AN IMPORTANT UPDATE: A New National Service Body for the community of Open Brethren and Open Brethren heritage churches in New Zealand
Time to get moving...
The Roadshow has come and gone and we learned a lot from each other. We learned that for all of us, the main thing (Jesus’ gospel) is still the main thing; we want the gospel grow in these Islands. We also want to be more connected to one another to make this happen without losing the autonomy we all enjoy. And we learned that we could all use a little help in doing our specific part of God’s work in our towns and cities.
Now it’s time to DO SOMETHING, to make the words real.
Here are four practical things CCCNZ will be doing this year to turn our collective vision into something tangible.
1. The Newsletter/Magazine
When we asked you on the Roadshow how you preferred to stay connected with other churches, most of you said “through a magazine.”
To get things rolling, CCCNZ will create and send out a small quarterly magazine to all the churches throughout the country who want one. Inside will be stories of what God is doing though specific churches, news about upcoming events, and some key resource links that you’ll find helpful. Look for the first edition in the September-October mail.
COMPETITION: Our new magazine needs a name and we’d like you to help us with that. Here are a few key things to keep in mind:
1-2 words only. “Pool” works. “The Pool” is fine. “In the Pool” is too long. “Hey, let’s all jump into the pool” is over-the-top.
The Angle: The point of the magazine/newsletter is to help us all stay connected. Think stories and people profiles and gathering events.
Be creative; avoid clichés. “Together” ticks the Stay Connected box, but it’s a bit flat and done-to-death. Be a little lateral with your thinking.
The Prize: Probably a book voucher. Or an all-expenses paid trip around the world for you and your extended family. Most likely the book voucher.
Email your Magazine Name ideas to Mark: firstname.lastname@example.org
GTell Us Your Storiess
If your church or ministry is doing something inspiring or difficult or outside the box, we'd love to hear about it. Or if you're doing something with other churches to grow the gospel in your community, tell us what it is. These are the kinds of stories we want to share with each other. And who knows; by telling your story, you may spark something in others; they may even lend a hand to what you're doing.
Send your stories to Mark Hunter at email@example.com and he'll get in touch to find out more.
2. Monthly Emails
One of the keys to feeling connected is the frequencyof touching base. Since every-single-day amounts to cyber-overload and twice-a-year is what distant cousins do, we figure monthly is about right for our nationwide network.
For most of you, these emails will be one way – CCCNZ talking to you. But to make dialogue possible, we’ll make the emails responsive with easy reply-links so you can talk back.
3. The Website
This is the biggest thing on our TO DO list. The easy approach would be to put up a website that acts like a digital brochure – static words and photos for you to look at. But we want the CCCNZ website to play its part in bringing about the people and resource connection we’re all crying out for.
That takes some planning.
While we want this platform to have the dynamic capacity for interaction, we need the dialogue features to be available as the desire to engage organically grows. It’s a chicken and egg thing. There are no easy answers; organisations the world over struggle to achieve online interaction even when they’ve made the possibility of engagement freely available.
We have some ideas and we’re working on it.
As a start, we’ve asked a website provider to begin building the site onto which we will upload up-to-date contact information. We’ll keep this website updated with news from around the churches and will also load it with resource helps. Stay tuned for the launch date!
4. 2017 Regional Conferences
Obviously these won’t happen this year, but a lot of the planning for them will. One message that came through loud and clear from the Roadshow was everyone’s desire to connect more regionally with others.
In part, that will mean the creation of more local events. Our heart for these regional conferences is that they become an opportunity for teams from local churches to spend meaningful time with teams from other churches in their area.In the meantime, we draw your attention to the following regional conferences:
Canterbury: 12th-13th May (Woodend)
Southland: 19th-20th May (Camp Columba)
Kapiti Coast: 8th –9th of September (Forest Lakes)
Auckland: 15th – 16th September (Willow Park)
Serving you with conferences, resourcing, events, magazines, and up-to-date websites doesn’t happen by accident. Behind each of these initiatives are a range of people putting in the hard yards part-time. Here are a few of the team whose work you are about to experience.
Sheri Franklyn is our Office Manager. Sheri hails from Kingston Street Community Church. Sheri has a wealth of administration skills, a passion for mission and a heart for our network of churches
Mark Hunter is the designer and communications specialist. He’s been assisting organisations with their communications for years and also brings real theological depth to the role.
Teri Lauder our Events Manager is also from Kingston Street Community Church. Teri brings a passion for people, a wealth of organisational skills and a desire to see the gospel grow to her role as Events manager.
Serving you is a team effort. That's why we'll be working closely with GC3, Stewards, Pathways, the APA, Pastor Link, and others. In the near future, we'll explore how we can work closely with them to serve you better, and to make the best use of the resources God has given us. We’ve made a start, our CCCNZ office will be right beside GC3 in Palmerston North!
Wrapping it up
This email is our way of telling you that we’ve made a start in putting flesh on the bones of your Roadshow feedback. None of this is spectacular, but they are small, meaningful steps in the right direction. Our hope is that by working together with you, we’ll all be part of growing the gospel on these special Islands. As always, if you have any questions, please feel free to get in contact.
Colossians 1:3-6 We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, 4 because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all God’s people— 5 the faith and love that spring from the hope stored up for you in heaven and about which you have already heard in the true message of the gospel 6 that has come to you. In the same way, the gospel is bearing fruit and growing throughout the whole world—just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and truly understood God’s grace.