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September 2014
 
Dear Friend,

You’re receiving this letter because many of you are long-time friends and supporters of A Rocha Aotearoa New Zealand and Andrew & Ingrid Shepherd.

Andrew and Ingrid have been involved with A Rocha since its inception in Aotearoa, New Zealand.  They were part of the initiative group that established A Rocha, and since 2007 have been on the A Rocha National Team. Andrew has worked in the role of Educational and Advocacy Officer developing and encouraging educational initiatives. During the last few years he has:
  • Developed and run a semester-long course exploring a biblical-theological ethic of creation-care – ‘Ecology, God and Community’, in conjunction with Laidlaw College
  • Organised and published the proceedings of a major conference: ‘Lament, Hope & Action: ‘Christianity and the Ecological Crisis’ run in Wellington in October 2012.
  • Written numerous publications/articles promoting an ethic of creation care and communicating the story of A Rocha.
  • Directed an ARocha/Scripture Union camp focussed on Christian faith and ecological care.
Alongside these projects, Andrew has contributed much to the development of A Rocha through strategy, liaising with churches and Christian organisations, organising and hosting our annual A Rocha hui, speaking at Churches, Universities, theological training centres, conferences, and assisting in fundraising.

The first seven years of A Rocha Aotearoa New Zealand has been an exciting journey. Our flagship programs in Whaingaroa/Raglan (the Karioi Maunga ki te Moana – Mountain to the Sea – Project) and Hamilton (Te Kaakano Community Garden) continue to grow and develop. There are 6 A Rocha branches established around the country working on local ecological and conservation projects – involved in wetland restoration, predator control, re-planting and other ecological initiatives. Looking to the next season of our life as a movement we’re excited about the opportunities and are passionate about the opportunity to continue to encourage communities to show God’s love for all of Creation. 

As part of moving into this new season the A Rocha Board has asked Andrew to step into a Co-Director role, (alongside Kristel van Houte who is reducing to half-time to look after her new baby). Thus far, Andrew’s role with A Rocha has consisted of approximately a half a day a week of paid work (with many more hours spent in a volunteer capacity). While this commitment has been greatly appreciated, for both Andrew personally and A Rocha, this circumstance is neither ideal, nor sustainable in the long-term.  A Rocha is committed to the development of a number of new initiatives which will enhance the work of existing A Rocha projects and strengthen our partnership with Churches around the country.  But to fulfil this requires greater capacity – we believe Andrew is the person to spearhead these.

We are so grateful of the support (financial, friendship and prayer) many of you have offered to A Rocha and Andrew & Ingrid and their family for many years.  Can we invite you to commit yourself for the next stage of their journey?

We’d like to invite you to partner with us by financially supporting Andrew so he can take up this half-time role for A Rocha. This will allow Andrew to develop our eco-living programs with Churches, and fullfill our vision of inspiring and resourcing the Church in Aotearoa/New Zealand to become more faithful carers of God’s good Earth.

Please talk to to Andrew or myself about this opportunity.


Murray Sheard
Chairman: A Rocha Aotearoa / New Zealand

 

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