Following the appointment of Richard Cutforth as Senior Pastor of Howick Baptist Church, the elders have been looking for another full-time pastoral worker to share in the work of the ministry. After much prayer and consideration, the elders have extended a call to Sam Cutforth to serve at HBC in 2016, which has been accepted.
Sam recently completed theological studies at Sydney Missionary Bible College. After interviewing Sam and consulting a number of referees, the elders are confident that he will be a helpful addition to the staff team at HBC. Sam’s likely areas of responsibility will include preaching/teaching, gathered worship, discipleship and pastoral care, with a focus on the younger members of the church.
Sam and Anna will be moving back to New Zealand early January after spending Christmas with Anna’s family in Perth. We pray that Sam and Anna would be refreshed and ready to serve the Lord in 2016.
There will also be a special commissioning service for both Richard and Sam on Sunday 24 January, with further details to be announced next month.
An insert was placed in the church bulletin a few weeks ago where Sam shared a bit about his background and journey in Christ. For those of you who missed it, you can read the conversation here.
Note: At the special members’ meeting on Wednesday 7 October, HBC voted in favour of extending a call to Richard Cutforth to serve as our next Senior Pastor. He continues to serve as Interim Pastor 2 days a week. While the terms of his call will be finalised over the coming weeks, we anticipate having Richard serve at HBC full-time by January 2016.
Please pray that our gracious God would continue to refine us with the gospel, so that we would gather for Jesus, grow in Him, and go with Him into our community, bearing the good news of Christ crucified for sinners.
To the people of Howick Baptist,
It is very humbling to both Donelda and myself that you should see fit to call us to be your pastor. It was never our intention when we first came as interim pastor to come full time here but over the months the Lord has laid on our hearts this strong sense of God’s call that we should come and serve here.
This has not come easily to us as we love the people of Papakura Baptist Church and had never intended to leave there and so feel sad in one way to be leaving them. However, we are excited about coming to Howick and we look forward to getting to know you all and serving you. Already you have left a good impression on our hearts and we are growing to love you all.
We hope together that we will grow in our relationship with the Lord and with one another. Our desire is to see this community of God’s people working together, caring for one another, reaching out into our neighbourhoods and work places and seeing God’s Kingdom grow.
Most of all we pray that we all will deepen our love for Jesus and that as we behold Him, so He will transform our lives so that we will be like Him. It is our desire that the gospel may become so precious to us that it would change us from within that we may live lives in keeping with it. I pray that our time here might be fruitful and that Donelda and I might be able to be examples of Christ-likeness. Please pray for us as we prepare to move.
Note: This letter was shared by Jayana, one of our members here at HBC.
Dear Church Family,
I will be nearing the end of my 6 year medical degree at the end of this year. Final year students are given the option to go overseas to a place of their choosing, in a specialty of their choice.
After much consideration (and general indecisiveness), I am going to Lusaka, Zambia! I will be leaving on the 10th of June, will be there for 8 weeks, returning in early August. As you can imagine, this is something a little outside of my comfort zone (understatement) Especially as I’ll be going by myself! I would greatly appreciate your prayers over this time.
Something different to New Zealand, both in terms of the healthcare system, and also in terms of culture.
Connections through Kabwata Baptist church through some doctors I have been liaising with (through Pastor Joe Fleener and Pastor Conrad Mbewe).
What I will do there…
Four weeks general medicine plus four weeks general surgery at The University Teaching Hospital, one of the main hospitals.
An opportunity to put med school into practice.
That I will quickly get myself organised and sort out a daily routine.
For safety: flight, day-to-day travelling, health.
That I will quickly get plugged into the church and meet good friends.
For lots of growth: spiritually, personally, professionally/vocationally.
That my family (this includes you guys!) don’t miss me too much (more so vice versa!)
For my 2015/2016 job application process in New Zealand.
Registrations are now open for this year’s Stand for the Gospel conferences. The North Island Conference has been running since 2010, and HBC are privileged to have the opportunity to host it again from 3-5 July.
We have the privilege of hosting Carl Trueman this year as our keynote speaker. We look forward to growing in our love for Christ under his faithful teaching of God’s Word.
Spaces are limited, so please register as early as you can for this special weekend as we encourage one another to stand for what’s of first importance: the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Judges and Kings: The Gospel in the Old Testament
“You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me…” (John 5:39)
The gospel is the triumphant declaration that God, holy and righteous, is redeeming the world through Christ, calling everyone everywhere to repent from sin and trust Jesus Christ for salvation.
At this year’s conference, we will let God speak this gospel hope to us through the pages of the Old Testament. As we consider the accounts of God at work in his covenant people Israel, we will gain a fuller understanding of the scarlet thread of redemption that runs throughout the Scriptures.
There will also be running a number of seminars to help us apply the gospel and its implications in various areas of our Christian life. Andre Bay (Shore Baptist Church) will teach on evangelism, Peter Moelker (Avondale Reformed Church) will discuss the sufficiency of Scripture, and Mandy Fleener (Rolleston Baptist Church) will lead a women’s seminar on parenting and teaching children.
Church family: serving the body of Christ
As Christ has laid down his life for us, we have the privilege of laying down our lives in sacrificial service for the good of our brothers and sisters around the country (1 John 3:16). We are expecting a turnout similar to last year: 300 people representing over 80 different churches.
As a church family there will be opportunities to serve in a variety of ways, such as catering, hospitality, ushering, welcoming, cleaning and more.
Sign-up sheets will be available at church this Sunday – please consider how you could play a part in serving the body of Christ.
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:34-35
Over the next few months we will be preaching from the book of Acts. As we will see, Acts is Luke’s second volume. In his first volume Luke shares with us what Jesus did and said while He was on earth.
Luke continues this theme into Acts, but this time we learn what Jesus did and said as the ascended risen Lord from heaven.
In order to do this, Jesus sends His Spirit to empower His people, the church to be His ambassadors and ministers on earth. In other words, the unstoppable advance of the gospel of Jesus through the words of His people, by the power of the Holy Spirit to the ends of the earth.
We see that despite attempts by the authorities to stop the gospel, even persecution and internal conflicts within the church, the gospel prospered.
Why Acts? An encouragement for today
You might ask: “What relevance has Acts for us today?”
In Acts, we see that the gospel advanced in an environment of pluralism and adversity, not too dissimilar to what we see in Auckland and New Zealand. The early church was accused of intolerance, it was misunderstood and characterised in all sorts of ways and yet the gospel continued to prosper seeing lives changed and even whole communities transformed.
Acts then becomes an encouragement to us in Auckland, that despite the difficulties, if we are faithful at proclaiming Jesus, we too will see the unstoppable advance of the gospel.
“Luke’s purpose is to show the gospel reaching out, carried by the Spirit-empowered messengers under God’s superintendence, to Jew, Samaritan and Gentile – this is the melody of Acts – the fulfilment of God’s plan to gather in His people from the far reaches of the earth. Christ is ascended but He continues to direct His church and empower them through His Spirit…”
Preparing for God to speak to us
Please read through Acts over the next few weeks, and note how many times the gospel is mentioned and how Jesus is proclaimed.
Please note the enthusiasm with which people embraced Jesus and how they devoted themselves to the study of the Word and to fellowship and to loving and caring for one another.
And please pray for the series that God would use it in the life of the church for the advance of the gospel.