Due to the disruptions caused by COVID-19 this has been an extremely challenging year for the Pastors, Staff, Leadership and Management teams, and unsettling for the whole church in general.
Church services had to be held online for months on end and we gratefully appreciated and relied on the work of volunteers, especially the IT and Music teams to make online services and meetings possible. This took incredible planning and preparation by Tim, the Pastoral Staff and Management Team.
Home Group Leaders have also been pivotal in encouraging and keeping up communication and gatherings. It has been great to see more people connected into Life Groups.
It was not until 25 March 2022 that the government decreed that the limit on the numbers gathering was allowed to rise from 100 to 200 people, signing in and wearing masks with social distancing, etc. We chose not to discriminate between vaccinated and unvaccinated so carefully followed government guidelines.
Prior to Covid, during our Leadership gathering prayer time, we discussed the vision of a boat that needed its sails regularly readjusted in order to catch the wind, which enabled the boat to set sail.
But also in this vision was the sound of a foghorn blowing, warning the boat of danger ahead. The sails had to be continually adjusted to move with the wind but also away from any danger that could not be seen ahead through the fog.
This year as a Leadership team, we have set to move with God, to listen to the Holy Spirit and collectively as a team discern the way forward for Franklin Baptist Church. We have seen and experienced many great things that our God has done this year in the life of FBC despite the many disruptions caused by Covid-19.
- We have seen full restoration of pastor Tim’s health for which we give thanks.
- We have been blessed with exceptional service from all of our staff under challenging circumstances this year. We especially thank Julia McLellan for her valued ministry with children and Jan Day for her many years of voluntary service as Treasurer.
- Despite Covid we were able to live within our means.
- We were able to assist many families impacted by Covid with care packages and pastoral care.
- All ministries of the church including Oasis, Alpha, CAP and the Toy Library have continued after lockdowns. A new Craft-group ministry has recently begun.
- The Leadership team have functioned extremely well in some of the most difficult circumstances we believe the church has experienced in our living history. We are grateful that with modern technology we were able to continue to meet using Zoom and Teams online, but in recent months we have valued being able to meet again in person.
- Penny has flourished in the new 10hr weekly role of Executive Pastor.
- Erin Temu and Alan Calvert have fitted in well to our Leadership team.
- Alan has initiated a mortgage repayment plan which has been taken up enthusiastically.
- We have missed the valuable insight of Phillip Kelsey and the dedicated leadership of John Wilcox who stepped down from chairmanship in recent months. John has carried a huge workload over many years, but especially during the Covid lockdowns.
We have also encountered many challenges with the unsettled times of Covid as we have had to make decisions that not everyone has agreed with, but the Leadership team have always prayerfully sought to keep people safe and informed.
These challenges have been difficult to address and often time consuming for us as a team. At
times we have felt unsupported in our governance role. However, we continue to pray and seek God’s best in each of these situations. It is in unity and trust with each other that we will move forward into more of what God is calling us to as a church.
Be encouraged. We have an amazing, gifted fellowship and serve a generous loving God
who wants us to love and serve one another in our homes, church and community.
Hebrews 10: 24-25 The Message “Let’s see how inventive we can be in encouraging love and helping out, not avoiding worshipping together as some do, but spurring each other on, especially as we see the big Day approaching.”
Leadership and Senior Pastor:
Faye Snook (Chairperson), Esther Calley, Erin Temu, Dave Stevens, Alan Calvert, Penny Day (Executive Pastor), Tim Palmer (Senior Pastor).
I want to start by recognising the hard work every member of the team does. Each person is an important cog on the wheel that turns the management team motor. Colin does the most voluntary hours by far and keeps the building and property looking shipshape and functional. Den of course does all things admin plus ‘over and above’ his role and works alongside Colin in getting rooms ready to hire out. Phil looks after all our I.T equipment, processes, training and programming – the kind of stuff we take for granted. Russell has been developing and upgrading our Health and Safety policies and signage.
Jan our treasurer keeps tabs on all the finances and works alongside Tim and Den creating budgets and tracking spending. I want to really thank you Jan for all you have done for the church, it has been a lot of hours of voluntary work over the years and we respect your decision to stand down and have a well earned rest. You will be missed!
I took over the chairing of the team mid term and enjoy the role and challenges it brings. It’s more than just running our monthly meetings, It’s managing the dynamics of different personalities, legal requirements, time management and all the other curve balls.
I want to make a special mention to John who steered this team for so long and was also the link to the Leadership team. John went above and beyond and whilst you probably aren’t keen on this mention we need to acknowledge your extremely big contribution.
As you know the last year has been another challenging one for the church. The Management team has had to navigate some financial challenges with the ‘giving’ being down mainly due to the fact we weren’t meeting on a Sunday, however there are always the overheads to meet still.
The year ahead is a good challenge for us. Whilst we have faith that the giving will lift we need to explore other revenue streams. I believe we have such an under resourced facility (hireage wise) and we really want to have some sort of community marketing of this wonderful complex so more locals can benefit, along with a financial boost to be able to do more for the kingdom. Of course this comes at a cost as there would be more setting up to do so we really would like more volunteers to be on board to assist with this.
I also want to build cohesion with the Leadership team and the congregation so there’s a real synergy across the board.
Thanks for your support.
This year has been a time of rebuilding, and resetting. The worship team have been the most incredible adapters over the last year. From moving online for lockdown, to online services where the team were the only ones in our church building, to coming back together with the entire church whānau. They have been gracious and stepped up every single time as things changed consistently.
One of the highlights of this past year was putting together the online Christmas Eve service. They put their hearts and souls into creating a beautiful expression of the Christmas story for the Franklin community. This couldn’t have happened without the time given by an incredible audio engineer: Jeremy Claridge, who lives in Wellington. He mastered the sound to an incredible quality and we are deeply grateful! I pray it was a blessing to you.
We also re-established our team nights this year, which are a time to eat kai together, worship, pray and learn together to discern where God is leading us and the Franklin community within musical worship. Another exciting event that has started this year is Whānau Worship night. Bringing the entire community together to creatively worship God spaciously on a Sunday evening. It was fun to see children drawing, people praying for one another and different voices speaking scripture and prayers over one another. It was a beautifully multi-generational time. Don’t miss the next one, all are welcome to these spaces!!
We have been joined by nine new members of the team over the last year! Each person brings incredible gifts to the team and we are deeply grateful. The team continues to do a lot of mahi each and every week to prepare for Sundays, so we want to say a BIG THANK YOU to every member of the team for continuing to give of their precious time!
— We so deeply need the Holy Spirit’s leadership in this ministry. Would you please pray for us. For God’s protection, direction and provision.
— We are so deeply thankful for the service of John Wilcox, Theresa Luke and Michelle Erasmus who have served on the Worship team for many years! A HUGE thank you!
— For each and every member of the team who have sacrificed so much time to serve the gathered church.
— We are so thankful for some new people on the team: Daniel Potter, Emily Palmer, Patty Kerkhoven, Graham Brooks, Lynley Clark, Sophie Clark, Steadfast Sutrisno, Steve Clark and Thomas McKelvey. This was a huge answer to prayer!
As I have reflected on the last year I found this verse from Psalm 68:19 “Praise be to the Lord, to God our Saviour, who daily bears our burdens.” Isn’t He an amazing God who loves us so much, and ye He bears our burdens.
This year has been a tough one for us as a group, as we have had to battle against Covid 19, causing disruptions to our programmes. Also, we have endured the personal sad loss of three members who have gone to be with Jesus in a better place. We remember Bob Gibbs, Ian McGregor, and Basil Clark, whom we all miss.
In my role as leader, I have been well supported by my leadership team of Stewart and Margy Bent, Colin Maloney, Val Horne, and Helena Round, who I am incredibly grateful for their practical help, encouragement, and prayers.
Despite the disruptions of the pandemic, we have been able to meet regularly on most Wednesdays for fellowship, praise and worship of God and some inspiring teaching through the watching of videos by David Jeremiah, Pastor Robert Morris, and Chuck Swindoll.
Our only visiting speaker this last year has been our son Stephen sharing about his life as a Paramedic, with its many challenges and rewards. This was informative and provided some interesting insights into life on the front line of the country’s health service.
On the first Wednesday of the month, we hold a chapel service, ably led by Helen Elley, I appreciate her loyalty and commitment. These services continue to be well supported, although with reduced numbers attending due to fears and effects of Covid 19, and other illnesses that have troubled some of our older folk. Glenys Barlow has continued to lead a talented team of helpers, Jenny Hunt, Trish Stott, and Shanae Dean in providing a delicious lunch, which has included some amazing soups supplied by Jean Archer. A big thank you goes to the committed team for their efforts, and Arlene Hutcheon has also been supportive in her role of playing the piano to lead our singing.
Speakers through the year have included Pastor Tim, Sandra Bruin, Colin Maloney and Stewart Bent, coming with inspiring messages.
I am grateful for the supportive wife God has blessed me with in Jane, who has not only encouraged me in my role as leader but has also helped with the music and shared a message at one service.
Outings normally held on the fifth Wednesday were restricted this past year, we have had two events held in the church café, where we have had games, fellowship, and food, which has lifted people’s spirits.
In conclusion, it has been a difficult and demanding year, but through it all we have been aware of God’s wonderful love for us in the gift of his son Jesus, and the reminder of how faithful our God is.
welcome + Care ministry
Writing a report covering a period of 12 months, with eight of those being out of the ordinary, was not easy. I was (and still am from time to time) tempted to think that they were eight months lost to us as an FBC whānau. However, that is looking at the glass half empty and I prefer to look for the blessings within the hard times.
The Welcome Ministry and Newcomers lunches were getting some traction, after a bit of a dry period, when we went into lockdown last year. I want to extend a heartfelt “Thank You” to Gary and Agnes for their consistent commitment to welcoming new people and visitors; and making them feel at home in our church – not only into the building but also into the church family. I also want to commend every one of you who are not part of the Welcome Team, who go out of their way to make visitors and new people feel welcome. I have heard many people say to me over the years, “Franklin Baptist is one of the most welcoming and warm churches we have ever visited.” I love that. Another comment I have heard more than once is, “People are so friendly and made me feel at home from the very first time I visited.” Comments like this give me a warm and fuzzy feeling because I know that this is what being the family of God is all about. While I know that there is always room for improvement, the majority of the time, we as a church family are doing great. So again, I want to encourage all of us to keep an eye out for people we haven’t met yet and going over for a chat. Don’t let people sit or stand alone in the service or in the café afterwards, even if they are not new. We all need some love and care from time to time.
We have sadly seen a handful of families leave over the last year; but we are rejoicing that the majority of those are attending other churches. We are also very excited that we’ve had a number of new families join FBC since April this year. A couple of Newcomer’s lunches are planned for this term and the next. Dates will be advertised in the Whānau News email, so keep a look out for them.
With Covid running rampant through our community, the staff and leaders felt prompted by the Spirit to bless those who had to isolate, while the rest of us were free to come and go as we pleased. I am so excited to report that 44 families, from March 2022 to date, have been blessed with a meal and some treats while isolating with the virus. These families are so appreciative of that and I often get personal “Thank You’s” because I am mostly involved in dropping those packages off. My reaction to these personal Thank You’s have been and will stay, “I am blessed to be part of the blessing.” Having said that, I know that many families and individuals have quietly been looking after those in need without the staff or leaders even being aware of the need. What a great family we have! Thank you.
Over the coming weeks, I am planning to reconnect with Pastoral Care teams and have a brainstorm together regarding how we can develop and encourage these teams.
In the past, we had pastoral care teams in the following areas:
- Home/rest home visitation
- Hospital visitation
- Phone calls
- Card/Flower Ministry
If you would like to join our team, please let me know so I can include you in our conversation about the way forward: email@example.com or 027 215 7817.
Our Life Group leaders are awesome! I am so privileged to be part of this team of people who go the extra mile for the people in their groups. We would love to see more people join Life Groups but with that comes a need for more people to host and/or facilitate Life Groups. We do not have enough groups. Some of our groups are bursting the seams, because of space limitations or maybe the experience that personal conversation and sharing struggles get harder to discuss in larger groups.
There are various schools of thought around Life Groups; one of them being that the ideal size is about 12 people. There are also some articles on Small Groups that suggest a group split in two when they start growing past 12, with the goal to multiply groups. Another approach is that size does not matter; it depends on the people who make up a group. Some groups of 25 or larger have great conversations and feel extremely close to each other, while others are more comfortable with a small group of 4 – 8 people or anything in between. As the staff person who inputs into this crucial ministry, and having been involved in leading Life Groups for many years, I know the hurt of being pushed to split a group of people who have been doing life together for a number of years. There may be success stories in other churches, but we have seen and experienced more than once that this approach does not work. Sadly, both times the groups that were supposed to grow and multiply fizzled out and died. This is certainly not an approach we will be proposing at FBC, unless the group feels prompted to do so.
However, we do need more groups to start up. If you have been thinking about stepping up to leading a Life Group, but it sounds too daunting and time consuming, please talk to me. I have a few suggestions of how to start up a group without it being either! How about it? You know God has been gently prodding you. Become part of our team of awesome Life Group leaders. Contact me today: firstname.lastname@example.org or complete the Connect Form on the Church Center app.
Josh van de Worp
Covid-19 again affected the way we could do youth ministry this year. We tried our best to engage online, which was very hard as it is very impersonal and by then we were all suffering from screen fatigue.
In term 4 of 2021 we decide to take youth outdoors so we could gather in person. We were able to meet at some local parks to hang out and eat food together. This was great to reconnect and spend time together.
Term 1 of 2021 was all about connection again. we gathered together at church trying to reconnect as a group. We had great food, friendship and discussions.
Term 2 we looked at a series on encountering God. It was a time to intentionally connect with Jesus and practice encountering Him each week. We looked at, nature, communion, the Bible, silence, worship and prayer. Jesus showed up each week as we searched for Him. It was an awesome time for both our leaders and our young people.
QB Training. We took a cool group down to QB training this year. QB is a time were we as leaders get to be built into and up-skilled as leaders. We were able to engage in worship, seminars and conversations with other youth leaders from around the country. We all came back inspired and recharged for youth ministry.
Kylie Lendrum finished up as a youth leader this year. Kylie has served for over 20 years in youth ministry and at least 15 of those years here at Franklin Baptist. Kylie is listening and trusting in God and is spending time seeking Him for what is next for her. Kylie, we want to thank you for your years of faithful service. You are amazing and 100s of young people’s lives have been influenced by your ministry. 100s of seeds planted, watered and nurtured by your ministry. Thank you Kylie.
Josh van de Worp
2021-22 has been another year effected by covid-19. As church was not happening we were unable to meet for our weekly intermediate sessions.
This year eCamp could not go ahead as planned due to the Covid-19 regulations. This was both sad and disappointing news for our intermediates and their leaders. eCamp is a time where we see God at work in the lives of intermediates. Even though eCamp didn’t happen we are still able to hear that God is working in the lives of intermediates.
During Sunday morning programs we use the orange curriculum which gives a great basis for preparing relevant and good lessons. In 2022 we have looked at topics like forgiveness, Prayer and how we are not too young to own our faith, be examples and learn from others.
We are excited to be working closely with the Kids Ministry and working on ways to see all Kids and Intermediate programs work awesome.
Josh van de Worp
The end of 2021 left us scratching our heads again as we went back into lockdown. Lockdowns meant we were not able to connect with students in both Pukekohe High school and Pukekohe Intermediate School. Both schools then decided that it was safer for us to remain not at school for the rest of the 2021 school year. This left us with nothing to report and all our end of year celebrations being cancelled. It was a hard way to finish a tough two years.
The start of 2022 bought about a fresh new start for both schools here are some things that we have achieved in the first two terms of 2022.
Anna and Josh have been involved with lunch time activities and hangouts, mentoring, coaching, supporting students, working with students who found it hard to transition back into school, leadership development and having lots of fun.
Gary Sweeny, Principal for 20 years, retired. We were able to celebrate alongside staff, students and the community as we farewelled a good leader and a good man. He will be missed.
This in turn meant the start of a new principal for Pukekohe Intermediate School. Rebekah Pearson, the current Deputy Principal, was successful in getting the principals job. She has started very well and it is awesome to continue the partnership in Pukekohe Intermediate School.
Pukekohe High School
At the start of 2022 we changed who we reported to in the school. We were assigned Donna, a new assistant principal, who is in charge of pastoral care in the school. This is a great fit and are happy with our relationship so far.
Tremayne and Maddison focused on raising their profile in the school. They chatted with teachers and staff and also with the students about who they are and what they do. It was hard going into school again after months off at the end of 2021. They were both involved in lunch time activities, mentoring, coaching, working with students need extra support and leadership development.
Tremayne finished up as a youth worker at the end of term 2. He will be missed by us, staff and students alike. Tremayne will stay on in a volunteer capacity. We want to thank Tremayne for the awesome things he has achieved at Pukekohe high School over the last few years.
Jayden Temu has taken on the role of 24-7 youth worker in Pukekohe High School. We are excited to see him trust God and be an awesome presence in the school.
Please continue to pray for the youth work team as we work with young people.
The last year has required us to be adaptable and creative in how we run our children’s ministry programmes. Julia did a wonderful job providing a children’s slot in our online services and providing the children and families with weekly information and activities to encourage our children’s faith at home. She also ran some very fun zoom catch ups with the children. However, it has been so good to be meeting back together in person and have our children’s programs up and running again. We are so thankful to all our volunteer team members who lead and help in the Sunday programs as well as those that help on our sign in desk and work behind the scenes to support our children and families. This is an exciting ministry to be apart of.
Julia has played a significant role in enabling a great children and families ministry over the past year, but we bless her as she has moved on to focus on her own family and their needs. In the interim as we seek someone to fill the role of Children and Families Pastor, I have had the privilege of overseeing this ministry. We are so blessed to have fantastic people leading and helping in our kid’s church teams. I am impressed with the curriculum that we use, (Orange curriculum). One of the Kids church leaders says this about it:
“The program we use in Kids church is fantastic. The teaching video teaches a biblical principal or story in two ways. The program includes reading from the set of bibles, and I have seen how children love reading for themselves the Word of God in a ‘big’ bible. The hands-on activities in the programs are fun for the children, for example- throwing rocks into water to show how our behaviour’s affect others when we were learning about self-control. Or using water pistols to put out a candle demonstrating how dangerous the tongue is. This program encourages children who are starting their journey and children who know all the bible stories.”
We have a FBC Kids Facebook page to encourage communication and information sharing with our families and look forward to this growing. This is where information is shared about the programs on Sundays and general information to support families.
Our children are so important to God and to us! Please continue to pray for their faith, may it be a beautiful lifelong journey.
Matthew 19: 14 Jesus says, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”
Partway through this year, Margaret Adams needed to step back from facilitating the Prayer Chain. We are praying God’s continued blessing on Margaret as she navigates what the future holds.
Margaret has facilitated this ministry humbly and faithfully for a number of years and we were at a bit of a loss to think of someone to shoulder tap to step into Margaret’s shoes. An answer to prayer came in the form of Arlene Hutcheon who responded promptly to our request in the Whānau News. I want to emphasise that no one stepping up to leading a ministry is ever expected to step into the footprints of the previous leader. We encourage everyone to bring their specific gifts to any role. Arlene has done that admirably over the last few months. Thank you to both Margaret and Arlene for their faithful service in this ministry.
If you want to join the Prayer Chain in praying confidentially for those who have prayer requests, please contact Arlene on 0274 726 198 or email@example.com The same contact details are applicable if you have a prayer request, or complete the Prayer + Care form on the Church Center app. Your prayer request will stay private and confidential.
Praying for our church
The reality of lockdown is that some of the regular prayer groups/meetings at FBC have not been able to continue in the same way. However, while we do not see prayer group meetings advertised, many individuals and groups are and have continued to faithfully pray for our church. In addition, the staff team, leaders and management team regularly pray not only for God to lead us in leading the church but also for everyone who are part of this church family.
We would like to extend an invitation to anyone in our church family who has been feeling the need for prayer groups to start back up again. Please be in contact. We are all part of this FBC body, and like a body, we need everyone. Prayer is not an initiative that needs staff leadership, so please don’t hesitate to approach anyone on staff or the leadership team to talk about your ideas or maybe your dream to see more prayer in our church.
I conclude my report with this quote by Bob Goff:
“People who are growing fall forward and bump into Jesus all over again.”
Be encouraged. Keep on growing.
The GATeam (Stuart & Julie, Marian, Val, Helena), though small in number, has endeavoured to meet monthly to pray for our mission partners and oversee all things global mission as they relate to FBC. Due to Covid restrictions etc. this has been challenging but we can be assured God is not restricted in any way and His work continues on.
We have been privileged to be able to meet with many of our Partners face to face albeit due to the many changing circumstances through the year.
A summary of each of the Partners is as follows:
Greg and Rosie continue to serve in Thailand but were in New Zealand for much of this last year due to the death of Greg’s father. The logistics of getting home in time, booking flights, arranging Covid tests and an urgent quarantine slot seemed big hurdles but we have a big God who arranged all things to make the trip home possible. They were so grateful that they got to see his father before he passed away, even if it was just 30 mins. Hopefully many of you would have interacted with them personally before they returned to Thailand in the middle of June. We were also privileged to have them speak at a service and share some of the struggles and joys they face in their work.
Kevin and Gillian continue to serve in Cambodia and have been “finding their feet” with the new role Gillian has taken on involved in the school. The challenges are numerous dealing with culture, language, environment and relationships, but they are solid grafters and serve Him with passion and enthusiasm.
Paul and Sarah and their family have settled back into NZ life whilst still being very involved in the work in Kolkata. They will continue to work part time for The Loyal Workshop from a distance as well as their part-time jobs here in NZ.
Carol has returned home after a dedicated three years in Kolkata. Some months ago she felt a strong leading that it was time to return which gave her a good amount of time to “finish well” and say her goodbyes to those she had established close relationships with. We have benefitted from her speaking at a recent service as well as during a shared lunch.
Alan and Fiona and their family are serving in a start up on-line Christian school which has taken some time to get up and running but is now growing almost too rapidly with enrolments of children due to the issues of school disruptions and difficulties in a pandemic world. In this past year they sold their home in Pukekohe and have relocated to the Christchurch area where they will soon be building a new home. Alan continues to work full time for his employer whilst allocating around one day a week to the 3H school.
Whilst the monthly GAT hosted lunches have been few and far between we have endeavoured to hold what events we could to keep people informed and up to date with mission matters.
The two annual offerings taken up with a global focus have again been a great way for the FBC family to get behind God’s work in a practical way. Thanks to all of you who gave generously this year. The Christmas Appeal this year went to enable the Birds to hire a Christian Resources and Training Worker. A total of $2,345 was raised and they were especially grateful. The other appeal was the annual Prayer and Self Denial (“Renew Together”) focus which we continue to support both financially as well as allocating three Sundays to the theme as suggested by NZBMS.
To keep up to date with the prayer and praise points from our partners we encourage you to look out for the bi-monthly Fuel Focus attached to the newsletter or pick up a copy from the information desk.
“God so loved the world”…..He is at work. Keep praying about how you can join Him.
community toy library
Firstly I would like to acknowledge and thank Donna Haliday and the Toy Library Committee for the support and guidance they have given me since becoming the librarian in March this year. I am so thankful for the opportunity to be in this position and I am enjoying building relationships with the toy library members and their tamariki. With the uncertainty of the last few years, topped with the wave of illnesses affecting many families with little people I have really noticed how stretched parents are feeling. I aim to continue to provide a space in the library that allows people (parents and children) to feel they can chat and be open with a nonjudgmental listening ear.
A huge thank you again goes to our Toy Library Committee and the members who helped out at our Café fundraiser in June. As a not for profit organisation we rely on fundraising and grants to survive so their support was much appreciated. We raised over $2000 of much needed funds for the library. Wahoo! We are also so thankful that Franklin Baptist Church gave us the opportunity to run the café as a fundraiser, we really appreciated the support! Those funds will be going towards extending the deck and adding a much needed second shed for the Toy Library.
This year our membership numbers have continued to increase. We still have around 60% of our current members on active membership which means that they are required to do one session help duty per term which involves helping me count and check toys that have been returned and getting them back on the shelves for others. After the out of the norm last two years where no one was completing session help duty I have been working on returning the library to the normal routines to ensure the smooth running and function of it.
Lastly I would like to share some of our exciting new additions in the library. These were received thanks to grant money and generous donations.
Alpha is a course which lasts 11 weeks. It combines great teaching with quality videos and discussion groups. It’s great fun and the guests enjoy making new friends. It certainly is a winning formula.
Thank You to…
— The Alpha team: Dennise, Howard, Jill, Keith and Sherrell, May Lee, Steve and Lynley and Tina-ree. (with special thanks to Tina-ree and Sherrell for cooking such beautiful meals for the Wednesday course.
— FBC office staff and leaders for their help and encouragement.
Alpha at FBC
We have been running Alpha courses for 23 years. We have seen the lives of many people changed by it. It is a privilege for the team to see guests’ Christian faith develop.
Alpha (August 2021 to July 2022) — We have run 4 courses which have been attended by 38 people. It’s great to see guests forming friendships.
Alpha Sunday in February — This service was to advertise up-coming courses and included testimonies from Rees and Anita.
Alpha Weekend — The Alpha weekend was held at Alan and Liz’s home, which provided the ideal setting.
Promoting Alpha — On top of our usual advertising programme we now have our own FBC Alpha Facebook page (thanks to Phil, who tells me we’ve had hundreds of ‘clicks’).
Discipleship Course — This is a 6-week follow-up course to the alpha course, run by Keith and Sherrell. This course looks at the Christian faith in more detail.
Alpha New Zealand — is expanding its network, adding 3 more sites around the country.
On a sad note… We mourn the sudden death of our friend, Trevor.
Finally, It is an honour to be part of our Alpha team. No matter how much time and effort goes into our advertising campaigns NOTHING beats a personal invitation.
karakia 7am + 7pm
The ministry continues to grow stronger as people continue to search for peace and comfort. We have increased followers from 6000 last year to over 8000 followers this year and every day we have 1000s of people connecting on our Facebook page, we have added Instagram stories to increase awareness which has been successful for bringing more people to our community.
We have hundreds of people connecting to online churches we publish on Sunday mornings leaders of these churches are witnessing an increase in people visiting their online service and church on a Sunday. This will be something we would like to increase over the next year as we get to know more church leaders in our community.
This year we have had testimony of a family who went to church for the first time. A mum and baby in destress during birth who were later reported all fine; 9 pound 11 ounces. A women said that she has lost hope and it was restored and was very grateful. A baby stopped breathing in Whangarei hospital and has since recovered, mum and baby went home fine.
This year we partnered with Love Somebody to run two online Fight the Good Fight courses with families who had family members pass away by suicide. We will continue to support this suicide prevention course and increase awareness on our platform.
Praying for our church
This month we invited leaders and listeners to a free lunch at Spark Arena during the Equippers Church – Shout conference, we had over 85 people turn out from around the country and two from Sydney excited to gather together for kai, fun and fellowship.
What we are witnessing at these events is a strong community of church leaders and listeners who are forming new relationships and enjoying the work God is doing in this space.
Next year we look to support church unlimited conference and the Billy Graham event.
Please continue to pray for our ministry as we increase our love for God and people.
made with love
Our group was formed at the start of 2021 with the vision of helping new mothers who were (in need of baby items) struggling financially. Our group started with three ladies having the same desire to help these new mothers and we now have 23 people, this includes woodturners who make the baby rattles.
We provide 12 bags per month to Pukekohe Maternity Hospital. These are given out through the discretion of the midwives. Each bag consists of: Bibs, gauze wipes, baby cardigan/jumper, hat, bootees, toy, small blanket and hand-cream for mothers. Depending on supplies we also put in a quilted changing mat and burp cloth. Each bag goes out with a New Testament Bible supplied by the Gideons and information regarding Alpha.
We also are in contact with the Catholic Home for Mothers here in Pukekohe. We supply the same bags when needed. Christmas and Easter we have provided a smaller version of the main bag for ‘all’ mothers who are in the hospital over these set periods. Up to the time of writing this report we have supplied 114 bags, all these items are all hand made with love.
We have also made contact with Family Support and given supplies which have been well received. We would like to give our thanks and appreciation to the people who have donated money and materials for this ‘very special’ ministry. We are very grateful to you all.
We have an amazing group of dedicated people in this ministry and without their love and support this couldn’t take place. We have named this ministry ‘Made With Love’ as everything which goes out in these bags is definitely made with love.
Blessing from our Team
heartfelt catering ministry
This ministry has evolved with dedicated people who are a part of our church family and have a heart to serve. We have now been involved with this ministry for four years. In this time our team has grown to enable us to have two teams operating. We have dedicated ourselves to updating our menu and also looking into our presentation which we have received many favourable comments.
All this serves to give our best to the families who are grieving the loss of a loved one. Our team volunteer their time and give love and support to these families. Our aim is to be able to give back to any family who may be feeling the stress financially. This is where we can help families with funeral catering arrangements.
This year due to Covid we have catered for three funerals. One of these we were unable to personally serve this family so everything was made, packed and delivered to where the family were coming together to celebrate this person’s life. Nothing was going to stop us providing this very valuable service to our church family.
We have an amazing team of volunteers and without them this ministry could not take place. If any one feels they would like to be a part of this team, please contact the office for more details.
Blessings from the Heartfelt Team
This financial year has been a challenging year in some ways. We started off the year with the surplus from the 2021 income year budgeted to pay for the repairs and maintenance on the carpark, the tree roots of which were causing the concrete to lift and be dangerous. This maintenance took longer than expected because of Covid but has been successfully completed and looks great.
Our income for the financial year has averaged just over $10,000 per week which is down on budget, however we have kept expenses tight, while maintaining salaries in line with Baptist recommendations, mission payments as set by the missions committee, and Baptist levies.
Over the last 3 months there has been a focus on repayment of the Christian Savings Loans, split as fixed and variable. As at 1/8/2021 FBC loan was $521,844.15. As at 31/7/22 the loan stands at $255,374.68. We have had donations and interest free loans to be able to repay as much as we have. Thank you to all who have contributed.
Our focus is to repay the balance by 15 October 2022, and we will use the interest monies we would have been paying to repay those interest free loans donated. The budget prepared for the 2022-2023 income year maintains the staffing levels and missions as recommended. It shows a break even situation which will be monitored closely.
mortgage repayment scheme
Earlier this year a small group came together to discuss the impact that the mortgage repayments were having on the Church finances and therefore on our resources to expand our ministries.
As at the beginning of May 2022 we had a balance owing of $470,000 and the monthly repayments were $5100 and this burden was going to remain for 16 more years.
We devised a plan to completely pay off the whole debt in five years. The plan involves two parts.
1) A goal of $100,000 coming from donations and fundraising with the added incentive being given by a donor couple who have chosen to match this sum dollar for dollar (this will then total $200,000).
2) A goal of $270,000 of interest free loans which will be largely repaid by the church continuing to repay the debt at a similar rate to what it has been.
As at 1 July we still owed Christian Savings $260,000 but we have committed to discharging that balance no later than 15th October.
Various fundraising adventures are already underway including painting new fences, gardening, pruning, cake sales, baby sitting and pottery sales. Other events being planned include a Saturday morning car boot sale, a barn dance, and a special event to be held in a beautiful garden setting in spring.
We are still seeking other ideas and some further interest free loans. We are getting wonderful support from the church family and we are totally confident that our goals will be reached.
Alan Calvert and Doug Phelps.
ADMIN & membership report
In the past 2 years, the office systems have been slowly transitioning more to the digital platform. The use of Office 365, Teams, Sharepoint, OneDrive within the church’s Microsoft network is now being utilized. The church also committed to the use of the PCO – Planning Center Online and Services application and programme package. With PCO, we now have our Church Center app where you will find most of what you want to know about what’s going on at FBC. The number of people downloading the Church Center app is encouraging. The Planning Center Services also helps us schedule volunteers and create our Sunday Worship plans. It also keeps our Database accurate and secure. The most encouraging part is to see everyone trying to adapt to the system even with some struggles. I would like to appreciate our IT Ministry Head – Phil Walker who does the big work toward these improvements. I am praying and positive that we will get there someday…one step at a time!
There are 768 people listed in our Database, and the breakdown is as follows: