20 August 2017

A couple of Thursday evenings back, Ministers and representative Parish elders met at the inaugural southern regional meeting of the Northern Presbytery.

The Presbytery as a whole covers from Cape Reinga down to Te Kauwhata which as you can imagine, is a huge area.  There are over 70 individual parishes within that region which can make the work of the Presbytery quite cumbersome as has been discovered since the Northern Presbytery was formed a few years back.  Now it is divided into four different regional gatherings, of which, we form the Southern.

So on that Thursday,  after having arrived at the wrong address in Papatoetoe, thinking it was there when all along it was somewhere else, and having arrived at the right location, Manurewa, about thirty parishes met to discuss the evenings business.  It was well-led by the new Convenor of this regional meeting and went along really well.  I met some new folks I’d never met before as well as meeting again some of the older names I’ve known for quite some years now.

The main order of business was for local churches such as here in Papakura and environs to gather together as a group and from within our number, to choose someone who would act with pastoral oversight of the others.  The elder from Clevedon was chosen by us, and he seemed dead-keen on the role.  It’s a good idea actually, because one of the negatives discovered within the whole Presbytery of being such a large gathering of local churches, was the fact that many Ministers felt isolated and disconnected from anyone else even near them.  This pastoral person will simply ring, or make contact in other ways, to touch base and see if everything’s okay. Only a small thing to do, but for some, it could make the difference.

So that’s the first meeting over.  We will be having five per year as well as four full-Presbytery meetings.  An extra workload for Ministers so we’ll see how it goes once it’s fully underway.