The project team to lead the LCANZ’s Way Forward project has begun its work. The team’s primary role is to project-manage the implementation of the 2021–23 General Synod resolution, namely, to deliver a proposal to the next General Synod outlining how the LCANZ could operate as ‘one church with two different practices of ordination’.

The three-person project team will report to the General Church Board (GCB) and College of Bishops (CoB), which jointly hold overall responsibility for the delivery of the proposal in response to the Synod resolution.

Eight working groups will provide guidance, requirements and inputs on the theological, constitutional, governance and other issues that will be required for a ‘detailed framework’ to be presented in time for discussion by the 2024 General Pastors Conference and 2024 General Synod. The groups were appointed last month by GCB and CoB. It is envisaged that the proposal development process will involve wide consultation within the LCANZ prior to the General Pastors Conference and General Synod.

Former Chief Executive Officer of Lutheran Super, Stella Thredgold, heads the project team in a part-time capacity as project director. As an ASX100 C-Suite Executive, she has spent most of her career leading organisations through change. Stella will provide strategic oversight of the project direction, engaging with various stakeholders and ensuring that a disciplined and transparent process is followed.

Joining the team with Stella are Tim Niewand and Tony Vong, both of whom have extensive project-management experience coupled with longstanding membership of Lutheran congregations in Victoria.

Joining the team full-time, Tim brings 20 years’ experience in Fortune 500 companies, and has managed projects across a diverse range of scopes including product development, process improvement, real estate, finance and software. A lifelong active member of the Lutheran Church, he is currently chairperson at Pakenham Lakeside Church on Melbourne’s eastern outskirts.

Tony has 20 years’ experience leading programs and teams within the public sector, with a strong focus on risk and change management. He holds voluntary roles on District and congregation boards and committees, including that of his home congregation, Chinese Lutheran Church of Victoria. Tony joins the project team in a part-time capacity.

‘We’re humbled to be able to lead this project. We understand this is a difficult time for the Lutheran Church, but it also brings tremendous opportunity’, Stella said. ‘We’re committed to listening, openness, transparency and respect, and we invite everyone involved in the Way Forward to bring this spirit to the conversations.’

The project team will oversee and coordinate the assignments of the working groups, as well as manage the timeline and ensure successful preparation for the 2024 General Pastors Conference and 2024 General Synod. The recent call for expressions of interest to join working groups saw more than 500 people download the application form and almost 60 people apply within the two-week timeframe.

The Standing Committee on Nominations, which processed the expressions of interest, and GCB and CoB, which made the appointments, aimed for diversity across the working groups (including gender, age, cultural background, conviction about ordination) and people from all districts of the church. Stella said she was delighted with the high calibre of appointments to the working groups: ‘The project team extends our thanks to all the people who applied to the working groups, including those who were not appointed. We thank God for you, and we look forward to engaging with those appointed as we implement the resolution your General Synod delegates have placed before us.’

The project team welcomes suggestions from the wider church regarding the way forward towards ‘one church with two different practices of ordination’. Emails can be sent to

For more information about the project, go to


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