1. Waitangi Day
As we approach Waitangi day, I think it’s important to continue to consider what this means for us as individuals, as a nation, and as a church. Christians played an important role in initiating the Treaty, and Christians today play an important role in honour and upholding these commitments. One suggestion is simply to take time to read the Treaty of Waitangi, and Te Tiriti O Waitangi.
Often I’ve observed discussion, debate and disagreement about the Treaty, without reference to the actual commitments described in this nation-defining document. I’ve also found it important to read both versions, including the English translation of Te Tiriti (the version in Te Reo Maaori), which is the version that Maaori chiefs committed to. Here’s a link to a helpful website where you can access this information. https://www.archives.govt.nz/discover-our-stories/the-treaty-of-waitangi
The questions I’m asking myself this year as I read it again is this, “How is God showing me His heart, which inspired Christians to initiate this Treaty in 1840? And how is God leading me to uphold and advocate for these commitments in the settings I am in?”
2. Leadership team update: Traffic lights and Sunday services
This week our leadership team met together to pray, discuss, discern and decide a way forward with church gatherings in light of the current COVID-19 heath situation and traffic light guidelines.
Here is a link to the leadership team update this week. https://www.franklinbaptist.org.nz/leadership-team-update-0302/
I want to acknowledge the tension expressed through a range of perspectives, such as those who do not believe we should gather at Red for various reasons such as health concerns and practical limitations; through to those who are willing and eager to meet. The description outlined by the leadership team acknowledges both.
In Hebrews 10:25 we are reminded “let us not neglect meeting together, as some have made a habit, but let us encourage one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching”. It is not an ideal situation that we are in. But I see this as the best way forward, to enable every individual to have access to a worship gathering, during these unique times.
3. The Well
On that note, I will continue to offer a range of mid-week worship gatherings. I see this as necessary to genuinely offer safe options for every individual. The first two were open to all. The next three will have a specific focus.
Tuesday 8 Feb – 9am – Open to all. Limit 25. Focus on those who don’t have internet access. Therefore, no online pre-registration. Phone invitations – let me know if you are one of those who hasn’t been able to access online services, or if you have someone on your heart who needs this. Or, if you missed out last week and would like to come this week, there will be a place for you.
Wednesday 9 Feb – 7pm –Vaccinated health concern focus. Limit 25 pre-registered to keep numbers small. Focus on a safer space for those with health concerns. Mandatory face coverings.
Wednesday 16 Feb – 7pm – Vaccine passes required. Limit 100.
Each of these communion services will be the same, with the desire to offer a place of refreshment and worship to every person in our church.
Today, I’m praying that each of you may know God’s grace and peace, as you seek time in His presence.