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