Organisation logo

Methodist Church of New Zealand

Touchstone March 2022


Freedom? Freedom for what?

by Rev Norman Brookes

The experts tell us we need to contain the virus whether it be Delta or Omicron so that we can buy time. Time, hopefully to raise our vaccination levels to 95 percent or above for all people, to vaccinate our children, and to deliver booster shots to the vulnerable. All this in order to keep the virus in check – to stop it running rampant throughout the whole of our society.

Visit this article
Webinar - All sorts of compliance

Webinar - All sorts of compliance

by Trudy Downes

Learn about the compliance requirements for our buildings.

Visit this article
Whaea Diana Peita and Matua Waata in front of the Marae

Working Together To Achieve Better Health Outcomes

by .

Ehara I taku toa te toa takitahi, engari he toa takitini ke’ My strength is not the strength of one, but the strength of many!

Visit this article

Let the Children Live: It Takes a Church to Raise a Child.

by Rev Setaita Taumoepeau K Veikune, Director of Mission Resourcing

Children didn’t have a lot of rights in the first century. They were seen and not heard. We see this in Luke 18 when parents were bringing their children to be blessed by Jesus, and the disciples try and chase them away. In their opinion, the Lord had more important things to do. But Jesus was passionate about the value of children.

Visit this article
Rev Andrew Doubleday

Rights and Freedoms or Love and Compassion

by President Rev Andrew Doubleday

Over the past couple of months it seems that two alternative universes have coalesced and are seeking to occupy the same physical space. They seem to operate on mutually exclusive values systems, each determined that theirs is correct, and the others are either, in one view dreadfully deceived, or in the other clearly delusional. And there seems to be no place for meaningful dialogue. Each universe is made up of people that those in the other universe thought they knew and counted as friends, and no longer recognise.

Visit this article

by Cartoons by Jim

Visit this article

Peter Baltus new Pou Whakarae for Te Taha Maori

by Te Taha Maori

Te Taha Maori have recently announced the appointment of Peter Baltus, Ngapuhi, Ngati Whatua, Ngati Ruanui and Te Atiawa, as the new Pou Whakarae for Te Taha Maori.

Visit this article

Letters to the Editor

by To the Editor

The West Papua Council of Churches call for us to pray for their people and John Thornley comments on last month's edition.

Visit this article
Ian Harris

Where Did God Go?

by Ian Harris

“Where did God go?” asked a Time magazine cover a few years ago, signposting an article about the decline of traditional Christianity in Europe.

Visit this article

Bicentennial Snapshots

by Rev Tara Tautari, General Secretary

A couple of weeks ago I watched the online commissioning service for Shirley Rivers, the newly appointed Director of Methodist Mission Northern. The service took place at Pitt Street Church in Auckland, under Covid protocols of a limit of 100 people, masked and vaccinated.

Visit this article
Dorothy and Ana

Dorothy Willis - Learning by Degree

by Heather Fraser

When Dorothy Willis, a lay preacher from Riverton, Southland, retired following 28 years as a school secretary, she decided to enrol in an online learning forum. Her e-learning journey started with an ‘Introduction to Philosophy’ course provided by The University of Edinburgh and delivered by Coursera, an American-based learning provider that partners with universities and organisations globally to provide a vast range of courses online.

Visit this article

Contingencies on Contingencies

by Trudy Downes

The time has come. Covid-19 has landed and is visiting people and places near you. Have you got your plan ready for who is going to walk the dog when your household is isolating, and who is going to deliver the bread or milk when you run out during isolation?

Visit this article

by The Leprosy Mission

Visit this article

Thinking About the ‘Other’

by Rev Cannon Jenny Chalmers

Rev Canon Jenny Chalmers, co-chair of UCANZ and deputy chair of the Australian Council of Christians and Jews. Jenny serves in the Waiapu Cathedral as Canon precentor and Vicar General of the Waiapu Diocese.

Visit this article

Embracing the Transitions

by Rev Dr Mary Caygill

One of my favourite quotations from the children’s classic Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, has the following conversation between Alice and the Caterpillar.

Visit this article
Rosalina Toilolo with her family. 

Introducing the NZMWF National Executive

by Rosalina Noa-Toilolo, National Minutes & Distributing Secretary

It is an honor to have been chosen for the role, and I thank the NZMWF executive team and our God almighty for the opportunity.

Visit this article

One Does Not Live By Bread Alone

by Motekiai Fakatou

In Luke 4:1–13 Jesus passes earthly testing by the devil, and ministry rejection by hometown people, before he entered the ministry of the kingdom of good news.

Visit this article
Ruby Manukia-Schaumkel

Self-Care and Self-Management of Omicron in Phase Two

by Ruby Manukia-Schaumlek, Legal Advisor

On 15 February the nation moved into Omicron phase two, to slow the spread of the virus and keep the health service and communities protected as transmission spreads. Phase two reduces isolation times and contact tracing methods. People are expected to self-isolate and have a Covid test if they are experiencing symptoms. There are concerns from families that live in crowded homes that don’t have proper isolation space. It is important to have an isolation plan to keep everyone safe. If someone in your household gets Covid-19, the whole household will need to isolate until everyone has fully recovered (3 days symptom-free).

Visit this article
Extract from a 1927 Maori Prayer Book

He Whakaaroaro

by Keita Hotere

Our most recent Minita-a-iwi from the Taranaki Rohe, Hemi Haddon recalls his public experiences of the use of the Lord’s Prayer, in English and Māori. His engagements here and overseas remind us of a different time when te reo Māori was not as widely spoken as it is today. Te Pire Reo Māori (Māori Language Act 1987) has provided a vehicle for te reo to be recognised, acknowledged and used through everyday use in government institutions, in education, the courts and in the media amongst other avenues. Hemi offers his story.

Visit this article

The Courage of Hope

by Carol Barron, National Coordinator

Hana* self-referred to a Family Start service when she was five months pregnant. Hana’s two older children were in her sister’s care but were removed by Oranga Tamariki due to her sister being a victim of domestic violence. The father of the children was in prison serving a lengthy sentence.

Visit this article
Wajir and her great-aunt Mairige. Wajir's eyes are safe from River Blindness. Mairige has been blinded by River Blindness.

HELP Prevent River Blindness

by Dr Murray Sheard

Millions of people living in sub-Saharan Africa are affected by a debilitating Neglected Tropical Disease (NTD) called Onchocerciasis, more commonly known as River Blindness. NTDs infect more than one billion people in the world’s poorest communities. The diseases thrive in impoverished, tropical regions where there is poor sanitation, unsafe drinking water, numerous insects to spread disease and little access to health services and government support.

Visit this article

If I Were 20 Again!

by Rev Dr Frank Hanson

Rev Dr Frank Hanson, former Executive Director of the Methodist Education Division (1978-89) and Principal of Trinity Theological College (1989 – 99) reflects on his life in ministry and how his priorities may have changed if he had his time over.

Visit this article

Support your local NZMWF/APW as they help others

by Tui S Salevao, President NZMWF

Charity comes from Latin noun ‘caritas’ derived from the adjective ‘carus’ meaning ’dear’ but originally meaning ‘Christian love of your fellow human beings.’

Visit this article

TCYFM Full Steam Ahead in 2022

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

With another pandemic-affected year underway, there are many exciting plans and initiatives that are in store from the TCYFM office this year. Although Omicron is making calendars float in a constant state of uncertainty, exciting and innovative resources are still being developed for children and youth ministry across Te Hāhi.

Visit this article

Ask Aunty

by Ask Aunty

Aunty answers questions of faith.

Visit this article
Christchurch West Methodist Parish presented a Christmas drama, Away with the Manger.

Kidz Korna March

by Doreen Lennox

Children and parents at Christchurch West Methodist Parish presented a Christmas drama, Away with the Manger. They share their nativity story.

Visit this article

Tonga: Help is on its Way

by Murray Overton

Christian World Service Director Murray Overton expressed his thanks to supporters for the immense support for the Tonga Emergency Appeal. By mid-February donations were close to $150,000.

Visit this article
Trish last met with the Ekta team in February 2020. Director Bimla Chandrasekaran sits beside Trish.

Staff changes at CWS

by CWS

Christian World Service said thank you and farewell to long serving International Programmes Coordinator Trish Murray who retired in February.

Visit this article
Ugandan children have spend 83 weks out of school, the longest period in the world. A high teenage pregnancy rate and poverty have meant many have not returned. 

Ugandan Schools Finally Reopen

by CWS

Ugandan students were delighted to return to school on 10 January. Schools had been closed for almost two years – the longest in the world. The government ran out of funds and could not distribute lessons or fund broadcasts after the first months of lockdown. The consequences have been devastating for children across the country. In August last year the government planning authority calculated 4.5 million of an estimated 15 million students would not return. Enrolment data is not yet available.

Visit this article


by Rev Dr Steve Taylor

In 2001, our family enjoyed study leave in the United Kingdom. Top of the bucket list was Ireland. Arriving in Belfast by ferry, we went looking for a rental car.

Visit this article

Cranes Ever Flying: Introductions to Asian Christian History and Theology

by Book Review

Author: John C England

Visit this article

The Making of Biblical Womanhood: How the Subjugation of Women Became Gospel Truth.

by Book Review

Author: Beth Allison Barr

Visit this article
High Street Wesleyan Chapel and Pitt Street Church baptism register 1844-1972 held Methodist Archives.

Records See the ‘Light of Day’

by Ian Faulkner, President, Wesley Historical Society

In April last year Connexional Archivist, Jo Smith, advised me that 40 or 50 years ago some Methodist records, previously held at Pitt Street Methodist Church in Auckland Central, had been placed ‘on loan’ with the Auckland Public Library. The Archivist was seeking assistance in facilitating the ‘repatriation’ of the records to the national archive in Christchurch. None of the longstanding members of the Pitt Street congregation were able to recall the records being loaned to the Library. Those Pitt Street members asked me to view these prior to any action being taken.

Visit this article
Rev Percy Paris

Public Morals or Social Action. Percy Paris 1882-1942

by Rev Donald Phillipps

Around the turn of the 20th century the New Zealand Methodist Conference formally established a committee to deal with the principal social concern of the times – temperance. It called the body the ‘Temperance and Morals Committee’ and so it remained for 30 years, until it was accepted that the Committee’s brief was too “narrow”, in both senses of that word. It felt its agenda was restrictive and it also had reached the point where temperance was a social issue, not an automatic social problem. It is instructive to read the resolution that Conference adopted in 1933 in respect to a name change – that it would give the Committee “the widest possible scope and a name that is easy to handle.” Those last five words speak volumes!

Visit this article
Rev & Mrs Leli, family and supporters for Induction.

O Le Taeao Mā Lama Nai Taeaomua

by Saunia: Utumau’u Pupulu

O le taeao na totō fa’aifo ai manū mai lagi, ina ua avea le afioga i le Peresetene, Rev Andrew Doubleday e fai ma sui o le Ekalesia Metotisi Niu Sila, e fa’apaiaina ai le Susuga ia Paulo ma le Faletua ia Faapaiaga Ieli, e fai ma Sea o le Sinoti Samoa, Ekalesia Metotisi Niu Sila.

Visit this article


by Nai Lalakai

The Lent season in the Christian Calendar is a time of abstinence. Ash Wednesday (02/03/22), marks the first day and signals the approach of Easter.

Visit this article
Ko e 'ata ena mei Lotofale'ia he taha 'o e ngaahi polokalama huhu malu'i 'a e Vahefonua.

Pukolea. Vahefonua Tonga 'O Aotearoa

by Fai ‘e Felonitesi Manukia

Hoko atu ‘a e huhu malu’i ‘a e Vahefonua.

Visit this article

Koniteina Tokoni 'a e Vahefonua ki Tonga

by Fai ‘e Felonitesi Manukia

Kuo tu’uta ki Tonga ‘a e koniteina tokoni ‘e tolu mei he Vahefonua. ‘Oku ‘i ai foki mo e koniteina hono fā ‘e fakakakato moia ke ‘ave.

Visit this article