Home » Forest Lake Uniting Church rebrands and welcomes new Reverend 

Forest Lake Uniting Church rebrands and welcomes new Reverend 

Jamie Furness    May 2, 2023    3 min read   

Community Life Uniting Church, formerly known as Forest Lake Uniting Church, has officially  appointed a new minister – Reverend Emma Nicholls.

Emma aspires to enrich a sense of hope and belonging in the Forest Lake community through the church and its ministry.

“Faith to me means knowing I’m completely loved and accepted by God, and so my life is to be lived in a way that loves and cares for other people,” she said.

Emma, who has been a Christian and attended church for most of her life, has followed in the footsteps of her mum who is also a minister in the Uniting Church.

“She really modelled to me what good ministry looks like – helping people experience their faith, caring for them in a community, and encouraging them in everything they do,” Emma said.

Encouraged by both of her parents, Emma spent many years participating in and leading Christian camps, including youth camps, kids holiday camps, and mission trips to outback Queensland.

In her early 20’s she left the church and went exploring overseas, teaching English in Japan before returning to Australia to become a high-school Japanese language teacher.

“As life went on and various challenges came, I felt somewhat of a loss of meaning in life. I decided to come back to church, and I re-discovered my faith, and I loved it being a part of a small, casual café-style evening service on the southside of Brisbane,” she said.

She then started leading music and worship, and before too long felt a call to explore a role in ordained ministry.

“I guess a big part of that decision was a desire to make the church a welcoming and accessible space for all different kinds of people, not just those who have grown up in it,” she said.

Emma enjoys coffee, spending time with friends, playing board games, being active, art classes and taking care of her two Burmese cats, Wally and Murphy.

The rest of the staff team at the Community Life Uniting Church consists of Families Pastor Tara, Welfare worker Adrianna, Chatz Café manager Julie, Op Shop manager Lorraine and Administration Officer Leanne.

I hope to continue to develop the great ministry that Rev Russell and the community here has already established over its history in this place,” Emma said.

“The name of our church was changed from “Forest Lake Uniting Church” to “Community Life Uniting Church”; at the end of last year before I arrived.

“The reasoning behind this was that the church wanted a name which reflected how we interact with the community. 

“We have a lot of ministries on site which serve the community, for example the Op Shop which provides low cost second hand clothing, furniture and bric a brac; a Community Pantry which provides emergency food relief; a cafe which provides a space for people to come and chat to our sharing team, Chat N Play for parents and young children, but we are also a church – and we want that to be known. So, the name was changed to Community Life Uniting Church.”

Emma Nicholls (centre) with Ryan Osbourne (left) and Steph Osbourne (right) after the baptism of their babies, Bonnie and Ayla, on March 12 2023.

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Jamie Furness