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HCPC Newsletter

What is happening at HCPC with C19?

Dearest Friend in Christ

You will remember that we underwent a parish review during 2020. The result of that review, together with other input from the parish was being formulated into a mission plan when the process was halted due to my injury. One thing that was very clear to the leadership of HCPC was the importance of home groups/home church to the successful growth of our mission as well as meaningful pastoral care and spiritual growth.

Why do I send this email now? … Covid19 (and the NZ Government response) has yet again highlight how important it is that we find creative ways of continuing our journey as the body of Christ. We can’t wait it out and we can’t solely rely on what worked for us in the past. This is especially true on the eve of the implementation of a new framework by which New Zealand will respond to the outbreak of Covid19 in our country. 

Soon we will move to what is commonly known as the ‘traffic light system”, under which vaccine passes will go a long way in bringing a sense of normality to many people (almost 90% of Kiwis). However, this framework also has the potential to segregate our communities into two very distinct groups - something that goes against the grain of our Christian identity.

Whilst some organisations have already expressed that they will not require vaccine passes in an attempt to avoid such segregation, even that choice has an impact and will likely exclude the cautious and vulnerable people who have embraced the vaccine and tread carefully to protect their health. In my mind such a choice (not requiring vaccine passes) is still choosing one approach over the other and carries the same risk of excluding people.

It is the words of St Paul in Galatians 3:28 that keeps me engaged and entangled in the web of what to do. 

There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

                            - Galatians 3:28

What then are we going to do at HCPC? … We are currently awaiting guidance from the Council of Assembly (COA) who have spent quite some time to gain insight, understand and evaluate the legion of implications that effect the Presbyterian Church under the traffic light framework. I add into this newsletter an excerpt from a recent COA letter, that I trust highlights the weight of the matter for the PCANZ.
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Following a meeting facilitated by the Moderator, Rt Rev Hamish Galloway, with Presbytery moderators and EO’s on 27 October and a special Council of Assembly (COA) meeting on 5 November the following work is being done: 

      The Book of Order Advisory Committee is considering a wide range of guidelines and advice that would be offered to the church.

      The Church Property Trustees are considering possible implications of the Protection Framework for facility management and use.

      The Doctrine Core Group has been requested to offer wisdom regarding the ‘Presbyterian way’ of working out the life of the local congregation and making decisions like those required under the Covid-19 Protection Plan, and help COA reflect on a possible theological process and underpinning values Sessions and Parish Councils can use as they work their way through choices put in front of them by the Covid-19 Protection Framework.

      COA and the AES are in the process of setting up a one point of call with up-to-date information about current requirements/legislation and the implications for the church. We hope this will be available within the next two weeks.

      COA and the AES is seeking employment and legal advice regarding a church’s Health and Safety obligations within the context of the Protection Plan. Early indications are that legislation in this regard is not in place yet and we should be cautious not to pre-empt anything.

      COA and the AES is working on having as up to date as possible Covid-19 information available on the PCANZ website and Facebook page, bearing in mind that the government can change guidelines without much notice or publication and the government’s Covid-19 website (https://covid19.govt.nz/) is the primary and official source for information on guidelines and legislation.
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Our leadership at HCPC has made the decision to wait for the guidance from COA before we finalise our own plan for mission at HCPC under the new framework. In essence we do not wish to create a new category of segregation, and we are trying our very best at finding creative ways to include as many people in our community as we possibly can.

Embracing our smallness … This brings me back to the opening paragraph of this letter. One way of responding to the challenge at hand is by embracing our smallness. We were hoping to expand our mission to include small groups by August 2021. Our leadership was and still is convinced that there can be tremendous value in being part of a smaller group of believers who regularly gather to worship, pray, study, celebrate - simply be the body of Christ. And this is what I am inviting you to be part of.

Please consider either being part of a small group of no more than 10 people (3 or 4 families), or opening your home to host such a group. The basic idea is to meet regularly (weekly or fortnightly), in accordance with the Government Framework, to then watch a recorded devotion, discuss it, pray about it and share in each others lives. 

I humbly request that you contact Ruth (at the office or via email) to sign up for what I believe to be the backbone of Christian ministry in a Covid19 world.

Lastly, please pray earnestly for our own leadership who are wrestling with this challenge. 

I am excited about the potential in bringing to life a number of small groups/home churches of HCPC. Join me in this excitement.

Your servant in Christ.

Rev. Werner Schroeder

Sunday Worship


Following on the success of our in-person communion picnic on Sunday, November 21, we will have another opportunity to gather on the grass at HCPC for worship this Sunday. More info on the details of our planned service will follow later this week.

Further to the service, we appeal to you for food donations. In the lead up to Christmas we want to make a donation towards the local food bank here in the Hibiscus Coast. Your support for this initiative is key to its success. Please drop food items at the office during weekdays 09:00-13:30, or bring it along on Sunday.
November, 2021
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Art Competition for Advent 2021

Help us spread the word

We are excited to announce that HCPC is running an art competition that is open to the Hibiscus Coast community. This competition will have some prizes - so why not take a chance.

Competition Briefing:
2021 has been tough enough - we hope your art will help all of us experience the wonder of Christmas in a new way. Please Paint, Draw, or Sculpt an art piece that ties into advent and represents one (or more) of the four advent themes: Hope, Love, Joy, and Peace. Each piece should be accompanied by a short description of what it represents, who made it, the age of the creator, and contact details so we can be in touch. 

To submit an art piece, please arrange with our minister for a contactless drop-off at 107 Centreway Rd. This can be done via email (minister@hibiscuscoastpresbyterian.org.nz).

Closing date for submissions is December 19, and winners will be announced on December 24 via our Facebook page and direct contact.

Please note that Art will be returned early in 2022 and may be displayed on site and/or our digital platforms (Facebook/Website etc)
 
Download Competition Poster
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