“How did I participate in the Good News this summer?”
Jonathan Chow is in his final year at Carey, and recently spent the summer on placement at Palmerston North Central Baptist Church in an associate pastor’s role. He reflects on the richness of being part of an intergenerational community, and the impact that this had on his participation in the good news.
Kia ora! My name is Jonathan and I’m back for my final year at Carey after spending the summer on placement at Palmerston North Central Baptist. Although I’m on the Youth Pastoral Leadership track, Carey and PNCBC placed me in more of an associate pastor’s role for the summer, giving me the opportunity to get to know people across the entire church community, from young to old and across different cultures.
This was a great blessing to me because I got to see first-hand how the gospel was at work in all walks of life. I got to support young families working to create a safe, loving environment for their children to grow up in. I had lovely conversations with older folk who had been through all the changes over the decades – learning from the wisdom of their experiences as to what really matters to the church community. I also got to know young people from all sorts of backgrounds, hear their stories and share some encouragement. Finally, there were those who had come from overseas and listening to what that journey has been like for them.
Meeting so many people opened my eyes to the breadth of what God is doing in and through the church, and it has challenged and expanded my vision for what church is and can accomplish together. I’m grateful to the team at PNCBC for giving me this opportunity. Blessings!
Rebecca Webb, a second-year Pastoral Leadership student, spent her summer on placement at Hillcrest Baptist Church. During her time there, she participated in gospel ministry in some beautifully creative ways. Did someone say the Lion King and dumplings?
“Come and see what God has done, his awesome deeds for mankind!” (Psalm 66:5).
One of my highlights from summer placement was seeing the church share the good news by giving testimony to what God has done for them. In January we went through a series on Psalms, giving permission for our laments and language for our praise. We ended with Psalm 66 – come and see what God has done! I invited a handful of people to share with the rest of the church what God had done for them. Some wrote a psalm of their own, some wrote a poem, others simply told a story… All were a powerful and beautiful celebration of the good news worked out in our lives.
The rest of my summer included celebrating life and mourning loss as we talked about grief and then grieved the death of a long-time member of the church; enjoying God’s creation by making the most of Hamilton’s green spaces, swimming in the Waikato river, and reflecting on Psalm 104 as a church (which may have included a clip of the Lion King!); being creative with modes of worshipping God as the worship team took a break – Taizé chants, silent reflection, and spoken word; and lots and lots of food (I now know how to make dumplings!). The outworking of the good news takes many forms and I was privileged to participate in that with one special church family this summer. Come and see what God has done!