THE ADVENTURE Your Scripture Union Magazine
July 2011 ISSN 1176-5143
12th Augus t 2011
Our values: Relevance Pray Day for schools Christchurch Family Camp
Our mission: Seeing children and young people transformed by jesus
“Break Open Your Words, Let The Light Shine Out” Psalm 119:130 The Message
Editorial JULY 2011 With a nod to Sesame Street, this edition of the Adventure is brought to you by the word RELEVANT. This is one of the five words that shape our ethos. It means “We work to impact children and young people within New Zealand’s diverse cultures with the gospel in ways that are transformative and respectful, always acknowledging our dependence on God and prayer for the gifts to engage in mission.” In the history of Scripture Union, there is a character called Edward Payson Hammond. In the summer of 1867, this controversial American preacher held simple, informal special services for children in London. Sunday School teachers of the day shunned and ridiculed him. Children weren’t capable of responding to God in a personal way, they just need knowledge. But several people, including Josiah Spiers and Tom Bond Bishop, saw him in action and were convinced. Later in 1867, Josiah Spiers spoke to 15 children in a house in Islington, sharing the Christian message in a way that related to their real needs. This led to the founding of the Children’s Special Service Mission (CSSM). The following year at Llandudno, North Wales, Josiah drew the text “God is Love” in the sand, invited children to decorate it, and then told them a Bible story. And the rest, with a few more characters and twists, is history. What inspires me about this story is the absolute belief in a God-inspired idea, and the willingness to do something innovative. This is a characteristic that has shaped Scripture Union activity ever since. Being relevant is not about the launching the latest programme. It is about asking what is God doing in the world around us and being willing to be shaped by the answer. It is my prayer that we never lose that measure of being relevant and that you enjoy our take on it in these pages. Wayne Fraser National Director
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Children and young people spend a large chunk of their lives in school, and this time has a significant impact in shaping who they are. They are forming opinions about the world and what they believe; in fact the majority of people come to faith under the age of 16! This makes prayer for schools absolutely vital. Wouldn’t it be great if there were Christians praying for every school in New Zealand, and for the students and staff that are in them?
That is our vision for Pray Day for Schools. On Friday 12 August, we are encouraging students, parents, teachers and churches to join together in praying for their local schools and for schools across our nation. There are lots of ways to get involved: • plan a prayer gathering or event on Pray Day (or focus on schools in your prayer meetings during that week) • encourage your teenagers and children to pray for their schools on Pray Day • devote a section of your church service on Sunday 14 August (contact your local schools for prayer requests) • check out the website for an event near you Children and young people desperately need our prayers. Pray Day is an initiative of Scripture Union in New Zealand and we want to make it easy for you so we have put together a range of ideas, resources and promotional materials that you can download from our website.
Visit www.prayday.net.nz for everything you need to take part in Pray Day this year 4
Scripture Union ministries
What does it mean to be A perspective from Hilary Hague, National Children and Families Ministry Leader Our societies are going through monumental cultural change and as they do, we are increasingly discovering that we need to span two cultures: the secular world around us and the Christian community to which we belong. This means children’s ministry leaders have a big challenge: how can we be relevant for children in the emerging culture of the 21st century? I believe that we need to engage children in ways that are authentic. One way to do this is to think relationally. In spite of all the changes in society around them, children still need good quality relationships. A lot of social media is a way of trying to fulfill this need. We also need to think about the difference between information and transformation. We need to move away from an educationally based model of children’s work towards ways to help children to explore who God is, how He relates to them, and how He wants them to live. Let’s take up this challenge. Let’s think about what we do and how we do it. And let’s be people who allow God to work in children’s lives in ways which will help them grow a faith that will last them their whole lives. Scripture Union’s SUPAkidz Clubs can help you with this. Designed to run in local schools, they are an innovative way to help children find out about God and build relationships with people from their local churches at the same time.
re l e va n t ? A perspective from Neville Bartley, National Youth Ministry Leader Youth culture is very often misunderstood, and probably for good reason as it changes rapidly, and even the youth themselves struggle to understand it. However at this stage in their lives, young people are looking for some simple things. Something to believe in. Someone to believe in them. So how do we, Scripture Union Youth Ministries, answer these questions for them in a way that is relevant to their age and ever changing culture? Relationships. It is really that simple. We need to focus what we do around relationships. Providing ways for them to build relationships with their peers, with older adults, and most of all with the Lord. Jesus was all about relationships, so we need to be also. As He told His followers, “Love God and love your neighbours.” He was talking about relationships; sacrificial relationships. What we do in our schools work and in our camps has to be about serving others and building relationships, it’s not about ourselves and our programmes. Relevance lies in the heart of God. And the heart of God for the world lies within those who He calls His sons and daughters. Let’s begin to be relevant! “But how?” you may say. Well, as Woody Allen once said, “70% of success in life is showing up”, so let’s start showing up in young people’s lives, and then ask God to show us how to do the rest.
It began with an idea all the way from Wellington. Tanya Laybourn and Raewyn Phipps decided they would run a camp in Canterbury for families needing a break from earthquake-struck Christchurch during the April School Holidays. After some conversations with myself and Bruce Conway, Scripture Union was on board and helping where we could. Camp was a blast. The kids tore down frosty hills on toboggans, did orienteering, raced model rafts, made mosaics, ate pancakes, watched movies and lots more. We had sixty parents and children attend during the week, showing that it was meeting a real need. Each morning, Tanya would read a story and do some activities about helping our friends and persevering. The parents had an opportunity to come and go during the day as needed or join in with the fun. Best of all, they didn’t have to cook! It was a real blessing for these families whose lives are still filled with uncertainty. Parents spent the evenings sharing together and good relationships were formed.
A big thank you needs to go out to the businesses and families in Wellington who generously contributed food, money and craft resources to make camp so affordable and achievable. It was well worth it! Diana Johnson Camps Facilitator
Come on a Scripture Union Winter Youth Camp and you’ll never want to forget it. Make lasting friendships. Do awesome activities: Snowboard, Ski, Camp, Tramp, Explore, Rock Climb, Kayak. Have the chance to learn about God and how he can be part of your life.
SUPAkidz camps are for primary aged kids! (Year 4 – 6!). They are well run with trained leaders and great programmes. They include games, art and craft activities, swimming and heaps of fun.
REGISTER SOON, FILLING FAST Check it out and register online at:
Winter Camps (July holidays) KARAPIRO ADVENTURE WINTER 17-22 July 2011 Kayak, Rockclimb, Camp out
Adventure Lodge, Lake Karapiro Year 9-13 Co-ed
WHAKAPAPA CLASSIC 17 - 23 July 2011 Ski, Board, Rockclimb, Explore
Crusader Lodge, Mt Ruapehu Year 9-11 Co-ed
$265 + Activity costs*
RUAPEHU ADVENTURE 24 - 30 July 2011 Ski, Board, Rockclimb, Explore
Crusader Lodge, Mt Ruapehu Year 11-13 Co-ed
$265 + Activity costs*
SUPAkidz Camp: TOP SECRET 25 - 29 July 2011
Houghton’s Bush, Muriwai, Auckland Year 4-6 Co-ed
Spring camps (Oct holidays) THE ‘GRUBBY ANGELS’ SOUTHERN ROADIE 8 – 15 October 2011 Road trip to help Christchurch
Bus from Inver’s & Dunedin to Chch Yr 11-13 Co-ed
$250 (incl bus trip)
KARAPIRO ADVENTURE SPRING 9 – 14 October 2011 Kayak, Rockclimb, Camp out
Adventure Lodge, Lake Karapiro Year 8-10 Co-ed
SNOW BLAST 9 - 15 October 2011 Ski, Board, Rockclimb, Explore
Crusader Lodge, Mt Ruapehu Year 9-11 Co-ed
$265 + Activity costs*
PONUI XTREME 10 - 15 October 2011 Sports, Explore, Cook-outs
Ponui Island, Hauraki Gulf Year 10-13 Co-ed
SUPAkidz Camp: TEAM UP 10 - 13 October 2011
Edenview Campsite Edendale, Southland Year 4-6
SUPAkidz Camp: TEAM UP 17 - 21 October 2011
Camp Morley, South Auckland Year 4-6
*Activity Costs - skiing typically costs $60/day, snowboarding $70/day.
Ruby – a continuing legacy
NEWS Babies a bound in Scripture Union:
Sylvia Coulter, Northern Regional Director Born about 90 years ago, Aucklander Ruby Murphy was an office worker in a credit union, though during the Second World War she was manpowered to make shoes. A member of the West St Church of Christ in Newton, Ruby was my Sunday School teacher – a kind lady who took seriously the task of leading the children, and who continued to be a friend when I grew to adulthood. Later, Ruby attended St Aidan’s Presbyterian in Northcote where folk recall her friendliness, gentleness, faithfulness and the time when she spoke of walking along country roads as a young person with a strong sense of Jesus being beside her. Flower arrangements at St Aidan’s still contain lilies grown from bulbs from Ruby’s much loved garden. She served as a parish visitor and elder for many years and she died in 2007. Ruby never married, laughingly describing herself as an ‘unclaimed treasure’, and her life of quiet faith and service brings to mind the words of Malachi 3:17 describing those who are God’s ‘treasured possession’. Ruby had a vision for service beyond the walls of her own church, and was part of the North Shore Scripture Union prayer group. When she made her final will, a large part of her estate was shared between several Christian missions, including a generous gift for Scripture Union. Most of this legacy was used to form a reserve fund for ministry in the Auckland region, and interest earned from it has helped with staff team support. As I reflect on Ruby’s life, it is great to think that her generous spirit is still making a significant contribution today.
Nigal Winder’s wife Hannah Winder gave birth to Sophie Beatrice in their home town of Invercargill in mid June, this is the 4th addition to the Winder Family. Diana Johnston gave birth to James Ngahere on the 22nd June in Christchurch. Alice Harper, our Wellington-based National Fundrasing Manager is also about to have a baby, she’ll be on leave from August.
Welcome Ben Necklen: As Diana Johnston prepares to go on her 12 month maternity leave, Ben Necklen will be taking over as our South Island Camps Facilitator in early July. Ben is married to Pip, who is the Children’s worker at Hornby Presbyterian Church, and he has been involved with our camps for a number of years.
Crusader Lodge: Earlier this year we saw the Crusader Lodge, the Scripture Union Retreat on Mt Ruapehu get spruced up with a restain and repaint. The Lodge now looks real smart again and the spouting is on for the snow falls this winter. Thank you to all the hard working volunteers! May the winter snow camps be filled with young people enjoying being in a Christian community for a week and coming to know God in a personal way.
I encourage you to consider leaving a bequest in your will for Scripture Union. By investing in the lives of children and youth, perhaps still unborn, the kingdom of God will continue to grow after we have passed on. Please request a legacy/bequest information pack on the enclosed letter.
You can make a secure online donation at www.scriptureunion.org.nz or freephone 0508 423 836. Or respond on the enclosed form. www.scriptureunion.org.nz
Light for the path Guest Writer: Neville Bartley, National Youth Ministry Leader
In a world where culture is changing at a rate that has never before been experienced in human history, how does anyone or anything remain relevant? Add this to the developmental stage of life of a teenager, and there is not much that seems stable or relevant to them. However, it is during this time that they are making decisions and choices that will impact them for the rest of their lives. How can we even contemplate being relevant to anyone in that age group? Well, we can do it easily because we have a message to share about a Saviour who transcends culture, race, gender, technology and any other term you like to throw in. We serve a God who gives direction that works, not because it is necessarily cool or relevant in the eyes of the world, but because it is under His guidance, direction and power. So for us to remain relevant in this current world, more than ever we need to draw near to the Father, hear His voice and follow His lead. No matter how much it may or may not fit with what we know or have experienced, we need to take His words to heart and let it be God who guides us. As Jesus himself said, “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.” Let’s strive to be like Christ, as individuals and as a people of God, and then we will be relevant to a world seeking relevance. As Mother Teresa would say, “I know God will not give me anything I can’t handle. I just wish that He didn’t trust me so much.”