Bidding a fond farewell to Pastor Mary Barrett
The end of September was a sad time as we said goodbye to Associate Minister Pastor Mary Barrett who has just completed her second time in this role at Stanborough Park Church.
Pastor Mary will be joining her husband Jonathan as joint ministers at the Adventist church in Weston-super-Mare. She preached her last sermon at Stanborough Park on Sabbath, 17th September. Prior to this she was presented with two gifts on behalf of the ministerial team by Senior Minister, Pastor Jacques Venter, who commented that she had always been the one who did the jobs that the other members of the ministerial team found themselves unable to do and has given so much during her time with them and helped them to see that they should be grateful to God and speak to Him. He was certain that through her many had been able to develop their relationship with God and reconnect with Him - and others too.
Clearly struggling with emotion she embarked on her final sermon entitled 'No Problem' showing how her own experience demonstrated that no problem was too big for God to handle in His own way, even though it wasn't always clear at the outset.
Using her recent experience of God's recent intervention in her life she told how she was unexpectedly sent by the BUC to the General Conference last year to speak on the topic of women's ordination. During this time a life-threatening condition developed necessitating an operation which was considered to be too risky to undertake in Britain. For the American surgeons every complication and objection to surgery raised by her husband was met with the same response, 'No problem'. She has enjoyed a full recovery. As one comment on the internet put it, 'I haven't seen Pastor Mary look better than she does today.'
Her inspiring sermon can be viewed throgh the Livestream page on the church' website. The sermon produced an unusually large number of comments on the Livestream pages which so often resembles a chat room! Many will share the sentiments expressed there.
'The sermon had me in tears. It was just what I need to hear. God spoke through you.'
'She's wonderful. I will miss her so. That brought me to tears.'
'I'm so glad I watched this service. What a testament!'
'Isn't it amazing how God works! Not only in the way He helped Mary but also to allow her testimony to bring glory to his name as she shares her story.'
Finally, one remark that will be echoed by many in their own way, 'A rock for all the 17 years I have been attending Stanborough Park Church.'
As for Pastor Mary, she says, I have loved my time at Stanborough and so am finding it hard to leave, but it will be good for my husband and I to get a chance to work together before we both retire. I am hoping to retire early next year and he in 4 years time.
As one internet regular wrote, 'May God bless her work as she moves on.'