So you want to know about us? Following is a brief outline that gives a general idea. Or you can look further if you are eager to find out ‘What the HUB is?‘ or perhaps our ‘Statement of faith‘ or ‘Who does what?”
We started meeting on Sunday mornings in September 2011, at the home of Nathan and Charlotte Hawkins. Nathan and Charlotte took responsibility for the Sunday morning gatherings – Charlotte for the music component and Nathan for the teaching. Others gathered to form a core of people with a passion for community, mission, engagement with culture, encouraging a holistic expression of the Kingdom of God and supporting the rest of the Body of Christ. In early 2013 we started meeting on Sundays at the Northland Polytech in Raumanga. Nathan and Charlotte went to the UK in August 2015 to study leaving an established leadership team to continue the work of the HUB.
We see the biblical narrative as a continual revelation of the a good Creator’s purposes for his creation, through Israel and reaching it’s climax in Jesus the Messiah. Teaching tends therefore to be about seeing how this narrative gathers historically through the life death and resurrection of Christ and brings focus into how we live out the Kingdom of God in our day – rooted in the “big picture” of God’s plan to sum up all things in Christ. We tend to gather around the following specific values:
1/ Christ centred – celebration of diversity and uniqueness in unity, acceptance, connection to the wider body of faith
2/ Shared collective responsibility – a gifted body, leadership for empowerment, values-based leadership
3/ Doing life together – support and openness as friends exhibiting mutual care
4/ Honesty – Holistic ministry where practical authentic service and spiritual service are synonymous
5/ Grace – extended and received that produces freedom to exercise love without compulsion
6/ Faith – both trusting God and being trustworthy before God and each other
7/ Love for our community – displaying justice and equity and kindness to express God’s kingdom
8/ Care for Gods creation – responsibility for creation-care, good food and healthy lifestyle
9/ Connection to place – celebration of who we are in Whangarei, Northland – our distinctive culture and expression of the life of Christ.
Out of this we see ourselves as part of the expression of Christ to the world – trying to be true to his character of mercy and faithfulness in the midst of our broken world. Jesus expressed the first and greatest commandments as loving God and loving our neighbour.
This outworks itself in our gathering together around shared practices including teaching, singing, prayer, scripture reading, communion and baptism plus through all sorts of community building practices: local food producing initiatives, looking at ways to provide employment, supporting needy families, intelligently and compassionately engaging with people who are looking for answers, social and sporting interaction, writing, blogging and any other forms of engagement that build relationship and express God’s love for people and for his creation.
At the HUB we tend to be pretty relaxed, and focussed on relationships rather than being overly busy. We love creativity, and encourage people to bring their own songs, poems, art-work etc. Our musical style on a Sunday morning tends to be acoustically based, simple and inclusive. We created an album of original music by Charlotte Hawkins – many of which we have used in Sunday morning worship. You can listen on Soundcloud or get a CD from us.
As well as our own music you are likely to hear a few common contemporary worship songs and the odd hymn and we often throw in a children’s song. We believe in people doing what they are passionate about and feel called to, as this will result in authentic ministry from the heart, though not necessarily always polished. We want people to connect with each other authentically and in doing so they will also hopefully connect with God.
We also try to avoid Christian “jargon” where possible – making it easier for people to understand what we are saying. We are here to be inclusive, to help people feel comfortable who may have never been part of “Church” or have been hurt by “Religion”, to communicate as clearly as we can and to remain open to and engaged with the world around us.
You will find that we dress and relate in a casual way, we encourage questions and we do our best to treat everyone as valuable. We like diversity and enjoy learning from people who are different and challenge our world-views. We try to keep the focus of our gathering on God as revealed in Christ. We are trying to rediscover and proclaim through word and deed that the story of Christ – his life, death and resurrection, is indeed the best possible news for a broken world!