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

What a week!

I am so encouraged by the new life I am seeing within our Baptist family of churches at the moment. There are so many good things going on it is impossible to keep up! I give thanks to God for you all and the hard work you are doing to make the future different. Here's just a sample of things:

New Chair of Baptist Women New Zealand

Firstly, I am so excited to let you know that Tanya Lameta has been appointed by Baptist Women New Zealand as their new Chair. Tanya co-pastors Hosanna Lighthouse Baptist Church with her husband. She is the Pasifika Students Learning Advisor at Carey Baptist College

Tanya is excited about taking on the role and is looking forward to helping women thrive in the Baptist movement.

1st year Pastoral Leadership Students

It doesn't get much better than this. On Wednesday morning Karen and I got to hang out with Jonny Weir and Sam Kilpatrick and the 1st year Pastoral Leadership Students at Carey Baptist College. What an awesome cohort (look at how many women are in the photo below) - no wonder I am excited about the future!

New pastoral appointments

Then there's the new life that comes with the appointments of new pastors. Just last Sunday - Matt Sharpe commissioned to Titirangi Baptist Church (top left), Tom Gower to Linwood Baptist Church (top right), Suz Holmes and Martyn Barrett as co-pastors to Manukau City Baptist Church (bottom left). And bottom right is Alicia Elder at her commissioning in December to Musselburgh Baptist Church.

A chat with Arotahi

How cool for me to walk right into the middle of the Arotahi Staff Retreat! And then to be invited to sit down and have a chat (photo below). We laughed about ways we might encourage Baptist faith communities to sign up for Renew Together. 

Arotahi has been running its annual appeal for global missions since 1885. This year, a beautiful leather coaster, made by a leather artisan at the Loyal workshop in Kolkata, will be gifted to each youth and adult taking part as a reminder of the place of hospitality and generosity in the mission life of the book of Acts. 

Click here for more details about Renew Together and to register your church

Child Protection Policy Training

A massive thank you to the 180 people who were present for the online Child Protection (Under 18) Policy Training on Tuesday evening. This was the first of two online safety training webinars hosted by Ethan Miller and presented by Franklin Baptist Church member Shane Harris of ChildMatters (photo below).

All our churches need to be taking up this opportunity to be trained and proactive in the vital area of safety for the children and young people in our midst. If no one from your church attended last week, please get someone to join the 100 people already signed up for the next opportunity on May 1 from 10-12 noon. Sign up here.

Praying with our President

What an awesome President we have in Susan Osborne! Last week she called in for our regular chat, and a time of prayer together (picture here in my office). 

Thank you Susan for travelling the country looking to spend time encouraging us in our ministry and mission. You are a real gift from God!

How you can support youth preparing for Easter Camp

So many of our churches are working hard to ensure their young people get to one of our Easter Camps. I bumped into Blue Bradley (Northern Easter Camp Director) last week and asked him how things were going, and how Baptist whānau could support youth as they prepare. Watch this video and be inspired to do your best baking!

Associating in our regions

And then there were the 35 pastors who turned up at Rotorua for the Bay of Plenty Cluster last week! The level of associating in this region is exciting. Thanks Peter Foster and your team for leading us so well. 

And I can't forget the Upper South Baptist Association Executive who have been retreating together last week at Glenroy Lodge Baptist Camp - 70 kilometers south-west of Christchurch. I asked Chris Chamberlain for one of his highlights, "Great unity of passion to see our Association flourish in tandem with national vision." I love this! 

Prayer at the National Support Centre

Each morning at 9am a bell is rung at the National Support Centre calling staff to prayer. We pray for Baptist pastors, chaplains, overseas workers, and that our churches might thrive (see photo below).

As I write the above stories, I feel God is answering our prayers. 

Te Rongopai 

Gospel Renewal

Look out for two resources to help you and your faith community in bringing Gospel Renewal:

1. From Carey Baptist College's Centre for Lifelong Learning comes a series of webinars called Mission in a secular society: Adding voices to the conversation, lead by Paul Windsor. In this series you will hear from voices in the Bible, the church in pre-Christendom times, and the Majority World, to help us engage in the challenge of mission in Aotearoa-New Zealand.

There are 3 webinars, and they start at 1pm on Wednesday 27 March. 

Click here for more information and to register

2.  Do take time to sit down and read Alan Jamieson's article, New Zealand Baptists and Global MissionClick here to read.

Te Pouarataki mō te Hīkoi

From our Treaty Guide

Recently my daughter Jordyn performed a summer concert in our home town of Whaaingaroa, Raglan, to her Tainui Aawhiro whaanau and the wider crowd. She was joined by Eugene and Hope Fuimaono (from our Baptist whaanau) and together with their friends they wowed the town with their melodies, music and talent (see photo below).

They have been active in the work of reclamation of te reo Maaori and their message of justice and truth has been formed in our local Baptist church whaanau and at our theological college, Carey. This paapaa is proud of her reach and access to our people bringing light and hope. As a direct result, I have access to meaningful koorero with a new community of people with Te Rongopai and Gospel renewal informing these conversations and relationships. Korooria ki te Atua. (From Luke Kaa-Morgan)

Matawhaiaro

Last week, Karen Warner (Leadership Communication Director) clocked over 13-years working at the National Support Centre. We love Karen - she is an important part of our team. I invited her to write the personal comments for today's Charles Mail.

Karen (pictured centre) shares three hacks for avoiding burnout from Carey Nieuwhof, a pastor, author and leadership expert who spoke at a conference in Auckland last week.

Dear Baptist Whānau 

I have a practice of using my drive into work as a time for talking to God about the things for which I’m thankful. If you’re a Baptist pastor or leader this morning one of those things was you! It’s been a privilege to work for you for the past 13 years, but I’ve observed over that time that ministry can be tough. I wonder if you can relate to any of these Barna stats:

> 82% of senior executives say they leave work feeling emotionally and physically exhausted.

> 40% of pastors are at risk of burnout, and 70% of adults in their 20s and 30s say they are experiencing some level of burnout.

So, how can we start living at a more sustainable pace? Here are three top tips from Carey Nieuwhof.

  1. Stop just managing time. We all get the same amount of hours in the day but not all of them feel equal or produce equally. We’re likely to have 3-5 energy hours. Times when we’re mentally at our best. I wonder when are yours? The aim is to do what you are best at when you’re at your best.
  2. Start managing your energy. Set priorities and use your best energy time for the things that are most important.
  3. Refuse to let your priorities get hijacked. Decide how you will spend your time before others decide it for you. Block out time in your diary for your top priorities – those ‘important but not urgent’ things that you have trouble getting to. And make sure it’s in your best energy hours.

Living at a sustainable pace means living in a way today that will help you thrive tomorrow.

Kia kaha, e hoa,

Karen 

Karakia

This week we invite hospital chaplain Joe Gray to lead us in prayer. 

Joe's season as a chaplain came to a close last week. A former pastor, he's been working for the Interchurch Council for Hospital Chaplaincy in New Plymouth, and as Regional Manager caring for and managing hospital chaplains in the lower North Island.

Thank you Joe for many years of faithful service.

He honore, he kororia, Almighty God, full of Compassion.

We bring before you this week the many hundreds of Chaplains who serve you and the people of Aotearoa, in the Hospitals, Rest Homes, Schools, Universities, Prisons, Sporting & Defense Force Arenas, and at the various Community Events.

May Your presence through them bring the fragrance of Christ to our people and quench their thirst.

May Your Spirit vitalise them in service and sustain them as they give out to others.

Empower our Chaplains to bring their gifts of empathy and care to our needy people, who need light, life and hope.

And as they plant seeds of the gospel, bring Your harvest in.

Ake, ake, ake, Amen.

 

Photos supplied by Charles Hewlett

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