LETTER FROM PASTOR
Praise the Lord,
Greetings to you all in the precious name of Jesus Christ our Lord.
My heart is overflowing with thankfulness and joy towards all that God has done and how wonderfully he has led us in the past year.
Truly, God has done above and beyond our expectations and dreams, providing for us in miraculous ways.
Our name itself ‘Ebenezer’ is a declaration, testifying of God’s goodness and provision in our lives. In spite of our various backgrounds and denominations, God has brought us all together in his perfect time and united us with one heart and purpose to do his ministry.
Nevertheless, I cannot continue this letter without first giving glory to God for his supernatural protection over our church, our city and our nation during the terrible COVID-19 crisis. I know and believe with all my heart that it was
only God’s grace that saved us through that difficult time. However, despite the extreme nature of those events, we were still able to enjoy sweet fellowship and devote ourselves to prayer and bible study. This was all due to the gift of our online ZOOM services that kept us connected virtually, even when we could not be together physically. Even so, I had no regrets during the lockdown period because we as a church had worked wholeheartedly for God’s kingdom before the pandemic began, when we had many opportunities.
I look forward to the year ahead with great eagerness and expectation to achieve all that God has entrusted to us as good soldiers of Christ. Let us launch out therefore, with full speed ahead and together build God’s kingdom here in New Zealand.
Thank you and May God bless you all
Pr Shaji Kochukunju
THUS FAR THE LORD HAS HELPED US
Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen. He named it Ebenezer, saying, “Thus far the LORD has helped us.
1 Samuel 7:12
Charities Commission Registration
During the last year, our church has grown and God has enabled us to expand our territory not only in numbers but also in ministry wise. This year also marks the 5th Year of moving to our own church building in 6 Culperry Road, Glendene. Looking back at the way God has lead over the years, we have nothing to boast, all Glory to God.
God is adding new members to our Church on a regular basis. The church body have wholeheartedly stayed together to receive these new members and have helped them to settle down upon moving to Auckland. By His grace, God has enabled us to provide the required support for our newly added families. God has also enabled us to see many new born babies during the last year.
Cell Groups & Meetings
By the grace of our God, currently we are having four different cell groups in Auckland (North shore, Central Auckland, West Auckland, South Auckland). The cell groups play an important role in the structure of the church. Leaders in each area have been working hard to help members with their spiritual and other needs. Due to the timely involvement of cell leaders we were able to help many families during their times of difficulties and take care of our valuable members.
By God’s grace during the last year Ms Sharon Winson took the full immersion water baptism and became part of God's Kingdom.
During the last year, we had conducted a Youth camp at Whangarei, Northland for our youth members. The camp started on a friday evening and finished on sunday with youth worship. Our guest speakers included Pr Lordson Antony, India & Pr George John, USA. The camp was very effective and beneficial as it had a combined attendance of 60+ members both from church and outside. By the grace of God we were able to witness some non believers who testified the work of God during the camp.
We also had a Church camp planned for March 27-29, however the camp got cancelled due to the Covid 19 spread and which is now moved towards the month of 25 -27 September 2020.
During the COVID 19 Pandemic, as a church we stood by the people affected. During the crisis, the church realised it is our responsibility to help our community in need, and decided to help affected people.
Equipping next generation for Christ
EPC Sunday School is aimed to equip children to live an effective & fruitful life in Christ.
Currently we have 34 Regular students and 6 teachers and follows Sharon Fellowship curiculam and IPC sunday School books for senior kids. Sunday school is held every saturday 11-12:30AM at Church.
During the Covid 19 Pandaemic, the sunday school was completely moved to online platform.
Kids Church was a new intitaive we have strated during the last year. Kids church lets children worship and learn from bible every sunday while parents can focus on church worship.
VBS 2020 was planned to be held at April 2020, however it was postponed die to Covid 19 and moved to December 2020.
Sunday School Mission Trip was another intiative taken by sunday School to introduce our children to missions and gospel reach out. last year two mission trips were made to Hamilton by sunday school students and shared gospel in multiple suberbs of Hamilton.
Sunday Shcool wants to thank all the parents & Leadership for the continus support.
EPC Youth aims at working together in one unity towards the glory of God's Kingdom. Youth ministry works hand in hand with various other ministries of our church and is a driving force behind its various ministries.
During the time of COVID 19, our youth members were key to in serving our community in various projects. Many of our members too immense risk to serve others in need, and I pray that God bless them for their hard work.
Food for Homeless is another project in which EPC youth serve the homeless with food packets and Gospel.
Youth Camp was conducted at Whangerei during Oct 11-13 last year and was attended by more than 60 youth members bother from church and outside,
Special Youth Gatherings and regular youth meeting were conducted during the last year on various occasions and some special sessions were conducted for the spiritual upliftment of our youth members
Other initiatives like Blood donation campaign, BBQ nights, Christmas Outreach were also conducted during the last year,
EPC men's ministry is focused on the spiritual growth of men in general. every cell group has men's ministry coordinators and conducts regular meetings and certain outdoor activities.
During the last year, three common Men's meetings were conducted in the church under various themes. One of the meeting was focused on encouraging and involving newcomers.
A special Gospel meeting was conducted with Pr P G Varghese as guest speaker and Pr Lordson Antony leading the worship session for the meeting.
Ladies Ministry is aimed at the spiritual betterment of our beloved sisters and has been a blessing towards the church for years.
Ladies ministry coordinators in each cell conduct regular ladies meetings and common meetings are also conducted in church with all sisters.
During the last year, with the help of sisters, we were able to donate a sum towards Pr James Punnoose, Bethel Mission, Ranchi.
A Mission Trip was planned and conducted by ladies ministry during the last year, the trip was made to Ngaruawahia, Waikato and it was blessing.
Sisters ministry works hand in hand with various ministries within the church, from building works to the mission works.
During last year, a special meeting was conducted for sisters in church with Sis Lilly Varghese as guest speaker and the meeting was a great blessing for our sisters.
We believe reaching out to people with the gospel is our responsibility as a church and as part of that, we are constantly involved in sharing the gospel in our nation through various means.
weekly outreach ministry conducted in New Lynn, Mangere, Auckland CBD, Hamilton continued by God's grace. Special outreach on Easter and Christmas was also conducted during last year.
Mission Trips to Matamata, Tauranga, Walkworth, Hamilton, Melbourne, Huntly was conducted with the help of church members.
Prayer Rides were conducted in Auckland and Hamilton wide during the last year to pray for our local town and suburbs.
Prayer Walk was also introduced and members in each cell participated in the prayer walk to pray and bless their local suburb.
Gospel letters were distributed to various areas via letterbox to share the Gospel.
New Tracts were printed in bulk in India and was shipped to us for the gospel work.
It is part of the church's vision to reach people beyond borders. As part of that vision, we have been involved in various ministries overseas, especially India. Since 2010 as a church we are involved in multiple mission projects including supporting missionaries in various states of India. At one point, we were able to support missionaries in all states of India and support their works.
Following are the current mission support we are involved in India.
1. Aravali Tribal Mission
2.Fellowship Ashram Church of India
3.Ashwini Ann Babu, Wickliffe Inda (Bible Translation)
COVID 19 Support:
During the testing times of COVID 19, as a church, we were able to collect a special offering and was able to help various support works in India financially. With the help of pastors in India, we were able to help people affected in Karnataka, Mumbai, Kerala, Rajasthan, Vellore, Pune, Jharkhand, Orissa, Nagpur and Tripura.
With the help of local ministers/pastors, we were able to distribute food packets, cooked food, essential supplies etc for the people in need. overall, our little help reached hundreds of suffering families.
As part of our continued commitment towards our local community, we as a church are involved in various local and community works. During the last few years, our church has been partnering with some of the local charitable organisations that are improving kiwi lives. Last year we were able to support The Salvation Army, Age Concern, Barnardos, Hospital Chaplaincy ICHC.
During COVID 19, we as church understood the need in our community and offered various support for our members and the wider community. During the lockdown period, we were able to help stranded families who were in mandatory quarantine, helped struggling international students, struggling families and distributed food kits and grocery bags.
Support packages for students were given to struggling international students.
Some of our church members were in mandatory isolation for 14 days, area leaders helped the families while in isolation.
Families affected with the COVID 19 was identified and supported financially to sustain the impact of the situation.
Need for community support was identified and supported people in need financially and distributed food kits.
Over the last year, there have been some serious improvements made to church building, By God's grace, we were able to insulate and install heat pump's in the church along with many other works.
Parent's Ministry was started to cater for our elderly parents visiting us from India. During the last year, two parents meetings were help and offered support during Covid 19 pandemic.