Bishop's Page

4th July 2014

Kia tau ki a koutou te atawhai me te rangimarie o te Atua
願 父 神 所 賜 的 恩 惠 和 平 安 與 你 們 同 在
Grace and peace to you from God

INSTALLATIONS; THE MINISTRY TEAM IS GROWING IN THE LCNZ

Over the next two Sundays, three people will be installed to specific ministry roles and responsibilities in the LCNZ. When was the last time that so much installing went on in the LCNZ?

This Sunday – 6th July – Jaswanth Kukatlapalli will be installed as vicar at Mountainside Lutheran Church. The LCNZ has a wonderful history of being asked to assist in the formation of pastors for the Church through the ‘practical’ vicarage program (Geoff Burger, Mike Heinrich, Lester Reinbott, Adrian Weber, John Davison, Tim Koch, Tim Jarick over the years, to name a few), but we haven’t had anyone for a while. So how wonderful it is that one of our own (Jaswanth went to seminary from St Pauls Wellington) is able to come back to do his vicarage at Mountainside under Pastor Joe Kummerow. Swagatham; suswagatham Jaswanth. Welcome back home!

This Sunday, I will install Ahi Allen as the Pastoral Leader (a Specific Ministry Pastor / SMP in Training) at St Pauls Lutheran Church, Christchurch. Since the conclusion of Pastor David Lipsys’ ministry at the end of last year, Ahi has increasingly heard the call of the Lord to make himself available for this ministry of pastoral leadership at St Pauls. From this Sunday on, Ahi, together with the members of St Pauls and the wider Church (LCNZ) will start the journey of discernment that may lead to Ahi being ordained as an SMP in a year’s time.

On Sunday 13th July, Brent Siddall will be installed as the Pastoral Ministry Leader at St Martin in Marton. I think I wrote about Brent and the St Martin process in my last update.

So, why don’t you join me in thanking God for providing these pastoral servants for his Church here in New Zealand? What a gift from God these men are and what blessings, we pray, their service in His Church will bring.

Heavenly Father, we thank you for calling Jaswanth, Ahi and Brent to be stewards of your holy mysteries and for giving them to us here in the LCNZ. Fill them with your Holy Spirit, so that they may tenderly care for your people and give freely of themselves to them. Help them to proclaim the gospel clearly and lead your people boldly. As the Mountainside, Marton and Christchurch congregations receive these men, let their members hold firmly to the word of life, rejoice in your grace, and shine brightly as a light in the world; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

HAERE RA PASTOR BRIAN AND JANET

As we prepare to install Ahi at St Pauls Christchurch and begin a new season of ministry under him, we also farewell Pastor Brian Schwarz and Janet, who have served there for the last 4 months. What a blessing they have been also – rebuilding hope amongst the remaining members of St Pauls, rebuilding numbers, offering encouragement and vision for the future, and simply proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which alone has power to renew and to give life. Brian and Janet – you have laid good foundations for future ministry in and through St Pauls. Thank you sincerely for 4 months of your time and love. We wish you every blessing as you return to Adelaide and then move over to Perth for an interim ministry there later this year.

We thank you, gracious Father, for Pastor Brian and Janet and their ministry in St Pauls Christchurch. We commend them to you and your grace as they return to their home in Adelaide and as they prepare to take up their call to Perth. Support them as they leave us. Help them as they begin work in their new field of service. Encourage them to be faithful to you in their pastoral calling, so that through their devotion to prayer and to the ministry of your word, your church may be nurtured and extended; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

NEW ZEALAND BIBLE MONTH

Transient

To give churches more flexibility and more opportunity to celebrate the Bible, Bible Sunday will become New Zealand Bible Month and is celebrated this month.

This allows churches to select a single Sunday or all four in the month of July to lift up the Bible and encourage people to read it and apply it to their lives. This particularly helps those churches unable to celebrate on the traditional set Sunday date to still participate in the nationwide Bible Month campaign.

Bible Society will produce a range of useful resources to help churches encourage Bible engagement and help people build a regular habit of Bible reading.

Check out www.biblesunday.org.nz for more information.

CLOSE OF TAURANGA LUTHERAN FELLOWSHIP

This was planned to take place on Sunday 15th June, but due to illness (mine), we have postponed the Closing Service until Sunday 17th August.

CONFLICT COACHING – A LIFE-CHANGING EVENT – BOTANY LUTHERAN CHURCH (2-4 October)

Personal Peacemaking and Conflict Coaching Training is a 2+ day training event on reconciling relationships, resolving conflict, and preparing others to address their conflicts. In this power-packed presentation, you will see how God’s ministry of reconciliation can be lived out in your daily life. You’ll learn and practice ways to apply your Christian faith in family, business, church, and legal conflicts. Since all children of God are called to be peacemakers, this training is appropriate for every Christian. Church leaders who have responsibilities for teaching and assisting others in their conflicts will find this training especially helpful for assisting others to respond to conflict in a biblically faithful manner.

Personal Peacemaking and Conflict Coaching Training covers the following topics:

  • Understanding conflict from a biblical viewpoint
  • Identifying worldly and godly responses to conflict
  • Three opportunities for the Christian in conflict
  • How to confess your faults without justification
  • How to forgive others as God forgave you
  • How to achieve genuine reconciliation
  • How to coach others wrestling with conflict
  • How to get to the heart of conflict
  • How to proclaim the Gospel in the midst of conflict

Where: Botany Lutheran Church 150C Harris Road, East Tamaki

When: 2 October 2014 7:00 pm to 9.00 pm 3 October 2014 8:30 am to 5.30 pm 4 October 2014 8:30 am to 5.30 pm

Cost: Training $175.00 Lunch, am/pm tea available Friday and Saturday $30

RSVP: 15 July 2014 to admin@lutheran.org.nz / Phone (04) 3852540

COLLEGE OF BISHOPS RETREAT

Transient

On Sunday evening, 22nd June, I, together with my family, Pastors Jim Pietsch and Rodger Russ, and Megan and Anne Somerville, gave a traditional Māori welcome to six LCA-NZ Bishops (John Henderson, Greg Pietsch, Greg Pfeiffer, David Altus, Mark Lieschke and Noel Noack), the Mission Director / Secretary of the LCA-NZ (Neville Otto), and Pauline Simonsen. After my mihi, Anne led us through a process of introducing ourselves, which was followed by an evening Holy Communion service.

We concluded the welcome by sitting at table together for the evening meal. Thus began the College of Bishop’s Retreat for 2014.

We met in a beautiful location at the Home of Compassion in Island Bay, Wellington, where we had access to a wonderful chapel, well-appointed single rooms, a prayer chapel, and a lounge that looked out over lawns, gardens, and, as some Bishops found out … a golf course as well!

Pauline Simonsen was our retreat facilitator, and led us through a devotion and study on the psalms (a process of orientation, disorientation and reorientation) each morning of the retreat. Dr Stuart Lange from Laidlaw College in Auckland gave a presentation on the bicentenary of the arrival of the gospel in Aotearoa.

There was one perfectly fine day during days of retreat (and the rest of the days were absolutely stunning, as you’d expect in Wellington!), and so the Bishops got to enjoy a 360degree vista of this beautiful harbour city from the top of Mt Victoria. We also had a guided tour through Te Papa and through Old St Pauls, and enjoyed a simple Vespers service at St Pauls Lutheran one afternoon. On the final evening we all met at the Whitfield home for dinner and light entertainment – music for organ and recorder (Bishop Mark and Bishop Greg Pf), singing accompanied by the ukulele (Bishop Mark L), a lovely hymn provided by Bishop Greg Pi, and a short example of Pastor Neville Otto’s film-making abilities via a PowerPoint display … I’ll make no comment about which of those items was the ‘light’ entertainment.

Some of you were also privileged to welcome and to hear one of the Bishops preach in your own Church before the retreat began.

The retreat was history-in-the-making; the first time all of the LCA-NZ Bishops have been in New Zealand together, and I believe we gave all of them an opportunity to understand life and ministry here in New Zealand much better.

THE LLL NEEDS YOU

Transient

The Lutheran Layman’s League (LLL) – read all about it at http://www.lutheran.org.nz/lutheran-laymens-league – is looking for new volunteers to serve on the LLL Board. Convenor of the Board, Caroline Samsom tells me she’d love to see more people volunteer to serve from other regions of the LCNZ (we currently have most from the Auckland / Hamilton area). If you’re interested in finding out more, please contact the LLL secretary, Marg Gust on margg3@xtra.co.nz or (06) 3277813.

FAKEBOOK … NATIONAL YOUTH CAMP … 7th to 10th July

Our young people meet next week for the LCNZ National Youth Camp. Please keep the young people of our church in your prayers; they are not only the church of the future; they are the church now!

NEW LOOK LCNZ WEBSITE

Transient

A revamped website for the LCNZ has been launched at http://www.lutheran.org.nz. The new site has an easier to read, fresh and modern design. The site is responsive and so will scale down and display well on mobile phone and tablet devices. And website content will be found and listed better by search engines. If you have any comments or feedback or have spotted information that should be corrected please email Simon Lieschke at simon@lieschke.net.

WHAKANUIA TE WIKI O TE REO MĀORI 2014 (Māori Language Week)

Transient

We are blessed in New Zealand with a beautiful indigenous language; Te Reo Māori. I continue to grow in my appreciation and love of it, even though I only speak it and understand it at a very elementary level. I’d love to see the LCNZ grow in its honouring of and use of Te Reo, one of our three official languages, and so I commend to you Māori Language Week.

Māori Language Week this year runs from the 21st to the 27th July. I’d like to encourage pastors and worship leaders to consider using some Te Reo in their worship on either Sunday 20th July or Sunday 27th July (or on both), and I’d like to encourage you to consider using Te Reo as you greet each other for meetings, Home Group gatherings, Small Group, etc. A simple “Kia ora” or “Tēnā koe” would be great. I will make some resources available to pastors and congregational leaders closer to the week.

MĀNAWATANGA / BLESSING

Kia tau ki a tātou katoa Te atawhai o tō tātou Ariki, a Ihu Karaiti Me te aroha o te Atua Me te whiwhingatahitanga Ki te wairua tapu Ake, ake, ake Amine

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all Forever and ever Amen

Kia noho a Ihowa ki a koutou; the Lord be with you.


+MARK

Pastor Mark Whitfield BTh MSM Bishop of the Lutheran Church of New Zealand / Pihopa o te Hāhi Rūtana o Aotearoa

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