New minister for Lumsden church
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.
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.