headshot of Reverend Brad Wood, youth enabler in the Nelson Anglican Diocese

Brad Wood

Youth Enabler

Brad oversees youth ministry throughout the diocese. He has a passion for telling stories and spends his free time throwing clay on a pottery wheel.

Unity around a Cable Bay bonfire

Brad Wood

Youth Enabler

Brad oversees youth ministry throughout the diocese. He has a passion for telling stories and spends his free time throwing clay on a pottery wheel.

Unity around a Cable Bay bonfire

a group of people huddle around a bright bonfire on the beach under a starry sky

Last Thursday, as night fell over Cable Bay, 50 rangatahi (youth) gathered around a roaring bonfire. This gathering included young people from All Saints, St Barnabas, Victory and Atawhai Community Church. Each of these groups had connected earlier in the year at Easter Camp, and it was heartwarming to see them reconnect.

In my four years as youth coordinator in the diocese, fostering unity among the young people, youth leaders and youth groups has been a constant priority. It's a crucial part of being a follower of Jesus: to be known for our love for one another. 

Achieving this unity requires hard work, and admittedly, there have been times when I have fallen short. Yet the benefits of unit – creating a close-knit community where everyone feels valued – are undeniable. 

We are truly stronger together!

Two years ago, I commissioned a carver from the West Coast to create eight pounamu toki (traditionally used as chisels) from a single piece of stone. He crafted beautiful, unique pieces from a single block of Haast River greenstone. These toki were given to each of the youth workers in the Nelson diocese to honour their work and symbolise our deep connection. Seeing these youth workers wear their toki on Thursday reminded me of their incredible dedication and the privilege of working alongside them.

Each of our parishes is unique, with its own culture, yet we are all part of the same diocese, carved from the same stone. 

We should strive to express our unique callings while seeking the closer unity Jesus calls for in John 17:21: "that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me." 

young people gathered around a bonfire singing songs

As we enjoyed the bonfire, that power of unity was evident. 

My hope is that this sense of togetherness becomes a constant in our youth groups and across our diocese, making us known for our mutual love and support. Let’s keep this flame of unity alive, fuelling it with love and patience for each other.

Check out other articles in the

series below.

More articles in the

series are to come.

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We have invited these writers to share their experiences, ideas and opinions in the hope that these will provoke thought, challenge you to go deeper and inspire you to put your faith into action. These articles should not be taken as the official view of the Nelson Diocese on any particular matter.

Unity around a Cable Bay bonfire

Brad Wood

Youth Enabler

Brad oversees youth ministry throughout the diocese. He has a passion for telling stories and spends his free time throwing clay on a pottery wheel.

Unity around a Cable Bay bonfire

Brad Wood

Youth Enabler

Brad oversees youth ministry throughout the diocese. He has a passion for telling stories and spends his free time throwing clay on a pottery wheel.

Unity around a Cable Bay bonfire

a group of people huddle around a bright bonfire on the beach under a starry sky

Last Thursday, as night fell over Cable Bay, 50 rangatahi (youth) gathered around a roaring bonfire. This gathering included young people from All Saints, St Barnabas, Victory and Atawhai Community Church. Each of these groups had connected earlier in the year at Easter Camp, and it was heartwarming to see them reconnect.

In my four years as youth coordinator in the diocese, fostering unity among the young people, youth leaders and youth groups has been a constant priority. It's a crucial part of being a follower of Jesus: to be known for our love for one another. 

Achieving this unity requires hard work, and admittedly, there have been times when I have fallen short. Yet the benefits of unit – creating a close-knit community where everyone feels valued – are undeniable. 

We are truly stronger together!

Two years ago, I commissioned a carver from the West Coast to create eight pounamu toki (traditionally used as chisels) from a single piece of stone. He crafted beautiful, unique pieces from a single block of Haast River greenstone. These toki were given to each of the youth workers in the Nelson diocese to honour their work and symbolise our deep connection. Seeing these youth workers wear their toki on Thursday reminded me of their incredible dedication and the privilege of working alongside them.

Each of our parishes is unique, with its own culture, yet we are all part of the same diocese, carved from the same stone. 

We should strive to express our unique callings while seeking the closer unity Jesus calls for in John 17:21: "that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me." 

young people gathered around a bonfire singing songs

As we enjoyed the bonfire, that power of unity was evident. 

My hope is that this sense of togetherness becomes a constant in our youth groups and across our diocese, making us known for our mutual love and support. Let’s keep this flame of unity alive, fuelling it with love and patience for each other.

Check out other articles in the

series below.

More articles in the

series are to come.