September 2012 ISSN 1176-5143
adventure In the beginning was the word John 1:1
Welcome Working with churches, we create opportunities for children and young people to discover and follow Jesus, grow as leaders and influence our world. There has been some controversy in the news recently regarding the place of religion in New Zealand state schools. Some people have publicly questioned its place, and called for the removal of Christian involvement to the private space. It’s an argument that was always going to happen, but one of the strands at the core of this discussion is a misunderstanding about the Bible. The Bible is the defining text for Christians and is the core of the curriculum for Christian education in schools. We Christians make truth claims about this book that are not shared by others who see no value in it. There was a time when the Bible had broad acceptance across our society, but this is not the case anymore, even though Census 2006 results show over half of our population identify themselves as Christian. Other research indicates that in the Christian community, there is more talk about the Bible being important than actual interaction with it with only a small number saying the Bible influences their lives. The real relevance of the Bible is demonstrated by the 2 I sunz.org.nz
effect it has. It is fair to ask, are individuals, communities and nations changed because of it? Ministry at Scripture Union is built on a deeply felt answer ‘yes’ to that question. At the core of everything we do is a belief that the Bible is a living, not ‘archaic’, document. We open it with young people with an expectation that it will influence and transform them, and in turn influence the places and people around them. We provide resources for people of all ages to read in a way that engages the head and the heart. In everything we do, we try to act and to plan in ways that are consistent with the principles we have seen and had shared with us. In these pages, you will read more about the richness the Bible brings to life, and sense the energy that God’s Word breathes into our world.
Wayne Fraser National Director Want to get in touch? Visit us at www.facebook.com/sunz.nz
sunz suyouth suchildren and families
suresources for life
A Fresh Look A guiding verse from the Psalms has long been a part of Scripture Union’s identity. It is: “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” or “he rama tau ¯ wae” (Psalm ¯ kupu ki oku 119:105). You may have noticed them incorparated into the back cover of this magazine. They are part of a new image we have been incubating over recent months to freshen up our New Zealand look. The catalyst for this project was the need to create an identity that ties all of our various activities together as one family and clearly communicates who we are and what we do.
The design encompasses a number of important elements. The flame in the logo reflects the history of Scripture Union and our lamp, while the mountain illustrates that this is our place and our story. In between the mountain and the flame, the path signifies the journey we travel with children and young people, and as life-long followers of Jesus. The colours that the logo
appears in pays homage to our own New Zealand landscape, to further ground this design in our own context.
to overcome a barrier when communicating with younger audiences. You will also notice that we are moving to using the letters ‘SUNZ’ as part of the refreshing. Not only will this make our email addresses shorter, but it also helps us to overcome a barrier when communicating with younger audiences, for whom the words Scripture and Union have confused meaning. We know many of you use this shortened form already. There may still be contexts when it is desirable to use the full words, and we will do that along with incorporating the international lamp symbol on official publications. september I 3
Contemporary Reading of the Bible Sam Bloore is Communications Manager for the Compass Foundation and co-author of their latest resource on this subject, The Hare and the Tortoise - learning to pace ourselves in a world gone mad. For more information, visit: www.compass.org.nz
e have more information at our fingertips than any other generation in history, but rather than gifting us wisdom and certainty, it has caused us to become distracted and overwhelmed. In his book The Shallows, Nicholas Carr creatively describes how this explosion of information, especially via the internet, has had a detrimental affect on his ability to read well. “Once I was a scuba diver in the sea of words. Now I zip along the surface like a guy on a Jet Ski.” His metaphor of full immersion versus superficial skimming is a good one. The flood of potential activity and communication coming at us in almost every area of life is relentless—and the effect on us is numbing. Faced with “option paralysis,” we give in to passivity. We zip and
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we skim, but rarely with any intentionality. Of course, our “spiritual life” is just as affected, because it is, after all, an extension of who we are. We fidget when we find ourselves alone for ten minutes with Scripture, just as we do when we find ourselves alone for ten minutes in a café. And so, for many of us, our Christian life remains in “the shallows” also; we never grow into the deeper faith and relationship with God we were made for. We have been conditioned to zip and skim, and yet we wonder why we don’t see the transformation and intimacy with God we long for. Our intake of Scripture, like our intake of most things, has become sporadic and fragmented. When we are not neglecting it completely, we are latching on to Scripture haphazardly, usually prompted by guilt or disaster…or both! Few of us have a satisfactory understanding of the Bible’s narrative flow, and those of us that
ingesting and digesting Scripture for ourselves. It is little wonder then that we struggle to live gospel-shaped lives, when there is so little of the gospel in our diet. Our diet must change. And when it does, we will discover that Scripture can be a source of life, not a burden. Here are a couple of suggestions that might help you re-engage with Scripture. • Understand where everything fits: While we shouldn’t rely solely on the “third-party summaries” mentioned above, they can be a good place to start. Reading The Drama of Scripture, The Seed and the Soil or the shorter The Insect and the Buffalo can help you to get a picture of the scope and flow of the Bible so that your Scripture readings have some context. • Don’t try to read your Bible every day: WHAT—really?! Yes, really. Nothing will end
your attempts quicker than a feeling of legalistic obligation…or a sense of guilt or failure. So be realistic—schedule three or four short times in your week when you know you have a bit of peace and quiet and try to stick to them. • Use the wisdom of others: Knowing where and how to approach different sections of the Bible can be daunting. Find a reading plan that suits you and let the experience and suggestions of others guide some of your reading. • Take a big bite! Every now and again discipline yourself to sit down and read a chunk of Scripture in one sitting. Try one of the longer epistles, or a whole gospel. Be warned—it will take you an hour or more! But the results will be worth it. You will gain an appreciation for the flow of the text and you will be improving your attention span. And in a world of distraction and fragmentation, that’s exactly what you need! september I 5
ver 250 years ago, the French philosopher Voltaire claimed, “One hundred years from my day, there will not be a Bible in the earth, except one that is looked upon by an antiquarian curiosity seeker.” Yet in a world that has changed beyond recognition, the Bible is still making the best-sellers list year after year. Still it can be difficult for contemporary readers to figure out where to start, and how to interpret its words. Writing to his protégé Timothy, Paul said; “Be a good worker, one who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly explains the word of truth.” What tools will enable us to navigate the Bible and be good workers? Scripture Union has adopted the following principles for reading and understanding the Bible. Approaching the Bible prayerfully, and with an attitude that acknowledges our dependence on the Holy Spirit is an imperative. It is the Spirit who leads us into meaningful engage-
ment to seek out the original meaning and to pursue the contemporary prophetic significance. In response, integrity and sensitivity is required of us as we use our imagination recreating the historical context of the Biblical authors and language as they understood it. Awareness, of the context in which a text is written, is always the starting point of understanding. A text means what the author meant when they wrote it, not what it means to an individual reader. The reformer John Calvin said; “The first business of an interpreter is to let the author say what he does say and not make him say what he does not say.” A postmodern view may be that a text is infinitely interpretable, but that is not true, instead it is infinitely applicable. A rich experience for E100 and Essential Jesus participants was discovering the power of reading corporately, rather than individualistically. In small groups and congregations, sermons and café conversations, insight and understanding is given a new dimension, and
READING THE BIBLE IN CONTEXT
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accountability is established. We stand in a long line of historical interpretation and appreciate the light and understanding that brings to our own experience. Believing that scripture can interpret scripture is a foundational principle and reading the story as a whole is critical. The purpose behind the E100 resource was to allow readers to see the broad sweep of the story of the Bible, from creation to new creation, as it interacts with the history of humanity. This is of course more than a story because the Bible proposes truth and action, and it demands a response, engaging our imagination to make that response a reality. Our own context also plays a part in our interpretation of the Bible. Our experiences, colour our understanding, but a humble attitude enables us to recognise these, in order to seek the truth 2 Tim 2:15 is talking about. Jesus is God’s key Word in his dealings with human beings; and he, therefore, is the focus
of God’s revelation in the Bible. As the tide of the Biblical story ebbs and flows through and around the activity of humans, it relentlessly makes its way towards the supply of a saviour and fulfilment of prophecy. This single life meets all of the demands of humans and a loving God and most of all makes a personal relationship possible. The Holy Spirit testifies to and glorifies, Jesus as we read the Bible with an eye on how a passage ultimately and always leads to him. The final principle is a determination to read the Bible to form a life-changing relationship. Reading the Bible but stopping short of enjoying that relationship of love, is to miss the entire purpose. God’s nature is love. His character is about relationship, as seen in the connection between members of the trinity. A feature of the integrity of our interpretation of the Bible is how well it informs our relationship to God as Father and to other humans as part of a worldwide family.
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by the story of the
Bible Hilary Hague is our Children and Families Ministry Team Leader. For more Information on Hilary and her team visit www.scriptureunion.org.nz
We want the children we work with to know that reading the Bible is an exciting adventure. One in which they will come to know God. We also want them to explore the Bible so that they come face to face with God and their lives are changed. We want them to use the Bible to let God show them how to live. All that’s quite a challenge! So how do we do it?
we work at asking questions ourselves – questions that get in under the surface and help the children think about what God is doing behind and beyond the text. We train our leaders to model how they use the Bible and meet God through its pages. Our SUPAkidz Clubs do the same, although of course we respect the educational setting we are working in, and this shapes some of what we do in different ways.
Check out these stories about children* at our On our SUPAkidz Camps, we work hard to help SUPAkidz Camps. Some of these camps were the children we work with engage with the run in partnership with Prison Fellowship, for Bible. We tell them stories and show them how children who have a parent in prison, and it was to open the Bible for themselves, so that they so encouraging to see God at work in the lives can discover how these stories fit in the Bible’s of these children. great Story. We also teach them memory verses, so that Bible was they have God’s Mere’s Bible was brand Mere’s brand new, but by word in their hearts new, but by the end of the end of the for times that they SUPAkidz Camp it need it. We encour- the SUPAkidz Camp it didn’t look it! She age them to ask didn’t look it! had written her good questions, and 8 I sunz.org.nz
and couldn’t stop
name along the side of it so that there was no mistaking the fact that it belonged to her, and had highlighted special verses all the way through. It had been well read and Mere loved it. Caleb took his group of boys for a walk in the forest, and while they were there he told them a story. It was a story from the Bible, and when they got back from the walk the boys rushed to look it up. Caleb’s story acted as a catalyst for all sorts of questions. How do I know God is listening to me? How does God talk to us? His boys talked about that Bible story for days. At the Hacienda Ranch SUPAkidz Camp, the children were learning Psalm 23 off by heart. “I may walk through valleys as dark as death, but I won’t be afraid. You are with me, and your shepherd’s rod makes me feel safe,” they said together. Some children read it off the paper before it was covered up with sheep shapes, but others read it straight out of their Bibles where they had decorated it to make it easy for them to find.
Charlotte and Kylee wanted to talk about the Bible. They asked about how to find one that they could read easily and how to read it regularly. They wanted the Bible stories they heard to be real to them so their leader asked if they would like to be prayed for. She asked God to help them know him better as they read their Bibles. Rawiri was captured by the story of the Bible and couldn’t stop reading it. He read his Bible at every possible moment. At night, he wanted to stay awake so that he could find out more. He took his Bible home from camp so that he could go on reading. *The children’s names have been changed to protect their identity.
How do I know God Is listening to me? september I 9
How do we help young people open and engage with the word of God? Neville Bartley is our National Youth Ministry Leader. For more Information on Hilary and her Team visit www.scriptureunion.org.nz
n a world of technology that changes faster than you can change your socks, how do we help young people open and engage with the Word of God? There are currently more translations of the Bible than ever before, and these translations are available not only in normal print, but online as apps for our phones and tablets. There are even comic versions of the Bible and audio versions that you can download on your phone or MP3 player. However, even with all these new technologies designed to help young people engage with Scripture, few manage to do so effectively. So what is the answer to this problem? How do we enable young people to discover and engage with scripture? The answer is variety. Not only in the translations of Bible itself, but also in the techniques that we use to help young people engage with scripture. On our holiday camps, we work hard at helping the young campers engage with God and the Bible through small group times, worship times, times on their own 10 I sunz.org.nz
and time in Godâ€™s creation. In our schools ministry, we train and equip young people to seek out God in His Word. We provide them with the knowledge of how to open the Bible within their schools in a way that will change
new and vibrant ways to enable young people to discover and engage with scripture their lives and the lives of those around them. The key is enabling them to discover the relevance of scripture, the intimacy of scripture, and the beauty of scripture. Mostly, it is about them discovering a personal God within the scriptures. A God who wants to be intimate with them. What Bible reading will look like in the future, I donâ€™t know. However, it is vitally important for us, as part of our mission, to continue to find new and vibrant ways to enable young people to discover and engage with scripture, and with the God of that scripture.
Issue 39 Welcome to the WAY2GO magazine for people who work with children in their
“ Ooh the Bible...
C O O L!
church and local community. We are including it as part of The Adventure so that you can see what else Scripture Union
I REMEMBER MY FIRST BIBLE. I was 8 and it came from my Aunt. I liked getting it. But after I’d looked at the families ministries. Pull it out pictures, I put it away. The problem was and pass it around or that the text was quite small and hard to read. And anyway I felt like I knew what was in it. I did give it the occasional outing reference. to church on Sunday but most of the time it stayed forgotten on my bookshelf. I found it boring.
does as well as get lots of good ideas for your children and
Contrast that with the attitude of a boy I met when I was visiting a SUPAkidz Club in Wellington. “Ooh, the Bible,” he said when he saw someone getting it out. “Cool.” Two children with two very different attitudes to the Bible. Wouldn’t it be great if all our children had the same attitude to the Bible as the boy in Hataitai – if they found the Bible exciting? How can we help our children feel like this? This edition of WAY2GO looks at some practical ideas to help children engage with the Bible so they come face to face with God in ways that will change their lives. Hilary Hague Team Leader, Children and Families Ministry
CHILDREN TALK ABOUT THE BIBLE Find out what some of the children we know think about the Bible. Watch online at
www.scriptureunion.org.nz september I 11
Maybe you could ask some of your children the same questions.
READING THE BIBLE READING THE BIBLE WITH CHILDREN WITH CHILDREN Reading the Biblethe with children can be like a jigsaw Reading Bible with children candoing be like doing a jigsaw puzzle. We can give them lotsthem of puzzle tellingby telling puzzle. We can give lots ofpieces puzzlebypieces them thethem stories. the pieces not what it’swhat all about. the But stories. But theare pieces are not it’s all about. Unless we engage with the with Biblethe in aBible way in that helps Unless wethem engage them a way that helps them seethem God,see they willthey end will up with muddle pieces. God, end aup with a of muddle of pieces.
HERE ARE SOME OPENING THE BIBLE HERE ARE IDEAS SOME FOR IDEAS FOR OPENING THE BIBLE WITH CHILDREN TO HELP WITH CHILDREN TOTHEM HELP MEET THEMWITH MEETGOD WITH GOD Understanding Understanding
We want children We want children Open ended Open questions ended questions know what isknow in the Bible what is in the Bible Relationship Relationship are a great way help way to help are atogreat of adults attitude of adults children to be fully involved in involved in The attitudeThe children to be fully Let’s help them Let’sunderstand help them understand is crucial to is developing crucial toadeveloping a discovering the truth forthe themselves. discovering truth for themselves. it and the context it and in the context in positive to the Bible to in the Bible in positive attitude They have noThey “correct” answer and answer have no “correct” and attitude which it is set. which it is set. children. way we The feel way about we feel about they developthey the develop ability tothe think and to think ability and Thechildren. the Bible speak to ourloudly to our Bibleloudly will speak wonder about our amazing God. Ask wonder about our amazing God. Ask willthe bring our Bibles children. Let’s bring our Bibles questions like “What does story questions like this “What does thischildren. story Let’s model andthe roleway model the way show us about God?” or “Why is or “Whyout show us about God?” is and role out we use them. we use them. it in the Bible?” it in the Bible?”
ReflectionReflection Let’s help children Let’s help children see their own life as part see their ownof life as part of
Make Make space for space God for God
Children need Children need opportunitiesopportunities to respond toto respond to God. Bible in prayer God. Using the Bible in prayer and draw their conclusions. Ask andown draw their own conclusions. Ask Using the and worship are an important and worship are anpart important part questions like “Who else like mefeels like me questions likefeels “Who else of this. Pray that God will use the of this. Pray that God will use the in the Bible?” “What didorGod say to inor the Bible?” “What did God say to Bible to speak his living words Bible to speak his living words them?” Encourage in theirthem hardin their hard them?”them Encourage into their lives. then intoAnd their lives. And then to let space him to let him and guide them goodtowards good make space make and towards guide them do it. do it. understanding. understanding.
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TRY THESE IDEAS TRY THESE IDEAS ss 0s and glass ild a gla 0s and child a very ch with 10kle it with 10 Give every child tablechild tennis Give aevery a table tennis y it r e le v k e e eem sprin Give Giv m sprin e h h t t t t e ball, permanent felt and metal e ball, permanent felt and metal L L cream. f ice-cream. of iceo ! ! it it y pot scrubber. (These are available from y pot scrubber. (These are available from n enjo n enjo they caw so they ca o s w bargain shops very cheaply). bargain shops very cheaply). a stra r d str oon an teaspoon and am is like ou am is like our a teasp re a rehen -c -c e e ic ic f f When to Ask think of ato person the Bible who has them think from of a person from the Bible who has le. them glass o the glatshseoBible. W the BibAsk at the in thaet is e e k h k t li li in is la la e p monad g d g helped them learn something about God, and draw their a helped them learn something about God, and draw their Exp in Eexle in n h h o t t e the lems som r lives some d th esleantod our livele to ocuia lives an face on the ball with permanent felts. Help them use a liBvib face on the ball with permanent felts. Help them use a l l ia c the thmeeBthibing spe mething spe aedsdso we add we so glue gun to glue the pot scrubber on for hair. They can glue gun to glue the pot scrubber on for hair. They can s e o o d d s – God ppens – God happen ha arrange the hair by pulling it by into different shapes. arrange the hair pulling it into different shapes. it. it. through through ial that God l that God c e p Ask them to Ask share whotothey have made what they them share who theyand have made andlearnt what they learnt s g g specia omethin ugh omethin ugh Share s Syhoaurre lisfe throyour life throabout God from this person. Tell person. them that Bible is full about God from this Tellthe them that the of Bible is full of e in nelein oib . . le has don htahsedB ib B stories about people who can help us learn more about God. stories about people who can help us learn more about God. e th reading reading
CHECK OUT WHERE OUR CHILDREN’S CHECK OUT WHERE OUR CHILDREN’S MINISTRY TRAINING WILL WILL BE NEXT MINISTRY TRAINING BE NEXT AND COME ALONG AND COME ALONG There are moreare details our website There moreon details on our website
www.scriptureunion.org.nz www.scriptureunion.org.nz or phoneor0508 423 836423 836 phone 0508
WAY2GO FOCUSED This trainingThis is free as a gift to the WAY2GO FOCUSED training is free as apeople gift toof the people of ChristchurchChristchurch 15 September ChristchurchChristchurch and the surrounding areas. 15 September and the surrounding areas. WAY2GO FOCUSED WAY2GO FOCUSED Nelson 22 September Nelson 22 September
Explore howExplore to strengthen ministryyour withministry the how toyour strengthen with the children in your church and local community. children in your church and local community.
WAY2GO FOCUSED Learn creative andcreative innovative to workways withto work with WAY2GO FOCUSED Learn andways innovative New Plymouth 3 November in your church and local community. New Plymouth 3 Novemberthe children the children in your church and local community. FAITH FOR ALL AGES FAITH FOR ALL AGES Auckland 3 November Auckland 3 November
Discover theDiscover why, what how of intergenerational theand why, what and how of intergenerational activities, including intergenerational worship. activities, including intergenerational worship.
CHILDREN’SCHILDREN’S MINISTRY CERTIFICATE A special one-off event covering all the topicsallinthe topics in MINISTRY CERTIFICATE A special one-off event covering Thames 10 November Thames 10 November
KEEP THESE DATES DATES FREE FOR WAY2GO 2013 2013 KEEP THESE FREE FOR WAY2GO Registrations open in November Registrations open in November
WELLINGTON – Saturday– 2nd March2nd March WELLINGTON Saturday AUCKLAND – Saturday– 16th March AUCKLAND Saturday 16th March INVERCARGILL – Saturday– 23rd March INVERCARGILL Saturday 23rd March
EXCITING RESOURCES TO HELP KIDS DISCOVER GOD SNACK is a Christian band for kids who write original songs which are contemporary, interactive and relevant and can be used in schools, churches and outreach programmes. Visit
to see and hear more about Snack and to check out their music.
Encourage Bible Reading at Home • EXCITE FAMILIES. Let them know how to help their children grow spiritually. Run workshops, loan them books and put ideas in your newsletter. • ENCOURAGE FAMILIES to own a Bible - maybe the same Bible that you use in your group. Church people will often sponsor Bibles for children and then pray for the child that is given the Bible. • EQUIP FAMILIES to read their Bibles together. You can buy these and other similar books at our on-line book store www.scriptureunion.org.nz or ring us on freephone 0508 423 836.
SNAPSHOTS THROUGH THE YEAR $29.99 Each day children will discover more about God through a short Bible reading and a variety of other letters, drawing pictures, thinking and praying.
GOD’S AMAZING PLAN $7.95 This book has 20 weeks of Bible readings, fun activities, thought provoking questions and prayers for the whole family together that tell the story of God’s love for us right from the beginning of the world, until the end of time and beyond. We are giving it away to
TIDDLYWINKS pages with a story for every day and extra pages of fun things to do. Join twins Lucy and Liam as they explore the Bible.
Working with churches, Scripture Union aims to create opportunities for children and young people world. Scripture Union in New Zealand – PO Box 760, Wellington 6140 firstname.lastname@example.org – 0508 423 836 – www.scriptureunion.org.nz
The Seed and the Soil Pauline Hoggarth Most books, keen to convince their readers 39 of the importance of the Bible, tendIssue to begin with what the experts think we must know. The Seed and the Soil takes a differWelcome to the WAY2GO magazine for people ent approach. It begins by engaging real issues which real people have with the Bible ... who work with children in their– people wanting to honour the Bible, but ” finding it hard to do so. church and local community. We are
“ Ooh the Bible
C O O L!
Because including it as part of The Adventure so of this, chapters on the authority
and interpretation of the Bible are there,
that you can see what else Scripture but Union so are a I few others.MYOne chapter, REMEMBER FIRST BIBLE. I was ‘Resisted focuses on the issues does as well as get lots of good ideas for yourWord’, 8 and it came from mywhich Aunt. I liked getting it. But after I’d looked children and ministries. Pull it of out inhibitfamilies being transformed by the Word God. Another, ‘Offensive Word’ helps
at the pictures, I put it away. The problem was
the reader to and beginpass navigating the Bible like war and genocide, it around or on subjects that the text was on quite women, and homosexuality. There is also an interesting discussion thesmall Bibleand as hard to read. And anyway I felt like I knew it sits alongside the sacred scriptures of other faiths, like the Koran (‘Unique what wasthe in it. I didcan give come it the alive occasional Word’). The book also suggests ways in which Bible for outing reference. to church on Sunday but most of the time children and young people, in a chapter entitled ‘Young Word’. it stayed forgotten on my bookshelf. I found it boring. In the Preface, Pauline Hoggarth acknowledges the help of those who taught her
about ‘life-giving and creative Scripture engagement’. This is exactly she is I was Contrast that with the attitude of a boywhat I met when offering her readers. These pages are laced with stories, and they draw on extenvisiting a SUPAkidz Club in Wellington. “Ooh, the Bible,” he said when sive cross-cultural experience. Both seasoned and those stumbling into he saw someone getting itpilgrims out. “Cool.” the Bible for the first time will benefit from this readable and refreshing book.
Two children with two very different attitudes to the Bible. Wouldn’t be great if our children had the same attitude to the Bible as Paul Windsor is the Associateit Director atall Langham Preaching the boy in Hataitai – if they found the Bible exciting? How can we help our children feel like this? This edition of WAY2GO looks at some practical ideas to help children engage with the Bible so they come face to face with God in ways that will change their lives.
It begins by engaging real issues which real people have Hilary Hague with the people TeamBible Leader,–Children and Families Ministry wanting to honour the Bible, but finding it hard to do so.
CHILDREN TALK ABOUT THE BIBLE Find out what some of the children we know think about the Bible. Watch online at
Maybe you could ask some of your children the same questions.
september I 15
Bible reading guide
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Daily Bread / Encounter With God / Closer to God – quarterlies for adults Scripture Union produces a range of Bible guides. All of the guides are attractive, colourful and inspiring; exploring Scripture and relating it thoughtfully to the present. All the guides follow the same Bible reading plan so you will be reading the same passages as others using the other guides. There is great variety as writer and section of the Bible changes every week or two, so over the year you will cover large sections of Bible interpreted by many talented commentators. Over 6 years, the whole Bible is covered.
for a year to one of our Bible Reading Guides! Quote ‘The Adventure’ when you order and get your first quarter free!
Daily Bread The name says it all. Scripture is to our spirit as bread is to our diet. A photo and description of the author builds a sense of relationship, and the 2-3 paragraph comment on each reading throws light on the historical situation while using every day language to link it to issues we face today.
Encounter With God From the cover’s intriguing quotation (explored in the feature article),through to the authors’ credentials to the carefully footnoted references to related Bible verses, this guide highlights theology and personal challenge in 3-4 concise paragraphs. “It starts with something that makes me think and finishes with a prayer.”
Closer To God Deliberately minimalist, comments are just 1-2 paragraphs with questions to provoke thought. “It speaks personally to me. I like the opportunity to answer any questions in the space provided at the end”. “Year 11-13 students on Snow Camp got into them really well and most took them home. One even prayed at the end of camp that God would help him to keep using it each day.” september I 17
REGIONAL NEWS Wai-BoP Wayne Goodchild & Graham Fullerton A Prayer Day for Schools prayer meeting was held at Chapel Hill Community Church in Hamilton on Friday 3rd August. Staff and volunteers from Scripture Union and CEC joined together for the day to pray for every school in Hamilton where there is a Christian activity. Our appreciation goes to Warren Salisbury of CEC for his efforts in planning the day.The winter camping season was a great success, with 3 camps, 48 campers, stunning weather, and fun, God-filled weeks. There were 2 snow camps at Crusader lodge, with botha junior and a senior camp,and a camp on Lake Karapiro based at the ABS lodge. I praise God for the people who gave of their time to make these camps a reality. We’re now all madly planning for the coming spring camps, including the addition of an exciting new camp, ‘Off the Chain’. If you know someone who may be interested, see our website or ring Heather Zwies on 0800 SU CAMPS (782 2677)
Northern Region Sylvia Coulter July holidays saw Auckland staff and volunteers in action. In two YOUTHSERVE programmes (called ‘Outflow’), high school youth provided community fun events. ‘Hacienda Ranch’ was the theme of two children’s camps and Annette reports that the favourite book on camp was once again the Bible! Truly God answers prayer. In recent weeks, Auckland staff members preached in several churches sometimes with all ages sharing together as God’s Word is opened.
• 16-18 October Neville Bartley and Paul Martell will be visiting to meet with supports. We encourage you to see our website for more details, and join with us. • Want to learn about intergenerational approaches to church? Come to the workshop Andrew is leading on 3 November. See more details on our website. 18 I sunz.org.nz
Canterbury Ben Necklen Last year, we trialed a weekend snow camp and had 7 campers attend. Good things take time! Last weekend,we had 18 young people from years 7 to 10 attend Canterbury Winter Escape 2012. Camp started in Christchurch on Friday night as 18 young people boarded a bus and van and headed to the mountains. It was a great time for all. Scripture Union camps are a unique opportunity for young people, and the weekend camps have been a great way to give young people a taster of what is in store on a week-long SU camp. Keep an eye out for our journey program, E3, coming up in October. This is for year 13 students, and is a great opportunity to explore our faith foundations and what it is that will keep us trusting in God as we leave High School.
Nelson/Marlborough Rebekah Smith We have a really busy yet exciting next few months coming up! By the time this goes to print, we will have hosted a promo night in Nelson for the ‘It’s your Move’ programme for students transitioning to high school. This will update local churches about the exciting opportunity for them to buy in and use this book as a tool in their local full primary schools and intermediates. On Saturday 22nd September, we will be hosting WAY2GO FOCUSED once again and during the first week of the October holidays, we will be running our first YOUTHSERVE in Nelson City.
Otago/Southland Nigel Winder
In the Deep South, we have been hosting esteemed visitors from the North. Firstly, Maureen Gunston, the Chair of Scripture Union’s Board from Wellington, came and spoke alongside Nigel Winder (Southern Regional Director) at a breakfast catered by the Otago Regional Committee. Not to be outdone, Wayne Fraser (National Director) and Paul Martell (Relationships Manager), also from Wellington, came for a tour of the south speaking in Invercargill, Gore and Dunedin. It was a great chance to meet supporters, share ministry stories and some dreams about where to next for SU in the south. Thanks to all those who could make it. We loved meeting up with you and hearing some of your stories too. september I 19
Living At the SU International Team and Executive meeting in 2011, Dr Andreas Walker, an evangelical Christian and futurologist from Switzerland, spoke to the team. Dr Walker has coordinated a European survey, and he shared some of the outcomes with the group in attendance. The survey showed that Europeans are generally fairly fearful about the future, and even among Christians, there seems to be little understanding of hope in Jesus. Results of psychological research showed that hope is one ofthe most important factors for well being and resilience. Hope creates self-confidence, focus, and the ability to endure difficult situations and challenges. Amongst children and young people, relationships were very important. In addition,it was appreciation shown to them from people they had helped,that made them feel hopeful. The special places that give them hope are nature and ‘home’ — a place where they know they belong. The fact that nature is so important has major implications in light of the growth of mega-cities. The Bible also has many references to hope, the starting place for a more extensive look at ‘hope’ through the Living Hope process.
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Living Hope is an exciting opportunity for the global Scripture Union movement! It is an intentional process asking what does God want from Scripture Union as in 2017 we enter our second 150 years? Across the world, each movement has been asked to spend time listening to our communities, to each other and to key people around us. Through this process, we believe God will speak to us about His call, and the shape and direction of our future. There are three phases: 1) Listening: an opportunity to hear from small focus groups of children, younger and older teenagers, and adults; using standard questions to guide participation.These responses will be analysed using sophisticated analytics software. This analysis will be summarised and reported back through the year via the Living Hope website: www.sulivinghope.org
2) Discernment: all National, Regional and Sub-Regional Directors and Chairs, as well as Regional Ministry Coordinators and a group of young leaders from around the globe, will gather in Kuala Lumpur from November 4-10 this year to discern what God is saying to us as a mission agency and to plan together. This will be a unique and first time event for SU Internationally. Individuals and groups of friends could look at the material together or even plan Living Hope events locally. 3) Action: Turning all that this process has shown us into reality in whatever context we work in. Living Hope is about listening to God together, trying to discern His will for SUâ€™s future. Much of what takes place in Malaysia will be available online very quickly for those who want to watch. Video, audio, and possibly transcripts will make it possible to get around the problems of distance and time zones. A group of friends meeting to pray together could watch some material and discuss their reaction to it. Committees, councils and boards could use this as part of their regular meetings, or have a special gathering. With this interactive ability, ideas and reflections from these events can be fed back to Malaysia and become part of what goes on there. The possibility of an event with global input,while it happens, is incredibly exciting! september I 21
ALL GOOD THINGS MUST COME TO AN END
Shelley Basford is our Resources for Life Co-ordinator
Although it’s hard to say farewell to a valuable team member, it is so much harder to say farewell to a close friend. After four years of doing a stunning job as Scripture Union’s Financial Manager, Simon Rowbotham has decided to cross to the ditch to continue his desire to advance the kingdom of God, and make a difference in people’s lives. He will be working in an Aboriginal Health Council, operating out of Alice Springs. I think everyone here at Scripture Union would say, without a doubt, it has been a privilege working with Simon. He brings with him a sense of life, light and wisdom which we have all benefited from immensely in our own ways. Simon’s hard work, long hours, and dedication to Scripture Union definitely hasn’t gone unnoticed. He has helped grow this organisation in so many ways, for which we are all very grateful. Even though there were a few teary eyes when we heard that he was leaving, we wish him all the best, and whilst it is true that “all good things must come to an end”, he is going to be truly missed. The team at Scripture Union wish Simon, his wife Rose, and his children Kate, Ben, William and Connor all the best in the next step in their journey 22 I sunz.org.nz
I was once quoting something to a class when a girl remarked, “It’s only the Bible, so it doesn’t matter.” The insights of youth are wonderful things. For sheer prejudice and ignorance, it was close to breathtaking. I forget where my response began — it could have been in literature or language or politics or anywhere. We could talk about Shakespeare who alludes to the Bible 15 times in Act 1 of Macbeth alone, or JK Rowling whose Harry Potter character has more parallels with Jesus than most people have contemplated. But to consider the influence of the Bible in people’s lives: maybe politics. The American Constitution, the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights, the principles of New Zealand law and the whole tradition of Westminster government rest on a number of clearly-understood principles that we don’t even have to justify — “we hold these truths to be self-evident…” One of them is that no King is to be above the law. It’s a good principle too — way ahead of the tyranny in Egypt, Libya and Syria that have given rise to the recent bloodshed of the Arab Spring. Even as we acknowledge that the track record of the United States and others who should know better is far from flawless, we must also acknowledge that principles like the subjection of rulers to the law should be self-evident. And all people are legally equal. We get that in the West from Magna Carta, dated 1215 AD. The Bible enunciates it in Deuteronomy, possibly 1250 BC. Pity about the time lag, but very good origins. The Bible has an impact on us all. september I 23
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He rama tau ¯ kupu ki oku ¯ wae / Your word is a Lamp to my feet - Psalms 119:105