Vestry News

Target Community Programme

The Vestry has endorsed and recommends parish involvement in the Target Community Programme, an initiative of the Prison Fellowship.

“A Target Community is one that is a prepared community with the heart to minister to both those in prison and those being released from prison. This involves incorporating their families into the community with a view to both providing support and protection during their growth and with the goal of restoring them into full wider community participation.”

The Target Communities Project enables church and wider communities to be trained to accept, coach, encourage and hold accountable released prisoners. This includes supporting their families in a safe and sustainable way and bringing them all into fruitful community interaction.

Each released man or woman will gain a “circle of support” from within a trained community who will work with them to make the adjustments necessary to gain a meaningful life.

Read more about the Target Community Programme here.

The final decision to proceed with the Target Community Programme will be made by parishioners at the next AGM.

Te Ara Pono

Te Ara Pono is the prison version of Cursillo. It is holding a four-day programme next weekend at Rimutaka Prison, 25-28 November 2010.

Because of the nightly lockup of inmates at 4 pm, the Cursillo three-day programme has been modified to be held over four days.

Steve Kimberley is the Spiritual Director for this programme.  Please uphold everyone involved in this important event in your prayers.

Read more about Te Ara Pono here.

Back to church programme 2011

We need to improve the way we welcome outsiders. This was one of the “needs work” areas identified in the NCD Survey undertaken in the parish.

Archdeacon Danny Te Hikoi is hosting a Wairarapa-wide seminar for everyone at St Matthew’s on Wednesday, 8 December, 10.30 am to 12.30 pm. Topics include:

  • Reasons why people don’t return a second time (typically, about 85% of those invited to church don’t return!)
  • Seven Phrases that turn people off church
  • Turning Failure into a Friend
  • 10 Keys to encouraging and incorporating new people
  • Back to What? From Simon to Simon Peter
  • A 12 Step approach to capture the hearts and imaginations of new people for God

Come along and find out how to make us more welcoming. Everyone welcome !

E100 Bible Reading Challenge

One of the key reasons why Christians don’t read the Bible is that they find it difficult to understand.

The E100 Bible Reading Challenge features 100 carefully selected readings (50 Old Testament, 50 New Testament) designed to give people a good understanding of the overall Bible story from Genesis to Revelation. The E stands for essential and each of the essential 100 readings ranges from a few verses to a few chapters.

There are all sorts of aids to get you started, including a quick start planner and progress tracker, a companion book which provides thoughtful commentary, and lots of other material for both churches and individuals.

Check E100 out on their website and on Facebook.

The parish will be starting on E100 in the new year.


Faith-based prison

Man looking at cross

The 60-bed faith unit at Rimutaka Prison opened in 2003 and is a partnership between the Department of Corrections and Prison Fellowship New Zealand.

The unit provides an opportunity for inmates to explore the Christian faith, and to surround themselves with Christian support on release.


Three men sitting in prison yard

The interdenominational programme was developed with representatives of the mainstream Christian denominations and the spiritual transformation focuses on the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Trained Christian mentors work on a one to-one basis with the prisoners eight months before they leave the prison, and for up to two years after they are released.

The mentors are supported by their church, which undertakes to provide the offender and their family with moral and spiritual support after release.

This approach empowers offenders and volunteers alike to take responsibility for restoring personal, family and community relationships.


Te Ara Pono (Prison Cursillo)

Te Ara Pono (TAP) is a specially-designed prison Cursillo, based around an intensive four-day in-prison course, which is itself based on the normal Cursillo Three Days programme.

Cursillistas with a calling to prison ministry run the course in the Faith Unit each November.

Two Cursillistas within the St Matthew’s 10 am congregation are involved with this initiative.

(Te Ara Pono means the Way of Faith)

Target Programme

Our Vestry is currently considering the Target Programme, which gives parishes the resources they need to accept, coach, encourage and hold accountable released prisoners and assist their families.  This is a big step for the parish and it will discussed in full during the Vestry Planning Day, on 16 October.

Parishioners can be involved directly by supporting and assisting released prisoners and their families, or indirectly by providing clothing, food and household items, and by supporting those who are directly involved with prayer.

Further reading

If you have any questions, or are interested in becoming involved, ask Vicar Steve Kimberley, who also has videos and other information.