Monthly Archives: May 2019

Sunday 26 May 2019

A very warm welcome to you all this morning. After the service please come through to the Lounge for a cuppa and a time to talk.  Many thanks to Rev Hugh Perry for leading our worship.

Crafty Crafters: Meets on Thursdays in the Church lounge 10am-12noon. New faces are always welcome. $3 per session. Contact Lyndsey 388 1264 for more information.

Help fill the Pantry at Waltham Cottage:

‘Thank you’ for a super bumper lot of groceries that was contributed last week. It certainly helped fill some of the space in the cupboard. With the colder weather and the need for warm nourishing food, Adrienne suggests the following: Baked beans, breakfast cereal, tinned stews, tinned tuna, soups, jams, biscuits, pasta and noodles along with chickpeas and tinned tomatoes. Everything you contribute is so gratefully received. Please keep it coming.  Many thanks.

Irene Gray, Session Clerk.

Court Theatre trip Thursday 19th September 6.30pm to see “The Pink Hammer”, a Kiwi comedy. Expressions of interest to Sue Saunders 960 7657 please. Cost will be c$49 & discount available for Super Gold Card holders.

Bacon Fundraiser: Joanwill be picking up the bacon tomorrow. All money owing must be handed to her TODAY please.

Wednesday Walkers 29th May: Meet 9.30am at Elmwood Park in Heaton Street for a walk around the area. Coffee at McCafe in Merivale. All welcome. Judith Mackay 027 688 1861.

Fireside: Women are very welcome to join us at any meeting whether they come just occasionally or regularly.   Fireside is “the women’s group” of our church which usually meets on the last Tuesday evening of each month.   We plan to meet at 7.30pm on Tuesday 28th May in the Church Lounge at 43 St Martins Rd.  There will be some planning talk first before Joan and Joan tell us about their recent trip to Adelaide and Melbourne. Enquiries: Margaret ph 366 8936.

St Martins MenzShed based in the Community Building (Old SS Rooms at the back of our section).  We will have an initial meeting MONDAY 27th MAY at 7.15pm to gauge interest in setting up a group to run a menzshed in this area and take the first steps to get this project moving.  Please tell blokes of the neighbourhood about this initiative that will provide a meeting place for men, and we hope will be a place where women will be invited to learn practical skills.

Movie Nights are being planned for NEXT SATURDAY June 1st, then July 6th, August 4th 5.45pm at church – bring your takeaway tea (eg fish and chips) drinks provided, movie starts at 6.15pm and finish at 8pm. 

EcuAction…. The seminar this week was entitled Capitalism and Climate Change.  Charles Drace claimed there appears to be a link between climate change and neo-liberal policies adopted by governments from the 1970’s onward with less government control and free market policies.  Governments appear to be cautious about adopting policy that will reduce carbon emissions.  Most western economies (and others) are dependent on fossil fuel extraction or animal farming which produces greenhouse gases, and we are locked into these systems for economic survival.  There is however hope in the voices of our young people who are demanding change because they see more clearly the disastrous future that awaits the planet as we pay lip service to this issue. 

Jim Consedine spoke from a faith perspective and drew our attention to modern prophet Thomas Berry who said: “The industrial economy is not sustainable.  It is a failing system.  It is closing down the planet in its most basic modes of functioning.”  Jim reminded us that much of our thinking about economies fails to take into account natural processes and the gift of the earth and its resources.  We need to consider human wellbeing and the wellbeing of the natural world alongside company profits.  He also championed Pope Francis and his encyclicals, particularly Laudate Si (On the Care of our Common Home).  Nature can not be regarded as something separate from ourselves, nor as a mere setting in which we live.  Pope Francis encourages us to build an integrated ecology.

Next Thursday Kathleen Gallagher speaks on Climate Change and Water. 5.30 -7.00pm at Knox Church, Bealey Ave.






An evening with John Bell….Five of us from St Martins  joined with others to sing with John Bell and hear some of his wise insights into the importance of singing which links us with God.  John is a member of the Iona Community in Scotland and believes singing is good for our souls.  Too often we have been told we can’t sing so we don’t.  We often feel we have to hit the right notes and do it well, when letting it flow from our hearts is what is needed.  Much of the singing we did together was without accompaniment.  The melodies were often quite simple, but we discovered music unlocks places deep within.






Session Report:

Session noted with thanks the retirement of June Service as our morning tea coordinator….thanks June for  organising and facilitating this ministry!

A 24 page report from General Assembly concerning Euthanasia is available.  If you would like a copy please contact Dugald or the office.

We thanked the St Mark’s/St Anne’s Anglican Parish and Beckenham Methodist Church for their generous gifts to celebrate our return to the church.

Conditions of use contracts have been drawn up for hiring the church complex.  The Session also approved an alcohol policy.

We expect we still have a final bill to pay of approx. $36,000 to the contractors and can report we have money in hand to pay this.

We are slowly building up usage of the complex with regular users now being Sit and Keep Fit, Craft group, Foot Clinic, and a decision by South Elder care to return to the complex when it is secure with fencing. 

A newcomers form has been drawn up and placed in the foyer which we invite newcomers to fill in.   This will give us information to prepare a nametag and facilitate delivery of a newsletter.  We have asked Heather Crew, Janet Dunn, Ken Austin, and Jill Grierson to be people who welcome newcomers, but of course this is something we all need to work at. 

David Beaumont has retired from leading services at Archer Home.  Thank you David for your ministry there.

Dugald will receive the gold card in August this year and is looking to retire early in 2020.  The Presbytery will be approached with a view to setting up a ministry settlement board.

Session will appoint a Child Safety Protection Officer by 1 August.

A proposal to hold a regular afternoon communion service especially for seniors is being examined to see if there would be sufficent interest.

St Martins Meditation Group….  We plan to initiate a group that would learn and practice mediation together.   We will have an initial planning meeting for those interested on Tuesday June 11th at 7.00pm. 

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Peter and the Sheet

Acts11:1-18

Peter was a fisherman.  He worked on boats.  Most fishermen I know who work on boats are pretty rough sort of characters who are pretty handy with their hands.  You have to be able to fix things on a boat.  You  work hard and play hard.   

So when we read of Peter falling into a trance we assume this is not normal for him.  Practical, hard working, blokes like him don’t start seeing visions.  Having a bit much to drink maybe, but you don’t have trances out on a fishing boat when there is fish to catch.  By the way the Greek word used for trance is the word ekstasis from which we get our word ecstasy, but I don’t think Peter was doing drugs. 

There’s something else about Peter.  He’s an observant Jewish man.  You don’t think of hard working fishermen as religious but Peter and all the Jewish people of his village kept the Torah and like most religious systems it had much to do with avoiding impurity.  There were foods you were not allowed to eat.  No pork, shellfish, reptiles or rabbits, or birds of prey.  Fish had to have scales and fins.  Animals had to be slaughtered using the shechita process in which all blood was drained and the killing was done in a humane way, and only animals that had a split hoof were allowed.  You even checked that eggs had no blood in them, and meat and dairy products were not to be eaten together.    

But impurity laws also included people.  Touching a dead body made you unclean.  Going into a non-Jewish house made you unclean as did sharing an eating vessel with them.  Basically non Jewish people were unclean.

But back to Peter’s ecstasy trip.  I need to point out it occurs in the middle of the day so probably we can rule out drinking.  It’s so important that it gets reported on twice in two chapters of the book of Acts.    He sees a sheet coming down from heaven and it’s filled with all sorts of food.  Did you recall some of that food? Reptiles, birds of prey, all sorts of four footed animals without split hooves– unclean life.  But Peter hears a voice saying, “get up kill and eat.”  Peter is shocked and resists.  He’s not about to break years of religious habit and practice.  Eat that sort of stuff and someone is bound to say he’ll go to hell. But the voice persists telling him to not call anything impure which God has created.  This happens three times and the sheet then goes back up to the heavens.

So what was Peter to make of it?  His gut reaction was shock and resistance.  But what was that gut reaction based on.  Years of religious teaching, reading the scriptures, the expectations of the religious community he was part of.  It’s based on his devotion to God.  He resists God in the name of God.    It’s possible to resist God’s call to growth by appealing to your religious convictions.  Confusing isn’t it..

But as soon as the trance is over there’s a knock at the door and there are three men there…. A couple of slaves and a soldier – Romans.  There were ‘them’ and ‘us’ and these guys are definitely ’thems’.  They say come and meet our leader who was a Roman centurion – an officer of rank.  Peter feels the urging of the Spirit to go and true to character is prepared to take a risk.  Things in life are not entirely random and along the way he seems to work out the vision, because when it comes to entering Cornelius’s house he says,’ God has shown me that I should not call anyone impure or unclean.’   And let’s be clear here.  This centurion washed every day and scrubbed up very well indeed.  His sandals were clean and shiny, his clothes spotless.  Unclean simply meant you didn’t think someone else was worthy or to be valued.  Unclean meant you could be nice to someone but actually you wouldn’t invest any energy to care for them.  Unclean meant that in your eyes they were not up to it, not really a fellow child of God.   Uncleanliness had to do with despising, writing off in some way, not respecting.  Unclean people are people we would prefer not to bump into or welcome into our lives…. Unclean is anything we would prefer not to enter or engage in our lives….a person we don’t like.  But it could also be some thing we don’t want to engage with in our lives, something we want to push away, a brush with cancer or illness.  It could be something about ourselves or past that we just want to bury and pretend doesn’t exist.

We don’t talk about people or things as unclean, but there are people we don’t want to engage with, there are things we don’t want in our lives. Unclean is not just then, but now. 

Peter was brought up in a faith that said Romans were not good people, not real people.  He’s almost certainly never been inside a Roman house before.  Stories had been told about how Romans ate unclean food, and had wild parties with much drinking and all sorts of carrying on.  Romans had crucified his messiah Jesus so there was a personal story as well.  I suspect there were other personal stories involving family members killed or raped by brutal Roman crackdowns in his home town of Capernaum.  Romans, especially soldiers, were not of God.   

The story tells us Peter thought about this.  Actually he battled with what happened next for years and I think never really quite got it.  God was at work in these unclean others.  God was bigger than his little clan.  Thank God Peter trusted his moment of ecstasy. 

He crossed the threshold, and I suspect feeling very uncomfortable, engaged with these outsiders.  And he discovered that his picture of them was blown out the window.  It turns out they were human like he was.  They did things differently but they were reaching out to search for God and the fulfilment and peace of true life.  God’s Spirit was alive within them.

This is huge.  Peter’s understanding of his religious convictions are being turned on their head.  The scriptures were quite clear.  Gentiles were gentiles and therefore unclean.   Romans worshipped idols and did disgusting things.  Things were simple, black and white.  But things now were turned on their heads.  The apple cart had spilled apples everywhere.  Peter’s whole way of looking at the world and others was shattered.  There is a word that describes what Peter faced and it’s the word DISRUPTION.   

But disruptions are the often the source of our growth.  You travel and taste, you meet people from other tribes, you read new things, you see other ways, you hear new perspectives and you discover your previous ways of categorising and labelling and believing don’t work any more.  I’ve seen it many times.  Someone vehemently opposed to homosexuals discovers a friend is gay and….We thought Muslims were all bloodthirsty terrorists but now discover they have aspirations similar to us.  And you have a choice.  Circle the wagons and hold fast to what was, or take the plunge to open yourself to something new along with the pain of leaving the old ways behind.  It’s actually exciting because your world becomes larger but it also becomes more complex.  It can be liberating, but also traumatic like the carpet being yanked out from under you.  But once you’ve tasted you can’t untaste.  Once you’ve seen you can’t unsee.

Peter crossed the threshold into the centurion’s house knowing this was risky business.  Heaven knows what would happen or what all his friends would say.  But he also felt something calling within…. This was the very right thing to do.  The Jesus Spirit within was urging him on.   

I wonder….is there someone in your family, is there someone in this congregation you see as unclean. 

Is God whispering of looking to disrupt something in you, to open your eyes to something new?  To enlarge your vision.  To enlarge your understanding. 

I believe our faith is about a journey in which we always have something more to learn, some new surprise to shake us free from the prison of comfort, some new step of growth.  I find it easy to slip back into a pattern of thinking I know it all and being an old dog that has no new tricks to learn.    

It’s strange but often God is speaking in our lives through those we label outsiders.  God speaks through the ‘not welcome’ places, the struggles in our lives, the places of pain.  The earthquakes or catastrophe’s where the what was smooth becomes rough and broken.   Haven’t we seen God at work in the outpouring of love and the hard work of reconciliation that so many are committing to following our massacre.    Learning the them’s are actually us. 

Listen, take note, and see what you can learn from the ‘not welcome’ places and the ‘not welcome’ people of our lives.  Listen for the Jesus Spirit within and take a risk.

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Sunday 19 May 2019

NOTICES:

A very warm welcome to you all this morning. After the service please come through to the Lounge for a cuppa and a time to talk.

Pathways is a friendship and study group in our congregation which is growing together in faith.  It meets monthly on a Saturday morning for about 90 minutes and this month will begin looking at a series of 5 studies looking at relationships.  We will look at family relationships, church relationships, relating to strangers, broken relationships and how they might be mended, and our relationship with God. 

Members of the group say this is a really good group to belong to and journey with.  It is gentle, relaxed, friendly, and at our level.

If you would be interested in popping along to check out the group this month would be a good time to do this as they start a new series.  Talk to Peggy Cree, Hilary Moore, Elizabeth Penwell, Sue Saunders, Jill Grierson, Margaret Shanks, Alice Shanks or Rob Connell for more information or join us THIS Saturday 25th May at 10am.



Church Cleaning: Every three weeks, the facilities will be cleaned commercially by Moonlighters Cleaning. We are seeking volunteers from the congregation (men and women!) to clean the church plant in the intervening weeks. Please add your name to the list on the clipboard in the foyer if you can help. A list of duties required is also available. Thank you to those who have already volunteered.

Crafty Crafters: Meets on Thursdays in the Church lounge 10am-12noon. New faces are always welcome. $3 per session. Contact Lyndsey 388 1264 for more information.

Family Movie Night Friday 24th May 7pm at Opawa Community Church, cnr

Opawa Rd & Aynsley Tce. This month’s movie is “Robots”. Free entry; drinks & nibbles for sale. All welcome.

Wednesday Walkers 22nd May: Meet 9.30am at the Bus Exchange by Lichfield/Colombo corner. Coffee venue TBC. All welcome. Sonya 027 253 3397.

Bacon Fundraiser: Joanwill be picking up the bacon on Monday 27th May. It would be appreciated if the money owing could be handed in next Sunday please.

EcuAction Seminar Report

This week Colin Meurk spoke about Climate Change and plants.  He reminded us that we will see significant loss of plant and animal life with the latest UN report saying a million species will go extinct by 2050.  As habitat warms and changes in other ways many species will not adapt quickly enough while other species will thrive.  He supports declaring a climate change emergency.  Colin was particularly keen for Christchurch to recognise the wonderful diversity of life found in our city and to declare our city a National Park City as London has done.  He wants to encourage initiatives that help people link more strongly with nature.  He also encourages the growth of native flora and fauna and taking pride in our unique heritage rather than importing plants for our gardens and city spaces.

Fr Frank Kelly spoke from a faith perspective and reminded us of our responsibility as outlined in Genesis 1 to be caretakers and trustees of the earth.  We do not own the earth, God does.  He also commended Pope Francis’s encyclical Laudato Si. (Praise be to You) This is the second encyclical of Pope Francis. The encyclical has the subtitle “on care for our common home”. In it, the Pope critiques consumerism and irresponsible development, laments environmental degradation and global warming, and calls all people of the world to take “swift and unified global action”.

Next Thursday at 5.30pm Charles Drace speaks on Climate Change and Capitalism.






Session Report:

Session noted with thanks the retirement of June Service as our morning tea coordinator….thanks June for  organising and facilitating this ministry!

A 24 page report from General Assembly concerning Euthanasia is available.  If you would like a copy please contact Dugald or the office.

We thanked the St Mark’s/St Anne’s Anglican Parish and Beckenham Methodist Church for their generous gifts to celebrate our return to the church.

Conditions of use contracts have been drawn up for hiring the church complex.  The Session also approved an alcohol policy.

We expect we still have a final bill to pay of approx. $36,000 to the contractors and can report we have money in hand to pay this.

We are slowly building up usage of the complex with regular users now being Sit and Keep Fit, Craft group, Foot Clinic, and a decision by South Elder care to return to the complex when it is secure with fencing. 

A newcomers form has been drawn up and placed in the foyer which we invite newcomers to fill in.   This will give us information to prepare a nametag and facilitate delivery of a newsletter.  We have asked Heather Crew, Janet Dunn, Ken Austin, and Jill Grierson to be people who welcome newcomers, but of course this is something we all need to work at. 

David Beaumont has retired from leading services at Archer Home.  Thank you David for your ministry there.

Dugald will receive the gold card in August this year and is looking to retire early in 2020.  The Presbytery will be approached with a view to setting up a ministry settlement board.

Session will appoint a Child Safety Protection Officer by 1 August.

A proposal to hold a regular afternoon communion service especially for seniors is being examined to see if there would be sufficent interest.

St Martins MenzShed based in the Community Building (Old SS Rooms at the back of our section).  We will have an initial meeting on a Monday May 27th at 7.15pm to gauge interest in setting up a group to run a menzshed in this area and take the first steps to get this project moving.  Please tell blokes of the neighbourhood about this initiative that will provide a meeting place for men, and we hope will be a place where women will be invited to learn practical skills.

St Martins Meditation Group….  We plan to initiate a group that would learn and practice mediation together.   We will have an initial planning meeting for those interested on Tuesday June 11th at 7.00pm.  This is a group for beginners and explorers.  The group would meet in the church complex every week for to practice meditation for 20 minutes and to for a short learning time.   Stillness is a way to hear and know God more closely in our lives.  It is anticipated this will be an ecumenical group using mediation techniques as outlined by the World Community for Christian Meditation.  See www.wccm.org

Movie Nights are being planned forJune 1st, July 6th, August 4th 5.45pm at church – bring your takeaway tea (eg fish and chips) drinks provided, movie starts at 6.15pm and finish at 8pm.  Possible movies on offer:  Paddington, Green Book,  Moana. 

Paddington is a family movie that also has serious messages of the wonders and importance of hospitality.  It is partly animated, but is a fun movie that will bring a smile to your face as Paddington Bear is accepted into the Brown family home in London after travelling there from deepest Peru. 

Green Book is a recently released and widely acclaimed adults movie. It is a 2018 American biographical comedy-drama set in 1962.  The film is inspired by the true story of a tour of the deep south by an African American classical and jazz pianist and his white Italian American driver. 

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The resuscitation of Dorcas

So what do we know about Dorcas…  See Acts 9:32-43

  • She is known by two names.  Dorcas is Greek and Tabitha is Aramaic and it means ‘gazelle’.
  • She lived in Joppa now called Jaffa on the outskirts of Tel Aviv.  I imagine there was a small group of Jewish followers of Jesus there may be about 15. 
  • She is called a disciple – the Greek form of the word for disciple is the only time it’s used in the New Testament.  It has the connotation of someone with authority.  She is I think someone who is still very active and who has died not of old age but of some other issue.
  • She is revered among the widows of Joppa.  She seems to have a ministry of looking after widows who were often people on the edge.  In a patriarchal society where women had little financial independence widows especially immigrants were very vulnerable and without a husband were often in a precarious situation.  Without a husband they had no breadwinner and no protector. 
  • Dorcas was known for making clothing.  The widows who mourned her death showed Peter some of the fine clothing she had made for them.  She was a woman who had a ministry in caring for others.   The term used at the beginning of the reading to denote the Jesus followers at Lydda is saints or hagios.  It means the holy ones.  Holiness was about being different, and the difference is about being chosen for special purposes of God.  We are saints too but it’s not about greater honour or prestige in God’s eyes it’s about being chosen to fulfil the special purpose of God.  For Dorcas this was about caring for others.
  • She was the only person raised from the dead by an apostle and the story of this miracle obviously did the rounds of Joppa and some joined the small band of Christ followers there.

Miracles in the ancient world were important and a sign of God’s activity.  The ability to perform miracles was a sign that God was working in someone, and the elevation to sainthood in the Catholic Church still has this requirement.   You have to show the person has performed a miracle.  True to my protestant roots I would name Dorcas as a saint because she has discovered her God purpose and is living it out to great effect in caring for others.   There are wondrous things happening in this story and it’s easy to overlook the wonder of someone who has discovered their calling in life and who is living this out in the service of God.

The resuscitation of Dorcas after her body has been washed in preparation for burial however is also wondrous.   What happened and why.  If it happened then wouldn’t it be cool to get access to this power today.   I confess I have never prayed for someone who was dead to start breathing again – a resuscitation of the deceased.  I have of course prayed that they will return to be at home in God.    But I find myself wondering about all sorts of things.  How was Dorcas resuscitated and how could cells in her brain starved of oxygen survive?  Mysterious things sometimes happen with dead bodies which is why they used attach strings to dead people’s wrists when they put them in a coffin and run the string up to a bell above ground.  If the person came alive again the bell would ring and hence we get the term saved by the bell.  We also get the term graveyard shift because someone was appointed to listen through the night in graveyards for any bells.   Something obviously happened to Dorcas and she came alive again and Peter got some credibility.   But what does this tell us about God’s activity.  If only there were a few more Peter’s around could we solve the health system overload….. 

Imagine this.  The Lion Air Boeing 777Max plane full of passengers crashes because the pilots were unable to override the software that continually pushed the nose down.  Arriving at the pearly gates the passengers are informed by God, ‘sorry I would have loved to intervene and save you but not enough of you were praying.’    Or the alternative, as the pilots struggled to regain control the people on board were totally united in prayer asking God to save them.  God intervened and turned off the software causing the problem and the plane touched down safely.  ‘Phew, good thing we all prayed’ said the passengers.    Both scenarios raise some pretty big questions about the place of prayer. 

But so does this.  Some double blind studies have shown that people who pray and who are prayed for   heal more quickly than those not prayed for.  I have to say such research is inevitably dodgy, because the variables are impossible to tie down, but it makes sense to me that this could be the case.  What doesn’t make much sense is the picture of God waiting somewhere for enough prayer to as it were to twist God’s arm to act.   I believe there is a power of healing alive within our world which can be enhanced and freed to move through prayer so I want to encourage prayer for healing.  I believe also this power can be enhanced through other ways… love and knowing we are loved, but also through other means like medical science and good medical practice.   I don’t picture God intervening from the outside, from up there somewhere, but God acting through the healing power that is in us, in others, and in the world.

I also believe that healing is not just about physical restoration, but is a body, mind, relational thing. Often it’s about being strengthened to face the reality of what is.  I have a friend in a wheelchair who had many prayers prayed for physical healing which never happened, but she would say she and her husband have been strengthened to face their situation.  Their tragedy has seen much outpouring of love and actually their lives have touched many others and given them strength too.  For Dorcas resuscitation may have been for a couple of years or whatever but she still faced death.  It’s human to pray that the mountains we face be taken away.  Even Jesus asked in prayer for the cross to be taken away from him.  But the reality is that our faith is not an insurance policy that prevents tragedy and loss.  As I have said prayer does sometimes open doors for healing power to flow in all sorts of forms but the covenant or deal God has made with us is not to protect us from all pain, but to be with us no matter what.  There is I think a common temptation to believe that if we are good God will give us special favours, but being in relationship with God strengthens us and guides us in living life, whatever comes.  This also is not always apparent.  Jesus cried from the cross, my God, my God, why have you forsaken me.   It’s human to see just a small part of the big picture and we have to learn to trust in something bigger than us.

The Psalm that is our lectionary Psalm for today proclaims this.  It is a psalm you know well, Psalm 23 and I invite you to join with me in singing it now.    

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Sunday 12th May 2019

NOTICES:

A very warm welcome to you all this morning. After the service please come through to the Lounge for a cuppa and a time to talk.  

Many thanks to the Men’s Group for this morning’s delicious breakfast!

A New MenzShed…. An opportunity has come up to establish a new MenzShed in St Martins.  MenzSheds are a great place for blokes to make new friends and learn new skills especially in retirement years.  There will be a short open meeting at St Martins Presbyterian Church, 43 St Martins Road, on Monday 27th May at 7.15pm to initiate planning to get this project flying.  We aim to set up a small team to do the initial set-up.   If you are excited by this possibility please come, or speak to Dugald.



Church Cleaning: Every three weeks, the facilities will be cleaned commercially by Moonlighters Cleaning. We are seeking volunteers from the congregation (men and women!) to clean the church plant in the intervening weeks.

Please add your name to the list on the clipboard in the foyer if you can help. A list of duties required is also available. Thank You.

Caring for creation

Do you have a tip that you could share with others in our church family about something you do to care for our environment.  Take a photo and give our newsletter editor Anneke a description of what you do.  Let’s encourage one another in this important part of our living out our faith.

Articles are now required for the next ‘Messenger’. Deadline is THIS Friday.

Email: anneke.howie@gmail.com.

Crafty Crafters: Meets on Thursdays in the Church lounge 10am-12noon. New faces are always welcome. $3 per session. Contact Lyndsey 388  1264 for more information.

Session meets this Wednesday 15th May 7.30pm in the church foyer.

Wednesday Walkers 15th May: Meet 9.30am at Westlake Reserve carpark. Coffee at the Old Vicarage. All welcome. Janette & Cyril 021 0756780.

EcuAction Seminar Report

It is clear that climate change is going radically alter life on our planet.  There are going to be more severe storms, land is going to be lost to the rising sea levels, there will be extinction of species and loss of human life.  It is clear that human beings are responsible, mostly in first world rich countries like ours.  But we have shown we can deal with issues like the depletion of the ozone layer through international cooperation and agreements like the Montreal Protocol banning CFC’s.  There is hope.

It is easy to say others must do something, but the reality is we all need to do something NOW.  Putting our heads in the sand is not acceptable to our creator God.  Richard McKenzie an atmospheric physicist spoke at Knox Church last Thursday and told us we have to look at the amount of carbon dioxide we are putting into the atmosphere.  We have to dramatically reduce the use of our petrol driven cars by walking, cycling, car pooling, using public transport, or going electric.  We have to jump on fewer planes.  We have to buy local and food in season so we don’t transport stuff all round the planet.  We have to consume less stuff.   Christians seem to like the word repent…. Real repentance and a change of direction is what will save the planet as we know it, and that starts with individual responsibility.  What are you and I going to actually do to reduce our carbon footprint?       …….Dugald

Next Thursday at 5.30pm Colin Muerk speaks on Climate Change and the Earth.

Growing our understanding of Islam – a free open forum Tuesday 14 May, 7-9pm at Cashmere Presbyterian:

Rev Dr Bill Shepard (a retired Religions Studies lecturer from Canterbury University) will be speaking from his life-time of interfaith understanding. Bring your questions about Islam, and the issues that lie behind the acts of terror we have recently witnessed.





Pathways is a friendship and study group in our congregation which is growing together in faith.  It meets monthly on a Saturday morning for about 90 minutes and this month will begin looking at a series of 5 studies looking at relationships.  We will look at family relationships, church relationships, relating to strangers, broken relationships and how they might be mended, and our relationship with God. 

Members of the group say this is a really good group to belong to and journey with.  It is gentle, relaxed, friendly, and at our level.

If you would be interested in popping along to check out the group this month would be a good time to do this as they start a new series.  Talk to Peggy Cree, Hilary Moore, Elizabeth Penwell, Sue Saunders, Jill Grierson, Margaret Shanks, Alice Shanks or Rob Connell for more information or join us on Saturday 25th May at 10am.

Initial meeting for those who might be interested in being part of a Christian Meditation Group Tuesday May 28th 7.15pm at church. The aim would be to form  a small group where we learn to grow together through a practice of stillness. We would follow the tradition of the World Community for Christian Meditation which encourages a daily practice of quiet.

Christian Meditation: The Christchurch Christian Meditation Community’s next community day will be held at the Methodist church community hall on the cnr of Chapel St & Harewood Rd, Papanui, on Saturday 25th May between 1:00 & 4:00pm.

This time, in the interests of interfaith understanding, our guest speaker will be the Venerable Lama Assi.  He will talk about the origins and development of Buddhist meditation, and give his views on the commonality between religions as found through meditation.

It promises to be a very interesting afternoon and you’ll find a very warm welcome.  Afternoon tea is provided.  A Koha to help cover costs would be appreciated.  For further information about us, please go to wccm.org or email Chris Wilson at cjw9nz@gmail.com or call 029 357 8433.

RamadanMuslims started celebrating Ramadan this week. During this time they will not eat food or drink during the hours of daylight.   Ramadan is when the Koran was received so it is a time to read Koran and focus on spiritual practice to rebalance your life in God.   Ramadan lasts for a month and finishes with a celebration called Eid Ul Fitr when traditionally families gather and give thanks together for the gift of life.

Posted in Services | Comments Off on Sunday 12th May 2019