Rev Dr Sarah Mitchell sings the blessing at her last
service at Knox Church yesterday. At right is the quilt
made by members of the congregation and given to Rev
Mitchell at her farewell yesterday. Photo by Craig Baxter.
With emotional voices, the congregation of Knox Church
farewelled its minister of eight years yesterday.
Rev Dr Sarah Mitchell, Knox's first female minister, gave her
last service in the central Dunedin church yesterday before
embarking on retirement.
Carolyn Richardson, on behalf of the congregation, said Rev
Mitchell had arrived to a hurt and divided congregation. From
that, she had created one with a sense of unity and a greater
tolerance and respect for differences.
Her compassion, musicality and warm friendly personality
would all be missed, as would her sermons which made biblical
texts relevant to everyday life, she said.
Their appreciation was shown with the gift of a quilt titled
Star of Hope which about 90 of the congregation had secretly
been making over a period of seven months.
Knox Church council clerk John Elder said Rev Mitchell's
inspirational and passionate leadership was appreciated, as
were her organisational skills.
Thanks and appreciation was also voiced from the Southern
Presbytery and the Inner City Church Association for her work
in ministry training, her liturgical creativity, and support
of tertiary chaplaincy.
With equal emotion, Rev Mitchell thanked the congregation for
letting her into their lives.
''I'm overwhelmed with the love, the gifts, the words, the
amazing experience I have had over these last years with
Mr Elder said after the farewell the search was on for a new
minister for Knox.