Metamucil, All Bran and Prune Juice. They all have one thing in common, and if you grew up in the era that I grew up, you might remember the advertisements on TV that All Bran does one thing really well – it keeps you regular.

And the reason I say this is because I want to make it very clear that Pastor Roelof does not have any stomach issue that requires the Bishop’s help to cleanse, and I thought I would take this opportunity to explain the ‘regularisation’ process to you so everyone is clear.

When Graduate Pastors finish their seminary training, they are ‘assigned’ to congregations and parishes across Australia and New Zealand. These congregations and parishes would have indicated to the College of Bishops (as we did here in Ipswich) that they would be willing to accept a graduate pastor, and then the College of Bishops match the graduate pastors with those congregations and parishes who are willing to take one.

In this instance, we were assigned Pastor Roelof Buitendag here at Ipswich (having formally voted to ask the College of Bishops to assign a graduate on the condition that I accepted the call as Lead Pastor).

Assignments of graduate pastors are for two (2) years. At this time there is a period of review where both the Pastor and Parish work with the District Bishop to ensure that there has been a good match between the Pastor and the Parish he has been assigned to.

The Parish Ministry Team went through this process early in 2020. Surveys were sent to some members, responses collated, and review conducted with Bishop Paul Smith. Subsequent to this review, the Parish Ministry Team moved that at the AGM that Pastor Roelof’s call to Ipswich be regularised, which in a sense means to be made ‘regular’.

We voted on this (finally) via our virtual AGM, with over 100 people voting in favour of this outcome, which means that after Sunday, Pastor Roelof is no longer just ‘assigned’ to Ipswich Parish, but have become regularly called.

This call means that after 4 years from his installation date (he was installed on the 04/02/2018), Pastor Roelof is available to be called to any other Parish across the LCA/NZ.

It is great to have Bishop Paul conduct this regularisation service with Pastor Roelof this weekend, and it would be great to have you join us face-to-face at 9am if you are able to make it, as we show our support for both Pastor Roelof, and his call to serve us and lead us as we seek ‘to know Christ and make Christ known’.

So, as Pastor Roelof and I have joked – we look forward to sorting out his stomach issues (which he does not have) this weekend as he is ‘made regular’ among us in Ipswich.

I look forward to continuing to work with him, and each of you into the future,

Pastor Ben

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