| Nov 06, 2008

Nov 6/08 - Patsy Henry Bids Farewell

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Feature Article - November 6, 2008 Reverend Patsy Henry bids farewellBy Julie Druker

Jack Fox and Denny Buchanan

On Sunday the Parham United Church had standing room only as members of the Centenary Pastoral Charge, which is made up of the three United Church congregations of Parham, Sharbot Lake and Maberly, gathered for Rev. Patsy Henry’s final sermon. She has served the pastoral charge for the past seven years.

It was a moving and emotional service that included favorite hymns and readings and also a special presentation by a youth choir.

For her final service, Rev. Henry was wearing a beautiful embroidered stole that depicted the stories of Jesus and she engaged the congregation, especially the younger members who filled the front most pews, to explain what all of the pictures meant.

After the service a luncheon was held in the adjoining hall. Rev. Henry definitely had her hands full serving three parishes and she admitted, “The biggest challenge is there is never enough time.” She regularly gave three Sunday morning services, in Maberly at 9:00am, Sharbot Lake at 10:15am and Parham at 11:30am. She also made regular visits to members of her congregation at their homes and in area hospitals.

Rev. Henry definitely spoke from her heart when asked about the position she is leaving. “It’s been seven years of my life and it’s not just a job, ministry is your life. It’s been a wonderful seven years. In this profession there is a lot of heartbreak and there’s a lot of cause for celebration and a lot of in between stuff. It encompasses all of life.”

She explained that her work has allowed her to become very close with the members of her congregations. “When ministering with families your are involved with people at the most intimate times of their lives. Things never get old or routine when you’re dealing with people and human need and personalities; it’s always new.”

When asked about leaving she said, “It’s time to move on; none of us ever stay forever but our heart does.”

Rev. Henry is leaving for the Tory Hill Pastoral Charge, which is made up of the Gooderham and Wilberforce United churches, located between Bancroft and Haliburton.

When asked about changing charges she explained, “We all have our skills, we all have our gifts and I believe that we are called into a pastoral charge at such a point when that congregation needs us and we need them and that was certainly the case. I’m going to a place that needs me more now."

She added, “There’s a verse in the Bible from Ecclesiastes: ‘To everything there is a season and a time for every purpose..’, and the seasons come and go”.

It is obvious that she will be missed by many whom she has served, and who have worked with her and have come to know and love her. She has been called “a good shepherd” by members of her flock.

While no one has currently been appointed to take her place, members of the congregation along with other area ministers will be serving the congregations in the meantime. And while the communities await a new minister, members can be assured that services will continue on schedule at the Centenary Pastoral Charge.

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