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Thoughts and informers from Westchurch people and some others too. These are unlikely to convey the beliefs of all our people. Please feel free to comment or blog - it really is easy.

20 December 2008

Card from Brenda

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Kiwi Christmas 10am, 21st December

It's Westchurch Christmas Service time again!
A Kiwi Christmas on the Beach

Don't forget your beach /camping chairs and sunhats!
There is prize for the best dressed "summer" person and Best Hat.
There will be a few chairs if you don't possess a deckchair - otherwise you may end up on picnic rugs on the floor.

Come Celebrate Christmas with us!

And it will be a great celebration - Praise / BBQ / IceCream /Pav !!
 - what could be more Christmassy?


18 December 2008

Holiday Services

Services over the holidays

On Sunday the 28th December there will be a gathering at the Paynters at 10am.

On Sunday the 4th January we resume meeting at Avonhead School. It will be led by the Youngs

29 November 2008

In Case of Abuse

At the Nov 19 church meeting, we adopted the Policy in Case of Abuse, (aka Church policy on Sexual Misconduct, and Church Policy on Managing Complaints : Specifically in regard to 'Mistreatment').

Read or download the policy from ...

Westchurch is committed to providing a safe environment for all of its members - an environment in which they will be free of harassment and abuse.

The Church will seek to provide a positive, timely and just approach to dealing with any complaint or reasonable suspicion of harassment or criminal offending, providing support and fairness to both the complainant and the respondent.

To provide appropriate response in the event of an allegation:

  • The contact people within the church will be listed and made known.
  • In the case of any allegation of abuse or harassment, the church will follow the protocols and procedures set out in this Westchurch policy.

This policy document contains the following sections:

  • Fundamental principles of the policy
  • Complaints or Concerns - what to do
  • What Happens Next
  • Your rights
  • Guidelines for working with young people in Westchurch
  • Appendix: Ethical guidelines for church members

Thanks especially to Fiona for drafting this document.

15 November 2008

Wanted Alive - WCK Teachers


Please consider the possibility that you could be a part of a small team of teachers in 2009.

We need several more teachers for WCK and would love to hear from you if you are interested in chatting about what might be involved.

We aim to teach half the term and have half the term off so that means you may do 4 or 5 sessions a term.

Please phone or email Katherine (or any of the teachers) or chat at church.

Angel Tree

Just received! Another 20 'Angels' from Prison Fellowship. Ring or email me your interest in buying a gift for one (or two) of these 'Angels'.

Apologies for the very short notice but the gifts need to be to me by the 23rd November (unwrapped).

We really appreciate the support that you give to this project and know there will be many happy children on Christmas Day receiving a 'special' present from their parents.

I have also had the wrapping day confirmed - Saturday 29th November starting at 9.30 a.m. at Halswell Baptist Church - aim is to finish by 1pm.


04 November 2008

Living in the story of Scripture


TRANSLATE :living in the story of Scripture

21-22 November ( Friday 21 7-10pm, Sat 22 9am – 4.30 pm)

Often we approach passages of Scripture as though they are independent of the rest of Scripture, forgetting they fit into a 'bigger story".

This seminar will walk through the narrative or 'bigger story' of Scripture, digging down to and wrestling with our underlying worldview assumptions. Then, work back to an exploration of what it looks like to translate this Gospel into the 21st century.

Where: Laidlaw College

Price: $85 single; $160 couple – includes notes, supper, morning & afternoon tea, and lunch.

Speakers: Rod Thompson( Laidlaw College), Andrew Shamy ( Compass Foundation), Roshan Allpress ( Compass Foundation)

Register: www.compass.org.nz/translate or email admin@compass.og.nz

Nathan attended an expanded version of this last January and really appreciated it. If you want to know more about it, have a chat with him.

18 October 2008

Training Grant

Young people will be considering what to do after this academic year ends.

Having some fun sounds great! But once that's done you might consider some Christian training.

As a church we offer a grant to encourage & help finance such training. You simply apply for it.

Westchurch Bible Training Grant for Young People.pdf has the guff you'll need.

Our Documents

Here are some of our documents.

There may be other files added later.
Currently these are being put on ...
http://westchurch.org.nz/wc/docs/ .

Steve R

04 October 2008

Westchurch Youth Internship 2009

Do you feel called to be one of our Youth Interns next year.

Westchurch Youth Internship 2009 - download the application form here

Applications close around 15 October 2008 ... and followed by our selection process.


20 September 2008

Pavelka visit

Mark and Anne Pavelka
On Sunday 28 September, Mark Pavelka is speaking to us.

Mark and Anne spent nine years working with OMS in Equador. Interesting stuff.

They are now working in the South Island for OMS.

For more, go to http://omsinternational.org/missionaries/mapavelka.

24 August 2008


“Lifting the Lid on Death”

A four-week Sunday evening Spring public lecture series at St. Marks Somerfield from 6.00-8.30pm on August 31, September 7,14 and 21.

The intention of the series - is to bring into the open an issue that continues to be largely taboo in our society yet affects everyone.

The format of each evening will be:
6pm-6.45pm An optional time when hospitality will be offered with a bowl of soup and bun.
7.00-7.40pm Presentation by guest speaker
7.40-8.00pm Small group discussion
8.00-8.30pm Questions and conversation with the speaker

The speaking schedule is as follows:

August 31 Mark Gibson the full-time minister at St. Marks Somerfield will speak
on “The Ecology of Death: A spiritual exploration of Endings”.

September 7 Dr Sandy MacLeod a medical consultant with the Nurse Maude hospice
will speak on “The Medical Aspects of Dying”.

September 14 Jayne Hubble, M.N.Z.A.P., a psychotherapist in private practice
working in Christchurch South will speak on “Fantasies of Death and
Dying: Reflections by a Psychotherapist”.

September 21 Rev. Dr. Jim Stuart a retired Methodist minister and theologian will
speak on: “The Other Side: Exploring the Near Death Experience”.

We hope that this series will be of wide interest in the church and local community.
All welcome. Opportunity will be given to offer a koha."

Copied from http://www.stmarks.methodist.org.nz/

Katherine recommended this to us at at church this mornng.

23 August 2008

Food Basket

This week, contributions to the food basket would be appreciated. Non-perishable food items, household cleaning and toiletries are all suitable. The people that receive these food parcels are families that are known by people in the Westchurch community. This is a gesture of care that we are able to make.

15 August 2008

Red letters 08

Hi friend, you may have heard that we are intending to do another Red Letter Voices later in the year (November 21-22). Like last year that will mean a Friday night and all day Saturday. This year we want to explore the practice of fighting for others. For example:

  • how does one fight for others at a political level (Kim Workman, NZ Director of Prison Fellowship),
  • how does one fight for indigenous people (Jon Owen, Urban Neighbors of Hope Chapter Leader, Sydney Australia),
  • how does one fight for global justice (Justin Duckworth, a Founder & Leader of Urban Vision, Wellington ),
  • how does one fight for stigmatized women & children (Ruby Duncan, CEO Iosis, South Auckland ),
  • how does one fight for the disabled (Evan Clulee, Ministries Director of Christian Ministries with the Disabled),
  • how does one fight for peace (Adrian Leeson, who was one of the three arrested over their symbolic protest at the Waihopai spy base),
  • how does one fight for the gay community without compromise ( Mike Hercock from Sydney who recently got over 100 Pastors to rally for the gay community even though some of them could not condone the practice of homosexuality),
  • plus Musicians from both NZ & Australia whose music is a blend of God, us & the other.

The emphasis, as noted, will be on "how to…" rather than challenge. This will be an informative gathering. RLV will be sponsored by Alongsiders (Mick Duncan) and held at Carey Baptist College , Penrose, Auckland Friday 7.30-9.30, Saturday 9.30 – 4.30). There will be a conference fee of $50.00pp.

While women weep, as they do now, I'll fight; while children go hungry, as they do now I'll fight; while men go to prison, in and out, in and out, as they do now, I'll fight; while there is a drunkard left, while there is a poor lost girl upon the streets, while there remains one dark soul without the light of God, I'll fight, I'll fight to the very end!"

So, if you're keen to be at this gathering then flick me back an email: mick@michaelduncan.org


07 August 2008

Small Groups

SMALL GROUPS are a great way of building friendships, encouraging each other in the messy business of life & faith - and having a lot of fun! They could be Westchurch-based or made of a handful of friends or people with a common interest sport or hobby.

If you're interested in belonging to a small group (no matter how small or odd-shaped), have space in yours for someone else, or would consider starting a new group - don't sit on the idea for too long! Take a first step - talk to someone about it. And the pastoral team (Kathy, Brian, Trudi & Blair) can help put you in touch with resources and others you could team up with.

06 August 2008


The older youth group is setting up a small library. It will allow the youth group an opportunity to read Christian books that they may not know about or have access to.

The reason I'm telling you is that the more books we have the better, so if you have some good Christian books that you have read and think would be suited to people of our age and stage (please no boring books you want get rid of) then bring them to church with your name on the inside cover. This would be a loan and you would have access to them whenever you want.

The books would be signed in and out so they shouldn't get lost in the ether -- as most loaned books seems to. We are looking for any Christian related books, anything that would be of benefit.

Any questions feel free to be in touch.
Ryan and the youth group

Nooma Series

Westchurch now has the Nooma series of 20 short films (around 10mins ea) in DVD form dealing with issues we care about and often want to talk about with friends, from a Christian perspective. They're a brilliant resource for small group discussion.

You can find out more & pre-view at http://www.nooma.com/ . [Also see earlier blog]

Contact Blair 352 6778 if you would like to borrow any of the series.

12 July 2008

Tramping trip 25-27 July

A tramp for well-padded older & younger blokes is planned for 25-27 July.

Contact Blair if you're interested. [ He's probably the stirrer! :~) ]

Dinner Report

The midwinter Christmas dinner on Saturday night was a great evening, from the mulled apple juice on arrival, the lights, the real Christmas tree, the singing, the presents and the food!! We enjoyed celebrating Yvonne's birthday. Everything came together to make a fantastic atmosphere and evening. Thanks again guys. [Pastoral team]

Thanks for the amazing contribution toward the mid -winter dinner.
The following items were left behind - A blue chili bag, a small roasting dish, Teflon serving spoon, a sage green hand towel, a wasabi green hand towel, a check tea towel, a blue and grey polar fleece. I will bring these items to church on Sunday. [Kathy]

17 June 2008

International Student Ministries

David Broughton spoke to us a couple of Sunday's ago about the work of ISM.

ISM Mission
Helping international students in New Zealand become life-long followers of Jesus Christ reaching people for Him in their home-country.

ISM Vision
All international students in New Zealand have the opportunity to hear the gospel of Jesus Christ. Students from many countries – some inaccessible to traditional missionary endeavour – grow as followers of Jesus Christ while studying in New Zealand, continue to serve God throughout their lives, and help many in their home countries and around the world become and grow as followers of Jesus Christ, thereby helping reach their communities and countries for Jesus Christ.

ISM Values
We are a community of Jesus Christ's followers who value the richness of different cultures and are passionate in serving international students. We fully depend on God and His word, and work prayerfully and lovingly in serving with one another. We value unity and empowerment by God.

More at www.ism.org.nz .

16 June 2008

Mid Winter Christmas Dinner - 28 June

Remember to let Wendy know you're coming!

Can't read it? Click on it for the big picture!

05 June 2008

Rob Bell's stories

Blair recommended that I take a look at this www.nooma.com site.

I watched the "Rain" video clip (you'll need Broadband) and was encouraged by Rob's expertly-delivered parable.

The rest of the series looks great too! The latest one (#20) is just as relevant as the others ... more so if you're Busy!! I can't wait to see more of these. We are considering getting some of these as a church resource to share ... ideal for small groups.


Bible Courses

It is not too late to enrol for courses at BCNZ in Christchurch for Semester 2 - 22 July to 7 November 2008.

Look under the Christchurch Section of the website www.bcnz.ac.nz.

Contact Kathy or Sue on 03 354 4270 for more information or email chch@bcnz.ac.nz.

02 June 2008

Chefs de Maison

Hard to read? Click on the picture/slide.

Reporting back:

The cooking demo went very well. Thank you to Ryan, Hamish and Grant who demonstrated great flair in the kitchen and to all for the tips shared. The $110 raised has been sent to World Vision's Born to Free project.
If you are interested in another evening some time in the future, maybe desserts?, please let me know.


31 May 2008

New web address

I've just registered our new URL.


William will be helping to develop this. If you want to be involved please let us know.


21 May 2008

Camp - Alongsiders

We're planning NOT to have a church camp in 2009!

We have decided to have a break next year and instead run the Alongsiders seminars with Mick and Ruby Duncan. We've had a lot of positive feedback from Mick's talks at camp so thought it worthwhile continuing down this path.

The seminars will probably involve a Saturday (10 am to 3 pm approx.) and possibly the Sunday morning. Mick has pencilled in for the same weekend as we had camp this year, i.e. 7 & 8 March. Because of his busy schedule we needed to book a year ahead.

Please give us your thoughts, comments, suggestions, etc.!

The Elders

Earlier Steve emailed this note to the church:

Mick Duncan's web site is http://www.michaelduncan.org/pages/profiles/micks_profile and his profile says a bit about his personal stories ... stories that he spent some time weaving into his three talks at our church camp in March. [A great camp it was too!]

His site has lots to say about Mick & Ruby's Alongsiders workshops. This 'alongside' action / mindset was emphasised by Mick in our sessions. There's much more on the site that is definitely worth scanning through - especially good if you have Broadband to use the rich multimedia options.

Fistula Hospital

Human Rights Film Festival - Regent Theatre

May 22 at 6.45pm and
May 24 at 1.30pm

Showing the film "Walk to Beautiful" about the work of Dr Catherine Hamlin at the Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital.

Dr Hamlin was nominated for a Nobel Peace prize in 1999.

Mission Committee

14 May 2008


Little kids and cars don't mix - keep your speed to less than 5 km/h if you drive into the school grounds. Parking in the school grounds is for those transporting gear, young families, and anyone who for mobility reasons needs to be near the hall. All fit and healthy persons - park on the street followed by a brisk, invigorating, health enhancing, environmentally friendly, socially acceptable, politically responsible, economically undemanding, emotional satisfying, theologically holistic walk.

09 May 2008


SMALL GROUPS are a great way of building friendships, encouraging each other in the messy business of life & faith - and having a lot of fun! They can be Westchurch-based or made of a handful of friends or people with a common interest sport or hobby. If you're interested in belonging to a small group (no matter how small or odd-shaped), have space in yours for someone else, or would consider starting a new group - don't sit on the idea for too long! Take a first step - talk to someone about it. And the pastoral team (Kathy, Brian, Trudi & Blair) can help put you in touch with resources and others you could team up with.

07 May 2008

Born to be Free

In January and February our church was involved in a project supported by World Vision. It was called Cycling with the Poor.

We raised the profile and some money towards the Born to be Free program. This World Vision program works really well to redeem children from slavery and break the familiar cycles that ensnare them.

A few of us had the pleasure to hit the MTB trail in this audacious adventure and break our own much weaker cycles. Simon has some scares to prove it.

You can read the well written blog and see more great pics of our adventures on cyclingwiththepoor.co.nz .

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05 May 2008

Naming people

Using people's names online.

For the sake of some privacy and security, I suggest that, as a rule, contributors use only first names in this blog and on other material made public on our our site, e.g. the Calendar. If ambiguity might be a problem then an initial for the surname could be used.

Do not put names on any photos.

Steve R

04 May 2008

Bad Blog?

If there is anything on this Blog, Calendar or Westchurch site that you think should be removed or modified ...

Call me on 322 5678 immediately or/and
email me the details via our email address: WstChch@gmail.com.

I'll attend to the matter ASAP.

Steve R

03 May 2008

Blogging Begins

This blog site is open for anybody from Westchurch to write whatever they would like to write. It is expected that this will be good stuff and helpful for the church and other readers.

You will appreciate that this will lead to material and thoughts that may not receive consensus agreement for all Westchurch people. If you do comment and enter into debate publicly with the blogger then please be reasonable and polite.

Remember that this is in the public domain. You must be careful not to cause trouble with regard to personal safety, privacy, confidences, copyright and other social responsibilities.

I have modified the Westchurch web site (a draft site looking for someone to help give it a face lift and take responsibility for it) to include this Blog, a Calendar and an Email address - all thanks to good old Google. See http://met.net.nz/wc.

Steve R