The passing of same-sex marriage legislation in 2013 has created an ongoing issue within the Baptist Churches of New Zealand. In response, our movement has indicated that churches and pastors should not act as host or celebrant in same-sex marriage ceremonies.
The 2013 Baptist Assembly, in affirming its position on same-sex marriage, sanctioned the setting up of a working party to consider the matter further. This involves weighing issues of local church autonomy in tension with participating together in a cooperative movement of churches.
Last year NZ Herald journalist Paul Charman found the Auckland Baptist Tabernacle’s website and contacted the Tab asking if it was possible to have a downtown CBD Bible study group.
Pastor Lyndon Drake’s response was to start one up. “For about three months the group was me and Paul. It felt like a bit of a slow start!” says Lyndon.
Over the past year Kerikeri Baptist Church has seen big changes to its church property. Gone is the old fibrolite cottage which was the original meeting place and in its place a substantial extension to the existing hall. The extension designed by architect and church member, Victor Wilmar, will be officially opened on Sunday March 16 at a 10am Thanksgiving service with a lunch to follow. All are welcome to attend, especially previous members and Ministers of the church. For further information, please contact Pastors Stu Angus or Brian Bullen.
Craig Vernall, National Leader for the Baptist Churches of New Zealand, delivered the address at the Waitangi Day Ecumenical Service on February 6. He is believed to be the first Baptist to speak at this event. The following is an abridged version of what he said. (Photos courtesy of Jay Matenga Wood, Pioneers NZ)
There are 246 Baptist churches in New Zealand. We are a mainline evangelical movement of churches. We occupy grand buildings on Queen Street [Auckland] and shop fronts. We have churches in provincial towns, cafés and any old pub that’s run out of beer.
While some students will be getting ready to join their mates partying back on campus, a group of school leavers and returning students will be making other preparations leading up to uni orientation. More than 100 will gather at El Rancho in Waikanae February 10-14, to dig into the Word and enjoy the final days of summer together.
Keith Newman, author of Bible & Treaty and Beyond Betrayal was a keynote speaker at last November’s Baptist Gathering in Auckland. The following is based on the various presentations he gave.
By Keith Newman
Over this year the Christian church has a unique opportunity to reflect on how it will respond to the commemoration of two nation-shaping events, the 200th anniversary of the first Christian sermon and 175 years since the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi.
While some maintain that New Zealand is no longer a Christian nation, or perhaps never was, the reality is that many of our foundational stories, including those surrounding the Treaty, are profoundly Christian.
Through writing about the Maori prophet T.W. Ratana and the interconnected stories of missionary and Maori in Bible & Treaty (Penguin 2010) and Beyond Betrayal (Penguin 2013), I was left wondering why such rich local church history has been so badly neglected.
Culture is like a vat of dye. We get soaked in it as children and it permeates every part of us. We don't even know it's happening, Iosis Family Solutions CEO Ruby Duncan told Gathering delegates.
Iosis is one of the families ministry of the NZ Baptist Union, based in South Auckland, and Ruby's message was that we can't escape our cultural upbringing
Most of us are now familiar with CERA—the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority—but perhaps SCIRT is an acronym we may not know.
Yet it is SCIRT—the Stronger Christchurch Infrastructure Rebuild Team—that has the crucial job of rebuilding the city's public "horizontal" infrastructure (water, sewerage, drainage and roading) in the wake of the earthquakes. What's more, the man in charge of SCIRT is a Baptist, Duncan Gibb.
Stand Against Slavery (SAS), an organisation targeting the evils of modern slavery, was launched at this year’s Baptist Gathering with the unanimous endorsement of the Mission Council of NZBMS and the Assembly Council of the Baptist Union. This new independent entity is to be headed by Peter Mihaere, who is standing down from his position as General Director of NZBMS to take on the new role.
Under the new structure of decentralising resources to the regions, the following were appointed as Regional Mission Leaders: Paul Edlin (Wellington), Paul Askin (Canterbury-Westland), Derek Pyle (Otago-Southland), Brian Krum (Northern), Alan Hollis (Top of the South), Mike Walker ( Waikato), Peter Foster (Bay of Plenty).
New fully registered Baptist ministers (pictured on stage above) acknowledged at The Gathering were: Jeremy Adams (Papanui), David Bosma (Kaiapoi), Viv Coleman (Eastview), Nigel Cottle (Auckland Association), Alan Davey (Morrinsville), Jeremy Denmead (Welcome Bay), Geoff Dixon (Hokowhitu), Dixon Goh (Remuera Chinese), Royce Goldsworthy (Wainuiomata) . . .
Brian Kenning, pastor at Invercargill Central, is President of the Baptist Union of NZ and NZ Baptist Missionary Society for 2014.
He introduced himself to Gathering delegates by quoting from a new Bible translation, The Voice: "Here I am a grace-made man privileged to be an echo of His voice and a preacher to all nations of the riches of the Annointed One." (Ephesians 3:8 )
Baptist Churches of NZ are working closely with the Asia Pacific Baptist Federation with updates and prayers for the disaster in the Philippines brought about by typhoon Haiyan. If you would like to give a financial donation please direct it to:
Account Name: Asia Pacific Baptist Federation
Bank: National Australia Bank
Account Number: ASBAFUSDO1
SWIFT CODE: NATAAU3302S
Please consider prayerfully and sacrificially the situation in the Philippines.
Russell Baptist Church, in the Bay of Islands, has finally got its own home.
In April the Russell Methodist Church celebrated its centenary. And then closed its doors. Russell Baptist was keen to tender for the building, but were told there could be as many as 12 other tenders.
"In the end we were the only tender. I really believe God had set this building aside for us," says Russell Baptist pastor Miles Frankum.
The heritage values of a cluster of well known character buildings in Ponsonby have been recognised by the country's lead heritage agency.
The NZ Historic Places Trust has registered the Ponsonby Baptist Church complex as a Category 1 historic place, identifying it as a place of outstanding heritage significance.
"Most people will probably recognise the impressive main Baptist church building, with its classical and Italianate architectural influences, on the corner of Jervois Road and Seymour Street—but it's not actually the original church building," says the NZ Historic Places Trust's Heritage Adviser Registration, Martin Jones.
Helping build a multi-cultural community is one of the main aims of the new Ormiston Community Baptist Church, in Auckland's rapidly growing Flat Bush area.
The church, led by former Tranzsend missionaries Steve and Lyn Davis, held its first official service at Ormiston College on Sunday September 8. The couple have a background in multi cultural ministry and have spent the past six months conducting a survey of community needs, holding home groups, church planting workshops and church services at the skateboard park.
By Wendy & Timothy Weusten
Seeing a community flourish is wonderful. Seeing it come together after earthquakes is heart-warming. But seeing it transformed is exciting. Although we arenít at the transforming stage yet, opportunities have arisen and seeds have certainly been planted.
By Fritha Tagg | Waihi Leader, 26 September 2013 Issue
Waihi Baptist Church is celebrating 110 years in Waihi and is looking at the different eras it has been in existence. The church started back in 1901 when two services were held each Sunday in the Foresters' Hall in Upper Haszard Street. By September 1903 the church was 'constituted' with a foundation membership of 27. In 1904 the church acquired its own property, purchasing the Miners Union Hall which was at Waitekauri and moving it to a site in Seddon Street. After renovations and alterations, it was opened Sunday December 4, 1904. This is the building which is now the Waihi Art Market.
The opening services of the Waihi Baptist Church in its new premises were conducted by the Rev. William Perry. Present day pastor of the Waihi Baptist Church, Tim Palmer, said the celebrations this year will be carried out over four weeks.
With 900 people attending Liberty Christian Church’s Kingdom Come conference in June, it is just as well the West Auckland church has an auditorium that can seat 1200.
As one of the biggest Baptist churches in the country, Liberty is ideally suited for staging conferences and has been doing so now for about four years. But Kingdom Come was by far the biggest. The three day, four night conference was all about teaching how to release the power of God’s healing into people’s lives.
Growing Auckland teenagers in their leadership skills and their faith was the purpose behind the recent
“Grow Night” held at Carey Baptist College. Seeing them inspired and given tools to help them serve and lead others was our clear focus for the night. The night was a partnership between the Northern Baptist Association Youth Coaches and Carey Baptist College. It was in response to our vision to input and grow our Year 11, 12 and 13 students who are currently serving in our churches or who may be in the future. These young people have so much to give and want to be involved in our children’s/intermediate and other ministry areas.The night was a huge success. It began with moving tables out of the dining room and grabbing extra chairs from the lecture rooms as young people keep on arriving and packing out the room. We had youth from all points of the compass including churches in the North (Orewa Baptist), South (Franklin Baptist), East (Eastgate Baptist) and West (Titirangi Baptist). About 25 different churches had young people attending. Close to 200 people attended.
Baptist churches on Auckland’s North Shore are getting in Sync. Sync is the coming together of four Baptist churches – Northgate, Albany, Windsor Park, and Belmont – to better equip congregation members wherever they are at in their faith journey.
Sync works on the idea that churches are better together, and that God’s Kingdom is far bigger than any one church. In some ways, it is the complete opposite to what has been the tradition in Baptist church thinking – that the autonomy of each church must be paramount.
The Gathering 2014
13-16 November, Waitangi (Copthorne Hotel).
Bicentenary of the Proclamation of the Gospel in Aotearoa New Zealand
Oihi Point Northland
23 December | Civic Event
25 December | Christmas Day Service