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 | News

Change in the office 

I want to start with the highlight of my week - this kind gift and note was anonymously left on my desk. My first week without my Executive Assistant, Kathryn Heslop (See last week’s Charles Mail), has not been easy (sooo quiet!)…but getting little messages like this definitely helps! Thank you :)

And then Carey Baptist College staff members Neroli Hollis and Siong Ng kindly set themselves up at Kathryn’s old desk offering to help me out. 

But thank goodness for Marianne Hunt who started on Wednesday as our Administration Coordinator for the National Support Centre (pictured below with me and Catharina Siraa). It is great to have you as part of the Admin Team – Wayne Schache, our Operations and Finance Director, is very blessed! 

However, I do need to find someone to work alongside me in my tasks.

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.

I am looking for a person to help me in this – someone who is well organised, resilient, highly relational and heaps of fun.

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 role would provide a great opportunity for growth and development. 

Convos with our Youth Catalyst

Every second Tuesday I have my meeting with Ethan Miller (our National Youth Catalyst). I love hanging out with Ethan (photo below when we were gate-crashed by John Tucker!).

I asked Ethan:

The most exciting thing at the moment is: Getting to see what Jesus is up to in different places. There are some incredible stories of God at work in people’s lives.

The thing I most want to see is: I would love to see a generation of young people who love Jesus and are passionate about seeing His Kingdom come.

What you are loving about Jesus today: His sovereignty and goodness. Today, I heard two beautiful stories of how Jesus powerfully revealed Himself to people with no church background. Not only have they come to faith, but years later they are sold out for Him.

What do you most love about Church: It sounds weird, but during worship I look around and have this beautiful sense that I am with the people of God. It feels like home to me.

Go on, take a young person from your faith community out for a coffee. Ask them these four questions and listen really carefully to their answers. Dream with them about the second question. Encourage them in their faith!

Hearing from the Regional Associations

One of the good things about working at the National Support Centre is that we get to share the offices with the Northern Baptist Association. They have such awesome team members! Last week I bumped into two of them (see photo below): Rachel Roche and Nathan Palmer.

Rachel (Kaitiaki Regional Advisor) comments:

I love to work with church leadership teams to bring gospel renewal. In the next few months I hope to trial a tool we have developed to help churches to be functioning at their best.

Nathan (Kaitiaki Youth/ Emerging Generations Ministries) comments:

I’ve been loving connecting with the Youth Pastors and key leaders in our region since starting in my role earlier in the year. We’re seeing more openness and vulnerability in our clusters, youth ministries are working (or looking to work) together more, and I’m excited to see what God is going to do to in and through our young people – watch this space!

I love Baptist people! 

The Regional Leaders and I have a WhatsApp group together – mostly, the conversation is just rubbish. Occasionally they send me through some work stuff – and oh my goodness, they sent through some good stuff last week:

From Chris Chamberlain (Upper South Regional Leader) visiting Chin Immanuel Church in Nelson:

This church will be welcomed into the Baptist Union at National Hui. In the picture below, Pastor Peter Sui Luai is praying for the Baptist family of churches.

Ephesians 3:10 tells us, "His intent was that now, through the Baptist Union of New Zealand, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms."

And then from Reti Ah-Voa (Northern Regional Leader) who spent Sunday with Pastor Dixon Goh and the Deacon’s Group from Remuera Chinese Baptist.

Don’t you just love the diversity in Baptist faith communities. God is good!

Building up to Baptist National Hui

In my National Hui meeting with Catharina Siraa and Mike Crudge we mostly talked around logistics for the pre-hui day.

As I mentioned last week, this is looking so good. Definitely come up a day early for one of these options:

Chaplain’s Day:

This is a special day set aside for Chaplains from across the Baptist movement to gather, to share together, tell stories, pray, discuss issues and receive input directly related to chaplaincy. We’ll laugh together for sure, we may shed tears.

Community Ministries Day:

If you are wanting to develop the community ministries within your church, this year’s Community Ministries Day is not to be missed. The day will provide an opportunity to share about new, growing, and established community ministries that exist within Aotearoa Baptist whānau, and to learn how to take the next step in your community ministries.

Mission Day:

Mission Day is about updates on our mission work, highlights and struggles, global team and project stories, prayer together and creative opportunities to learn from each other and connect with God’s mission in fresh ways. Last year we had a lot to say about a reshaping of our mission as Arotahi. This year we want to talk about progress made over the last 12 months and invite feedback, input and prayer.

Click here for more details. And a reminder that Early Bird Registration closes on 4 September.

Kupu o te wiki | Word of the week

ORANGA | health, wellbeing

He Whakataukī | A Proverb

He oranga ngākau, he pikinga waiora. | A positive and healthy heart will enhance your sense of wellbeing.

Matawhaiaro | Personal

Dear Baptist Whānau

I have told you before how Psalm 91:11-12 are the verses that sit next to my bed (right by my pillow), and they are the widget on the front of my i-phone:

“For he will order his angels to protect you wherever you go. They will hold you up with their hands so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone.”

This week I have been clinging to this remarkable promise of divine protection and care.

The Lord charges his angels with lifting me out of danger, and bringing me deliverance, “They will hold you up with their hands so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone.”

I guess the original hearers would have thought of their deliverance from Egypt. God told his people in Exodus 23, “See, I am sending an angel before you to protect you on your journey and lead you safely to the place I have prepared for you.”  Isaiah tells us, “In his love and mercy he redeemed them. He lifted them up and carried them through all the years.”

Ha, as a leader I need to know that my God is holding me. That despite the circumstances I find myself in, my God is present and intimately engaged in my reality - helping me, protecting me, rescuing me, answering my prayers. And that there is no power out of his control.

Derek Kidner reflects on how Satan tempted Jesus with this verse. He writes, “It was characteristic for the devil to read this promise as an invitation for arrogance. It was characteristic for God, Father and Son, that angelic help was sent when it was most needed, accepted as strength for service and sacrifice, and refused for self-advantage.”

In Psalm 139 we read, “If I ride the wings of the morning, if I dwell by the farthest oceans, even there your hand will guide me, and your strength will support me.”

Stand firm in your faith and be courageous and strong.


Karakia | Prayer

Heavenly Father

I bring before you Baptist leaders, pastors, chaplains, administrators, and overseas workers.

I thank you for each one of them, and for their commitment to loving and serving you will all their heart, soul, mind, and strength. Please pour out your blessings upon them.

God, order your angels to protect them wherever they go. Safeguard them from the attacks of the evil one. Please spare them from the pain of conflict and broken relationship.

May they know how great your faithfulness is and that you love them with an unconditional everlasting love. Whatever the situation they find themselves in today, may they appreciate afresh that nothing can separate them from you.

Provide for their material needs. As their good shepherd supply all the things needed to serve you well – and more.

Give them wisdom, discernment, discipline, and creativity as they go about their work.

Watch over their families and surround them with friends to encourage them in their calling.

Please use us all to bring Gospel renewal to people and places in our local neighbourhoods.

I ask this in the name of Jesus,


Click here for more Charles Mail.

Photos: Supplied by Charles Hewlett

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