by Jess Smith

Pastor Andrew Brook was elected unopposed as the next bishop of the South Australia – Northern Territory District at the district’s Convention of Synod at Victor Harbor, south of Adelaide in May.

He will succeed Bishop David Altus who did not seek re-election after 13 years in the role. Pastor Andrew is the lead pastor at St Johns Lutheran Church in suburban Unley and previously served in the Victoria–Tasmania District.

Pastor Adrian Kitson, who serves the congregation of St Petri Nuriootpa, has replaced Pastor Andrew as First Assistant Bishop, while Pastor Joel Cramer, of The Ark Salisbury, continues in his role as Second Assistant Bishop. Both assistant bishops were installed during the May Synod.

The SA–NT Synod approved a new Assistant Bishop for the Northern Territory position, which will be based in Alice Springs to support all ministries within the NT. A call committee will be formed, and it is hoped that a pastor would be called to this role before the end of the year. The District and Finke River Mission have committed to a four-year funding partnership for this position.

It is anticipated that Bishop-elect Andrew will be installed as district bishop in early September. Bishop David has been serving in the role in ‘caretaker mode’ since the convention.

In a message to the district after his election, Bishop-elect Andrew said that, for as long as he could remember, he had wanted to be a pastor.

‘I’m immensely thankful to God for being able to follow this calling’, he said. ‘I feel both excited and daunted as I prepare to serve as your District Bishop. My ordination text encourages me in what I know will be both demanding and fulfilling work: “I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes” (Romans 1:16).

‘I also know that God’s power is made perfect in weakness, including mine. That’s a great encouragement for the church as we face significant cultural headwinds. We have the good news that the world needs: the God who created the world and everything in it, who loves us in his Son, Jesus Christ who died on the cross to reconcile us to God, and who through the Holy Spirit calls us to live fully and purposefully in the community of his church. Real grace. Real life. Real community.’

Before taking up the call at Unley in 2017, Bishop-elect Andrew served in five different ministries, including three parishes: Burnie–Devonport in Tasmania, and Good Shepherd, Ringwood, and St Paul’s Box Hill, both in suburban Melbourne. He also served as the Victoria–Tasmania District Pastor for Child, Youth, Tertiary and Family Ministry and was a tertiary chaplain at the University of Melbourne, and pastor to the student congregation meeting in St John’s Southgate, in central Melbourne.

He is married to Jodi, who serves as director of the LCANZ’s Grow Ministries, and they have three adult children, Henri, Emilia and Thomas.

Story courtesy of the LCA SA–NT District

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