Anne MacCarthy: Women’s Board 

Anne MacCarthy has recently stepped down from the Baptist Women’s Board after a significant time of service to women’s ministry in New Zealand and the Pacific.

Anne began working with the women in her home church at Blockhouse Bay Baptist and then on the Auckland Baptist Women’s team. She started serving on the New Zealand Baptist Women’s Board about 2004. She also was secretary to Olwyn Dickson and then Julie Belding during their time as president of Baptist Women’s Union of the South West Pacific.  

In the course of her service, Anne has attended Baptist women’s conferences in Argentina, England, Australia, Hawaii, Thailand, Papua New Guinea, Fiji and New Zealand. She says it was the 1995 Baptist Women’s Department (WD) conference in Buenos Aires that first opened her eyes to the work of Baptist Women worldwide, and the value of supporting and praying for each other. 

“At the conference in Buenos Aires, some of the New Zealand representatives were walking through the foyer of the conference venue when a group of ladies came up to us. One woman began talking to us in an unfamiliar language, crying and hugging us. Her friend translated the message: ‘Thank you so much for your gift to the women of Croatia. We were able to print messages of encouragement to leave where women who came out at night looking for food would find them. These messages let them know that God loves and cares for them, and that others around the world were praying for them.’  

“We knew nothing of the money sent, but later found out that a small group of our women had held a cake stall at a rally and had donated the proceeds to the WD to be used to assist women in need. The WD sent the money to Croatian women, whose country was suffering from the four years of the Croatian War of Independence. Talk about God using small donations to encourage people desperate to know that he cared and that they were not forgotten!  

“To me the highlights of these conferences were the friendships formed, the times of praying with sisters from around the world, and supporting various projects to assist the health and well-being of women, especially in the Pacific,” says Anne.

For some years the Baptist Women’s Board team had diminished in numbers. However, now that the Board has been reinvigorated, Anne feels the job of ‘holding the fort’ is complete. 

“Now is time for me to take another step back and leave the new team to carry on the work that our Baptist Women started over 70 years ago,” she says.

Kelvyn Fairhall: the pastoral accountant

When God equips people with different gifts that can then be brought together for important roles, the right person fits the right position. Kelvyn Fairhall is definitely a wonderful example of this happening. 

First training as an accountant, and then for pastoral ministry, these two strands of his gifting and experience were brought together when he served the Baptist Churches of New Zealand in national administrative leadership.

Part of that role was being a member of the Board of the Baptist Union Superannuation Scheme (BUSS). Previously a trustee of the scheme, Kelvyn retired in October 2020 after over 30 years working to promote the scheme to our pastoral staff. He firmly believed in the benefits of pastors belonging to the scheme.

He writes, “Having charitable status means there are no taxes paid on the investment income... The matching employer contributions help the balances in individuals’ accounts grow more quickly... Consequently we have recently seen some quite large payments for people retiring after long years of service in pastoral work and parallel membership of the scheme.”

There have been many changes in the way the scheme operates over the years of Kelvyn’s involvement. Other board members have greatly appreciated—even depended upon—his knowledge and careful preparation so they could navigate the changed requirements. When he started there may have been a dozen meeting papers; now there is a manual for every meeting! 

In expressing his appreciation of our current managers (Anglican Financial Care), Kelvyn thanks them “for the administration, as they have very competent staff who know the peculiarities of church workings. They also facilitate the huge statutory compliance requirements imposed upon us over recent years that have unfortunately brought more costs. This compliance would be the biggest change I have seen during my tenure and it takes a significant portion of our quarterly meetings.”

Other changes included 

  • the scheme changing from being a pension scheme to a contribution‑based scheme
  • in 2005 ACTS churches becoming a participating organisation
  • in 2007 the scheme becoming a complying superannuation fund (KiwiSaver look-alike) so members could obtain the ‘free’ government contributions.

It was Kelvyn’s ability to understand the needs and concerns of pastors, along with his financial acumen and his wisdom in bringing the two together, that will mean he will be greatly missed as a member of the board.

The BUSS board and the hundreds of pastors who have benefited from his service thank him for his knowledge, wisdom and pastoral concern over all these years.

Contributor: Rodney Duncan

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