Sunday 25th February 2018 10am



Sunday 25th February 2018 10am

 How do you read the Bible…For many people the Bible is just too hard. We don’t feel we have enough background to understand it. The strange thing is that books like Paul’s letters were written to uneducated folk and Paul expected they would make sense of the letter. The gospels were not written for academics.

One way of reading the Bible is to read a section and notice what phrase or words seem to stand out (touch your heart). There may be a phrase that simply invokes curiosity, or it may raise a question. You may empathise with a character. Take time to ponder what stands out and ask why it does. What is happening in your life that it may be speaking into. You may find it helpful to write this down. Maybe God is whispering to you in these ponderings, so be still and listen.

Another exercise you may find helpful is to read a Psalm and then use that a base to put it into your own words. Start with a Psalm you know well like Psalm 23 or Psalm 121. As you read the original and put it into your own words don’t be afraid to expand the Psalm with some comments about your own life. The Psalm can then become your prayer, and a vehicle through which God can whisper to you.

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

 Retiring Offering TODAY for CWS Cyclone Gita Appeal: Support Tongans to repair and replace water and food supplies lost in Cyclone Gita. Please fill in a form if you require a receipt for tax purposes.

Fireside Women’s Group meets this Tuesday 27th February 7.30pm. Jill has invited us to her home and we welcome other women of the congregation to join us.  Enquiries: please phone Margaret 366 8936.

 Wednesday Walkers: 28th February. Meet 9.30am in Bunyan St, west side of Waltham Park off Waltham Rd, (there is angle parking there) for a walk around the area. Coffee will be at the XCHC Café, 376 Wilsons Rd. All Welcome. Judith Mackay 332 1577.

World Day of Prayer Ecumenical Service this Friday 2nd March 7.30pm at Beckenham Methodist Church. This year’s theme is “All God’s creation is very good!” The service has been prepared by the WDP committee, Suriname. All are welcome.

COMING UP: Parish Breakfast Sunday 18th March 8.45am, brought to you by members of Session. Watch this space for more details.

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

 Crafty Crafters Craft Crawl to Hanmer Springs Thursday 29th March leaving at 9.30am from Beckenham Methodist. Cost for the bus is $25 pp. We will visit craft shops in Culverden & Hanmer. Bring your togs if you want a swim! Please let Lyndsey McKay 388 1264 know if you would like to come along. Also being planned is joining a cruise to a Pacific island in winter – see Lyndsey if you are interested.

Lenten Conversations…During Lent there is an opportunity to gather with others to grow in our connection with God and one another.  We have two groups meeting: Monday night (7.30pm at Carol’s home) and Wednesday afternoon  (1.30pm at Allison’s home).   There are still a couple of spaces available.

Court Theatre Group Booking: Thursday 5th April 6.30pm “Easy Money” by Roger Hall. Cost $49 per person or $40 with a Community Services Card (photocopy of card details required). Numbers attending and money in NAMED envelope to Sue Saunders, or dropped in to the Parish Office, by next Sunday 4th March please.


Managers’ Report: 

Finances…we continue to “hold our own” financially, and are tracking well with our budget.

Manse…smoke alarms have been replaced.

Office…a first coat of paint has been applied, and cameras installed for security.

Health & Safety…if you notice any safety issues, please notify an office bearer.


Building Report: We have received consent from the Christchurch City Council to proceed with the church repairs. The consent process highlighted issues with the fire rating of the south wall, drainage, and an up to date Geotech report. With all fees paid the consent process has added another $40 000 to our rebuild cost which we had not budgeted for. (Advice we received was that we would not need a consent). We are exploring other avenues for raising capital. We are currently negotiating a contract with Simon Construction to undertake the repairs. Because this contract will be for over $500 000 it will need to be signed by the legal owners of the church building – the Presbyterian Church Property Trustees. We hope we can achieve this in the coming week. Simon can start again on site as soon as the contract is signed.

 The Easter Story: Fact or Fable? Study Course at Iona House, Aranui Thursday afternoons for six weeks, 2pm – 4pm, commencing 8th March 2018. Facilitated by Charles Manning, Rodney Routledge & Sheena Dickson. It will be interactive. Email office.stgeorgesiona@gmail.comor ph 355 6601(leave a message) by 2nd March to enrol.

Life Giving Habits in Lent: During Lent we will be highlighting life giving habits or disciplines that you may wish to experiment with.  These disciplines help us become more grounded and aware of God in our daily lives. 

Helen Keller became blind and deaf when only two years old.  She was blessed to have a teacher who realised that touch was the only way that she could connect and teach Helen.   Patiently day after day the teacher would spell the names of things they were experiencing on Helen’s hand.  For example, when she washed her hands in water the teacher would spell ‘water’ on Helen’s hand.  Helen’s world was very limited without sight and sound, and at first this strange ‘touching’ from another was meaningless.  But Helen slowly learned to recognise that the movements of touch on her hand were saying something.   They were ‘signs’ that helped explain what she was experiencing.  Finally she ‘got it’ – someone was communicating with her and teaching her, and from that day forward she never ceased to educate herself and expand her horizon.

Very few people are born with Helen’s handicap but do we really see and hear.  God may be whispering all around us and we don’t notice or make no sense of it.  We each are unique individuals who have different ways of ‘noticing’ God, so during Lent 2018 we will highlight different spiritual disciplines that might help us, like Helen, learn to hear and see the whispering of God in our lives.