With Gratitude and Thanks to God!
As the 2022 year is drawing to a close, I acknowledge and thank the LESNW Regional Office staff team for the amazing contributions individually and collectively made to enable the LESNW community of communities to flourish despite the myriad of challenges that have arisen throughout 2022. As Roger Anderson is retiring at the end of this year, I especially want to pay tribute to the amazing contribution that he has made to Lutheran education over his 4 ½ years as a member of the LESNW Regional Office team. His listening ear, the care, wisdom and discernment shared with principals. directors, business managers, staff, board and council chairs and parents across LESNW community has been deeply valued and appreciated by all and will be sadly missed. His retirement brings to a close a very distinguished career in Independent Education spanning over 20 years.
To Michael Bowmer and Tony Peters who are retiring after celebrated careers in education and specifically in Lutheran education, thank you for your outstanding contributions and service to the school communities in which you have respectively served. We acknowledge and thank Andrew Kelly who is leaving the LESNW region to be principal at Living Faith Lutheran School Murrumba Downs, Queensland, for his innovative and passionate leadership and service most recently at Redeemer Lutheran School.
With the closure of Vineyard Lutheran School at the end of next week, the LESNW community gratefully acknowledges and thanks all the staff, including principal Geoff Strauss, for their dedication and service through the recent challenging process of school closure. We pray that God will continue to richly bless Geoff and all the staff in the next chapters in their lives.
From a regional governance perspective, the contribution of the LESNW board and in particular Paul Bert (Chair) and Matt Schmidt (Vice Chair) have been extraordinary in the second half of this year throughout the processes of reviewing the core work of the Regional Office to support our learning communities and the appointment of the Executive Director.
The work of the LESNW Finance Risk and Audit Committee has risen to new levels in 2022 and has provided strategic leadership to the region in the areas of risk, compliance and finance. Thank you to all members of FRAC for your time, effort and commitment to serve on this Standing Committee of the Board.
As I say farewell, I want to sincerely thank all present and past members, in particular principals, business managers and board chairs, of the LESNW community of communities for their unswerving support of me over my 11 years of service in my role as Executive Director. It has been a privilege to serve in Lutheran education for 40 years, 30 of these within the LESNW region. I complete my time of service with many endearing memories of the innumerable relationships formed with principals, directors, students, staff, parents, board governors, church, government and wider community personnel over this time.
I owe my deepest gratitude to my family, particularly my wife Dianne for her grace, forbearance and understanding throughout my life and work in Lutheran education. I know I would not have been able to do what I have without her love and support.
In Acts 20: 35 St Paul writes, “‘In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” I can only say that throughout my time as a member of the LESNW Regional Office Team, I have received much more than I have given. To this I owe my deepest thanks and gratitude to everyone who has been a part of our amazing LESNW community of communities.
It is my prayer that Lutheran education and in particular each LESNW learning community continues to flourish and maintain its missional focus to share the good news of Jesus saving grace and love to the children, students, staff and families within its care.
At various times during the year we may have experienced times of joy, exhilaration, challenge, disappointment and sadness but throughout we have lived in anticipation of the joy and hope that the celebration of the birth of Jesus brings at Christmas. The Regional Office staff team wish you a blessed Christmas and Happy New Year.
May the feet of God walk with you, and his hand hold you tight. May the eye of God rest on you, and his ear hear your cry. May the smile of God be for you, and his breath give you life. May the Child of God grow in you, and his love bring you home. © 1983 Words: Aub Podlich
All thanks and praise be to God.