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Julia Pitman

It is now over twenty years since the Rev. Ian Tanner, former Moderator of the Synod of South Australia, 1977-79 and President of the Uniting Church in Australia, 1985-88, suggested that God may be calling me to ordained ministry. Ian was visiting West Lakes United Parish to run a course on Kennon Callahan's book, Twelve Keys for an Effective Church. I was 14 years of age. I had just been baptised into the Church of God.

I was privileged to be born into a Christian home. My father, Graham, and grandfather, Harold (1922-2011), were ordained in the Methodist and Uniting Churches respectively.  On my mother's side were accountants, teachers and lay leaders in the Churches of Christ and Baptist Churches. I am grateful for the nurture of Christian communities in Jamestown, Streaky Bay, West Lakes United Parish, Wesley Church, Canberra and St Andrew's by the Sea, Glenelg.

In the mid-1990s the Uniting Church in South Australia was rejecting female candidates and my university lecturers and church mentors encouraged me to continue with academic work in history. I worked for the Uniting Church in South Australia as Justice and Solidarity Research Officer and in Canberra as Manager of the Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture. On 24 June 2007, I conducted a service at Wesley Church to 'fill in' for one of the resident ministers, Gregor Henderson. I experienced a divine light that was visible to lay people and a clear call from God to ordained ministry.

After three years full-time study in theology, it is with great joy that I enter the pastorate of the South West Fleurieu Uniting Churches. The churches support a full-time minister, three Christian Pastoral Support Workers and other mission activities. May our partnership in ministry be to God's eternal glory.

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