The Rev Jill McDonald
Contact Phone 0274070489
E-Mail : firstname.lastname@example.org
I was inducted as the minister of St Andrews Parish, Hastings in late July 2017. Having been born and raised within an hour of the southern-most point of the South Island, I am surprised to find myself living in Hawkes Bay but already my husband Chris and I are thriving here.
Before completing my internship and being ordained as a Presbyterian minister in February 2015 I did a variety of different things including having my own celebrants business conducting wedding and funerals, working as a pastoral Care worker, working with people with disabilities and managing a befriending programme for Presbyterian Support Otago. As well as this I spent a wonderful 3 ½ years overseas doing all sorts of things like working in pub in rural Ireland, on a salmon farm in rural Scotland, a barista in Vancouver as well as spending a year working for the Iona Community on the Isle of Iona in Scotland.
I didn’t grow up in the church and only started searching for more when I was in my 20’s. My faith has been very shaped by working at both Presbyterian Support Otago and the Iona Community in Scotland, through which I understand social justice as integral to a life of faith. God wants life in its fullness for all people. To that end I am passionate about the church being engaged in its local community and beyond.
A key biblical text for me is John 13: 34-35. “Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.’ As the church we are called to be a community that offers for the world a glimpse of what life looks like when it is lived under God’s reign. We do this through worshipping together; through breaking bread together, through sharing the love that God has graced our lives with all who we encounter, so that they too may experience fullness of life. In doing this we offer the world a sign of Christ’s hope.
Jesus challenged the power structures of his day and he sought out the marginalized in order to bring them back into community with others. As the church, Christ calls us to do the same, to break down the barriers that divide us, to love one another and to love God. What matters to me is how people live out their faith and how that faith makes a difference in this world so that all may experience fullness of life. Church isn’t a place that we go too, rather it is a movement that we are engaged in, a movement led by Christ.
I never expected to find myself in the vocation of a Parish Minister, but after nearly three years of ordained ministry I find myself (mostly) thriving in the role. I love engaging with people and building connections both inside and outside the church. Long before faith was even part of who I was, I had the sense that my life would be about building community and in ministry I feel like I am now doing what I was meant to do