'Bright future' if people join forces

Joy Davis at East Taieri Church. Photo by Peter McIntosh.
Joy Davis at East Taieri Church. Photo by Peter McIntosh.
Joy Davis is passionate about people working together for a brighter future for Mosgiel.

The community facilitator at East Taieri Church, England-born Mrs Davis (58) hopes her work helps reconnect the church and the community by developing more of a community focus to the work the church did.

''There is a bright future in Mosgiel for us all if we work together,'' Mrs Davis said.

''We have a lot of assets here and if we pull together we can get a lot done.''

Her new role is quite different from her days as a farmer's wife and mother in Te Anau and then Lawrence in the 1980s and 1990s.

When her husband, Allan, died in 1997, the family moved to Mosgiel, although she did live in Dunedin while she was an administrator at St Margaret's College.

During that time she became involved as a volunteer at East Taieri Church, leading its Alpha Course and taking part in its drama and music teams.

In 2006, the church's minister suggested she might want to move into church ministry full-time.

She took his suggestion on board and at 50 began a theology degree.

''It was a great sense of accomplishment. I had a lot of support.''

While studying, she became increasingly interested in social justice and the reconnection of Christian faith and communities.

''What I do is about finding out how to help people, empower them.

''So many do not realise their potential.''

Through her role, she did a lot of research and was involved with third-year occupational therapy and social work students.

Her work helped in various ways, such as finding the gaps in services for the elderly.

She now used those skills in her work in the community, which also included being chairwoman of the food bank and Mosgiel Resource Group and as a member of Altrusa.

Mrs Davis juggled it all with her duties as grandmother and daughter.

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