Abide Church in Hamilton start-ed in October 2018, with a group of approximately 30 leav-ing an ACANZP parish in the wake of motion 29 being passed. We (Graham and Sarah Corban) along with a leadership team started services on Sun-day afternoons in a neighbour-hood church building, and quickly felt like a tight knit fam-ily as we adjusted to our new normal together. Over the last two years we have moved twice, finally ending up in the Hamilton Bridge Club in No-vember 2020, where we could start morning gatherings. As a church community we place a heavy emphasis on hospitality and genuine connection with one another so we regularly hold church lunches after the service, and ‘farm church’ every 6-8 weeks. Farm church is held at our (the Cor-bans) lifestyle block, where we have a more informal service fol-lowed by a meal to-gether. This seems to be attractive to our non-churched family
and spouses who come along and the kids always love running amuck together. Recently we have celebrated our formal affiliation as a church with CCAANZ, as well as Sarah being ordained by Bishop Jay Behan at the North Is-land ordination service.
Our vision is first and fore-most that we become the peo-ple and the community that God intends us to be. This means that we can articulate the abundant grace that we have received from God through Jesus, and be deeply transformed as we live out that grace through the power of the Holy Spirit; in other words, we don’t want to be the same peo-ple with the same issues in five years time. One outworking of this desire is that we value a deep level of scripturally based teaching, as we look to equip our congregation for life not only spiritually but also as we engage with the cultural cli-mate around us. We actively
We would appreciate prayer for wisdom and boldness from God as we make plans to outreach to our local commu-nity, and that He would bring us those people whose hearts are soft towards him. As a small leadership team we are unable to offer a full range of programs (for example a youth ministry) but we are trusting that the Lord will bring along resources in time to expand in these areas. Prayer for continued growth and strength as a leadership team is always appreciated, and especially prayer for us (Graham and Sarah) as we welcome our third child in January 2021.