Monthly Archives: January 2020

Sunday 2nd February 2020

NOTICES:

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

We give thanks for Shirley Murray…In today’s service we sing three hymns written by Shirley Murray who died this week in Wellington. Colin Gibson, who worked with Shirley on many hymns, wrote:

Our community has lost a brave bright soul, a distinctive prophetic voice and New Zealand’s finest religious poet. Her work is known, admired, and sung throughout the Christian world. Her hymns and songs will be her legacy for many years to come; her latest volume (published by Hope) reached her a short time before her death.
In one of her poems, Shirley wrote:
Something beautiful for God,

in my seeing,

in my being,

something beautiful for God

let the Spirit make of me.
Something meaningful and true,

in my living

and believing,

something meaningful and true,

something beautiful and new.

I think we can all agree that her wish was fulfilled.

Over the next week read Matt chapters 5-7. What questions come to you? Discuss with someone else a teaching that stands out for you. What does it mean for your life?

Farewell Luncheon

On Sunday 23rd February Dugald will lead his last service with us as our minister before his retirement after 35 years in the ministry.  Following the service Dugald and Janet invite you to join with them for a barbeque lunch.  Sausages, meat patties, bread, and drinks will be provided, and if you are able bring a salad to share.  Those not bringing a salad may like to donate a gold coin to help cover costs. 




PARISH BREAKFAST next Sunday 9th  February 8.45am, hosted by Session. Come along and enjoy cereal, fruit & muffins. Gold coin donation appreciated.

The Parish Office will be closed this Thursday (Waitangi Day).

Working Bee Saturday 15th February 9am. Come and help!

Articles are now required for the next edition of the ‘Messenger’.  Email contributions to Anneke: anneke.howie@gmail.com before  Friday 21st February. Many thanks.

Meditation Group: Every Tuesday a group meets here from 7.00-7.45pm to meditate together.  We are learners who are following an ancient Christian practice of being still with God.  For 20 minutes we sit in silence.  In silence you soon discover your mind is far from still, and is dancing all over the place.  However we use a mantra to keep gently refocusing.  In the stillness God is at work transforming us and helping us become more authentically ourselves. 

If you would like to try Christian meditation, join us on Tuesday evenings. Meditation is not only good for your soul, but helps relieve stress and anxiety, and has been shown to be very beneficial for your health.

Fundraising Ideas: We had a very good forum last week with a large number of ideas suggested for fundraising. This week you will receive a blue form asking if you would commit to making an idea happen. Please fill this out with your name and return to the silver box in the foyer.

Singing Group will next meet at 9.15am on 16th February.

Foyer Store Room …. the north storeroom in the foyer (currently with foot clinic, craft group and Elder Care gear in it) is now locked. If you need a key, please contact Anna in the office. 

Wednesday Walkers 5th February: Meet 9.30am in Hawford Rd by Opawa Café carpark for a walk around Opawa/St Martins. Coffee at Opawa Café. All welcome. Joan Mac 022 081 4088.

Crafty Crafters Thursdays 10am – 12 noon. $3 per session. New faces very welcome. Lyndsey 388 1264. No session this week 6 Feb.

Decking…  Cyril Morris has recently stained the deck outside the lounge to complete this project.  We say a very big thank you to Cyril  for this great addition to our complex.

You are invited to the Induction of Beckenham Methodist’s new minister TODAY at 2pm.

Sermons…most of Dugald’s sermons are available on line from our website.

Court Theatre Group Booking:

“Lysander’s Aunty” Friday 17th April 7.30pm

‘In this radical comedy, Lysander and Hermia, the lovers from A Midsummer Night’s Dream, run away to the forest…but things take a sharp turn along the way that lands them in the lap of Lysander’s unconventional, untraditional and very Kiwi Aunty. The world of Shakespeare is lovingly turned upside down as the highbrow meets the down-to-earth in this wonderfully quirky comedy’.

Tickets $54 or $42 with copy of Community Services Card. Add your names to the clipboard please, and money to Sue Saunders by Sunday 1st March.

The Gentle Revolution – Emerging Green Churches of Europe
Sunday 16th February 4pm – 5.30pm @ The Chapel of the Waves (corner Collingwood St and Union St, New Brighton)

Mark Gibson, the minister of two East Christchurch parishes, recently visited Eco and Green churches in Scotland, England and Denmark. Hundreds of mostly small local churches are transforming their life in response to the global ecological and climate crisis. Come and hear these wonderful stories. Could Aotearoa NZ evolve our own Green Church movement?

Entry by koha for the work of the Centre. All welcome.




Session Report:

  • Pastoral Care…a small task group has been set up to review our system of Pastoral Care.
  • Ministry Settlement Board…has met and is progressing the work of developing a Parish Profile.
  • Presbytery has not as yet been able to appoint an Interim Moderator for our parish.
  • We have agreed to seek to appoint a minister on Stated Supply for 3-6 months. We will approach Presbytery to see who might be available.
  • We noted that we have our own Facebook page. If you use Facebook please connect with the page (St Martins Presbyterian Community Church) and recommend it to friends.
Posted in Services | Comments Off on Sunday 2nd February 2020

Jesus the Teacher

Read:  Matt 4: 12-23

Jesus was a teacher.  People called him Rabbi.  One of the first things he does as he begins his ministry is to call together a group of people called disciples.  Disciples are people who learn from someone and then follow in the way epitomized by the life and teaching of a teacher.  The word disciple come a Latin word which means to learn.   So as modern disciples of Jesus we are learners.  We are people who have learned and still are learning how to live well in 2020, with Jesus as our teacher. 

Our scriptures talk often of Jesus as a teacher.  I remember as a young boy at Sunday School hearing stories about Jesus and being drawn into a way of looking at the world and other people that resonated deep within.   He seemed to radiate the presence of God.  Often the teaching was about moral living.   I discovered it was much better to tell the truth than to lie.  Jesus taught me to be honest and respectful.  I was amazed at the way Jesus reached out to strangers and people who were rejected by others and tried to do the same.  I has my eyes opened to see others treated badly by others at school so would try and befriend them.  Kids with a different skin colour or some oddity would often be picked on or ignored, so I tried to put myself in their shoes and feel how it might be for them and act accordingly.  Every week we would meet in our Sunday School and learn.

Later in my student years I was part of a Youth Group.  The learning continued.  This was the time that there was a movement of the Spirit and the Charismatic Movement was moving through the church.  There were many discussions and eye opening moments about what that all meant. I was part of several flats that were idealistically asking how should we live as followers of Jesus.  We took to heart Jesus’ advice to live simply and tried to avoid being duped into the consumer dream that happiness is found in having lots of things.  Part of that dream was to adopt a vegetarian lifestyle so as to consume less of the world’s resources which we did for some years, but alas the meat lover won through again.  We talked a lot about the importance of community and welcomed others into our flat who were a bit lost in the world.  We were part of the anti-nuclear movement staging street dramas and doing whatever we could to alert others to the evil of nuclear weapons.  When Jesus said ‘blessed are the peacemakers’, we took his words seriously.  To spend billions on making and peddling weapons of destruction in a world wracked by poverty and basic health and education issues, seemed and seams so wrong.  Jesus clearly stood for another way.  In our flat we talked often of how we could be a witness for Jesus and so we tried to invite someone we didn’t know well at church to share a meal with us each week.  It was an all guys flat so guests had to put up with some interesting meals. 

In those days we didn’t know much about carbon footprints and taking off overseas for the bog OE was common.  I felt called by Jesus to do something different.  It wasn’t London and parties, but I decided I wanted to learn about world poverty.  I had been captured by the prophetic writings in the Old Testament which speak so much about equality and justice for all. These writings filled out Jesus’ teaching on welcoming all people as brothers and sisters.  As I looked within I felt a call to visit Christian communities around the world but also to live in a wealthy country and a poor country to see what I could learn.  In America I volunteered to help in a Christian rehab community for people suffering from mental illness for six months.  It was real eye opener into some of the issues surrounding mental illness, the importance of therapeutic drugs, but also the huge importance of a loving community in any healing.  I also learned that despite being a very wealthy country America had terrible poverty and many people were consigned to the scrapheap.  I then spent a year in India working as a volunteer with the Presbyterian mission project in Jagadhri and in a multi-faith ashram trying to teach kids from very poor villages how they could farm and grow crops in more productive ways.  I learned poverty was a complex matter that had few quick fixes.  I discovered more laughter in rural India than existed back home in New Zealand.  But I also learned about the spiritual practices of Jesus like the setting aside of quiet time to meditate and reflecting on God and on what was really motivating and driving my life.  I had my eyes opened to other Christian traditions and other religions as an important part of listening to Jesus, and seeking to be a disciple….someone who was constantly learning from Jesus.

Youth is, of course, a time to experiment and learn.  Unburdened by responsibility you can take risks and can be idealistic.  Time progresses and sadly these elements get trampled in our lives.  We tend to adopt a settled and safe routine that is risk averse – as we move on we like to stay safe in the boat instead of trying to walk on water.  We tend to become one of the crowd and our Christian faith becomes a chameleon faith of fitting in and adapting to our society.  Jesus becomes domesticated.  The danger is that no longer is Jesus a teacher and we disciples, but we are much happier to talk of Jesus as possibly a friend, a comforter, but the teacher takes a back seat.  We may talk simply of Jesus as the one who has saved us by his death, our Saviour, and forget that salvation is about finding and discovering heaven on earth.  Repent, open your eyes, for the kingdom of heaven is in your midst if only we have eyes to see and imaginations to dream.  We need the Rabbi to show us.  We need Jesus to teach us how to find true life.

I believe that most of us want to live a life that honours God, our creator, a life that is meaningful, a life of significance, a life that honours our soul and the dream of God within each of us.  We want to live a life of integrity, a life that is true to our essence, and which will make a difference in our world.  To do this I believe we have to continue to learn, and we have to be part of a group of disciples of Jesus who challenge and encourage each other in our faith journey.  We need to see ourselves as learners and experimenters with Jesus as our guide and teacher.   

I was speaking to a person a while ago who started going to church.  Actually they were going to a church on a Tuesday as part of a Weight Watchers group.  He said he’d been trying to lose weight for years and knew all the head stuff about what was required.  Eat less, exercise more….it’s pretty simple really.  But however hard he tried he never managed to put it into practice.  His weight remained the same or in reality slowly crept up over the years.  What made the difference he said was meeting with others who encouraged and supported him and together they began living a new way.  He wasn’t sure just what made the difference but being with others, sharing the journey with others, learning with others, being encouraged by the example of others, changed everything.  In just a couple of months he’s lost nearly 15kg.  It’s being part of a group together that’s made the difference, he said.

I don’t quite understand why our religion and spirituality is so private.  We are good at keeping masks in place which hide the real me and you.  We very rarely talk about Jesus and what he might be saying to us, or how he might be calling us to open our eyes as disciples in 2020.  Sometimes I think I as the minister may be the problem, because when you label someone as the expert you deny your own journey and experience.  They know the answers and I don’t.  Let me tell you, I am still learning and I do not know all the answers.  I often learn from you. 

Maybe we get older and say I’m done with learning, and we stop asking questions, but I look at Rob and Margaret Mclean in our midst and see people not who are old but who retain a youthful sense of asking questions even as they draw close to 100 years of journeying.  I think one of their secrets is that they never stop asking questions.  As a rabbi or teacher, Jesus taught his disciples to risk asking all sorts of questions so they could find the true way of living.  Notice how often he asks a question of others.   I believe the gospel of Jesus, spreads not by force, or fear, but by fascination.  We open our eyes to the kingdom of heaven when we ask questions together, talk together, courageously be honest and take down the masks we hide behind.  One day Jesus took a child in his arms and said unless you become as a child you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.  I’ve often reflected on that.  Children are curious and ask questions.  Children have yet to learn the secret of hiding behind masks.  Children know they have more to learn and new realities to see. 

Our church community is a learning community, so let’s not be afraid of asking questions however stupid they may seem, and let’s never stop searching for the answers to the question ‘What Would Jesus Do’ in our journey together.   Let us be people who help one another open our eyes to the reality of heaven in our midst.

Dugald Wilson 26th Jan 2020

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Titles for Jesus – Son of God, Lamb of God, Messiah

An intro to John’s gospel…

John was writing his gospel maybe 100 years after Jesus was born.  The year was 863 – 863 years since the city of Rome was established.  By this time small Christian communities had formed.  About .01% of the population were Christian, so if Christchurch existed back then there would less Christians in the whole city than are gathered here – maybe a little group of thirty dissidents, because that’s how we would be seen, followers of Jesus. In the whole Roman Empire maybe 8,000 Christians.  Tiny but resilient. 

We have a fascinating letter written by Pliny, a local governor in what we know as Turkey in AD112 about the time John was writing his gospel.  The letter concerned the new Christian sect.  It is actually the first reference to Christians in Roman records that we still have.  Pliny the governor writes to Emperor Trajan in Rome asking what he should do about the Christians that have been brought to him for trial.  There was no blanket persecution of Christians in the empire but obviously there was local voices who were upset by this new sect and Pliny wants advice.  He points out the Christians meet as a little club that shares a common meal, they sing hymns to Christ as if he were a god, and commit to not practicing fraud, theft, or adultery.  Clearly they do not follow the accepted practice of worshipping the local Roman gods.  Emperor Trajan responds with clear advice.  Don’t go after these Christians and don’t listen to any anonymous accusations.  However if you do have Christians brought before you and they refuse to denounce their faith and curse Jesus, and worship the Roman gods then kill them.   It’s never much fun being a small outsider group.  But this outsider group continued to grow, maybe just 2-3 people per year, but year after year. Clearly they meant business as you don’t continue to practice your faith without good cause if it could mean you got executed.  In ten years 30 had become 50.

People found friendship, acceptance, every person and all life was valued, every person was seen to have a ministry because this tiny group ushered in a new way of living.   Some of these groups were actually called people of the Way.  They claimed Jesus was alive with them in Spirit leading, encouraging, teaching. 

They were sustained by practices like the common meal where everyone was treated as an equal, worship, prayers, mutual support and friendship, and the teaching.  The equality in the group meant that women were treated with respect in a world that often abandoned girl babies to die.  It meant slaves sat down at the communion meal with their owners.  The teaching and learning was ongoing as Christians sought to live out the Way of Jesus in a world that knew nothing of Jesus.  Most people in the surrounding communities had never heard of Jesus. 

One of the obvious needs was to have some concise writings that told the story of their departed leader.   Matthew, Mark, and Luke had provided such stories by this stage but John and others were gathering material for additional life stories.  There were other gospels written but only John’s story would be added to the other three when the scriptures were finally put together in a later process. 

Read: John 1: 29-42

John’s story of Jesus opens with some amazing credentials.  Son of God or Chosen One in some early Greek versions, Teacher Rabbi, Lamb of God, Messiah, the Anointed One.  

I wonder what John meant by using these titles.  They were not titles Jesus claimed for himself and I doubt they were actually used freely by his immediate disciples.  However by the time John was writing his gospel they were in free use.  One hundred years after Jesus Christians were using these titles to help explain who Jesus was for them.  I want to take a closer look.

Lamb of God:  Matthew, Mark, and Luke don’t use the title Lamb of God, but John does, and he does because he wants to make a link.   John introduces Jesus as the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.  Many Christians assume that this is referring to Jesus’ death which is seen to be a sacrifice for sin.   I see sin as separation from God.  The world is in a state of darkness.  Violence and inhumanity exist all round us.  We see literally the earth burning across the ditch, people and all sorts of God’s creatures perish literally because of greed and over consumptive lifestyles.  The power of evil is strong.  John says Jesus came to heal this, to take away the sin of the world, the separation from what God desires.  John is taking us back to the beginning of the Exodus story the people of Israel were living in a state of sin.  It wasn’t so much that they were bad people, but they living in a terrible state of oppression and God heard their cries and promised to lead them to a new land.   But there was an event that signalled this journey to the new land.  The Passover, the key festival for all Jews even today.  I remember well being very intrigued as a youngster when at the time of Passover our Jewish neighbours in Dunedin acquired a little lamb. I heard it bleating and then silence.  The father of the household  happened to be a surgeon at the hospital so I guess the end was well managed.  At the first Passover an unblemished lamb was killed, the blood was collected and sprinkled over their doorways as a protection from evil and as a sign that God would lead them to the new Promised Land.   The lamb was eaten as the last meal in slavery.  A new journey was begun.  The blood of the lamb was not a simple ritual to atone for sin, but was to protect and establish a covenantal relationship of hope as together with God they sought the new land where lion and lamb would exist in peace together, and sin or separation from God would be no more.    So the lamb is about a journey with God to a new place.  Fast forward back to Jesus and John and the message is that Jesus is going to be the one to lead us to the new earth where sin or separation from God is no more.  The lamb is about leaving behind what enslaves us, be it bad habits, unjust economic systems, mistakes we have made in our personal lives, lifestyles that are unsustainable to find the new person, the new society, the new earth.  It’s going to take blood and guts, exposing what is evil, forgiveness, faith, and lots of hard work but the way of this gentle lamb is the way of redemption and true life.  The lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world will be our guide, our light, our companion, our hope in the great journey to see the whole earth not perish, but find eternal life.

Son of God:  There is a context behind this title.  In the Old Testament it sometimes refers to the nation of Israel (Hosea11:1) sometimes to the king (Ps2:7), sometimes to heavenly beings (Job 1:6, 2:1).  In the time of Jesus the term was used of ‘holy men’ who were mystics or healers.  There is a thread in the use of the term and that is a “Son of God’ was someone who had an especially intimate relationship with God.  You could see God in that person.  In our own time we might call Desmond Tutu a Son of God, or Mother Teresa a Daughter of God.   They are human beings who radiate the qualities of God and we see God in their lives inspiring us.  For us as Christians Jesus is the Son of God because we see God clearly in him.  For us he became the decisive revelation of God.  A key question however in our time is also whether the Way that our Son of God calls us to is found in other places and in other traditions.  I believe it is, but that’s something to talk about later.  There is however another context we should be aware of.  Ten years ago Janet and I had the privilege of visiting the ruins of Ephesus.  There as we wandered around the ancient streets we came across this archway [photo]  The wording above it is important.  It proclaims Caesar Augustus to be a Son of God (DIVI F) and High Priest (PONTIFICO MAXIMO).  In the Roman Empire ‘Son of God’ referred to one thing – the emperor Caesar.    It began with Caesar Augustus, who ruled from 31BC to 14CE.  According to roman imperial theology he was the product of a divine conception conceived in the womb of his mother, Attia, by the god Apollo.  The title ‘Son of God’ occurred on coins and inscriptions throughout the empire.   So when Jesus’ followers spoke of Jesus as the “Son of God” they were not only saying he was especially related to God, but they were saying something treasonous.  The real Son of God was not Caesar and his world of so called Pax Romana the peace of Rome established by brute power, but Jesus the Lamb of God.  And that as they sometimes discovered meant they faced the lions or some other hideous fate.  Being a Christian meant you didn’t follow the party line but stood out and followed a different path and Way, a different “Son of God.”   The guide and authority in your life was not Caesar but Jesus.  We comfortable Christians living in the lap of consumerism need to hear this challenge very clearly.  For too long we have seen faith as just fitting in to our world and our society, Jesus the Son of God, calls us to stand out and be different.  We are called to show others in our community a new Way of living – the Jesus Way – because Jesus is the Son of God.

Messiah:  Messiah is a distinctly Jewish idea and had no great meaning in the Roman world.  However we all know the Greek word used to translate the word Messiah – it is Christos from which of course we get the title Christ.  I think many people are a little confused by name Christ and some think it must be Jesus’ family name because we often talk of Jesus as Jesus Christ.  We should correctly say Jesus the Christ.  Christ or Messiah was a title which meant the anointed one.  The original meaning was literally someone who was anointed with oil.  The Old Testament practice indicated that the person anointed had been singled out by God as having special gifts or functions.  In 1 Samuel 24:6 David refuses to let his men harm King Saul because he is the Lord’s anointed.  In Psalm 23 the Psalmist radically proclaims that God sees us all as special when he writes ‘you anoint my head with oil’ but in general thinking it was a way of signifying someone who was a special leader.  During the period of Jesus’ ministry Palestine was occupied and administered by Rome, and the Jewish people felt pretty much about the Romans as the Iraqi’s think of the Americans.  Be great to see them gone! Jewish people in Palestine longed to see the foreign occupying army gone, and this gave rise to the hopes of a Messiah, a new king anointed by God who would expel the Romans and restore national freedom.  Remember the comment by the two disciples trudging home along the Emmaus road after the death of Jesus.  Sad and disappointed they say to each other, “we hoped he would be the one who would liberate our nation Israel.”    Some expected a warrior messiah but as the Messiah Jesus was a very different kettle of fish.  Instead of kicking butt he spoke of reconciliation and building bridges.  Instead of imposing from the top down he worked from the bottom up, unleashing the power of compassion and grace.  Be your true self, be generous, respect all life, love God and love neighbour as yourself.   Jesus our Messiah was anointed by God to reshape life on earth, to bring true life and freedom and justice for all.  I think he would say to us,  ‘ahhh but you are all messiahs, all anointed, all special, each with your God given gifts.  Together let’s heal this earth, together let’s unleash to power of compassion and grace and love.’ 

The last title in the reading is Rabbi or Teacher and we’ll pick up on that next week. 

Dugald Wilson 19 Jan 2020

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Sunday 26 January 2020

NOTICES:

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

From our Finance Review Team:

Our recent request for people to review giving has resulted in increased pledges of nearly $13,000 per year.  We are very encouraged by this response and say a very big THANK YOU to you all.

Today after worship we’ll have a forum to discern ideas for fundraising in the year ahead. We are especially keen to find projects that will involve the wider community.   

Please start planning to donate you Charitable Giving Tax rebate back to your church.  More detail on this will come in March from the Board of Managers.

Do you know someone looking to hire an auditorium or lounge space for meetings or for an exercise class.  Tell them about our spaces and direct them to our website where they can find more details.

Court Theatre Group Booking:

“Lysander’s Aunty” Friday 17th April 7.30pm

‘In this radical comedy, Lysander and Hermia, the lovers from A Midsummer Night’s Dream, run away to the forest…but things take a sharp turn along the way that lands them in the lap of Lysander’s unconventional, untraditional and very Kiwi Aunty. The world of Shakespeare is lovingly turned upside down as the highbrow meets the down-to-earth in this wonderfully quirky comedy’.

Tickets $54 or $42 with copy of Community Services Card. Add your names to the clipboard please, and money to Sue Saunders by Sunday 1st March.

New Sunday Readers’ Roster available today – please check to see if there is a copy for you.

You are invited to the Induction of Beckenham Methodist’s new minister on Sunday 2nd February at 2pm.

Meditation Group: Every Tuesday a group meets here from 7.00-7.45pm to meditate together.  We are learners who are following an ancient Christian practice of being still with God.  For 20 minutes we sit in silence.  In silence you soon discover your mind is far from still, and is dancing all over the place.  However we use a mantra to keep gently refocusing.  In the stillness God is at work transforming us and helping us become more authentically ourselves. 

If you would like to try Christian meditation, join us on Tuesday evenings. Meditation is not only good for your soul, but helps relieve stress and anxiety, and has been shown to be very beneficial for your health.

WANTED: The Elder Care group needs drivers who are able to drop clients off at 10am and return to take them home at 2.30pm each Tuesday. Please talk to Lyndsey McKay 388 1264 if you can help.

Foot Clinic TOMORROW 1-4pm in the Lounge.

Singing Group will meet again at 9.15am on 2nd & 16th February

Foyer Store Room …. the north storeroom in the foyer (currently with foot clinic, craft group and Elder Care gear in it) will be kept locked from the beginning of February.  If you need a key, please contact Anna in the office. 

“Unofficial” Wednesday walk 29th January: Meet 9.30am at Oderings for a stroll around Spreydon. Coffee at Kowhai Café. All are welcome. Sonya 339 7038.

Crafty Crafters Thursdays 10am – 12 noon. $3 per session. New faces very welcome. Lyndsey 388 1264.

The Gentle Revolution – Emerging Green Churches of Europe
Sunday 16th February 4pm – 5.30pm @ The Chapel of the Waves (corner Collingwood St and Union St, New Brighton)

Mark Gibson, the minister of two East Christchurch parishes, recently visited Eco and Green churches in Scotland, England and Denmark. Hundreds of mostly small local churches are transforming their life in response to the global ecological and climate crisis. One church has slashed its carbon footprint by two-thirds, at another over a hundred people cycle to worship every Sunday. The Green Church movement in Denmark is transforming church graveyards into bio-diversity hotspots. Come and hear these wonderful stories, and many more. Could Aotearoa NZ evolve our own Green Church movement?

Entry by koha for the work of the Centre. All welcome.







Session Report:

  • Pastoral Care…a small task group has been set up to review our system of Pastoral Care.
  • Ministry Settlement Board…has met and is progressing the work of developing a Parish Profile.
  • Presbytery has not as yet been able to appoint an Interim Moderator for our parish.
  • We have agreed to seek to appoint a minister on Stated Supply for 3-6 months. We will approach Presbytery to see who might be available.
  • We noted that we have our own Facebook page. If you use Facebook please connect with the page (St Martins Presbyterian Community Church) and recommend it to friends.
Posted in Services | Comments Off on Sunday 26 January 2020

Sunday 19 January 2020

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

Meditation Group: Every Tuesday a group meets here from 7.00-7.45pm to meditate together.  We are learners who are following an ancient Christian practice of being still with God.  For 20 minutes we sit in silence.  In silence you soon discover your mind is far from still, and is dancing all over the place.  However we use a mantra to keep gently refocusing.  In the stillness God is at work transforming us and helping us become more authentically ourselves. 

If you would like to try Christian meditation, join us over the next four weeks on Tuesday evening when we will give some introductory teaching.  Meditation is not only good for your soul, but helps relieve stress and anxiety, and has been shown to be very beneficial for your health.

Elder Care Group resumes this Tuesday 21st January. This is a day care programme for seniors each Tuesday 10am-2pm with a lunch provided.

Session meets this Wednesday 22nd January 7.30pm in the foyer.

Singing Group will meet again at 9.15am on Sundays 2nd & 16th February.

“Unofficial” Wednesday walk 22nd January: Meet 9.30am at South Library for a stroll around Beckenham. Coffee at Novel Café. All are welcome. Sonya 339 7038.

Crafty Crafters resumes this Thursday 23rd January 10am – 12 noon. $3 per session. New faces very welcome. Lyndsey 388 1264.

From Waltham Cottage: Thank you all very much for the wonderful Christmas presents you donated. Cheryl & I had lots of fun sorting the gifts for families and individuals. The delight on the faces of the recipients was a pleasure to behold! I would also like to thank you all for the weekly donations of food, brought by Irene to the Cottage every Monday. This food is a huge help to the community at financially difficult times. Adrienne.

CWS Christmas Appeal Envelopes need to be returned to the church offering by next Sunday January 26th. Thank you.

St Martins Fund Raiser: Handmade greeting cards for sale in foyer every Sunday. $3 each. Special cards made to order. See Janette. All proceeds to St Martins.

Cleaning Roster: Your help cleaning the church plant is appreciated. Please add your name to the list in the foyer.

A note from our Finance Review Team:

Our recent request for people to review giving has resulted in increased pledges of nearly $13,000 per year.  We are very encouraged by this response and say a very big THANK YOU to you all.  If you are still considering the request please put your response in the silver box to keep us informed of any changes.

Next week after worship we’ll have a forum to discern ideas for fundraising in the year ahead.  Start asking others, thinking, and talking now of creative ideas (big and small) to raise funds.  We are especially keen to find projects that will involve the wider community.   

Please start planning to donate you Charitable Giving Tax rebate back to your church.  More detail on this will come in March from the Board of Managers.

Do you know someone looking to hire an auditorium or lounge space for meetings or for an exercise class.  Tell them about our spaces and direct them to our website where they can find more details.  

Menzshed Update:

We still do not have a consent to begin work to upgrade the classroom we have shifted on site.

Currently we are negotiating about the need to provide a 20m ramp to allow disabled access to the workshop. Once consent is issued the building will be placed on piles and Menzshed volunteers will undertake necessary work to install extra fire protection and ramp if required. In the meantime a large amount of gear and tools has been donated.

Posted in Services | Comments Off on Sunday 19 January 2020