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Methodist Church of New Zealand

Touchstone September 2023

He hokinga mahara, Ka haere whakamua

Looking back and moving forward

I have just returned from a wānanga in Auckland where a group of eight of us gathered to discuss in depth communications for MCNZ. We looked back as we looked forward and over the course of two days, we took a deep dive into the whakapapa, ethos and purpose of our communications.

Since 1859 MCNZ has been involved in the production and distribution of many publications that chart and record our history in Aotearoa. Along with Conference Reports, Home Mission reports and numerous books, newspapers have played a major role in disseminating information, sharing news and theology and encouraging debate on issues of religious, moral and social importance.

Each iteration of the newspapers – some produced in partnership with other denominations - has had a specific focus in sharing the voice, mission, theology and bi-cultural journey of Methodism in Aotearoa and bringing those values and voices to issues here and globally.

Touchstone evolved from Crosslink in 2001 when the Presbyterian Church of New Zealand opted to withdraw from the joint publishing partnership. Twenty-two years on we gathered to discern the purpose and future of Touchstone in conjunction with the overarching role of communications for Te Hāhi Weteriana o Aotearoa.

General Secretary Rev Tara Tautari has used the wānanga concept to delve into areas affecting our church on several occasions over the past year. Unlike a hui, conference or meeting, a wānanga offers a chance for participants to explore a topic of interest without being restricted by the confines of a formal agenda. At our communications wānanga, discussions evolved over several sessions as we shared our own stories, our whakapapa, and our aspirations for the future. The work of the wānanga will be taken to the communications committee to determine a communications strategy in the next phase of this consultative process. It is anticipated that a report outlining a communications pathway for the future will be completed for Conference 2024.

MCNZ has been tackling big issues, making courageous decisions, and impacting the political, religious and social justice landscape of our country since the first missionaries arrived in Aotearoa. In recent years Touchstone has been effective in informing the Connexion and community, but less effective in conveying information that relates to the empowering and transforming prophetic voice of Methodism in Aotearoa.

I look forward to the recommendations the communications committee will determine to ensure the voice, message, thought-leadership and theology of Methodism in Aotearoa is shared in a way that is bold, connexional, relational and fit-for-purpose as we find new ways to engage effectively across many forums with our changing audiences.

Ngā mihi nui

Ady Shannon, Editor Touchstone


Phone: 021 209 9702


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The stained glass window in the chapel at the Hawkes Bay Fallen Soldier Hospital. Called Christ the Healer, was  designed in 1964 by Geoffrey F Fuller of Havelock North.

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Mt Albert Methodist church choir.

Mt Albert Choir Perform

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metal yard in low-income residential Woolston where there has also been a
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Encouraging Discussion on Benefit Levels

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Rhonda Swenson

Waiving Benefit Debt An Election Issue

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Cartoon by Jim

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Russell Eric James

Farewell and Thank You

by Rev Andrew Doubleday, UCANZ

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The Benefits of Saying Yes and of Saying No

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The famous Brazilian writer Paulo Coelho, known in particular for the writing of his 1988 novel The Alchemist, is quoted as saying … “There are times when in saying “yes” to others, he is actually saying “no” to himself. That is why he never says “yes” with his lips if, in his heart, he is saying “no”.”

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Order of service cover

Amohia ake te ora o te Iwi ka puta ki te wheiao

by Rev Dr Arapera Ngaha

“The wellbeing of the people is paramount”.

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NZMWF National Executive 

Navigating Unity and Bearing Fruit: A Samoan Perspective on Our Journey

by Leuluaiali’i Pauline Ah Young, NZMWF Diaconate Link

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Meet Ebony my little black cat.

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In January Shehnaz's land was mostly covered in water. When one of her children fell into the water, she would run one and a half hours to get treatment for their injury or infection.

Donations help Flood-affected Families in Pakistan

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Support Climate Justice for Frontline Communities

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Rev. Rugby Pratt.   This portrait along with thousands of documents
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by Katherine Doig, Archivist MCNZ

Soon thousands of MCNZ archives will be available online for the first time.

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Rev John Dumbell


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JOHN DUMBELL-1830 – 1923

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by .

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Farewell Ceremony at the Synod AGM.


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Na’e folau ‘a e Tokoni Palesiteni ‘o e Siasi Metotisi ‘a Nu’u Sila, TeRito Peyroux-Semu, ki he Konifelenisi hono 99 ‘a e Siasi Uesiliana Tau’ataina ‘o Tonga ‘i Nuku’alofa he māhina ko Siulai ‘o e ta’u ni.

by TeRito Peyroux-Semu & Felonitesi Manukia

Ne folau foki pea mo e Faifekau Sea, Faifekau Kalolo Fihaki, pea mo e sekelitali lahi ‘a e Vahefonua, Tau’ataina Tupou.

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