Keynote Address: Dr. Lynne Taylor
Good News in the Midst of a Pandemic
In this lecture, Lynne explores the “good news” that was preached by selected churches during the first week of NZ’s national Lockdown. Preachers pointed to God’s character, made space for lament and acknowledging pain, and offered words of comfort, with a goal towards human flourishing. Pastors and churches can learn from this balancing of what Neil Pembroke calls the theocentric and the therapeutic. First, they can be encouraged to include space for pain and lament alongside their talk about God, and vice versa. Secondly, the research demonstrates that the human need for personal agency might healthily be expressed in service towards others. Thirdly, the hopeful sense, experienced by many, that perhaps our church, community or world could be better post-COVID ought to be encouraged and explored.
Lynne is married to Steve and they have two young adult daughters, Shannon and Kayli. Lynne is passionate about helping churches to support the wellbeing of their congregations and wider communities, and she researches and teaches in these areas as part of her role as Jack Somerville Lecturer in Pastoral Theology at the University of Otago. Her desire to help the Church in its missional engagement is why she also continues to work as Researcher for the Baptist Churches of NZ, supplying community demographics and longitudinal church stats to churches. Lynne previously been involved in pastoral ministry, including as part of the team planting Graceway Baptist and then at Opawa Baptist (Christchurch). More recently, Lynne co-lead a student congregation (Student Soul, Dunedin). She and Steve now attend the South Dunedin Seedling (Presbyterian Congregation).