By Amanda Wells
The Knox Centre of Ministry and Leadership will start 2009 at full strength, with Jason Goroncy taking up a Dunedin-based lecturer position.
Like the Rev Mark Johnston, who starts his Auckland coordinator of ministry formation and leadership development role at the same time, Jason’s most recent home has been Scotland. But also like Mark, he hales from the Antipodes; in this case, Australia.
Jason originally trained for ministry in the Baptist Union of Victoria and was ordained to pastoral ministry, then later served as a minister with the Uniting Church of Australia.
He has spent the past three years studying at the University of St Andrews towards his PhD, which examines the work of Aberdeen-born theologian P T Forsyth.
Jason says he was attracted to the Knox Centre role because of his enthusiasm for theological and ministerial formation. “I had heard good things about Knox and thought that this might be the kind of environment where I could contribute and grow.”
Living in Scotland and experiencing its church forms has been a fascinating experience, he says. “Being part of the church in Scotland reminds you that we are part of something much, much, older than the great-grandparents of the oldest people we’ve ever met.”
Church is very much “part of the blood” there, he says, which brings unique challenges in terms of change. “But creativity is usually welcomed and celebrated as a gift of the life-erupting Spirit rising, as it sometimes seems, from among the old stones.”
Jason has done some preaching while in Scotland and discipled some undergraduate students, but he says most of his ministry has come via involvement in children’s playgroups. “Most days, I’ve looked after our two-year-old, Sinead, who is not only a passport to the community, but also a God-given point of contact that opens doors for sharing Christ with others.”