In this regular column, our Baptist National Leader, Charles Hewlett, keeps us posted on the happenings in Baptist faith communities across Aotearoa. The original Charles Mail is emailed out on a Friday and reproduced here the following Monday.

Kawepūrongo

Equipping our churches in growing young

Did you know we have a national points-person for Children and Family Ministries?

While Jan Ozanne is only employed 1-day per week, she (along with our regional children and family coaches) plays a crucial role as we endeavour to grow young.

This week, I caught up with Jan and asked her what her role was all about. Do click here to have a listen – she mentions an awesome training opportunity coming up for us.

Back to basics

I loved receiving the photo below from Wendy Budge, Assistant Pastor at Rotorua Baptist Church. She tells me that last Sunday they had their service in the dark!

Wendy writes: 

"Our main fuse in the church blew (nearly caught fire, actually), so we had our church service in the dark with acoustic guitars and a portable speaker for our audio. 

We also had baptisms of two of our youth (teens from our community who also brought their whānau to church to witness their baptism). 

It was a day of celebration, novelty and back to basics. God was glorified and the body was strengthened as we came together in a new kind of way."

More baptisms!

Speaking of baptisms, how awesome to hear from Bethlehem Baptist Church about the eight they had on Sunday. Don't you just love their faces…

This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! (2 Corinthians 5:17)

New on the Baptist People podcast

In the latest episode of our Baptist People podcast, Christine interviews professional viola player and violin teacher Fiona Haughton, a member of Titirangi Baptist Church.

Fiona talks about music's vital part in worship and its fascinating power to connect and move us. She shares helpful insights into learning a musical instrument and live performances.

Be sure to listen to her play at the end of the podcast. Click here to listen.

Te Pouarataki mō te Hīkoi

From our Treaty Guide, Luke Kaa-Morgan

I've been praying for our Hui ā Māori 2024 being held in Tauranga on 12–14 July at Te Whetū o te Rangi Marae. Please pray with me that this will be a time of encouragement for Baptist Māori.

Our agenda is very full and together we will prayerfully engage in koorero and waananga as we navigate through some significant kaupapa. Would you also reach out to Māori in your contexts so they are aware of this upcoming hui?

I've included the link below to the information and registration page. Ngaa mihi me ngaa manaakitanga.

Hui a Māori, 2024

Karakia

On Monday mornings, my EA Christine Stride and I chat together about what might go in the Charles Mail emailed out on Friday. This week, we had a conversation about what our prayer focus would be.

Christine felt burdened that we should call out to God on behalf of church elders – the many people who give their time voluntarily to see the people of God thrive.

So, I asked her to write a prayer for us! Please take a few moments today to pray this prayer.

Heavenly Father,

We give you thanks for all those who are elders in our churches. 

Thank you for the ways they watch over your flock, giving of their time, their skills and their prayers.

We pray for a hedge of protection around each elder; may your hand be over them in all they do.

We pray for wisdom and discernment; may they hear your voice and be obedient to your word.

We pray for unity, humility and compassion, that they will be eager to serve and be examples to the flock.

In Jesus name,

Amen

Matawhaiaro

Dear Baptist Whānau

As this Charles Mail gets emailed out Friday, I will be travelling into central Auckland on the train. 

Together with Justin Duckworth (Anglican Bishop), Paul Martin (Catholic Archbishop), Peter Taylor (Methodist President), Fakafo Kaio (Presbyterian Representative) and Mark Campbell (Salvation Army Territorial Commander), I will be spending time this morning engaging with our Prime Minister Christopher Luxon. With the help of our advisors (thank you Lisa Woolley – who will be present with me), we are presenting three position papers:

–      Our thriving economy grounded in justice

–      A future filled with hope

–      The churches and community as partners

In the third paper we present a picture of the positive influence churches have on community well-being in Aotearoa New Zealand. It is so encouraging for me to see how the Baptist family of churches are represented in this picture. I love being Baptist. 

I have the privilege of praying for the Prime Minister. 

We're very much into regional hui season which means I'll be travelling over the next few weeks, along with many of the National Support Centre team.

As I am out and about, I will be needing to take a break from Charles Mail. 

I am very much looking forward to participating in the conversations at the hui on how your region might associate together for the purpose of seeing gospel renewal.

May God bless you and your faith community.

Charles

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