by JENNY McPHEE
CHRISTCHURCH — Mall walkers took over from wall walkers at the Blue Skies Conference and Training Centre in Kaiapoi from May 2 to 4.
The “mall walkers” were attendees at the National Charismatic Conference, with the theme, “Intimacy with God and Mission”. A youth conference ran alongside an
adult conference.

“Mall walkers” from the National Charismatic Conference at Kaiapoi.

The sign at the centre says, “Conference Rooms … Kayaks … Wall Climbing. But instead of
wall walkers, the conference had mall walkers.
Maria Boddington talked to attendees about body language, smiles and personal space. Dianna
Ingle gave a session on working with young people.
Equipped with “words of knowledge” from the Holy Spirit, the group set out for the mall, where
people approached shoppers and handed out invitations to Marist priest Fr John Rea’s evening
healing meeting. Some members stayed behind and prayed for the “mall walkers” while they did their outreach.
Most people were polite and pleasant when approached.
There was time for one more handout. An older man spoke to a teenage girl, who went off clutching the invitation as if it were a box of chocolates.
A phone call from Fr John that he could not make it after all was not totally unexpected, as one of the women had had a word of knowledge while praying for the conference that something disappointing would happen. However, even this news could not dispel the buoyancy generated by the mall outreach.
The national president of Catholic Charistmatic Renewal, Brendan Woodnutt, took over as leader.
The youth team led the evening session in praise and worship.
Many groups praying for healing were able to smoothly attend to the long line of people wanting prayer.
Each day began with Mass. The main speaker was Fr Ken Barker of Australia, the founder of the
Missionaries of God’s Love. The order’s vocations director, Fr Chris Eaton, and two religious, Sr Therese, MGL, and Sr Rachel, MGL, also gave presentations.
The weekend closed with Sunday Mass celebrated by Bishop Barry Jones.

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