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Music and story set tone of Presbyterian Assembly

Music and story set tone of Presbyterian Assembly Opening service in Christchurch

Presbyterians from all over Aotearoa New Zealand, and from Asia, Australia and the Pacific gathered in Christchurch this afternoon for the opening session of the biennial Presbyterian General Assembly.

Following a powhiri by the tangata whenua, the Rt Rev Garry Marquand from Hamilton was installed as incoming moderator (national church leader) for the next two years. He was presented with a new korowai (ceremonial cloak) by representatives of Te Aka Puaho (the Presbyterian Maori ministry), whose 50th anniversary is celebrated this evening.

In his address to the Assembly, he re-told the 1980s story of The Ragman who brought healing and hope to all he touched, as he exchanged their old rags for new clothes. Garry Marquand spoke of the importance of recovery from life’s hurts, renewal bringing hope and energy for living.

The installation of the new Moderator kicked-off the week-long Assembly, where representatives will consider various matters including leadership development within the Church and various proposals on social and international issues. Recognising the Church’s cultural diversity, reports from the Pacific Island Synod, Council of Asian Congregations and Te Aka Puaho will also be considered by General Assembly during the week.

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