I am John Ellis from the United Reformed Church in Britain, which combines the Congregational and Presbyterian traditions. I was the longest serving Moderator of the General Assembly of the URC and also its longest serving Treasurer. My first career was with the Bank of England and for my second I worked for the British Methodist Church, including leading their national staff team. Nowadays I enjoy a portfolio of unpaid Directorships with Christian charities, alongside being part of the leadership team of a local ecumenical church.
My principal engagement with CWM has been as its Treasurer since 2016. In that period we have revived the Finance Committee to support the management with expert advice and critique and free the Board to deal with financial strategy without needing to immerse itself in detail. I have chaired the Board when the Moderator has been absent. I believe CWM is most effective as an instrument of God’s mission when it is behaving as a respectful partnership of Churches, welcoming our diversity in theology and culture, and with everyone confident enough to contribute and humble enough to learn. I see the role of central structures and the staff team as supporting the mission of the member Churches not devising separate agendas.
When I am weary of meetings, you will bring me back to life if you talk about cricket, music, travel or the latest attempts by my bevy of nieces and nephews to work out how to serve the Lord in their generation.
Maria J.Y. Lee
I am Maria J.Y. Lee and I am a Church Related Community Worker in the URC. I have two projects in Chelmsford, which is east of the UK. Church Related Community Work is a distinctive and recognised ministry within the URC. My main role is to identify local needs, confront injustice, organise community actions, and support initiatives that will improve the lives of the local people. My husband, Barnabas, is an ordained minister in the URC and Nat, my son is a medical student at Cardiff University.
Although it is my first time joining the CWM, I have had some experience of the ministry. I have been involved with the world church programme for the overseas placement hosted by the Presbyterian Church in Taiwan in 2017. Recently, I also visited Palatinate in Germany for the Fall of the Wall Conference in Nov. 2019.
I am the first CRCW in the URC as a Korean who lives in the UK. With my unique cultural background, I am able to contribute my professional experiences and use them to connect those who live in different cultures and recognise any conflicts that have arisen due to cultural barriers in the CWM.
My main passion is music as I have grown up playing in a worship band both in Korea and the UK. Also, I love to watch films and discuss it with a small group, or my family as we have many film nights together. There are many films created by international countries that have inspired me.
My name is Lindsey Brown, and I belong to the United Reformed Church, Europe Region. I have been the Mission and Training Officer for the Eastern Synod of the URC since April 2018.
My first direct involvement with CWM was as a delegate to the Europe Region Members’ Mission Forum in March 2019. I was then the URC’s delegate to the Annual Members’ Meeting, hosted by EFKS’ Malua Theological College in Samoa, in June that year.
Before taking on my current role in the Church I was a secondary school teacher for 20+ years. My voluntary work has included destitution support for asylum seekers in the UK and advocacy for human rights lawyers. I was brought up in the URC and have continued to play an active part in local church, becoming an Elder in 2007. Locally I have been involved in organising ecumenical worship and outreach events for many years, and have brought much of that experience, as well as my heart for the marginalised, to my current role. It has also been my joy to have coordinated the Partnership between the Synod and the Presbytery of Zimbabwe since 2015.
I treasure my relationships: with God, with family and with friends. Paul and I have been together for 30 years, and we have three adult children and two grandchildren. I love the outdoors, and am privileged to live among fields and forests where I can walk, cycle and run. but I also love getting further afield and climbing mountains or being by the sea, rejoicing in God’s creation.