Ellen Grabner - Minister

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“You have set my feet in a wide-open place” says Psalm 31:8, in a single verse that burst with a sense of astonishment and joy out of a longer prayer for liberation and safety. What a glorious moment when we realize that we are, in fact, already safely planted by God in a space that invites us into trust, freedom, and opportunity to explore.

This verse captures my general sense of being part of Living Faith Church. From the very first day here, I have noticed consistently a strong culture of trust and care, confidence and compassion, willingness to engage and a deeply rooted assurance that God is good and that it will be well.

Looking at our faith community, I wonder whether you share this sense that under God’s good guidance, we are held safely, confident to live our faith and ready to look around in this open space around us – and see where God takes us? It is my prayer that we will all know for sure that God’s got our back and that we can nod our Yes to God’s invitation to move closer.

May we all be aware of how much trust, kindness and love our good God has for us. The One who has planted us in this inviting space will surely delight in every step that we take in faith.

The kingdom, the power and the glory are God’s, now and always.

Ellen Grabner - Minister

More From 'About Us'

A Safe and Inclusive Church

A Safe Church

Living Faith Church is committed to providing our worshipping and pastoral communities with an environment free from abuse and a safe place for all people to express their faith in God. We value the safety of our children and those of our congregation at risk, including vulnerable adults.

The Living Faith Church 'Safe Church' policy has been adopted to ensure that we fulfil our commitment and obligation to create a safe organisation. Living Faith Church commit to the following actions to keep children and vulnerable adults safe. We will:

- Follow the Uniting Church Synod Vic Tas (UCA) current “Safe Church Policy” and the Churches of Christ Victoria (CCVT) “Child Safety Policy”; wherever CCVT and UCA requirements of implementation are the same, a single action of compliance will count for both (e.g., Working with Children Check (WWCC), Safe Church Training (SCT);

- Ensure that policies and procedures are implemented to embed a culture of safety;

- Encourage the training, supervision and support of employees and volunteers;

- Encourage access, equity, and diversity, including ensuring accessible policy and procedure requirements;

- Adopt and implement evidence-based standards to recruit and screen employees and to engage volunteers and others who work with children;

- Manage risk, promote safety, and respond to concerns, including the Living Faith Church formal complaints process;

- Actively explore opportunities for child, family, and community participation; and

- Commit to the Living Faith Church Inclusivity Vision.

Further information can be found on our 'Safe Church' policy, attached on this page, or on:

UCA Keeping Children Safe webpage

CCVT Safe Places webpage

Living Faith Church pride ourselves on being a safe, inclusive place. If you feel unsafe at any time, we are here to help.

Please talk to our Pastors

Ellen Grabner: 0491 072 931

Kate Clough: 0411 523 153

or Safe Church Contact People

Janet: 0412 551 117

David: 0432 528 569

An Inclusive Church

The Church Council and Ministry Team, on behalf of Living Faith Church, acknowledge the harm done to the LGBTQIA+ community, including our own families. Excluding and undermining our siblings in Christ is neither trivial, necessary nor merely political. We are committed to doing better by providing an explicitly and intentionally safe space for worship and fellowship.

In 2023, Living Faith Church took a step towards this goal. The church council and leaders of various Living Faith Church Ministries and Life Groups met with Katecia Taylor and AJ Jensen from consulting organisation Queers Be With You. Queers Be With You offers educational workshops and individual consultations to Churches and Christian organisations who want to be more LGBTQIA+ inclusive.

In 2024, Living Faith Church is looking to participate with Uniting Network Australia, which is the national network for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer people, our families, friends and supporters within the Uniting Church in Australia.

Further information can be found on the Uniting Network documents 'A Welcoming Church' and 'An Open and Affirming Church', attached on this page.

Living Faith Church recognises that our diversity is a strength and that seeking the full participation of our members and community in everything we do is an element of our worship. (Psalm 34:8, we can recognise right conduct by its fruit).

The Living Faith Church ‘Call to Inclusivity’ policy has been adopted to shape how Living Faith Church creates and applies policies and procedures. It is informed by our vision, governing bodies, the Uniting Church in Australia and Churches of Christ Victoria Australia, state and federal legislation, and our history.

When applying policy and process, Living Faith Church is committed to:

- Keep our legal and regulatory obligations;

- Fully adhere to all LFC policies where possible, keeping the intent of our policies where processes cannot be kept in full;

- Inform our community about their rights and responsibilities, invite them to participate in decisions affecting them, and take their representations seriously;

- Ensure policy and procedures are understandable and accessible to all members of the community;

- Support our teams and members, and to equip them to support each other;

- Provide worshiping and pastoral communities that are free from abuse, and that provide safe environments for all people to explore and express their faith in God; and

- Call out policy and process that falls short of our vision and commitment to each other. (Colossians 3:12, an attitude of humility and repentance brings us closer to God).

Further information can be found on our 'Call to Inclusivity' policy, attached on this page.

Additionally, a collaborative research project conducted by La Trobe University, Macquarie University, AGMC (Australian GLBTIQ+ Multicultural Council), and Brave Network with support from the Steering Committee of the Improving Spiritual Health Care for LGBTQA+ Australians Research Project can be found in the document called ‘A Guide to Improving Safety in Pastoral Care with LGBTQA+ people, attached on this page.

Document cited: Jones, T.W., Despott, N., Jones, T.M., Anderson, J., Pallotta-Chiarolli, M., & Power, J. (2023) A Guide to Improving Safety in Pastoral Care with LGBTQA+ people. La Trobe University: Melbourne.


Acknowledgement of Country

Living Faith Church acknowledges and prays for the First Nations People of the land on which we meet - the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay respects to their Elders past and present and we recognise their faithfulness to Country.


Get to Know Us

With our vision of seeing 'Everyone Closer to God,' we are intentional about creating an environment where 'we'll become more like Jesus together'. Our dedicated members are committed to contributing to this vision. Motivated by Christ, we join God in actively showing love, living out God’s call to Justice and using our gifts for God’s purpose.

Kate Clough - Family, Youth and Young Adult Ministry

My family and I have been worshipping at Living Faith Church (LFC) since 2013. However, my pathway to the Family, Youth and Young Adults Coordinator at LFC began in 2015 when at a silent retreat God clearly advised me to make a career change. I was to turn away from full time public service and move towards a more “Family Friendly” career path. This advice has served me well through many changes and decisions during the following years, and although I have at times prayed for more or new advice, Gods words have remained the same.

In March 2021, initiated by the struggles of COVID and home schooling, and guided by the foundations of my family friendly focus, I resigned from my role overseeing mental health and alcohol and drug support services in Northeast Melbourne. Soon after, a member of my bible study group casually suggested I consider applying to become the family minister my church was looking for. Although I laughed at the time, a few days later I reached out for a position description. I soon felt God help me understand a more expansive definition of “family” to include not just my family at home but my faith family.

After realising this expanded definition, the flood gates opened and I was motivated by many ideas and plans for Living Faith Church families, young people and the local community in general. I now see abundant opportunities to use my experiences in the Child Protection, Advocacy, Justice, and Mental Health sectors to encourage intergenerational cohorts in our community.

As an Accredited Church of Christ Pastor and soon to complete the Graduate Certificate in Children and Families Ministries at the University of Divinity, I work 2 days a week in team ministry with Pastor Ellen Grabner. I believe that to provide for my family at home and my faith family through this ministry is a blessing.

Alistair Clough - Elder & Chair of Church Council

The Church Council is an oversight body responsible for the overall vision and the smooth coordination of Living Faith Church’s Ministry Groups and teams. We maintain and balance Living Faith Church's commitments to:

- The congregation of Living Faith Church;

- The Uniting Church of Australia;

- The Churches of Christ Victoria and Tasmania; and

- Australia’s state and federal legislation

Church Council’s primary responsibility is listening to God and communicating their vision to the Living Faith Church community, what we call spiritual oversight. This is only achievable with the support and cooperation of the wider church body.

As Chair of Church Council, I have been encouraged by the faithful engagement of our members in the life and upkeep of Living Faith Church. I am especially focussed on the full participation of our community in the Kingdom of God. It is important to me that all of us are enabled to hear and respond to the call of God. I do not feel alone in this love.

I am reminded of the parable of the Sower and how even rocks and thorns provide space for necessary diversity while trodden paths provide access and safety. Over all of this is the Farmer who loves us and knows their craft. Every one of you is important and loved.

Loris McLean - Elder & Deputy Chair of Church Council

I joined the Eldership group around the time Living Faith Church was formed, and apart from one short break for a couple of years, I have been an Elder since then. My current role as Deputy Chair of Church Council involves supporting the Chairperson and acting as Chair when they are unable to fulfil their role. My background includes coming to faith in Jesus as a teenager and being part of a local Church of Christ all my life.

I am committed to helping the functioning of a healthy local church community through Eldership because of what I have received from my local church: encouragement, a sense of belonging, and support through times of personal need. I hope Living Faith Church can provide these same gifts to our current and future members.

Bruce Hill - Elder & Administration Ministry Group Co-ordinator

A committed Christian, I became a member of Living Faith Church in 2012 when my Bellevue Ave Rosanna congregation closed. I have been an Elder at Living Faith Church for the last 5 years, and am the Co-ordinator of the Administration Ministry Group. I am a recognised Uniting Church Lay Preacher and represent Living Faith Church when conducting worship and preaching at other Uniting Church of Australia congregations around Victoria. I am the Synod Vic-Tas Travelling Lay Preacher Co-ordinator and Chair of the Presbytery of Yarra Yarra Lay Preachers’ Committee. I enjoy attending the Wednesday Evening Bible Based Study (WEBBS) Life Group meetings to help myself and others to grow in the Christian faith.

James Paterson - Elder & Treasurer Finance Ministry Group

The purpose of the Finance Ministry Group is to provide ongoing financial advice and support to the Living Faith Church Ministerial team, Church Council, Ministry Groups and the Living Faith Church community.

My role as Treasurer is to ensure we pay our bills, maintain accountability across the Church Council, and liaise with the members and suppliers. We contribute our time, skills, and knowledge to ensure the competent management of Living Faith Church’s finances. We also support each other and have some fun when we meet each month.

Our goal is to help bring everyone closer to God. The Finance Ministry Group works towards achieving the vision of “Everyone Closer to God” through service.

Jeremy Knox - Elder

Since starting to attend Living Faith Church in 2011, the welcoming community atmosphere has made me feel at home. I have continued to grow in my faith here and have made many close friends.

I see that being an Elder is a faithful following of God's call in my life at the moment. It is a way to serve the church community and love others. There are many capable and passionate people at Living Faith Church and it is important to lead and set direction.

Wanting to see everyone "become more like Jesus together" is a vital reminder that no matter where we are on our faith journey, we all need to learn from Jesus.