|| Douglas Monaghan
I grew up in Scotland outside the church and only started drifting to church with a nagging sense of "this is what you're meant to do" as a teenager. Despite such beginnings I thank God for excellent preaching/teaching of Church of Scotland ministers that sparked an interest in the Divine. My interest was not sufficiently strong to sway me from studying law at University and beginning a career there.
After 14 years as a lawyer both defending and prosecuting in the criminal courts I gave in to the nagging sense that I was meant to be doing something else. A sermon on Romans sticks in my mind as a call to discern your gifts and use them for God. I began investigating a call to ministry with the Church of Scotland however the immigration department of the Australian Government intervened at this stage and granted us a visa to come to Australia. Rather than let my interest slip I pursued it here after landing in the Uniting Church.
I completed the Period of Discernment under Rev Graham Vawser and candidated in February 2010. Full time study was juggled with domestic duties as my wife worked full time work to support me and our four children. My gratitude to her for this sacrifice cannot ever be adequately expressed. I was also extremely blessed with a student placement at Malvern under Rev Jonathan Davies. It is no easy thing to train as a minister and through the process we become so aware of the support and affirmation of many others, I can't name everyone here but you know who you are – Blessings to you! I'm not the first lawyer called to enter ministry, Paul beats me by a distance. I'd love to emulate his ministry while avoiding his demise.