Prayer with in­ter­na­tional flavour

Wor­ship lead­ers come from around world to preach in Wakatipu

Central Otago Mirror - - NEWS - By SUE FEA

A Filipino priest, Brazil­ian pas­tor and Kiwi vicar have all taken up new po­si­tions in Queen­stown within the past month or so, as God sends a fresh in­jec­tion of His ser­vants to min­is­ter to the Wakatipu’s ever-ex­pand­ing global pop­u­la­tion.

Pas­tor Clay Peter­son de Oliveira has ar­rived at Wakatipu Com­mu­nity Pres­by­te­rian Church from a large Bap­tist church in Belo Hor­i­zonte of al­most 60,000 mem­bers, 200 pas­tors and five church ser­vices ev­ery Sun­day, each at­tended by al­most 5000 people.

He was as­sis­tant di­rec­tor of the mas­sive Brazil­ian Be­fore the Throne young people’s mu­sic and evan­ge­lism min­istry, sim­i­lar to Hillsong in Syd­ney, where fa­mous Brazil­ian singer, Ana Paula is wor­ship leader.

He sang there for al­most 10 years and more re­cently has been con­cen­trat­ing on teach­ing at the min­istry school, which has in­takes of more than 200 stu­dents each year.

A Queen­stown hol­i­day to visit rel­a­tives in Queen­stown prompted the move and Pas­tor Clay’s dream is to fos­ter large Wakatipu wor­ship groups to lead and share their faith through the arts, songs and mu­sic.

Pas­tor Clay will work with Brazil­ian pas­tor Joao Pe­tre­celi to grow the South Amer­i­can and Global Com­mu­nity out­reach at St An­drews on Sun­day evenings. Ser­vices are led in Por­tuguese and songs in both Span­ish and English.

Pas­tor Ian Guy said the church needed help with this grow­ing min­istry and he was re­ally keen for Pas­tor Clay to de­velop the Span­ish-speak­ing min­istry now that Por­tuguese was strong.

Filipino Fa­ther Jaime Lala­guna has taken up his new po­si­tion at Queen­stown’s St Joseph Catholic Church, af­ter be­ing called to New Zealand to over­see mis­sion­ar­ies sent here by the Mis­sion So­ci­ety of the Philip­pines.

Af­ter serv­ing briefly in Dunedin, then In­ver­cargill, Fa­ther Jaime is now set­tled in Queen­stown. Prior to that, he spent 10 years serv­ing in Guyana.

‘‘There are a lot of Filipinos here in Queen­stown. We have about 80 in the par­ish and ev­ery third Sun­day we have a Filipino mass,’’ he said.

‘‘For us the great­est need is to reach out to our mem­bers, es­pe­cially spir­i­tu­ally. Most people here are busy work­ing and the spir­i­tual side doesn’t get met.’’

Rev­erend Chris Twed­dell has re­placed the Right Rev­erend Dr David Coles, who re­tired from the Angli­can par­ish in Fe­bru­ary.

Fresh from Cam­bridge in the Waikato, Rev Twed­dell is keen to re­con­nect with about 300 people on the par­ish roll and serve the lo­cal com­mu­nity.

‘‘We’re keen to join in with what God is al­ready do­ing in our com­mu­nity and we’ll be look­ing for new op­por­tu­ni­ties to do that,’’ he said.

He’s also keen to grow St Peter’s ex­pand­ing wed­ding min­istry, at present cater­ing for about 45 Kiwi and over­seas wed­dings a year.

‘‘We have the lo­ca­tion and it’s a way of us­ing it to reach out to people and share the good news of the Gospel,’’ Rev Twed­dell said.

Photo: SUE FEA

New­com­ers: Pas­tor Clay Peter­son de Oliveira, Rev­erend Chris Twed­dell and Fa­ther Jaime Lala­guna get to know each other in front of St Joseph’s

Church.

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