Arthur Joel (AJ) Key – Training in Mission

10922876_947125931971817_5015710627808787328_nCurrently AJ Key is away on a Training in Mission programme.

here you are able to read updates of his experiences and that of his fellow trainees.

TIM-2015-Newsletter 1

TIM-2015-Newsletter 2

Newsletter3

Newsletter4

Newsletter5

Auckland Reflection

LINK to all journals and videos

Training in Mission (TIM) is a cross cultural training programme for young adults from member churches in the Council for World Mission. In 2015, TIM is being held in partnership with the Presbyterian Church of Taiwan, the Kiribati Protestant Church, and the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand.

The aims of the Training in Mission Programme are to:

  • provide a training for life.
    • It is intended to be a stage in Christian formation which helps each participant in a life–long involvement with the mission of the church.
  • offer training which provides:
    • wider vision;
    • deepened commitment;
    • a strengthened sense of fellowship and partnership with other Christians around the world, particularly through CWM churches.

Though initiated three decades ago, CWM is constantly refining the content and methodology of the Training in Mission. However, we wish to reiterate the following at the very outset.

  • Though the title uses the phrase training, the Programme is aimed at formation, the formation is for life. In other words, recognizing the locus of mission as the ‘public space’, TIM is a learning process of enabling participants discover perspectives and develop skills for a life of witnessing.
  • TIM is an enabling experience. Enable participants for an adventure of faith, rooted in God and enacted in the world.
  • TIM is a journey of Transformation, a dialectic of self and society.

 

Do We Have a Dream?

(From a sermon preached 25 January 2015)

I had a dream last night?                     Did you?

Chances are you did – but did you remember it?

Generally I enjoy dreaming – although some can be mystifying.

Indeed most of my dreaming I imagine is just random jumbled thoughts; outright weird sometimes.

In my dreams I can do anything!

leap tall buildings

fly over deep gullies

get away from the bad guys

be shot but never die.

What about your dreams? Apparently we all dream but we don’t all recall our dreams.

What do you recall?

According to the dictionary a dream is:

A series of thoughts, images, and sensations occurring in a person’s mind during sleep:

But it can also be

A cherished aspiration, ambition, or ideal:

Last Monday was Martin Luther King Jr day; this man born on the 15th January 1929 – also had a dream.

His most famous speech delivered on August 28, 1963, was heard by more than 200,000 people who had gathered in the shadow of the Lincoln Memorial.

“I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”

I have a dream stirred a nation – and lead to radical change, freedom and recognition for black Americans.

Martin Luther King Jr had a dream – he had a cherished aspiration, an ambition, an ideal.

When we think about it it is the dreamers who inspire change and a better future. Those who imagine a different future; those who have the courage to pursue that future.

Martin Luther King Jr had a dream

Do you have a dream?

Do we have a dream?

Dreams are commonplace in the Bible also – and I’m intrigued that in Scripture the words for dream seem to be used in both the ways we commonly use:

Dream often is “a series of thoughts, images, and sensations that occur while a person is sleeping” and becomes “a cherished aspiration, an ambition, an ideal”.

Who are the dreamers in the Bible?

I’m thinking of Joseph

Do you recall his dream? We read about it in Genesis 37:1-11

It would take a long time but the day came when Joseph ruled over his brothers and they bowed to him.

Solomon had a dream one night too. In his dream he had an amazing conversation with God.  1 Kings 3:5-15

Let’s move into the New Testament.

Joseph the father of Jesus was known to dream. Matthew 1:18-24.

Again in Matthew 2 Joseph was told by God to flee to Egypt in a dream and to return from Egypt in a dream.

Peter the practical man of action apostle of Jesus also became a dreamer. In Acts 10 God showed him a picture that convinced Peter that the gospel had to be shared with all people.

And likewise Paul ministering in Asia Minor one night had a dream that changed his direction and took him to Europe.

Acts 16

9-10 That night Paul had a dream: A Macedonian stood on the far shore and called across the sea, “Come over to Macedonia and help us!” The dream gave Paul his map. We went to work at once getting things ready to cross over to Macedonia. All the pieces had come together..

Other versions say Paul had a vision – but these words in this context are really the same thing.

God uses dreams and visions to direct his servants; dreams and visions, to change their hearts, change their attitude; their direction.

The Church has been shaped by the dreamers.

Indeed the prophet Joel said: Joel 2:28

Then afterwards
I will pour out my spirit on all flesh;
your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
your old men shall dream dreams,
and your young men shall see visions.
29 Even on the male and female slaves,
in those days, I will pour out my spirit.

Where else have you heard that?

From the lips of Peter; Acts 2:17-18

“In the last days it will be, God declares,
that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh,
and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
and your young men shall see visions,
and your old men shall dream dreams.
Even upon my slaves, both men and women,
in those days I will pour out my Spirit;
and they shall prophesy.

Joel was saying this will happen one day. Peter is saying this is happening NOW.

God has poured out his Spirit on all people; all races; rich and poor; educated and illiterate; male and female.

Essentially God is saying that I will speak to my people by prophecy and through dreams and visions.

I will speak to all of my people.

Martin Luther King Jr had a dream for his nation.

My dream is smaller and it’s still developing.

I have a dream for this Church?

Do you have a dream?

I believe it is essential that together we develop a dream; a sense of what is possible in God for us; a dream that will encourage us and challenge us, and take us beyond where we are now; beyond where we can even imagine if it were not for God.

Did you notice in Scripture so many of the dreams and visions were unexpected; so many relied upon God’s work, but they also relied upon the person, the people responding in obedience.

Peter went to the house of Cornelius; preached the Word and even while he was speaking, Acts 10: 44 ‘the Holy Spirit fell upon all who heard the word.’

Peter did what he was asked to do – God the Spirit did the rest.

Paul had this vision of a man calling him to Macedonia – a whole new frontier of ministry – Europe! Paul went in faith; arriving in Philippi the leading city of the region nothing of significance took place until the Sabbath. On that day Paul found a place near the river where people prayed and he began to speak.  Acts 16:14ff

A certain woman named Lydia, a worshipper of God, was listening to us; she was from the city of Thyatira and a dealer in purple cloth. The Lord opened her heart to listen eagerly to what was said by Paul. 15 When she and her household were baptized, she urged us, saying, ‘If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come and stay at my home.’

Paul obeyed – going to unknown places in response to the vision he had received he preached the good news and the Lord did the rest.

We too are being called, stretched, challenged, invited to enter God’s vision for us and this community.

There are some cautions – not everything I say is necessarily right; not everything you say, any of us say is necessarily right. Sometimes we simply get it wrong.

So we have to test the dream; check the vision.

1 Thessalonians 5:16ff

Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 19 Do not quench the Spirit. 20 Do not despise the words of prophets, 21 but test everything; hold fast to what is good; 22 abstain from every form of evil.

We must be a praying people

We must be an expecting people – expecting that God will speak to us.

We must test the vision; check the dream – is it of God?

Is it for us?                      Is it for now?

Does it align with Scripture?

If it doesn’t – reject it immediately.  

Take counsel from others: mature elders; pastors; others in the church.

There is a wonderful verse in Acts 15:28

The church was wrestling with some important decisions about how to minister amongst the gentiles.

Then when they begin announcing their decision they say… “For it has seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us.” 

They had been in prayer and intense discussion – they took seriously their responsibility to discern God’s call together and then finally they are able to say: we agree!

We should also ask of a vision

Is it convicting.                         Does it linger.

Dreams from God tend to linger – and challenge us, disturbing our sleep until we begin to act upon it.

Ultimately – does it come to pass.

So friends I dream, Parish Council dreams, Ps Joao, Ps Clay, the elders dream of a different tomorrow.

I have a dream for Arrowtown – I see a day when St John’s buildings and grounds will ring to the sounds of children and teenagers.

A day when the elderly and young worship and encourage each other and reach out in service to that community.

For Queenstown I see a church that reaches out to the margins; strangers, foreigners, and people far from God being invited in to hear the good news while God opens their hearts.

I see opportunity to welcome even more – so that Global Community truly becomes a more Global Community.  And I dream of a rebuilt space that will allow greater use by the community and from which we can serve.

In Frankton I see a growing hub for all our ministries. Changing patterns of worship, growing numbers of families.

And the unpopular one but I see a need to rebuild – we are outgrowing this site, and we will have to do something about that.

In Arrowtown, in Queenstown, in Frankton, amongst the Global Community I dream of a people who hunger and thirst for God; teaching and encouraging one another. A people going out to their neighbours, to this community, a people who increasingly take the gospel to the nations.

And we do that in two ways.

The nations are coming here – they will come in greater numbers and we will open our hearts to them, and we will teach them and love them. Joao, Clay and I dream one day of a discipleship school here that will train up many for the kingdom.

And we will also go. Sending missionaries, and missionary teams when and where God leads.

I pray that in 10 years we will struggle to recognise ourselves as we seriously step out in faith.

Our mission is: To live in Christ, and to grow as a Community of Faith, Hope, Love and Joy.

And our vision is that we must also be seeking to grow in numbers. Growing not for our sake but for the sake of God’s kingdom.

Growing one life at a time – Because every life, every individual matters to God.

Some call me a dreamer; but that’s ok – I wish we are all dreamers in God.

Seeing God’s vision

Dreaming God’s dreams

Then together proclaiming God’s Word and making those God given dreams reality.

Ephesians 3 20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,

21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

e-Book Study Resources

Understanding Multiculturalism  Published by the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand. Written by Andrea Candy and edited by Jose Reader and Andrea Candy. February 2014

Elders-Handbook-2011  Written by the Rev Dr Graham Redding, Principal of the Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership. March 2011

Membership  A brochure detailing the basics of membership of the Wakatipu Community Presbyterian Church.

 

Queenstown, Frankton and Arrowtown Wedding Services.

Guidelines for WEDDINGS within the

WAKATIPU COMMUNITY PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH

The 2012 General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand declared that it “upholds the historic Christian understanding of marriage as the loving, faithful union of a man and a woman”.  This is our understanding of the nature of marriage. Any wedding conducted by our ministers, or within our premises, will be consistent with these beliefs.

Photo by Aspiring Photography.

Guidelines…

  1. Setting your Wedding Day:         All weddings to be held in one of our premises must be approved by a minister of the Church. The couple, or their agent, needs to communicate with the minister in order to seek approval and to reserve the day and time for the wedding and rehearsal. It is advisable to make the necessary arrangements well in advance of the date you desire to be married.
  2. Celebrant:    Wedding ceremonies held within our premises will be officiated by one of our Ministers or their nominee. However, upon request, it may be possible guest clergy or a civil celebrant to officiate. Please discuss this with Rev Carlton Johnstone for Arrowtown and Rev Ian Guy for wedding services at Queenstown or Frankton.
  3. Christian nature of the service: When a couple asks to be married by one of our ministers or to use our buildings for their wedding service we assume that they desire the blessing of God on their marriage and that they want to begin their life together in God’s sight and in God’s presence. A man and a woman take each other as husband and wife not only as a private act of commitment but also before their community and God. It is important that the marriage service reflects Christian faith and is consistent with this Churches belief on marriage. It is advisable to discuss these matters fully with the Minister, or your celebrant, prior to entering into any firm commitment.
  4. Fees: The fees below apply to all except active, confirmed members of the congregations of the Church.

Current charges are:

  • Use of Church building $500*
  • Service of the Minister $475*  (this increases to $485 1st September 2019)
  • Gratuity for Organist/Sound Operator $150 – suggested

Reimbursement of material costs re Marriage Preparation $65, if used. (varies depending on material used).

*these costs will be invoiced prior to your wedding. Any marriage preparation costs by negotiation and the organist gratuity is normally paid in cash on the day. Where rooms are needed in addition to the church building additional fees will apply.

(Note: policy last updated 1st July 2017)

Advent 1: Waiting

Ian's sermon from Sunday 2nd Dec.  Readings from Jeremiah 33:14-16, Luke 21:25-36.

December 2nd – my sons 29th birthday – where did those years go?

Just the other day something our youngest son said reminded me of all our children. He said what they and thousands of others have said before him.  Can you guess what it was?

4 weeks to Christmas – I can’t wait!

It seems that children look forward to Christmas with an eager anticipation, straining forward as if they can make it arrive sooner; while their adults can’t wait for it to be over.

We spend a lot of time waiting. Continue reading

Transformational Disciplines: Fasting that pleases God

SERMON 3 OF 5 IN A SERIES EXPLORING SPIRITUAL DISCIPLINE, PREACHED 04 November 2012.  READ Matthew 6:1-18

You don’t hear much about fasting these days, in fact in the worship surveys conducted at the start of the year some here noted that they knew little about fasting and that they have never heard teaching on it.

Well that is about to change!

I guess as we look around our culture we can understand why fasting may be out of favour.

It doesn’t fit!

Seemingly in NZ and much of the world we’ve become conditioned to comfort, excess and instant gratification and that direction is only increasing.

If we want fast food – we want it now, and if they can’t serve us in only a few minutes we complain. Following trends set overseas we increasingly upsize our orders, and at a eat all you can buffet we end up eating more than we need, even more than we should – just because it’s there.

This attitude of having what we want when we want it extends to most aspects of life: texting, FB, entertainment. There is little we have to wait for. And we believe it’s our right to satisfy our desires whenever we want. So excess marks our landscape: and in the busyness of satisfying ourselves where is God?

God of course is where God has always been. Continue reading

Reviving the Flame at GA12

Recently I attended the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand (PCANZ). The biennial General Assembly gathered on the grounds of Te Maungarongo, our national marae, in Ohope for the opening ceremony and worship then continued at Rotorua Boys’ High School from October 4th to 7th.

In my experience Assembly is always a paradox – I enjoy attending, I value the sense of being God’s church, I appreciate conversations (albeit brief) with old friends and listening to contrary opinions, I rejoice in the times of worship – especially when we are stilled.

Yet Assembly is also a place of stress and distress: long days (8:30am to about 10pm), protracted debates, broken relationships, entrenched positions, too few voices, hurried decisions, apathy. This, and more, is the paradox of Assembly, the paradox of being human. We are inconsistent beings – capable of profound love, humility, and insight: and profanity.

We weep – God weeps.

We weep – God swoops to our side and loves us. Continue reading

Pastor’s Pen – 28 September

Dear Church,This Sunday we gather at St Margaret’s at 10.30am (PLEASE NOTE THIS IS CORRECT – information about St Andrew’s is incorrect) for our end of month combined service and shared lunch. This week we also take a little time to conduct the business of the Annual Meeting. I know that some of you will groan at the thought of a meeting but I trust you can come to this particular meeting with an attitude of thanksgiving and anticipation. This will be a time to hear some stories and to celebrate all that God is doing in our midst, and maybe, if we dare, to begin dreaming of what might be as we faithfully follow God in tomorrow.

I’ll be reflecting on Hebrews 11 and would encourage you to do likewise between now and Sunday. This chapter reminds us of some wonderful men and women of faith who achieved remarkable things. But the real point surely is that these men and women were actually pretty ordinary, they were weak and at times disobedient to God, yet they had faith and their faith was in God who they believed was trustworthy and who could do the impossible. Why else would they have stepped out of their places of comfort, taken the risks, exposed themselves to ridicule except that they believed that God was worth following no matter what. As we look back on our lives, either personal or corporate, where have we stepped out in faith? What has that cost us? What have been the results?
What I wonder is the new thing that God is calling you to, what is God calling us to? 
Do we have the faith to step out?
Services this Sunday: 30th September

30th

Manna Café – Queenstown Team 9am
Combined service and Annual meeting at:St Margarets – Frankton Ian Guy 10.30am

Combined service followed by SHARED LUNCH

ALPHA:     continues this Saturday. We are having some remarkable conversations. Plenty is going on in people’s lives.
Meals continue to be needed – please let Amanda or myself know if you can help. Also to those who have offered to help with meals: we do have enough for this week but we will need ongoing help. Also help is required to serve and clean up: please let me know if this is you! Can we also all be in prayer please for those participating in Alpha that God may use this time to reveal himself to them in fresh, deep and compelling ways.
COMING UP:
Special Guests:    The Fleck Family: Kenneth & Kim, Jenna & Shani, will be with us on Sunday 7th October, when they will speak at St John’s at 9am followed by St Andrew’s at 10:45am. Usually living in Chiang Mai, Thailand Kim and Kenneth head up the HIV prevention work of SIM in Asia with a focus on community transformation. Next Sunday Kenneth and Kim will introduce you to their work, share a little of their experience in Thailand and bring us a message from God’s word. You are also invited to contribute to a special offering in support of the Fleck family.
To understand more of their work view the video ‘Radical Grace from Kenneth Fleckor visit the Hope for Aids site.

General Assembly: I will be away from the 2nd to 11th October to attend the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand, plus have a few days leave. Murray Shallard will also be in attendance as will Pastor João Petreceli who will be an international guest of the Assembly representing the Presbyterian Church of Chile.
Fair Update: Saturday 27th October is our FAIR DAY!

Thank you to those who have donated ingredients for the marmalade making and to those who have made donations of money to help make goods for the Produce Stall- much appreciated.

Right now is the right time to be potting up seedlings from your garden and planting cuttings from bushes that are starting to grow again after their winter hibernation.

A new stall at the Fair this year combined with cheese rolls is a Cup Cake Stall. So we’ll be looking for support from the cup cake makers in our community.

We are on the lookout for someone to run the mini golf game – all the gear is supplied, so if this sounds like you please let a committee member know.

Like last year there will be a second ice cream and drinks stall in the show ring and we need 2 or 3 people to sell these goods. Let a committee member know if you are willing to help here. We need help from EVERYONE on Fair Day so please consider these requests.

Arohanui
Ian