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Christchurch Massacre

Christchurch Killings: The dreadful massacre of innocent people at worship in Christchurch last Friday has shocked our nation and rightly dominated the news this week.

Dennis sent a message Sunday on behalf of the Church to the Muslim Association as a mark of our shock and grief, and of solidarity with them. The message, which was drafted by Phil Baldwin, reads:

To our Muslim Brothers and Sisters,

The people of Grace Communion International in New Zealand are deeply saddened by the tragic violence and hatred perpetrated against New Zealanders at Masjid Al Noor and Linwood Masjid in Christchurch yesterday.

We know that many believers will be praying to the God of Abraham for your comfort and strength at this time. We will be praying for those who are grieving the loss of family and friends, for those who have been injured, and for those who are caring for them.

None of us believe that Muslims or members of any religious group should be targeted because of their beliefs. We share your shock and grief at the senseless death of so many.

May God's love and blessings and peace be upon you.

Dennis and I have heard from a number expressing support and prayers, and we appreciate those messages very much. We are sure you will all want to acknowledge the selfless courage of the first responders and the hard work of the medical and forensic teams, and are joining in prayer for recovery and healing of the wounded, their families and community, as well as the nation as a whole. It is clear that the healing process will be lengthy, needing our active support and contributions where possible, and ongoing prayers. We sincerely encourage everyone in any form of reaching out and support of Muslim Kiwis that may present itself.

It has been very heartening to witness the national outpouring of grief and sympathy towards those affected, the thousands of flower bouquets left outside mosques, general acknowledgement that Kiwis haven’t always acted charitably towards our Muslim immigrants, and commitment to draw together as one people even though we represent many different cultures. Despite their grief, the restraint and dignity shown by Muslim community leaders has been impressive, as has also been the open-hearted and determined response of our Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel, and others.

It therefore appears that some positive and powerful outcomes will yet emerge from this dark and dreadful tragedy. Thank you for your continued prayers for the return of peace in our Muslim and wider communities.

Rotorua: One of Peter Lindop’s friends recently expressed the opinion that there were a number of Christians in the area who don’t go to any church, and asked Peter if he would like to start up a home group for some of these people. Needless to say, Peter was very happy to give a positive reply and it is planned that a new group will start at Peter’s home next Tuesday morning. Peter requests our prayers for God’s blessing and guidance on this new development.

I’ve just heard the sad news that Kim Godfrey, nee Summers, died yesterday, 20th March at 5.00am. Kim had been in bad health for a number of years, and was regularly visited in her Cambridge home by David and Marilyn Wong and our Hamilton members.

Warm regards to all, Rex

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