News Release

Interfaith and Community Leaders Find Common Ground at Church Conference

“There are so many similarities between my Catholic faith and your faith”


The Hastings New Zealand Stake of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints invited community and faith leaders to attend a recent conference, which brought together congregations in a geographical area for inspiration and instruction.

A special pre-conference reception was held for the guests where they met with local Latter-day Saint leaders and public affairs representatives. Afterwards, the guests were invited to attend a session of the conference.

Among those attending from other faiths were Sandra and David Brown-Carr of the Bahai Faith and Paola Minehan, a coordinating chaplain at the Eastern Institute of Technology and member of the Hawke’s Bay Interfaith Council. Minehan attended with her husband, James.

Community leaders included Hastings District Councillor Bayden Barber and local kaumatua (Māori elder) Jerry Hapuku.

They met with leaders including Charles Ruwhiu, president of the Church’s Hastings New Zealand Stake; public affairs director Anna Wairama; and Angela McKee, public affairs interfaith coordinator.

The theme of the conference was ministering as Jesus would minister. After attending the session, Chaplain Minehan said she was able to connect to many of the teachings presented.

“There are so many similarities between my Catholic faith and your faith,” Minehan said.

Style Guide Note:When reporting about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, please use the complete name of the Church in the first reference. For more information on the use of the name of the Church, go to our online Style Guide.