Eulogy: Jill Martin

These are the notes from which I spoke about our dear sister in Christ, the Revd Jill Martin at her funeral this afternoon at St Clement’s, Kingston.

Jill was passionate about Jesus Christ. She loved to tell others about him and to invite other people to know him and to follow him. Jill was an intercessor. Jill enjoyed praying and in fact she enjoyed walking and praying and was often seen at Kingston Beach walking along the foreshore praying. Jill was a lively person spiritually, emotionally and intellectually. Jill had a capacity to discern what was actually happening and in her winning way ask really good questions that helped people discover more about a situation. Jill was a likable person. Jill was a real people person who related easily and readily to people in all circumstances of life.

I was going to elaborate on this further, but first let me tell you a little bit about Jill’s former ministry positions. Jill was ordained a deacon in 2005 and a priest in 2006 and served children’s ministry coordinator, Holy Trinity 2005, Assistant Priest, BayWest 2005-2008, Chaplain, Mission Afloat 2005-2009, Enabler, Hamilton and New Norfolk 2008-2010, Priest in Charge as locum tenens, Moonah 2010-January 2012, and Prayer Development Officer for the Diocese in 2011. I had invited her to be Priest in Charge at the Parish of Buckland, although Jill had accepted the offer verbally, her illness prevented her from taking up this position.

Jill preached a sermon to the Synod of the Anglican Church of Tasmanian in 2006 with the title “Life of Joseph”. Jill said, “I want to examine the process that took Joseph from a self-centred little know-all kid in chapter 37 of Genesis, to a gracious, forgiving and generous man in chapter 50 who was able to say to his brothers, ‘You meant it for evil; God meant it for good, so that many people should be kept alive.’”

Jill demonstrates that Joseph was transformed “through many dangers, toils and snares” because he had “a clear vision of the hand of God behind the whole series of events, and he is able to say, ‘You meant it for evil, but God meant it for good . . in order to keep many alive’.”

In applying the transformation in Joseph’s life to ourselves, Jill challenged the Synod, “it’s no good attempting to transform our parishes, our diocese or the world; unless our own hearts have been transformed like Joseph’s.”

And Jill, the preacher and science teacher, illustrated the transformation needed in this way, “A caterpillar crawls around just surviving, just eating, not much to look at, not
attractive. But while it’s in that cocoon did you know that all its internal organs
dissolve completely into mush and are re-formed into a butterfly’s organs? Then
out it comes, a difficult process, and there it is, beautiful, graceful, ready to fly.
And that’s the best picture of transformation I can give you.”

Jill concluded her Synod address with what I believe to be a fitting concluding word to us here today:
“Where is your life, your parish, in this continuum? Maybe still crawling around like
a caterpillar, or perhaps you feel like things are dissolving around you, and you’re
restricted in a cocoon. Perhaps you see flashes of the beauty of a butterfly, in
what’s going on in you and around you. Do you feel like Joseph, perhaps, and
can see a little of what God’s doing? Perhaps you feel more like Job, and can’t
see a foot in front of your nose! However, whatever you do feel; whatever you do
see; the glorious truth is that God remains committed to totally transforming your
heart, your parish. God’s relationship with you is his very highest priority. And of
every circumstance, we can confidently say, ‘This may seem an impossible
situation, but God means it for my good!’”

Jill, we thank you.

If you want to read Jill’s sermon on ‘Life of Joseph’ please click here.


Eulogy: Jill Martin — 1 Comment

  1. Hi Bishop John, Jills farwell service was beautiful, its hard to say goodbye to such a wonderfull person. B

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *