MINISTER Frank Tuppin has moved to Horsham in 2021 and is hoping he can offer support to people within the Wimmera.
Hitting the ground running, Minister Tuppin has already visited some outlining areas and smaller communities.
Minister Tuppin, formerly of Camperdown, is excited for his new challenge and said he had already settled into his role.
"It's interesting living in a larger community," he said.
"There are certainly a lot of different resources. I'm finding my feet at the moment but it's been enjoyable."
Minister Tuppin welcomed a newest member of his family in 2020 and now restrictions had lifted, he said he was looking forward to visiting his granddaughter and other family members in South Australia.
"We're placed well now to go and visit," he said.
"And they can come the other way too."
Minister Tuppin said he believed a church should be something all ages felt welcomed to come to for anything.
"To me the community service is crucial," he said.
"A lot of our members here are involved in a number of different community groups.
"As a church we host a number of different programs to families and people of all ages for people to feel apart of the community."
Minister Tuppin said the church faced many challenges during the pandemic and would continue to face challenges due to the age of the community members.
"It's important to stress the faith," he said. "Everyone believes in something but there is something in putting trust in God during difficult circumstances. As far as churches go it's good to come together, just like sitting around a fireplace."
Sharing his background, Minister Tuppin reflected on time teaching at Ernabella, an Aboriginal Mission in far-north South Australia and working with the Pitjantjatjara people.
"I learnt a lot about community and supporting each other and appreciating the local culture," he said.
"And how to learn to each other. It was amazing.
"It was all about relationships and supporting each other."
Minister Tuppin said he wanted the community to know despite the church being a lovely building - that's not what the faith was about.
"It's not about the building - it's about helping the people," he said.
"We know a lot of families are struggling now.
"We need to be able to come alongside and support and encourage."
Horsham Uniting Church was able to live-stream services during the pandemic.
"We've probably found most of our members have either reconnected with a small group or has started to return to church since restrictions had eased," Minister Tuppin said.
"I think there are plans afoot to upgrade our equipment so we can continue to live stream services.
"There has been a particular interest in continuing this. It particularly comes into its own for funerals because people can't always travel for funerals."
The Uniting Church services are conducted at 10am on Sundays and can be views or re-watched at www.horsham.unitingchurch.org.au/watch.
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