Above: Ra Koia and Phil Pawley meet at the SCNZ supporters meeting.
Thirty people attended the first Auckland SCNZ supporters meeting on 12 July. They ate pizza, met new National Director Phil Pawley, and also heard about SCNZ’s work around the country.
National Director Phil Pawley
Phil Pawley shared his journey from the army, to Youth With a Mission, the early days of rugby league chaplaincy at the St Helen’s club in England, and then pastoring a church in the Waikato. He believes in getting church members out into their communities, in order to bring God’s love to the places people gather in their everyday lives. Phil began his role as SCNZ National Director in February this year.
‘I have a great sense, as I did at St Helen’s, that this is the work God has made me for,’ he said. ‘I think that sports communities are great places for service. Therefore we are going to see God grow this movement tremendously over the next few years.’
Phil called for people to pray, to give financially, and also to volunteer as Sports Chaplains.
Sports Chaplaincy in the regions
Sports Chaplaincy leaders from Auckland, Waikato, Manawatū, Wellington and Southland each spoke about the work in their regions. Recent highlights have been the appointment of a Sports Chaplain at Gore High School in Southland, as well as positive meetings with representatives from the Chiefs, Waikato, Bay of Plenty, and Counties Manukau rugby. All leaders reported a growing interest in wellbeing and chaplaincy among sports bodies. They also shared the need to find more pastorally minded volunteers.
Rugby coach Mani Toailoa shared about his experience with Sports Chaplaincy at Kelston Boys’ High School. He is now keen to introduce it at Waitematā Rugby Club.
Motorsports chaplain Max Colman also shared about his work which takes him throughout New Zealand and sometimes to Australia.
Next SCNZ supporters meeting
The next Auckland SCNZ supporters meeting will be held at Auckland Bible Church, 300 Great South Road, Greenlane, on Thursday 6 September, 7-9pm. Pizzas will be provided for dinner. All are welcome. Please confirm your attendance to firstname.lastname@example.org