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Great faithfulness acknowledged

Rev Dr David Pitman congratulates Rev Robert Griffiths on his retirment. Photo by Osker Lau
On Sunday 19 May, the Synod paused in proceedings to celebrate people in ministry, those who have retired, those who have passed away and those who have been ordained since the last Synod meeting.

General Secretary Rev Jenny Timms and the Moderator Rev Dr David Pitman congratulated retiring ministers, 17 in all, and welcomed eight new ministers.

Retiring ministers were given a standing ovation from the members of the Synod gathering and newly ordained ministers were presented with books from the retiree’s personal libraries.

Rev Gerda Olafsen spoke on behalf of the retired ministers saying that between the people on stage, there was an amazing collection of life experience, “with not a few sacrifices, some joys and some sorrows”.

“If there is one thing I would like us to take away it is that we together are the treasure of the church,” said Ms Olafsen.

“It lays not in out riches… our greatest asset lies in the gospel and the way we live it and proclaim it.”

She also made a special note of thanks to the partners of those in ministry.

Newly ordained Rev Paul Clarke spoke on behalf of the new ministers and remembered when he was younger and would see the people he saw as the pillars of the congregation move on.
He wondered who was going to hold up the roof, then realised it was him.

“I’m sure as I look at these faithful people, once upon a time they were 21 and seeing other leave and thinking who’s going to hold up the roof?” said Mr Clarke.

“Our faith is not in people, our faith is not in institutions, our faith is not in the temple… because sometimes the temple changes."

Associate General Secretary Rev Alan O’Hara thanked families of the ministers who have passed away since our last Synod and, along with Rev Robin Kidd, read memorials as Dr Pitman presented the official memorial minute to families.

The service closed with the hymn Great is your Faithfulness.

Ordained since the Twenty-Fifth Synod:

Rev Paul Clarke MOW
Rev Devadosan Sugirtharaj MOW
Rev Dan Skippen MOW
Rev Michelle Cook MOW
Rev Rob Callow MOW
Rev Wayne McHugh MOW
Mr Tim Robinson Youth Worker
Rev Michael Brumpton MOW

Retiring ministers:

Rev Graeme Adsett
Rev Barry Allen
Rev Peter Banney
Rev Victor Chapman
Deaconess Wendy Chapman
Rev Hendrika de Nys
Rev Robert Griffiths
Rev Alaric Gale Hall
Rev Feata Hanipale
Rev Robert Heathwood
Rev Colin Howard
Pastor Jim Kidd
Rev Gerda Olafsen
Rev Heather Palmer
Rev Jim Peacock
Rev Lorna Skilton
Rev Ray Townsend

Ministers who have passed away since the Twenty-Fifth Synod.

Rev Glen Stewart Brown
Rev Alan Wilfred Campbell
Rev Edward Sydney Cassells
Rev Margaret Frances Cayzer
Rev Osmond Joseph Dale
Rev Graham Davis
Rev Samiuela Toa Finau
Rev Charles Edwin Grey
Rev Pamela Harbers
Rev Wilfred Allen Kennedy
Rev Elizabeth McChesney-Clark
Rev Anthony Frank Paynter
Rev Robert Eric Saunders
Rev Marcel Irvine Spengler

Photo : Rev Dr David Pitman congratulates Rev Robert Griffiths on his retirment. Photo by Osker Lau