In this update we profile one of General Assembly’s keynote speakers, the Very Rev Margaret Schrader, and Moderator elect Rev Fakaofo Kaio invites us to extend a warm welcome to international guests from the Pacific region who will be joining us at Assembly.
Commissioners are encouraged to register before 31 July to secure the cheaper early bird registration rate and the programme for the Ministers’ Resourcing Day is announced.
Please continue to keep the preparations for GA in your prayers as we move closer to this significant time together as a Church.
Abi Trevathan and Liz Whitehead
Early bird registrations closing soon
It’s now just over two months to go before this year’s General Assembly on the 3 - 7 October. Early bird registrations close at the end of this month so we encourage you to register before 31 July to take advantage of the cheaper rate. Onsite accommodation is also filling up fast, so please book as soon as possible if you need accommodation. Register now: http://ga2018.nz/register/
Registration for the Ministers’ Resourcing Day opens next week
Knox Centre for Ministry and Learning has confirmed the programme for the Ministers’ Resourcing Day that will run on Wednesday, 3 October from 10.30am-3:30pm. The theme will be “Resourcing the Spirituality of Lifelong Learning” and it will cost $65 to attend, which includes lunch and morning and afternoon tea. Check out the programme here: http://ga2018.nz/ministers-resourcing-day/. We hope to have registrations for this open by the end of next week, so please keep an eye on your inbox and the General Assembly website (http://www.ga2018.nz/) if you intend to come along.
Message from the Moderator Elect
During every General Assembly, churches in particular regions of the globe are invited to send a representative.
At this GA2018, it is the turn of the Pacific region. We have sent out the invitations. Some have already confirmed their attendance and we are waiting to hear from others. The need for partnership is vitally important in our witness as Christians, the body of Christ. Paul's message to the early Church is just as relevant to our generation: “There are many parts, but one body, with Jesus Christ as the head”.
At GA2018, please be gracious and welcoming to our guests, our brothers and our sisters in the Lord. Invite them into your conversations; share a meal with them. Make them feel at home. By the time we part, we may be on a first name basis with them. We may have made plans for shared ministries. The hope is that we will have meaningful relationship experiences in the service for our Lord Jesus Christ. General Assembly is an opportunity to build up the body of Christ, locally, regionally, nationally and globally.
Three of the Church’s leaders - the Very Rev Margaret Schrader, Rev Ned Ripley and the Very Rev Graham Redding - will share their insight and wisdom as keynote speakers at this year’s General Assembly. Each will give a 30-minute address on an aspect of relationships.
Fakaofo says that he has chosen all three speakers as they are esteemed elders with a long relationship of service to our Church. Read more about the Very Rev Margaret Schrader below, and keep an eye on future GA Updates for profiles on the other keynote speakers.
Keynote profile: Very Rev Margaret Schrader
Very Rev Margaret Schrader is one of only four women to be have been elected Moderator of our Church (1995).
She trained as a Methodist deaconess at the Methodist Deaconess College, Melbourne, and later served our Church in a variety of capacities, including with the Parish Development & Mission department; as a spiritual growth consultant for the Mission Resource Team; and in shared ministry with her husband, the late Rev Warren Schrader.
After Warren’s death, Margaret, with the help of two Catholic nuns, opened her home as The Still Point, a house of prayer.
She retired in 2004 and remains involved with her local church and spiritual direction.
She is mother to seven children from Warren’s previous marriages and one child with Warren.
Margaret is both delighted and honoured to be invited to speak at Assembly. She says that while she will prepare an outline for her address on relationship with God, she is open to “hearing the Spirit" at Assembly and responding.
“I will talk about the way we know God, ask people to be in touch with their own felt sense of this and perhaps put a name to it. We will explore some of the many different images of God in Scripture - father, mother, friend, lover, holy one, midwife and many more.”
“I have been thinking about how who God is for me effects the decisions I make, how I make them and how I respond to others who have a very different sense or understanding. I am thinking about how as an Assembly we can listen to, and learn from, those with a different sense and then lovingly make decisions as the one people of God.”