Catharina Siraa is a member of Royal Oak Baptist Church and is the Administration Advisor at the Baptist National Support Centre. She is overseeing our National Hui this year. 

Wow! We have some great people in our New Zealand Baptist whānau. You probably already know that which is why I’m sure that you are probably already registered to join us at National Hui in November… Baptists Shaping Our Future. Not registered? Registrations are open until 10 October and more information can be found at hui.baptist.nz . Anyone from Baptist churches are welcome to attend and every local church has a set number of voting delegates – don’t be limited by this though. Even if your church has 2 voting delegates, there is no reason why your church can’t send ten or more people to the Hui!

Today I was looking at the nominations page on the Hui website. As I was scrolling through the list of nominees for our Assembly Council, our Mission Council, our Carey Baptist College Board, and our Baptist Women’s Board… well, I wanted to introduce you to a few of the great people there.

If you are coming to National Hui as a voting delegate can I encourage you to take time to read the nominee profiles and pray about who you might vote for at Hui, in fact, please considering sharing these decisions with your local church leadership team and even wider with your church members. This is an important part of us seeking to discern the mind of Christ together.

President

The President has a valuable role to play as a representative of our movement. They participate at a governance level on Assembly Council and Mission Council. As they visit regions around the country they encourage and exhort our pastors and support the ministry of our Union of churches through encouragement and prayer.

Susan Osborne has been nominated for President by Assembly Council. Susan says “I see this as another opportunity to serve the Baptists of New Zealand and I will bring a strong cross cultural emphasis in any contribution I can make.

Assembly Council have nominated Susan because “We see her leadership capability and commitment that has been exhibited over many years.”

Want to find out more about Susan?

Assembly Council

Our Assembly Council acts in a governance role and is responsible for establishing policies and practices consistent with both the determinations of the annual Assembly of the churches (our National Hui each November) and in between Assembly/Hui, for the wellbeing of our movement of faith communities and churches. Want to know who is currently on Assembly Council?

When I talked to Kerry Brewerton (current Chair of Assembly Council) in July about what kind of people we need to serve on Assembly Council (listen here) he said “It is important to us that we have good representation around the table. In the same way that we would want to construct an elder board that is representative of the church, we want to have an Assembly Council that is representative across our movement.” Kerry also suggested that we “…need to look past the stereotypes of pastors or people who are currently in leadership roles in our churches because right across our movement we have many people in our churches who are in leadership roles in the community, who are good at governance, who carry skills in legal and financial areas, and who are natural leaders.

I’m pleased to say that you (our 240 faith communities) did look around your congregations and together you nominated nine people for Assembly Council. These nominations have a mix of genders, ethnicities, and skills. There are pastors and lay people, and they are all people passionate about the gospel and governance. They span the generations and have depths of leadership experience across a range of sectors. This year, when you are reading the nominee profiles, you will be able to see an overview of what each nominee’s strengths are.

We have five vacancies for Assembly Council that we will be voting for at National Hui in November.

Although you’ll have to go and read their full profiles yourself, I wanted to give you an idea of some of the things that these nominees could bring to the table. Rāwiri has Ngāti Kahungunu ki te Wairoa whakapapa and served in Pastoral ministry for two decades in Baptist churches before going into senior leadership in a social services organisation. Ravanetta is a Gen-Z Samoan woman who is currently working as a court victim advisor while also serving in her local church. Kerry is a pastor with a management and finance background. Sarah has experience in cross cultural mission and is passionate about gospel renewal. Andrew has been a pastor for almost three decades and wants to see local churches flourishing. Das has been a pastor in a multi-cultural context for more than fifteen years. Rachelle’s work has focused on disability and rehabilitation, and she wants to partner with people of diverse faith perspectives and experiences. Josh has a background in youth work and pastoral ministry and now works with several social enterprises. Greg has worked in public service and in pastoral ministry, while also building extensive networks with Christian, Baptist and Māori organisations across Aotearoa. These are your nominees for Assembly Council… what a great bunch!

Mission Council

Mission Council supports and helps to guide the work of Arotahi (our global mission arm), they are the encouragers and inspirers of hand–carved mission across our Baptist whānau. There are a number of members standing for re-election, and one new member standing for election. Kelly Enright at Arotahi said “We are proud of the different skills and identities that are represented on our Council and are thankful for those who are committing to stand again in this season of change and stepping into the new.”

Want to find out more about Arotahi?

Carey Baptist College Board

The Carey Board is responsible for governance of our theological College. This board needs members that will help the College align its life and programmes with its mission and strategic plan.

This year the Carey Baptist College Board has three members standing for re-election and there are 3 spaces available. Nominees need 33% of delegate votes to be elected.

Want to find out more about Carey Baptist College?

Baptist Women’s Board

The Baptist Women’s Board is passionate about seeing women grow in leadership skills and about changing structures so that women have equal opportunities to serve in their calling on a local church and national level. The board does not have a set number of members, and nominees require 33% of delegate votes to be elected

Five women from around the county have been nominated for the Women’s Board this year. Tanya and Roi Nu are based in Auckland, Robyn and Jane in Christchurch, and Jan in Tauranga. These women are passionate about seeing women thrive in the places God puts them.

Want to find out more about Baptist Women New Zealand?.

Thank you

Thank you to these members of our New Zealand Baptist whānau who have put up their hand to be willing to serve in these ways. We appreciate you.

Register for Hui before 10 October

And remember, if you would like your church to exercise its vote and participate in discerning the mind of Christ for the New Zealand Baptists at this time, please send delegates to Hui to vote and join in on the ‘Big bite’ conversations helping to shape our future. You can register for National Hui before 10 October.

Photo credit: Photos as supplied by nominees.

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