26 August 2018


A couple of days ago, some of us from First Church went over to    Whangamata to attend Jack Foster’s funeral.  Some of you won’t know who the heck I’m talking about, but Jack was here at First Church  for five years leading up to my becoming the Minister here in 2002.  He and I shared the leadership over most of that year until he retired from full-time ministry, moving to live in Whangamata.

His funeral was truly a celebration of Jack’s life and the way he impacted so many folks over his years in the ministry.  In fact, funnily enough, I first met him in a park in Tokoroa in the 1980’s. The person I was visiting was also a local and knew Jack, so they stopped to have a bit of a natter.  I’d heard of Jack through the church network (even though I was not a Minister in those days) as he had a reputation of being a really great guy.  Working alongside him here in 2002, that first impression was certainly confirmed.

Of course, if you knew Jack, you’d also know the other side of him.  He was so full of fun and games.  I’d be often sitting at my desk when rolled up pieces of paper would fly through the door and hit me in the head.  I   also heard he once started a water-pistol fight with the staff who were here before I came, which apparently was great fun.  The photo below is a re-enactment at Jack’s farewell,  of the original water fight

Needless to say, some of us managed to return the ‘blessings’.  We had a mouse problem in the kitchenette.  We tried ordinary traps and nothing worked, so I said I’d take a trap home, modify in a way I knew how, and then that would definitely work.  I was given the berries over that from him until the very next day.  Overnight, the trap had worked, so    before Jack got in, I took the mouse, trap and all, and put it on his office chair.  I slid the chair under his desk and waited.  When he went to sit down, there was an unholy yell from his room.  It was great!  Someone once said, revenge is best served cold.  Well that mouse was pretty cold by then.

I will miss the likes of Jack.  He served his Lord faithfully all his life.  He ended up with Alzheimer’s for the last couple of years which seemed such a cruel thing to get, but now he is with his Lord and Saviour.  I’m a little worried about the rest of those in heaven though.  I only hope they can duck when rolled up pieces of paper come flying their way.

Blessings and love Jack.