Church in Progress MCC is a small but growing emerging church in South Auckland, Aotearoa. Rev Emily Worman is the pastoral leader and does so with support from her husband Alan and a strong core group of members.
What happened in 2016? HEAPS!
God is working, we continue to listen and respond as best we can. As you read through all that happened in 2016, please pray a prayer of thanks for everyone who was involved, strength to continue and wisdom to guide us in the year ahead. We also acknowledge and give thanks for MCC Sydney who is our partnership church and for Rev Scottie (on staff at MCC Redwood Empire church in California) who is Emily’s mentor.
Church in Progress is committed to being relevant to the community’s needs. At the end of each year we meet as a group and decide if we will continue Church in Progress into the next year. Through prayer we ask the following questions:
– Is there still a need/desire from the community for Church in Progress?
– Do we have enough committed people to sustain Church in Progress?
– What vision do we have for the next year?
Ongoing Activities in 2016
- Active facebook presence and blog/website
- Emily was on the General Conference 2016 Worship team.
- Emerging Church Partnership with MCC Sydney. As well as support for Emily MCC Sydney have also been collecting a portion of their financial tithes for us. However, Church in Progress and MCC Sydney have decided that these fund will be held by MCC Sydney until Church in Progress sets up a trust and bank account.
- Emily and Alan are both active members of a local social justice group ‘Respect Our Community Campaign’ (ROCC). This year we have attended local board meetings, part of the team that is pushing council to provide a new community hub building, fought against the proliferation of liquor licences in our community, attended protests and supported a campaign which is saving the sacred green space at Ihumatao, as well as continuing to promote public transport over new roads and motorways being built through our neighbourhood. http://rocc.org.nz.
Some media coverage from this work http://www.stuff.co.nz/auckland/local-news/manukau-courier/85068774/south-aucklanders-are-campaigning-against-new-liquor-stores
- Emily was the ‘Camp Mother’ at the MCC Australasian Women’s Retreat. Planning begins via skype in February and the retreat was held in October.
- We have worship design meetings throughout the year. These are open to everyone to get together to plan our next service. A few were extra special so they are mentioned below. We’ve probably had around 9 or 10 in 2016.
We had a festive community gathering marking ‘Shrove Tuesday’ which involved eating lots and lots of pancakes!
This was a facebook closed group online retreat. It was possibly the best thing we did all year. It started as myself and Alan were travelling for most of Lent so we wanted to provide something for people in the lend up to Easter. We had 50+ people sign up from all over the world. It was a very transformational time. Each week had different posts …
Visualise Posts: Emily provided readings from the bible each week which helped us picture Jesus’s journey. Opportunity Posts: Simple but creative ways for people to interact with the bible reading and theme of the week. Sometimes it was a question to ponder, other times it was something to encourage a prayer doodle or something different. For example, in the first week Emily asked people to make a cross out of things they found around their home. This cross was on display in people’s homes throughout Lent to remind us of the journey we were on. Connection Posts: These posts were suggestions to help us engage with and encourage others who were also doing this retreat. In addition, there were suggestions about ways we could pray and connect with our local and global communities.
To sign up for this year’s retreat – click here.
Feb 19 – Blessing of the ‘Inspired Resource’
Emily was asked to be present at the launch of a leaflet resource ‘Inspired’. It holds the stories of trans* people and was developed to give to trans* teens in high schools. Emily was asked to bless the resource before it was handed out. You can view the resource here https://www.yumpu.com/en/document/view/55196085/inspire-resource
March 2 – Worship Design Planning Meeting
This meeting deserves a special mention as it was the first meeting that was run without Emily or Alan (as we were away with work). The planning was so great that we not only used it for our March gathering but we also took the ideas and used them at a service Emily and Alan took at Christchurch Oasis MCC!
March 13 – Emily and Alan facilitated the weekly service at Oasis Light in Christchurch.
The Easter Egg Hunt on Easter Sunday was a hit with our community! Really looking forward to doing this again in 2017. The whole group was even bigger than this and we finished with a picnic.
April 9 – Membership Class
We had 9 people attend and we all decided to become members! Exciting! Due to demand there is now a page with links and info to all things MCC and how to become a member. You can find more info here.
This next gathering was special. There was a collection of kids pjs which were donated to the local hospital. We also all got involved in a game of ‘pass the parcel’. The last layer held communion – packets of juice and crackers. The kids served the elements to the rest of the group. It was probably the most memorable and meaningful communion many of us have ever been part of.
June 16 – #ParkUpForHomes , Overnight protest
This turned into a nationwide protest campaign with 9 other overnight protests around the country. Ours was the first and was held in Mangere Town Centre carpark on June 16. We had just over 1000 people sleeping in their cars overnight to send a strong message to government to do something about the housing crisis and working families living in their cars. It was COLD.
Emily and Alan were part of the organising team which also came up with the idea. It started from a small prayer group we were attending. Emily open #ParkUpMangere and #ParkUpOtara in prayer.
#ParkUpMangere – Some media coverage from the first protest http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/306590/kids-sleep-in-cars-to-show-solidarity
#ParkUpOtara – We supported a group of students who ran their own protest – some media coverage here http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/307295/housing-protesters-spend-night-in-cars
#ParkUpOnehunga – http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11661548
Rev Emily finally got her independent celebrants licence! She can now marry you! Thank you to everyone who wrote letters to support her application.
In October Rev Emily, with the help of Ropata, facilitated her first community christening.
November 12 – 2016 – Community Picnic
Sadly, this event had to be cancelled due to bad weather. However, I wanted to mention it as it was initiated by Janine, Kristina and family – awesome! They wanted to create a friendly, welcoming, informal space for new people to come and meet us all. Hopefully we can try this again in 2017.
November Worship Gathering – Our monthly gathering clashed with our local community festival. So, we decided to be the ‘hands and feet’ and worship by volunteering at the festival.
November 20 – Prayers for Peace
This was a protest service which ‘Auckland Peace Action’ asked us to facilitate.
This peaceful gathering was an alternative to the ‘Divine Service’ hosted by Holy Trinity Cathedral for the NZ Navy to celebrate their 75th anniversary. Instead, we stood on the street opposite and prayed for peace and gave thanks for those people who have over the years been brave enough to oppose the power of the military and those who have suffered at their hands; conscientious objectors, the victims of war and those soldiers who in the course of the war were shot by their own side for cowardice, desertion or mutiny. We had 30 minutes of ‘open prayer mic’ which was multi faith. People shared songs, poems and spoke of their experiences. Then we held a short service. You see the liturgy for the service here https://churchinprogressmcc.com/2016/11/20/prayers-of-peace/ You can see Auckland Peace Action’s press release here https://aucklandpeaceaction.wordpress.com/2016/11/19/prayers-close-week-of-peace/
This event was the end to the ‘Week of Peace’. Emily, Alan and Sophie also attended the non-violent blockage. This was a protest to stop delegates attending an expo in which weapons of war were being traded.
November 27 – Vigil – #CommunityLove
Read what Rev Em said here.
Karaoke Christmas is firmly on the calendar now! This was year two and we had over 30 people turn up and sing their hearts out. We also collected food for a local food bank and crafted Christmas cards for GLBTQI inmates. Read more about the event here.
Well! That’s a lot of excitement for a small group of people to create! Join in the fun as we continue to create spaces for people to reconnect with God and with one another. Love God, Love Each Other – it’s simple.
Loving Creative God,
As we venture into 2017 help us to open our ears, ears and hearts so we may engage with the plans you have for us. We celebrate and give thanks for the times in this past year when we have been able to serve others. Forgive us when we have failed to respond to the needs that we see, give us strength to do better this year. Help us to work together as a team, to have fun together, to cry together and support each other always. Make this a welcoming space for new people to explore their faith and find love and community. We are YOURS. Amen.
We have been authorised by MCC to continue for another year! Wooohooo!