GCI Update
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NZ Conference

This update is from mission developer Rod Matthews.

This summer, a conference for the GCI ministry in New Zealand was held near Wellington. It has been two years since the group met, so everyone appreciated and enjoyed this one.

Pastoral Director, Dennis Richards wisely chose to use the occasion as a time when the ministers could share their experiences and skills acquired over the years. He opened the conference discussing “Shepherds of the Flock.” Rotorua pastor, Peter Lindop, spoke on “Asking Appropriate Questions,” a valuable topic drawing on his experience as a hospital chaplain. Wellington elder, Louis Smith kept everyone enthralled with “Porirua – It’s Amazing!”, bringing out principles of community outreach based on his lengthy experience in community service in this multi-cultural city near Wellington. After an interactive discussion focused on pastoral questions and experiences, everyone left refreshed and encouraged by the fellowship and learning.

Participants were given the book The Years Before Waitangi by Patricia Bawden. It traces the origins of Christianity in New Zealand, which included the account of the first Christian service ever held there, conducted by Samuel Marsden in 1814. The 200th anniversary will be celebrated widely in the churches across the country in 2014. Patricia Bawden is an acquaintance of our New Zealand church board member, Gael McInnes – both are in the New Zealand Christian Writers’ Guild.