Long journey recounted at Crossroads
By Angela Hindson
People from around New Zealand and as far away as Australia, joined the local congregation Crossroads Methodist Church on the weekend of April 16-17 to celebrate 150 years of Methodism in Papakura. They looked back over the history of the church and looked forward to the future.
Saturday afternoon began with a formal welcome to guests and parishioners, and greetings were received from many who were unable to be present. This was followed by ‘The Journey’, written and produced by musical director Myra Smith, retelling in drama and song some of the highlights of the history of the church on the Broadway site.
‘The Journey’ started with early European settlers being visited by a travelling minister. A Sunday service was held and then the church was prepared to be used for school the next day.
After this, The Journey recalled memories of the Sunday evening gatherings held during the years of WWII with the American servicemen joining the local congregation. Then the years of the Sunday school anniversaries were depicted by the current Sunday school children who sang some of the old songs. Next came the Samoan congregation singing in their own language.
For the finale, the current music group, made up mainly of young people from South Africa, led the singing with modern worship songs. A number of people dressed in different national costumes joined in, as the congregation praised God for his unfailing love and blessings down through the 150 years.
The Journey was followed by afternoon tea in the Friendship Lounge, and photos of everyone were taken on the steps outside the church.
In the evening a dinner was held in the church hall, entertainment was provided by church members old and new. The day closed with the cutting of the anniversary cake.
Sunday morning saw the gathering together of the Samoan and English language congregations, when president Ron Malpass was the preacher. A children’s story was told by Rev Faleatua Faleatua, and Rev Gillian Woodward led the service.
A commemorative booklet, researched and produced by parishioner Bill Peddie, was on sale during the weekend. Many happy memories were shared, and everyone was encouraged to look to the future with faith and hope.