Monthly Archives: June 2018

Sunday 1st July 2018

While our Church Building is Repaired we are meeting each Sunday at The Mineral & Lapidary Club 110 Waltham Rd (next to Waltham School) at 10am.

We would love to have the opportunity to welcome you.

Sunday 1st July 2018

 Wednesday Walkers 4th July: Meet at 9.30am cnr Broken Run & Longspur Ave followed by coffee at Muffin Break Wigram. All welcome. Barbara & Alan.

Men’s Group meets on Thursday 5th July at Merchiston, 75 St Martins Rd, beginning with a Shared Tea at 6pm. Military Chaplain Chris Purdie will share the story of his secondment to the British Army last year. All men welcome – we look forward to seeing you.  For more information, contact Tony Blackler 332 0554.

Parish Breakfast Sunday 15th July 8.45am. Brought to you by members of Fireside. Gold coin koha appreciated.

Parish Midwinter Lunch Sunday 22nd July 12 noon at the Cashmere Club – $24.50 per head. (Please pay on arrival at the venue). If you would like to come, please add your name to the list at the back of the Church, and indicate how many will be attending. We need to know numbers by Sunday 15th July. Any queries? Speak to Allison 332 0554.

Wool for Waltham: The knitting club is seeking donations of 8 ply  wool or acrylic for the blankets they are knitting for Nurse Maude Hospice.  Any donations welcome – please pop them in the box at the back of the church. Lyndsey McKay 388 1264.

 Caving at Charleston on the West Coast…. A parish trip for a small group 21st – 24th August.   A gentle introduction to some awe inspiring caves.  No experience required other than ability to walk along a track for a couple of km.  Talk to Dugald if you might be interested in joining the group.

 Crafty Crafters Thursdays 10am – 12 noon at Beckenham Methodist. $3 per session. New faces always welcome. Contact Lyndsey McKay 388 1264 for more information.

Waltham Cottage Foodbank:  As the colder weather sets in, the Cottage will see greater demand for food parcels.  Please consider adding an extra item or two to your weekly groceries to help fill the Cottage’s larder. Not sure what to buy? Cereals, tinned fruit & fish, pasta, soups and personal hygiene products are always welcome.

Prayer Requests: A book is located in the foyer for anyone to write in prayer requests. If suitable these requests will be actioned in public worship. In making a request please ensure if people are identifiable they have given permission.

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Front of church removed 20 June 2018

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Sunday 24 June 2018

While our Church Building is Repaired we are meeting each Sunday at The Mineral & Lapidary Club 110 Waltham Rd (next to Waltham School) at 10am.

We would love to have the opportunity to welcome you.

 

Sunday 24th June 2018

NOTICES: Anna will not be in the Office this Thursday 28th June

 Fireside Women’s Group meets this Tuesday 26th June 7.30pm at Merchiston, 75 St Martins Rd.  We welcome all women to join us if they would like to hear Fern talk to us about the trip she and James made to parts of South America and through the Panama Canal. If those who are able to would park on the road and walk in that will leave the parking space in the grounds for those who need to drive in.   Enquiries Margaret 366 8936

 Wednesday Walkers 27th June: Meet at 9.30am in Holmwood Rd between Garden Rd & Helmores Lane for a walk in the area followed by coffee at McCafe Merivale – will need to car pool this part as parking is premium in Merivale! Marilyn & Keith 960 2484.

Parish Breakfast Sunday 15th July 8.45am. Brought to you by members of Fireside. More details next week!

 Caving at Charleston on the West Coast…. A parish trip for a small group 21st – 24th August.   A gentle introduction to some awe inspiring caves.  No experience required other than ability to walk along a track for a couple of km.  Talk to Dugald if you might be interested in joining the group.

 Crafty Crafters Thursdays 10am – 12 noon at Beckenham Methodist. $3 per session. New faces always welcome. Contact Lyndsey McKay 388 1264 for more information.

Waltham Cottage Foodbank:  As the colder weather sets in, the Cottage will see greater demand for food parcels.  Please consider adding an extra item or two to your weekly groceries to help fill the Cottage’s larder. Not sure what to buy? Cereals, tinned fruit & fish, pasta, soups and personal hygiene products are always welcome.

Prayer Requests: A book is located in the foyer for anyone to write in prayer requests. If suitable these requests will be actioned in public worship. In making a request please ensure if people are identifiable they have given permission.

 Parish Midwinter Lunch Sunday 22nd July

12 noon at the Cashmere Club – $24.50 per head. (Please pay on arrival at the venue).

If you would like to come, please add your name to the list at the back of the Church, and indicate how many will be attending. We need to know numbers by Sunday 15th July. Any queries? Speak to Allison 332 0554.

 

Managers’ Report June

 Rebuild.. We have decided to connect the SS building with power and as part of this job we hope to remove the Chorus pole on the southern boundary and run the church supply underground from the road. An application to Orion is being actioned.

The contractor has negotiated with the engineers about the need to remove some small sections of soffit lining which contain asbestos.  Unfortunately this has not proved successful.

Church Roof… all the rusting nails have been replaced with galvanised screws. Thank you to all who were involved.

Maintenance Plan – work to be achieved 2018- June 2019

Corrugated iron above old study and kitchen needs replacing with coloursteel

SS Rooms guttering south side needs to be replaced

Church Roof repainted

Repair exterior SS rooms – replacing weatherboards, painting building

Repair flooring in SS rooms

Asbestos Plan – an asbestos plan has been adopted

Church Cleaning – we will include a figure of $75.00 per week in our budget for church cleaning to allow for 2 hours of cleaning and purchase of materials and equipment.  We propose a regular working bee quarterly to do a major clean.

Manse – After discussion about the possibility of selling the manse no action was taken.  It was noted the manse is constructed of permanent materials and therefore is relatively maintenance free.

Garage for Storage – we have purchased a Versatile Garage from our neighbour for $400.  We have applied for a consent exemption from CCC and plan to locate the garage for storage purposes near the south boundary at the rear of the church.  Innovative ways of shifting the garage are being explored.  A slab to locate it on will have to be poured.

 

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Matariki: A Season Worth Celebrating

Something strange is happening in our community. There’s a new festival being celebrated that isn’t imported from the northern hemisphere but is a reawakening of life in our own part of the world. Something special happens in the wonder of creation in our night sky around this time of year. There’s a cluster of stars called Matariki or the Pleiades which disappears for a month or so and then reappears in the early morning just before daybreak. These stars have just disappeared, and in early July they will reappear.

The Matariki cluster is sometimes called the Seven Sisters because usually seven are visable to the naked eye. Actually the cluster is about 400 stars and the closest is about 440 light years away. Known in many cultures because it disappears and rises again in both north and south hemisphere. The starts are known by another name in Japan– Subaru. In Greek world of Jesus the rising of the Pleiades was considered to mark the time of safe sailing in the Mediterranean. The Pleiades are among the first stars mentioned in literature, appearing in Chinese annals of about 2350 BC, and they are also mentioned in the Bible in the books of Amos and Job as part of God’s creation.

For Maori the new rising or sighting of Matariki signals the Maori New Year. Matariki translates to “Eyes of God” (mata – ariki) or ‘Little Eyes’ (mata – riki). This star cluster rises usually sometime in June (it’s late this year being early July), and usually the actual celebration is held at the first new moon after the sighting.

Matariki celebrations usually last about a month and are starting to catch on again in NZ as we look to develop our own celebrations. There is quite a push on to replace queen Birthday weekend with a Matariki New Year celebration sometime in June.

Traditionally for Maori it’s a time for whanau to gather to commemorate loved ones passed, and to celebrate the arrival of newer additions to the family. It is a time to celebrate unity, faith and hope through aroha. Because traditionally the food stores were full after harvest celebratory feasts were held as whanau and guests shared food together.

One of our Maori ministers in the PCANZ, Rev Hone Te Rire, explains the importance of Matariki…. “As youngsters my kuia, koroua, and parents remembered family reunions and re-strengthening of family ties with extended whanau. It is a time of aroha, giving of gifts, and sharing of food. In my Tuhoe whanau we use the term matemateaone, which means to strengthen our connections to our whenua, our marae and our families – close and extended – the people and places that have nurtured us.

Nowadays there are often other festivities – flying of kites and fireworks seem to be popular. Traditionally giving of food to others and helping whanau with restorative work around their homes or working bees on the marae were other ways to celebrate Matariki. Karaoke and disco nights and gathering together in the wharekai (dining room) for a succulent kaihakari hangi.

Hone says, “The emphasis on families and whanau living together in peace and unity is reflected in Pauls letter to the Corinthians (1:10) Let there be no divisions among you. That you are perfectly united in mind and thought. The values of Jesus are reinforced in the kaupapa Maori values of whanau (family), manaaki (caring), tumanako (hope), kaitiaki (stewardship), rangatira (leadership) and aroha (love).
My parents and grandparents taught me these values through action not word alone, every time during the season of Matariki. I am now teaching my children and mokopuna the same values.” He challenges us as a body of Christ, to celebrate Matariki not only in showing support from a bicultural perspective, but also for the important values that Matariki encompasses.”

So what do we take from Matariki. I warm to the reality that it arises from the gift of creation and of human experience in our patch. It’s not imported but it’s about our night sky and the traditions of this place we all call home. Good religion honours local experience and local tradition.
I like the reality that Mataiki is not about a single star rising but a cluster… a family of stars …. Its about community and Hone gives us two wise sayings from Matariki
“Matariki ahunga nui”
(Matariki brings us together)

“Matariki – whiria te tangata”
(Matariki – weave the people together)

The heritage of Matariki being a time to remember people of our past, to reach out to one another, to celebrate family and community. In this it is a clebtration of the kingdom of God. Whanau, Manaaki (caring), and Aroha are values of God.

The season of harvest is over it is time to give thanks to God for sustenance. As God has been generous to us so we too should be generous to each other and caring of creation….. It’s a time to celebrate our calling to stewardship – Kaitiaki.

In the midst of the darkness of winter the stars appear… like the star of Bethlehem saying the darkness will not win. The rising of the Makariki cluster brings hope that the darkness will never win. We celebrate Tumanako.

19 June 2018

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The Parable of the Mustard Seed – Mark 4 :30-34

Jesus was always talking about the Kingdom of God or the Kingdom of Heaven. Clearly it was absolutely central in his message. But he never succinctly defines what it is, but it’s clear it’s about a new way of living. A way of finding life. The Kingdom of God is like mustard seed we hear today. It doesn’t help us much does it…. Jesus loves to talk in pictures and stories!

The kingdom of God is like a mustard seed. The mustard seed parable like so many of the parables has all sorts of meanings. It makes you want to say to Jesus, ‘just tell us straight’. But the point of parables is that you have to wrestle and question and work things out in your own context.

We need to get some sort of picture of mustards seeds and how they grow. The sort of mustard plant Jesus was talking about is obscure because he doesn’t use botanical names but I suspect it was the black mustard seed brassica nigra. That’s right it’s a brassica! In fact brassicas are known commonly as mustard plants. Your cabbage, cauilis, and broccoli are all mustard plants. A reason some people don’t like these plants is that they all contain a compound phenylthiocarbamide or PTC which is either bitter or tasteless to people depending on your taste buds. The good news is that brassicas and mustard plants are good for us. They have health providing properties, but I don’t think Jesus was thinking of that when he shared this parable.

The Roman author Pliny the Elder who was born in 23CE was a curious fellow. He was actually a little too curious because he died when he went to explore the erupting Mt Vesuvius in 79CE. But before this tragic end he wrote an encyclopaedic Natural History in which he tells us about the mustard plant. He tells us that with its pungent taste and fiery effect it was actually extremely good for your health. But he goes on, “It grows entirely wild, though it grows better when transplanted. But on the other hand when it has been sown it is scarcely possible to get the place free of it as the seed when it falls germinates at once”.
It other words it grows like a whole host of weeds in my garden. It keeps popping up all over the place. The seeds s[rout in a few days and it grows easily, it grows all over the place, and it grows without our input. It happens! God is a power at work in our communities, in all sorts of places, inside and outside the fences, quietly nurturing life. God is at work as a power called life in all sorts of places including your life and mine, in our community, everywhere. Open your eyes. Like weeds popping up there are little bits of the kingdom of God happening all over the place if we have eyes to see them.
We aren’t sprouting the seeds, it’s just happening. There’s something else at work in our world and in our lives. But like mustard bushes they will grow better if we nurture and water the plants.

Jesus goes on to talk about the birds resting or nesting in the shade. The mustard plant was a shrub growing maybe just over a metre high, or maybe a couple of metres with nurturing. It’s not a great tree. But in Israel large trees are rare, any sort of significant vegetation is rare. The mustard shrub growing to over a metre was just a bushy shrub that would grow just about anywhere. In Israel it’s hot for much of the year and shade wherever you can find it is vital for life. I’ve walked out in the sun and unless you find shade life can be precarious. The common mustard shrub growing everywhere and anywhere offered life. There is I might say just a little bit of pesky humour in the parable because farmers not only didn’t want the mustard plants mixing with their crops, they didn’t want the birds either because they would raid their harvest. So not everyone welcomed the mustard plants like the birds who found in it shade and rest. They were a weed for some and a place of shade and life for others. Such is the Kingdom of God.

And for us – well we don’t literally have black mustard plants all over our gardens and community. I’m thinking cabbage trees. Attractive to birds, they seem to pop up everywhere in our garden, and everyone just loves the leaves when they fall. Cut them off at their base and they just pop right on up again because they have a long tap root. They are a tree that just happens.

The Kingdom of God is like a cabbage tree… and yes there are plenty of people who don’t like cabbage trees because they are messy. But the point…the kingdom of God is happening all around us. There are places where life is flourishing, where people find shade and food… places where God is alive. Many of these places are surprising, beyond the fences of church.

The Kingdom of God is alive in our midst. Surprising seeds of love, or life in which the power of God is present. Seeds we can nurture and water and help grow into bigger plants. Seeds that bring shade and refreshment, and life.

So I wonder where you might find a mustard plant in your journey this week? God is at work in your life, in our midst, and in the life of our wider community and world. Like a weed the kingdom is taking root and growing. Keep your eyes open, have your word of encouragement and watering can ready.

17 June 2018

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