Induction Service at Bairnsdale - Rev. Kharis Susilowati
It was a windy but fine afternoon on 14th January for the Induction of Rev. Kharis Susilowati to Mitchell River Parish (Paynesville and Bairnsdale). It was a happy day with the first Presbytery event for the year being the induction of a newly-ordained minister into their first placement. Rev. Ivy Goodwin preached on the reading from the Old Testament book of Isaiah, of Isaiah’s vision in the “holy of holies” where the Lord asks “Whom shall I send?” and “Who will go for us?” and Isaiah answers “Send me” - just as Kharis has done with her call to this vacancy. Ivy spoke of the political and religious corruption which existed at the time of Isaiah. Now, in this post-Christendom era not only can we not assume that Christian values are known and understood, but society seems to no longer value or care whether truth is being told or not, with political denials being just one example. Ivy challenged us with the question of what this means for those in ministry. How do we preach for a Spirit that will call us into all truth? Ivy encouraged Kharis she can do it, and she won’t do it alone. Ivy also spoke on the reading from Paul, telling people not to ignore what’s happening, but to control our thinking before we speak, using our gifts for the whole community, and modelling ourselves on Jesus Christ. It will be more important going forward for the church to be church, to love another, despite the fact there may be no-one really listening. We don’t know what impact our words ultimately have on people. Ivy shared a personal story about this, and on behalf of the Presbytery, wished Kharis the peace of Christ and a wonderful, fulfilling ministry with the people of the Mitchell River Parish. Special visitors included ministers from the local Baptist and Anglican churches. Richard Ellis,former mayor, also welcomed Kharis into the community. Another visitor we were pleased to welcome was former Gippsland ministry candidate, Rev.Ray McCluskey, who was holidaying in Merimbula and called in to the service on his way home to Pakenham. In her response Kharis advised the congregation that her journey to join us has taken a lot of discernment and decision making as she has lived in Melbourne for the past 20 years. Her journey began with her decision in July to open her profile to a wider geographic area. God told her this is the place where people need you. Kharis realises this will be her new home and she asked for the locals to help her explore it and get to know it. The crowd of around 80 people then enjoyed a delicious afternoon tea and the hospitality of the Bairnsdale Uniting Church. Welcome to Kharis!By Wendy McDonald
Induction of Nathaniel Atem at Orbost - 13th August 2016
A number of people across the Presbytery gathered at St. Andrew's UCA Orbost on Saturday 13th August 2016 for the Induction of Nathaniel Atem. Nathaniel is a Sudanese man from the Dinka tribe. He and his wife Angelina and son Isaac arrived in Australia in 2004 where they were warmly welcomed by the Springvale UCA. During his time there, Nathaniel heard the call to ministry and was Ordained at Springvale earlier this year.
The Induction service began with a trumpet processional played by Georgi Ingram. Jeff Dart was the guest preacher. Jeff preached an animated sermon on the message from Joshua, reminding Nathaniel that, like Joshua, God would be with him. Clergy from other churches who were present included Rev. Bevil Lunson (Anglican), Sister Madeline White (Catholic) and Pastor Garry Durston (River Church). A recessional, Mozart's "Rondo" was played by Harry Yeo on Clarinet as the service ended. Chairperson of Orbost, Don Osborne, welcomed Nathaniel warmly and presented him and his family with some small gifts of welcome. Nathaniel began his response with "G'day", advising everyone he has been trying to work on his Australian accent. After the service everyone enjoyed a yummy afternoon tea in the hall.
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