From the Parish Chair
At the September meeting of the Parish Council, I (Carolyn Ehrlich) was elected to the position of Parish chair. I am new to this role and new to most things administrative in churches. This is both a blessing and a challenge. I believe that it is a blessing because I do not know about the traditional/standard/accepted ways of doing things. I believe it is a challenge because I do not know about the traditional/standard/accepted ways of doing things. I can tell you that I do feel that Holy Spirit has called me to do this work. I can also tell you that some of you will feel that I am not doing things the way that I should or ought to be. I am relying on God and on your prayers to guide the actions that I take and that we take as a Parish Council so that we, the Ipswich Lutheran Church can, and do, do that work that God has prepared in advance for us to do.
Some of you know some things about me, many of you will not know me at all. I am the wife of Wayne, the mother of Darren and Mitchell, mother-in-law of Aimee (Darren’s partner), and Dani (Mitch’s wife) and grandmother of Phoebe (Mitch and Dani’s precious miracle). I grew up at Downfall Creek, near Guluguba, which is down the road from Giligulgul and Gurulmundi, and just before Wabbigul. More generally, it is between Miles and Wandoan on the Leichhardt Highway. I was a Stiller (and yes, I am related to Lee for those that know her, and more distantly related to Neil and Keith) and am the oldest of 10 children. My professional background is nursing, although I have not worked clinically since about 2005. I currently work in research at Griffith University.
For a long time, I was a lapsed Lutheran. But about 5 years ago, God started to call me back to His fold (or I started to hear Him calling me back, which is probably more accurate). I would sometimes walk past St Johns on a Sunday morning and wonder what would happen if I just happened to wander into the church (sweaty from walking up the hills around that area and in my exercise gear – you will notice that I am not that fit anymore). About 3 years ago God’s call was greater than my reluctance. I came back into Bethany – primarily because the service time seemed to fit better with my routine. I like a traditional service as much as a contemporary service. I could just as easily be a member of St John’s as Bethany – my apologies to Grace. I do know that I love our Lord, but no where near as much as He loves me. I am grateful that our Good Shepherd looks after His sheep. I am ever so thankful that Jesus came looking for me.
I am acutely aware that there are challenges ahead. I know that I will not get things right all, or even most, of the time. If I do not follow God’s direction and lead, I will definitely not get things right. I do want to hear what people have to say about where we are going as a Parish. I am willing to listen to solutions and things that we can do to build a unified church. I am not willing to listen to things that divide God’s people and His church.
If you need, or would like to contact me, email or text message is best. I am still working. I currently work Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday for the University and will not be able to attend to Parish matters (unless extremely urgent), during those times. If you do want to contact me, then firstname.lastname@example.org is the best way to do that. If you would like to text me, then 0439 622 852 is my personal mobile number. I do ask that you please respect my work times – this mobile number is also the number that I use for work, so I do ask that do not call me during those times.
From the Parish Chair