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Methodist Church of New Zealand

Touchstone June 2023

Welcome to the June edition of Touchstone. Thank you for taking time to read about issues of importance to the wider Connexion. I hope you enjoy the articles.


Snip from Touchstone March 2015

The Future Of Touchstone Lies With Our Readers.

by Ady Shannon

This June edition of Touchstone is the last one produced and posted to parishes free-of-charge. Increasing printing and postage costs, diminishing returns on investments and a commitment by MCNZ to embrace initiatives that meet our 10-year plan to reduce, reuse and recycle as we aim for zero waste, contributed to a decision made at Conference 2022 to see Touchstone move to a subscription-based model.

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Over the course of the weekend more then 230 people participated in the celebrations

Papakura Celebrations

by Bill Peddie

The Papakura Crossroads Methodist Church congregation and Commercial Property Committee recently celebrated three significant anniversaries. Bill Peddie reports on a weekend in April when an estimated 230 folk gathered to remember and celebrate local church history.

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Rev Bill Wallace with Rev Philo Kinera and his wife (seated) Barbara Aspell-Wallace

Methodist Taonga Honoured

by .

To celebrate his 90th birthday, prolific Methodist hymn-writer Rev William L. Wallace (Bill) shared highlights of his life’s work in theology, composition and hymn-writing at two events held in Christchurch in April.

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A New Garden of Friends in the Garden City

by Kelvin Aird and Ros Jackson

Beckenham-Sydenham Parish, Christchurch, held a special service on 5 March to dedicate a special new memorial garden at their church. The Garden of Friends recognises and honours long-serving members June and Norm Allen, along with other loyal and dedicated former members of the church family. Kelvin Aird and Ros Jackson report on the project that has been a welcome addition to the Beckenham community.

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Peter Lineham recently spent a day in the archives focussed on papers relating to the early Māori catechists.

Esteemed Historian Visits Archives

by Ady Shannon

Peter Lineham, renowned religious historian and retired Massey University professor, recently visited Kei Muri Māpara to trawl through records as part of his research into a publication based on the early Māori Mission which he has been commissioned to edit by the Wesley Historical Society.

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Rev Peter Taylor

“You’ve Not Changed a Bit”

by Rev Peter Taylor President MCNZ

“You’ve not changed a bit,” they said. They were church folk from Cockermouth, UK where I’d been presbyter before emigrating in 2006. I was there on holiday visiting my son’s family and meeting our first grandchild. I met many of the church folk from those days and stayed with two of them. It was good to see them all.

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Stationing Process

by Setaita T. Taumoepeau K. Veikune

Stationing Committee, in 2022, faced the very rare scenario of having more presbyters available for Stationing than parishes. Mission Resourcing continued to facilitate conversations working with parishes who did not go on stationing due to financial constraints. Continuous Stationing process required funding assistance for new initiatives and ministry partnerships between synods and parishes. This allowed appointments for most of the presbyters on Stationing.

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Residents Peter and Bruce are very happy with their new homes purchased with the proceeds of the Richmond Church.

Richmond Retirees Grateful for New Housing

by .

The sale of property in Richmond, Nelson has enabled the Nelson Tasman Methodist Parish to purchase four rental houses with the proceeds. Tenants are grateful to be able to access modern, safe housing at an affordable rate.

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Ian Harris

Honest to God - Enhancing Creation

by Ian Harris

Imagine human life without the planet on which it is set. It isn’t easy: we are so dependent on its air, water and soil. Yet since the Industrial Revolution humans have been exploiting, polluting, even trashing our environment at an ever-increasing rate. The earth has been enhancing us; we have not been enhancing the earth.

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Letter; Missed Opportunity for Inclusive Church

by Various

I want to congratulate you on printing the letter in the April issue on inclusive church. I myself have been vaxxed, and like the writer I was greatly saddened by the Methodist stance in 2021 and felt it was a missed opportunity to show the breadth and depth of Christianity. Since then I have seen a great deal of research on the vaccine and have come to the conclusion that we have been misled, government and people both, by a dominant and influential group with money and power at the heart of it. Happily I read that a country like Switzerland has abandoned the mRNA vaccine, while England now offers it only to those over 75 years old, and to younger people only if they are immunity compromised. In my opinion it is time that our own health department followed suit. Best wishes, Peter Wood, Lower Hutt.

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Winter in Aotearoa

Happy Hōtoke/Winter: a Season for Slowing Down and Contemplating Change

by Aurora Smith, Climate Justice Committee member

At this time of year, Papatūānuku has withdrawn much of her energy within. We have enjoyed the flourish of Koanga/Spring, the bounty of Raumati/Summer, and the yields of Ngahuru/Autumn. As we settle into Hōtoke/Winter, the main activity is now occurring quietly below the ground.

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No Frills Budget

by Carol Barron, National Coordinator Methodist Alliance

The irony of the appropriately labelled “No Frills Budget” was not lost on me. People whose income comes from welfare know exactly what a no-frills budget means.

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The Alarm That Cried Wolf

by Trudy Downes, MCNZ Care Taker

Do you remember the fire drills you used to do at school? As a kid, I thought they were a waste of time but hey, they got us out of the classroom for a while!

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Jim's Cartoon

by Brendan Boughan

Our regular cartoon that seeks to find the funny side of faith.

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Rev Dr Terry Wall

Auckland Lay Preachers recover the Jewish Jesus

by Rev Dr Terry Wall and Linda Hall

The Auckland ecumenical network of lay preachers is committed to keeping up to date with developments in theology and holds regular workshops for their its members. Rev Dr Terry Wall & Linda Hall report on their its most recent meeting for continuing education held at St. Paul’s Methodist Church, Remuera.

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UCANZ Forum 2023: A Time for Looking Back and Forward

by Rev Heather Kennedy - outgoing member of UCANZ Standing Committee

I recently returned home from attending my fourth UCANZ Forum. I have appreciated the opportunity to serve six and a half years on the standing committee as an elected member and as one of the few representatives from the South Island.

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Savouring a Sacred Treasure

by Rev Dr Mary Caygill

Last week while searching for a book in my library, housed in the parsonage garage where I am currently located, I lost myself in the searching. It happens quite regularly as I enter the garage space with a singularity of focus to lay my hands on a particular book that I want to use mostly as I prepare a Sunday reflection or possibly to confer with alongside something else I am reading, listening to, or a thought that has come to mind in that moment.

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Dr Ruby Manukia Schaumkel

Disclosure to Avoid Putting the Church into Disrepute

by Dr Ruby Manukia Schaumkel

There may be situations when disclosure is necessary to avoid putting the Church into disrepute. In every situation an individual, congregation, parish or affiliation of the Church should ask itself if disclosure or non-disclosure helps to avoid putting the Church into disrepute. A good place to start is by looking at Principle 11 of the Privacy Act 2020.

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Combined Hurunui Parishes, North Canterbury

by .

We are seeking a minister.

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The underfunding of aged-care homes and hospitals has created a very challenging operating environment for WesleyCare (pictured) and the other remaining religious providers in Christchurch

Addressing the Need for Aged Care

by Michael Herman, Christchurch Methodist Mission Communications Manager

Michael Herman, Christchurch Methodist Mission Communications Manager

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Winter bush berries

Liturgical Resources for Contemporary Aotearoa

by Keita Hotere and Kupu Rītani

In recent weeks the authorised liturgy for the coronation rite of his majesty King Charles III of England and a Māori translation of the serenity prayer crossed my desk. I appreciated the translation and the adjoining commentary of the coronation liturgy. Readers might choose to read, analyse, and draw from the messages meaning for themselves. The liturgies provided universal messages of peace, wisdom and love. Both liturgical resources seek to bring a continuity of reassurance and hope in times of uncertainty.

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NZMWF National Executive 

Le ala i le pule o le Tautua The Pathway to Leadership is Service

by Tui Salevao, President, NZMWF

Tui Salevao, President, NZMWF If you ask any Samoan if they have ever come across this proverb, you would expect an affirmation that they have heard it. If you then ask what this saying means to them, they would explain in their own words that to get somewhere in life you need to prove your service to your elders, village, church or family.

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Great Minds - Pelagius

by Rev Abhishek Solomon

Pelagius was likely born in the British Isles sometime between AD 360-370. He belonged to the Celtic tradition and is known to have practised an ascetic life. His Celtic theology sharply contrasted with the predominantly North African Christianity of Augustine and the Christianity of Jerusalem led by Jerome. Pelagius is important because of his theological insights and because he touched on a problem that remains perennial, namely, the problem of free will. In this respect, he was a precursor to a secular liberal West emphasising individual autonomy and free choice. He anticipated the Enlightenment thinkers such as John Locke, Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Immanuel Kant.

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People from across the Waikato Waiariki Methodist Synod, including the Waikato Rohe, gathered for their annual Refresh Retreat at Epworth Camp.

Waikato Wairiki Synod Refresh

by Rev Alisa Lasi

At the end of April approximately 30 people from across the Waikato Waiariki Methodist Synod, including the Waikato Rohe, gathered for their annual Refresh Retreat at Epworth Camp. The event was blessed with good weather, a wonderful venue, superb staff, good food and an inspiring programme.

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International delegates from USA, NZ, Canada, Kenya and India about to go on the trolley bus. Rev Christina Morunga is second from the left.

IRCA Dubuque 2023

by Rev Christina Morunga

Last month Rev Christina Morunga reported on a pilgrimage to Turkiye and Greece. As part of her travels, she attended an International Rural Churches Conference (IRCA) in the United States that inspired and enriched her ministry.

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65 years as a Lay Preacher

by Doreen Sunman

This year Brenda Skinner celebrates 65 years’ service as a lay preacher. The milestone is just one in a lifetime of dedicated service.

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Leases and Tenancies

by Wendy Anderson and Trudy Downes

Register Now!

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Participants enjoy good times and great vibes at Easter Camp.

Liturgy – the work of the people: old and young

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

This past Easter, I was privileged once again to head to the annual Epworth Easter Camp, hosted by the awesome Waikato-Waiariki Unite (WWU) and Youth Activities Committee (YAK). It was the usual outstanding weekend of high energy, fellowship, food and good vibes.

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Children at St Mark's doing pavement art with chalk

Kidz Korna

by Doreen Lennox

On the Sunday after Easter, St Mark’s Somerfield Methodist Church, Christchurch held a children’s service focussing on doubting Thomas and Jesus’ resurrection.

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After fleeing her home in Ukraine, Maria pictured here with Yulia, has found friendship and support at the LWF Centre in Wroclaw.

Life-giving Support for Ukrainian Refugees

by Gillian Southey Christian World Service

In April, International Programmes Coordinator for Christian World Service, Rob Wayne, visited Poland to meet with local partner the Lutheran World Federation (LWF). He was able to monitor the use of New Zealand government funding and meet with recent refugees.

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Boy from Heaven

Boy from Heaven (also titled Cairo Conspiracy).

by Dr Steve Taylor

Boy from Heaven probes the place of religion and power in the modern world. Director Tarik Saleh, Swedish-born with Egyptian grandparents, gifts viewers with a political and religious thriller.

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We, The Oppressors: How societies are designed to support the status of those in power at the destructive expense of those without it.

by Reviewer: Lyn Heine.

Author: Dr Jack Davy. Publisher: Quercus, London 2022. 333pp.

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Matariki Around the World: a Cluster of Stars, a Cluster of Stories.

by Reviewer: Garth Cant.

Authors: Rangi Mātāmua and Miriama Kamo, with illustrations by Isobel Joy Te Aho-White. Publisher: Scholastic New Zealand, Auckland, 2022. 80 pages. $28.

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Katherine Doig adds scannable labels to records in the 1.5 kilometres of shelving housing archives at Kei Muri Māpara

A busy time at Kei Muri Māpara!

by Katherine Doig

In the six months since Katherine Doig and Jennie Hood took over the role following the retirement of long-term Methodist archivist, Jo Smith, they have been working to introduce archival best practice to the physical management of Kei Muri Māpara’s 1.5km of original records. Katherine shares what they have been doing.

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Thomas Russell

God Save

by Rev Donald Phillipps

Thomas Russell 1830 – 1904

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by Saunia e Fatuatia Tufuga

Fa’atalofa atu i matua o le Sinoti, Susuga i Tausi Itu malo, le paia o le aufaigaluega, susuga i ta’ita’i, fa’apea le mamalu o le tatou Sinoti. E maualuga pea le viiga ma le agaga fa’afetai i le Atua ona o lana tausiga ma lana ta’ita’iga alofa lea ua tatou aulia mai ai lenei vaitau o le tausaga. E le fesiligia le louloua o le tau mai le tele o masina ua mavae, ae fa’afetai i le alofa o le Atua, ua leai se tasi o le tatou Sinoti o afaina ai le soifua. E ui lava ina afea nisi o tatou aulotu ma aiga i le malaga a le maliu ma le oti, ae fa’afetai ua amia le to’atasi ae o lo’o manuia pea le to’atele.

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Digital Literacy Project. Providing laptops and training to Lay Preachers and Worship Leaders for preparation and delivery to the congregation, in-person or online.

Na Veivakabulai ni Gone Turaga ko Jisu Karisito keina Veivakaugeti ni Yalotabu ena rawa kina na veisau.

by .

The Salvation of Jesus Christ with the Grace of the Holy Spirit to make Changes.

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Fakamatala: Uike Famili 2023 – Kaveinga: Fāmili ke Fe’ofo’ofani. Koe ngaahi ‘ata eni mei he ngaue ‘o e ‘Api Siasi ‘o Moia Mei He ‘Eiki Ellerslie.

by Fai ‘e Henry Hoglund

Sapate Fakamē – Moia-Mei-He-‘Eiki, 2023 (White Sunday)

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Wesley Parish Church, Wellington.

Ta’u 50 e kamata e lotu Tonga ‘i he falelotu Wesley, Uelingatongi. Talateu ‘e

by Felonitesi Manukia

‘E hoko he mahina ni e ta’u 50 e kamata e lotu Tonga ‘i he falelotu Wesley ‘i loto Uelingatoni, pea ‘oku ‘amanaki ke fakahoko ha re-union ‘a kinautolu na’a nau kau ki he kamata.

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