Rod Robson, Chair of the Assembly Council, brings you this update from an Assembly Council gathering on 13 April.

Hi peeps,

In April, the Assembly Council gathered for our bi-monthly meeting. 

Five months on from National Hui (where representatives of our 240 faith communities gathered at Manukau City Baptist Church at the start of November), the Assembly Council has received a large amount of work back from working groups in relation to the Hui ‘Big Bites’. This work included a white paper from the Constitutional Review Steering Group, which has been working on Big Bite 2: a new way of making decisions together. A group has also been working on Big Bite 3: a mechanism to ensure our people and places are safe. They presented a white paper proposing a serious misconduct process to the Assembly Council. You will be hearing more about these areas of work over the next few months leading up to discussion opportunities at Regional Hui around the country. Since the April Assembly Council meeting, a consultation process has begun, inviting New Zealand Baptists to participate in a constitution and serious misconduct review

These are key areas in determining what it looks like for New Zealand Baptists to associate well together in the coming decades. Please make every effort to get along to your nearest Regional Hui, where space will be available to discuss these proposals before National Hui at Rangiora Baptist in November.

We continue to consider the strategic priorities that position us to see how God is working in our movement. This process includes hearing ideas in Charles Hewlett’s National Leader report and some of the ideas from the ‘30 Around 30’ retreat on how our faith communities can continue to bring gospel renewal to people and places, living out mission in their context. Susan Osborne, the 2024 President, shared with us encouraging stories of her times visiting churches around the country who are doing just that.

During the meeting, the Assembly Council also voted to co-opt Rangiaruaru Hema, as a representative of Te Whāriki, to join the Assembly Council.

As part of the reporting from the Audit, Finance and Risk Committee, members received an update on church compliance. Compliance information is still outstanding for 30% of church properties. There are also several properties that do not meet compliance requirements. When the Baptist National Support Centre contacts you, please let them know where you are at with these things so they can provide appropriate support.

There are a busy few months ahead for the Assembly Council members as we establish subcommittees to increase our connection points with the various groups in the movement and continue our work in some of the above areas. Please be praying for us as we work in these areas. 

I look forward to catching up with you all at your local Regional Hui in the coming months!

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