Te Hāhi Tairāwhiti Gisborne

Te Hāhi Tairāwhiti Gisborne

Te Hāhi is a partnership between the Police and a group of local Churches in Gisborne city. This partnership came about when it was realised by the Church that Gisborne has the highest rate of family violence in New Zealand and that New Zealand has the highest rate of Family violence on a per capita basis for any OECD nation.

The question for the Christian Community was,

how can we facilitate change for good in our city and help support the Police in their work as they daily face dealing with families in crisis?

To that end, we now have a group of trained believers who carry a Police phone. When the Police team identify a family that needs prayer, love and some type of practical support the Te Hāhi team goes into action.

On most call-outs, we take a gift of food and we are welcomed into homes carrying some practical love that opens the door for prayer and ongoing spiritual help.

Pastor Guthrie Boyd: Te Hāhi Church Co-ordinator

Tui Keenan

The story behind Te Hāhi – how it started

source: http://kcn.co.nz/home/te-hahi-the-backstory/


This initiative was initiated by a former Policewoman, Tui Keenan – who was moved with compassion as she fulfilled her role in the Police. She saw the need for Christian ministry, aroha & support for the Police & community especially in the area of family harm.

In due course of time, she was able to share her vision with Commander Sam Aberahama who placed his support behind Tui to bring the vision to a reality.

On Sunday evening 27th September 2016, the Gisborne Churches gathered for a Combined Church Service – ‘Prayer For The Police’, which was jam-packed with around 250 attending.

Police Area Commander, Sam Aberahama, called on Churches to partner with the Police as we launched the ‘Te Hahi’ ‘ (The Church) initiative.

An absolutely unique occasion made even more memorable when Commander Sam closed with an impromptu ‘Lords Prayer’ sung in his Cook Island tongue.

The ‘Te Hāhi’ concept – involves 10 Church leaders, who will be available on a roster rotation, to be called on to provide – prayer, counsel, pastoral help, CAP Debt Centre advice, etc, – when Police offer this to ‘clients’ and it is accepted, in what they will assess as safe and appropriate circumstances. Approved volunteers from each church will also be required to assist Pastors.

Pastor Lance Rickard of the local House of Beakthrough Church had a starring role as a Policeman, much to the delight of his fellowship and many locals.

BROKEN

A FILM about gang violence, revenge and redemption that was shot in Gisborne and Anaura Bay premiered at the local Odeon Multiplex in Gisborne.

The movie Broken is based on a true story and marks City Impact Church Pastor Tarry Mortlock’s filmmaking debut.

More than 25 Gisborne people feature in scripted roles in the film. Many locals helped behind the scenes too with scenery, stage crew, accommodation and technical support.

Mr Mortlock was inspired to make the film by New Zealand author Joy Cowley’s story Tarore and Her Book. Tarore was the daughter of a chief from a small marae near Matamata in the 1830s. A top student at a mission school, she was killed when a warring tribe came into the area and forced her tribe to relocate.

In mid-2017 a fresh approach was given to ‘TeamGisborne’ with the emphasis being moved from Church leaders to Secular leaders who have been elected to positions of influence within our local community.

At the same time, a small group of prayer intercessors was formed to pray for these leaders of the community whenever the need may be required.

The Bible teaches that we are to pray for those in authority and it had become obvious that many times leaders within the community – once tasked with their role – often come under stress and daily pressure with little support or thanks. Even though they are simply doing the best they can in sharing their various expertise. It can be a thankless job.

This new approach has created the opportunity to build relationship with various city leaders – and whenever specific Christian motivational encouragement can be shared with them – the opportunity is offered.

One such specific occasion during 2017 was the visit by International Evangelist Mark Banyard from Japan – who along with NZ’s Jono Turner spent time sharing and encouraging them – as he has had much experience previously in Japan and Canada speaking to Business leadership groups.

Ray Sheldrake: TeamGisborne Admin.

City by City exists to help encourage unity, prayer and transformation throughout New Zealand.

How good it is to see Christians in each town or city worshipping and praying together regularly.

How good it is to see Churches honouring one another, seeking to help meet the spiritual and physical needs of their locality together.

Colin & Grace Shaw

Dunedin

Dunedin

Combined Dunedin Churches

Since 2006, Pastors from across the city have been meeting together to pray and seek the peace and prosperity of the city. Under the godly leadership of Bruce Elder, Mark Smith and more recently Peter Cheyne, God has been calling us together in unity.

During that time, we have been holding a combined Easter celebration in the Dunedin town hall which has been a great encouragement.

In 2017 after 5 years of planning and praying, we were blessed to host Ravi Zacharias and his team to the city.

Ravi preached in the Forsyth Barr stadium to a crowd of over 3500. The week-long mission included lunchtime
meetings in the university and meetings with council and business leaders.

In recent years an Acts of Kindness trust has been set up to bless the city through a Light Party, Christmas in the stadium and a Christmas lunch in the town hall.

The founding vision of Dunedin, articulated by Thomas Burns stills fires our common witness to the Lord:

By the grace of God and with His blessing upon us; may we continue in this region, the planting
and cultivating of a well ordered, God-fearing community.

In the power of His risen Son, may we stand as a sample of the Kingdom of Christ which, like a light burning in a dark place, we shall bear no indistinct testimony to the Truth.

Stu Crosson: St Matthews Dunedin

City by City exists to help encourage unity, prayer and transformation throughout New Zealand.

How good it is to see Christians in each town or city worshipping and praying together regularly.

How good it is to see Churches honouring one another, seeking to help meet the spiritual and physical needs of their locality together.

Colin & Grace Shaw

City Church Not a One Trick Pony

City Church Not a One Trick Pony

OneTrickPony_not

Ever since the concept of “city church” was explored as a major theme at the 2008 NZ Christian Network Congress, I have become even more convinced about its importance for New Zealand.  Jesus’ prayer for unity “that the world will know …” has a clear application among churches in a city (or town or nation) as well as within the individual churches themselves.

But I am equally convinced about the importance of pastors, ministers, and other Christian leaders (e.g. local government, business, and education), discerning how God might work this out in their particular town or city, rather than trying to apply any one prescription or formula.

We have put a lot of emphasis to date on city-wide prayer summits and regional roundtables.  These are still important and we look forward to many more in months and years to come.

But God can always be doing different things with different groups, so it is useful to consider alternatives.

Two alternatives which emerged in forums at the end of 2008 are strategic planning and conversations. Some groups are “primed for action”. This doesn’t mean they don’t pray or converse together.  It may be that they feel they already do these in other settings.  Or maybe they are wired to sense or outwork the presence of God in different ways.  Whatever the reason, they are groups ready to think through issues of strategic planning, and move to action.

Other groups may need to grow relationships through conversation. This is a highly focused activity where significant topics are addressed (personal, church, or theology), usually with the help of a facilitator, in a way which builds trust and intimacy within a group.

The common focus in all these is growing relationships rather than a fixed idea of what the group might do.  NZ Christian Network is able to point groups to a number of gifted people who can assist in any of these areas. Of course, groups of ministers in a town or city do not exist in isolation.  Most ministers are part of a denominational or network structure and bring something of this tradition into their local grouping.

There are also parallel groups of Christian leaders called by God to specialise in particular areas such as disabilities, sport, prayer, marketplace, or politics (to name just a few).  God is at work in these activities as well as in the “city church”, so it is good for all these groups to look for ways to be connected with each other (cf. “the hand cannot say to the eye ‘I don’t need you’”).

I believe there is also a need for practitioners and theologians to be working closely together.  Theology not grounded in real lives and experience can fall prey to abstractness and irrelevance.  But activity not grounded in good theology can also fall well short of the mark.

Let us pray that God will continue to guide all those involved in leadership in this area, “so that the world will know …”

Miramar Peninsula Church Network

Miramar Peninsula Church Network

ROXY

We are a group of five churches located in a dynamic part of Wellington, influenced by the movie industry and proximity to the airport. There are a lot of people, but not a lot to go to local churches. So we connect to encourage each other and do some things none of us alone is big enough to pull off ourselves.

Encouragement-wise we meet together each month to encourage each other and last year tried our first prayer retreat together.

Being smallish one way we’ve chosen to help each other is to share our Sunday services over January. Our people appreciate worshipping out of different traditions (at least once a year!), and it’s encouraging to have a full church at a time of the year when we’d separately be very thin on the ground. Sharing services in January also helps each pastor to get a holiday with most of us still having school-aged children.

A practical hospitality that has developed as well. One church, after a series of sermons on generosity, was moved to give another church a totally unexpected and very generous donation.

Another gave up one of their worship buildings to accommodate one of our churches who had to move out for earthquake strengthening reasons.

We’ve managed to put on together a Community Christmas Carol event for a number of years, and recently started joining in with our Catholic brothers and sisters in processing the cross during their Easter vigil. When we were individually approached by a local dementia unit to offer worship services it seemed natural to form a mixed church ministry group. A healing rooms ministry has also begun as a cooperative effort.

The key word for our experience of unity is encouragement. And so we thank God for each other.

For more information and inspiration from the Church in Miramar, email Paul Prestidge or Phil Coates.

This story appears in the City by City e-book. City by City  aims to help connect, encourage and resource prayerful, relationally based, networking and mission in towns, cities and regions across the nation.

Hibiscus Coast churches working together

Hibiscus Coast churches working together

The Hibiscus Coast, 20 minutes north of Auckland, has a population of over 40,000. Good beaches and various leisure activities make this a popular place where encouraging things are happening for God’s people.

Men of Prayer. For 12 years, thirty plus men representing most of the local churches have gathered monthly, first to worship and pray and then enjoy fellowship over a shared evening meal. They go to a different church each month, praying for that church and it’s leadership. The overriding cry each month, however, has been for God’s blessing to be on His church on the Hibiscus Coast. A more recent prayer initiative, a monthly ‘Half Night of Prayer’, has increased the level of intercession for the Coast.

God has answered. We are encouraged by the steady increase overall in church attendance. New churches are being established and closer relationships are developing between church leaders. Three healing/counselling rooms have begun, as well as three Mainly Music outreaches (in Siverdale, Orewa and Whangaparaoa). We have also seen rapid growth of Kingsway Christian School with over 1100 students, most of whom have been absorbed into local congregations.

Easter Opportunities. At Easter last year a special Christian art exhibition was on display and local businesses sponsored an Easter themed sand sculpture competition. Churches on the Hibiscus Coast came together for this occasion. The first time for years!

Also, all the local churches combined to advertise their Easter services with a two page spread in the local newspaper. This coming Easter there will be a chalk art presentation depicting the Easter message in the middle of one of the busy shopping centres… We are grateful for the favour we have been receiving from the local business community.

Glory Girls. Glory Girls is made up of over 100 women from most of the churches on the Coast. They gather bi-monthly to encourage and empower women to be mighty in the kingdom. These Saturday afternoon meetings, with guest speakers from local churches, are an opportunity for women to invite unsaved friends and develop relationships. We enjoy fun quizzes, worship, testimonies and huge sumptuous teas.

I love what God is doing… He is breaking restrictions and mindsets, changing us from village church thinking to Kingdom thinking, one church Glorifying God on the Coast.

Karen

For more information and inspiration from the Church in Hibiscus Coast, email Lleon Downes, Graeme Gillies or Karen Colmore-Williams

This story appears in the City by City e-book. City by City  aims to help connect, encourage and resource prayerful, relationally based, networking and mission in towns, cities and regions across the nation.