THE `IN TOUCH' MAGAZINE

Nearly four years ago at an executive Calvinette and Cadet meeting the decision was made for New Zealand to produce their own magazine. Originally the Share Magazine was started by the New Zealand clubs but eventually moved across the Tasman. This was the cause of some dis-satisfaction amongst the children as well as the counsellors, hence the decision to start afresh. We received the go ahead from the Board to start the ball rolling on the new magazine. A committee was set up in Silverstream to oversee and distribute the magazine quarterly. It consisted of 6 members, all either being past or present counsellors. The first few magazines proved to be a bit of a challenge, none of us really knowing how much work was involved or how to go about it. We met with our typographer for an evening, which was really helpful. We also had a member on the committee who puts together magazines for a living. Without his help, we would never have made it through those first few magazines.

We started off with printing 200 magazines back in 1997. Now we print 600 copies every time, and this year that number may rise, as non-club members are able to receive a copy too. We anticipate a good response from the advertisements going into the Faith In Focus. Even though the magazine is mainly aimed to be for the children, there is a lot of worthwhile reading for everyone, including parents or the general church community on the whole. There are also a few copies being sent to Australia each time after a few spare copies were given to them at the National Camp, which they attended.

The clubs are all very enthusiastic, and we never have any problems filling up a magazine full of photos, articles, letters and just lately the children have been sending in stories they have written themselves.

Today the magazine committee has changed a lot. There are only three of us which we find works much better. It is often a case of too many hands, too much confusion. The meetings are much shorter and efficient and we only need to meet once or twice per magazine.

The board has become more involved over the last year or so, and has taken over the financial side of things. This too has made things much easier for us, so we can concentrate on producing the magazine and work directly related to the magazine. Recently we purchased our own zip drive and scanner, so we can be more self-sufficient in this area also.

We are very thankful to our ministers of the Reformed Churches for being willing to provide the bible studies for the magazine. The bible studies are generally more suitable for the younger children in the clubs and we can adapt them to cater also for the older ones as we see fit. Reverend Paul Archbald does the theological editing for the entire magazine to ensure that the content is biblically sound and suitable for the young readers. We have to be extra careful when dealing with children, they are like sponges, soaking up everything they see and hear.

We are very grateful to be able to do this work; it is an exciting and pleasant task. We pray that the Lord will continue to bless our efforts as He has thus far.

Thank you to Rev Sjirk Bajema for giving us the opportunity to report on the magazine and its history.

Tessa Leenders

On behalf of the In Touch Magazine

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Faith in Focus / NZ Reformed Church / thirty@paradise.net.nz / Copyright 2001