Corner of Crown & Albion Streets, Surry Hills, NSW, Australia
Photo by Albert Chiu



The stained glass windows of CPC's auditorium.

Pastoral Letter 10th September 2023

Pastor Dorothy Choi

In our sermon today, we will be looking at Romans 12, how Jesus’ followers were exhorted to respond to God’s mercy, in a community where Jews and Gentiles who were justified by faith lived alongside each other. Paul’s encouragement in Romans 12 on living in harmony with one another reminded me of the example of a Presbyterian pastor.  

He shared his experience of serving alongside women elders in ministry. His view was that while women eldership was not a primary issue for the heart of the gospel, it was not what he believed in. The issue regarding the establishment of the office of women elders was controversial at that time. You may wish to listen to his sharing including a detailed historical report in the English podcasts, “How Did We Get There?”  at

The debate of male-only eldership has been ongoing for 70 years in our denomination. It has been on the agenda of the General Assembly of our state since 2019. Apart from a theological debate, the discussions have been impacting our faith tradition and the congregation we worship with. For leaders and congregation who favor male-only eldership, and those who support male and female elders, there has been grief and unrest on both sides, in this long debate. It has had significant impact on the harmony within our denomination.

For Christians who are for male and female elders, they recognise that women elders have been instrumental in building up Presbyterian churches, especially those where male leadership has not been readily available. They are concerned about the lack of inclusiveness and encouragement of female Christians to participate.

How shall we as Presbyterians be devoted to one another in sincere love (Romans 12:9-10) when there are differences of viewpoint among us? Please pray for ongoing discussions on this issue for our state, deeper collaboration in ministry between Christians who hold either view across all Presbyterian churches, and the unity of our denomination.

在今天的講道中,我們將探討在羅馬書12章中, 怎樣教導耶穌的追隨者如何,作為一個由因信稱義的猶太人和外邦人組成的群體中,對神的慈悲作出回應。保羅在這章中的教導是弟兄要相親相愛的鼓勵。這讓我想起了一位長老會牧師的例子。

牧師分享了他在事奉中與女性長老並肩事奉的經歷。雖然女性長老的議題並不是福音核心的主要問題,但這並不是他所確信的。而當時引入女性長老職位的決定仍具有爭議性。您可以在以下英語播客中收聽他的分享,其中包括詳細的歷史回顧。 “How Did We Get There?”




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