In this column, we discover more about our Baptist whānau, meeting someone in our team of 40,000 each post. This week we are getting to know Christa McKirland, Lecturer in Systematic Theology at Carey Baptist College.

What is something you think everyone should experience at least once in their life? 

Boiled peanuts. This is a Southern American delicacy and can be found at all of the best gas stations (in the Southeastern part of the U.S.) in a crockpot that’s been on simmer for several hours.

If you could be a pro at any one thing, what would it be?

I would be a professional guitar player. I cannot play any instruments, and I think it would be awesome to be able to pick up a guitar and play—especially in Aotearoa!

What is a random interest that has completely nothing to do with your study or work? 

I love going for walks, especially in the bush. Raya (my 6-year-old) often asks, “Mommy, what’s your favourite thing to do?” and I always tell her, “Exploring new places with my family!” A close second is playing Halo :)

What is the oddest fact you know?

Most muppets are left-handed.

What is the most boring thing you’ve ever done?

When I was young, my mom would have me proofread land title deeds with her. She would read them out loud, and I would follow along with a typed copy to make sure there weren’t mistakes. Fortunately, she paid me to do this.

What is your favourite way of connecting with God?

I love writing retreats. This is often a time to get away and work on a specific project. Since my work projects are all about God, I find that these are times I feel most connected and least distracted in my relationship with God.

Can you describe a significant moment when you experienced God’s love?

Honestly, every time I teach. That famous quote from Chariots of Fire rings true for me: when I am walking in my gifts, “I can feel God’s pleasure.”

What is your favourite thing about the neighbourhood where you live?

We love so many things about our neighbourhood—from the Grotto with a massive lawn across from our house, to our neighbours next door, to the Reduced to Clear at the end of the street—we love our home in Onehunga.

What do you love most about being Baptist?

What I love most about being Baptist is that we are committed to covenanting together. The dominant metaphor for the church in the New Testament is that of family. When you are family, you are committed to one another no matter what. I think this is beautiful and also so hard! Fortunately, I believe we have the empowerment of the Spirit to unify us—not so much ideologically—but to consider my brother and sister before myself (Phil 2:1-5).  

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