2019 is going to be a HUGE year for our ministry in New Zealand. The ball is rolling on so many details now for our new church, and we're so excited to tell you more over the coming updates, so watch this space! But first, we can't miss the massive December we had, so let's take a quick look over the month...
A Relaxing Christmas Eve at Shore
Over the past few years, Christmas Eve at Shore Community Church has been evolving into a full-on family-friendly, free-range-kids sort of event. So we decided to go all in and welcome the church Whanau (family) into a living-room type vibe this year complete with Christmas jammies, song requests, and random stories and Christmas memories (pictured above). It was heaps of fun.
A Record-Breaking Outreach Event
We also teamed up with a local church group in our new church target area to host Christmas on the Point, an outreach event with live music, carols-singing, great food, and a visit from Santa. Over the past three years attendance at this event has steadily climbed. This year the outdoor amphitheatre was packed with families enjoying food, music, sunshine, and neighbours. And as a bonus, the crowd of over 550 people heard about our new church starting just down the road this year. Here's hoping some seeds were planted!
Spending time with the Elderly
We realise that Christmas can be a difficult time of year for some - especially the lonely. So we put the kids and a guitar in the van and met some friends at a local village for the elderly to try and bring some joy to a sometimes lonely place. It was a privilege to see smiles on faces, to hear joyful singing, and especially to watch our kids relate so well to people ten times their age.
A Time to Connect
Once the big day is over, summertime in New Zealand brings a fantastic opportunity to spend quality time with friends and neighbours who haven't decided to travel over the holidays. All you need is a beach, a BBQ, and a few board games and you're set for days of fun!
Church Plant Funding Update
This amount covers start-up purchases as well as operating costs for the first five years, on a diminishing basis. This does not include our salary or personal ministry expenses.
If you are interested in getting involved as a financial partner with a one-time, tax-deductible gift, please visit this website and follow the instructions.
Now that we've been a family with children for over ten years, we've developed a few holiday traditions of our own. In addition to the ones mentioned above, we like to go ten-pin bowling on Christmas Eve and bake Christmas cookies to take to our neighbours as a wee Christmas prezzy. It's a simple way to connect with those around us and to get the kids focused on serving others.