Members of the South Sudanese community gather every Sunday afternoon for fellowship and worship at Tyne Cottage, the building north of St John’s Lutheran Church at 165 Yarra Street, Geelong. Sunday School sessions are also held at that time for the many children that attend.
James Ruei led this group for some years on a voluntary basis. In March of 2017 he was hired for two days a week as a Lay Worker to serve the South Sudanese people who live in the area. On the 30th of November, 2017 he graduated from Australian Lutheran College in Adelaide with a Master of Theology. Early in 2019 he was called by St John’s Lutheran Church to officially serve the South Sudanese members as their pastor. On 6th of October he was ordained by the Bishop of the Lutheran Church of Australia, Pastor John Henderson, before a congregation of 370 people. As well as members of the St John’s congregation, many South Sudanese from Lutheran churches in the surrounding area and some from interstate and from other denominations witnessed this special occasion. It was a great day of rejoicing and giving thanks to God for this wonderful milestone.
Besides the weekly Sunday worship services, James also holds sessions for the young folk on Saturday afternoons to help them with their knowledge of the Catechism and to keep them connected with their heritage.
Pastor James is in the office on Tuesdays from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm and on Fridays from 9:00 am to 11:30 am.