Auckland, New Zealad: On November 3, 2013 All Nations Church of the Nazarene in Auckland, New Zealand celebrated sixty years of continuous ministry to the people of the city. Pastor Vipul Kharat and his wife Suzanne also received congratulations as they completed twenty years of service to All Nations. During their tenure, the congregation has grown and outgrown their facility, now holding three worship services each Sunday, and six house churches throughout the week.
“I would like to propose a different paradigm,” stated Pastor Vipul “as much as we want people to see Jesus in us we need to see Jesus in them – they are made in his image.” Vipul went on to say “Yes—self centered carnality has warped that image, but prevenient grace seeks to restore what was stolen. Then the spiritual dualism of sacred and secular will end – we will truly become missional people.”
All Nations (formerly Dominion Road Church of the Nazarene) reflects well its name and the surrounding community as 19 different nations are represented in the congregation. The church has been able to bridge the cultures and concepts by shifting their focus from programs, to people. This blending of cultures was evident following the celebration service as foods from around the world were shared and enjoyed.
District Superintendent Neville Bartle spoke about the history of the church, beginning with American church planter Rev. Rolly Griffith who travelled up and down the north island planting several churches and providing a firm foundation for the Church of the Nazarene in New Zealand. Attending the celebration were two former pastors, Rev. John Bennett and Rev. Hilary Hansen.
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“All Nations is a wonderful reflection of the New Testament in a highly diverse, pluralistic, post-modern culture. We need to go to school on what you are doing here. The greater church has much to learn from you,” stated John Moore, Field Strategy Coordinator for Australia and New Zealand. Moore spoke briefly, congratulating the pastor and congregation in their efforts of connecting the message of Christ with contemporary culture.
The featured guests of the day were Rev. Verne and Natalie Ward, WM Director. Rev. Ward brought an encouraging message on the missional church and the engaged church. He praised Pastor Vipul and the congregation for leading the way in engaging the nations.
Story contributed by Vicki Moore.