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Journal 2016 - WHS Publication #102

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The bicentenary of Methodism in New Zealand approaches and a committee has been formed representing different parts of the church brought together by the Wesley Historical Society. The Church of the Nazarene and the Wesleyan Methodist Church have been invited to participate in the work of the planning group. A symposium will be held in the Wesley Hall, St. John's College, Auckland, on Friday 24th and Saturday 25th May 2019. The theme will be "Methodism in Aotearoa: Its Origins and Impact." Those interested in offering a paper are invited to contact the secretary of the planning group, the Rev. Ian Faulkner.
Our Journal for 2017 has as its leading article a survey by Rev. Dr Susan Thompson of the struggles as to whether gays and lesbians might have a place in the leadership of the church. As a participant observer of the debates Susan treads carefully through this political and ecclesiastical minefield. She has sought to be fair to all parties. She is candid about the emotional as well as theological dimensions that were at play. As she makes clear in her introduction she hopes to stimulate further reflection and analysis
Len Shroeder looks back seventy years to his first days in Trinity College. The world was very different then and Len portrays a confident College which was seeking to play its part as the church and wider society recovered from years of war Gaty Clover again provides documentation as to the life and ministry of the early Methodist mission in Aotearoa New Zealand. The account of the conversion and baptism of Kotia enables us to see the impact that the preaching of gospel was having.
John Roberts represented the Methodist Church when three precious historical documents were moved to the National Library in Wellington. We are grateful for the interesting background that John provides to these treasures and the way in which Methodism was involved at important points.
As usual we include obituaries, this year written by Jo Smith on Frank Paine and Helen Laurenson on Margaret Ziegler. Both Frank and Margaret were valued members of the Society. Norman Brookes' review of Elaine Bolitho's book on the Ngaio Methodist Bible Class reminds us of the vitality of the Bible Class movement. Mervyn Dine, drawing on his years in military chaplaincy, reviews Allan Davidson's book on Methodist Chaplains in the Great War. Mervyn believes that Allan has understood the ministry of the chaplain and is appreciative of his research into this often forgotten avenue of service.
Teny Wall