News Story

Welcoming Neighbours to Auckland’s Newest Church Building

A building to facilitate life’s journey

Seeing a new meetinghouse being constructed by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on 59 Kirkbride Road, Mangere, New Zealand, likely piqued the interest of neighbours and passers-by.
Many may have wondered what kind of worship and activities take place inside. 
Recently, a special event was held at the newly completed Church building. Neighbours and friends were invited to three days of festivities, to come inside to see for themselves. In fact, all are welcome to participate in activities and worship with members at Church meetinghouses at anytime. 
Ratana leader, Apotoro Kereama Pene, and Chair of the Māngere-Ōtāhuhu Local Board, Tauanu'u Nanai Nick Bakulich, Reverend Makara of the Cook Island Religious Advisory Council, were among the invited guests. 
The meetinghouse has a chapel, complete with pews and a podium, where individuals and families gather for Sunday worship services that centre on the teachings and love of Jesus Christ for all.
These gatherings, called sacrament meetings, include music, talks from leaders and local members of the congregation, testimonies, prayers and a sacred sacrament ordinance offered in remembrance of Jesus Christ’s love for all – a ceremony similar to communion in other churches.
What surprised the visitors were the variety of classrooms and other gathering areas that add to the richness of the Latter-day Saint worship experience and commitment to uplifting the lives of members.

Guests could go from room-to-room to learn what takes place throughout the week. For example, guests learned from local Latter-day Saint members, about the Relief Society, the Church’s women’s organisation, which is dedicated to uplifting and improving lives and helping those in need.
It was explained to visitors that the room filled with computers is used for connecting families together through genealogical research.  Additionally, Church sponsored university courses and a variety of self-reliance classes can be accessed by computer, to educate minds and brighten futures.
Apotoro Kereama and Mr. Bakulich were pleased to learn that all are welcome to participate in continuing educational options.
Guests heard about how children and youth are cared for as they were shown the large gym area for sports and cultural events, a kitchen and other designated rooms.

Thirteen year-old Tika Ahokovi stood before the visitors and shared her feelings about belonging to the Church's Young Women organisation.
She expressed gratitude and love for Jesus Christ and brought many in the room to tears. It was clear to all that the Latter-day Saint youth are being strengthened and blessed by what the Church has to offer them.
Reverend Makara expressed his amazement at how beautifully the building would further The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' mission to bless the lives of members and friends.
He said, “It’s amazing, the Church seems to cover every aspect of our spiritual journey in life. Everyone has their own room and in every part of their journey they provide some kind of training. This experience has been really wonderful to be able to see the Church facilitating that journey in someone’s life.”

A cultural night was included in the three day celebration. Over a thousand members and friends came together to showcase, through music, dance and food, the various rich cultural heritages of community members who worship together.       
The three days of gatherings culminated in a Sunday service for the purpose of dedicating the new building which will be known as the Penrose Stake Centre.

Going forward, it will house three wards, or church congregations, as well as be a gathering place for stake conferences and other activities. A stake is a group of Latter-day Saint congregations.

President Faaleaga Young Yen (R) offered a dedicatory prayer on the building. Mangere, Auckland, New Zealand, 20222022 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

Local leader,  President Faaleaga Young Yen, offered a prayer that dedicated the building as a holy space that is purposely set apart for the worshipping of Christ. Talks were also given by elderly members who remembered the faith of pioneer Latter-day Saints in the area.
It is evident that a new building is something to celebrate. It will be a blessing in many lives and all are welcomed there.

Meetinghouses of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are designed to emphasise simple beauty and multiple uses and benefits.

The most important building, for Latter-day Saints, however, is the building of faith in God and His Son, Jesus Christ; the building of strong individual lives and families; and the building of friendships and united communities.

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