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.
Christian Meditation – a new group
Jesus often withdrew to places of stillness and solitude to re-orientate his life in God. Early Christians practiced mediation. Today this practice has often been ignored, yet passages like “be still and know that I am God” attract us. Spiritual teacher of our time Fr Thomas Keating said “silence is God’s language”. A new group is starting with the aim of learning and practicing the art of Christian Meditation.
Christian Meditation is based on: stillness, silence and simplicity. The aim is to move closer to union with God by sitting quietly. To aid us in being still we are invited to repeat in silence the word “Maranatha” which means “come Lord”. We come in simplicity, not asking for anything, or seeking to tell God anything, just wanting to be open to God. We are leaving busyness and self-consciousness aside to let God transform us deep to deep. We’re not thinking about anything, spiritual or otherwise, just seeking to be in the presence of God and to be wholly present to God. Those who persevere will inevitably see the results in their lives, “the fruits of the spirit” (Galatians 5): love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
Meditation does need to be regular, and it does require discipline.
The new group will meet for the first time at St Martins Presbyterian Church, 43 St Martins Road, THIS Tuesday June 11th at 7pm. If you are interested come and see. The group is not for experts, but for people interested in exploring a form of prayer that is much needed in our time. Our aim is to meet weekly for those who can make it, but to also encourage a daily personal practice of mediation.
A big thank you to everyone who participated in the Bacon Fundraiser. $598.61 was raised (this includes $56 of donations). Joan Macdonald.
Wednesday Walkers 12th June: Meet 9.45am at South Library carpark. Coffee at Novel Café. All welcome. Sonya 027 2533397.
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.
Latest Preserves for Sale from Sue: Feijoas in rose wine $5; Walnuts $5; Quince Chutney $4; Quince Jelly $4. IOUs welcome!
Next Movie Night is Saturday July 6th (when we’ll show the adult movie “Green Book”), & then August 4th 5.45pm at church – bring your takeaway tea (eg fish and chips) drinks provided. Movie starts at 6.15pm and finishes at 8pm.
Help fill the Pantry at Waltham Cottage: 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. Money in a NAMED envelope to Sue Saunders please on or before Sunday 4th August. Cost will be $49 & $37 for Community Services Card holders (please include a copy of each person’s card in in the envelope with the money). Names onto the clipboard in the foyer please.
South Brighton Voices present “From Bach to Boogie” Sunday 23 June 2pm HERE. Tickets $15 available from Lyndsey McKay. Come along and support the first concert in the church!
We are invited to come along next Tuesday evening at 7pm for a special service of ordination and appointment of Rev Jonathan Barb as Minister at Linwood Avenue Union Church, corner of Linwood Ave & Tilford St.
MenzShed at St Martins is underway.
A small steering team has been formed. We’ll meet again on Monday July 1st at 7.15pm to talk further.
For a first-century Jew, Pentecost was the fiftieth day after Passover. It was an agricultural festival. It was the day when farmers brought the first sheaf of wheat from the crop, and offered it to God, partly as a sign of gratitude and partly as a prayer that all the rest of the crop, too, would be safely gathered in. But, for the Jew, neither Passover nor Pentecost were simply agricultural festivals. These festivals awakened echoes of the great story which dominated the long memories of the Jewish people, the story of the Exodus from Egypt, when God fulfilled his promises to Abraham by rescuing his people. Passover was the time when the lambs were sacrificed, and the Israelites were saved from the avenging angel who slew the firstborn of the Egyptians. Off went the Israelites that very night, and passed through the Red Sea into the Sinai desert. Then, 50 days after Passover, they came to Mount Sinai, where Moses received the law. Pentecost, the fiftieth day, isn’t just about the ‘first fruits’, the sheaf which says the harvest has begun. It’s about God giving to his redeemed people the way of life by which they must now carry out his purposes.
Christians understand that at the Pentecost described in Acts 2 God is beginning a new journey as God’s people. Jesus has gone up into heaven in the ascension, and – so Luke wants us to understand – he is now coming down again, not with a written law carved on tablets of stone, but with the dynamic energy of the law, designed to be written on human hearts.
The wind and the fire are wild, untameable forces, and the experience of the wind rushing through the house with a great roar, and the fire coming to rest on each person present, must have been both terrifying and exhilarating. Of course, there are many times later in this book, as there are many times in the life of the church, when the spirit works softly and secretly, quietly transforming people’s lives and situations without any big noise or fuss.