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Report from Assistant Minister -
Rev. Heather Kennedy
December 2016 - February 2017
Just after the last Parish Council meeting in November I undertook
to tie White ribbons around the railings of First Church and handed
out over 100 information cards to staff and students at SIT, to
raise the awareness of White Ribbon Day.
Then December brought the usual busy-ness of the season which included
the Lessons and Carols service and a Peacehaven service.
KidzFirst's fortnightly Friday night events, enjoyed a series of
crafts and stories leading up to Christmas. With baking, card-making,
decorations and adorning personalised Christmas stockings.
Thanks to those who helped clean up around the church buildings
in mid-December. With the road works providing extra sand and dirt,
the area on Ythan St. certainly needed tidying. The gardens and
paths looked great after all our efforts.
The first week of December I presented a paper at the Otago University
Chaplaincy Conference on 'Multi-Parish Ministry in Southland Presbyterian
Congregations - A Rural Chaplaincy?' This was well received and
gave a look at chaplaincy a wider perspective. Many of the other
presentations were also very interesting, in light of the increasing
secularisation of institutions and society.
Unfortunately, I slept poorly the two nights I was in Dunedin (on
an iffy bed with terrible pillows). As a result, I have since been
grappling with the effects of Neuralgia from a pinched nerve in
the spine, between C5 And C6.
This has involved quite a lot of medication, physiotherapy and the
cancellation of some of my commitments just prior to going away
on holiday before Christmas. This has slowly improved to only being
annoying from time to time, just in time to prepare for our next
Making the most of our holiday in Mt. Maunganui during January,
I relaxed, walked, soaked in hot pools and was able to cope with
the current workload in January. This has included services at First
Church and rest homes, pastoral care and preparation for this year's
activities. Then during February I will be undertaking a Professional
Performance Review with Rev. Helen Wallis.
At the end of January Jim and I travelled to Leeston in Canterbury
to meet with the members of Ellesmere Co-operating Parish. I have
agreed to serve them for the next two years and help them prepare
for their next Methodist Minister in January 2019.
A Farewell Reflection
Over the sixteen years I've been at First Church in Invercargill
I have noticed many changes as well as many things that have not
changed. During that time we benefitted from the ministries of Rev.
Dr. Simon Rae and Rev. Richard Gray, from both of whom I have been
mentored, instructed, worked alongside and had my ministry nurtured
to the level whereby I can now go and serve in another parish.
When I started at First Church there were three mid-week Clubs for
children which had evolved out of the former Boys' and Girls' Brigades.
These nature and makeup of the clubs has changed considerably to
the one KidzFirst Club we currently have on a Friday evening. Over
the years there have been many volunteers who have assisted in this
vital mission outreach of the church.
I wish to thank all the members of the church, for your guidance,
support and encouragement over the years and especially since my
Ordination in 2008. Without you all I would have struggled. We look
forward to our return and wish you all well for the future.