Prayer with international flavour
Worship leaders come from around world to preach in Wakatipu
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.
Newcomers: Pastor Clay Peterson de Oliveira, Reverend Chris Tweddell and Father Jaime Lalaguna get to know each other in front of St Joseph’s