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Thought For The Week 24 February

Welcome to our services of worship today. It’s hard to believe we are at the end of February and this is our first ‘normal’ pattern of services at each site for the year.

Last weekend Catherine and I attended the Alpine Presbytery gathering in Greymouth. These gatherings are held twice yearly and are a mixture of business and resourcing sessions. The key business dealt with was receiving the report and  recommendations from the ongoing review of presbytery, approving the budget and the advancement of stage 1 of the proposal to establish a retreat centre on the site of the now closed Hanmer Springs church. The first steps will be to bring the manse up to date with insulation and refurbishment as well as the construction of 2 small accommodation units. It is hoped a half time position will be created to run the centre as a new mission seedling.

Jordan Redding gave a very engaging talk on what it means to be Presbyterian which was very relevant as many in our church today come from other traditions and often don’t fully understand (or appreciate) our unique approach to governance. I was reminded afresh that leadership is a shared role among elders in our church, not the sole domain of the minister.

Ray Coster spoke on his role as the NZ representative on the World Council of   Churches and their pilgrimage towards justice and peace. He also spoke on his role as White Ribbon ambassador, an organisation that raises awareness of abuse towards women and challenges men to stand up against this abuse. The statistics on rape and violence against women in NZ was disturbing to hear but change comes when the light is shone in the darkness.

This was a thoroughly enjoyable and uplifting gathering. The West Coast hospitality lived up to its reputation! I would encourage you to get to the next gathering in October if you can.

Nga mihi,

Brent Richardson

Categories: Thought for the week