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.

Karakia

I am keen to start this week with prayer.

The consequences of the earthquake in Morocco are horrific. Please join with me in praying a prayer written by Andrew Baldwin (pastor – Petone Baptist Church) for this people and place. Maybe you could pray it as part of your service on Sunday.

Lord, have mercy.

Have mercy on those who are trapped, as they wait, in fear, and uncertainty and darkness.

Lord, have mercy.

Have mercy on those who are working to free those who are trapped and provide aid to those made homeless, as they tire, and lose hope and fail.

Lord, have mercy.

Have mercy on those who grieve, who mourn the loss of loved ones, who question and doubt and despair. 

Lord, have mercy.

Kawepūrongo

Be in the room as we shape our future together

Wow!! I am so encouraged by the number of Baptist National Hui registrations we have received – already getting close to 300 people! This is huge, keep them coming in. We want as many New Zealand Baptists in the room as possible as we shape our future together. click here to register

Who’s been nominated?

The nominations for our Councils and leadership positions went out this week (some pictured above). Check them out here. Pretty awesome that we have nine nominations for Assembly Council!

Regional youth coaches retreat! (not the withdrawing definition)

Thursday lunch was a massive celebration for me. I got to hang out with our National Youth Catalyst (Ethan) and our Regional Youth Coaches (Nathan, Hannah, and Andy - we missed you Mike). They have been away up north (on their first ever retreat) listening to God and talking together about what the future shape of BYM could be. I got to spend an hour with them on their way home listening to the things God is placing on their hearts.

This is another good reason to register for Baptist National Hui. Thursday evening is going to be a massive celebration of Baptist youth – honouring the past, updating on the current, and dreaming together about the future. I even heard something about ‘tribal wars’…whatever that is?! 

Bring a youth leader to Hui with you :)

A gift for our movement

There was plenty of excitement when Rob Bellingham turned up at the Support Centre this week to present to our Baptist Māori whānau and our wider movement a Māori Bible published in 1868. This Paipera Tapu had been in Rob’s care for many years. In the photo below Rob is presenting the Bible to Luke Kaa-Morgan (Te Pouarataki mō te Hīkoi) along with Ruth Clarke (Arotahi) and Denise Tims (Carey Baptist College).

Luke acknowledged this sacred treasure: “He taonga whakahirahira tēneki.”

Torin Time

Some random (but very cool) guy called Torin wandered into my office and asked me two questions. I thought you might like to hear my answers: Torin Time – with Charles Hewlett.

Is there someone you can shoulder-tap for Carey's open days - 26 September and 10 October (online). Help us to identify and form the Baptist leaders of the future!

SITUATION VACANT

I am currently looking for someone to work alongside me in my tasks as National Leader of the Baptist Churches in New Zealand - someone who is well organised, resilient, highly relational and heaps of fun.

I love Jesus. I love the Bible. I love the Gospel. I love the church. And I love the mission of God. I wonder if this sounds like you too? Our calling is to help Baptist faith communities and their leaders thrive for the purpose of helping to bring Gospel Renewal to people and places in local neighbourhoods.

Please take time to read the Position Description here. If it sounds like you, or someone you know, I would love to hear from you.

The closing date for applicants is 29 September 2023.

Kupu o te wiki

HOA | friend, companion

He Whakataukī | A Proverb

He rangatira he hoa matenga mōu, kia kore koe e whakarērea.

A chief will be a friend in disaster and will not forsake you.

I wonder how you celebrated Māori Language Week in your faith community? Take time to check out the resources posted on the Baptist App by Windsor Park Baptist Church. Click here for karakia mo te kai | prayer for food.

Matawhaiaro

Kia ora Baptist Whānau

I have thought a lot about my friends this week, and I am extremely thankful for them.

Ha, from just the last few days…

On Wednesday morning I asked a friend to stop and pray with me | Friends provide the support I need when things are tough.

Then at lunch two of my most caring friends made me a dumpling lunch (photo below) | Friends bring fun and laughter into my life.

After work on Thursday, a colleague took me out for a drink | Friends build my confidence and self-esteem – they make me feel valued.

And then every second Thursday Rob and Rach drive over for our fortnightly catch-up – a habit of over 20 years now! | Friends who have known me for a long time, journeying big chunks of my life, have a special understanding of where I have been and where I am heading.

As you receive this, a very good mate is meeting me for breakfast (something they have committed to doing before work every Friday morning) | Friends challenge my unhealthy behaviours and thinking. They patiently help me become a better person.

On Sunday evening some new friends have invited us over for a meal. I can’t wait! | Friends teach me new things and grow my perspectives.

All week I have received texts from my wife, Joanne | My best friend knows everything about me – everything bad and everything good – yet like Proverbs 17:17 still, “loves me at all times”.

And then there is my greatest friend ever – the one who has loved me with an infinite love and enables me to become the best that I can. Jesus gave the supreme test of friendship when he said, “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (John 15:13). Our Lord and Saviour’s death at Calvary is the greatest act of love ever demonstrated on our behalf.

I am keen to encourage you. If you have good friends take time to celebrate them – let them know how much they are valued. And if you don’t have a friend right now, why not take the first step. Send someone a message today and invite them out for a coffee.

I will have a break from Charles Mail over the next few weeks – I have a few trips away and then we hit the school holidays.

May God bless you with good friends.

Charles


Click here for more Charles Mail.

Photos: Supplied by Charles Hewlett

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