I’m writing from General Assembly 2018. St Andrew’s College, where we are staying, has lots of new buildings including the hostels so life is comfortable. The weather has been good – a little cold standing out in the powhiri last night but a lovely day today with lunch in a sunny courtyard. The new chapel here at STAC is amazing with a great swooping roof – perhaps it is meant to look like a seismic wave. It was an amazing experience to hear over 400 voices belting out the old hymns. (Very old hymns).
The Church’s second Pacific Island moderator was installed yesterday and he has a subtle sense of humour, as does his wife. So far things are good humoured. Routine matters have needed explanation but were not, in the main, controversial. We got into a bit of a hole this afternoon (Thursday) over how to elect Moderators in future, but came through relatively unscathed!
Tonight, interesting stories of re-buildings and church plants happening in Christchurch post quakes. Kiwi church meets in the Halswell community centre, one of the youth commissioners comes from there. Hope Community church Rolleston has been growing rapidly over 10 years, Prestons is a new venture in a new suburb – they run music and movement in the local pigeon clubrooms. We heard the story of the New Brighton church too – they created a new community around soup lunches and barbeques on the beach on weekdays after the quakes. In contrast, St Paul’s Trinity Pacific have rebuilt a large cathedral-like church on a new site, their old site having been requisitioned by CERA. The Village Church at Bryndwyr near St Andrew’s College has clear glass and open decor, an excellent ministers’ day was held there on Wednesday. Friday night I’m going on a bus ride round the city. I haven’t been here since the rebuilding took on momentum so that will be fascinating.
I’m impressed with the breadth and multicultural nature of our church – not something we see a lot of at St Andrew’s on The Terrace. Probably because the Moderator is from Tokelau we are hearing stories and catching up in informal ways about cultural differences. Today the research on 50 years of women’s ordained ministry in the PCANZ was given to the Moderator and we had a meeting of mainly women elders, ministers, interns and youth leaders after dinner. Can’t tell you much about the business – not a lot of ‘interesting’ stuff done yet. You can go to the PCANZ website (presbyterian.org.nz) which will direct you to where you can subscribe to a daily update put out by the communications department.
Around the same time you are engaging in communion at the Sunday Gathering, with Norman, we will be too – four hundred in the Chapel again – so let’s each think of each other then.
To view the full e-news click here : https://mailchi.mp/177257910fec/this-weeks-newsletter-from-st-andrews-on-the-terrace-1423205