Thanksgiving and passing the baton

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On Sunday 18 April, the worshipping community of Uniting Church in the City, Wesley Perth celebrated a unique combination of achievements and milestones in a very moving ceremony, toward the end of our Sunday morning service.

It was unique because we can’t recollect another occasion where we have been able to celebrate the end of a long ministerial supply, at the same time as welcoming the commencement of a ministerial placement – let alone on top of a change of minister in association. That we were able to come together and do just that and give thanks to God for the gifts and service of two of our long-time members, who have not only held us together, but brought us ever closer to each other and to God simultaneously, became quite an emotionally uplifting occasion.

The outpouring of love to both Rev Frances Hadfield and Rev Geoff Blyth brought many a tear to the eye as we were able to freely express our great debt of gratitude to both of them for their superb and successful guidance through quite a difficult time for our community.

To be able then to witness Frances pass the baton (bearing as it did the membership roll of our community) as supply minister to our new Minister in Placement, Rev Hollis Wilson, was a very rich experience and brought forth a full volume rendition of the Aaronic blessing for the three of them.

We offered our friendship, encouragement and support to Hollis and hoped his time with us would prove to be uplifting and joyous. Before the service was closed with the benediction, our three ministers walked (or waltzed) to the front of the church to Elgar’s Pomp and Circumstance where we gathered for a celebratory morning tea.

Uniting Church in the City, Wesley Perth also celebrated its 150th anniversary on Sunday 30 May, with a special celebratory service featuring the music from the Wesley Scholars, and guest preaching from Dr Deidre Palmer, President of the Uniting Church in Australia.

Stan White

Top image: Rev Francis Hadfield passing on the baton of ministry to Uniting Church in the City’s new minister, Rev Hollis Wilson.

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