2017 Gatherings

Thursday 10th August

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Reports

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In attendance:

MPs:

  • Tim Macindoe
  • Melissa Lee
  • Mark Mitchell
  • Pita Paraone
  • Alfred Ngaro

Speakers:

  • Capt Ross Wardle – Euthanasia Debate
  • Roger Moses – Education - A Christian Perspective
  • Alfred Ngaro – Report on National Prayer Breakfast USA
  • Tim Macindoe – MPs work
  • Ps Rasik Ranchord – Flag referendum

Tim Macindoe, Host MP, welcomed the people to the meeting, giving apologies for Chester Burrowes MP. Jonathan Young, John Naylor and David Cunliffe also sent their apologies. Tim acknowledged the presence of his parliamentary colleagues and said he appreciated the support from Ps Rasik and Rasik’s ministry to MPs. Newcomers to the meeting from many places across New Zealand were also welcomed.

The Scripture readings were as follows:

  • Old Testament:
    1. Ps 139: 1-12 Melissa Lee
    2. Ps 139: 13-18 Pita Paraone
  • New Testament:
    1. 1 Tim 2: 1-6 Mark Mitchell

Ps Rasik Ranchord gave the preparation for prayer being:

  • The Word of God
  • The Spirit of God
  • Relevant information

Prayer Track 1 – Capt Ross Wardle on Euthanasia and the Assisted Suicide Debate

Capt Ross Wardle (Salvation Army) shared his insights on this debate. A key statement, in relation to compassion is that “compassion has never included the intentional termination of human life”. The following has been taken from Capt Wardle’s notes. They are worth thoughtful reading.

“Compassion requires quality care for all people to the end of their lives - including the terminally ill. Modern palliative care is a comprehensive package of medical, social and spiritual care. The careful selection and application of the medical tools available, to the specific needs of each person receiving care, means that much of the physical pain experienced by the terminally ill can be relieved effectively. We need to acknowledge, however, that we cannot yet guarantee every terminally ill person - pain free care.

What we can guarantee is that when people are supported emotionally, socially and spiritually, physical pain (and other forms of existential distress) can become more bearable. And so we can pray for a New Zealand society that defines compassion in this space as the willingness to spare no effort or resource in improving the level and extent of palliative care it offers.

From a Theological and Ethical Standpoint We Can Accept the Following:

  • It is not Euthanasia for health care professionals to withhold or withdraw medical treatment that only prolongs the dying process.
  • It is not suicide for people to choose to refuse - or terminate - medical treatment, and
  • To provide supportive care for the alleviation of pain and suffering (e.g., by way of analgesics) can be appropriate even if the dying process is shortened as a side effect. These three statements are entirely consistent with respect for the sanctity of life and the meaning of compassion.

Compassion has, however, never included the intentional termination of human life.”

Prayer Pointers:

  • Wisdom for the Health Select Committee.
  • Effective communication in relation to our position against Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide
  • Adequate support for the terminally ill
  • Definition of human compassion
  • Definition of human dignity

Prayer Track 2: Roger Moses on Education, A Christian Perspective

A book recently read, “Against the Flow” by Prof John Lennox (about Daniel’s example living in Babylon and working in the corridors of power) and “The Manhattan Declaration” by Robert P George (and on YouTube) challenged Roger (and us) afresh about the need for Christians to live their faith.

We must be willing to embrace the cost of discipleship as we are called to be “unashamed of the Gospel”. Today’s society does not tolerate the expression of faith in the public arena very well.

Having been in Education for over 40 years, it is now that secular assumptions are portrayed as “reasonable” while Christian principles are portrayed as bigoted, etc.

Prayer Pointers:

  • That Christian principles be used to run schools
  • Christian Teachers – have a major influence on young lives
  • Christian students – will find other Christian students friends, will maintain their faith,
  • Continued Christian access to state schools. – eg Bible in Schools
  • Christian workers in the Ministry of Education

Special Report: Alfred Ngaro on the National Prayer Breakfast, USA

The USA National Prayer Breakfast (Presidential Brayer Breakfast) has been held every year since 1953. Alfred Ngaro, John Sacks and Martin Bell attended from New Zealand. Alfred gave a testimony of God’s provision and goodness in encouraging another person at the breakfast. Alfred himself was the answer to the prayers this person prayed some time ago, for a friend of Alfred’s. The statement “God Bless America” which is heard a great deal in the USA, is a statement of blessing which people speak over their country. And God has blessed the United States of America. We can bless our country, New Zealand, in this way. Let us also speak over New Zealand “God Bless New Zealand”!

There were 3,500 people at this year’s National Prayer Breakfast. President Obama spoke on 1 Tim 1:7; a Rabbi spoke on Is 58 v 6 about True fasting and Andrea Boccelli sang “Amazing Grace” by John Newton, which reminded Alfred of the work of William Wilberforce and his 20+ year battle against slavery; the extraordinary work of a Christian in the English parliament.

Prayer Track 3:

  • Item 1: Tim Macindoe on MPs and Their Workload

Tim is the MP for Hamilton West. It is an honour and privilege to serve Hamilton West, and work in Wellington as well. A 90 hour work week is normal. 40 hours (or so) (over 4 days) in Parliament in Wellington are long days involving speeches, question time, early and late meetings to get the work of the House achieved. We are here to serve.

Then there is the work of the Electorate from Friday to Sunday evening – 50 hours over 3 days. Work in the Electorate involves many community, multicultural and private events, as well as electorate office meetings and meetings with constituents, fitting around family time as well.

  • Item 2: Ps Rasik Ranchord on the Flag Referendum

The (Postal) Flag referendum is an important issue that requires the participation of the whole country. There are many reasons/opinions put forward for consideration in the media and via advertising. The people need to take the opportunity to vote.

Prayer pointers for both items 1 and 2:

  • For Leaders of all political parties
  • For Christian MP across all parties
  • Your Local MP
  • For a high level of participation by citizens in the Flag referendum.

Tricia Caughley closed the meeting with prayer.

The Next Prayer at Parliament is on Thursday 9th June 2016
The last one for the year is on Thursday 22nd September