Thanks Bill

The following appeared in the Lent 2022 issue of The Mustard Seed —

Thank you Bill –A thankful tribute to our retiring Church Council Chair.

At the recent Armadale Uniting Church Annual Congregation meeting on February 27th it was announced that Bill
Rush had declared his intention to stand down as Chair of the Church Council after some twenty years of continuous
service in that role. Bill is to continue as a member of Council until his present term ends.
It is good for us to reflect on the significant contribution and impact Bill has had on the life, mission and worship of
the Armadale congregation over that time. Bill has performed his role, always prayerfully, with kindness, generosity,
commitment, dedication and a clear focus on maintaining a public presence of a worshipping congregation in
Armadale. During his tenure he has worked cooperatively and productively with eight parish ministers – Judith
Watkins (the first female minister in the parish), Kylie Crabbe, Fiona Winn whose placements were determined by the
call process; and others who filled short-term placements ranging from a month to 18 months – Chris Roberts, Martin
Wright, Pam Kerr, Peter Beale, and Gillian Crozier – all of whom brought their own specific gifts to Armadale and Bill
worked closely with all of them.
We have been through a period of local ecumenism and cooperation between the Christian Churches in the
Armadale-Stonnington area; a very lengthy process of discernment and cooperation between the five Uniting Church
parishes of Stonnington; the sad events of the financial crisis in the Uniting Church Victorian Synod and the
subsequent poorly managed
Uniting our Future project which saw the Manse in Denbigh Road sold off and an
extensive renovation of our Church Hall which was made into offices for elements of Prahran Mission and Creative
Ministry Network. Finally, a restructuring of Uniting saw those offices closed and the tenancy of the “purpose built”
offices left vacant for more than 12 months until our current tenants Arrow Health came on board. Bill was front and
centre in all of our efforts to remain afloat and viable in these difficult times – not to mention the upheaval of the last
two years in the corona-virus pandemic.
Kylie Crabbe a former minister at Armadale Uniting Church sent the following comments. “I was always so grateful to
Bill for his thoughtful and generous leadership during my time at AUC. He brought experience without undue
attachment to how things had always been done before, care and support without in any way taking over (in fact, he
might seem to stand deliberately at the side, but with a presence that made difficult things feel possible and a
readiness to speak up when required), and a commitment to think things over prayerfully and carefully. I am
confident that this vibe of leadership seeped into all our interactions on Council and helped to facilitate faithful
conversation and decision-making. And, of course, his writing is a huge gift to all of us! With grateful thanks for his
faithful work, and every good wish for the freedom of newfound time beyond the responsibilities of church council
chair!”
The amount of time and personal energy Bill has expended on behalf of the Armadale congregation and the
responsibility involved in some of these events has been enormous. The Grace of God the Father; our salvation
through Jesus Christ, his Son; and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit have guided Bill throughout his long membership
of the Church Council and as its leader. We are indeed fortunate that he is continuing to offer his many gifts to the
congregation by continuing to serve as a Council member.
On behalf of the Church Council and the congregation of Armadale Uniting Church -Thank you Bill.

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