Methodist Church of New Zealand


Welcome to the December issue of Touchstone, our last for 2023. Content this month includes comprehensive reporting from the Methodist Church of New Zealand Conference - an online event that involved 200 members of the Connexion zooming in to participate in discussions and decisions that will inform the direction of our church and its mission in the year ahead. I joined church leaders, administration staff and technical support personnel at the Hastings Wesley Community Centre for the five-day Conference duration and witnessed the mostly seamless delivery of  the programme that has been in the planning phase for many months. Along with articles capturing an overview of the programme, committee convenors' reports provide an insight into ministry, mission and work undertaken by our church over the past year.

As we prepare for the joy of the festive season, it is sobering to think of the tragic events occurring in many parts of the world. A statement released on November 14 by the Methodist Church of New Zealand - reprinted in this edition of Touchstone - gives voice to the outrage at the violence being inflicted on innocents and hope for reconciliation and peace.

I wish you every blessing for Christmas. 

Meri Kirihimete, Kilisimasi Fiefia, Manuia le Kerisimasi, Me nomu na marau ni Siganisucu.  Ady Shannon 


  1. Conference 2023 An Overview

    The Covid-19 pandemic taught us many things. Some of those lessons learned have proven to be gamechangers long beyond the impact of ... Read more…
  2. Conference 2023 Comments Worth Sharing

    There were many memorable Conference comments - here we capture just a few of the choice comments, shared online and asides ... Read more…
  3. Conference Highlights

    On arrival at the Quest Hotel in Hastings Rev Tovia was allocated Room 007 - perhaps an inadvertent acknowledgement of his special ... Read more…
  4. Board of Administration

    The dynamic of our Conference was affected by the “venue” being online for most of those in attendance. I have a love hate ... Read more…
  5. Mission Resourcing: A Reflection

    Mission Resourcing is tasked by the Conference to resource the Methodist Church of New Zealand, Te Hāhi Weteriana O Aotearoa. Its ... Read more…
  6. Social Services Report to MCNZ Conference 2023

    The infographics below summarise the work undertaken by the 26 Methodist Alliance members around the motu in the year ending 30 June ... Read more…
  7. Methodist Mission and Ecumenical Report

    Mission and Ecumenical achievements since last Conference have been change worthy as we have sought advice on how to condense our ... Read more…
  8. Chaplains to the Presidential Team Share their Key Conference Takeaways.

    Only a few will know the logistics involved in organising a significantly scaled down Conference. As Chaplains to the Presidential ... Read more…
  9. Methodist Publishing Board Report

    The major decision made by the Methodist Publishing Board (MBP) took over the past year was to produce Touchstone in an electronic ... Read more…
  10. Vice President's Report

    Throughout the past year especially, I have had the incredible privilege and pleasure of consistently witnessing, meeting and even ... Read more…
  11. Elders’ Report to Conference 2023

    Council of Elders members Kuina Matini and Viv Whimster, were thankful for the opportunity to reflect on the life of the 2023 on-line ... Read more…
  12. Law and Order: Conference Reporting 2023

    Since 2022, a committee of Church members, lawyers and experts have been meeting to consider the Church’s process for addressing ... Read more…
  13. Catering Crew Enjoyed Serving the Lord

    Conference catering was overseen by Olive Amani Tanielu who was supported by a huge team – many of whom took annual leave from their ... Read more…
  14. Trinity College Educating and Empowering Students

    Trinity College seeks to provide transformative theological education that empowers students to become transformational and ... Read more…
  15. Auckland Festival of Song 2023

    A statement by Rev David Bush prompted the inauguration of an annual Festival of Song in the Auckland region in 2013. David had made ... Read more…
  16. 800th Anniversary of St. Francis’ Nativity Scene

    This year, to commemorate St. Francis of Assisi’s vision of the nativity scene, an exhibition of ‘100 cribs in the Vatican’ will be ... Read more…
  17. Wesley College A Centre of Learning and Success

    The 2023 year proved to be challenging for Wesley College in light of the Royal Commission and media attention. However, the school, ... Read more…
  18. Surviving the Wilderness Experience

    I have had this particular ‘wilderness’ experience at least once before. I was a young minister at the time serving six small churches ... Read more…
  19. New Brighton Union Parish Share Memories

    Past and present parishioners gathered for a special event of remembrances and dedications on Sunday 12 November at New Brighton Union ... Read more…
  20. Rekindle the Vā of Papatūānuku

    As summer brings outdoor life and activity to Aotearoa, we must remember our responsibilities as stewards of the earth. The Climate ... Read more…
  21. Bethlehem Matters

    At Christmas every year, Christians celebrate an event that took place at Bethlehem, in Palestine, many moons ago. A young woman named ... Read more…
  22. MCNZ Statement on Gaza Israeli situation

    Read more…
  23. WorkSafe’s Whakaari Prosecutions.

    I have been tracking the prosecutions following the 2019 tragedy on Whakaari. I share my thoughts with you because it took me some ... Read more…
  24. Jim's Cartoon

    Our regular cartoon that seeks to find the funny side of faith. Read more…
  25. Opportunity Over Obliteration

    One of the lessons from my first year in my role with UCANZ has been the growing awareness that within the partner churches ... Read more…
  26. Advent – Exercising Our Imagination.

    One of the books I love looking at in my children’s book collection is simply entitled Imagine a Day. It is a companion book to one ... Read more…
  27. Introducing the NZMWF Committee

    The new NZMWF committee have been meeting over the course of this year, planning ways to continuing the purpose of bringing together ... Read more…
  28. Kidz Korna

    St Mark’s kids learn lesson from workers in the vineyard Read more…
  29. Husna’s Story

    Husna’s Story is, in the words of the subtitle, Farid’s account of “My wife, the Christchurch massacre and my journey of forgiveness”. ... Read more…
  30. Share Food this Christmas

    “He has filled the hungry with good things.” Luke 1:53a Read more…
  31. Elephants and People Need Food to Survive

    At the centre of this year’s Christmas Appeal is the story of a brave Sri Lankan farmer. Somawathie supports herself on a tiny plot of ... Read more…
  32. Loop Track

    With days lengthening and summer peeking around the corner, many Kiwis will embrace the outdoors. Bush tracks beckon, with the promise ... Read more…
  33. Archives Wānanga

    In September, I had the privilege of co-hosting an archives wānanga with General Secretary Rev Tara Tautari at the Connexional Office ... Read more…
  34. How Much is a Bird in the Hand Worth?

    It is exactly a century since the Native Bird Society, now the Forest and Bird Society, was formed. At the time of writing this piece ... Read more…
  35. Honour the Lord

    “ENA VUKU NI KA OQO, MO NI REREVAKI JIOVA KA QARAVI KOYA NA YALODINA KEI NA YALODODONU. MO NI BIUTA TANI NA VEIKALOU ERA A QARAVA NA ... Read more…