During worship on 2nd June we celebrated the ministries of Valentina Satvedi-Leydon and Janet Hogan as our Interim Student House and Youth Support workers.

Ian began by acknowledging that they will be staying on with us but changing their relationship with the congregation as they hand their roles on to Dave Hall, Children & Families, Youth & Young Adult Pastor.

To assist with this celebration Ian and Amelia invited the children to practice a circle dance and the congregation to join in with the hand & arm gestures to the song ‘Christ before me, Christ behind me, Christ above me and below, Christ beside me, Christ within me, Christ around me where’er I go’.

Ian invited Valentina and Janet to join him out the front together with members of the Student House program and committee and the YUCY (youth) group and Children, Youth & Young Adults committee. We shared the beautiful liturgy

There are diverse gifts
but it is the same Spirit who gives them.
There are different ways of serving God:
But it is the same Lord who is served.
God works through people in different ways:
But it is the same God whose purpose is achieved through them all.
Each one of us is given a gift by the Spirit:
And there is no gift without its corresponding service.
There is one ministry of Christ
and in this ministry we all share.
Together we are the body of Christ:
And individually members of it.

Valentina – It’s not farewell I know, it’s a change and transition.  I’m going to begin with giving thanks to the Spirit who led Tom & I here to this place, to this faith community which is how I found myself in this position after prayerful consideration.  I’m thankful for the Spirit and the leading of the Spirit.  I am very thankful for the Student House Committee members, past and present who have walked with me on this journey and supported me.  Ian is also part of that he wore multiple hats. So I’m thankful for that.  I’m thankful for the opportunity to engage with the program and the students.  It has been a great experience and opportunity to use my skills but I’ve also learned a few things and been challenged by a few things.  I’ve also had the opportunity to push back so for all those things I give thanks.  I’m thankful for the Ministry Team – Peter Blair, Janet Watson Kruse, Ian, Janet Hogan where we have those opportunities to work together and I missed those opportunities having transitioned to Australia.  So it was good to be there where I could connect to people who I could relate with and find support and wisdom at times.  Most in particular I would like to thank you, the congregation.  Some of you have taken the opportunity to get to know me and open your hearts to me and my journey with you will continue in a different role and I give thanks for that and wish Dave well in on his journey with this community and all aspects of it.

Janet – I think God led me here.  I hadn’t been in the church for about ten years and God welcomed me in on Palm Sunday with a donkey and by the 31st May I was dead-bolted to the centre ministry team.  It’s been an incredible year for me.  The youth of this congregation and Fairfield are just the most fantastic young people and watching them grow so much in the last year has been a real blessing.  I was absolutely terrified to be a youth leader. Ian suggested I consider the youth leader role and every cell in my body just clenched but I felt that it was what God wanted me to do and I’m so grateful to the Children, Youth & Young Adults committee, for the scintillating conversations and the life giving decisions that have been made in that committee, for Anita for being a fantastic supervisor who has guided me along the way when I had no idea what I was doing, for the Ministry Team – Ian, Peter, Janet WK and Valentina, for the regular meetings, holding one another in prayer and encouragement.  I’m so grateful for the youth of this congregation for just teaching me so much and allowing me to boss them around for a year. It’s been really fantastic and I’m really grateful and I’m looking forward to just being fed for a while and just being part of this church and seeing what happens next.  So thank you so much.

Ian invited Dave to come forward as Janet and Valentina in turn handed over the symbols of their ministries:

  • YUCY – banner made by the YUCY crew and candle that is lit for meetings
  • Student House – coffee cup of hospitality and all the keys to houses

Shawn Whelan, as Chair of Church Council, formally dissolved the ministry team, commending them all to God as they moved on to form new ministry relationships.

Ian prayed in blessing.  Janet and Valentina stood in the centre of the circle as we all sang ‘Christ before me’.

After our celebration of Holy Communion Janet and Valentina were presented with gifts made by the young people during worship.