Monday, July 28, 2014

Parting pains

A further update re the separation of Michael and Kimberley Hewat and around 100 members of their (now former) parish from the Anglican church is reported on Stuff.

Whatever we make of the principles and politics involved, for some of us observing on the sidelines this is painful. Michael and Kimberley, ++Philip and +Helen-Ann are Anglicans I respect immensely and I would always go out of my way at a gathering to meet and greet any of them.

UPDATE A commenter below has pointed out that an important sermon by Michael Hewat re the journey he and many of his parishioners are on is available here. Incidentally, everything in the sermon is contextual (!! cf. 'cutting' comment made in the comment below) ... your feedback here is welcome.


Father Ron Smith said...

Peter, you're a mathematician. What do you make of this pericope from your linked 'Stuff' article?:

"The Hewats, supported by 95 per cent of the congregation who attended a special meeting this month, opposed the motion on the grounds that it was contrary to the teachings of the Bible.

That astounding manipulation of figures aside; This is obviously a case of sheep following a shepherd who clearly has a mind of his own, separate from the constitutional whanau (ACANZP) to which the sheep originally belonged. However you interpret this coersive movement away from the family, it is still schism. Not conducive to the unity that Christ has commended in the Scriptures.

"They met at 10am at West Hamilton Community Church at Simplicity Trust Chapel, Railside Place, leaving fewer than 30 to attend the 10.30am service at their old church."

Considering we are told - in the same article - that 100 people were in the schismatic group that met in the local chape, how does that make them "95% of the original congregation. If that were true, then there should have been 20 times the number left as the Faithful Remnant -
20 X 30 = 600. Where were the other 500 dissidents? Did they go to the local Bible-Baptist Chapel?

Michael Primrose said...

Hi Peter,

I thought you might be interested in the following sermon, which I found through one of “the Devil’s Things”, the Internet. It is a recording of the sermon that Michael Hewat preached to the congregation of West Hamilton Community Church on Sunday, 27th July. It was delivered at the Simplicity Trust Chapel

I make no comment on the sermon, save that one does hope that, whatever the resolution of the difficulties associated with Motion 30, it will not require the circumcision of those remaining male members of the ACANZP, so as to allow us all to move forward.

The process of deciding, where those who follow Michael Hewat, will go will begin on Wednesday 30th July

“It will be necessary to hold 2 or 3 congregational meetings over the coming week, to consult regarding the future governance and affiliation of the church. The first of these is to be held on Wednesday 30 July, 7.30pm in Hamilton Central Baptist’s Friendship lounge. The purpose of this meeting is to acquaint you with
the denominational options we may wish to consider. No decisions will be made: it’s purely an information-sharing evening. We will be addressed by leaders from 4 different denominations/church networks.
Elaborating on point 7, we need firstly to decide what sort of church we believe God is calling us to be, and then consider what is the best ‘fit’ in terms of a denomination/network. At this stage there has been a strong indication that we feel called to remain in this area of Hamilton, and continue our existing ministries (incl.the Crosslight Trust).
The kind of issues which will be addressed on Wednesday 30 July include: doctrine (what we believe, including about Jesus, the Bible, the Holy Spirit and the Church), governance (authority structures within the church), theological training, youth ministries, oversight & support (of pastors and staff), overseas and local mission.
Each leader will have 20 minutes to speak and answer questions. The meeting will conclude at 9pm and a summary written up for those who cannot attend.

One wonders whether a representative of GAFCON will talk to the congregations? It is interesting to note on the Links page of West Hamilton Community Church website, that GAFCON is referenced at the head of the list, amongst others.

Michael Primrose, Christchurch

James said...

95 per cent of the congregation who attended a special meeting this month admits two quite different meanings:

a meeting at which the whole congregation turned up and 95% backed the Hewats; OR

a meeting at which a part of the congregation turned up, 95% of whom then backed the Hewats.

I think that is where the confusion lies.

Unknown said...

Michael Primrose,
Michael Hewat is a very upfront person who is simply putting options in front of his congregation.You must understand that his Church is evolving in good Darwinian style, and as human
being with no free will at all, because events happen by ramdom chance;it anybodies guess where it will all end up.
The only sure thing is Michael,
that the knife is coming South; but do not worry because it is now public knowledge that a few "naughty Gins" is a pretty
good painkiller.

Peter Carrell said...

Dear Ron and James
Re the figures: I am assured by sources other than Stuff that 95% is a (more/less) correct figure re the people at the meeting.

The overall congregation(s) is [was] larger than the numbers at the meeting.

It would not do for mathematics to be confused. Theology causes enough trouble on that score :)

Peter Carrell said...

Dear Michael
If I can find time I will listen to the sermon, but today has a few troubles of its own etc!

I am uneasy about all references implying knives and cutting human flesh in the name of God :)

I shall await the decision re which new denomination will be chosen ...

Father Ron Smith said...

Perhaps - in view of the enactment of circumcision required (presumably of men only and not women - that would be ISIS stuff) - Mr Hewitt's new congregation might be called "The New Jews" - except the local Jewish community might be offended with their new affiliates' latent

Anonymous said...

I am very saddened by the comments of Ron on this blog. To insult the intelligence of the people of West Hamilton Community Church, likening them to being ‘a case of sheep following’ a shepherd who used ‘astounding manipulation’ – how judgemental can this man be? To take and misrepresent Mr Hewat’s sermon and twist it to some sort of ‘enactment of circumcision required…perhaps ‘Mr Hewitt's new congregation might be called "The New Jews" (note spelling error) does Mr Ron even know Michael Hewat? Has he been part of the journey with West Hamilton over the last 20 years? Has he sat down and talked with Mr Hewat or anyone else from West Hamilton for that matter? I assume not. For the record West Hamilton Community Church had 196 people attend their first service at Simplicity Chapel. 16 people attended a service at the old West Hamilton Church centre of which 5 were from West Hamilton. One was a visitor (who was stoned) was actually sent down to Mr Hewat’s house for help! The other 10 were from the Cathedral. I think you can work out the correct percentage from those figures! Mr Hewat and his congregation have loved, supported and helped many in their community. They take in students from homes where parents are in prison, drug addicts, the sexually broken etc. The impact of their work is acknowledged in the local schools, council and community. I would challenge Ron and others, to get to know exactly what West Hamilton Community Church do in the community before making such harsh judgements on them or their intelligence in making decisions for themselves. They are mature Christians who have made decisions in accordance to the doctrine and the constitution of the Anglican Church as set out by their forebears. To judge a group of people remaining true to the scriptures and a priest remaining true to the vows he made before God and his people, I think, is a sad indictment on where the Church is at. Good on Mr Hewat and those who are prepared to make a stand for the scriptures.

Anonymous said...

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