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St Pauls Union Church Taupo December 2020
Farewell to Rev. Lorelle Chapman

Taupo ChurchLorelle and her colleagues St Pauls Harlech singers

Tokelauan CommunityCongregation

Tauranga Synod December 2020
Final Synod meeting for the year at St Stephens Church, Tauranga

Synod Gathering
Susan's final meeting as DS Lorelle ChapmanLeigh & Diane SundbergRev. Philip pays respect to Leigh

Deacon Valma Hallam Deacon Margaret BirtlesThanks to Susan and Nan

Methodist Conference November 2020
Conference farewell significant people:

Jan FoggViv WhimsterLindsay & Lynley CumberpathGeneral Sec. David & Lynda Bush

Waitoa Church Opening October 2020
Opening New Building at Waitoa. Waitoa shares ministry in the community

Maurice Hight

Mary, Diane, Maurice, and Sally cut the ribbon

Rev Mary Petersen and Deacon Diane Hight. Diane told the Red Cross Story

Girls Brigade Awards October 2020
FirstOtumoetai Girls Brigade Company AwardsserviceinOctober.
Activities were shared, including: Study on Disciples, planting and care of seeds, and study of North American Indians.
Captain Ann Booth gave out Awards to the very deserving girls. She is completing 40+ years in Girls Brigade.

Teddy Bears from Lockdown

Plants cared for by Girls Brigade

Awards Table

North American Indian headbands

Youngest girls

Senior Girl

Colour Party

Hamilton Synod August 2020
Annual Synodwasheld atHamilton East Methodist Churchon7th & 8th August.
Tributes were made to Raewyn Bayliss and Neville Jack, who have died since last Synod.

Synod members gather for Synod. Hymn for devotions. Waikato Interfaith Choir taught us new music.

Alisa - Devotions

Maxine - Methodist City Action
Hamilton East Methodist Church Speakers

Andrew - University Chaplain

Metui - Hamilton Methodist - Sharing Devotions

A variety of books onbookstallfrom Philip Garside Publishing

Combined Worship July 2020

Wesley & St. Stephens, Tauranga, began a trial Worship plan, meeting 2 weeks at Wesley and 2 weeks at St. Stephens for a period. Lovely gathering at St. Stephens on 19th July.

Thanks to Neil Everett for these photos.
To have photos of your worship events displayed, for Synod to see What's Happening, Emailwebmaster.

Synod June 5 2020
Susan Thompson welcomed the 48 people gathered by Zoom for a very different synod meeting. Bob Franklyn (Presbyter Matamata) shared devotions on new ways of being connexion, and challenged us to step out in unchartered waters and one of these could be, to be part of the Fresh Expressions movement which is about finding where God is already at work in the Community and joining Him there without any expectation that people will come to traditional church services. The church is a living organism. We cannot continue to live in our own little bubbles but must go out into our communities and into the future.
Some of the time was in small breakout groups for pastoral sharing and later in the meeting to share:
1.What is one thing you are thinking about differently as a result of the last two months?

2. Are there things you are doing in a new way?
3. How can we as a community of faith embrace our new learning's and opportunities?

The findings of these groups were collated and are available for each church to consider.
This was a valuable way of being Synod especially when there wasn't a long trip home afterwards. We all look forward to gathering for synod again in August.

Inductions February 2020
Rev Melema'u Molitika Induction as Presbyter Cambridge Union Parish Rev Melema'u making her response to
Cambridge Union Congregation
Melema'u with her support team waiting to enter the church Rev Melema'u greeting people after Induction Service
Rev Bob Franklyn Induction at Matamata Union Parish Bob responding to his Parish
District Superindendant Rev Dr Susan Thompson,
Synod Steward Viv Whimster led InductionHospitality provided by the Parish at supper

Flowers and Messages for Cruise Ship - December 2019
Support for crew and passengers on cruise ship Ovation of the Seas,

Parish members, fromTauranga and Te Puke/Mt Maunganui,joined with the public in
giving flowers and messages of support following the disaster on White Island.

Synod at Te Awamutu - November 2019

November Synod was held at Te Awamutu Methodist Church, on November 29th 2019. Thanks to Brice for beautiful flowers
Synod received a report from Rev Lorelle Chapman, Taupo Presbyter, as Disaster response Chaplain with the NSW Bushfires

Rev Shelly, Pesbyter, shared Devotions

Thanks to Mary West as she retired as Synod Secretary. Jenny Mau introduced by Mary as new Synod Secretary

Farewells to those retiring or moving
Ken Olsen, Lindsay Cumberpatch, Tania Shackleton, Matafonua Langi, Mary & Peter West
Mount Harbour Chapel - October 2019
Mt Maunganui is now Mount Harbour Chapel, after a Service of Re-dedication.

Mt Maunganui Church has now become

Jones & Co. Mount Harbour Chapel

Joy, Terry, and Liz celebrated changes

Members of Mt Maunganui Church Congregation
Hymn Book Launch at Tauranga - September 2019

"With a Song in our Heart" Hymn book
launched at Wesley Church, Tauranga

Authors of Hymn book:
Norman Goreham, Jeremy Whimster, Norman Brookes
"With a Song in our Heart" Hymn bookhas 43 new hymns, some to new tunes, many to popular tunes.
Synod at Tauranga - August 2019

Members gathered at Wesley Church for Synod

Rev. Leigh Sunderberg welcomed Synod to Wesley, Tauranga

Oliver, the parish cat, graced us with his presence; and befriended Geoffrey Simmons, from Te Aroha

Susan Thompson thanks Ngaire Sutton as
Synod Steward for 9 years

Rev. John Hebenton, Gate Pa vicar, spoke about NZ Wars & Maori-Pakeha relationships in Tauranga
Certificates acknowledging Permission to Administer Holy Communion

presented toMary West andHeather Major

Michael Lemanu - Tauiwi Childrem, Young People & Family Ministry
Michael, Amelia, William, and Ofa - Youth Reps
Sharing on prevention of Youth suicide

Wonderful Kitchen Staff
Synod at Dinsdale, Hamilton - June 2019

Synod gathered at St. Clares, Dinsdale

Rev. Tania Shackleton led devotions

Panelists of 'We are many, We are one'

Mohukelesi Lolohea congratulated on acceptance for Presbyter training

Tania showing work from the Bottle-Top Cafe

Easter Camp -Freequency

For more info andphotos, please visitFacebook

Te Puke refurbished Church

Te Puke returning to church. Rev Ralph Vickers and Veena thanking builder.Terry Keheley giving keys to Veena,

Ralph thanked by Veena Halliwell for Pastoral Care provided.

Deacon Margaret Birtles(in role of Pastoral Care worker), Rev Dr Susan Thompson, Rev Leigh Sundberg signing Ministry Covenant.

Matt Cave induction at Papamoa Co-operating Parish, with Rev. Jacquie Cavit
Synod at Hamilton- 8th March 2019
Synod met for first meeting of the year at Tamahere Eventide Village.
Ministerial Synod met lunch time, Full Synod started with dinner together.
Devotions were lead by David McGeorge

District Superintendent Susan piad tribute to Eric Russell as Webmaster, Synod Organist, and long time Synod member.
He & Wendy were wished well for their shift to Wellington.

Alilia shared the Youth Report and encouraged Parishes to talk to their youth aboutEaster Camp- Freequency 18-22 April 2019.
For more information, please visitFacebook

Terry Kehely presented District Property report with the good news that upgrading of both Te Puke and Wesley Hall, Tauranga, had been completed. He was presented with a gift in appreciation of his oversight and involvement of both projects which have been very time consuming.
Lindsay Cumberpatch, chairperson of Hamilton Methodist Church Trust, talked to Synod about the Trust & the support that the Trust offers within the Waikato area was affirmed.
Inductions February 2019
4th February
Alisa Lasi
Hamilton East

5th February
Tau Lasi
7th February
Lorelle Chapman
Taupo Union
8th February
Neti Petaia

Gifts of Ministry at Rotorua Induction

Gifts of Ministry at Morrinsville Induction

Synod at Tauranga-30th November 2018

Synod met atSt Stephen's Churchin Tauranga, in the sunny Bay of Plenty on30thNovember 2018.

The Tauranga-basedSilver Singerssang several pieces of lovely music.

Farewells & Acknowledgements

Vonnie Keightly(past Co Synod Superintendent),Catherine Hodgesleft her role at Methodist City Action,Ray Bloomfieldretired from his position as hospital chaplain at Rotorua,Bryce Herbert(Te Awamutu, 50 years since ordination),Veitomoni Suifangais moving to Rangiora to his first appointment.
Andrew Doubleday(President-Elect 2020-2022),Edwin Talaki(Vice-President-Elect 2020-2022).
Alison Molineuxwill be living in the district and hopes to see members sometimes in the future.Anne Prestonis moving to the Christchurch North Methodist Parish.IeremiaandMatila Amaniwere wished well as they move to a Samoan-speaking congregation in Auckland.Hui Young Hanhas grown in confidence in ministry, has brought her many skills along with her lovely singing voice.

St Paul's Church, London Street, Hamilton will be moved to Te Kowhai in January 2019.

Synod at Papamoa - 1st December 2017
Synod met at Papamoa Church in the sunny Bay of Plenty on 1st December. Among the highlights:
a) We said farewell to Rev Augusten Subhan, his wife Caroline, and their daughter Juliana. Augusten has been stationed at Te Puke Parish
since 2014, and is to commence a new ministry at Kaitaia in 2018. We wish him well as he ventures north.
b) Earlier, we were led in devotions by Parish Presbyter Rev Dr Jaco Reyneke. Jaco shared with us Philip Gulley's ideas on how we must
rebuild spirituality from the bottom up. The ideas presented were thought provoking and challenging.
Youth Services at Matamata and Tauranga - 20th August 2017

Thank you to the Synod Youth representative 'Alilia Molitika for providinig
report and photograph from youth services held at Matamata and Tauranga
on 20th August.



August Synod - 4th and 5th August 2017 - Hamilton East Church
Highlights of Synod: a delightful new venue at Hamilton East (right), worship (below), fellowship (bottom left) reflection and, (very much appreciated), the hard work of many volunteers in the kitchen (bottom right)!
Commissioning of Heather Major at All Saints Community Church, Bryant Park, Hamilton - 16th July 2017
Ven. Paul Weeding (Archdeacon of Waikato), Rev Dr Susan Thompson (Superintendent Waikato-Waiariki Synod), Heather Major (new lay minister at All Saints Community Church) and Bishop Helen-Ann Hartley (Bishop of Waikato). A symbol of ministry being presented to Heather.(Not sure if it is the
parish minute book, or the financial accounts.....)
Opening of new Hamilton East Church - 20th May 2017
It is not every day that a city congregation has the opportunity to open a
brand new church, but this was the opportunity given to the congregation
of Hamilton East Church. The story behind the decision to demolish the
much cherished former church, and to take the courageous decision to build
a new one can be read here.

It was a day of great excitement for all. From the cutting of the ribbon, the
singing of the choir, the delivery of a sermon by the President of the Methodist
Church of New Zealand, Rev Prince Devanandan, the contribution of both the
youth and Pasifica members of the church, followed by a celebratory meal and
a formal cake - it was all there, and a day that many will treasure for a long time.

A selection of photographs taken on the day can be foundhere.

The occasion was also well reported in the national newspaper of the
Methodist Church, Touchstone, in its June 2017 issue (see pages 1
and 14).
Joyce and Neville Metcalfe, two of the longest standing members of the parish. With them is Des Jack, parish chair, and brother of Neville Jack who is the property convenor. It was their grandfather who sold the land to the church when it was first built.
Induction of Rev David Ahn to Hauraki Plains Parish Co-operating Parish- 2nd February 2017

It was a pleasure for members of Synod to gather at Hauraki Plains Co-operating Parish to induct Rev David Ahn into parish ministry in Ngatea.

David and his wife Susan, in traditional Korean dress, are kneeling here, and facing their congregation, as people of the congregation pray for David and Susan, and they pray for the people.

A selection of further photos taken during the evening can be viewed here.

Induction of Rev Tania Shackleton to Dinsdale Co-operating Parish - 1st February 2017

Rev Tania Shackleton, having received the gifts of the congregation, here presents her own gift to acknowledge the diversity of the people within the parish and the community.

Synod gathered at Dinsdale Co-operating Parish to induct their minister,
Rev Tania Shackleton. Tania had supplied ministry for 11 months prior
to this. The Methodist Conference in November affirmed her work in the
Parish and formallystationed herto the Parish. Tania was delighted
with the extensive support of clergy and lay people from throughout the
Methodist Connexion and the Kaimai Presbytery at the induction
serivce. A selection of other photos taken during the evening can
be viewed here.

Synod at Te Awamutu - 2nd September 2016

Synod met at Te Awamutu on 2nd September, and the Parish welcomed us to the start of their Spring Extravaganza. The church, lounge and hall were decorated with flowers and art work completed by members of the Parish. The local community were invited on the weekend to also come and enjoy the Parish's creativity.
Rev. Brice Herbert, a retired Methodist minister and floral artist, spoke about flowers in worship. He remarked that so many faithful people who arrange flowers week by week are not acknowledged. Brice told members that good floral work is as important as a well scripted sermon or service.
Further photographs taken at the event showing art works and floral arrangements on display (And some were also for sale) can be found by clicking here.

/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/ We have lost some of our recorded history!/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/

Yes, a considerable number of our hot events disappeared one day during routine maintenance of the page. We will continue to record new events
as they happen, and as time permits, it is hoped to reconstruct some of the missing history of the Synod. While the text of the stories has been lost
photographs remain stored on the 'shadow' web site which is used to load the information that appears on this page.

If you have photos and stories to share please forward them to theWeb Manager. Thank you!

Conference Arrangements Committee Meeting- Saturday 14 June 2014
Members of Synod are looking forward to hosting this year's Methodist Conference which will be held from 15th to 19th November in Hamilton. A local Conference Arrangements Committee is meeting monthly to organise venues, catering, preparation of the Conference handbook, the information desk and all the other tasks that are needed. Here we see some of the Committee members (Convenor Nan Russell, Secretary Anne Saunders, Margaret Giles and Peter Lane)modelling their hats for Conference in celebration of the Waikato!
Workshop at Rotorua on Recognising Family Violence - Saturday 7th June 2014
A Synod Workshop held in Rotorua on 7th June was led by Samoa Sinoti representative, Opeta Amani. The subject: 'Recognising Family Violence',was prompted by a request duringConference in 2013 that all Synods arrange such teaching. Family violenceis, regrettably, just as prevalent in church families, as in other parts of the community.
Synod at Rotorua - Friday 6th June 2014
Synod was hosted by the Rotorua congregation at Bainbridge Methodist Church. While members of Synod enjoyed the broccoli, potatoes, beef,and chicken spread, they were serenaded by this cross-cultural, cross-generational, Bainbridge Male Voice Choir with renditions of "Jesus stand among us, in the meeting of our lives", "This little light of mine", and other tunes. Congratulations on a marvellous performance. The apple sponge, cheese cake, custard and ice cream that followed weren't too bad either!
The choir was accompanied by talented pianist extraordinaire Rev Ierimia Amituana'i, presbyter of the Rotorua congregation. Later, Ierimia shared aspects of his faith journey with us in graphic detail - well, he used a graph - showing what he considered to be the peaks and valleys of his life journey. Through it all, he affirmed, God is with us.
Wesley Day - Sunday 25 May
The annual celebration of Wesley day- the Sunday closest to John Wesley's Aldersgate conversion experience on 24 May 1738 - was remembered on 25th May. Guest speaker was the vice-president of the Methodist Conference, Miss Jan Tasker, who preached at both Wesley Tauranga in the morning, and at Te Awamutu in the evening. Thank you Jan for yoursermon- Being a Christian the Methodist way - adapted from a sermon prepared by Rev Barry Jones. Recommended reflective material for all Methodists!
District Superintendent Rev Dr Susan Thompson pictured here with our
guest speaker, the Vice President of the Methodist Conference, Miss Jan Tasker.
Synod Refresh - 20 and 21 May

The annual Refresh meeting at Epworth on 20 and 21 May had as its guest speaker Professor Douglas Pratt.Douglas is a former Methodist minister so many members of the Synod may feel they know him quite well. However,clickherefor an update of his academic background - impressive indeed.

Douglas shared with us two particular aspects of the Christian and Muslim relationship.

The Building Bridges Seminar

For over ten years the Building Bridges Seminar has brought together a range of internationally recognised Christian and Muslim scholars for intensive study.
Texts from the Christian and Islamic traditions are used as the basis for discussion in a program that includes public lectures and private sessions. The annual
seminars, each lasing three days, have explored a number of the most significant themes in the interface between Islam and Christianity: scripture; prophecy;
the common good; justice and rights; human nature; interpretation; science and religion; tradition and modernity; prayer; death, resurrection, and human

Further information can be foundhere.

A common word between us

Douglas also informed us of an invitation sent by 138 leading Muslim scholars in 2007 to the leaders of the Christian churches and denominations in the entire word. Under the heading 'a common word between us' it acknowledged the twin golden commandments in both the Holy Qu'ran and the Holy Bible of the paramount importance of loving God, and loving one's neighbour. Quite a few references can be found in Google search if you search "A common word between us and you", but for a starter you can clickherewhere a 266 page .pdf document will provide further fascinatingstudy on the topic.

The Mad Hatters' Tea Party
Those of us who enjoy a civilised life as ordinary parishioners, occasionally wonder what the clergy
get up to when they are at play. This picture was taken at Refresh during the dinner on 20th May,
but who exactly is it, is he or she the special guest (also known as the "grass" guest), and what is happening here? In 2016, thewebmasteris still waiting for somebody to own up to who this is!
Progressive Exploration Service, Chartwell, Hamilton - Sunday 4th May 2014
On a regular basis, ChartwellCo-operating Parishhosts a Progressive Exploration Service at 7pm. These events are widely advertised in the Community, and on the Synod Calendar. Tonight the guest speaker was Jacinda Ardern, MP, who discussed many of the important social justice issues facing our country, and shared how her Mormon upbringing has influenced her political values. A lively question time followed.
Progressive Exploration Service Organiser Aaron Bennett, on left of photo, pictured with Jacinda Ardern following the service. Aaron was particularly pleased to welcome his former school friend, who, in their senior years at Morrinsville College, was voted by her peers as the person most likely to become Prime Minister!
Youth Service at St John's Hamilton East - Sunday 27th April 2014

The service was organised by the Synod youth representative Alilia Molitika. It was attended by around 40 young people from the Hamilton East, Te Awamutu and Elim youth groups. Youth leaders, parents and Synod leaders also attended.


The evening began with worship. The Rev. Susan Thompson opened in prayer. The Rev. Anne Preston preached a well-received message about Making Choices. Music was provided by the Elim youth band.


The night ended with games led by the Te Awamutu youth group and supper.


Synod Meeting at Tamahere -Friday 7th March 2014
Synod was held at the Tamahere Eventide Home, on the outskirts of Hamilton.

The Ministers met together in the afternoon to discuss matters of mutual interest, and conduct their own business meeting.

TheDistrict Synod met for tea at 5.30pm in the new café that has been opened at the home. We were treated to the same fare as was served the same evening to the residents of the home - although the standard of the food were appetising and impressive, none of us feel quite ready to retire to a home!

TheDistrict Synod met, and were led in worship by the Tamahere Chaplain, Rev Colin Neal. General business of the Synod included a welcome to Neville Westbury (Morrinsville), Rev Carol Hancock (Te Kuiti, Piopio, Aria & Mokau), Ruth Espin (Te Puke), Rev Ian Hanley (St Clare's Dinsdale), Vaea Finau and Vahamohe Finau (St Pauls Tongan Parish Hamilton).

Synod was informed of the recent marriage of Alan Spiersand Allyson McGregor, from Tokoroa. This news was greeted with awarm round of applause.

The Ministerial Synod reported to theDistrict Synod that they had approved Veitomoni Siufanga's readiness to proceed to the National Candidates Assessment in May. We pray that this will go well with him.
Pictured here are the three new ministers in the Synod following the Stationing proceedings of Conference in 2013. From left, Rev Ieremia Amituana'i from Rotorua, District Superintendent Rev Dr Susan Thompson, Rev Alison Molineux from Taupo, and Rev Augusten Subhan from Te Puke / Mt Maunganui Parish.
Synod Meeting at Dinsdale - Friday 29th November 2013
Synod held its November meeting at the Co-operating Parish of St Clare, in Dinsdale, Hamilton. As usual, this end of year meeting was very well attended, and a sumptuous meal was provided! Opportunity was taken to farewell a number of people leaving the Synod, and further details can be foundhere. Thanks to Rev Anne Preston for supplying a number of photos taken during the Synod - a selection is available to be viewedhere.
An illustration of 'symbols of meaning' on display during the sharing of her faith journey by theDinsdale presbyter Rev Gloria Zanders.
Synod pilgrimage to Te Waitere, Kawhia and Aotea harbour - Satuday 9th November 2013
Synod members from both sides of the Kaimai ranges embarked on a pilgrimage to the Kawhia harbour to learn about our very significant early missions in the district.A very professionalbrochureprepared by Alan Leadley - with acknowledgements to Peter West, Jock Crawford and Robin Astridge - had been prepared to provide background to our journey. We assembled at London St in Hamilton at 8.30am. Following a brief karakia, we climbed the minibus and bus provided, and set off for a long journey to Te Waitere in the southern Hokianga Harbour.

At Te Waitere John Kaati welcomed us, and after we had had our own refreshments on the balcony of the Te Waitere Boating Club building, he shared with us the history of the mission work in the district, and his connection to signatories on Te Tiriti.

We then journeyed back to Kawhia where Nick Tuwhangai welcomed us to the Centennial church (interior, pictured right). District Synod Superintendent Rev Dr SusanThompson led us in a short communion service in the church, assisted by Rev Anne Preston.At a new adjacent kitchen/hall/toilet block*, we were blessed by some local hospitality, which augmented the refreshments we had taken with us for the journey.

*Nick shared his experiences of seeking financial assistance for the small parish from the Administration Division in Christchurch. Was it a case of asking for a toilet block - and the hall and the kitchen facilities would be a natural consequence, or was it case of asking for a hall and kitchen facilities and knowing that toilet facilities would be a natural consequence? It seemed Nick had still not decided, but his gratitude to the wider church was evident. Nick had spearheaded the project which saw the church extensively renovated for its 75th anniversary a few years ago.

A quick trip to the western end of Kawhia to sight an important marae building, was followed by another quick trip - this time a little longer but over the hill to see the beautiful Aotea Harbour. From the southern side we could see the sand hills on the northern side of the harbour, and hear about the former Beechamdale mission station nearby.

We arrived safely back at London Street shortly after 5pm. Before we dispersed, Susan led us in somebrief reflections. Here are two of theprayersshe used during the day.

A selection of photographs taken during the day can be seenhere.Thank you to Anne Preston for hercontribution to these photos. And a big"thank you"to everyone who contributed to the organisation of this tremendous day we will remember with deep gratitude for a long time.
Celebration of 110 Years at Waitoa - Sunday 25th August 2013
Past and present faithful members of the congregationgathered at Waitoa Church to celebrate 110 years of ministry in the Waitoa area. Rev Doris Elphickdelivered the formal address, which can be readhere.The photo below records the attendance of approximately 100 people at this celebration. Maurice Hight, pictured below (somewhere), and referring to himself as theGardener,shared thesereflectionsafter the luncheon in the Waitoa hall.
Synod at Rotorua - Friday 7th June 2013

Synod met at Rotorua and, at right, Rev Wallis Browne, Rotorua's minister, shares his faith journey with Synod.

The Tongan and Fijian youth of Rotorua Methodist Church presented a dance routine to the Synod. On left, they are watched by Synod Superintendent Rev Dr Susan Thompson, and Rotorua minister, Rev Wallis Browne.
Synod Executive meeting at Paeroa - Thursday 6th June

Synod Executive meets in all kinds of places around the district: Hamilton, Matamata and Tauranga. However this was a first! On 6thJune we met with Jan Fogg at McDonald's in Paeroa. It wasn't the healthiest lunch but we got a lot of work done and had a good time.


Left to Right: Mary West (Secretary), Rev Dr Susan Thompson (Superintendent), RevIan Croft, Viv Whimster, Ngaire Southon (Steward), Rev Jan Fogg.

Synod Scavenger Snap and Seek at Tauranga - Saturday 25th May 2013
Despite the wet weather, afantastic daywas enjoyed by all who participated.

Induction at St Stephens, Tauranga -Monday 10th March 2013

This was an historic day in the life of Te Haahi Weteriana O Aotearoa. For the first time in its history, a deacon was inducted under the stationing process to be stationed at a parish. St Stephen's in Tauranga the lucky parish, Deacon Margaret Birtles the history-making Deacon.

Rev Gloria Zanders was the guest preacher. Her "sermon challenge" to Margaret and the congregation can be readhere.

Margaret and members of her whanau gather before the service.

DeaconMargaret Birtles, seen here with Deacon Edna Evans, and District Superintendent Rev Dr Susan Thompson. Deacons and Presbyters gather at the front of the church to pray with Margaret.
Synod - 8th March 2013

Synod met at Melville Church. In accordance with our custom in recent years,the minister of the host church was invited to share his or her faith journey with the synod. Clickhereto read the challenging journey that Rev David Poultney shared with us.

We also welcomed a number of new faces to the Synod during the course of the evening:

Rev Anne Preston (on the left, at right) was recently inducted as minister at Hamilton East Parish. Here she demonstrates the warmth of the relationship already establishedwith parish Synod representative, Mrs Catherine Dickie.

Among other new faces at Synod, were, at left, Veitomoni Suifanga Trinity College student currently attached as a private student at Chartwell Cooperating Parish, and Mrs Daina Croft (centre)Synod representative from All Saint's Hamilton (also parish administrator). On the right isMele Molitika who has beencoming to Synod for a couple of years. Mele is a theological student, and her 'placement' at Hamilton Parish this year was acknowledged by Synod.

Also welcomed to Synod, but not present when this photo was taken, was Mr Paul Ma'u, whosewife Mrs Jennifer Ma'u is a Synod representative for St Francis Parish, Hamitlon.
Methodist Conference - 3 - 7 November, Wellington 2012
At the Methodist Conference in Wellington,Rev Doris Elphickof Te Aroha, officially 'retired'. Her address to the Conference can be readhere.
Induction of new Fijian Talatala - 14th October 2012
The new Fijian talatala (Presbyter)of the Fijian congregations of the Waikato-Waiariki Tabacakacaka (Hamilton East, Rotorua and Tauranga), Rev Akuila Bale, was inducted at a service at Hamilton East Church on Sunday 14th October.The service was led by Rev. Dr. Susan Thompson, the Waikato-Waiariki Synod Superintendent and Rev. Peni Tikoinaka, Superintendent of Ko Viti Kei Rotuma E Niu Siladi. It was attended by Synod members and by members of from Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.The induction was a wonderful celebration for the Tabacakacaka which has been without their own Talatala since the death of Rev. Apakuki Ratucoka in 2010.

Rev Dr Susan Thompson, District Superintendent of the Waikato- Waiariki Synod enjoys fellowship with the new Talatala Rev Akuila Bale following the induction. Asaeli Tulagi is the Head Steward of all three congregations.

Former Waikato - Waiariki District Superintendent Rev Alan Leadley chats with Rev. Dr Ilaitia Tuwere from Auckland, who was theguest preacher. Greetings were brought to Akuila from Doreen Wilson on behalf of the Waikato Rohe.

On left.

While the day was about celebrating a new arrival, the past was also acknowledged. Both Rev Dr Susan Thompson and the new talatala,RevAkuila Bale paid tribute to the late Rev Apakuki Ratucoka, giving thanks for the work he had done.His memory is very dear tothe hearts of many people. Here, Apakuki's widow, Laisa Ratucoka, centre, is seen relaxing with friends.
Morrinsville Pipe Organ 50th anniversary recital - 16th September 2012
An appreciate audience attended a recital at Morrinsville Methodist Church on 16th September to mark the 50th anniversary of the installation of the church'spipe organ. The organ had previously been in use at the Anglican Cathedral in Christchurch (where it was part of a much larger instrument) and at St Andrews Presbyterian Church in Wellington.Dr Ron Newton, Peter Averi and John Parker wereguest artistsfor the day. Peter had previously played the organ at St Andrews in Wellington, and participated in a recital to mark the installation of the organ at Morrinvsille.

Dr Ron Newton

Mr Peter Averi

Mr John Parker. Assisting, as page turner, his wife Lynley.

Organist for most of the last 50 years, MrsGlenis Westbury, plays "To God be the Glory"- to the hearty accompaniment of the congregation.

The organ - without the usual screen, and unobstructed by people! Thank you Ron, Glenis, John and Peter for a very enjoyable afternoon.

Holm, Orkney Isles - Scotland -2nd September 2012
It is a privilege to report on an event which took place on the opposite side of the world this September. One of our own - Rev John Howell - did us proud!
In January 2008 the two towns of Holm and Taupo wereunited by tragedy. Scottish backpacker Karen Aim was brutally murdered while on a backpacking holiday in Taupo. John was involved in 2008 in leading a memorial service in Taupo, and was instrumental in the creation of a memorialarts scholarship in Karen's memory. One of the scholarship winners, Kate Bevan, created a sculpture of special significance in memory of Karen. During his recentstudy leave, John had the privilege of presenting this sculpture in Karen's home town of Holm, in a service which was described the a senior BBC producer as "particularly touching and poignant".
Thank you John for the way in which you have represented our church and fostered good relationshipsarising fromthis tragic event.
Further background relating to the sculpture can be foundhere

A news report carried on BBC Radio (2:11) can be found athttp://news.stv.tv/north/188465-sculpture-tribute-to-murdered-backpacker-karen-aim-unveiled/

The full service from Holm (1:01:41) can be downloaded at

Synod - Chartwell Co-operating Church - 3rd and 4th August 2012


Before addressing the business of Synod and the Connexional Church, we welcomed new members of Synod, including Doreen Wilson (left), the new representative of Waikato Rohe, and Mrs Hone Tafuna, shown here with her daughter Gaby. Hone is the newly appointed President of the Methodist Women's Fellowship Waikato/Thames Valley District.
It was with great pleasure that the Synod welcomed Rev Leigh Sundberg and his wife Dianne. Leigh and Dianne hail from South Africa and are providing supply ministry at Hamilton East Parish. We hope you enjoy your brief time with us. Representatives from Tauranga parish also introduced us to Wez, seen here studying his Synod papers. Wez has agreat story, and, after reading it,(don't cheat - read it first)you can click here to found out what Wez'ssurpriseis!
Celebrations at Putaruru - Sunday 24th June 2012
On Sunday 24 June 2012, the Anglican/Methodist Cooperating Church of St Paul in Putaruru held a special service to celebrate 35 years of cooperation and also to reflect on the work of early Methodist Home Missioners in the Waikato. A full report of the celebrations can be foundhere.
Bishop David is seen here blessing the sanctuary.
Ron Sheerin had many tales to tell! Rosie Burnett dressed in period costume.
Synod - Cambridge Union Parish - Friday 8th June 2012
Synod met with usual lively discussion in the worship area of Cambridge Union Church. We were privileged to be reminded of God's love and creation in this setting.
Presidential Visit to Waikato-Waiariki Synod - May 2012
During his official Presidential Visit to the Synod in May, Rev John Roberts and his wife Diana graciously took time out to visit an invited group of elderly Morrinsville members.
...Read more
Synod Refresh - Wednesday 9th May 2012
Rev John Bluck, retired Anglican bishop of Waiapu, was the guest speaker on the second day of an annual two day Synod Refresh meeting at Camp Epworth on the banks of the Waikato River. His topic of "putting faith back on its feet - exploring a theology of place" was well received by a group of about 50 who attended.....read more.
Youth Service at Tauranga - Sunday 29th April 2012
Over 100 people attended the service hosted by Wesley, Tauranga. Admidst prayer and singing, and getting to know each other better, worship was led by teams from Matamata and St Johns East, Hamilton. Vice-President Olive Tanielu brought a message of encouragement tothe young people - thank you Olive. A great time was had by all, with the only outstanding question being - "when can we do this again?".....Read more.
Synod Meeting at Te Aroha - Friday 2nd March 2012
Members of Synod from throughout the district gathered in Te Aroha to rekindle friendships overa tea meal provided by Eastport Womens' Fellowship. In Synod business, we received various reports and engaged in two group discussions. The first considered the Methodist Conference 10Year Mission Priority 'Let the Children Live'. The second looked atreinvigorating a Synodrecommendation to Conferenceto allow lay Synod Superintendencywhen suitable leaders were available, had received appropriate trainingand met with the endorsement of the local Synod. .......Read more.
Ohura Centenary - Sunday19th February 2012
The Centenary of the Ohura Church was celebrated on Sunday 19th February. It was a great day. The church, which is the only Church retaining a witness to the community in Ohura, was packed with former Ohura residents returning for the reunion. The faithful witness of the local congregation is indeed something to celebrate! ......Read more.
Induction of Rev Anne Griffiths to Whakatane Hosipital Chaplaincy - Saturday 18th February 2012.
The induction addresswas given by Rev Doris Elphick......Read more.
Induction of Rev Heather Simpson at Paeroa Co-operating Parish - Thursday 2nd February 2012
Synod - 28 November 2014 - tributes
Synod paid tribute to Revs Edwin and Lois Clarke who had provided a joint supply ministry to Hamilton Parish during 2014.
After serving for 10 years at Te Awamutu Parish, Rev Maureen Calman is reluctantly being given permission to retire. A tribute prepared by the Parish was read to Synod by the Synod Superintendent, Rev Dr Susan Thompson. On the right, Susan, left, poses for the camera with Maureen following the presentation of a gift from the synod. At the recent Conference, Maureen officially retired, and the following day she was received into full Connexion. (Methodists will understand that this is not the normal process!)
Rev Gillian Woodward completes a 4 year part time appointment at Morrinsville Parish at the end of the year, and her service to the Church was also recognised. Gillian and her husband Derek will both be missed by the congregation for their work in the Parish, and the Synod joins the Parish in wishing them well in their retirement.
While leading the Synod in devotions earlier in the evening Rev Motekiai Fakatou shared his faith journey focusing on the idea of: 'Mat weaving: life is like a tapestry that must be weaved'. For Motekiai this means moving to Wellington in 2015 to take up a new ministry appointment and weaving a new part of his life's tapestry. At the right, Motekiai, on the left, receives a gift from the Synod from Synod Steward Mrs Ngaire Southon, who earlier paid tribute to his ministry in the Tauranga Parish.

Mr Alan Speirs
Synod notes with deep sadness the passing on 13 June 2014 of Mr Alan Spiers, a long standing and loyal member of the Synod. We pay tribute to him.

Synod – 29 November 2013 - tributes

Synod paid tribute to Rev Brian Eagle, who is retiring from ministry, David Buchan, who is retiring as District Property Secretary, Rev David Poultney, who has been appointed by Conference to Nelson, and probationer Mele Molitika who has been stationed by Conference at Beckenham, in Christchurch. The tributes given to David Poultney, Mele Molitika and David Buchan have kindly been made available by those who prepared them. For photos and further comments, click here.

Rev Trevor Shepherd
Synod notes with deep sadness the passing of Rev Trevor Shepherd, the Father of New Zealand Methodism. We pay tribute to him.

ev Arthur Dickie
Synod notes with deep sadness the passing of Rev Arthur Dickie in August 2013. We pay tribute to him.

Synod - 19 July 2013 - Recognition of Service
At left, Rev Dr Susan Thompson presents a gift to Rev Wallis Browne, after addressing the Synod and paying tribute to Wallis, who is retiring from ministry shortly. Following an appointment by Conference, Wallis has ministered to the Rotorua parish for the last 3 and a half years.
Click here to read the formal tribute to Wallis, as it will appear in the 2013 Methodist Conference handbook.

Rev Warren Blundell paid tribute to Rev John Howell as he nears the end of his ministry at Taupo Union Church.
Warren spoke from the heart, using (in his own words) the style of a good Methodist preacher using three headings:
"ministry' 'chaplaincy,' 'community'.

John's services were always thought provoking, well constructed and well presented. He didn't duck the difficult subjects but gave a reasoned argument. His involvement in police chaplaincy was full on often going out in the small hours of the morning accompanying the police in their patrol cars. The chaplaincy was rewarding but it could also be lonely as felt he was an outsider going into a tightly knit organisation.

John's involvement in the community was much appreciated and he came to prominence in the Karen Aim murder. This resulted in John connecting with the Aim family in Orkney , Scotland and their minister who appreciated John's sensitivity and personal involvement. John is also involved with Taupo Harriers running whenever he can, and he also cycles having cycled in the Great Lake Cycle Challenge.

John has published two Prayer books and several prayer cards. He also has written collects for the publication 10 Minutes on a
Tuesday. John has earned his retirement and we thank him and wish him all the best

At right, John responds to Warren's tribute, by reading to Synod a poem prepared just for this occasion. John, Synod thanks you for your contribution, we wish you well, and we know you will remember us, just as we will remember you.

Veronica Lowe

Synod notes with deep sadness the passing of Veronica Lowe in December 2012. We pay tribute to her.
Synod - 30 November 2012 - Recognition of Service
At the Synod meeting on 30 November, Synod took the opportunity to acknowledge the contributions made by 3 ministers who are completing their ministries in the Synod at the end of the year.
Rev Doris Elphick, seen here with her husband Fred, is retiring after 8 years as minister at Te Aroha Co-operating Parish. Her full address to the 2012 Methodist Conference can be read here. Deacon Dianne Hight presented this tribute to the Synod. Thank you Doris - you have been very busy in your ministry to both the Parish and the wider church.
Rev Paul Sinclair, seen here with his wife Lynne, acknowledges the tribute presented to the Synod by Synod Superintendent, Rev Dr Susan Thompson. Susan noted with much gratitude the work Paul had done as a member of the Synod Executive. St Clare's parish in Hamilton will no doubt miss him as much as the Synod will - unless he remains in the District!
Our just-arrived and soon-to-be-gone South African friend, Rev Leigh Sundberg seen here with his wife Dianne, was farewelled by Catherine Dickie. Leigh and Dianne - you have made many friends in your short time with us, and we pray that God will continue to bless you both, and your ministry, as you return to South Africa.

Janet Jensen MNZM
Synod congratulates Janet Jensen of Morrinsville Parish who was recognised by the Queen with an award of Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the 2012 Queen's Birthday and Diamond Jubilee Honours for services to the community.

Pari Waaka - 1937 - 2012

Synod notes with deep sadness the passing of Pari Waaka on 12th May 2012. We pay tribute to her.

Our places

A brief historical overview

On the eastern shores of the Waikato District, Kawhia Methodist Church sits on a hilltop overlooking the surrounding town. Kawhia was the site of one of the earliest mission outreaches in the 19th century. In central Hamilton, St Paul's Methodist Church in London Street, bears proud testament to the faith of early Methodists and until 2012 remained a centre for worship in the 21st century.

The District has its roots in Maori Mission work from the 1830s on. The work, begun by the Revs Woon, Whiteley and Wallis and Maori evangelists such as Wiremu Neera, stretched from Port Waikato to Mokau and inland to the Waipa River.

After the land wars of the 1860s, Waikato Methodism shifted its focus to founding and developing congregations among the colonial settlers. One of the pioneer ministers of this early period in the Waikato was Rev Joseph Berry, appointed to the Waikato in 1867.

The first churches in the District were built in Hamilton, Cambridge, Pukerimu and Te Awamutu. The Thames goldfields were opened in 1867 and, by 1870, Thames became a separate circuit.

For many years the Waikato-Bay of Plenty was called the South Auckland District. It extended from Taumarunui in the south to Huntly in the north, Raglan in the west to Opotiki in the east. The boundary of the District as it is at present was decided by Methodist Conference in 1963. The District name was changed from South Auckland (with the Rev Bill Laws as the last Chairman) to Waikato-Bay of Plenty District, with the Rev Roy Jamieson MBE, E.D., minister at Te Aroha, as the first District Chairman; the Secretary was the Rev Robert H Allen B.A. (Tauranga) and the Financial Secretary was S V Leach.

In the same year (1963), the Women's Guild Fellowship and the Women's Missionary Fellowship were combined to form the Methodist Women's Fellowship.

The District is now known as Waikato-Waiariki, and contains some 33 parishes and about 50 regular Sunday congregations. Only 7 of the parishes in the District remain Methodist, the other 26 are Union or Cooperating parishes with Methodist as well as Presbyterian/Anglican/Church of Christ/ Congregational membership.

Most individual parishes and congregations in the Distict have published their own histories. Nearly all of these are held in Archives, c/o Methodist Centre, 62 London St, Hamilton, or the national MCNZ Archives in Auckland, Private Bag 11903, Ellerslie, Auckland 1542 (409 Great South Rd, Penrose, Auckland 1061, phone 09-5254179)

Alan Leadley, July 2011
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