Sunday 3rd December 2017



 Sunday 3 December 2017 – Advent Sunday

 Lighting the Advent Candle of Hope: In the lighting of this first Advent Candle of Hope we make space within ourselves to hear again the voice of Jesus, a voice of Hope.  We hold on to the Hope of Jesus that goodness is stronger than evil, light is stronger than darkness, and truth is stronger that lies. Every act of kindness, every movement of generosity, every voice of encouragement, every celebration of love matters.  This is the Way of Jesus who came to bring a new earth into being.

Light the candle: We light the candle for hope. May it light the way for us as we make Hope our story.

We live in a deeply cynical world where hope is in short supply.  Nothing we do makes a difference.  How could you nurture the hope we find in Jesus?

 Reflect on the image of sitting around a table sharing a meal.  How is this a sign of hope for you?

Light a candle and choose an image or a verse from the readings for today to hold in your heart in stillness.  What do you hear God whispering? 


Notices: A very warm welcome to all who worship with us this morning. Please stay for morning tea after the service.

 Please support the Christmas Cake Stall today.

 Next Week… We light our second advent candle – the Peace candle.  Our service will be led by our young folk.

Two weeks’ time….is there a carol that has special significance that you would like us to sing together or listen to? Talk to or email Dugald.  Our service will be based around significant Christmas music.

 Wednesday Walkers 6th December: meet 9.30am at Botanic Gardens carpark by the footbridge near the old Tea Kiosk. Coffee at Bunsen in the Arts Centre. All welcome. Sonya 027 253 3397.

 Waltham Gifts – there is a gift box at Church until next Sunday for gifts for Waltham Cottage. NEW items only please. Edible gifts also welcome, along with wrapping paper. Please DO NOT wrap your gifts.

 PLEASE NOTE: On Sunday 24th December, there is one service only at 7pm.


 Christmas & January Services will be combined with Beckenham Methodist.

Christmas Day 9.30am at BMC Sunday 31st Dec 10am here

 Sunday Jan 7th 10am at BMC

Sunday Jan 14th 10am here


Crafty Crafters Thursdays 10am-12 noon at Beckenham Methodist. $3 per session. Bring along your own craft project, or learn a new skill! Contact Beverley 384 7814 for further details.

Risingholme Singers and the Cantabile Singers Concert TODAY at 3pm in the Chinese Methodist Church, cnr Rugby St and Papanui Rd. Ticket sales at the door.  Enquiries to John Shanks.

Fundraiser for St Martins: Handmade greeting cards for sale. $3 each.  All proceeds to St Martins Building fund.

Prayer Request Book: Requests for prayer may be made through the office, minister, or by filling in a request in a book that will be available at worship.  The request for prayers will be included in our corporate prayers on Sunday and available to others to include in their prayers.  Ideally the person or persons at the centre of the request should be aware of this and give their approval to use a Christian name.  Further, it is helpful if those prayed for indicate specifically what they would like the congregation to pray for.

South Brighton Voices bring you “Christmas Memories” Sunday 10th December 2pm at Wainoni Methodist Church. Tickets $10, available from Lyndsey McKay.

Christmas for the City~ A Festive Event for everyone. Saturday 16th December 4-9pm at Ara City Campus, 130 Madras St. Free entry.

From the Presbytery newsletter…After getting all approvals and paperwork sorted the St James Spreydon property is on the market and is listed on TradeMe.  Tenders close on December 6th with a settlement hopefully on 24 January 2018.

Shopping Bags…Made by a Rohingya Refugee in Malaysia, these are ideal Christmas gifts.  No-one knows how many Rohingya have made the journey to Malaysia from Myanmar but possibly 150,000-200,000 refugess are trying to start a new life there.  The government does not want to recognise them so they are stateless nobodies who are very vulnerable to all sorts of exploitation.  Dugald and Janet met a local Muslim woman, Selina, who is working with others to provide basic schooling and trying to help find work.  One of the projects for one refugee is making bags.  These are available for sale $15.00 per bag.

Thank you….. What a tremendous evening we had in conjunction with over 100 people attending from the Opawa Methodist, St Marks/St Annes Anglican, and our congregations.   The Scottish country dancing was great fun with some wearing the tartan of their clan.  We received a share of the proceeds from the night. A big thank you to Irene for organizing this event and for generously sharing her keyboard skills for the evening.  We look forward to a follow-up!

Christian World Service – Christmas Appeal.  You are invited to give a Christmas Gift that honours Jesus and will be used to help others help themselves.  With your parish newsletter you will receive an appeal envelope.  This can be returned to church before mid January or posted directly to CWS.  You can also donate online at, but do remember to include your address to get a tax receipt, and to acknowledge our parish of St Martins Presbyterian.

Mission Discernment Group…. Has now met twice.  At our last session we were asking what is church.

In a healthy church environment there are 4 movements:

UP– connecting with God

IN – connecting with each other

OUT – connecting in love for, and service to the world

OF – connecting with the wider church

Sometimes one or more of these movements is neglected in our activities and the health of our church suffers.

Building Update: Unfortunately work has stopped at the church site as we wait for our architect to organise responses to queries raised by the consenting team of the council. These queries relate to the fire rating of the south wall which should be remedied by the installation of a suitable fire resistant gib lining; the design of exit signs; some issues with structural steel to be installed; and the need to update the Geotech report on the site. It is the updating of the Geotech report that is holding up the process currently. In the interim the removal of asbestos tiles in the foyer has been completed.