Sunday School Big Day Out - Dec 2011
On Sunday the 11th of December, the long awaited Sunday School Big Day Out took place at the Otimai Guides Camp. This annual event, which involved all the NZ1 congregations, had a slightly different theme as to previous years. This year the event took place on a Sunday, and commenced with an open air Divine Service which was enjoyed by the entire congregation. Despite the predicted threat of rain, the prayers of the congregation ensured that none was experienced. District Elder Graf focussed the service around the Big Day Out theme of “Joy to the World” and also mentioned the attributes of the gift given by God in his Son, Jesus Christ, our greatest friend. The children and congregation were reminded of our great task to prepare for the return of our Friend and use of the gifts we have received until his return. The total attendance in the service was 174.

 After service, the children were treated to fruit juice and home made biscuits and cupcakes, lovingly made by some of the teachers. Following this, our annual tug of war knockout competition was fiercely contested, with some adults forgetting their ages and jumping in to pull on the rope. At the end of a gruelling series of battles, North Shore congregation emerged the victors and claimed the coveted trophy for the next 12 months. Lunch, another difference this year, focused on the Christmas tradition, and beautiful ham, salads and rolls were served for lunch. There was plenty and everyone overindulged in the lovely food.

 The afternoon concluded in the highlight of much planning and preparation by the Co-ordinating Working Group where Santa was led onto the field by his helpers and there, all the children received their Christmas gifts in a royal blue tote bag which had the theme “Joy to the World” with church emblem printed on it. The children in the entire NZ district, who were unable to attend this event, also received their presents by mail. This went afar a field as Invercargill in the deep south to Keri Keri up north. The day concluded in the children receiving ice lollies and candy floss and departed for after the closing prayer, filled with Joy and excitement..