2017 Gatherings

Thursday 10th August

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Reports

Please click the links below to view the Convener's reports for previous prayer gatherings. You may also subscribe to an RSS feed for this or any page that displays the RSS icon (lower left).
 


Old Library, Parliament Buildings by Night

Here is the report on the first prayer gathering for 2017, to view the photos taken on the night click here.

In attendance

  • MPs
    • Hon Chester Borrows
    • Tim Macindoe
    • Hon David Cunliffe
    • Jo Hayes
    • Maureen Pugh
    • Sam Lotu-liga
  • Speakers
    • Tim Macindoe MP and Ps Rasik Ranchord: The General Election
    • Judge Andrew Becroft: The Work of The Children's Commission
    • Maureen Pugh MP: Local Government, Mayor and Councillors

 

The meeting opened with prayer from Ps Hamish Thomson.

Hon Chester Borrows welcomed the people to the meeting and thanked them for their attendance. Chester acknowledged the presence of his parliamentary colleagues and other guests; Andrew Coster, Deputy Chief Executive, Ministry of Justice, Judge Andrew and Mrs Philippa Becroft.

Ps Rasik Ranchord also welcomed the people along with many newcomers from across New Zealand. Apologies received from Members of Parliament were from Melissa Lee, Jonathan Young, Alfred Ngaro, Mark Mitchell, Pita Paraone and Aupito William Sio.

 

The Scripture readings were as follows:

Old Testament: Isaiah 40:12-15,21-31 read by Jo Hayes
New Testament: 1 Timothy 2:1-8 read by Hon David Cunliffe

 

In the last election, One Million New Zealanders,
Who could have voted, Chose not to!

 

Prayer Track 1 – The General Election: Tim MacIndoe MP and Ps Rasik Ranchord

Ps Rasik highlighted the biblical perspective and the responsibility of believers to participate in the election of governmental authority (at all levels). His key points were:

  1. The source of all authority is God. His authority is absolute.
  2. God has delegated some of His authority to mankind and human institutions, to serve for a God-ordained purpose.
  3. That purpose is for the promotion of good and the restraint of evil.
  4. It is a privilege and a duty to vote, to give honour to those voted in and to pay the revenues and taxes required.

 

In the last election, 1 million New Zealanders, who could have voted, chose not to. We should appreciate what we are able to do in this regard. There are 1.7 million people identified as Christians (2013). Christian leaders need to teach their people about their civic responsibility and to take this privilege seriously. Tim, who has spent 9 years in Parliament, said it was great to live in a democracy. Citizens have the ability to contribute through giving input through the Select Committee process and can also participate in government through other pathways. No one party holds all the wisdom and values of good government.

The Party vote is the most important vote. Votes for the electorate candidates are important however voters need to be careful of media manipulation. Think about the important programmes that will impact on your life. The media are often after sensationalism. Tim urged us to attend our local electorate meetings and meet the candidates. He said to check the subject matter of the meeting and go and listen and meet the candidates, ask questions, stay and talk, and be informed. Please talk to the young people who are able to vote and help them understand how important it is for them to be involved. Many people have fought and died for democracy. We are to value it and participate in it.

Prayer Pointers:

  1. Greater Voter turnout
  2. That Christians will take their civic duties seriously
  3. Leaders of all parties
  4. Retiring MP – their transition period (David Cunliffe, Chester Borrows, Sam Lotu-Iiga, John Key)

 

Prayer Track 2 – the Work of the Children’s Commission: Judge Andrew Becroft

Judge Becroft began by describing a letter from the prophet Jeremiah to the captives living in Babylon (Jeremiah 29:1-7) which encouraged the people to actively seek the welfare of the place where they dwelt, because if that place prospers, the inhabitants would also prosper. He then talked about the lack of prosperity that many children (and families) live in. The statistics are sobering, covering child poverty and material welfare, results for Tamariki Maori and comparison between Maori and Pakeha children, and engagement of all children in education. Disadvantage is a key issue.

Please visit these weblinks:

Prayer Pointers:

  1. Abused and neglected children in their homes
  2. Children who are removed from their homes
  3. Marginalised and bullied children
  4. Need more good, committed foster and respite care givers
  5. Judge Andrew Becroft

 

Prayer Track 3 – Mayor and Councillors: Maureen Pugh, MP

Maureen served as Mayor of Westland District Council for 3 terms, prior to coming into Parliament. As a Mayor, you can be voted in for as many terms as the people decide – there is no limit on the number of terms. There is no job description, so a Mayor cannot be sacked! The sole employee of the Mayor is the Council Chief Executive. Elected roles are not clearly defined. The role of the Mayor is an advocacy role and the expectations of the community are huge. There is little family privacy, the media can be a friend or a foe, and the Mayor is always accessible, which impacts on personal and family life. Key qualities required are wisdom, grace, personal strength, knowledge of local government rules and regulations, and patience to handle the community and individuals, as well as a long term perspective. A Mayor also becomes a Justice of the Peace by virtue of the role.

Prayer Pointers:

  1. Your Mayor
  2. Your Councillors
  3. Major issues in your city and district.

 

The next Prayer at Parliament will be in 8 June 2017.

The third and final Prayer at Parliament for 2017 will be held on 10 August as the House will be rising on the 17 August in preparation for the election on 23 September, 2017.

Graeme Sutherland prayed for the offering, which was taken up to cover expenses connected with the gathering.

Rasik thanked all who had contributed to the meeting, whether in front of or behind the scenes.

Brian Caughley closed the meeting with prayer.