Sunday 15 December 2013


Two weeks ago we began our Advent journey lighting the Candle
of Hope: a hope expressed by the prophets and continued
in the hearts of God’ s people. (The Candle of Hope is relit)

Last Sunday we lit the Candle of Peace, reminding us of God’s call
to live in loving relationship with the world and with all
who share it with us. (The Candle of Peace is relit)

Along with millions around the world today we light the Candle of Joy. In Aotearoa New Zealand we are looking forward to a New Zealand Christmas – a warm Christmas – as we journey towards Bethlehem, and remember with joy the birth of the Christ Child.

(The Candle of Joy is lit)

Carol: Come to this Christmas Singing (Tune: WOV 245)
Come to this Christmas singing!
Come to a birthday, bringing
gifts from our country’s treasure,
beauty of shell and stone:
wisdom the old have taught us,
laughter the young have brought us,
love to surround a manger,
making this Child our own.

Wealth of our land and water,
riches of race and culture –
these be our gold and incense
offered for Christmas Day:
where we make peace, declare it,
where we have much, let’s share it,
aroha warm our hearts,
and aroha be our way.

Here where the sheep are grazing,
where summer sun is blazing
harvests for others ripen –
food for the world can grow:
Christ of a cold December,
quicken us to remember
poverty in a stable
need, like the sting of snow. © Shirley Murray (CoC)


READINGS: Psalm 98 John Shanks

Matthew 1: 18-23 Irene Gray

CAROL: And Did You See Him Little Star
And did you see Him little star,
long, long ago?
And was it you, I wonder, shone
on manger low?
And did you see the shepherd men,
when angels sang?
“Peace on the earth, good-will to all,”
the message rang.

And did you guide the three wise kings
with shining light?
and bring them to the holy Child
on that great night?
And will you still shine down on earth,
though from afar,
and lead us back to Bethlehem,
O little star? © The estate of Helen Clyde (CoC)

I’m Dreaming of a Hot Christmas


Song: I’m Dreaming of a Hot Christmas

I’m dreaming of a hot Christmas
just like the ones we have each year;
with warm sun shining,
informal dining, and joy that holidays are here.
I’m dreaming of a bright Christmas
when days are long and clear and light;
and with green fields always in sight
thronged with youthful cricketers in white!

I’m dreaming of a hot Christmas
with lovely blue skies all the day;
and we meet together,
in balmy weather,
with beaches not too far away.
I’m dreaming of a bright Christmas
with love and friendship in the air;
and may WE be ever aware
of the warmth and fellowship we share.

Christmas in the Philippines: Conversation with Christina

A STORY: Angel in a Gum Tree ~Jill Grierson

An Australian Christmas with Jill

CAROL: The North Wind is Tossing the Leaves
The North Wind is tossing the leaves,
the red dust is over the town,
the sparrows are under the eaves,
and the grass in the paddock is brown;
as we lift up our voices and sing
to the Christ-Child the heavenly King.

The tree-ferns in green gullies sway;
the cool stream flows silently by;
the joy bells are greeting the day,
and the chimes are adrift in the sky,
as we lift up our voices and sing
to the Christ-Child the Heavenly King. © Chappell & Co Ltd (WOV)

Christmas in Brazil ~ Feliz Natal
Gracious God, bless this money offered, food gathered,
gifts given in love.
Bless also the offering of our hearts and lives.
May loving service enable disappointment to be replaced by joy;
anxiety replaced by happiness,
hopelessness replaced by a sense of purpose.

Bless all our gifts, as once more we wait with wonder
to celebrate the birth of the Christ Child. AMEN.

CAROL: ‘Twas in Bethlehem that the Christ had Birth
‘Twas in Bethlehem that the Christ had birth,
that the shepherds learned of God’s gift to earth.
There in rosy dawn angels sang his worth:
and the glory shone all bright around;
heavenly glory shone around.

Full three thousand leagues from the manger bed,
a New Zealand tree decked itself in red.
“Tis to honour him I do this”, it said:
and the glory shone all bright around;
crimson glory shone around.

Called Pohutukawa – its Maori name,
still at every Christmas it does the same,
so that cliff and headland are all aflame:
and the glory shines all bright around;
crimson glory shines around.

Thus New Zealand knows when it’s Christmastide
by the beauty splashed o’er the countryside.
May Pohutukawa long flourish wide,
and the glory shine all bright around;
crimson glory shine around. © H W Hitchcock


CAROL: Star-child, Earth-child
Star-Child, earth-Child
go-between of God,
love Child, Christ Child,
heaven’s lightning rod…
This year, this year,
let the day arrive,
when Christmas comes
for everyone,
everyone alive!

Street child, beat child
no place left to go,
hurt child, used child,
no one wants to know…

Grown child, old child,
mem’ry full of years,
sad child, lost child,
story told in tears…

Spared child, spoiled child,
having, wanting more,
wise child, faith child
knowing joy in store…

Hope-for-peace Child,
God’s stupendous sign,
down-to-earth Child,
star of stars that shine…
© Shirley Murray (CoC)


22 December 9.00 am Carol Service (includes an Act of Remembrance and opportunity to light a candle in memory of family members or friends)
24 December 7.30 pm Christmas Eve Service
(Beckenham Methodist Service at 11.30 pm)
25 December 9.30 am Combined Christmas Service

10.00 am Combined Services on: 29th Dec, 5th , 12th , & 19th January

Sunday 26 January 9.00 am Morning Worship

A very warm welcome to all who worship with us today. Lunch is cancelled!

THE NEW READERS’ ROSTER is available today– please check to see if
there’s one for you.

OPEN HOUSE AT THE MANSE: TODAY from 2pm. Please pop in and enjoy a
chat as you are able. All are welcome. Chris.

PLEASE TAKE ONE: There is a basket in the entrance to the Church with
Christmas symbols in it. You are invited to take one away and write a short prayer
or the names of friends and loved ones who have passed away. We ask you to
bring them with you next Sunday and you will be given an opportunity to hang
them on the tree and light a candle in remembrance during the service.

CWS Appeal Week 3: Joy. In Nicaragua, drought has made farmers despair. Once they could rely on weather patterns to know when to plant and what to grow. This year without rain farmers lost crops and animals. Joy came to the new settlement of Malacatoya, when CEPAD brought farmers an irrigation pump and showed them how to use it. Learning new methods to grow food with less water and on organic principles from the CEPAD staff means families can face a happier future.

“UNOFFICIAL” WALK 18th December: Meet at 9.30am in the South Library carpark, Hunter Tce end. Coffee at “Red”. June 332 8874.

CRAFTY CRAFTERS resumes on Thursday 16th January. Beverley 332 7786.

HUB NEWS: This week’s information is displayed in the Lounge. This is the last
Hub Report for 2013.

PARISH OFFICE HOURS: Wednesday & Thursday 9am – 12 noon and Friday 9-11am. Phone 332 6192 or email Please ensure Anna
has any notices for 19th January 2014 by 9am this Wednesday.

The Office will close on Friday 19th December, and re-open on 23rd January 2014.
FROM CASSIE: The community development focus group has been having some exciting conversations and developments, particularly around creative ways of brightening up the St Martin’s site to be more engaged with the local community. There are many other ideas to develop still though! Coming in to the new year, if
you are at all interested in learning more about community development and contributing to the discussions and process we’ve started on – we’d love to hear from you! We meet fortnightly at the moment.
Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you are interested or have any questions at: or 022 0797528

BIRTHDAYS THIS WEEK: Mon 16th Ron; Wed 18th Anne (90); Fri 20th Sarah Jayne

Hub Activities for the week 15th December & beyond

St James’ Presbyterian Church
Sun 15 Dec 10.00am Action Church – Children’s Christmas Service

St Martin’s Presbyterian Church
NB: all events at Beckenham Methodist, Malcolm Ave, unless otherwise specified.
Sun 15 Dec 10am “I’m Dreaming of a Hot Christmas” combined
(note time) service with Beckenham Methodist
Sun 22 Dec 9am Carol Service (includes an Act of Remembrance
and opportunity to light a candle in memory of
family members or friends)
Tue 24 Dec 7.30pm Christmas Eve Service
Wed 25 Dec 9.30am Combined Christmas Day Service with Beckenham Methodist

On Sundays 29 December, 5, 12 & 19th January there will be a Combined Service at 10am.

On Wednesdays 18 December, 8 & 15 January there are “unofficial” walks.
Meet at South Library Hunter Tce end of carpark at 9.30am.
Coffee at “Red”. All Welcome.

Hoon Hay Presbyterian Church
Mon 16 Dec 9.30am & 10.40am Tai Chi for seniors in lounge. Brian 338 6228
7.30 pm Spreydon Indoor Bowls. Pat 35 0265
Tue 17 Dec 10.00am Mainly Music. Eleanor 960 4824
Wed 18 Dec 10.00 am Craft Group. Linda 322 4437
7.00 pm Scottish Country Dancing. David 322 7954
Thur 19 Dec 9.30am & 10.40am Tai Chi for seniors in lounge. Brian 338 6228
7.30 pm Spreydon Indoor Bowls. Pat 353 0265
Fri 20 Dec 7.00pm Lift Youth Group. Matt 027 3890000

Cashmere Hills Presbyterian Church
Sun 15 Dec 10.00am Service of Christmas Music with the Choir
6.00pm Carols in the Garden – 1 Macmillan Ave, commencing with a sausage sizzle. In Church if wet.
Mon 16 Dec 2.00pm Foot Clinic
Tues 17 Dec 9.30am Foot Clinic. Phone office for appointments
Tues 24 Dec 11.30pm Midnight Watch/Carols by Candlelight
Wed 25 Dec 9.30am Christmas Day Family Worship

The Elite Cycle Race takes place on the weekend of 11 & 12 January, and refreshments will be available from the Church for spectators. On the Sunday (12th Jan) the Morning Service will commence at 9.00am, lasting approx. half-an-hour.

All other services in January will commence at 10.00am, as usual.