eNews for June

Tēnā koutou katoa. Greetings to you all.

  • A message from Director, Lesley Snyman

    A message from Director, Lesley Snyman

    Kia Ora Vaughan Park Whānau and Friends,

    As I sit here, in our magnificent Centre, once again filled with the glorious sounds of laughter and voices, I am reminded of a quote by Nelson Mandela. A giant of a man, both physically and philosophically, who said, “It always seems impossible until it’s done”. And what a seemingly impossible accomplishment our country has achieved.

    During lockdown, the Vaughan Park team remained safe within our bubbles. Desperately missing our Centre and guests, we kept ourselves occupied with regular chats and challenges. Some of these included rock painting, hat juggling, international dress-ups, and the mandatory sharing of recipes (always handy when you have Chef’s as talented as ours).  

    The direct impact of the pandemic on our Centre has undoubtedly been severe. Having had to close our doors for just over 10 weeks, accompanied by numerous cancellations from local and overseas groups, and a multitude of effects which will continue to be felt well into the foreseeable future.
    As soon as was safe, our team returned to work, eagerly preparing the facility for the welcome back of our treasured guests.

    I am so excited to report that the elements which make this sacred place what it is, have all returned. The smells drifting through from the kitchen, the sound of clambering dishes at mealtimes, the laughter of our team and guests, the sound of the Ruatara Chapel bell sounding for daily prayers but most importantly, the sense of serenity that is bestowed on all whilst here.   

    We thank you for all the prayers and messages received during these troubled few months, they have all meant so much to the whole team! We hope to welcome you back to our wonderful centre soon, whether it be for a day or two’s reboot and refresh, or as part of a bigger group using our space for some idea generation and sharing.

    Wishing you a blessed week ahead.


  • Ruatara news from Chaplain, Sapati Tima

    Ruatara news from Chaplain, Sapati Tima

    As people were restricted to come down to the Ruatara Chapel during lockdown, it kindled the fire to take the Chapel out to the people!  There was a wealth of online worship services and devotions, and after some encouragement an Instagram account under the name ‘vaughanparkchapel’ came to be … and continues its outreach potential post covid-19.  

    There continues to be a lot of uncertainty all round, but to once again enjoy the laughter and fellowship of people onsite at Vaughan Park brings much certainty that far better things are ahead. It was good to welcome back members of the Northern Bays Pastors Association on the first day of Level One as they enjoyed some time together in our beautiful surroundings.

    Ongoing discussions take place around our listed annual events; and also on mapping out a blueprint of possible future initiatives to keep a close watch out for.

    Come escape from your world for a moment and experience the peacefulness of the Ruatara Chapel at Vaughan Park Retreat Centre.

  • A Place Called Home

    A Place Called Home

    Psychotherapist and Christian, Lynne Condon has worked in hospice care for 20 years and has a special interest in how we can use times of change and transition as opportunities for growth, development and participation in the everyday sacred. In a short video reflection, Lynne interweaves the Jewish festival of Sukkoth, the landscapes that accompany us on the journey of coming home, discovering the holy well within all things, and taking up an attitude of gratitude.

    Listen to some encouraging and hopeful words from a wisdom teacher as we navigate the global pandemic and its ongoing effects, wherever we live in the world.  more »

  • Lakeside Conversations gifted to the Resource Centre

    <em>Lakeside Conversations</em> gifted to the Resource Centre

    We were thankful and delighted when Alison Grant, guest and friend of Vaughan Park generously gifted to the Resource Centre, a copy of Lakeside Conversations, written by her late husband, the Rev. David R. Grant when he was Minister of Knox Presbyterian Church in Dunedin. The book follows the conversations of a young blue-eyed blonde and her grey-haired granddad as they contemplate life’s mysteries from the deck of their lakeside family holiday cottage.

    “It was a scene you don’t observe too often;
    a conversation you are seldom privileged to eavesdrop.
    Late Saturday afternoon at the family crib,
    mid January – the last day at the lake.”

    Read more about this lovely book here.

  • Conversations about Covid: Grief and Loss with Clinical Psychologist, Linda Gow and Dr. Hilary Oxford Smith

    Conversations about Covid:  Grief and Loss with Clinical Psychologist, Linda Gow and Dr. Hilary Oxford Smith

    Many people are living through and coping with different kinds of loss and grief in this global pandemic. In the second of three conversations, Linda and Hilary offer some insights, wisdom, resources and helpful ways to get through, to make meaning and to explore how we can best respond to those we know and love who are bereaved. Join Hilary and Linda.

  • Ruatara Chapel Instagram

    Ruatara Chapel Instagram

    Check out Chaplain Sapati’s Instagram where he posts regular devotions, lovely videos and images.

  • The Space Of One Breath, One Heartbeat

    The Space Of One Breath, One Heartbeat

    The Rev. Gayanne Frater is a hospital chaplain, counsellor, supervisor, and spiritual companion in Auckland and a good friend of Vaughan Park. She has written a prayer which she hopes may find an echo in our hearts, ease spirit-ache and help all of us breathe a little easier in these times. Her poignant reflective prayer is on our Moments page.

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    Ma Io koutou e manaaki, e tiaki, i nga wa katoa.
    May your God bless you each and every day.