Sophia Sinclair

Update from Sophia, Andrew and Guy

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After one semester we feel like we have chosen well in coming to SMBC. Being here has stretched our faith, challenged and encouraged us.

Andrew is particularly enjoying the regular chapel meetings and the pastoral care from the lecturers.

Andrew’s studies have gone well. He is really pleased with his first lot of results and feels encouraged to continue working and studying hard. Greek has been the hardest class to stay on top of and has taken the most effort. The class only gets more difficult for the 2nd semester so please pray for him. Sophia is keeping very busy with her editing work for the Press Service International Young Writers’ Program. Her editing role also involves a mentoring and pastoral element as she communicates with the writers—giving them feedback on the theology and style of their writing.

Her work has included travel within Australia, and will include travel to New Zealand in September (18 September–3 October). Andrew and Guy will also join her for this trip. We will be in Wellington 18–19 September, Hawera 19–26 September, and Christchurch 26 September–3 October.

Both Andrew and Sophia have also been writing for Press Service International. Here are some links for anyone who’s interested.

So far this year Andrew has looked at how to answer the questions ‘how do I know heaven is real?’ and ‘should I share my exam marks with others?’ He has pondered what it means to annoy Jesus, considered his own predisposition for revenge, and explored the connection between Adam and Eve and getting high.

Meanwhile Sophia has written about why the Church should care about the Treaty of Waitangi, documented her experiences relocating to Australia and finding a new church family. She has also explored our society’s obsession with internet listicles and the idea that time is money. Her latest piece unpacks public shaming and mob justice in an online world.

Guy continues to be a cute little boy. He is walking around and getting into mischief. He isn’t properly talking yet but is very noisy and loves to baby talk.

We have settled into church at Petersham Baptist Church. The church is nearby and has been very welcoming to us. We hope to increase our involvement in the near future.

We have settled into our accommodation. It is treating us well and we get plenty of sun in the winter. The space is just what we need and we are very grateful to be provided with college accommodation.

A special thank you to our financial support team and prayer team. We really feel cared for by you all and are aware of God at work in our lives. Thank you so much for your love and care.

 

To hear more from the Sinclairs or for information about their support you can email them.

Our Story – The NZCMS Bicentennial Hui (Issue 22)

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The terminator without Arnie? Pride and Prejudice without Mr. Darcy? The Simpsons without Homer? Bro Town without the bros? Stories are nothing without a main character. But have we, as Kiwis, forgotten the main character in our story?

Over Labour Weekend last year more than 100 guests gathered as part of the NZCMS Hui and Pilgrimage, Our Story: Aotearoa, to explore our identity as Christians in relation to the New Zealand story.

The welcome offered by Bishop Kito set the tone for the event. He was clear: “The Gospel was invited to New Zealand. Chief Ruatara was a person who was fully committed to bringing the Good News to his own people and they created space for the Gospel to take root in their lives, minds and hearts… The roots of our nation find themselves in the Gospel.” We were each invited to remember that the main character of our story is Christ and to find our true identity in him as we respond to his death and resurrection.

The theme of the weekend was Te Raranga, ‘the weaving.’ This theme of being woven together, of our stories being shared and our futures being knitted together, came through time after time. It was a great weekend of discovering more about our history as we heard from expert speakers and explored significant sites around the Bay of Islands. The visit to Oihi Bay was incredibly meaningful. We could see the Holy Spirit at work when leaders of CMS in New Zealand and the UK officially extended their welcome and embrace to the descendants of Thomas and Jane Kendall. It was clear that God’s Spirit was bringing restoration and reconciliation after many years of brokenness. It was a privilege to hear the story of the Kendall family told in more detail during the weekend, to recognise their contribution to early New Zealand history and to give thanks for the grace of God at work in their lives.

But it wasn’t all looking back at the past. With a global focus we shared stories, hopes and dreams with brothers and sisters from all over the world. We had the privilege of hearing from CMS leaders from Africa, Asia and the UK who shared how God is working around the world. We heard reports from NZCMS Mission Partners who had recently finished their time abroad. And our praise and worship times were led by Taking Back, a Kenyan band from Nairobi Chapel.

A Sunday service on the grounds of Waitangi proved to be once-in-a-lifetime moment as different cultures gathered to share communion in the shadow of native bush echoing with the sounds of Fantail, Shining Cuckoo and Tui.

Drawing our Hui to a close, we looked forward to what God has in store for the future. We were inspired by the vision, passion and enthusiasm of Jade Hohaia. Her message encouraged us to continue trusting in God to restore our land and draw all people to himself. She spoke of how God is using young Maori and Pacifica leaders to make a difference in their communities and how she has seen the power of God changing lives and hearts.

The weekend was an inspiring journey of discovering our story and remembering who the main character is – remembering the goodness and faithfulness of our God of nations who continues to work mightily in New Zealand and around the world.

Sophia’s Goodbye

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Five and a half years ago Steve Maina took a chance in hiring an optimistic journalist to take on NZCMS communications. Since then it has been my privilege to help shape, carry and present the stories of our organisation.

This year (2015) my husband Andrew is beginning a degree in Theology at Sydney Missionary and Bible College in Australia. We are excited to relocate to Sydney and looking forward to what God has in store for us as we pursue and pray about entering full time Christian ministry as a family.

At this stage our plan is to return to New Zealand once study is finished but we are very open to different opportunities and would appreciate your prayers. We will be sending regular newsletters and updates. If you would like to stay in touch please email me at sophiasinc@gmail.com

I have thoroughly enjoyed my experience working for NZCMS. The staff team, Mission Partners, Supporters and Council have all taught me so much and been such an important part of my time in the position.

Thank you to you all for welcoming a new face and helping me to become part of the NZCMS family. Over the years I have appreciated all the lovely phone conversations, face to face meetings and emails. I will never forget your kindness. It has not always been easy work, as communicating is an imperfect art and I am an imperfect person! Thank you for demonstrating grace to me when I messed up. Thank you for your encouragement of me when I did well.

It was my pleasure to continue working part time for NZCMS during 2014, producing the Our Story Aotearoa book at home while I took care of my son Guy (now aged 1). I’ve also been able to work alongside the new Communications Officer and am excited by what God is doing in and through him. I thank God so much for his provision in this area.

With a shift overseas and the promise of new challenges as a family I look forward with joy, knowing my time at NZCMS will set me in good stead for what God has in store. I look forward to remaining in fellowship with you all and continuing to be part of the NZCMS family.

 

Sophia and Andrew will be sending periodic updates to their friends and supporters. To sign up to the Sinclair’s Newsletter click here.

If you are interested in helping support them – financially or in prayer – please reply to this email.

Our Story Book

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Our Story: Aotearoa – the Story of Mission in New Zealand Through the Lens of the New Zealand Church Missionary Society is new book by NZCMS seeking to discover how God’s story and our national narrative have been woven together.

The chapters of the book, each penned by a different author, seek to uncover the redemptive aspects of the stories of the missionaries first sent to New Zealand, to remember the grace provided to the missionaries sent from our land and to envision the future with God.

The book covers key moments in NZCMS history – reflecting on the impact of the League of Youth, mission in Pakistan and East Africa, and the birth of NZCMS in Nelson. We believe it is an invaluable resource for churches and individuals around the country who are exploring their history during this bicentennial year.

This book is now available for purchase and we have a special Christmas offer for all NZCMS supporters. A bound copy of Our Story: Aotearoa can be yours for just $10 + $2.50 shipping.

There are two ways you can order your copy. First, you can contact Heather in the NZCMS office by emailing heather@nzcms.org.nz. Otherwise, use the NZCMS giving form: fill out your details, under “What would you like to support” select other, and in the space “Other project or Mission Partner” fill in “BOOKSTORY” plus the number of books you wish to order.

 

God of Nations

Posted on

The terminator without Arnie? Pride and Prejudice without Mr. Darcy? The Simpsons without Homer? Bro Town without the bros? – Stories are nothing without a main character.

Have we, as Kiwis, forgotten the main character in our story?

Over Labour Weekend more than 100 guests gathered as part of the NZCMS Hui and Pilgrimage Our Story: Aotearoa to explore our identity as Christians in relation to the New Zealand story.

The welcome offered by Bishop Kito set the tone for the event, telling us that ‘The gospel was invited to New Zealand. Chief Ruatara was a person who was fully committed to bringing the good news to his own people and they created space for the gospel to take root in their lives, minds and hearts… The roots of our nation find themselves in the gospel’. We were each invited to remember that the main character of our story is Christ, and to find our true identity as we respond to Jesus’ death and resurrection.

The theme of the weekend was Te Raranga, or ‘the weaving’. This theme of being woven together, of our stories being shared and our futures being knitted together came through time after time. It was a great weekend of discovering more about our history as we heard from expert speakers and explored significant sites around the Bay of Islands.

A visit to Oihi Bay was incredibly meaningful. We could see the Holy Spirit at work when leaders of CMS in New Zealand and the UK officially extended their welcome and embrace to the descendants of Thomas and Jane Kendall. It was clear God’s Spirit was bringing restoration and reconciliation after many years of brokenness.

It was a privilege to hear the story of the Kendall family told in more detail during the weekend, to recognise their contribution to early New Zealand history and to give thanks for the grace of God at work in their lives.

But it wasn’t all looking back at the past. With a global focus we shared stories, hopes and dreams with brothers and sisters from all over the world. Our praise and worship times were led by Taking Back, a Kenyan band from Nairobi Chapel. We had the privilege of hearing from CMS leaders from Africa, Asia and the UK who shared how God is working around the world.

A Sunday service on the grounds of Waitangi proved to be once-in-a-lifetime moment as different cultures gathered to share communion in the shadow of native bush echoing with the sounds of Fantail, Shining Cuckoo and Tui.

Drawing our Hui to a close we looked forward to what God has in store for the future. We were inspired by the vision, passion and enthusiasm of Jade Hohaia. Her message encouraged us to continue trusting in God to restore our land and draw all people to himself.

She spoke of how God is using young Maori and Pacific leaders to make a difference in their communities, and how she has seen the power of God to change lives and hearts.

The weekend was an inspiring journey of discovering our story and remembering who the main character is – remembering the goodness and faithfulness of our God of nations who continues to work mightily in New Zealand and around the world.