A QUARTER of a century is a milestone in any job – but when it comes to ministering to the faithful, it takes a very special type of person to stay the course.
Reverend Stuart Andrews of St Stephen’s Presbyterian Church, Tamworth, will be lauded by his peers and congregation today at a special luncheon to celebrate his 25 years of service as their minister.
The NSW moderator for the Presbyterian Church, the Right Reverend Trevor Cheetham, is coming up from Sydney to be part of the celebration.
Reverend Andrews started as minister of St Stephen’s Church in February 1987.
Brian Rixon, a member of the congregation, was full of praise for ReverendAndrews’ longevity in the job.
“It’s a milestone: not many ministers reach 25 years in the one parish,” Mr Rixon said.
Reverend And- rews said the congregation had been preparing for this weekend’s event, which includes a service at 2pm, for months – and he was looking forward to it.
“I’ve never looked at ministry in the church as a career but as a calling and I believe God called me to be a faithful minister to this congregation,” he said.
“I think the congregation’s been a highlight, in all its ups and downs.”
He is proud of the fact many within the congregation have read the bible front to back – some of them three times – because they’d followed his bible “guideposts”.
Religion and relating to God was “a relationship that needs to be real for people” for it to succeed, he said.
Religion was still relevant in people’s lives.
“I would say it’s certainly relevant ... a living faith in God is always relevant,” Reverend Andrews said.
“To me, the problem is not religion in the world, but the wrong religion.
“Religion that is right blesses, strengthens, unites; religion that’s wrong causes murder, mayhem and misery.”
Reverend Andrews was also NSW moderator for the Presbyterian Church for one year (it’s a one-year term) starting in 2003.
The Presbyterian Church in Tamworth has a blog spot, at www.ststephenspctamworth.blogspot.com