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. This week, it is arriving on a Tuesday because of the Kings Birthday Weekend.

Kawepūrongo

Invercargill Baptist Church represents!

One of the many highlights of the Otago & Southland Baptist Regional Hui was getting to hang out with staff and elders from Invercargill Baptist Church. Congratulations Keith Harrington (lead pastor) on getting so many of the team to attend! 

I wonder if you can beat seven people from your church at your Regional Hui? Moro Bars all round for the church with the most attendees!

Pictured at the back: Jeremy and Charles. Front left to right: Sue, Candice, Lois, Bronwyn, Keith, Lizzie and Ben.

The 2-minute Gospel Challenge

Jennifer McLeod also caught my attention at the Regional Hui – I thought you might be interested. Jennifer (school chaplain and member of Dunedin City Baptist Church) writes: 

A few years ago, I was given a 2-minute Gospel Challenge: explain the gospel in under two minutes using a culturally relevant context. When we think of the gospel, we often think of the judicial metaphor – it's obviously a goodie, Paul uses it in Romans – but here's the challenge: what other everyday situations remind you of the good news of Jesus Christ? How could you use these contexts to share the gospel?

Click here to see Jennifer take up the challenge at last week's regional hui in Owaka. 

Ask your youth leaders about their weekend

Over the long weekend about 350 Baptist youth pastors and leaders met together in Rotorua for the annual 'KB Leaders Training Weekend'. What an extremely important event as we strive to grow our movement young (photo below from last year). 

I asked Ethan Miller (our National Youth Catalyst) how we could pray for Baptist Youth, and here's what he said:

Please pray that we'd see a movement of young people within our Baptist whānau bring about gospel renewal in people and places.

Please also pray that our Baptist movement would grow young, raising up the next generation of leaders.

Upcoming Hui ā Māori 

Firstly, Rangiaruaru Hema is my friend. Secondly, he is the representative of Te Whāriki on Assembly Council

In our catch up on Wednesday he spoke with excitement and anticipation in regard to the Hui ā Māori (July 12–14) in Rotorua. Rangiaruaru is keen to have a good number of Baptist Māori participants engage in the important conversations. 

A role carved out for us

On Thursday evening Alan Jamieson (General Director - Arotahi) and I had dinner together in my favourite little pub in my local village of Ellerslie. 

Arotahi believes that each person has been carved specifically and intricately for God’s purposes in the world. How awesome for New Zealand Baptists to have a team of people who can help us walk wholeheartedly into the role that God has carved out for us in the Missio Dei. Contact the team today!

Celebrating 10 years of The Loyal Workshop

I have known Paul and Sarah Beisly for 20 years now. 

How inspiring to watch them hatch the idea of creating a business in the middle of bustling Kolkata that can bring freedom to those trapped in slavery. To then see them establish the work with locals. And to witness their ongoing love for the leather artisans.

The Loyal Workshop has just celebrated their 10th birthday, and the Beisly family got to return and celebrate with the Loyal family. Congratulations!! 

In this regard, please pray Peter and Leonora's prayer in the prayer section further below.

How the Psalms can inspire Christian worship

Have you enrolled yet in the upcoming Psalms Conference at Carey Baptist College (17-19 July)? 

I reckon it's going to be a very significant time – perhaps the fresh experience of God that every generation needs. This is a great opportunity to learn how the Bible's songbook can transform your worship, discipleship and mission.

Ha, this week in my office I had Nathan Bird, one of the worship leaders (and creative songwriters) from the Baptist church I attend. Click here and hear why he's attending the conference.

Te Pouarataki mō te Hīkoi

From our Treaty Guide

This week, I experienced a renewed sense of how being Baptist is being radical.

On Thursday, I stood alongside some key Baptist leaders to support Māori who led a nationwide action to highlight and honour our commitments to Te Tiriti o Waitangi. We had presence, we prayed and proclaimed the truth of Jesus for Justice.

I am grateful for the work the Baptist churches of New Zealand, our Baptist whaanau, have done over the past 35 five years to inform our affirmation of Te Tiriti.

He honore, he korooria ki te Atua. He maungarongo ki te mata o te whenua. He whakaaro pai ki ngaa taangata katoa. Glory and honour to God. Peace on earth. Compassion and generosity to all of humankind. Mauri ora whaanau.

(from Luke Kaa-Morgan)

Karakia

Peter and Leonora (pictured below) are business entrepreneurs in South Asia who work to empower vulnerable communities facing poverty and exploitation. I invited them to pray for our world.

Heavenly Father

We thank you that your heart beats for all people groups and nations.

That all should have a chance to hear the Good News and come to know you. 

You use ordinary people and call us out of our comfort zones to co-labour with you.

Give us the courage and boldness to let go of our fears and follow where you lead.

Ignite our hearts with your love and compassion, that we will see people how you see them.

Move by your Spirit to awaken us as the people of Aotearoa, New Zealand to hear your call, and go to those whom you have prepared for us to meet. 

In Jesus' name

Amen

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