Worship Working Group

The Worship Working Group seeks to enrich worship in the Uniting Church in Australia by developing resources, papers, educational tools and information to encourage and enliven worship life.

The Worship Working Group also provides the Uniting Church with various liturgical resources as referred to it by the Assembly. In addition to this we nominate Uniting Church representatives to the Australian Hymn Book Committee and the Australian Consultation on Liturgy; receiving reports from these bodies.

Meet the Worship Working Group members


Graham Vawser croppedRev Dr Graham Vawser
Graham is a past Moderator of the South Australian synod.  He has extensive knowledge in matters relating to worship, developed though his leadership of 28 congregations in 6 ministerial placements.  He has studied Liturgy through Melbourne College of Divinity, and is qualified through Flinders University as Master of Theology for a thesis focusing on preaching in the Uniting Church and Doctor of Philosophy for research focusing on Uniting Church’s spiritual heritage from Ignatius Loyola and John Wesley



Chris Walker photo 1Rev Dr Chris Walker

Rev Dr Chris Walker, National Consultant for Christian Unity, Doctrine and Worship. Chris has degrees from the University of Sydney, Garrett Theological Seminary and a PhD in theology from Claremont University in the USA. He has ministered in three congregations in NSW, has served as a consultant for the Synod of Queensland, was principal of Parkin-Wesley College in SA, and mission consultant for Parramatta-Nepean presbytery in NSW. He is currently serving in the Assembly as National Consultant for Christian Unity, Doctrine and Worship. He has written five books and edited Building on the Basis, papers from the Doctrine and Worship working groups 2000 – 2011.


JohnHowlandJohn Howland - Secretary

John grew up in suburban Adelaide. Nurtured by Christian parents, he made a personal faith commitment as a teenager. John has been at various times an ‘Elder’ in the Uniting church, a youth group leader, a small group leader, and has also recently began to assist refugees in English conversation classes offered by his congregation. John has been a lay preacher for 40 years. He values traditional forms of worship and also appreciates some contemporary forms and resources. He is particularly interested in merging the ‘riches’ of each, to enhance God-focused worship that is relevant in the 21st century. John and his wife, Jenny, currently worship at Coromandel Valley Uniting Church.


Peter Gador WhyteRev Peter Gador-Whyte

Peter has a BD degree from Aberdeen in Scotland. He spent time at Iona and Taize. His first UCA Parish was at Orbost in East Gippsland. Since then he has served in congregations in rural, inner city, suburban and developing areas. Peter has always had a deep interest in liturgy and the way in which liturgy can form people in faith. As convenor of the Melbourne City Churches in Action he initiated and led the project that placed fourteen bronze sculptures along city streets to form an ecumenical "Way of the Cross". He is currently minister of the Highfield Road Congregation in Canterbury, Victoria. 

David_2011_pic.jpgRev David MacGregor

David has served in urban and provincial cities in Queensland as youth worker and Minister of the Word. Currently he is Minister at Wellers Hill-Tarragindi UC in Brisbane.  David has shared in local and wider-church circles as a worship song writer, musician and worship coordinator. He is webmaster for the Worship Working Group.  David’s ministry passions involve encouraging inclusive worship, Christian Education, children’s ministry and music’s formative, faith-shaping place in the worshipping community.   He has his own music website.  He currently serves as Chairperson of the Queensland Synod Schools Commission.  He is a Faculty Associate at Trinity College Queensland in the area of worship.

craig mitchell

Mr Craig Mitchell

Craig is National Director of Formation, Education and Discipleship for the Assembly. Previously he was Lecturer in Lay Ministry Studies at Uniting College for Leadership and Theology in South Australia.  He is an expert in the use of the internet and social media.  A capable musician, he has a great deal of experience in different forms of worship.  He played a key role in the recent SongWrite workshop in Adelaide.



Rev Christine Gilbert

Christine is an ordained Minister of the Word serving in the Uniting Church in Australia at St. Andrews by the Sea, Glenelg, SA. She obtained a Bachelor of Arts (Psychology and Philosophy) from Hope College (Michigan USA) and a Masters of Divinity from Western Theological Seminary (Michigan USA). Christine has served in congregational ministry since 1995 in the United States and now Australia.

From 2006–2010 she was employed as a member of the Seasons of the Spirit development team, an ecumenical, international, lectionary-based worship and Christian Education resource. She has written liturgy for Worship Ways (United Church of Christ) and Words for Worship (MediaCom, Australia).   

Rev Sean Gibert

Minister of the Word, Lecturer in Ministry Practice at Uniting College for Leadership Theology. He teaches practical theology subjects, including Liturgy and Worship, Formation for Ministry and Integrative Ministry Practice. He was a member of the 14th Assembly and was worship leader and producer of Worship for the 13th Assembly in Adelaide. He is currently writing a PhD thesis through Flinders University on “Spiritual  Affections and the Art of Christian Ministry”. He is a published lyricist and poet and a proficient guitarist. He is a reader of contemporary culture, a respecter and student of the Christian tradition.

Rev Do Young Kim

Do Young is a Minister of the Word at Adelaide Korean Congregation. He is the first ordained Minister through the Korean Presbytery (NSW/ACT Synod).  He has an experience in education and theological training in Korea and Australia. He served many years the Korean Migrant Church in Sydney as a Youth worker. 

Rev. Dr Amelia Koh-Butler  

Amelia is currently Executive Officer Mission Resourcing, Presbytery of SA. An Accredited Youth Worker and Past Chairperson of the Assembly Multi and Cross-cultural Reference Committee, Amelia has served in Congregational and Synod settings. She is experienced in a range of Congregational and alternative Faith Community settings and sees the importance of linking Worship, Discipleship and Mission. Amelia holds a Bachelor of Music and Master of Creative Arts and is a Godly Play-er. She leads worship in several languages. Amelia’s dissertation for Doctor of Missiology/Intercultural Ministry (Fuller) was "Eucharistic Formation of a Missional Cross-cultural Urban Community: Communal Singing Off The Menu - A ‘Meal to Music’ Approach".  This was a cross-disciplinary ritual-liturgical, missiological, theological project about an Australian context.

MatthewStuartRev. Matthew Stuart

Matthew’s passion for liturgy begun as a young boy experiencing church for the first time - Christmas Eve in a high Anglican Church. He deeply believes that in the richness and beauty of liturgy one can experience the breadth of human emotion and the depth of the mystery of God’s presence with us. Regardless of style or format, we all draw deeply upon our community's liturgy and tradition, especially in the Sacraments. Some of his experience includes: writing liturgy for congregations including his own, others and ecumenically; as well as helping to create space in public events. He has performed liturgy in both congregational, public and institutional environments. His current postgrad work is around “Pastoral Theology and Liturgy” and looking at doing some research around “The Practice of the Sacraments in the UCA".  Matthew’s current placement is with the Royal Australian Army Chaplains Department.

WendyPerkinsMs Wendy Perkins

After graduation from Adelaide University, Wendy taught Music and German in several schools in the midst of which she took a significant career break to be a full-time Mum.  She also began theological study during this season which was foundational to her ministry roles as Worship Pastor (for 16 years) and Discipleship Director at Seeds (Aberfoyle) Uniting Church.

Since 2013 Wendy has been working in the SA Presbytery/Synod Office where she currently has 2 half-time roles as Disaster and Recovery Ministries Co-ordinator for SA and as one of the Region Ministers (Urban East & Adelaide Hills) in the Pastoral Relations and Mission Planning Team. Wendy serves on the board of the Centre for Music, Liturgy and the Arts

Wendy is currently enrolled as a post-graduate student with Uniting College for Leadership and Theology. Wendy knows and understands complex congregations and leadership demands, as well as having a heart for smaller communities and congregations.

AlisonWhishRev Alison Whish

She is currently Minister of the Word, Newland Memorial UC, Victor Harbor, S.A. As General Manager of Port Pirie Central Mission 1997-2003 she was in touch with a large number of congregations as an occasional leader of worship across a wide area of rural SA. She then trained to become a Minister of the Word and served as a local church Minister in SA and Victoria. She served in Tasmania as a Presbytery Minister with a focus on leadership development. She was actively involved in the teaching and formation of lay people in relation to worship. She was Chapter Convenor for Tasmania for the Australian Academy of Liturgy.  She is also a member of Societas Litugia. She has been a corresponding member of the Worship working group. She has considerable ecumenical experience of worship.