From Rev Dr John Squires
Presbytery Minister - Wellbeing
During the past month, since the last Presbytery newsletter, a number of significant events have occurred within the Presbytery. The Gungahlin Congregation has farewelled Darren and Holly Wright, and their children, as they moved to Wagga Wagga, while the St Ninian's Congregation has marked the conclusion of Neil Millar's ministry with them. Neil will continue to live in Canberra and be active in the Benedictus Community, as well as serving as an ongoing member of the Pastoral Relations Committee.
Paul Chalson celebrated the life of his mother, 94 year old Beryl, who died prior to Christmas, at a funeral service in Sydney, whilst Geoff and Gilda Dornan marked the tragic death of their son, Andrew, in a funeral service held at Wesley Forrest in mid-January. We uphold Paul and Betty at this time, and we extend our sympathy to Geoff and Gilda, praying for them as they remember and grieve the sudden death of their 31 year old son.
A service remembering the life and ministry of Ron Reeson, former Presbytery Minister, who died last August, was held at Gungahlin church on 22 January. Those who gathered in person were joined online by people from Les where in Canberra and around the Synod, from Papua New Guinea, and from other places overseas. We pray for Margaret and the members of the wider Reeson family.
We are mindful of the damage and distress that has occurred in Tonga, as a result of the eruption of the Hunga Tonga volcanic island and the subsequent tsunami and ash fallout, and of the concern that has been felt by the members of the To e Talatalanoa Congregation and by Tongan members of other churches in the Presbytery. We remember these people as they make contact with their families in Tonga and as the recovery efforts continue.
With the high numbers of COVID cases in our communities, we all now know of friends or even family members who have been infected. A number of people within the Presbytery have been in isolation because of exposure or infection. We remember especially Miriam Parker Lacey and her family as they contracted COVID and isolated for some weeks, and wish them well in their recovery. We all need to be mindful of the challenges this presents to families and to Congregations, and ensure we continue to be supportive of one another in this next phase of the pandemic. The ongoing health and safety of all people remains a high priority for us all.