Morgan Read

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Ministry Profile: Morgan Read 

From ‘Curious Outsider’ to LifeWay Pastor

Lifeway Student Pastor Morgan Read writes about her journey from being a ‘curious outsider’ to giving back to the community that gave her so much. Read on to find out . . .

Early YEARS

I was born in Northern Tasmania and spent all my childhood in Devonport. I was raised by both my mum and my dad and have two brothers; my half-brother Ben, who is 11 years older than me, and my younger brother Olly, who is 18 months younger than me. 

Ben moved out when I was young so as you read on you can decide if I have “oldest child” or “middle kid” energy.  We had quite a fun childhood in a lot of ways. My mother was a child carer who was really into learning by play so Olly and I had the best cubby house and dress ups of any kids I knew. We spent a lot of our childhood in full princess dress ups, up a tree in our backyard, playing complicated make-believe games even we didn’t fully understand. In the summer we would spend most of our time at the beach with dad pulling us in and out of the surf on a bodyboard. 

Morgan Read and high school friends
Morgan with High School friends
Learning About Religion 

My early religious education was in many ways as the curious outsider. It started when I was nine, with school based religious education, and continued a year later with an optional bible study club in primary school. My parents (though not religious themselves) were both raised in religious families. (I have several Great Uncles and cousins who were Uniting Church/Methodist Ministers.) They did however encourage me to think for myself and pursue whatever path felt right for me and gave me access to any resources I was curious about.  

My early religious education was in many ways as the curious outsider.

Though, at this early stage I did not consider myself a Christian, I had developed a philosophy that in many ways I still hold, which is an understanding that you do not have to be all or nothing in all the minutia of a belief to have faith in it. If you try to have all the answers you will either fail or drive yourself mad trying.  

When I got to high school, I met three of my closest friends all of whom are Christians, and this is where my links to Lifeway Baptist started. Though, through all this time, I must admit, I was the youth group’s token Atheist — but I was still determined to learn.
I was a member of J-Walkers (the youth group at the time) and later Converge (the young adult bible study group). When I moved to Hobart in 2014 with one of those same friends, I became yet another token Atheist. This time at a Campus Christian Movement Bible Study. This was partially to support my friend, to learn, and later because it was in my house.  

Morgan speaking
A New Country and Finding Faith

My switch into believing rather than just studying happened when I moved to the UK.
At the end of 2018, my contract hadn’t been renewed in the administration job I was working, and the rent we were paying had just gone up (a lot). So, I decided that this was all a sign, and I needed a change. So, I applied for some Au Pair positions and within two months I was living in England. Hoping to meet new people joined a local Church. I found a home there. I loved the people and slowly grew to love God and haven’t gone back.

I loved the people and slowly grew to love God and haven’t gone back.

After a year in England, I moved to Scotland and worked for two different families, one in Dundee, then one up in Aberdeen. There I joined the local Episcopalian Church. I was able to really strengthen my prayer life in this church and was able to have a lot of interesting conversations with the Vicar there. It was also around this time that I decided to get Baptised. Baptism to me is the start of your decided journey with God, and I worry sometimes people think of it as the pinnacle of the journey rather than the beginning. 

Back Home Again

In mid-2021 I moved back to Australia. My grandmother was becoming very unwell, and the government was looking at winding up repatriation flights, and honestly, I was missing Tasmania. I have a lot of love for my home state, for my family has been here for a very long time. If you are a Northern Tasmanian reading this, yes, we are probably related. I love the environment here, and I like that you end up knowing everyone or if you don’t, you know someone who does.  

I have a lot of love for my home state, for my family has been here for a very long time.

So, I made the decision to finish up my British adventure early. I moved back with my parents and Olly in Devonport. We all still very happily living together with our two English Springer Spaniels, Harry, and George. We are four very different people, but we all love each other so much, which makes life much easier.  

Morgan Read with her family
Morgan and her family at her brother’s graduation

When I came back home, I also went back to Lifeway Baptist. It was where so much of this journey began. It only took one service, and I knew overwhelmingly this was where I was meant to be. I started volunteering with a couple of the kid’s programs and towards the end of last year I was Baptised again (this time by submersion).  

It only took one service, and I knew overwhelmingly this was where I was meant to be.

Today

These days I am a busy person. I run the local Air Force Cadet Unit, I’ve just started an after-school theatre group, I study theology part time through Whitley College, I run a weekday primary school kids club through the church, and a few other bits and pieces I’m probably forgetting.  

Morgan at Cadets
Morgan

At Lifeway I am a Student Pastor, so I study, I also co-run the children’s ministry with a focus on activities that happen outside of Sunday services, and I occasionally preach. Both in and outside of direct ministry almost all of the stuff I do is about giving back for the opportunities and community I have been given.

Both in and outside of direct ministry almost all of the stuff I do is about giving back for the opportunities and community I have been given.

Lifeway helped me with my faith; Cadets and theatre have helped me build my confidence and leadership. It is so valuable in a small community like Devonport to have outlets for children and teenagers to be able to develop and socialise outside of school.  

The biggest challenge I face in my ministry is myself. I always want to and try to do more, and tend to over commit, but I am working on that.  

The Best piece of advice I have received is “you can only help someone who wants to be helped.” It’s not universal, but it helps when sometimes ministry can be slow, frustrating, and not the way you feel it should be. 

Pray For… 

If you could pray for me as I balance a lot of my commitments to my community and ministry. Also, for the children and families in our community, as they start down the path of faith and come to understand their relationship with God and what that means to them.

Morgan Read - from a ‘Curious Outsider’ to LifeWay Pastor
Morgan Read is currently a Student Pastor at Lifeway Baptist church

Short ‘n’ Sweet

am looking forward to . . . learning more about God and his people.

I am worried about . . . time. There never seems to be enough. 

I am confident that . . . God is good and in control.

I am joyful about . . . getting to share Gods love. 

I would like to change . . . I’d like to be less judgemental.

I am at my best . . . when I have others to bounce ideas off. 


Matty Coppin


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