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Methodist Church of New Zealand

Touchstone May 2023

Welcome to the May online edition of Touchstone where we share news and views from the wider Connexion. 


Aldersgate, Durham Street

Changing Spaces

by Ady Shannon

When the Christchurch earthquakes damaged and destroyed Methodist Church properties, many parishes were presented with an unexpected opportunity to rebuild or redevelop their sites. In this article we share the outcomes of four parishes that rebuilt complexes better suited to the congregations and communities they serve. Each journey was different, and the new buildings provide examples what ‘new church’ can be and how the interface between community and congregation can be bridged in ways that go well beyond Sunday services.

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Awaken Maranga Mai 2023 and a Call to be Inclusive

by Rev Philomeno Kinera

Durham Street Methodist Church, also known as Aldersgate Centre, is an inclusive church located in central Christchurch. In March the church partnered with Diverse Church (Home - Diverse Church NZ) to host Awaken Conference, a special event for LGBTIAQ+ Christians and allies as part of Christchurch Pride Week.

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St John's Community Celebrates Opening of New Extension

by Teresa Manion-Wood

In July 2022, Touchstone featured an article on the redevelopment of the community church on Great Barrier Island. On Sunday 19 March 2023, the community gathered to celebrate the completion of the long-awaited and highly anticipated extension project.

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The weather wheel and the emotions wheel.

Navigating Troubled Times

by TeRito Peyroux-Semu, Vice President

For various reasons, our current social climate seems to have been a lot more blusterous and turbulent than usual, lately. Ensuring that we are connected to as many resources and tools that can assist us as we reflectively and discerningly continue to pave better ways forward, is vital.

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Children and their parents making decorations at a pre-Christmas workshop.

Joint Resourcing

by Rev Siosifa Pole, co-Director Mission Resourcing & Rev Barry Jones

Mission Resourcing and Auckland Synod are jointly supporting outreach at Hobsonville Point, a new housing development on the former Air Force Base.

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by Various

Touchstone welcomes letters from readers.

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Ian Harris

Creation Today

by Ian Harris

The idea of a God with a grand purpose for creation made supreme sense for centuries, and for many it still does. But today there’s another explanation of our origins that’s much more promising for thinking theologically about the world as we know it now.

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Long Bay Beach from the Vaughan Park Retreat Centre.

Not Your Usual Meeting

by Rev Tara Tautari, General Secretary MCNZ

Wānanga is a Māori term that refers to a particular style of meeting and learning environment, a model and process for the acquisition and transfer of knowledge, a meeting of hearts and minds that are willing to explore and discern together. Recently 10 people - each with a kete full of knowledge and experience - came together for a wānanga on the Church’s decade theme on climate justice “Rekindle the Vā of Papatūānuku.”

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Te Hahi Weteriana o Aotearoa Year 1 on Zero Waste

by Siniva Isaia, Climate Justice Working Group

The Climate Justice working group continues to seek knowledge and advice to support Te Hahi as we start our 10-year journey of 2023 - 2033 of Climate Justice. What are you, your household, your congregation your Synod doing to claim justice for our environment?

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Top Tips for Hosting Online Meetings and Events

by Peter Lane

Covid-inspired advances in the adoption of remote presence technology and videoconferencing have the potential to create benefits, but like all technologies, there is also the potential to create significant disadvantages, often due to people trying to do more with the system than it was intended to achieve.

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Income Security & Wealth Distribution

by Carol Barron, Methodist Alliance

In Aotearoa New Zealand, between the 1950s and the 1980s, wealth and income used to be shared more evenly, however this changed dramatically over the following two decades when we had the biggest increase in income inequality in the world.

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NZLPA; Relevant and Enlightening

by Lute Taufalele-Vute, NZLPA

Humbled by the invitation to join the New Zealand Lay Preacher’s Association (NZLPA) Strategic Planning weekend, 10 – 12 February, I wasn’t sure what the weekend would offer. It was an enlightening experience.

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Light Invades the Darkness

by Annabella Third

Annabella reflects on a year that is bringing change and adventure.

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A day in the life of a Youth Worker

by Carol Barron, National Coordinator

Loretta Holland has been working as Supervisor YTH Ōtepoti for eight months and she describes what a day in her life looks like.

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Ruby Manukia-Schaumkel

Vigilance Required to Avoid Being Scammed

by Ruby Manukia Schaumkel

Scammers and robbers are becoming more sophisticated, so we need to be extra vigilant.

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Prayer for Travellers – Mō te Tira Haere

by Rev Keita Hotere

We ask God’s continued guidance and grace to guide us to our destinations and to be returned safely to loved ones.

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Anne Peri presents a bouquet to the Queen.

An Audience with the Queen

by Ady Shannon

We all have cherished memories of significant moments in our childhood; for Anne Peri, a curtsy in front of the new monarch Queen Elizabeth II during her visit to New Zealand in the summer of 1953/1954 was a treasured moment. As a four-year-old, Anne was chosen to present a bouquet of flowers to the Queen at the welcome ceremony for the newly-wed royal couple at Waitangi Treaty grounds on 28 December 1953.

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by Brendan Boughen

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UK Guests Share Learnings with Kiwi Connexions

by Ady Shannon

In late February two Methodist leaders from the United Kingdom visited New Zealand. Deacon Kerry Scarlett, Vice President Designate for the Methodist Church in Britain and Sheila Norris, Partnership Coordinator for Asia and the Pacific for the British Methodist Church, spent time with MCNZ President Peter Taylor during their brief stay in the South Island.

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Augustine 354 – 430 AD

by Rev Abhishek Solomon

Augustine's early life was a moral shipwreck, but prayer brought him to Christ and his philosophy is Christianity's universal gift to society and human psychology.

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A Pilgrimage in the Footsteps of St Paul in Greece and Turkiye 2023

by Rev Christina Morunga

Earlier this year I participated in the Pilgrimage “Greece and Türkiye in the Footsteps of St Paul and other early Christian Leaders” led by Rev John and Dr Jenny Hornblow. The experience was so much more than a tourist visit.

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Children create a thriving garden

by Doreen Lennox

The children at Church Corner Methodist Centre at Riccarton, Christchurch started a small vegetable garden a few years ago and recently displayed some of the produce from it at the Harvest Thanksgiving service.

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Northland Fijian Children Conduct Palm Sunday Service

by Litiana Tukuca

Children from Fijian families living in Ruakaka, Whangarei, Dargaville, Kerikeri, Paihia, Kaikohe and Kaitaia came together to prepare and conduct a special service on Palm Sunday.

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Andrew and Anna lost their home in Cyclone Judy.  Andrew sits outside the makeshift shelter where he is staying until he has rebuilt his home.  His family are living in the VCC Evacuation Centre.

Vanuatu Needs Extra Support

by Gillian Southey CWS

Two cyclones in March affected more than 271,000 people. Donations will help communities repair and upgrade facilities.

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Stand with Refugees

by Gillian Southey CWS

Christian World Service is inviting people to sign up for this year’s Operation Refugee. In a new twist, participants will have 12 hours to do one of three challenges: Food for Life, a Winter Walk or a Shelter Challenge. Participants choose their challenge, and then encourage friends and family to sponsor them or donate to refugees.

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Christ-Figures: There On Our Screens

by Gary Clover

Gary Clover reviews a book by a theological scholar of high repute, holding degrees in Philosophy, Theology, and Literature, a Masters in Australian History, and qualifications in communication, who received “an international award for the quality of his film criticism” in 2021.

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A Women’s Lectionary for the Whole Church: A Multi-Gospel Single-Year Lectionary.

by Lyn Heine

Lyn Heine, is Local Ordained Ministry Probationer at Greymouth Uniting Church, reviews a book written by a Black American theologian, pastor and Hebrew biblical scholar.

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Edwin Cox

Your Worship

by Rev Donald Phillipps

Edwin Thomas Cox 1881 – 1967

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John Laughton and the Māori Church

by Rachel Hurd, Archivist Presbyterian Research Centre

We recently received a collection of material from Te Aka Puaho, the Māori branch of the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand. This material is full of taonga, including minute books relating to the Presbyterian Māori Missions and material relating to the Māori Section of the National Council of Churches. A large part of the material comprises a personal collection relating to the Rev. John Laughton who played a prominent and vital role in the leadership of the Māori Missions and in the development of Te Hīnota Māori, the Presbyterian Māori Synod.

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In-Person Gathering In Brazil Outstanding

by Janice Auva’a

This year Janice Auva’a visited Brazil as part of her Helen Kim Memorial Scholarship journey. She reports on the first in-person gathering of her four-year programme.

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by .

I le fa’ai’ui’uga o le tausaga ua mavae 2022 i galuega fai a Aulotu, Matagaluega, Sinoti ae fa’apea le Ekalesia aoao i ona Komiti eseese, na fa’apena fo’i ona usuia ai le fonotaga fa’ai’u a le Aulotu Samoa i Tokoroa, atoa ai fo’i ma le va’ai atu e le gata i fuafuaga fai o le fa’ai’uga o le tausaga, ae fa’apena fo’i le va’ai mamao atu mo taualumaga mo le Tausaga Fou o muamua, ae fa’apea fo’i ma le lumana’i.

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Wesley College Fijian Students


by Qalo Seniceva


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President-Elect of the New Zealand Methodist Women's Fellowship, Mrs Tiulipe Pope (forefront) with members of the Tongan fellowship executive team, at their Fiefia Night.

New Zealand Methodist Tongan Women's Fellowship Fiefia Night

by .

In Auckland last month, many Tongan women gathered for an evening of celebration and fellowship at the New Zealand Methodist Tongan Women's Fellowship Fiefia Night.

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Dr Suliana Mone 'Alouaivaha (right), one of 5 from within Vahefonua Tonga 'o Aotearoa to graduate with a PHD, with Rev Tevita Finau.

Ikuna Toketā Filōsefa e kupu ‘e toko-nima ‘a e Vahefonua Tonga

by Fai ‘e Felonitesi Manukia

‘I he fakataha ‘o e māhina kuo’osi, na’e loto ‘a e Vahefonua Kakato ke fai ha fakamālō mo e talamonī ki he ngaahi kupu ‘e toko 5 ‘a e Vahefonua Tonga ‘o Aotearoa ne nau ikuna he mala’e ‘o e ako ‘o fakanofo honau faka’ilonga Toketā Filōsefa he faha’ita’u ako ne toki maliu atu.

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