From the Heights
At the advice of Stu McGregor I visited Cityside Baptist today, a church known for its alternative and innovative worship pioneered by former Minister Mark Pierson (who I learned has packed his boxes in Mebourn and is headed back soon to NZ). Walking into the church I knew it would be a non-traditional services. Old couches and lounge chairs replaced pews and big pile of cushions was heaped in the center for worshippers and small children to sprawl out on. The service consisted of responsive readings, a member's personal reflection on a Psalm, a reading from "Thus Spake Zaurstra", interactive congregational prayers involving pinning personal concerns on a giant heart and a short sermon on the church's response to modern day slavery augmented by watching a clip from Amazing Grace. I had the opportunity to chat with the minister Brenda for a bit about women in ministry & emerging church issues in NZ which was very enlightening as well.
Afterwards I wandered toward downtown Auckland, had a bit of fishpie at a Squid Row a seafood restaurant not far from the Uni, ahh memories of Scotland (it is even located across the street from a pub called the Edinburgh Castle). Took lots of pics of fun signs & graffiti before meeting up with a few folks from BCNZ to visit the Biotonical Gardens and the Auckland Sky tower, the highest tower in the South Pacific. Am now busy preparing for a trek to Waihi with my friend Nicola tommorrow, for 3 days and a bit of R&R before the next terms starts for her. We will be staying at her aunt's bach in this holiday town so not internet for the next few days