With some of the distances involved in the deep south, it’s not often that the entire region comes together. So the annual Regional Hui is an important time for us as an Association of Baptist churches to be in the same space for a couple of days. From 26-28 May, 28 of us from 75% of our region’s churches gathered at the River Ridge Retreat venue in the Catlins.

While the weather was chilly but sunny, there was a deep warmth of connection amongst us all. We had great worship, prayer, korero and tons of laughter as we delved into being present with God, hearing the stories of Christ transforming lives. We shared the challenges and the highlights of ministry, discussing matters such as leadership development, and mission and ministry potential. We have furthered our understanding of and relationship with each other, and have appreciated and been challenged positively by the interaction and contribution of each other, including that of NZBMS, the Baptist support office and Carey. Many phrases stand out, but two that had an ongoing impact were: 

a) Seed planting, watering and harvesting off the back of those who have gone before us.

b) Having the courage to step out into what God is asking and identifying and building up the next generation of leaders to serve our movement into the future. 

Overall, our Regional Hui was a wonderful time as the people of God recommitted to His plans and purposes. But don’t just take my word – here’s what a couple of those present had to say:

Inspired location, awesome food, fantastic people, honest sharing and spiritually encouraging. - Jacquie (elder)
The Otago Southland Regional Hui has quickly become a ‘must-be-at’ event. The venue is great, surroundings wonderful and food is superb. But what has really made it special has been the opportunity to connect with others - from our region and also the Baptist office & Carey - to pray and worship, to share experiences and difficulties and to encourage our hope in the gospel together. So good!! - Brent (pastor)


Rachel Murray, based in Dunedin, is the Regional Leader for the Otago & Southland Regional Association.

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