Presbytery of Benalla: Double Ordination
Even better than a New Year’s Eve party is a double ordination! Saturday, 31 December 2016 saw two young colleagues who had trained together at the Presbyterian Theological College ordained and inducted into the ministry of Word and Sacraments.
Stephen McDonald was ordained in the morning. His exit appointment was to the Benalla Regional Parish (consisting of Balmattum, Benalla and Thoona) under the guidance of the Interim Moderator, Rev Kevin Maxwell, who ensured the process of calling and inducting Stephen went smoothly. The morning service was led by the Moderator of the Benalla Presbytery, Rev Kyung Ee. The Benalla parish Session clerk Mr Graham Heywood, and Stephen’s father, Rev Neil McDonald, read the Scriptures. The Moderator General Rev John Wilson, brought the greetings of the Presbyterian Church of Australia and his own personal best wishes. Kevin then preached from 1 Thessalonians 1 & 2, emphasising the charge of the gospel, Stephen’s role as ministry and the way the gospel transforms lives. The service was rounded out by three classic hymns: ‘The Church’s one foundation’, ‘God has spoken by his prophets’ and ‘Onward, Christian soldiers’. A luncheon was provided and most then travelled further up the highway to the next ordination.
Brett Cummins was then ordained that afternoon. His exit appointment was to the Wangaratta Regional Parish (consisting of Myrtleford, Wangaratta and Yarrawonga) also under the guidance of Interim Moderator Rev Kevin Maxwell. The afternoon service was again led by Rev Kyung Ee, but this time the scriptures were read by the Wangaratta Session Clerk Mr Malcolm Browning, and Brett’s father-in-law, Rev John Stasse, from South Yarra Presbyterian Church. Rev John Wilson repeated his greeting but this time the Rev Dr Douglas Milne preached from Colossians 4:17. He emphasised Archippus, whose ministry was a ‘public service’, and Douglas exhorted the congregation to support their pastor. The hymns on this occasion were: ‘In Christ alone my hope is found’, ‘Your hand, O God, has guided your flock from age to age’ and ‘Revive your work, O Lord’. An afternoon tea was then provided. So – as 2016 came to an end and 2017 was only hours away – two parishes commenced another chapter in their endeavours to continue declaring the unsearchable riches of Christ.
Rev Neil Harvey is a member of the Presbytery of Benalla