Tuesday 27 August, 2013
Grand Hall, Parliament – Wellington
Citation given by Glyn Carpenter, National Director of New Zealand Christian Network
New Zealand Christian Network is a broad-spectrum network of churches, Christian organisations, and individuals, with a Board of Reference that includes leaders from all the main denominations. It seeks to “help Christians work together, build the Church, and positively influence society”.
In May 2012 the board of New Zealand Christian Network made a decision to inaugurate a new award, to be known as the New Zealand Christian Network Unsung Heroes Award.
The purpose of this award is to honour the good work of individuals and groups which has gone largely unrecognised, to encourage others, and to give glory to God who inspired and empowered them.
This year’s event is being hosted in Parliament by MP Tim Macindoe, with awards being presented in categories related to New Zealand Christian Network’s key projects. These are:
A person or group who is doing exceptional work in raising awareness of issues related to secularisation and equipping Christians to address the issue; possibly a person who works in a challenging secular workplace or public office, and who presents a clear Christian witness in deeds and in words
2. Marriage and Family
A person or group who is having significant results in the area of strengthening marriages and families; this might be through writing, teaching, speaking, counselling, or some other activity
3. Value of Life
(including issues from social justice and human rights to euthanasia and abortion)
A person or group whose life and ministry involves any of the types of issues just mentioned and who articulates the biblical foundation of life “made in the image of God” in the context of their ministry
4. All of Life Faith
A person or group who is an inspirational role model of 24-7 Christian faith, including worship, witness, words, and action; someone of who brings to mind Paul’s statement “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ” (1Cor 11:1)
We also have a special category for this year flowing out of the 200 year Gospel Bicentenary taking place in New Zealand next year:
5. Bicultural Mission
A person or group who is recognised in their community for having contributed significantly to bicultural relationships, peace-making, and mission.
The individual citations will be read by Seth Fawcet and Gary Colville immediately after Tim Macindoe has shared some thoughts with us. But before I invite Tim to the front, I do want to say a special word of thanks to artist Karen Sewell who has designed these beautiful artworks which are being given to the award recipients tonight.
It was a delight meeting Karen just a few weeks ago at the church she attends in Auckland where she was exhibiting an artwork related to the Marriage Bill. When we started talking about Unsung Heroes, Karen raised the idea of developing a creating special Unsung Heroes trophy – like our very own Oscar or Grammy – and I am absolutely thrilled with the result.
I also want to thank Karen’s husband Dr Graham Sewell, and his partners Dr John and Mary Clark, who through the Tamaki Family Health practice which they run, have largely funded these works of art.
I also want to thank Russell Dunn and Manna Christian Stores for their most generous donation of book vouchers to each of the recipients tonight. Manna Stores provides a wonderful service in their stores around the country – not just for the products they sell, but also the warmth and friendliness you’ll experience whenever you visit their stores. When you do visit next, please make sure to mention the Unsung Heroes.
Now, please welcome our host tonight – Tim Macindoe