Rev Clay Nelson to leave St Matthew's

The Rev Clay Nelson has announced that he will be leaving St Matthew's to take up the role of Consulting Minister with the Auckland Unitarian Church from 1st September.

1 July 2014

Dear St Matthew’s Family,

This is a difficult letter to write you. After much thought and prayer over the past five months I have reached the conclusion that this chapter of my ministry has closed. It is difficult to let go of something that has fed and fulfilled me incredibly these nearly nine years, but it had to happen sometime.

The challenge has been what to do next. Definitely not ready to live the Gold Card life. However, I can’t see anywhere I can take my theological stance in the Auckland Diocese. As it happens, the Auckland Unitarian Church’s members voted unanimously on 8 June to call me as their consulting minister. Last week I decided to accept their invitation.

It feels like a good match. I share their strong commitment to social justice and finding unity in diversity. They are a small congregation, but hope to attract others who are interested in progressive religion. They believe my gifts will assist them. While few in Aotearoa New Zealand know of Unitarians and their values and mission, they have long been a part of Auckland’s faith community. Unitarians have been worshipping on Ponsonby Road next to The Art Station since construction to build St Matthew’s began. I will begin my ministry there at the conclusion of my sabbatical on September 1.

Words fail to express how much I treasure my time with you. St Matthew’s has been a source of unexpected grace in my life, shaping and enriching it. It will always be holy ground for me. At least I don’t have to say goodbye. I will still be in the neighbourhood and fully expect that Auckland Unitarians and St Matthew Anglicans will find many opportunities to work together for the common good. Certainly I will continue to support St Matthew’s mission in anyway I can.

Aroha nui,

Clay

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