"By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain".
- 1 Corinthians 15:2
I appreciate this verse has three parts, but this morning, with the fire on and the sun about to come up, I got stopped at the first part: “By this gospel you are saved”.
God, by his Spirit, saved me through Jesus’ death and resurrection.
That never gets old to me! I know what I was saved from, and it’s awesome to be growing in my understand of who I’m saved for.
The wonder and delight of God’s grace in Jesus, through the gospel, never gets old.
Max Guptill is the Community Pastor at Mt Wellington Community Church in Auckland and writes:
“What a privilege it is to be able to be together and see and experience our Rangatahi (younger generation) praising and worshipping God at HM RAGE 2021.”
HM RAGE has happened over Queen's Birthday weekend at Tōtara Springs for 20+ years.
I'm grateful for Anthony and Shannon Samuels (Tāmaki Community Church) and all the volunteers that make this a significant weekend of pointing people to Jesus, through the gospel, from the Scriptures.
Over Queen’s Birthday Weekend thirty 16 to 18-year-olds from Rutland Street Church, Riccarton Community Church, and Church Street Bible Chapel (Canterbury), along with Grace Church in Nelson and, were at the third annual FIRST Training event hosted by CCCNZ at Living Springs in Governor's Bay, outside Christchurch.
It was so good to have Tom McIvor from City Bible Church and Word of Life, Matt Meek (Youth Pastor at Riccarton Community Church), Matt Cameron from Church Street Bible Chapel in Timaru, and Sean Young from Grace Church in Nelson presenting.
How can we be praying for you?
On Wednesday the CCCNZ Staff Team Zoomed for our monthly team meeting.
It was a blessing to pray for a number of churches across the country together.
If we can be praying for your church family when we next meet together as a staff team we’d love to be doing that. Please let me know.
An incredible resource
I’ve been contacted by Dennis Fountain from Porirua Gospel Chapel (the building featured in the illustration above) this week. Dennis is a long serving but recently retired elder at Porirua Gospel Chapel.
“Each year the Elders have met together, developed some suggestions about the needs of our Fellowship and asked Ron Fountain (pictured) to prepare background notes which were made available to the person who was to preach at our Sunday service.
"These notes are exegetical, biblically-based, often looking at a book of the Bible and theologically informed.
"Ron has chosen the last seven years of notes and they have been put on a website so that they would be available to a wider audience. The notes also take into account the major events of the church calendar such as Easter and Christmas and this could influence which of the seven is suitable for a particular year.
"The preacher still has to prepare a sermon but there is continuity from one Sunday to another. There are also brief comments about a theme for a time of worship.
"We have received favourable comments from people who have used these notes for their home groups, devotions, and personal study".
Ron Fountain's Bible Teaching Plans
CCCNZ Auckland Enabler Richard Fountain has let me know that congratulations are in order for Dorothy Burt, who is to be a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to digital learning.
Mrs Dorothy Burt co-established the Manaiakalani programme in 2006, which is Treaty of Waitangi-based and involves schools, teachers, students, whānau and their community in a partnership enhanced by technology. Dorothy, and her husband Russell, are part of Tāmaki Community Church.
Congratulations Dorothy! Visit the official website to read the full citation.
Prayer for mission partners
Please be praying for our movement's mission partners who have returned to New Zealand due to the pandemic.
I’m aware many will be receiving daily updates on the suffering of dear friends and colleagues in the majority world as the pandemic spreads. The weight and toll of this is significant.
National Elders Conference
Is your eldership part of managing the church for Christ, or leading the church under Christ?
What do you, as an eldership, spend most of your time discussing?
What makes a person a good leader in your church family?
National Elders Conference is an event for elders, chairpersons and potential elders of CCCNZ/Open Brethren heritage churches, together with pastors and key emerging leaders from within our movement.
If this is you, we'd love you to join us at Willow Park in Auckland, from the 23 - 25 September, 2021.
More info on National Elders Conference
On a personal note
Tonight and Saturday, Emma and I will be at our church’s leadership team retreat.
It’s a time of engaging Scripture, discerning 'where to from here?', eating good food, and a lot of laughs.
Sunday morning we’ll be serving in the children’s ministry, and Sunday afternoon will be a quiet one around home where I will be strenuously seeking to avoid moving a mountain of clay from one part of the property to the other!
Thanks for all you are doing, and for your partnership in the gospel.
Ngā mihi nui,