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Today we farewell Juliette Antoon after almost 9 years on the pastoral staff of St Michael’s. To put this in perspective, that’s the same period Harry Goodhew and David Peterson combined were Rectors here. It means she is the longest serving assistant minister ever to serve at St Michael’s. It’s more than time to make a mark, especially in people’s lives.
In Romans 16, Paul greets 4 women: Mary (v6) and Tryphena, Tryphosa, and Persis (v16), each as “women who work [very] hard in the Lord”. To that list we can unquestionably add Juliette’s name. She has very often been the last to leave the office, sometimes well into the evening. But she’s also often been out and about among you women too – of all ages, from nursing home visits down to meeting with a young leader for 1-1 discipleship.
Perhaps the most notable characteristic of Juliette’s ministry, at least to me, has been her championship of lay ministry. That’s the idea that all members of the church – not just the paid ministers on staff – have great gifts and ought to be encouraged and empowered to be serving in the diversities of ministries available: both of good deeds, but importantly, also ministries of Word, teaching others. This was never lip service for her, as WOW knows.
To illustrate further, she has supported and led in ministry training events and weeks. And it was Juliette who pushed for us to have a common preaching program at least one term per year – Colossians, Revelation, Hosea – to better involve and equip group leaders in a more integrated approach to Christian education and discipleship.
In all things, I believe Juliette’s great desire as a pastor and teacher has been “to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up” (Eph 4:12). For this, I give God thanks, and commend Juliette to his grace in Jesus. – Sandy Grant
In December, Mission of the Month giving is directed to CMS (Church Missionary Society). We continue to support these three wonderful sets of CMS link missionaries: