Organisation logo

Methodist Church of New Zealand

Touchstone October 2022

Kia ora and welcome to the October edition of Touchstone

This month we touch on a number of key recent issues, commemorations and events including crimes committed by young offenders, 50 years since the Te Reo Māori petition was presented to Parliament, and the passing of Queen Elizabeth II. Each topic will likely elicit a range of emotions from our readers; should we be providing more resources to break the cycle of poverty and hopelessness that so often leads to youth offending? Or is the problem in the breakdown of the traditional family unit? We invite comment from a youth worker and a family values organisation who express different views regarding the reason for the offending and possible solutions.

Keita Hotere shares the story of Hana Te Hemara, a te reo Māori and Māori rights activist, who was instrumental in ensuring te reo is now recognised as one of two official languages in Aotearoa. We have come a long way in 50 years and there is much to celebrate. However, as evidenced by the furore over Whittaker’s releasing their milk chocolate bar in te reo branded packaging to celebrate Māori Language Week, there is still work to be done to realise Hana’s vision. Sharing the history of our country and our people is a powerful way of celebrating and advancing our bi-cultural journey.

Our relationship with monarchy is an integral part of that history, and the Queen's death has generated many emotions, memories and responses. President Rev Andrew Doubleday reflects on how this will affect us as Church and country. And Enid Ellis, a volunteer in Archives, recalls the day she got a fleeting view of royalty.

David Hanna, Director Wesley Community Action, knows a lot about governance and in this edition he discusses how organisations might benefit from a change in doing ‘business as usual’. Michael Lemanu considers the challenges facing the church and makes a powerful plea for MCNZ to draw on the talents of our youth now, rather than seeing them as a resource for the church's future. As Michael says, “These people are young. They are ready. They are not the future of the church. They are the here and now. “

Peter Lane talks technology with a particular focus on Church Management Systems, and Rev David Bush reports on his visit to Germany to attend a steering committee meeting for the coming WMC.

I hope you enjoy the read and I welcome your feedback.

Ngā mihi nui

Ady Shannon


The end of an era

by .

This month we touch on a number of key recent issues, commemorations and events including the passing of Queen Elizabeth II.

Visit this article

Addressing Youth Crime: Time for Response not Reaction

by .Aaron Hendry

Aaron Hendry, Youth Worker, rangatahi advocate and social justice commentator argues that the ‘tough on crime’ rhetoric fails because it continues to ignore the underlying issues that contribute to crime in the first place.

Visit this article
Youth in Cuffs

Addressing Youth Crime in Aotearoa

by Family First staff writer

With an increase in ram raids – many committed by young people - and media focus on youth crime in general, Touchstone invited a frontline youth worker and a spokesperson from Family First to comment on the issue. The following articles come from two very different perspectives and understanding of family, community and faith.

Visit this article
Spring of Living Water Housing Project

Work Begins on Housing Project

by Ady Shannon

On Saturday 17 September representatives from local government, Methodist Church of NZ, Wesley Community Action and other organisations came together to celebrate the start of a community housing project that will see 12 new houses available for social housing in Flaxmere, Hastings on land owned by the Methodist Church of NZ Hastings Samoan Parish.

Visit this article
Valerie Cuneen (left) and Mary-Helen Goldsworthy (right) received recognition for their musical talents at a recent celebration at Glen Eden Methodist Church.

Glen Eden Methodist Church Honours Two Dedicated Musicians

by Doreen Sunman

On Sunday 28 August Glen Eden Methodist Church celebrated the contribution of two musicians with flowers and morning tea. Doreen Sunman shares the background on how the talented pair came to be close friends and blessed congregations and communities with their talents.

Visit this article
Rev Andrew Doubleday

The Queen is dead. Long live the King.

by President Andrew Doubeday

For many of us the news of the death of Queen Elizabeth II wasn’t a surprise, after all she was 96. Nevertheless it came as a shock.

Visit this article

Conceptualizing Resources

by Rev Siosifa Pole, Director Mission Resourcing

Locating and identifying concepts in a particular context is very helpful in creating resources for ministry.

Visit this article
Ian Harris

Interpreting the Bible

by Ian Harris

In two areas of public discourse these days it is quite acceptable to be both opinionated and ignorant: politics and religion.

Visit this article


by .

Touchstone welcomes feedback from readers.

Visit this article
A coronation mug, handed out to primary school children in 1953.

Her late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

by Enid Ellis

Many of us do not recall a time before Queen Elizabeth was monarch. One of our Archives volunteers, Enid Ellis, however, found that the death of Her Majesty brought some memories to the surface.

Visit this article
David Hanna, Director Wesley Community Action

Stable governance to support radical change

by David Hanna, Director Wesley Community Action

Rethinking our governance model so it honours Te Tiriti and promotes equity.

Visit this article

Working to reduce material hardship

by Carol Barron, Methodist Alliance National Coordinator

Our benefit rates are so low compared to the cost of living, that many of our tamariki are living in material hardship.

Visit this article
Peter Lane

Church Management Systems

by Peter Lane

Breeze, Wild Apricot, Toucan Tech and Infoodle are examples of the names chosen by the developers of Church Management Systems or ChMS. This type of software is enjoying a revival as similar programmes have been around for about as long as programmers have been involved in churches. However, the current ChMS solutions are leveraging the commercial sector success of CMS solutions – Customer (or Client or Constituent) Management Systems

Visit this article
Rev Alipate Livani led a worship service that involved members of congregations from the Hamilton parish and other guests. Image supplied

Service of Transition

by Catherine Dickie

Sunday 28 August 2022 was a special day for the members of Hamilton East Methodist Parish; the day marked the end of English language services in the little Wesley Church on Heaphy Terrace. The occasion was full of joy and celebration.

Visit this article

A Movement on the Move

by Rev Geraldine Coats

At the beginning of July most of the UCANZ congregations went through the exercise of ‘changing partners’. Sounds like a dance, doesn’t it? However, it is not quite that, though in my way of thinking, it should be! I have always thought of myself as a dancer - not that I am a trained dancer but in the sense that I react to most music in that way. Music inspires me to move to its rhythm and beat.

Visit this article

God’s Involvement in Our Lives

by Rev Peter Taylor

One of the more knotty problems facing Christians is: does God get involved in our lives and, if so, in what ways?

Visit this article

Compassion is the Face of Christ

by Rev Dr Susan Thompson

A couple of months ago I went to a lecture by Professor Richard Egan from Otago University on the importance of spiritual care in healthcare. Apparently models of healthcare are moving away from a focus on the purely physical to become more holistic. There’s a greater recognition that wellbeing needs to include people’s physical, emotional, social and spiritual needs.

Visit this article
Ruby Manukia-Schaumkel

Constitutional Changes and Law of Succession

by Ruby Manukia-Schaumkel, Legal Advisor

On the death of Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Charles automatically became the King of New Zealand under the law of succession.

Visit this article
The PNMSS foodbank well stocked with supplies. 

Exciting changes for PNMSS

by .Rik TeTau

Rik TeTau, the new GM for PNMSS, reports on changes at PNMSS as his team works to support the ever-changing – and increasing - needs of their community.

Visit this article
Hana Te Hemara mural done by Mr G.

I am Hana

by Keita Hotere

Te Reo Māori and Māori rights advocate, and founding member of Ngā Tamatoa, Hana Te Hemara (Te Atiawa, Ngāti Raukawa, Ngāi Tahu) was celebrated during Māori Language Week in Ngāmotu, New Plymouth.

Visit this article
Talie, second from right, with her family

News from Methodist Women's Fellowship

by Janice Auva’a-Walters & Lautaliepaia- Arieta Aumua (Tale)

This month Janice Auva’a-Walters reports on the Helen Kim Memorial Scholarship 2022 and we introduce Lautaliepaia- Arieta Aumua, better known as Talie.

Visit this article


by .

Members of the Connexion join in prayer as we lead up to Conference 2022.

Visit this article

Hymnwriters Downunder

by Alan Upson

Hymnwriters Downunder – Methodists sing the praise of God in Aotearoa New Zealand a new book by retired Methodist minister Rev Dr Terry Wall, will be launched at the MCNZ Conference Wesley Historical Society AGM and dinner on Friday 18 November. Alan Upson previews the upcoming edition.

Visit this article

World Methodist Council Steering Committee Meet

by Rev David Bush

Rev David Bush recently travelled to Germany to attend a meeting of the steering committee for the WMC. He reports on the meeting and the ‘new normal’ experience of travelling internationally.

Visit this article
Youth Leaders at TYC 2022

Challenging the Narrative

by Michael Lemanu, Tauiwi Children, Youth and Family Ministries - National Coordinator

As a person who works in the area of children, youth and young adults, I have regularly heard of the reality of we being a declining, aging church and without the necessary skillsets or capacities to take the church into a future that ensures its survival. I acknowledge the challenges are real, and pressing. Many of our churches are struggling – financially, communally and spiritually – due to a number of different factors from within and from outside of the church walls.

Visit this article

Kidz Korna

by Doreen Lennox

Welcome to Kidz Korna

Visit this article
Asinate has been a member of Ama Takiloa 'a Fafine for eight years, encouraging her community to plant more food and be ready for the next disaster. 

A lack of topsoil is slowing Tongan recovery

by CWS

Christian World Service partner, the Tonga Community Development Trust, has established a new programme to assist families affected by the eruption of Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai in January.

Visit this article
Beru, a father of six children, worked as a casual labourer in Sindh province. His family is living on a small piece of dry land next to the road after massive flooding uprooted millions of Pakistanis from their homes.

Pakistan People Need More Support

by CWS

Christian World Service is appealing for Pakistan after torrential monsoon rains flooded one third of the country. The government says 6.4 million people are in dire need of humanitarian assistance.

Visit this article

Muru: A film review

by Dr Steve Taylor

Understanding the history of Aotearoa requires tracing a whakapapa or lineage of state violence. The invasion of Parihaka in 1881 and the shooting of two Māori at Maungapōhatu in 1916 continue to reverberate through our history.

Visit this article

Review: Still Lives – A Memoir of Gaza

by David Bush

Looking for a comfortable read? Then don’t pick this book! Marilyn Garson, an experienced aid professional, worked in Cambodia and Afghanistan, and then in 2011 was invited to travel from her Hokianga Harbour home to Gaza.

Visit this article
Progressing the Journey

Progressing the Journey. Lyrics and Liturgies for the Conscious Church

by David Poultney

Visit this article
The image shows the header of a hymn sheet from the United Memorial Service held in Mosgiel on 2 February 1901.

Victoria the Good: The Passing of a Queen

by Rachel Hurd, Archivist Presbyterian Research Centre

In a 19th century communion roll from Crathie Church near Balmoral in Scotland, one of the names listed is given simply as “Victoria”, with her occupation noted as “Queen”. Beside the following dates are crosses marking her attendance at Communion.

Visit this article
Rev JB Watkin

Grasp Their Hands In Union

by Rev Donald Phillipps

Jabez Bunting Watkin was born in Tonga in 1837, grew up as a small child at Waikouaiti and was educated at the new Wesleyan school in Auckland. Afterwards he lived with his brother James in Wellington, then in Christchurch where for four years he was a local preacher. He moved to Australia and in 1863 entered the ministry within the Queensland Conference. In 1866 he went to Fiji and finally returned to Tonga where he spent the rest of his long ministry.

Visit this article
Sinoti Samoa


by Faiese Brewster and Juanita Salevao, Youth Leaders for Itumalo Aukilani

“Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity”. 1Timothy4:12

Visit this article
Dr Tuwere celebrating his 80th birthday at Meadowlands Church.

A Tribute to Rev Dr Ilaitia Sevati Tuwere

by .

Rev Dr Ilaitia Sevati Tuwere was born on 8 March 1940 to Jese Ulacake and Ekari Balenamatau in the village of Bagata, Wailevu, Fiji. As is customary he was named after elders of his village; a father and a son who served as Catechists. He was the youngest of four siblings and was raised by his mother and his maternal uncles in her village of Vunivesi, Wailevu, Fiji.

Visit this article

Lava lelei ‘a e Uike Lea Faka-Tonga

by Felonitesi Manukia

Kuo lava lelei ‘a hono fakakakato mo hono ma’alali ‘ e Uike Lea Faka-Tonga pe ko e Tongan Language Week ‘i Aotearoa.

Visit this article