The Rev. Liz Gray – Associate Rector

LizI was born outside Pretoria, South Africa, and spent my first fourteen years playing barefoot in the veldt. My father was at different times a pastor and a theologian and we had some fun times, including a year abroad when I was seven, with six months in Princeton and a fabulous journey driving around the USA. Undoubtedly, my years in South Africa shaped my views on justice, and by the age of 14 I was a passionate politician and advocate for the marginalized of society. I made a decision to follow Jesus early in life, and I have been shaped by his views on the poor and oppressed.

Then we moved to the UK and I finished school in London, met my husband Simon, and went to University in Edinburgh where I majored in Mathematics. Teaching qualifications, marriage, three children, and many years of teaching and administration in High Schools in London followed. I loved teaching and the opportunity to engage with young people, discuss ideas and challenge linear thinking! Meanwhile our involvement in church life continued and developed and God kept his hand on us…

A passion for outreach is probably genetic as well as prayed-in over generations, as I come from a long line of missionaries, adventurers and travelers. This passion has needed ferocious honing; I’ve had to do a lot of praying, re-thinking and learning over the years, and I still come up with far more questions than answers. Part of this process involved doing a MA in International Education when we came to the US in 2007, which was amazing. In addition, over the last ten years, I’ve had the immense privilege of working with different people in countries as varied as Azerbaijan, Thailand/Burma and Tanzania. And so my love of diverse cultures, foods and ways of thinking has grown and stretched.

And then one day… a conversation with David Hanke … some nudging from the Holy Spirit, a Restoration discernment process and I was off to seminary. After a MA in Ministry, and ordination to the Diaconate in 2012, I was ordained as a Priest on Dec 22, 2013.

The opportunity to work with discipleship and church planting at Restoration is fabulous: being a new church we can think afresh about how, why, when, where, and what, as we consider the now and not yet aspects of living out the Kingdom of God. I’m excited….

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