More than 1600 students hear the story of Easter, some for the first time
Many members of New Plymouth Bible Chapel have again assisted in putting on an Easter play that first showed in 1991! Chapel members, with believers from 20 other churches, acted, narrated, prayed and served in food preparation and hospitality. This is the story, as reported by STUFF:
More than 1600 year five and six students have been told the Easter Story thanks to a walk-through play, with some youngsters hearing it for the first time.
The performance took the students from the gates of Jerusalem to the garden of Gethsemane and through to the cross and the tomb where Jesus was buried. Along the way, they saw him ride in on a donkey, be betrayed in the garden and nailed to the cross, before rising again to oohhs and aahhs from the children.
Director Louise James said the event was run by the New Plymouth Christian Leaders Network and involved people from more than 20 different churches around the district. "We do it because we want to show people that there's more to Easter than Easter eggs and Easter bunnies and hot cross buns," she said. "But there's a real meaning behind it and we really believe what Jesus did on the cross."
She said Rodney Dunlop, who was welcoming the school students off the buses, had been asking them what they knew about Jesus and Easter. "He said he's astonished how they don't even, some of them have never even heard the name," she said.
The play had started in 1991 and run every two years since then at the Central Baptist Church but this year moved to the St James Presbyterian Church in Moturoa for the first time.
"Some of the original cast in 1991 are still doing the same roles which is pretty amazing. Pilate, I think, is one of them," she said.
"This morning we've got 10 productions so they really have to keep fit and healthy, they're pretty tired by the end of the day."
The event started on Tuesday and since then the cast and crew of more than 60 had been putting on up to 16 productions a day, with each one taking about 45 minutes to go through.
"We have the dress rehearsal on the Monday night, it's a quick rehearsals thing because it's quite difficult to bring this many people together at one time," she said. "So we have a walk through on the Sunday night, a dress rehearsal on Monday and straight into it on Tuesday morning."
Regional Enabler Retreat: 7th-8th April
What happened when 10 CCCNZ Regional Enablers and representatives from PastorLink and GC3 came together from across New Zealand to explore how the gospel could grow across their region? We ate and prayed together. In the spirit of “Together Works Better” we explored how we can work together more closely as churches in our regions, to see the gospel grow. Wonderful to hear of Eldership prayer breakfasts, Pastors gatherings and joint Elders planning meetings, all with a desire of seeing the good news of Jesus being heard and believed.
“It was a real delight to be present at the first Regional Enablers Retreat at Silverstream. It was a very healthy and positive exercise to get these key, influential men together and although the purpose was to bring them up to speed with all the CCCNZ happenings, the real benefit was connecting and the interaction of friendships that grew stronger as each hour progressed. It was a great time together and made me realize just how vital these good men are to our next steps. Be encouraged, the Lord is moving minds and hearts and proving that ‘Together is Better’.”
RONGOPAI is CCCNZ's quarterly newsletter, a publication we'd like to send out to the 180+ churches and support ministries within our historical heritage family in New Zealand.
Rongopai is Maori for Good News, and this newsletter is one way CCCNZ seeks to encourage believers to work together to impact New Zealand with the Good News of Jesus Christ.
Inside Rongopai you'll find inspiring stories of churches finding creative ways to work together. You'll also read articles that will challenge your thinking. We'll also profile upcoming events and highlight resources that could be very helpful for you and your people.
This upcoming edition is focused on CHURCH PLANTING.
SUBSCRIBING to Rongopai as an INDIVIDUAL:Simply click this link and fill in the form.
SUBSCRIBING to Rongopai as a CHURCH: If you would like to receive copies for your church, click this link and subscribe under your CHURCH NAME, with your contact details and the number of copies required. Alternatively, you could contact Sheri, our Office Manager, on firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are urgently looking for church distributors for Rongopai, people who are willing to receive copies for their church and place them in the church newsletter when they arrive. If you're able to help with that, we'd love to hear from you: email@example.com
Canterbury Regional Conference: 19th-20th May Rutland Street Church
"We are looking forward to a unique event in Canterbury, whereby the CCCNZ churches across the region are coming together for the Inaugural Regional Conference 2017 - a time of fellowship, worship and learning.
Content will include our keynote speaker, Nigel Pollock, who will draw our minds and hearts to 'Engaging Scripture' with three main sessions...
Why is Scripture central?Discover why the Word of God is central to the Work of God.
How to make Scripture central?How to place Scripture practically at the centre of our lives and ministries?
What happens when Scripture is central? Discover what God does when His Word is at the centre of our lives and ministries.
In addition, there will be a number of other sessions and items, along with collective voice of worship - something not to be missed if you are living in the region. Do make the effort and support this event.
Lawson (& Lee-Ann) Scott:
Elder, Rutland Street Church, Christchurch
Otago/Southland Regional Conference 26th-27th May Lakeland Park “May I personally take this opportunity to invite all of our prayer partners to attend one of the upcoming CCCNZ Regional Conferences. Here you will get the full update of the progress that we have made and learn first-hand what Vision/Values/Strategy/Services have been established and how much interest and traction has grown from among the 180 Churches in the network.”
For more downloadable information about all conferences, click here
I thank God for the Prayer breakfast on the 11th March. It was really encouraging to see many Wellington assembly leaders come together and pray. It was also great to see the interest many were showing in the Lord's work in our region. As someone commented, it was good to see everyone talking afterwards (no one was in a hurry to leave).
Thank you to all those who came and shared a little about their assembly, Christian work and new initiatives (like the new magazine Rongopai). It would be good to have another prayer time in June and share how the Lord is answering prayer for the above items.”
Lunch for full-time ministry workers in Auckland, 14th March
On 14th March, APA (Auckland Partnership – Affiliated with Christian Community Churches of New Zealand) held a lunch for people who are fully employed in Church based ministries, including pastors, youth pastors and people involved in various para church organisations. About 33 people attended, and it was a great opportunity to support these excellent workers.
We hope to do this on a regular basis with the next lunch happening at Eden Community Church on 20 June.
Mini Bible School: Porirua, 7th-9th March
The Anchor Church has a long history of proclaiming the Gospel and teaching God’s word. Small groups and Sunday services play an important part of our word ministry. We also hold church camps where we set aside time for deeper fellowship and biblical instruction.
This year we arranged for Greg Burgess (pictured with his wife Wendy), a former lecturer of Adelaide College of Ministries and recently installed pastor at The Orchard Church in Te Puke, to teach at camp and follow up with a three night ‘Mini Bible School’.
The Mini Bible School was held over three nights from the 7th – 9th of March. The topics covered, over two 45 minute sessions per night were:
Church History (focusing on the reformation)
Churches in our network and beyond were encouraged to access these free, informative sessions. We see these ministry opportunities as a way to form network links and, at the same time, to engage in theological discussions. Our prayer is these excellent teaching opportunities will become an annual event.
Pathways College in India
Dr Ian Payne - principal of SAIACS India, Mr Richard Opie, Mr Craig Barrow
Pathways College is currently finalising a partnership with Rehoboth Theological Institute (RTI) in India. RTI approached Pathways with the desire of offering our online courses to people throughout India.
We will also be working with RTI and SAIACS to help RTI increase their level of delivery.
We are incredibly excited about this partnership, and we are currently working through the particulars and practicalities of what it would take for Pathways College and RTI to work together in this way. Both Pathways College and RTI see this as a partnership which is fundamentally about furthering the kingdom of God around the world.
Pathways Collage Principal
Professor K. Biju, Mr Richard Opie, Miss Phyllis Treasure, Mr. Jiju Ninan Varghese, Mr Craig Barrow
For the past seven years, Norm and Liz have been in itinerant ministry, supporting and encouraging smaller Assemblies in Samoa and Tonga, and around the North Island.
In recent years, Norm and Liz have taken up the role of ambassadors for the Maori Postal Aotearoa. For over fifty years, MPA has been spreading the Word of God among Maori and other people through the supply of bilingual Bible-based materials.
As MPA ambassadors, Norm and Liz are often on the road, building connections. Norm explains.
“In March this year we took a holiday in Northland, and the Lord enabled Liz and me to make some new contacts there. We’ve also just returned from visiting Assemblies in Woodville, Dannevirke, Havelock North, Gisborne and Paengaroa. This gave us the opportunity to promote the work of MPA within the Assemblies, and to visit local MPA representatives and follow up new contacts.
“Over the winter, we hope to concentrate our time around the Waikato. If anyone would like a visit or more information about the work of MPA, please contact us" firstname.lastname@example.org or ph 021 0232 6011
In 1973, Winter Bible School was first established at Totara Springs. It has a long pedigree and history of affecting people’s spiritual formation. After a hiatus of a few years, we are delighted to inform you that Winter Bible School is back!
2016 was our first year in a new format, hosted and was attended by approximately 80 people in The Orchard Church, Te Puke. This year promises to be even bigger and better!
Like never before, the very foundations of our faith are being eroded as New Zealand becomes a melting pot of diversity and belief. Our hope is that this year’s Winter Bible School will firm up the foundations of faith, particularly for the young adults in your congregation.
If biblical strengthening is something your congregation could use, why not advertise the upcoming conference to your people and to any specific individuals you feel would personally benefit?
The Rising Sun team are bringing together people engaging our Muslim, Hindu, Pakistani and immigrant community right here in New Zealand. Bring a team and be encourage, inspired and equipped by what God is doing in these communities.
The goal of the weekend is to focus on strengthening our heartbeat, purpose and direction for our involvement in our Churches in the days to come. Now is the time to consider how we can bring our Prime Years to get involved while we have the energy, time and desire. I believe it is going to be a mighty time together, one that will make a big impact as we all move forward together. We are so glad that you will be joining us.
This is an opportunity to share how things are going in our various patches, prayer together, and generally connect and build relationships. Russell Grainger and Chris Ellwood from PastorLink will also join us.
Staff Day for Support Ministries Monday, 10th July, 9am-5pm@ Raleigh Street Christian Centre
This is an afternoon where leaders from support ministries can come together to network and explore how we can work together to support our churches.
The retreat is for those employed by, or giving their time to, a local church as pastors, pastoral workers, community workers, church directors, youth pastors, associate pastors, full-time elders, etc and their spouses.
CCCAUS AUSTRALIAN National Conference, 2-4th March 2018
Join with Australian church leaders from across CCCAUS churches at the beautiful Phillip Island Adventure Resort. In 2016, a team from CCCNZ attended the conference and the organisers were immensely encouraged to have us. In 2018, we are keen to take a larger Kiwi delegation. Let Teri know if you are interested in joining us: email@example.com
CCCNZ Regional Conferences - 2018
Otago/Southland 11th-12th May @ Lakeland Park
Canterbury 18th-19th May @ Rutland Street Church
Kapiti Coast 7th-8th September @ Forest Lakes
Auckland 14th-15th September @ Willow Park
International Brethren Conference on Missions
The 7th International Brethren Conference on Mission (IBCM) is to take place at the Hotel Selene, Pomezia, Rome, Italy from Monday 24 - Friday 28 June 2019.
Russell Thorpe from GC3 will be leading a Kiwi delegation.
Contact Russell for more details: Russell Thorpe firstname.lastname@example.org
There is a lot happening across the country over the next few months. It’s a delight to see us coming together for the sake of the gospel.
This is my hope and prayer from 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17 "May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word."