Given this has been a year without lockdowns, this could have been seen as a “normal year”. However, we have faced and coped with further change!
When our loved pastor Tim Palmer indicated to us that the Lord was calling him to move on after seven years with us, we farewelled Tim & Jenni in early February to take up a position at Grace City Church in Greenlane, Auckland.
We value recently “retired” Pastor Steve Clark’s willingness and availability to step into the gap and join the staff team as our Interim Pastor, then extend his availability until November 2023.
We then began a process of setting up a call committee who have liaised with leadership and with Baptist Regional Support to follow a process of surveying the church and preparing Church and Pastor profiles for advertising for a new Senior Pastor.
We have looked more closely at the history of our church, especially related to biculturalism in our area. A National Baptist Hui was held in July, the first in 30 years, to shape the role of that into the future.
Our excellent Management Team and Leadership Team have both carried a heavy load this year in adjusting to financial restraints due to the economy and the changes that COVID and Tim’s departure have brought to us. The Leadership Team have been involved too in determining priorities for focus, a desire to see the church the healthiest it can be, looking at how we can better manage burnout issues relating to church ministry, policy making, the setting up of Leadership Portfolios, and more recently preparing for a review of our constitution.
Change is part of life and our staff and church whānau have been amazing in taking up tasks that had been set aside or changed because of Covid disruptions and Tim’s departure.
Some examples include:
- Penny Day has carried an extra heavy load this year as Executive Pastor and done an amazing job.
- Sandra Bruin has continued to work faithfully with life groups, visitation and church families needing all kinds of support.
- Our many Life Groups have been blessed by the dedicated leadership of their leaders who have continued to bring stability in the midst of change.
- Carol Dobbe’s leadership has brought new energy and vision into the children’s ministry
- Josh van der Worp continues to be inspirational in the work he does in both the church and local schools.
- Sasha Olson brought gifted leadership to the worship team, and took on extra hours to cover the holiday season before leaving us in March to take up the pastoral position at Henderson Baptist.
- Josh Temu is very ably now part time on staff responsible for our worship & music ministry.
- Den Camacho too has carried a heavy load managing all office administration and bookings of our church premises.
- Jan Day has continued to faithfully serve as Treasurer.
- Prayer for our future direction and search committee has been encouraged and led by Ian Moorhouse.
- Alpha, led by Paul Brown, and Oasis, led by Charlie Potter, have flourished.
- Men’s Ministry has begun again and seen good support.
We are very blessed with the willingness of all our leaders in the volunteer-led ministries and servant ministries in our church life.
You are valued for the work you do, unseen often, but the Lord sees your desire to serve in His work. We believe our church is in good heart and you are all a very necessary part of the body of Christ.
Be encouraged for you are all greatly valued.
With our thanks,
Faye Snook (Chairperson), Esther Calley, Penny Day, Nicole Camacho, Erin Temu, Alan Calvert, Dave Stevens.
What a joy it has been for me to come back on staff as Interim Pastor and to be part of the wonderful team we have at FBC.
I have to say that God had to make it very clear to me that I was to take up this role and support the team as Pastor Tim left. However, as always, God is faithful and made a way for me to return until mid-November.
It was a big learning curve for me to come back and see just how much technology and new systems have made such a big difference in the way we all communicate now. This has helped right across the various ministries.
Having an Executive Pastor guiding and supporting the team has certainly made a difference for the good and the spiritual and physical health and safety of us all so thank you Penny for all you do. Thank you also to all the staff. You are so wonderfully supporting of each other.
In my role as part time Pastor, I have enjoyed assisting the team in service planning as well as guiding the preaching each week. I have been blessed by such wonderful Godly people who have taken a part in this responsibility and stepped up to the pulpit. I am encouraged by the calibre of these folk and know that FBC will be served well by them in bringing God’s word alive for today until a new Pastor is appointed.
Our staff team, leadership team and management team are all wonderful and giving of their best to make FBC the place where God is worshipped and glorified and for this, I am truly grateful.
I want to honour the Pastoral Selection team who have been very diligent and thorough in the way they have gone about their search for our new Pastor and pray that God will indeed raise up the right person to take up that position in the near future.
I also want to speak the blessing of God’s grace and abundance of life into the lives of all our family members. You are the church that God is preparing as a beautiful bride, and I see that beauty coming out in you all. May you continue to be all that God has created you to be for His glory and praise.
Lyn and I thank you for your support and your encouragement throughout this year and we wish FBC every blessing for the future.
I am very excited about church life at Franklin Baptist Church, it is so great to see people enjoying their relationships with God and each other. It has been a busy year, but one filled with God’s grace and provision.
In my role as Executive Pastor, I support the staff team, the volunteer groups and work with the leadership team to support the strategic vision and direction the Church is going in. We have seen a lot of change in the past year, change in staffing with Pastor Tim and Sacha leaving and Pastor Steve joining us in an interim Pastor role.
It’s a privilege to work with such a great staff team, Sandra, Steve, Josh Temu, Carol, Josh and Den. They all do a fantastic job in the different roles they hold and in working as a team to support the general running of the church.
It’s been exciting to see many ministries in the church carrying on and indeed re starting up as the year has gone a long. God is at work as we continue to seek him as to how to reach into our communities that we are all involved in.
I am inspired by our church community and all that I hear and see God using us all to do. Galatians 6:9 says, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”
Blessings and encouragement to you all
PASTORAL sEARCH cOMMITTEE
The pastoral search committee was established in March 2023: Kylie Lendrum, Liz Kelsey, Faye Snook, Stuart Smith, Josh Temu, Keith Amoore, Phil Walker and Lisa Snook. We all feel God’s calling to this task. Our first meeting was on the 3rd of April with the Leadership team and Rachel Roche – Baptist Kaitiaki Regional Advisor. We were given the outline of our role and some great resources to help with this process. These resources have been created over the years to make this process flow and to have transparency with all in our church.
We have been meeting fortnightly with the odd extra meeting when needed. We have used our meeting times to bond as a team, press into God for his voice and to put together what the church would like in a new pastor. To support this process, we added the box in the church foyer to gain the congregation’s ideas, a mini hui for our Māori whānau and we started a WhatsApp group with Ian & leadership to add or hear from the church prayer time. We have interviewed the staff with questions to gain their voice around the role of a new pastor. The same questions were answered by the Leadership, Management and Search Committee. All these steps have helped us to form our Pastor profile and our church profile. From these steps we have created an advertisement, and this has been placed on the Baptist Union web page.
Our next steps are to work on a church information pack to give out to interested candidates. Please keep praying over God’s will in this process and for our new pastor as God has already handpicked them.
Lisa Snook – Chairlady of the FBC Search committee.
I feel the last year has been a good year in the life of the church. We have started to rebuild the amazing community within the church we had pre covid and it’s been great to see the congregation regroup. It has been a time to refocus on what we stand for and where we are heading.
The team around me are all very active in their roles and we gel well as a team. Thank you to each one of you for volunteering your time and energy and hopefully the congregation see what you all do behind the scenes.
Just a heads up on what we do, our main focus is always finances and property issues and keeping up with maintenance and health and safety requirements. Also IT requirements and upgrades are needed. It is actually a lot to manage at times however the Lord always provides and carries us through
A particular focus for myself this year as chairman has been to build a relationship with Penny and the staff team and attending some staff meetings to hear their heart and needs for their respective ministries and explaining to them our management team role and how we can assist them. Of course there are always areas of their wish lists we simply cant afford and so we find ourselves balancing priorities and particularly those that can service multiple ministries.
I love it when many aspects of the church work together for the greater good . Open conversation and cohesion can only be a wonderful thing
We have really tried hard to enhance difference spaces/rooms to make them more comfortable, warm and homely so it attracts more rental use and subsequently a secondary income stream. There is much more to do in this area of renovation however we are often hamstrung by a tight budget.
Thanks for your support and we appreciate your prayers
I would like to start this by honouring Sacha and her leadership of the team, and an amazing handover earlier this year. Thank you Sacha, for serving and leading us so well.
This year has been fantastic! The worship team have been incredible, learning and developing in their gifts and talents. Each person has stepped up in some capacity and I’m enjoying being a part of a team that has a heart for God alongside an abundance of creativity.
We have continued doing regular Team Nights and Whānau Worship Nights, and I can really see how God has been using these spaces to better ourselves, develop our team and overall improve the way we collectively glorify Him and serve the church. Team Nights continue to be spaces where we get to connect as a whole team around a meal, and worship in various ways, i.e. through games and learning. It also serves as a fantastic space to share vision and dream dreams. This included bringing in some friends from bible college, Rez and Vanessa to share their testimony and inspire our team, which was one of my highlights of the year so far! As for Whānau Worship Nights, these also continue to be spaces that are created to be intentional about spending time corporately in worship, usually with a core focus around a specific theme. Although we’ve only had one since Sacha’s departure, being able to focus on “Unity” and gathering to sing songs with a Holy Spirit-charged atmosphere was a delight as always.
As for new activity in the worship team, workshops have been introduced for the period of July to October (in temporary replacement of Thursday night rehearsals) where various spaces have been provided for our worship team and wider church congregation to develop their musical skills in the areas of keys, drums, vocals, sound & media and bass. This has been a wonderful growth & enablement opportunity for all those in attendance thus far, and we’ve already seen the fruit of it from the likes of people wanting to invest in themselves and being able to apply what they’ve learned on Sunday mornings.
And in general, we have been blessed with new members to the team and members who have developed a new instrument to add to the team in different capacities. We have also had some people step back from the team, to whom I would like to say: thank you for the time you have invested into our community.
- Please continue to pray for a constant refreshing of the Holy Spirit and anointing of renewed passion for those on our team.
- Pray for the provision of new resources, equipment and people to join the team as we dream to develop & grow together even more.
- Prayer for the future. God, how can we honour you with our worship? Particularly with our church’s current transitory space in looking for a new senior pastor, how can we align and direct our musical worship with our church’s future in mind.
- Prayer for the leadership of our worship team – for our worship leaders, including myself, to have open eyes and hearts to where the Lord might be directing us, to develop our team in better facilitating our church’s worship.
- The success of our workshops – seeing people invest in their passions with the ability to utilise their skills consistently is something we definitely have been celebrating!
- The wonderful addition of having drums (and cajon) more regularly on a Sunday morning service – we’ve received fantastic feedback from the congregation about how the dynamic of musical worship has felt more creative with the added rhythm and beat.
- The adaptability of our team – in general, grateful that they have been able to adjust to things like having a shorter song list, new rehearsal times, and the addition of workshop spaces.
And to our present team I’d just like to say:
Thank you for all you do!
Recognising that the investment and sacrifices you make for our faith community isn’t always easy and we appreciate every commitment.
May God continue to bless you and keep you, may His face shine upon you and give you peace.
welcome + Care ministry
Welcome & Hospitality
The porter’s job in an ancient Benedictine monastery was one of great importance. He was expected to offer a welcome “with all the gentleness that comes from reverence of God.” Or, as one contemporary Benedictine author notes, “The way we answer doors is the way we deal with the world.”
Our hospitality team opens doors to new and existing congregants every Sunday – whether by their greeting at the front door, the auditorium doors or anywhere in between; whether by serving tea/coffee or taking barista machine orders, whether answering questions or assisting in the Information Desk; or whether they’re walking around with a high vis vest, doing security duty. We are so thankful for those who are serving in this capacity.
There is a challenge here, however. We are all called to “open the door” every day. At home, at work, out shopping, at church. Making eye contact, a smile, striking up a conversation, listening to another person’s story…
Thank you to everyone who is not serving in one of our hospitality teams who “open the door” on Sundays at church “with all the gentleness that comes from reverence of God.”
Over the last 12 months, we’ve had two Newcomer’s lunches attended by 20+ people. This is not an accurate reflection of how many new people joined our church family, only of how many people could make it to the lunches. Feedback from the Newcomer’s lunches is good, with new people appreciating the conversations around the meal as well as the information about the church that they would have to look for, had they not attended a Newcomer’s lunch. Some of what is shared at these lunches is the vision of our church, who our leaders and staff are, as well as highlighting some of our ministries. We try to have a good representation of staff and leaders at these lunches, with lots of personal interaction and questions. If you have not been to one of our Newcomer’s lunches and you would like to know more about our church, please contact me on email@example.com and I will make sure that you get an invitation to the next one.
Sometimes people who are not part of a Life Group need some extra care, especially with hospitilisation or the loss of a loved one. What a privilege to belong to a church whānau who do not shy away from caring for those in need. Meals, home/hospital visitations, prayer and transport are willingly provided to those who make their needs known to us. If you are reading this and you are not connected to a FBC group – whether serving, Life Group or WhatsApp group, please let me know when you find yourself in a situation where you need extra support. That is what God’s family is about. Please don’t try to do it on your own. You are part of this family and we want to know when and how we can help you. Get in contact – firstname.lastname@example.org or complete the “Get Connected” form on the Church Center app.
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 Groups continue to be the place where we are cared for – physically, mentally and spiritually – and where intimate connection take place. We are thrilled that two new Life Groups were planted over the past 12 months, and to see more people enquiring about, and joining existing Life Groups. Here are some empowering thoughts about what Life Group means to our church whānau:
- A safe place to talk about what life throws at us – the good, the bad and the ugly
- One night a week where I can be guaranteed to find laughter, love and life!
- Where we connect deeply with Bible study and prayer
- We certainly do life together but that overflows to the rest of the week also
Our Life Group leaders are amazing and it is heart-warming to see them all so invested in their groups. No two Life Groups are the same and that is what I love about the family of God – the diversity and uniqueness of individual leaders and groups. Diversity with one purpose – serving each other and bringing glory to God! Thank you team!
Josh van de Worp
FBI (Franklin Baptist Intermediates) has had some big changes over the last few years. It has been nice this year to see a stable and talented group of leaders arise and pick up the mantle set by those before them. During Sunday morning programs we use the orange curriculum which gives a great basis for preparing relevant and good lessons. In 2022-23 we have looked at topics like Family pressures, prayer, looking at the life of Jesus, bullying, and how to be examples and learn from others.
eCamp was an amazing time for our young people. It was filled with fun, great food, cool tenting experience, great teaching about Jesus, worship and being connected to a bigger picture of God’s Church. It was so cool to have Carol at camp as our key leader as Josh has been tied up in the running of eCamp as a whole. It was great to have Richard and Claire come down to serve our young people as well. Our kids responded to the call of Jesus in lots of different ways and all of them came back with stories of God’s goodness in their lives.
Carol brings amazing strength as our Children’s and Families Pastor. As Intermediate Ministry we are glad we get to work closely with Children’s Ministry and do things together. Our hope is that Sunday morning programs continue to align and our teams work side by side as we serve the families and young people in our church. In the year ahead, Carol and I are excited for some amazing opportunities to practice Intergenerational Ministry Moments together as a whole church.
Josh van de Worp
It was wonderful to end to 2022 with very little disruptions to our regular youth programs. We have seen a real increase in both numbers and excitement to grow in relationship with Jesus; and an amazing group of leaders who are solid and committed to support our youth in this. Our leaders continue to point our young people back to Jesus first through a balance of good relationships, fun, small groups, discussion, and prayer.
Camps this year:
This past year we ran our two regular camps. In early December we had South Head camp. This is usually a time to relax. Most people’s exams are all over and so this time to camp, eat, hang out, and spend time in a beautiful spot is refreshing and life giving. The youth leaders planned and ran the camp this year as Josh vdW was unable to attend with baby number two on the way. The camp lived up to the hype. Good food, good people, good God moments and amazing connections made.
In April we also took a group of young people to Easter Camp at Mystery Creek. Easter Camp is a time where our young people get to see the bigger picture of the Church of NZ – Auckland and Waikato at least. Seeing about 4000 teens and leaders worshiping together with one voice, praising our awesome God is an incredible experience. Josh T led our group and our leaders’ helpers and staff chipped in to make a great camp experience for our young people. I loved the stories that came out of camp. It was a real blessing to the whole church to hear these stories on a Sunday morning. Jesus does cool things at camps, as we can open ourselves up to the Spirit in a safe and relational way.
Our training over the new King’s Birthday weekend is always a great time for our youth leaders to grow, learn and connect with each other and others from around the North Island doing the same Mahi as them with young people. Each year our leaders come back refreshed and inspired, ready to serve our young people again.
I am excited to see the effect of long-term relationship play out through youth ministry. It is awesome to see so many of our teenagers using their skills and talents serving and leading in the life of the church. We are very blessed to have a youth ministry and both leaders and teenagers who are invested in the big picture of our church. It is so vital for us that we continue to foster this group as they add so much life and value into our church.
Josh van de Worp
24-7 youth work is a vital part of the life of our church. It is not simply about sending youth workers into the school to represent the church, but also about church and school partnership. Working together as one for the good of our young people and for our community.
These are our 5 outcomes of our youth work.
1. Supporting Young People and the School
We need to have a healthy balance of supporting rangatahi (young people), while also remembering that 24-7YW is there to serve the school and the staff. Youth Workers are vital and vibrant parts of the life of the school.
2. Building Positive Relationships
Building positive relationships with rangatahi, teachers and support staff is a key aspect of 24-7 YouthWork. This helps in developing good role modelling for the young people to observe, while also bringing a positive atmosphere into the school which is encouraging and contagious.
3. Cultivating School Spirit
The importance of supporting and cultivating school spirit creates an environment conducive to educational outcomes and youth development.
4. Leadership Development
Leadership development is key to getting the young person to understand who they are, and will help them to be proactive in the local school and community to become a positive influence amongst their peers.
5. Integration with Out of School Activities
The aim is to provide wrap-around service with continuity and consistency of relationships.
PUKEKOHE HIGH SCHOOL
What have we done:
- Lunch time interactions
- 40 hour famine
- Soccer Coaching
- One-on-one mentoring
- Helping student leaders
- Interaction with staff
- Supporting school events
- Working with other agencies for the betterment of students
PUKEKOHE INTERMEDIATE SCHOOL
What have we done:
- Lunch time interactions
- Hockey Coaching
- One-on-one mentoring
- Helping student leaders
- Interaction with staff
- Supporting school events
- Working with other agencies for the betterment of students
- Girls groups
- School camp
- Breakfast club
A significant event from our time in school this year has been the death of Heather Garrett, Deputy Principal at Pukekohe Intermediate school. This was a real test of our partnership between churches and school. As youth workers we were able to support teachers and students. We got to sit with lots of people, both from within school and from our community, as we all played our parts to support each other. Josh was able to sit with the school and the family as they arranged a funeral service for Heather. We as a church were able to open up our doors and support through the use of our amazing facilities. Josh was asked to officiate at the funeral. The trust was able to support financially alongside the school. All of these things showed the strength of relationship between the school and our churches. It is testament to 15+ years of relationship and partnership. It was a way we could bless our community by offering support in this time of need. It was Jesus in action. We pray that this relationship will last and thrive as we look to the future.
It has been a good 10 months since I joined the FBC team and I have really enjoyed getting to know the FBC children and families more. We are predominantly following the Think Orange curriculum in both our preschool and primary program. This program follows a variety of themes that change each month and includes videos, activities and memory verses. The children are really responding to the program. It was great for the church to join us in looking at the same passages over the months of June and July this year.
Over the past 10 months we have been averaging around 25 children per week across the Preschool and Primary aged program. We have had some long serving children’s church members step down and some move away. We are very grateful for their service. This, along with the good attendance numbers, has led to an increase in need for people to serve and parent helpers. As we bring on more volunteers, we have also reviewed our Child Protection Policy and Police Vetting system.
We have started some outward focused programs with the children, completing the Joyride for Joyya last year, through which we raised just over $1000 for children in marginalized communities in India. We have also recently started a tithe and offering project with the children. The money given is going to support the work of the Birds in Cambodia with purchasing books for children in rural communities.
It has been great to start doing some baby dedications with the dedication of Sadie in July. If this is something you are interested in doing, please let me know.
We have amazingly loyal and dedicated people who serve in Children’s Church and without them we, as a church, would be lost. They regularly give of their time to prepare, teach and serve our young people. A huge thank you to my team, I appreciate each and every one of you.
I have also completed our first Parenting for Faith course. This course gave parents (and grandparents) practical ways to engage with their children to help them be God connected Christians, not God smart Christians. We want our children to develop a personal relationship with Jesus as a basis of their faith, knowing that they can go to him in any and all situations.
In this coming year, we will be looking at more children’s church team development as well as potentially running both the Parenting for Faith and a practical parenting course (such as Toolbox). I would love to put together a team for these and so if this is something that you are passionate about, please come and talk to me. I am also keen to look at how we can engage in more intergenerational ministries where all ages can serve together in our community.
Thank you so much for your prayers and support,
As I write this report to reflect on the past year I found myself being led again to the scripture in Hebrews 10:23-25 which encourages us not to give up caring for one another, and meeting together.
We meet on a Wednesday. On the first Wednesday of the month, we hold a chapel service, beginning at 11.00am, followed by a luncheon. This is a good opportunity to have mid-week worship of God, with songs, prayer, and a message; speakers have included: Colin Maloney, Val Horne, Stewart Bent, Helen Elley, Tim Palmer, Jane Potter, Steve Clark, Carol Dobbie, Sacha Olson, and myself.
Helen has ably led the services with Arlene Hutcheon and Jane Potter playing the piano. Having a luncheon to follow is always greatly appreciated, and special thanks needs to go to Glenys Barlow and her team of Jenny Hunt and Shanae Dean. Jean Archer also deserves a special thanks for all the years of commitment, especially for her wonderful soups in winter.
Our other weekly meeting begins with some fellowship while enjoying morning tea. This is an important part of what we do, in showing love and support to one another.
A time of praise and worship and prayer is followed by watching a teaching video. This year these have included David Jeremiah, Chuck Swindoll and Charles Stanley. More recently we have elected to watch the Alpha Series, which has produced some good discussion in our small groups. We had a visiting speaker this year, our son Stephen, who is a paramedic shared with us what his role entails, and how the effects of the pressure of the job, and shift work, can impact one’s life.
Last December we held a special service at Greg and Tania Abbott’s property at Ararimu, with a Christmas theme. We enjoyed not only their lovely surroundings but also admired their young deer, followed by a lovely Christmas lunch.
We have continued to enjoy outings on the 5th Wednesday of the month, which usually occurs four times a year.
We have visited the Coffee club at Bombay and the Red Shed at Karaka.
God has continued in a special way to bless the Oasis group, and as leader of this ministry, I feel honoured to serve the Lord in this way, and I know I could not manage this without the support of my leadership team, of Stewart and Margy Bent, Colin Maloney, Val Horne, and Helena Round, plus the wonderful support of my loving wife Jane.
In conclusion my prayer is that God would continue to grow and develop this important ministry in the life of this church.
My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations. -Isaiah 56:7b
Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labour in vain. -Psalm 127:1
Paul outlines in Ephesians 4 the major significant purposes of the church –
To equip his people for works of service so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
To become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is Christ.
Such purposes can only be achieved by God’s hand for it is He alone who knows His purposes and it is He alone who can enable us, His church, to be effective in a needy and troubled world.
The purposes of the prayer ministry in this church are:
For the Church-It is vital that the church as a group regularly spends time in God’s presence to pray and to listen as the Holy Spirit strengthens and directs us at FBC in God’s purposes for us. This year, a small group are gathering each Sunday to pray for the church, to seek God’s direction and strength for our people at FBC. The depth of these prayer times has been amazing as God honours our resolve to spend time with Him as a church and seek His face. We hope to see many more come and benefit from these precious times.
For individuals -To educate, encourage and equip individuals to promote their growth in Christ through daily practices of prayer and spending time in God’s presence.
We now live in a day where the truth of salvation in Christ is barely tolerated, a time where those who would be followers of Christ must be in very close daily relationship with Jesus to survive in their faith, let alone be effective disciples in the community.
Prayer and God’s presence are the vital spiritual toolbox we have been given.
Let’s open it and make a difference in our world.
The Prayer Chain is a team effort starting from the request that is received by a phone call, or email, or text.
The next step is to send the request out to the people on the prayer chain and then leave it in God’s hands.
It is good to receive feedback on how God has answered prayer, and this is also passed on to the Prayer Chain to encourage them.
I would like to thank all who are on the Prayer Chain for their faithfulness in this Ministry.
The GATeam is a small group of dedicated, missions minded people from FBC. This year we were privileged to welcome Carol Dobbe to the team following her return to New Zealand. Together we have met monthly to pray for our mission partners listed below and to oversee all things related to the international work of the church.
Greg and Rosie, serve in Thailand. They continue to faithfully work on Bible translation work for a people group that previously did not have their language in a written form. They were home briefly to attend their daughter’s graduation ceremony and are currently fundraising to build a translation and literacy centre in the village of their people group. Rosie has also begun a sewing group with local women which is proving very successful.
Kevin and Gillian serve in Cambodia. During the last year (with the help of funds from FBC) they have been able to employ a local Christian worker, Sokatt. His role is to visit pastors and churches in rural areas to do technology training. This is going well, and his tenure has been extended for another year. Gillian has a busy role in Hope Schools with staff, resources and students.
Paul and Sarah, though now permanently settled close to Waihi, continue to support the work of Loyal Workshop in Kolkata on a part-time basis. Paul spoke at a service earlier in the year to update us.
Peter and Leonora are new partners to FBC but have been serving in South Asia for many decades. They host historical tours for visitors, predominantly focused on the influence of William Carey, amongst many other things.
Alan and Fiona and their family are now based in Rolleston. They are still journeying toward cross cultural mission. In the meantime, they have been active in their local church mission team and doing some communications work for SIM. Alan helped with technical skills for a start-up on-line school called 3H which unfortunately has now closed.
We have continued to hold semi regular GAT lunches after church with people sharing.
- October 22 The Murrays
- March 23 Paul Biesley
- May 23 Sarah Caughley
A key focus for FBC continues to be the annual 3 weeks of “Renew Together”. This year the theme was “Hand Carved Mission” There were 3 key messages: “To the Ends of the Earth”, “Made in God’s Image” and “Go with the Grain” covered by excellent speakers.
Thanks to all who gave to our annual offerings for Global Focus work. The Christmas Appeal raised $5,000 towards Sokatt’s employment for a further year. Renew Together raised over $2,000 which was topped up by a further $2,000 from budgeted funds.
Look out for the bi-monthly Fuel Focus attached to the weekly church news or pick up a copy from the information desk for the latest prayer and praise points for our partners.
“God so loved the world” ………He is at work. Keep praying about how you can join Him.
Kylie Lendrum and Penny Day
It has been wonderful to start setting in place the new beginnings of a women’s ministry at FBC.
It has always felt like a pause in this ministry so it is great to have had encouraging feedback from a survey that we sent out earlier in the year to establish who would like to be involved and what type of events women are hoping to see with this ministry.
We are hoping to see many women involved in this ministry, bringing their own unique voice and giftings to events. It is our hope that women will feel encouraged to come with ideas and dreams for women at FBC but also for our community that God is giving them and be supported to see these accomplished.
We would really appreciate your prayers as we re-establish the women’s Ministry at FBC.
With blessings and love
Penny and Kylie
In May this year a group of men with a heart for men’s ministry gathered to pray with a view to activating the men’s ministry within FBC.
On Saturday 5th August, about 45 men gathered for the first men’s breakfast of 2023. A team headed up by Greg Abbott (and family) and Josh Temu, prepared a hearty breakfast for us all to enjoy.
The message by Pastor Luka Robertson from Promise Keepers (via Youtube), titled “The Father heart of God” was encouraging and relevant to fathers raising children and encouraged setting appropriate priorities. Erin Temu from the FBC Leadership Team shared a short message and offered prayer to anyone who God was prompting. A small leadership team are planning another breakfast in October.
To the men in our fellowship who have not been to a breakfast before, please consider coming to the next one, you will be blessed. Any men who would like to be part of the organising team, please contact Charlie Potter to register your interest.
Grant Fausett on behalf of Charlie Potter
community toy library
What a wonderful year we have had in the Toy Library. However, not without its challenges so let me tell you a little about what has been happening.
At the beginning of the year, we were challenged by Esther and the FBC Community Trust to think big and dream big. So, we did. This increased our budget from around 15K to about 30k for the year. Quite a big jump and quite a big dream. Two of those things that increased our budget was firstly the development of a pre-school playground that we had been talking about for a couple of years. And secondly that we wanted and needed to increase the hours for our librarians as well as open for another session each week to reduce each session’s workload. Our finances at the time only allowed for 3 opening sessions for 3 hours each per week. In that 3 hours the librarian was required to open the library and put out all the larger toys as well as run the session and then close and finish off returning all the toys that came in on that day to the shelves all counted and in good condition, as well as some administration. This required far more than the 9 hours, so we needed to increase them.
As a result of that dream the trust applied for a grant which was successful, and we received 23K as a result. This allowed for us to do all we wanted to within this dream year. Praise the Lord. See what God can do when one has a dream. Thank you, Esther, for filling out the forms and seeking the grant. You are a treasure.
The playground is now almost finished except for a few more bits of play equipment The Librarians hours have been increased. We are continuing to talk about possibly opening for another session. This is now becoming more desperate as we have grown throughout the year to now be sitting around 142 members (Our dream was 150) with 95 Active members and every week, we see more members coming in (10 in this new term already). For this we give thanks and praise to God.
However, all this connecting with over 100 families is only possible if we have helpers, and more recently, we have been finding that our members in the community are struggling to find the time to assist, even for just one session per term. This is now creating difficulties for our current librarians.
Leanna came on board just recently to replace Rachel who along with her family are transitioning to New Plymouth. We thank Rachel for the amazing work she did as Librarian and wish them all the best as they make the move to Taranaki. We are grateful to God for Leanna who has fitted in well and doing a great job. Sophie is also now running the Saturday morning session, and is wonderful to have 2 librarians, but we are currently looking for a 3rd to start up soon. Are you interested?
Leanna and Sophie are now calling out to the Toy Library members as well as to our church family for people to come help. Can you help? Even for just one session per term so that along with our active members we can serve our community well and also be a demonstration of God’s love and care for people.
We ran a very successful café again this year for the Counties Music Competitions which helped to raise $2700. This will help us with funding for the playground as well as to cover wage costs. A big thank you to all who came and helped making coffees and toasted sandwiches etc. and for all the food that was donated. Thank you also to the Toy Library federation for all their support and for the funding that comes through their grant that goes towards the purchase of new toys.
I want to say a big thank you to the TL team, Leanna, Sophie, Kylie, Arlene, and Lynley who along with myself run the library. Again, we need some more people to come and join the committee especially with Lynley, Sophie and I leaving in November. Please come and help us in this wonderful bridge building opportunity in our local community.
I also want to say a big thank you to the team of guys who have helped with the playground construction. Sorry I can’t name you all, but you know who you are. I especially want to acknowledge Colin for organising the team each time to come and work. You are treasures and we appreciate what you have all done for the children both in the Toy Library and in the church creche.
Please continue to pray for the TL and for people to be witnessed to as we serve this community that God would be seen and experienced through those who generously give of their time.
Alpha worldwide videos and courses
The Alpha film series is designed to walk us through the basics of the Christian faith in a way which everyone can relate to. It features interviews with Nicky Gumbel, world famous leaders, experts and inspiring stories.
What happens at FBC?
Keith, Sherrell, May Lee, Dennise, Kate, Howard, Jill, Leanna, Anthony, Patty, Derek, Paul.
Also enormous thanks go to cooks, creche ladies, office staff and church congregation.
4 English speaking.
2 Chinese speaking.
Oasis incorporated Alpha into their Wednesday programme.
Sophie ran Youth Alpha @ Pukekohe High School during lunch breaks.
Alpha City Project
This is a Head Office Initiative to advertise all around Auckland over a 3 year period. This has been done in Wellington – numbers increased by 61%. We have committed to donate to this scheme for a 3 year period.
Team Keith and Sherrell
It has been a delight to have some people from the Alpha course join with Sherrell and me on a short, four week discipleship course. The object of this course is to transition from the relatively passive Alpha programme to a proactive relationship with our Heavenly Father; understanding our sin and salvation, the importance of the bible and prayer, and many other aspects that are important to an ongoing personal relationship.
Although there were few who were able to complete the course because of time restraints, the ones who started do have good study material to follow.
Chinese speaking Alpha
Team Jackie, Joyful, Grace, Andum.
Course started April 23, meeting at Joyful and Andum’s home. It was attended by 10/12 guests, with a wide age-range, who all gained from the course and the fellowship. Some guests expressed an interest in baptism.
The guests have decided to continue meeting weekly as a life group.
It’s great to see the new Chinese Alpha having an amazing impact.
As you can see Alpha continues to be very influential in our church. The most successful way of guests coming to Alpha is through personal invitation.
Please continue to pray and invite guests to our courses.
From the Alpha team – a pleasure to serve.
karakia 7am + 7pm
The ministry continues to grow stronger as people continue to search for peace and comfort. We have seen an increase in followers from 8000 in 2022 to 9200 followers in 2023
Leadership Course 2023
This year we were able to financially support 100 Māori Leaders to do a 4 day wananga on Faith led Māori Leadership at Laidlaw college by professor Bradford Haami.
We continue to hear healings and miracles, Josie Parata one of our leaders had a testimony of stage four cancer being totally healed and the medical doctors have written in her notes “Medical Miracle”. This is just one of many miracles we have heard.
Billy Graham Ministries
We supported Franklin Graham’s meetings and delivered a course to our Māori community in Kelston it was good to see many commitments to Christ in Auckland
Please continue to pray for our ministry as we increase our love for God and people.
Seedpods is a small group of parents of pre-schoolers who meet weekly. Not only do children and parents have fun exploring a different theme each week, but there is also time to build friendships. Seedpods is a great way to invest in family, have fun and fulfil God’s call to tell others the Good News about God’s wonderful kindness and love. We intentionally attempt to be intergenerational and have at least 3 generations (sometimes more) all learning and growing together.
The group is made up of Christian parents, who bring their pre-Christian friends into a safe environment, where there is the opportunity to talk and explore questions about their faith.
Colossians 4:5-6 says: “Live wisely among those who are not Christians and make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be gracious and effective so that you will have the right answer for everyone”. This is our aim.
Each week there is a conversation starter during the parent’s morning tea. Sometimes this leads to very meaningful conversations. It was during a session that focused on Easter this year that a parent commented that it was the first time they had heard the true meaning of the season rather than eggs or bunnies.
We now have 9 families who attend regularly, which can mean up to 16 children at each session.
Seedpods has 30 pre-prepared programmes that can be chosen from for the sessions as well as toy boxes that entertain the children during the morning tea that allows the parents to develop relationships. It’s a simple, yet very effective ministry to run, however, we need more help in these areas:
- Baking for morning teas.
- Helpers to set up the morning tea.
- More leaders to run groups. This would allow the ministry to grow as we know it could. (Each group should be approx. 5 families to make it more personal).
All of us are called to be co-workers with Christ and this is an amazing way to sow the seeds of faith, as God gives us opportunities, and those seeds can grow to produce a harvest especially in the lives of our children. (1Corinthians 9:10) Seedpods is a wonderful space that brings families together and allows God to do His work amongst us.
made with love
We are now into our 2nd year with this amazing ministry. We provide gift bags to the Pukekohe Maternity Hospital each month for mothers with new born babies. These bags provide essencial items for mothers in need. These are monitored by the midwives themselves as they go into the homes of these mothers so know the needs more than we would.
We have a great group of ladies and a few guys (26 ladies and 4 guys. We started with 3 ladies in the church cafe sharing this vision), who make all these items that go into these bags. We come together each month and have a coffee morning and share ideas and patterns over coffee, cake and definitely a chit chat.
For the year 2022 July/ 2023 June our total of bags sent to the hospital has been 153. On an average we supplied 12 bags per month. We also provided a Chrismas gift bag for each mother who was in over the Christmas period, and also the same was done for the Easter period as well.
We have had some lovely feedback comments from mothers who have received these bags.
All our items are – ‘Made with Love’
heartfelt catering ministry
Our ministry is to help the church family in times of loss, the loss of loved ones. We have an amazing team who come together to show their love and care for families who have lost loved ones.
Since COVID struck we haven’t catered for very many families as things have changed so much.
For 2022-2023 we have catered for 2 funerals/celebrations. Families have found celebrating their loved ones lives a lot more healing for them.
This ministry has such a caring group of people who give their time and energy to helping families in their time of grief.
If anyone would like more information regarding this ministry please contact the church office.
Blessings from the team
Sherrell Amoore and Maureen McEldowney
Krafters group has now been operating for a year. Initially our objective was as an outreach into the community and we have 5 or 6 people attending from time to time. When we commenced we had about 20 ladies coming along but now unfortunately our numbers have dropped, however those that come really enjoy the camaraderie and we do get some krafting done.
Generally the ladies bring what they are already interested in eg knitting, crochet, patchwork and diamond art. If our numbers were bigger we could have more variety in our program.
We have been particularly blessed in that one of our ladies is an expert in quilting/patchwork and she has promoted a couple of projects that we have taken part in and thoroughly enjoyed. We have made “Rice Bags” and some fancy Christmas decorations.
We normally start at 10am with tea and coffee followed by a thought for the day (taken by one of the group members) and then we chat, play board games and do our crafting whatever that happens to be.
If you are free on a Thursday morning from 10 – 12noon we would love for you to join us.
Sherrell and Maureen
We started the year by paying off both the fixed and variable mortgages with Christian Savings. Thanks to Alan Calvert and his organization.
To do this we thank the FBC Members who have lent money to the church interest free. We are repaying these loans at $4,000.00 per month, which is the repayments of interest and principal we would have made. As at 31/07/2023 we expect to have repaid $55,000. With $237,500 in repayments still to be made in the following years.
As we have been concentrating on repayments, we have been careful using our funds for church repairs and maintenance, but note that as with all expenses these are increasing. Eg power, insurance.
At present FBC has 6 staff members, including Steve as interim Pastor. In November 2023 Steve will leave us, and we will have a new staff member.
Our Actual v Budget figures are showing under budget in most expenses and while our income donations although increasing, are below budget, our rental income is well above. As we improve the facilities over all we hope to bring more people into the complex.
A new heat pump has just been installed in the nursery room which will be a big plus.
The outdoor playground as provided by the Trust running the toy library will also prove a great asset.
We are mindful of the condition of the roof, which has been patched for quite some time now and will eventually require expensive repairs.
We are pleased to go into the new financial year in a positive position. Thank you GOD.
This report reflects accounts up to the 31st of July but is still not a complete representation of the accounts for the year as we are still waiting on a report from Catas.
mortgage repayment scheme
The Building Fund Repayment Project
For the information of newer members the church had a substantial mortgage of $460,000 a little over a year ago. The monthly burden was over $5000 per month and had about 14 years to go.
We set a goal to become debt free in 5 years.
The plan was to repay the debt in two ways:
1) To adopt a fundraising target of $100,000 which a family offered to match dollar for dollar. This was achieved before the end of 2022.
2) Parishioners were asked if they would provide interest free loans for balance. This target was also achieved.
We have made good progress in repaying the interest free loans … over $55,000 has been repaid and we are on track to achieving our goal.
However we now wish to reduce the time frame even further so we are working on several initiatives to raise more money and it is possible that will also be matched dollar for dollar.
The first of these initiatives will be the High Tea which had to be abandoned last year because of incessant rain (does that sound familiar?) but other ideas are being worked on so watch for further announcements.
Please if you have any suggestions contact me …. Alan Calvert.
- We have paid off our interest-bearing building loan
- We only have the Interest-Free loans (IFL) from members as an obligation to pay
- The church has allocated 48K as an annual budget for IFL repayments
- IFL Update:
- 293,500 – Total IFL from start
- 46,000 – Total paid in 2022-23
- 247,500 – IFL Balance payable
- 9,228 – Building Fund Account Balance as of July 2023
- Our forecast repayments are:
ADMIN & membership report
Last year, the AGM report indicated a gradual shift of our office systems towards digital platforms. I am pleased to announce that this transition has continued and even expanded further. A significant boost to our church’s income comes from our well-organized booking system, facilitated through the PCO calendar platform. In order to enhance our appeal within the community, we are currently in the process of upgrading our rooms.
In terms of financial management, we are aligning with the trend of systematic financial reporting. This approach allows us to generate tailored reports in-house, catering to our specific requirements. By doing so, we can swiftly access crucial financial data, thereby facilitating more informed financial decisions for the church.
Our database has seen an increase of 104 individuals connecting with FBC in some shape or form, rising from 768 last year to 872 this year. The breakdown of these figures is outlined below for your reference.