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Celebration of Ministries: Friday, October 20

The Synod gathered for a moving Celebration of Ministries service. A treasured part of each Synod, the celebration marked new ordinations, recent retirements of ordained ministers and the passing of those ministers who have gone to be at peace with the Lord. Outgoing Moderator Rev Andrew Gunton welcomed families and friends, together with members of the Synod, to the celebration.

Rev Gunton drew on Hebrews 12:1-2 and Matthew 21:18-22 in thanking and honouring those he described as having “run their race with perseverance” while encouraging each of us to continue the race. He encouraged ministers and lay people alike to look to Jesus and to one another for support and encouragement in the journey.

Rev John Cox gave thanks for the gifts, service, and generosity of our recently retired ministers. He honoured Rev Mary (Janie) French, Rev Ronald French, Rev Saimoni Davui, Rev Murray Fysh, Rev Dr Wendi Sargeant, Rev Pamela Batson, Rev Dr Helen Dick, Rev Julie Mackay-Rankin, Rev Dennis Corowa, Rev Nigel Damant, Rev Ross Mackay, Rev Jennifer Coombes, Rev Peter Aay and Rev Allan Smith.

Rev Faye Talatonu joyfully acknowledged the ordination of new ministers. Rev Talatonu recognised Rev Rebecca Bell, Rev Donna Muston, Rev Malia Ma’u, Rev Emma Nicholls, and Rev Garry Jennings.

Rev Talatonu and Rev Cox went on to lead the Synod in giving thanks for the lives, service and skills of those ministers who have passed away during this term of Synod. Memorial Minutes were shared, speaking of lifetimes of perseverance, dedication, creativity, and commitment to serving the Lord and the church. Those remembered included Rev Ian Kerr, Rev Peter Taubner, Rev Ronald Elvery, Rev Arthur Lane, Rev Ian (Wally) Thomson, Rev Graham Brown, Rev George Barnes, Rev Raymond Thompson, Rev Clive George, Rev Edward Hutton, Rev Iris Reedman, Rev Dr Walter Stratford, Rev Garth Filmer, Rev Sydney Abrahams, Rev Phillip Hulme, Rev Keith Ewin, and Rev Lorna Skilton.


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