Call Jesus for support, dial 111 in a crisis
There is little doubt that Matamata’s emergency services are appreciated by everyone.
Every minute, every day and every night sees police, fire and ambulance personnel respond to those in need – and often at personal cost to themselves.
Matamata’s St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church decided to show its appreciation in a tangible way by inviting emergency services personnel and the recently-established Matamata Community Patrol, as well as their families, to a Sunday service designed to specifically ask a blessing on their work.
With St Andrew’s Day, which celebrates the patron saint of Scotland where the Presbyterian Church has its roots, celebrated on November 30, the church leadership saw this month, as a highly appropriate time to honour the services.
At the November 6 service, St Andrew’s congregation stood in respect as the uniformed personnel filed into the church behind the St John standard bearer.
Following Rev Murray Lambert’s welcome, Joe Beattie, part of St Andrew’s church family and retired minister, led the service and delivered the sermon.
Beattie, who has previously organised similar services in other centres, told the emergency services that he had the utmost respect for the 24/7 work that they did and the manner in which they often put themselves at risk in the line of duty.
‘‘I couldn’t do what you do,’’ he told them. ‘‘I take my hat off to each one of you.’’
It was clear during Beattie’s children’s talk that, while the youngsters knew they could turn to Jesus for spiritual support, all they had to do to in a crisis was to dial 111.
Matamata-Piako District Mayor and St Andrew’s Elder Jan Barnes prayed for the emergency services and asked a blessing on them, their work and their families.
At the end of the service, the congregation stood and applauded the emergency personnel as they filed out to stand by their vehicles where Beattie asked a blessing on them and their vehicles.
Afterwards, everyone enjoyed a BBQ lunch sizzled by Rev Lambert and his family, with dessert slices courtesy of Fireside.
The Matamata Presbyterian Church recently held a blessing service for the towns emergency services.