God and their sisters and brothers in Christ, and vowing to honour the call of God on their lives, were all women

Kathryn Jensen from Mill Park Baptist Church, Robyn Song from Bentleigh and Korean Baptist Church, and Christine Wanstall from the BUV Church Health and Capacity Building Team brought inspiring words of commitment and vision, as they shared their stories of obedience to God’s call to service as pastoral leaders.

All three paid tribute to the pioneering women who had gone before them; all three testified to the work of the Spirit within their lives and ministry; all three celebrated the importance of their faith communities as companions along the way to ordination and all three proclaimed a vision of a great God who continues to call them into partnership in God’s redemptive and restorative work in the world.

It was an inspiring service. Our only regret is that attendance was restricted to a limited number due to COVID-safe regulations.

This year, as we look forward to the ordination of fourteen candidates in October, we hope that we will be able to return to an open invitation service. As we journey through this new year of training and formation, we thank God for these leaders and the nineteen other men and women in the accreditation and ordination formation program that God is continuing to call, transform and equip for pastoral leadership within our BUV churches.

Kathryn Jensen from Mill Park Baptist Church

Pastor Kathryn Jensen is the Care and Connect pastor Mill Park Baptist Church. She is responsible for all of the church’s pastoral care and Life Groups as well as working part-time as a counsellor at the Mill Park Community Care. Kathryn loves seeing people of all ages, stages and cultures gathered together under the name of Jesus, and sees the local church as the hope of the world.

Robyn Song from Bentleigh and Korean Baptist Church

Pastor Robyn Song is the pastor for the English service at Bentleigh and Korean Baptist Church and a serving member of the BUV multicultural ministry group. Robyn made her mark in the Baptist world by becoming one of the first ever female Korean pastors. She is a passionate advocate for women to take up their calling and be inspired for change, and for the existing church leadership to give more opportunities, training and encouragement for women to become leaders and changemakers.

Christine Wanstall from the BUV Church Health and Capacity Building Team

Pastor Christine Wanstall is part of the BUV Church Health and Capacity Building Team as a Church Health Consultant. She has been involved in a variety of church settings in both paid and volunteer positions including worship pastor, playgroup coordinator, children’s leader and women’s ministry coordinator. Christine believes strongly in the local church (both small and large and everything in-between) and works towards helping the local church into bringing the kingdom of God in all and every situation into seeing redemption and restoration happen.

Beginning a pastoral ministry during lockdown with Pastor Sally Agostino

In the middle of lockdown in July of last year, Sally Agostino was appointed as Senior Pastor at Southern Cross Community Church. Despite not being able to meet in person with her congregation, regional pastors or anyone at the BUV Support Hub, Sally was still able to engage and participate in a number of initiatives that we provided online, which allowed her to meet with other pastors and leaders.

Some of these online events included Nourish, Next Steps, Tuesday Chats and our Marriage Celebrant Training. Tuesday Chats was particularly helpful for Sally, who joined this small group of pastors who met every Tuesday afternoon to discuss up-to-the-minute issues that arose within their churches. This was also a chance for the group to encourage and support each other. Sally credits this time as vital and essential time for not just her but for each of the attending pastors who were all going through the same experiences and challenges together.

“When the second lockdown coincided with my role starting at Southern, it became a strange way to begin pastoral ministry. But thanks to the BUV Support Hub, I was able to connect with experienced pastors in a way I never would have been able to in a normal year. My first six months became a unique and pretty wonderful training ground, where I could glean wisdom from those who had been pastoring for many years. I feel so privileged to have had that start.”