In this column, we discover more about our Baptist whānau, meeting someone in our team of 40,000 each post. This week we are getting to know Alan Jamieson, the General Director of Arotahi.

What is something you think everyone should experience at least once in their life? 

A pilgrimage – maybe a prayer pilgrimage like Ignatius’ spiritual exercises that walk you through the gospels like one of the original disciples. Or a walking pilgrimage like the Camino de Santiago.

If you could be a pro at any one thing, what would it be?

I’d love the gift of being able to speak the heart language of the person in front of me. For example, to be able to jump in a cab anywhere in the world and talk with the driver in their heart language. Or chat with a person on the side of the road in their mother tongue. 

What is a random interest that has completely nothing to do with your study or work? 

Leonard Cohen music.

What is the oddest fact you know?

Northern Australian rainforests are estimated to be 180 million years old.

What is the most boring thing you’ve ever done?

Annual tax return.

What is your favourite way of connecting with God?

Silence – entering God’s first language.

Can you describe a significant moment when you experienced God’s love?

During a long walk to Ormondville on a hot afternoon, I sensed an invitation to trust God in a completely new and life-changing way. 

What is your favourite thing about the neighbourhood where you live?

The Port Hills and the people.

What do you love most about being Baptist?

The trust and respect given to each person to read and interpret scripture as part of the priesthood of all believers. The freedom of conscience given to others, even when they disagree with us.

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