22 September

We had our 164th Annual Meeting last Sunday afternoon.  It was very well attended and all those who wanted to say anything at any time were given the opportunity to speak.  I thought that those who spoke to the various motions being put forward (and there were four!) did  a really good job in explaining everything clearly and well which then made the voting fully informed.  It was great to see that all the motions were ‘agreed’ which means that the voters were unanimous in their agreement showing that we were all together in moving ahead.  This is important for a church since even though we may differ in our opinions on various matters, when it comes down to it we agree with one another in the areas that truly matter.  It was a good meeting and a pleasure to attend.

So now we have congregational approval to move the Medical Centre at Rosehill to a different section on our land, as well as a confirmation of the decision that we made originally in 2014 which was to do whatever we need to do to sell the remaining sections.

Plus we agreed that the earthquake strengthening in the brick church proceed and that we approve a release of approximately $100,000 from the Church Property Trustees to facilitate that remediation work.  This is being aimed at starting from about mid-2020.

Of course, while that strengthening work is being done, our Sunday services will need to de-camp down to the Hall for the duration of the works.  I guess we could all stay put while it’s being done but then we’d all have to attend church with hard hats on along with body armour in case of falling bricks!!

The temporary shift will of course, impact how we do church on Sundays in terms of location (although two services will still take place) and it will have an impact on where Kidzone and Youth zone meet (perhaps the greater impact).  It will take grace on behalf of us all, but I am certain this will not be an issue.

After all this work is completed, then who knows what next.  The next part of any process after the earthquake remediation work was always understood to be a remodelling of the Hall to make it more user-friendly in terms of our children and youth ministries, but also to add a new toilet block and proper kitchen to make the space better available to other activities.  We’ll need to work that one out after the church has been re-strengthened, but whichever way you slice it, there are some exciting days ahead for First Church.

So new things are on the horizon in  a variety of ways within our parish as the signs of life here continue for us all!