FloodedDear friends,

On behalf of our friends in the Whakatane parish and their minister Rev Chris Barnard I draw your attention to the needs of the communities who have been badly affected by the floods of last week.

As you will have seen and heard in the news, the town of Edgecumbe was worst effected by the floods and a majority of the town was submerged. Many have still not been allowed back into their houses. The damage will be significant.

EdgecumbeFlooding1AfterI am sure you are wondering how you can help and I am also sure that some of you have already responded with prayer, time and money.

While there are a number of appeals for those affected by the floods, the Whakatane parish are also working hand-in-hand with other churches to help in any way they can. Together they seek to raise funds to assist.

Donations can be made through their trust, ‘Have a Heart,’ and these funds would be available on application.

Can I encourage you to give direct to the Have a Heart Charitable Trust – account number 06 0489 0242960 00 (you can read about the trust on the Charities Services websitehttps://www.register.charities.govt.nz/CharitiesRegister/ViewCharity?accountId=6b853376-0b8b-e411-aef0-00155d0d1916&searchId=c4c7cee7-b2ba-4ce9-b496-434cab1e36dc)

full_file3-1All money donated will be used to give people who really need it a hand up. Small donations of even a  few dollars are most welcome.

Please join me in prayer for those affected by the floods.

In Christ

Richard Dawson

Moderator: Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand



Engage With the World: Easter Hope

Cross1I read a good quote the other day. It goes: ”Everything good is uphill”. It’s true in my experience. No matter what we do, the good stuff costs. It costs time, it costs energy, it costs all the other things that we could be doing which may be more enjoyable for us. Easter is perhaps the ultimate demonstration of the truth of the saying. The very best thing in the universe cost the life of the very best person – Jesus Christ, the son of God.

There’s a kind of “cargo-cult” around the Church these days that insists that it’s God’s job to just give us stuff and that somehow we are all owed the best of everything. Now, I believe God is our provider and I believe that God wants the Church to be a place of abundance, but I don’t believe that God ever just lands us with that abundance because we want it.

As a parent I know that doing something like this for my own children would never have been good for them. Learning the cost of something was always necessary for them to understand the value of anything.

At Easter we’re given the greatest gift of all – time: the gift of a new relationship with God, free, gratis and for nothing. God is ready and willing to engage with anyone who will take God’s word for it. Believe and receive, but this means we must engage. The Gospel is the greatest message of hope in the world. But how can we let the world know in this day and age of incredible apathy and cynicism around Christianity?

The answer begins with the same dynamic that characterises the whole Easter event in the Gospels – we must engage. The Church has arisen from God’s deliberate plan to engage a rebellious and lost world. We need to follow this example and engage the world with the Easter story. Up and down the country churches are preparing to invite their communities to experience Easter by holding walk-through or even drive-through audio-visual experiences of the Easter story. Others are holding special invitational services, and some are trying other

new things that are creative and engaging.

I would love to highlight what you’ve done this Easter, so please record the event and send me some pictures and a description of what you did and how it was received by the wider community. Let us know so we can post something about it on the Church Facebook page. Share with our wider family the hope you are bringing to your community.

He is truly the hope of the world. Let’s help the world to realise this!

God Bless you and yours this Easter.

Richard D.

Mucking In

Just spent the last few days on our Marae Te Maungarongo at Ohope. This is a special place for anyone who identifies with the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand and it is so because it was founded in association with the man who best embodies the missionary heart of Presbyterians in this country J G Laughton.
Laughton started his ministry in Piopio and soon developed a love for the local Maori picking up the language and particularly the tikanga (fundamental value system and customs associated with those values). Laughton then developed a ministry with the great Maori prophet Rua Kenana which though marked by some theological tension led to the establishment of a wonderful Christian community at Maungapohatu. Later, ‘Totally committed to a renaissance of the Maori language, Laughton founded a press, Te Waka Karaitiana. This published journals of the same name, Maori translations of portions of Scripture, and general news of the Christian churches.’
This mission and goal still lies at the heart of Presbyterian tikanga in this country and I would suggest we work towards reviving it within our parishes in whatever way we can.
Check out http://www.teara.govt.nz/…/biograp…/4l4/laughton-john-george