As 2020 gathers momentum, warm greetings from the NZCN leadership team.
The Lord alone knows what a year may bring: what calamities, what challenges, and what encouragements and breakthroughs.
Our world continues to be troubled by conflict, oppression, tyranny, greed, corruption, poverty, and a deepening climate crisis. And now a possible pandemic. In many countries, there is active persecution and violence against Christian minorities.
In Aotearoa, secularism has contributed to a diminished societal awareness of the true and living God, and a growing indifference towards Christianity. Many New Zealand Christians appear to lack full confidence in Christ and the Gospel, have privatised their faith, and seem preoccupied with less important things. Deep prayerfulness appears not as prevalent as it should be. Some churches are doing fairly well, but many are not. The whole New Zealand church appears to need a fresh spiritual renewing and reinvigoration.
In September New Zealanders will vote on referendums about legalising marijuana and allowing voluntary euthanasia. Parliament will shortly be voting on significantly liberalised abortion legislation which contains no regard for protecting the life of an unborn child.
So, all in all, is this a year in which Christians should plan to be complacent, and live and act just the same as before? Would a better starting point be to ask: what can we each do differently – individually and together – to make a real difference?
Also included in this newsletter are:
Resources about Waitangi, which reflected significant Christian influences
Waitangi Day isn’t just a national holiday. It marks the birth of our nation. Although the Treaty remains a mystery to many, it appears that people are starting to realise that knowing about the history of Aotearoa-New Zealand is fundamental to calling ourselves New Zealanders. Last September, the government announced that NZ history will be taught in all schools by 2022 and will be compulsory from years 1-10, and from year 11, schools will choose which subjects their students are required to take.
How much of NZ’s history are we acquainted with? Particularly our Christian heritage and the role the church and early missionaries played in helping form this nation. See our special Waitangi section below, with links to some articles and resources you may wish to peruse.
Top musical Māori artists joined forces to produce a visual album showcasing the live recording of eight moving and uplifting waiata whakamoemiti (gospel songs).
Information on many opportunities, invitations and events coming up soon
Rounding out the newsletter is an extensive list of opportunities, invitations and events coming up soon. Please take the time to check them out. There is something for everyone, including those in ministry, and information about some critical matters currently before Parliament.