New Minister for Southlakes

“As we learn God’s story, let us be ready to share God’s good news with our community.”

Reverend Melinda McMahon was commissioned on the 6 February as our new Intentional Interim Priest-in-Charge. In her opening remarks, Melinda said:

First of all, I’d like to thank you for the warm welcome you gave me – and the fact that you gave me that warm welcome even before you knew who I was.  You have the reputation of being a welcoming church, and you certainly lived up to that reputation.

I’d also like to thank Alison Wooden, the locally ordained minister, for the faithful stewardship she has shown over the years, and more so over the past few months – she has played a pivotal role in ensuring the church’s faithful witness to the community continues.

I’d love to have an opportunity to share a snippet of my story.  Thankfully years of teaching kindergarten and teenagers means that concise talks are my speciality.

I am, in many ways, an Anglican success story – as you who are are sitting here today, are as well.  My parents are faithful Anglicans. The Anglican youth group was the anchor which pulled me through my turbulent teenage years, and although my journey took me down roads of enjoying other liturgical styles, I returned to the Anglican church due to its commitment to the Word of God and because it was the words of the Anglican Prayer Book which sustained me when I was most vulnerable.

A significant portion of my journey involved ministering with the Anglican community at Tea Gardens.  Thank you to those who made the journey today to celebrate my commissioning with me. Over the past ten years you have all been like a family to me and my sons.

Bishop Charlie wisely identified that ministry is like a marathon. It just so happens that this year I plan to run my first marathon.

So, after spending 7 years sprinting in school chaplaincy, it is with great excitement that I begin the marathon ministry here at Southlakes.

Now many of you may be fearful of what this tiny, young girl may start to change things.

Now, change will be necessary – it’s what growth demands – but if I start breaking into a sprint, just come and suggest it may be time to take a walk break.

Over the next year I’ll be listening to each of your stories and learning how each of your stories make up the unique pages of the Southlakes’ story.

But what unites us on our journey of learning each other’s story is God’s story.  As we learn God’s story, while fellowshipping together, I hope it makes us passionate in sharing how God’s story has transformed our lives.  Then we will be a community who shares God’s story, not just with those who happen to walk through the doors of our church, but with those who would never dream of entering them. So, let the marathon begin.

A transcript of Rev Melinda’s opening message

We look forward to 2020 and the growth in ministry that the Lord will build amongst us.