Lots of things have happened since 1 August 2015. The nature of pastoral ministry is that whenever you think you have it all sorted and get into some sort of routine - something changes or happens that changes the flow. I guess it is the nature of the human condition and being part of an organisation that desires to put people first. We can be very unpredictable!
As per other years it has been a busy year and I would not have expected any less than that. If we want to endeavour to be a church that is serious about seeing lost people come into the kingdom then it will always be busy but very satisfying when you see a person make positive steps towards God.
Our staff team has been great to work with. It is awesome to be part of the team that ‘gets it’. In other words they know why we do what we do and all of us want to see Gods Kingdom grow - we realise that it is probably one life at a time - but we are happy with that. One person said to me at the beginning of the year you have a dream team - and I did not disagree. New members to the team this year - Neil Pendleton (Associate Pastor) and Jocelyn Foster (Youth and Administration). I have enjoyed seeing them take their roles on and make some wonderful headway in the ministries that they head up.
We farewelled from our team Glenys Hughes. Glenys was our office administrator and had done that task for many years. Retirement called her and she took up that opportunity at the end of 2015. I thank Glenys for her efforts, hard work, compassion and her ability to make people feel welcome and connected. As a staff member she was a huge blessing to our church.
We have new members on our Oversight team and farewelled Pip Adam (her and Bill have gone to work with Barnabas Fund in Cyprus). Our Oversight consists of Brian Phipps, Roy Ormiston, Colin Hughes and Alan Cairns. We are slowly finding our feet as a new team and I look forward to working with this team on future strategy, corporate values and achieving our God given mission.
This year (since October 2015) we had approximately 22 people leave our church because they moved town and I know that as I write there are a number of others looking to make a move for various reasons to other regions of NZ. We only see a very few people leave us and go to other churches in our town - but we do see a reasonably regular amount of people move geographically. This can be tough going at times because their presence with us positively effects our ministries and other things. But it does seem to be the way it is in provincial NZ – It means we have to continue to make the call for people to serve and take their places and also open new opportunities. I hope that those of you that remain can hear that call. For us to see our mission of seeing people come to Christ come to pass we need more than just our staff and current ministries working hard. We are all in it together.
I want to say thank you to everyone who is part of a church ministry and /or serves in our church. You guys are sensational - and please never under estimate the importance of what you do. I hope and pray in the next year or so you will see more positive outcomes from the work that you do. We acknowledge - Small group leaders, Mainly Music, Iconz, Youth, Kidzone, Jezreel, Craft Group, Evergreens, Music teams, Welcome team, Men’s bowls, Men’s breakfast, Images of Easter, Ladies events, Youth alive, money counters, Lawn mowers, gardeners, mechanics, people who tidy up, people who make a mess (for the Kingdom that is), coffee makers, kitchen cleaners, statistic keepers, and more … what an amazing community. Lets keep it up as we face a new year with new challenges but with the same mission
2015/16 –Highlights (and some disappointments)
Baptisms this year – This has not been good. I am not happy that in the first 9 months of 2016 we have had no baptisms. We are working on this and this has to change. Looking and praying into this.
Our ministry teams - you guys are awesome. Thank you so much for all that you do. We have a set amount of time and it is such a delight to see that you want to use some of your time to help people hear about the gospel. For all that you do we give you three cheers. Thank you.
Sad to see so many people for various reasons having to move from our town
Finances – We still have a mortgage to pay and it is a big one. But the money given this year when we had a financial campaign was able to put a little over $100,000 straight off our mortgage which was fantastic. Thank you to everyone who contributed to that. Your generosity is overwhelming.
We endeavoured to have a few more social events this year - Lunches after church have gone well. Men’s night with Ian Foster - was a good event, Men’s breakfast, Family movie night. We are going to look at doing more this year.
Sunday Prayer meeting has been championed by Brian and Anne Phipps. They have diligently come to our church at 7pm every Sunday. God can do a lot with the prayers of one person - but having lots of people coming together creates this momentum that can encourage further passion and faith and that is something that I desire to see continue to grow amongst us. We have run two ‘Long Story Short’ programmes and have had some really good responses from that programme. We plan to do more of these in the coming year.
Our prayer chain has been taking up the battle of the front line. Thank you to Betty Martin and Bronwyn Beukes (left for Christchurch in April) who have stepped down from overseeing this ministry after many years. We thank you both for all that you have done. This ministry has been picked up by Iain and Pat Foxall and prayer requests can be sent to the church office or to email@example.com.
Images of Easter and our Christmas float was ‘top shelf’ stuff. We have some amazing creative people in our midst and it is fantastic that they can use their gifts to show case the gospel. The hard thing for those who put a lot of effort into these creative expressions was the lack of people that actually came to view—especially Images of Easter. The whole reason for these events is to give opportunities where we church people can invite non church people to these events and maybe a discussion around spiritual things might eventuate. The effort put into is huge but the return is not what we would have liked.
I have no doubt missed a whole pile of things - sorry about that - these are just a few things that have come to my mind as I write.
Should we be working towards lowering the average age of our church? What needs to happen for that?
Hoping that “Night Church” has an impact and is another avenue and opportunity for those who do not attend a church to look at maybe giving it a go.
What needs to happen for us to better reflect the ethnic demographic of our town?
Plus a whole lot more ………
Thank you for all your support and all your positive words of encouragement. It is appreciated by Jocelyn and I. From April 2017 through to July 2017 I will be on sabbatical leave . Entitlement of sabbatical leave is written into my ‘terms of call.’ I have prepared a plan of what I will be doing with the Oversight Team. For those that are wondering this break away is not because of burn out or lack of motivation. It is a time of rest, refocus, building on the energy and vision that I already have and to come back with a renewed sense of vigour and action. Looking forward to the year to come – it is going to be a good one.
I am writing this two months shy of being here a year as Associate Pastor. So far its been quite a ride and a lot of fun too! I have loved all those new relationships which being part of WBC involves. I have valued the chance to develop my preaching and enjoy the privilege of being part of the Pastoral care that happens through WBC. My theological study continues as a distance student at Carey Baptist College; last semesters paper was Pastoral Care, and I am currently studying Christology.
For this year only Noah, Autumn and Lily are all attending the same school; Apanui, which has been awesome; its pretty cute to see them all wearing the same uniform and really handy for the school run. Becky completes her Early Childhood Education degree this year after three years of demanding study and juggling family, work, and study responsibilities. Her academic grades are excellent which means she is now officially smarter than me. This has been no suprise to anyone else but has involved a transitionary period of mourning for me. I am very proud of her and the kids.
This year I presided over my first funeral; the family cat Ruby. I wasn't very good at it as I was too emotional. You may want to bear this in mind when making advanced directives.
This year I have been involved in facilitating a number of groups; the What About group, the thursday night Long Story Short, and a small group learning skills and supporting each other to manage anxiety. We have also extended the McBible group from fortnightly to weekly.
Its been awesome to be part of peoples journeys in each of these groups; to see growth and development. The magic happens when we come together with our different gifts, our different aspects of God's revelation and journey together; growing and maturing in our faith and as a whanau.
Thankyou to everyone who has been involved in these groups. I look forward to continuing this, and there are a few options for this next year. Watch this space.
This year we have had 13 small groups / bible study groups attended by about 120 individual people. Some of these are well established ongoing groups, some are short term with a specific focus.
These small groups provide people with another opportunity to come together to study Gods word, share what God is doing in their lives and support each other in prayer. They provide opportunities to socialise and are the front line of care and pastoral support for church members. Well done to all who attend any of these groups and particularly to those who make extra commitment in hosting, organising, or preparing studies. 'You da bomb' (Trans; You are highly esteemed in my eyes).
If you would like to be part of a small group or feel you would like to host one please speak to me or leave your details with the office.
For those who require further support than a small group provides we have an amazing group of pastoral care visitors. They continue to visit and have phone contact with those undergoing illness, times of crisis, or who are on the periphery of church connection for whatever reason. Sometimes this care is expressed through a food parcel, a chat, sometimes prayer and scripture or making connections. In addition to this Peter and I are often available to visit, or meet at church with people for Korero, Karakia, and Kaputi (Discussion, prayer, cup of tea / coffee). To access pastoral care support for yourself or others please contact myself, a Pastoral care visitor or the Office.
Thank-you to Bev London, Bev Kloppenberg, Karen and Jeff Winterson, Paul Morgan, and Joc Styles for their ongoing ministering to us as a church family. Thank-you also to Pauline Patterson for her phone ministry and Gerry and Annie Naidoo who have been connecting with some of our Church whanau who are rest home residents.
A big thanks to small groups and their leaders who also provide excellent care and support. Thankyou to all those who minister below the radar by keeping an eye out for the vulnerable and expressing the love of God through small, or large expressions of kindness and a smile.
Neil Pendleton - Associate Pastor
It has been a blessing and pleasure to lead and support the Welcome team over the past year. The team provides a warm and friendly welcome, information and assistance to our congregation and visitors to our church. It is always a delight to get to know the new people and families and observe their integration into our church family.
Over the past year Pauline and John Patterson decided to pursue other ministries in the church, whilst Sean and Julie Kerslake will be leaving the team later in the year – A huge thankyou is extended to them all - their smiles and hugs will be missed by the team and the congregation. Ken and Diane Brown and Terry and Heidi Allison have joined the team so we look forward to have them on board. The completion of the information pamphlets and the newcomer’s welcome pack have been an awesome tool for the team to use when assisting new members assimilate into Whakatane Baptist Church
The team have met regularly to fellowship, encourage and support each other in Welcome Team ministry.
We would love to have a chat to you if you would like to join the team. It is always great to welcome new Information, Reception and Greeters to the team. If you would like to know more about what we do please come over and have a chat.
Blessings Mike and Sandy Naude, Jenny Mahoney and the Welcome Team
Joy Ministries...a Christian ministry (interdenominational) working with people with an intellectual disability. Under the auspices of “Elevate Disability trust NZ”
Here in Whakatane, our JM group continues, with10- 12 regulars. We have seen another new person start up coming. Which is always great. We also have contact with some of the family members and those ones are showing some interest, in other church activities. The JM members remember things we are teaching them and above all, they remember that God loves them.
We are continuing looking at a series of “Heroes of the Faith”. Each week we add our “hero, to our hero banner, that we have hanging up, in the JM room.
We continue to sponsor a deaf boy, Mark, from a Christian special needs school in the Philippines. We encourage our members, to bring along $2 each session, to help with his schooling.
The JM group, love coming to church events...pot luck lunches, fun nights etc and their families and IDEA services are very supportive. So JM becomes a ministry to more, than just the people who actually come along.
We always hope that we will get more IHC people along to JM. Who come along each week to JM, depends alot on which carer is on duty at the time, as most of our members come from IHC residential homes. If that did happen, we would need more leaders and a bigger room!!!
A highlight this year, was going to the National JM camp, which is held every 2 years. It is so good getting together with other JM’rs.
Thanks again to all you church folk, who take the time to talk to and interact with the JM’rs on a Sunday morning, or when you see them out and about. As Jesus said in Matthew 25:40...”When you did it to these my brothers, you were doing it to me.”
Members Received in: 8
Members Transferred Out: 0
Members Resigned: 1
Total Members 123
Attendance Figures: Weekly Average
Children Adults Teens Total
2012 40 198 14 252
2013 39 183 13 235
2014 44 175 14 233
2015 40 178 16 234
2016 40 177 16 233
We are grateful for our team of library volunteers who assist borrowers on Sunday, and for those who give their time helping with other tasks. Additional volunteers are most welcome. We want to thank everyone who has borrowed resources, making our efforts meaningful.
This year the Book of the week bookmarks and TV screen notices extended to DVDs, Christian blogs, Science boxes (a great family activity), and Pod casts. We are changing the frequency of these to monthly, but past laminated bookmarks will be displayed for those wanting a recommended resource. The best way to promote life-changing books is by word of mouth so we rely on you to share with others, when you’ve been enriched by a resource.
Recently we received a flood of wonderful near-new books from Wanda (Loekie’s collection), Ruth and Graham Ockwell and other donors. These include numerous Max Lucado titles. Your generous gifts will enrich lives. Thank you! Any donations of quality Children’s DVDs / books in very good condition would also be welcomed.
It was a joy to add My Story, the autobiography of one of our own church family, into the library. Joan and Peter Adams now live in Rotorua.
Thanks to our skilled craftsmen we have a new children’s and youth section – the half-sized shelves alongside the main library by the crèche doors. We plan to encourage more borrowing of these books, especially by the youth.
The display library, in the cafe area, is for DVDs, CDs and newly processed books relating to current issues. It also houses the screen, bar-coder and library cards, which are stored in two boxes near the screen. For
newcomers, instant temporary cards are available on
If you have children or grandchildren, reading with them is a great way of bonding and pouring truth into their lives. If you have never used the library, please prayerfully consider its treasures that can encourage, inspire, teach and help you. Our resources cover countless issues – including finding and nurturing true love, exploring faith, raising children, everyday work, loneliness, eating disorders, healing and mission challenges.
The most used resources are still Autobiographies, Fiction and Children’s books. Francine River’s titles are particularly sought after. Angel in the Rubble, Denis Shuker’s books, and the DVD War Room were checked out frequently.
Our Women’s Movie night was well attended and the DVD - War Room, met with a very positive response. We plan to show the DVD Risen, in the future. Our Kid’s movie night (playing Inside Out) was hopefully the first of more to come.
As with every ministry we need prayer as we yearn to see lives transformed.
Ruth Corbett and Claire Hagan
Men’s Bowls is a group of men that meet in the robust area of the church every Monday at 1pm (except for Christmas/January holidays of approximately four weeks).
Non-church men can feel comfortable and enjoy themselves and the company. Over the year our supportive team has welcomed new players and made them feel very welcome.
Our thanks to Graham Ockwell for giving us a bowling mat and a set of bowls.
Our koha remains unchanged at $2.00 a week which covers a cup of tea or coffee and biscuit/s.
So far this year Men’s Bowls have been able to donate $665.00 towards the church’s mortgage repayments from their surplus funds.
We've had another great year of mainly music. Our weekly programme on Thursday mornings consists of a 30 minute interactive music session for pre-schoolers and their caregivers, , followed by morning tea and a play time.
It's been a privilege for us to be the link between Jesus and young families in our community - many of whom would never otherwise step into a church building. Our purpose is to make Jesus visible - through our lives, words, actions and prayers and to build relationships with these families.
On average we have between 45 to 55 children and their caregivers attending each week.
mainly music is put together each week by an amazingly dedicated team of volunteers. Each person performs a valuable task - whether that be setting up the auditorium, welcoming people as they arrive, working in the kitchen, operating the data projector or sound desk, spending time getting alongside the families, leading the session upfront, moving the chairs in the auditorium back after the session, following up with families during the week or taking care of the administration. A huge thank you to each one of you. Sadly, we have farewelled a number of the team this year. Special mention needs to be made of Judy Laine who has been part of mainly music for over 13 years. Judy has done an amazing job of taking care of our finances and working the data projector, and is now enjoying her retirement. We are very grateful for her faithfulness to mainly music.
Some of our highlights this past year have been-
A really well attended Fathers Day Fun Night - where we provided dinner, had some games and then a mainly music session.
Celebrating Christmas and then Easter with our families
A large number of our mums came to the Women's Gingerbread House night prior to Christmas
Baby Animals in Spring Theme Day (with lots of baby farm animals visiting us for the morning and a Transport Theme Day ( where the children were taken for rides in a trap behind a pony)
An inaugural Grandparents Day where families brought along their grandparents or surrogates to join in with our session. A local rest home also joined in the fun.
There are many ways you can be involved in mainly music providing baking for our morning teas, or frozen meals for families in need of some extra care joining our team - we'd love to have you on board!
praying for this ministry as we have the opportunity to impact so many families in our community with the message of God's love
Thanks for your support
Jenny Cairns ( on behalf of the team)
We are still seeking the future shape that God has for us as our leaders get older. Ruby Duncan’s visit (Baptist Ministries) was helpful – exploring the possibility of a new shape for our ministry in the future.
Our programs continue with Individual Goal Setting, Discipleship, The Gathering, Life Skills, Children’s Access visits and Foodbank. We assist with the practical needs of those who come for food, housing, someone to talk to, where we are able.
Some highlights of this year have been, seeing a marriage being slowly restored, a family of 6 gaining a new home totally furnished and equipped by generous donations. A women referred to us by the courts slowly rebuilding her life and her faith. A family with children bit by bit restored and reunited. Women discovering for the first time, a God who is good and who loves them regardless of where they have been.
We have enjoyed together, fishing trips, an outing to the redwoods canopy walk, a session with Vicki Seamark on affordable fashion, two garage sales and being involved with the Sunshine Rotary art expo which was amazing.
Also 2 of us attending Jubilee Conference on wellbeing and PTSD which was good training, and “Women on the front line” conference which I would highly recommend as incredibly faith building. We are looking forward to Liberty’s Women’s Conference in August. We also financed one women to Living Waters.
In the meantime, needs continue to increase in our community, families struggling to put food on the table, families and individuals looking in vain for affordable housing and living in cars or someone else’s settee.
WINZ tightened criteria, which may be necessary in view of our welfare debt, but Is leaving many without money through no fault of their own. If you have nothing to pay rent, power or food for the week, where do you go?
We have a woman helping us with the second stage program – we make slow progress due to unskilled / semi-skilled jobs being hard to find and most training courses requiring student loans which provide less weekly money than already stretched WINZ benefits, and so are not an option for some.
Perhaps all of this simply pointing out the fact that human provision cannot ultimately meet our needs.
Some needs that you may be able to assist with:
Storage space needed for furniture items donated. It is so sad to have to say no to these because of lack of storage, when we know one of our ladies will need them in a couple of months.
Someone willing to sit beside some of our women as they get some practical driving practice prior to the test in order to better access work.
Food items, non-perishable items, also meat to help increasing numbers seeking help.
Prayer – more and more we are aware of our own inadequacy to meet the needs around us, both practical and spiritual. Please continue to lift us and our community up to our Father who loves and blesses us so much in spite of ourselves.
Thank you again to Sheree, our patient and willing administrator, to the Trust and those who support us with donated items, and finance, without which we would not function.
We have had a wide diversity of guest speakers and entertainment over the last 12 months. I think the chocolate tasting was probably the highlight.
We have been pleased to support Jezreel, but this year we are not having a concert so hopefully we will have a surplus at the end of the year to help them with a donation at Christmas time.
There are three more months already organized to take us up to the end of our year when we will have an early Christmas Party with the Ukulele club leading us in a Christmas sing along.
As usual I would like to thank Tina Bockman who unfailingly organizes our morning tea. Also thank you to the people who have stepped up to support me along this journey.
The Evergreens Group has struggled this year with low attendance at times especially in the colder months. Plus some of our members have either passed on or moved away.
I have really enjoyed my time as coordinator of this group over the past four years and hope that there is someone out there who would like to continue this program as it is time for me to give it up.
Lynette Cooper. Coordinator
"Sharing our faith through handicrafts"
We have been running for three years and going from strength to strength. Our group has grown over the last few months and average numbers are 10-13 with several from outside the church community which is good news. This just goes to show how other folk & other groups have an influence as some of our new friends got to know about us through others in the church.
We have a lot of fun using our creative skills learning a new craft, helping one another with their projects, and enjoying one another’s company. Over the last 12 months, our sessions have included Christmas tree angels, hurricane lamps, photo canvases, paper hyacinths and cross bookmarks (which were made into a display for Images of Easter). We even transformed rat traps into fridge magnet memo holders!
In February we went to visit a lady in Otakiri who makes life size paper maché figures of animals & people. She was celebrating a special birthday so we took her a cake and had a delicious afternoon tea with her.
In June eight of us went to Golden Pond and helped the residents mount photographs onto canvases. The staff had previously organised a photo shoot session with them. They were very excited to learn what they were to make with them & were telling us stories of who they would be presenting them to. We ended with a prayer & blessing, giving out Bible texts.
New members always welcome
About 6 years ago I was guided to visit a motorcamp at Hawai to contact the Tongans staying there. God worked and the manager said he was just wondering if there was a Padre somewhere for them. There are two intakes—Summer for 4 months and Winter for 6 months. They work in Kiwifruit Orchards. There are usually 35-50 men. Now they are in a motorcamp near Opotiki where I live. Some are here for the first time in NZ and some have returned for up to 5 years. I visit when they first come and contact those I now know through the friends they have made. I look out, with God’s guidance, for those who are spiritually open. To those I offer to lend a DVD player and supply Tongan Christian songs on CD Then I add Tongan gospel testimony and preaching. Currently I am supplying 6 cabins. Sometimes I am asked for a CD to play in their vans for going to work.
I offer those who are open a free Tongan Bible (usually costing $33.50) if they complete a small Tongan Bible Study Q&A booklet. With that I get weekly Bible reading notes from Radio Tonga in simplified English based on Word for Today. Currently the Church has been printing out these to help me with printer costs. It is usually 6-7 copies but for the last three months it has been 16 copies. This is the most ever. A lot have gone home so now it is 7 copies plus one new contact last week.
After the initial 3-4 weeks I try to get these new contacts together with the previous ones to join with me one night for a little meeting. Usually I get only 3-6. After a few weeks I have a salvation presentation at which those who are not clear about being born again make a commitment . Currently three have and I am sure the Lord has given them an assurance of salvation and they know it. Another man came last week who prayed with me last year and is very clear that Christ has truly come into his life. He is sharing his Bible with someone else I have not even met. He is the son of a pastor as is one of the other three. Another man accepted Christ too. God spoke to him—he does not come. Pray for him.
In the meeting we do memory verses and learn the books of the Bible. Although they go to church every week in Tonga they do not have a clue where to find references. I teach them basics. Sometimes they are too cold and tired to meet.
Some come to church with me but to do so they have to sign up before they come that they will not work on Sunday. The lose a days pay if they come. Pray for them.
Two folk in the church have given me a guitar for them to play to help us sing—a demonstration of answers to prayer to them. Pray for me. I feel I am getting a bit old and it is getting more of an effort. I wonder how much longer I can do it.
Iconz is all about helping grow young boys into great young men and having fun along the way. Boys need action, adventure and fun, but most importantly they need to hear what God says about living his way, and the difference that Jesus can make shaping them to be all that God intended them to be.
We are running both groups together this year and have been getting up to all sorts of fun, including wharf jumping, surfing, bush tramps, scavenger hunts, beach bonfires, fireworks, porridge wars, down-hill go-karting, freeze-over camps, rock climbing, bush safety, science challenges and many others.
Special trusted friendships have been built with the boys and their families, with a large portion of the boys coming from non-church families. It is an exciting chance to share Jesus with them.
The Iconz leadership team consists of Wayne Nelson, Neil Pendleton and Keith Hamill. Jono Everett and Toby Smith help lead and assist with activities on the night. Frank and Claire have also been a big part of helping with various activities - a special highlight was their Science Challenge nights. We are thankful for this leadership team that values the vision of Iconz and the impact that this ministry can have on the boys and their families. They are a great team and do a fantastic job.
Thanks to Esther for looking after our administration and finances. She has done an excellent job. And thanks to Peter Foster, Lou Nelson and Joss Foster for their support.
A special highlight has been seeing a number of Iconz Xtreme boys from last year, moving through and getting involved in our Baptist Youth Group this year. It's exciting to see them continuing to explore God in their lives. In addition to this, we have also had some of our Iconz Dads come along to both of our Long Story Short groups, to explore what the Bible is really all about.
Thanks for all your prayers and support.
ICONZ Adventure and Xtreme Team Leader
It has been really exciting being a part of 180 Youth this year. We started this year with a bang with Easter Camp being week 6 of the 1st Term! We had 52 Youth plus 6 leaders attend, plus Lou Nelson as our camp worker. This is an absolute highlight for the teenagers each year. Easter Camp is a powerful tool for our Youth Group and has a massive impact on the lives of our teenagers. We had 6 young people make firm commitments for Christ which was super exciting and a real privilege to be a part of. Many others were able to connect with God in a very real way over this weekend. This year we have focused on our youth becoming lifelong followers of Jesus Christ so while we haven't as yet had baptisms we have a number on a focused journey in their relationship with God. A massive thanks to the team of leaders—Matt Fox, Zac Searle, Simon Koloofai, Jordan Fretwell, Ethan Probert, Lou Pryde, Malaika Samuels and more recently Caleb and Kayley Foster. These guys do a fantastic job each and every Wednesday and play a very valuable role in the lives of the small groups they run. I also want to say thanks to Faye and Chris Garrood who have come each Wednesday and organized supper. Thanks everyone for your ongoing commitment and dedication to our young people—you do all make a significant difference.
The bunch of Year 7’s & 8’s we get to hang out with each Sunday morning are a load of fun.
We, a bunch of supportive parents, count it a privilege to be leading Youth Alive, walking alongside and partnering with other parents in teaching our young people more about God, His love for us, and His purpose for our lives.
We have an average attendance of 6 tweens, and if you’ve seen us meeting together, it’s pretty much organised chaos! But hey, it’s great – we have lots of giggles, laughs, fun, lollies, games and of course heaps of learning about God, reading the Bible and working through the Wild Truth Bible Lessons material by Mark Oestreicher which provides a two year learning programme.
Getting inside the minds of these Tweens (our future leaders) is such an experience. It’s exciting to learn how they tick and what they understand, to discover what their opinions are, to see the shy ones come out of their shells, to hear them read the Bible and pray for each other…., oh the list could go on.
Please pray for us, as leaders and the kids! This is such a critical age - remembering that by the age of 14, kids have generally worked out what “road” they are going to take in life. For this group, that age is only 12–18 months away… reality check!
The Team @ Youth Alive
Lance & Adaleen Jamieson; Shelly Moloney; Rod & Esther Stephenson
We thank God for another fab year!
We continue to see God at work in our lives and in the lives of our children and their families, by the power of His Holy Spirit. Our purpose is to see children and their families become active life-long followers of Jesus - being hearers and doers of His Word. It is a privilege to be involved in the discipling process… children, teenagers and adults all discipling each other as co-disciples.
Our focus has been on continuing to build strong relationships within our small groups, providing parents with the opportunity to get to know God, strengthen their relationship with Him, to encourage spiritual formation in the home.
Our biggest highlights for the year include our strong small groups and leadership team, having new families, special services including Christmas, Father’s Day and Mother’s Day, Easter art, family picnics and fun events, Kidzone Disco and involvement with the Light Party.
Our Tots 0-3 year olds continue to have fun exploring God through play and building trusted relationships with other adults and children. It is lovely to see friendships growing. The children are enjoying their space and some new toys.
A very big thank to Abigail Kolo’ofa’i, who has just finished coordinating our Tots, and Lyn Cooper for being a huge support behind the scenes for our Tots. Other fantastic leaders include Toni and Caleb Houlbrooke, Natalie Gibson, Lulu Kriel, Kerryn Tissingh, Debbie Chapman, Jess Newman, Fleur Baxter, Simon Kolo’ofa’i, Lariska Gallagher, Ruth Corbett and other helpers. We really appreciate all you do, building trust in God in the lives of our youngest children.
In Juniors our 3-5 year olds continue to enjoy their own space and have been encountering more of God through the Tru Blessings and Walking with Jesus series each week. The children enjoy responding to God actively. The children have grown in different ways including praying out loud.
A very big thank you to Caroline Surman, who coordinates our Juniors group, and the fantastic team of leaders, Michelle Ungerer, Krystian Bockman, Tessa Winship, Fleur Baxter, Debbie Chapman, Brenda Cook and other supporters. We are thankful for the life-changing difference you make.
In Kidzone our primary-aged children have continued to focus on God’s Big Story and how Jesus is at the centre, and how we also have a part to play. They have also spent time on a special God Loved series leading up to Easter that focussed on John 3:16 (God Loved, God Gave, We Believe, We Receive, We Shine and We Show) and God is Compassionate, and Self-Denial. The sessions include a Small Group and Large Group time each week. The kids continue to explore creative ways to personally respond to God.
I am very thankful to have an extremely dedicated support group, consisting of Rachel King, Carolyn Hamill and Claire Hagan who are instrumental in the weekly planning and resourcing of Kidzone. Rachel continues to do a brilliant job adapting our Curriculum to suit the needs of our children. And a big thank you to our fantastic Kidzone leadership team for your amazing commitment to serving our children every week… Rachel King, Carolyn and Keith Hamill, Elinor Mulhane, Eleanor Kerslake, Jono Everett, Josh Smith, Taylor Cole, Neil Pendleton, James Standen, Jack Nelson, Kendal Ormiston, David Beukes, Hannah Mulhane, Rebekah Cook, Dani Cairns, Sarah Futter, Rachael Steiner-Hooker, Lauren Beukes, Keeley Owen-Cooper, Briain Dixon, Sarah Standen, Zoey Stephenson, Chloe Jamieson, Jadon Probert, Caleb Nelson and Riley Lamb. Sadly, a number of our key leaders have moved away over the past year for work, school or university. We have been blessed to have a new bunch of fantastic younger leaders join our team.
Alpha and Long Story Short
In addition I loved helping facilitate an Alpha Course for our Women’s group last year, where a number of woman made significant faith steps (including Claire Hagan who was baptised J). And this year helping facilitate a Long Story Short Course for parents to explore more about what the Bible is really all about, with their families. A huge thank you to Karen and Geoff Winterson, Moira and Jim Reid, and Tina Bockman who have helped serve our families. We couldn’t do it without them. And an incredible thanks to Glen Hughes who runs the mum’s mid-week Bible study group.
Leader and Parent Meets
I also love facilitating the LeaderZone Meetings which includes leadership training and team building for our adult and teen Kidzone leaders, and facilitating ParentZone Meetings for parents to explore ideas together on how to build faith in their families.
We would like to continue to build more bridges between our Mainly Music and Iconz families, and the wider community, and continue to nurture the families that are already connected with us.
It is wonderful to see friendships growing between children and their families and others in our faith community. I love hearing of adults adopting children and vice versa! It’s what it’s all about – it’s where spiritual parenting and spiritual grand parenting happens.
We would love your continued prayer for our children, their parents and families, and our leadership team in our faith community and beyond. We would love your help with leadership of our small groups, and special events. You can make an eternal difference to the spiritual formation of a child. Never underestimate what you can offer co-disciples of all ages. Thank you for all your support of this Ministry.
Although it is not without its share of challenges, it is a privilege to be in this role and have the opportunity to encourage children and families to grow closer to God and live out their faith.
Children’s and Families Ministry Leader
John 13:34-35 New Century Version (NCV34 “I give you a new command: Love each other. You must love each other as I have loved you. 35 All people will know that you are my followers if you love each other.”
We commenced the year with 8 on the roll. 3 reached 4 years of age with 1 of them going into Juenior Tots Group and 5 still receiving birthday cards.
2 new babies were born this year both named Grace.
1 new almost 2 year old was enrolled on the last day of our Church year making our total 6.
I am now stepping down from the Cradle Roll Convenor and this will be included in Lou Nelsons role as
Children’s and Families Ministry Leader
Eileen F Bamford
Cradle Roll Convenor
I have sent 3 packages of stamps to Auckland for BMF this year. These are sold to collectors to raise vital funds for overseas missionary work. Please keep them coming in as stamps are becoming more scarce now with social media taking over. They will also accept new stamps. Do not cut them off the envelope but tear them off leaving a good sized margin. If you place them in the receptacle at the church reception I will empty periodically. Julie Mallen
The Trust has met regularly throughout the year. Our main focus has been to obtain funding for Jezreel. During the year we have received total grants of $32680.00, But ,ore than that in helping Jezreel we are supporting a vital ministry of our church -reaching into our wider community. The Jezreel team are fantastic in what they are doing and giving to this ministry.
This year we said farewell to one of our trustees – Jenny Pearson after 10plus years on the trust has stepped down. We thank Jenny for her commitment and we will miss her abilities and skills.
Our current Trustees are myself, Jenny Pearson and Neil Pendleton - we are looking at adding another one for the year to come.
We thank Sheree Pask for all the effort she does completing funding applications and accountability reports. She does a wonderful job.
We continue to look towards whatelse we can do as a trust. We desire to serve our community the best way we can.
On Behalf of the Trust