Christopher Moore's recent monthly round-up of NZ Non-Fiction featured 5 books, including Rubble to Resurrection. The review read: "In Rubble to Resurrection: Churches Respond in the Canterbury Quakes' (Daystar $28.99) the perfectly named Melissa Parsons provides a long overdue account of the contribution made by Canterbury's churches and congregations after the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes. In terms of bricks and mortar, every denomination suffered grievously. But their collective reaction to the unfolding humanitarian issues, as Parsons shows, was immediate, practical and alert. Denominational differences and different creeds were set aside and replaced by an overwhelming compassion and energy. This was muscular Christianity with its shirtsleeves rolled up to help a community in need." p38, 'The good, the bad and the ugly', NZ Listener, Issue 3878


An article about Rubble to Resurrection, with some background detail about the author, appeared in the July 2014 edition of the Christian Life Magazine. It is entitled 'Churches Rise from the Rubble: Stories of Hope and Resilience' and appears on pages 13 -14 of the issue. The article is available online without subscription, at the following address: http://issuu.com/cwmagazine/docs/christian_life_issue_14_july_digita



"Christchurch teacher Melissa Parsons has done New Zealanders a huge service by writing a book outlining the often overlooked part played by churches in the aftermath of the Canterbury earthquakes. This is a superb book that leaves no stone unturned (if you’ll pardon the cliche and the pun) when it comes to telling the story of churches, and church people, from all denominations as they grappled with the immediate aftermath, the recovery and the rebuild.

And, yes, Baptists feature prominently in the book. The programmes, initiatives and community service of many of Christchurch’s Baptist churches are outlined in some detail, as well as the outstanding contribution by individual Baptists such as then police chaplain Jim Patrick, for example. Baptist churches from elsewhere in the country who partnered with those in Christchurch are also mentioned. In fact, says the author, Bapists were one of the most prominent denominations when it came to church partnerships.

As well as giving us the broad sweep of how churches, and denominations, responded, the book is particularly successful when it comes to telling the stories of ordinary church people who stepped up to help their fellow Cantabrians in times of crisis. By weaving the various threads together, Melissa Parsons tells a story about the importance of churches in times of crisis – a fact the media, in particular, would prefer to overlook. She shows us how churches managed to balance the response to urgent physical need, with the need to also address spiritual and emotional brokenness. And she tells the part churches have to play in the long term recovery.

The book gives us an extraordinary picture of the Church (with a big ‘C’) in action, of how denominations worked together to show how the Love of Jesus Christ is not just found inside church buildings, but out in the streets of a broken city."
Duncan Pardon , Co-editor, New Zealand Baptist. (Review first published in Vol 130, No.6, July 2014, p19)


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