Most Kiwis know by now that the biggest church news story of the week concerns Brian Tamaki/Leviticus/quakes/gyas/punishment. That is a pity for all sorts of reasons, including the petition to stop Destiny church being counted as a charity (think: flow on effects, if that happened). Sometimes it is best to fight back against this sort of thing with wit (thank you, Civilian). It can also be useful to write something (as I have been asked to do). Mark Keown (Laidlaw College) has already blogged here.*
No, not that story. I reckon the biggest church news story of this week should be this story, from the Awatere Valley (H/T Taonga). The church in that district has had an amazing "counter-secular" influence for many decades now, under a succession of cracker ministers (and I am not saying that just because they have been great mates!)
So, hats off to Rachel Westenra and the diligence with which she serves as a parish nurse in a genuinely ecumenical role.
Meanwhile many Christians are serving quietly and inauspiciously throughout Marlborough, Kaikoura and North Canterbury.
*UPDATE: This article reminds us of more serious matters in the religious sphere of public speech in NZ. It has been pointed out to me that BT made a connection between quakes and judgment but did not stir the quakes into action. This imam is stirring up something potentially serious ...