Uniting Mission & Education has appointed Rev Mark Faulkner as Director of Rural and Remote Ministry Initiatives, to start on August 1, 2017. Mark will base his ministry from Dickson, Canberra, where he and his wife own their own home.
Mark is currently Minister of the Word at Gungahlin Uniting Church in Canberra where he has been in placement since 2007. Previously Mark served as minister at Tenterfield, New England, from 1994 to 1999, and Wagga Wagga Uniting Church, from 1999 to 2007.
Mark studied visual art at Australian National University in Canberra and worked at the Australian National Gallery before undertaking formation for ministry at United Theological College. He has continued his interest in sculpture and painting, as well completing a Graduate Diploma in Relationship Therapy at Charles Sturt University.
Members of the interview panel were impressed by Mark’s capacity to provide an inspiring and imaginative approach to the Synod’s vision for rural and remote ministry. Mark has a proven capacity to communicate well using spoken, written and other media. Mark has a clear vision for the resourcing of Christian communities through face-to-face support along with creative resources and regular email communication. Mark has thought through the steps that would be needed to develop the strategies of rural presbyteries, as well as grow an effective team of people serving together. Mark has grasped the hopes and dreams expressed in the Saltbush project report to the 2016 Synod meeting, and has committed himself to working with the Rural Ministry Unit and UME to explore a creative and sustainable approach to initiatives and staffing over the next five to ten years. He is committed to building relationships with other UME staff and Presbytery leaders. He has made a commitment to working transparently in accountability to the UME Executive Director.
Mark is known for his capacity to pull together a team and to contribute to thoughtful and future-focused decision-making. He is regarded as a thoughtful, inspiring and strategic leader who can help the church take on and achieve significant projects. Mark’s leadership of Gungahlin’s building project through to debt-free status, including the sourcing of funding, is presented as evidence of his courageous and patient leadership. Mark has a broad approach to Christian theology, inspired by foundations of liberation and grace.