Monthly Archives: July 2019

Sunday 21st July 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 chat. Many thanks to Rev Hugh Perry for leading our worship today.

Practice the St Martins Plastic Pledge for July –

The St Martins Plastics Pledge:

  1. I will responsibly recycle all I can, whenever I can.
  2. I will regularly use multi-use bags when I go shopping.
  3. I will try to reduce the use plastic bags and plastic trays used to     package food by using reusable containers.
  4. I will use a re-usable mug and refuse plastic straws when I go to cafes, etc
  5. I will try to buy unwrapped ‘loose’ locally grown vegetables/fruit whenever practical, rather than those wrapped in plastic or plastic nets.
  6. I will tell others about my commitment to reduce our reliance on single-use plastics.

PLEASE REMEMBER to turn lights/heaters off when you leave the building!!

South Elder Care comes home to to 43 St Martins Rd this Tuesday!

Wednesday Walkers 24th July: Meet 9.45am cnr of Birdwood and Malcolm Ave. We will have a walk in the Beckenham area and have coffee in the Birdwood Café. All Welcome.  Anneke 021 0774 065

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

Updated Parish Phone List now available. Please contact the Office if you would like a copy. This can be either e-mailed to you, or a paper copy provided.

Movie Night….our next movie on Saturday 3rd August will be “I Daniel Blake”.  Daniel has worked as a joiner most of his life in Newcastle, England.  Now for the first time in his life he needs help from the State.  He crosses paths with Katie and her two young children who are also struggling to survive.  Their encounters with welfare bureaucracy will have you both laughing and crying as they long to be treated as real human beings. Come along for BYO takeaway tea at 5.45pm, with movie screening at 6.15pm.

Working Bee Saturday August 10th at 9am. Tasks will include: preparing section for grass seed, deck construction, window cleaning, shifting boxes, clearing out shed one.

Meditation Group…About ten people are meeting each week to spend time in stillness (20 mins) with a small message of teaching.  We are slowly growing in our discipline of spend time each day in stillness and believe this time re-orientates us in God and in our true selves.  It is special to feel part of a warm welcoming group of very diverse people that are on a journey together.  What is even better is that we recognise meditation is good for us!  Tuesdays 7.00-7.45pm in the lounge.   New members are always welcome or speak with Jeanette and David, Keith, Janet, or Helen.

Annual Reports are now due. Please e-mail them to Anna by Friday 16th August. Thank You.

Men’s Group…Next gathering on Thursday 1st August at 6.00pm when Warren Pettigrew will talk about some of the projects he’s been working on at Dynamic Controls.  Share the word with blokes you know.

Session Report for July

With the final payment being completed for the strengthening work on the church letters of thanks and appreciation are being sent to the Architect and Building Company.

Dugald has received his Certificate of Good Standing for the next three years.

Dugald has indicated he will be retiring as from Feb 23rd 2020, and we have asked Presbytery to form a Ministry Settlement Board. (MSB)  Session will appoint two people to this and the congregation will vote to appoint a further four. 

Session has decided not to instigate a special quarterly afternoon communion service for older members.

The decision by Managers to not insure the church buildings for natural disaster (eg earthquake and flood) was endorsed.  The costs of this are high and the excess would be approx. $140,000.  We will however insure to cover costs of demolition in the event of a large earthquake.

The AGM of the congregation will be held on Sunday 15th September after worship.

Session has asked for ‘an event’ to look at and discuss the End of Life Choice Bill currently being processed by our Parliament.   A 20 page report prepared by the Doctrine Committee that was presented to the 2018 General Assembly is available in the foyer (more available on request).

We noted the call of the General Assembly 2018 to install bike racks.  

New Shelving in Foyer Storeroom…. We are very grateful to the Halswell Menzshed and to John Hinchey from the St Martins Menzshed for finding the MDF board and constructing the shelving in the foyer store.  Thanks to Keith for his input.

Concrete Paths….with another pour of concrete last Monday we are almost there with the concreting work around the church.  A fence with gates will be erected between the community room and the church.  A deck will be erected in the next few weeks outside the lounge.  Thank you to Cyril for the boxing, Keith and Rob for the fencing, David Hodder for organizing the concrete, and help from our neighbour Graham McNicholl in placing the concrete.

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.

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Sunday 14 July 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 chat.

Wednesday Walkers 17th July: Meet 9.45am cnr of Riverlaw Tce & Armstrong Ave for a walk in the St Martins area. Coffee at Fava Café  in Centaurus Rd. All welcome. Joan Scott  338 8700.

Session meets this Wednesday 17th July 7.30pm in the church foyer.

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

Winnie Bagoes Pizza Night Fundraiser for Opawa-St Martins Anglican Parish Sunday 28th July 5.30pm. Tickets $30 adults, $15 children. See Anna in you’re interested.

Metro Cards now available at Beckenham Service Centre: Monday to Friday, 9am – 7pm, and Saturday and Sunday, 10am – 4pm. ID required for card purchase.

Meditation Group…About ten people are meeting each week to spend time in stillness (20 mins) with a small message of teaching.  We are slowly growing in our discipline of spend time each day in stillness and believe this time re-orientates us in God and in our true selves.  It is special to feel part of a warm welcoming group of very diverse people that are on a journey together.  What is even better is that we recognise meditation is good for us!  Tuesdays 7.00-7.45pm in the lounge.   New members are always welcome or speak with Jeanette and David, Keith, Janet, or Helen.

Men’s Group…Next gathering on Thursday 1st August at 6.00pm when Warren Pettigrew will talk about some of the projects he’s been working on at Dynamic Controls.  Share the word with blokes you know.

Updated Parish Phone List now available. Please contact the Office if you would like a copy. This can be either e-mailed to you, or a paper copy provided.

South Elder Care comes home to to 43 St Martins Rd on Tuesday 23rd July.

Practice the St Martins Plastic Pledge for July –

The St Martins Plastics Pledge:

  1. I will responsibly recycle all I can, whenever I can.
  2. I will regularly use multi-use bags when I go shopping.
  3. I will try to reduce the use plastic bags and plastic trays used to     package food by using reusable containers.
  4. I will use a re-usable mug and refuse plastic straws when I go to cafes, etc
  5. I will try to buy unwrapped ‘loose’ locally grown vegetables/fruit whenever practical, rather than those wrapped in plastic or plastic nets.
  6. I will tell others about my commitment to reduce our reliance on single-use plastics.


A Prayer for our Earth by Pope Francis*

All-powerful God,

you are present in the whole universe and in the smallest of your creatures.

You embrace with your tenderness all that exists.

Pour out upon us the power of your love, that we may protect life and beauty.

Fill us with peace, that we may live as brothers and sisters, harming no one.

O God of the poor,

help us to rescue the abandoned

and forgotten of this earth,

so precious in your eyes.

Bring healing to our lives, that we may protect the world and not prey on it,

that we may sow beauty, not pollution and destruction.

Touch the hearts of those who look only for gain at the expense

of the poor and the earth.

Teach us to discover the worth of each thing,

to be filled with awe and contemplation,

to recognize that we are profoundly united with every creature

as we journey towards your infinite light.

We thank you for being with us each day.

Encourage us, we pray, in our struggle for justice, love and peace?.

* Pope Francis published this prayer in his ‘Laudato Si’ encyclical

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The prophet Amos

Read…   Amos 8:1-10

   If I asked you to tell me about the prophets of the Old Testament, I wouldn’t be surprised if many of you told me you didn’t know much about them but didn’t they predict the future and especially didn’t they predict the birth of Jesus.   We read bits of Isaiah around Christmas time to show his birth was predicted by the Old Testament.  (Actually I think Isaiah would be very surprised to hear about Jesus!)

   The prophets (and they make up about one third of the Old Testament)  did of course make some statements about the future but usually these were along the lines of ‘things need to change in our society and if they don’t these are going to be the consequences’.  Primarily I believe these charismatic characters were God’s messengers sent to tell societies about how God wanted them to live and to call the people back to faithful living.  They spoke of justice for everyone, a fair go for everyone, respect for everyone.  Often they were reluctant and they usually had a hard time because what they had to say wasn’t welcomed.  Telling people they have to change the way they are living usually goes down like a lead balloon.  But in Amos’ case change was needed because his people had gone off the rails.  

  We are told at the beginning of the book that carries his name that he was born in Tekoa, a small village not far from Jerusalem.  He was a semi nomadic shepherd who lived in the time of when Uzziah was king of Judah and Jereboam king of the northern kingdom of Israel.  What he said was anchored in a specific time and place.  The opening verse of his book tells us he spoke out two years before the great earthquake.  It seems we share something in common with Amos although I think the earthquake that he’s remembered for is his message that the way things were needed to radically change!    

      Amos speaks for God:

For crime after crime of Israel I will grant no reprieve, because they sell the innocent for silver and the destitute for a pair of shoes.  They grind the heads of the poor into the earth and thrust the humble out of their way.  Father and son resort to the same woman and they profane my name…..it’s not a pretty picture that Amos portrays about some of the things that were happening in his own society.  And yet around him people were optimistic.  The economy was doing well, and the rich were wallowing in their wealth. People were heading along to local synagogues on the Sabbath.  But Amos says God is not fooled.  This is not how things should be for God’s people.  For him and the God he knows a country is not judged by it’s economic growth, its economic outlook, or even how full the churches are.  Amos tells us we should judge a nation according to how well it treats the poor, the disadvantaged, and the marginal.  Crucial for him was the question of what was happening to forgotten people at the bottom of the heap, or the fringes of society.  In some of his hard hitting comments he rages against the upper class women of  the wealthy area of Bashan famed for it’s fertile soils and fine cattle:

Listen to this you cows [he is calling the women cows!] of Bashan who live on the hills of Samaria.  You who oppress the poor and crush the destitute with your indifference, who say to your husbands, ‘bring me a nice gin and tonic’..it’s not going to last….”  

And he goes on to speak of foreign armies invading the country that has gone rotten and the rich cows being led away into captivity.  The message is clear.  God wants a caring society, a just society, and if you won’t change then watch this space.  God’s judgment was close at hand.    

   He also has a go at the religion of his day picking out the two biggest and most holy sites of worship in the land at Bethel and Gilgal.  People would expect him to say come to Bethel and Gilgal and worship God.  But mocking them he says:

Come to Bethel and turn your back on God.  Come to Gilgal and turn your back even moreYes bring all your tithes and your offerings, do all the right religious things, but he says,  your worship is a mockery

He was saying their worship was an empty sham.  They might have prayed loudly on the Sabbath but on the first day of the working week they went back to ripping others off and behaving in ways that dishonoured God.  Again Amos pronounces the word of God:

Spare me the sound of your songs; I can not endure the music of your lutes.  Instead let justice flow like a river and righteousness like an ever flowing stream. 

Amos was speaking about the inequality he saw.  Some said their wealth was a gift from God, even a reward for their fine upright moral behavior.  Amos saw another reality.  Clearly there was no concern for the disadvantaged and struggling people in society and instead of a cohesive caring society there were huge inequalities and very little understanding of what life may be like on the other side of town.

     Amos saw visions.  WE heard about one this morning.  A basket of beautiful summer fruit.  The grapes, figs, olives, apples, oranges, looked lovely.  The Hebrew word for this in the text is gayitz.  It is a picture of abundance and all being well.  But Amos hears God saying to him that in fact not all is well and the end is nigh.  The Hebrew word for end is qetz which sounds like gayitz.  The word play was not lost on the Hebrew listeners.  Things may look lovely like the basket of fresh summer fruit, but in reality the fruit was going rotton.  It was well past it’s ‘use by’ date. 

 On that day says the Lord I will make the sun go down at noon, and the earth will grow dark.  I will turn your feasts into mourning.  I will make it like mourning for an only child, deep and bitter.  Even the land will become dry and desolate.    

   Archeologists have confirmed Amos’s picture.  In the early days when the Israelites settled Canaan the land was distributed more or less equally amongst the families and tribes.  As late as the tenth century BC archeologists have found houses were all approximately the same size and there wasn’t great disparity of wealth.  But by Amos’s day two centuries later everything had changed   Groups of large palatial dwellings were found in some areas while tiny hovels were found huddled together in other areas.  The gulf between the rich and poor had increased dramatically and the once united society had become divided by a chasm with no caring bridge between them.  God’s word through Amos was frightening.  The consequence of this inequality was that Israel would collapse as a nation and be utterly destroyed and laid waste.

   And that’s what happened. Just a few years down the track the Assyrians came and conquered the land.  Buildings and life as they knew it was ended.  The cows of Bashan were taken away into captivity and their fine homes destroyed. The land became dry and desolate.  The judgment of God as prophesied by Amos came to be.

What do we make of Amos and the prophets like him in our Bibles?  They tell us God is very concerned about the sort of society we shape for ourselves.  Good societies are fair societies full of honesty, fairness, and a respect for each other and for God.  No more us and them. 

    Profits and the drive for good dividends must always be balanced with good and safe working conditions for workers.  I’m sure ex ANZ boss David Hisco is a nice guy, but he was living on another planet.  Ultra high salaries and crazy perks for the boss, questionable property deals for his wife, while the cleaners in his bank are paid probably close to the minimum wage.  It’s a recipe for disaster.  You can’t build good societies with us and them.    

We know there are good hard working families in our own society who just never get a chance to get ahead with a lack of affordable housing and basic health costs resulting in a hand to mouth existence.

   The sort of society and world we live in matters to God, so I give thanks for the work of our community project at Waltham Cottage.  It may be a few small drops in the ocean, but every drop in the ocean counts.  Every endeavor that seeks to build good community, every action that proclaims we are all neighbours makes God smile.

  Amos and other prophets are there in our scriptures to unsettle and remind us we should be greatly concerned for others especially those that don’t get the opportunities we do, the blessings we take for granted.   We are a society and we are all linked.  Let justice flow like a river and righteousness like an ever flowing stream.  Let us be part of that river and stream.

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Sunday 7th July 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 chat.

Many thanks to the Fireside ladies for hosting this morning’s breakfast.

Next week at worship we will look at the challenge of plastic in our community.  It is the older members of our society that can lead the way on this issue because you can remember a world without plastic.   Why not practice the St Martins Plastic Pledge for July?

The St Martins Plastics Pledge:

  1. I will responsibly recycle all I can, whenever I can.
  2. I will regularly use multi-use bags when I go shopping.
  3. I will try to reduce the use plastic bags and plastic trays used to     package food by using reusable containers.
  4. I will use a re-usable mug and refuse plastic straws when I go to cafes, etc
  5. I will try to buy unwrapped ‘loose’ locally grown vegetables/fruit whenever practical, rather than those wrapped in plastic or plastic nets.
  6. I will tell others about my commitment to reduce our reliance on single-use plastics.

Wednesday Walkers 10th July: Meet 9.45am in the carpark of the Air Force Museum, Wigram. Benjamin will lead a walk around the area.  Coffee will be at the Museum Café.  All welcome. 

Charlotte Houston 332 7700.

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

Meditation Group…. Meets on Tuesday evenings in the lounge (or church) at 7.00-7.45pm.  We touch base to encourage each other in our meditation practice.  Some are experienced and some are just starting.  We have a short simple teaching time before sitting in silence for 20 mins together in the practice of meditation.  Meditation is a prayer of transformation.  We are not asking God for things, just being still and in the silence God transforms us. Many people who practice meditation report better health and more authentic living.   New meditators are welcome.  Talk to Dugald if you are interested.





NZ Garden Bird Survey

Today is the last day to complete a survey of birds in your garden.  All you have to do is sit for an hour and count the maximum number of each species you see at any moment within the hour.  Google NZ Garden Bird Survey for details from Landcare Research.

Men’s Group…enjoyed an excellent talk on our local Community Watch group (which Peter Mechaelis is part of) last Thursday.  Next gathering on Thursday 1st August at 6.00pm when Warren Pettigrew will talk about some of the projects he’s been working on at Dynamic Controls.  Share the word with blokes you know.

Metro Cards now available at Beckenham Service Centre: Monday to Friday, 9am – 7pm, and Saturday and Sunday, 10am – 4pm. ID required for card purchase.

Winnie Bagoes Pizza Night Fundraiser for Opawa-St Martins Anglican Parish Sunday 28th July 5.30pm. Tickets $30 adults, $15 children. See Anna in you’re interested


Staying Safe – Confident Driving for Mature Drivers

Various venues, classroom based programme, cost $10 includes lunch and workbook for future reference, no tests, certificate of attendance. Time: 9.30am – 2.45pm. Contact Age Concern Canterbury on 366 0903 for bookings.

The Big Chill Saturday 13 July, 123pm, Linwood Park. Action sports on wheels, bouncy castles, face painting, fairies, free sausage sizzle and more. If wet, at Eastgate library.

Social Connection – Age Concern Canterbury

The Social Connection team, along with over 500 volunteers can help older people stay connected in their communities, including individualised advice, regular social outings, and weekly visits.

To access, phone 366 0903 or go to www.ageconcerncan.org.nz . For visiting service or individualised support and advice ask for Emma or Liz – for social outings ask for Katie or Debbie.

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