5 minutes with Ella ...
Tell us a little about yourself
I am a coffee drinking, exasperatingly optimistic, irresponsibly tattooed, twenty something
assistant pastor, novice Christian radio announcer and Bachelor of Ministry graduate. I would
describe myself as a theological pilgrim and one who tries their very best to be sensible and
reliable (despite the tattoos and caffeine dependence).
What's your favourite bible passage & why?
“Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see
everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will
know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely” - 1 Corinthians 13:12
I mentioned before that I consider myself a theological pilgrim or “theologia viatorum”,
which describes the imperfect theology of human beings*. It really addresses the fact that
theology is journey or a pilgrimage toward a deeper knowledge of God. What we know now
is incomplete (we see God imperfectly), but one day – we will know him completely. The
road that a theological pilgrim takes has a purpose, the way may be dim sometimes, but it is
always moving forward. When I come to the end of my life on earth and come face to face
with Jesus I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.
*(Richard A. Muller, Dictionary of Latin and Greek Theological Terms: Drawn Principally from
Protestant Scholastic Theology. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1985.).
How do you keep your eyes fixed on Jesus?
It is so easy for us to become our own worst enemy in this area. I know that when I am
isolated, and left to my own devices my eyes can slowly and often unconsciously drift away
from Jesus and towards other things. It is people - my community, that lift my eyes and
keeps them fixed on Jesus. So, I make sure that I keep myself accountable to others and
develop trusting and open relationships with other Christians so that when the pull of the
world gets too much, there is always someone to gently (or not-so- gently but with love) fix
my eyes back on Him.
What would you like the next generation of Christian women to know?
There are going to be many voices who will speak things over your life. They will come from
trusted people, from unexpected strangers, and from society at large. Some voices may
speak life, but many will speak only death. Listen to the voice of God first and foremost,
then seek wise counsel from trusted people, but always use the word of God as your
measuring stick to determine your value. Do not let the opposition and challenges that arise
from words determine your worth or restrict your calling. Be free to stare them down and
counter them with truth.
What's one thing that you love about your local church?
I could share endless things that I love about my church, I don’t know if I could even choose
one! I guess that because it is the people that make up the church, it would have to be
them. I have never met such a brilliant, diverse, creative, talented, and deeply caring group
of people in my life.
What did you learn about God at a time in your life you found hard?
Faith is neither a sanctuary nor a prison. It's not about certainty or satisfaction. It's a call to
live a different kind of life - a different way of being in the world, not just seeing the world.
It's a life of crucifixion and resurrection. A life of transformation and sanctification. A life
that embraces brokenness. It is not safe, it is not certain, it's completely radical and God is
at the centre of it all. He does not shy away from the dark and dirty parts of our lives or our
questions and doubts, but He actually invites them, and in turn bids us to walk alongside
Him as we embark on the refining journey – wherever it takes us.
What are you passionate about?
Helping others experience a genuine, active, and transformative relationship with Jesus and
building the local church, while bringing a voice of justice and truth with me wherever I go.
What do you enjoy doing when you rest?
On the weekend you will usually find me meandering through farmers markets while sipping
on a long black, hiking up a mountain somewhere around Tasmania, or seeking out live
music at one of Hobarts many great venues. I also do yoga, which often raises a “religious”
eyebrow, but it has been an incredibly positive life habit that I have developed which has
completely transformed both my mental and physical health.