New min­is­ter for Lums­den church

The Invercargill Eye - - OUT & ABOUT - JENNY CAMPBELL

A church min­is­ter moved his fam­ily from the Waikato to Lums­den with lit­tle knowl­edge of where the Southland town was.

The Lums­den Bal­four Kingston Pres­by­te­rian Church wel­comed Mike Kirkby-Sing as their new min­is­ter last month.

He was or­dained and in­ducted at a ser­vice on De­cem­ber 15, with about 100 peo­ple, in­clud­ing friends, church mem­bers and oth­ers from the wider Pres­by­te­rian church, at­tend­ing.

‘‘The of­fer and op­por­tu­nity to come to Lums­den and the in­vi­ta­tion to serve God here is ex­cit­ing,’’ Kirkby-Sing said.

‘‘I see my role as work­ing as a mem­ber of a team, look­ing for teach­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties and us­ing my pas­toral strengths, so it is a good match be­tween the con­gre­ga­tion and my­self as part­ners.

‘‘With my wife Chris­tine and our chil­dren, Adele, Hugh and Nathanael, it seemed the di­rec­tion God is call­ing us to.’’

The va­cancy for the po­si­tion had been open for two years, but Mike said the church was ‘‘sta­ble with a lot go­ing for it’’.

He was a teacher of English to Speak­ers of Other Lan­guages, then re­trained to be a high school teacher in Hamil­ton.

Dur­ing that time he felt a call to Chris­tian min­istry, do­ing his the­o­log­i­cal de­gree by dis­tance from Laid­law Col­lege.

He then did an in­tern­ship with a Pres­by­te­rian church in Ro­torua for two years be­fore the move to Lums­den.

His wife Chris­tine said: ‘‘we knew noth­ing about Lums­den, so we went on a jour­ney to find out about the ge­og­ra­phy, work­ing out where it was in re­la­tion to other as­pects of Southland and the South Is­land’’.

‘‘I have no­ticed that the whole com­mu­nity is look­ing out for us,’’ she said.

‘‘The com­mit­tee did a great job or­gan­is­ing the house and gar­den as part of our wel­come.’’

The fam­ily has been in Lums­den for about four weeks, ex­plor­ing the area, get­ting to know lo­cals and set­tling in, in be­tween un­pack­ing and re­lax­ing af­ter Christ­mas.

‘‘We are set­tling in well and en­joy­ing our new ex­pe­ri­ences,’’ Chris­tine said.

JENNY CAMPBELL

Chris­tine and Mike Kirkby-Sing, with their chil­dren Hugh, 6, Adele, 8, and Nathanael, 3, re­lax in their new home at the Pres­by­te­rian manse in Lums­den.

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