Kia ora All Saints whānau
Huge week in the life of the Anglican church this week with the funeral for HM Queen Elizabeth II, Many around the globe marveling at the Liturgical worship, the hymns, the message spoke by the Archbishop of Canterbury. Many speaking of the way the Gospel flowed through the service. Praise be to God for such a witness.
My Family and I (Guy) have been in Auckland over the last couple of days on a mission to renew our children’s American Passports as we lead up to our trip at the end of the year. I got to thinking about how people are witnessing the Gospel here in our area and amongst our friends, whānau and neighbors. I am so pleasantly surprised by the way the spirit is moving amongst us. There are so many things I am seeing that fill my heart with Joy. Different House churches meeting together to go deeper together. AYM Houses continuing to push out to young people around them to lead them to a life in Christ that offers so much more than what the world is offering. Watching our intermediate young people have a blast at Intermediate camp (Read the story here). Im involved in several conversations about how different groups can think creatively about meeting people in their community to build relationships in order to share the good news with them.
Continue to pray that Gods spirit would flow through this place! Pray for courage and boldness that each of us would be willing to go out not alone but together in groups. Pray for creativity that groups would spring up with a heart to reach those around them. Pray that our wider parish continues to hold these groups that operate around the edge as we continue to gather.
This week we have our final week of Mission Month which has been a real treat to gather and hear a bunch of different voices in the mission atmosphere over the last several weeks. This week is also Wellington Dio Synod which will mean that 3 out of the 4 of us will be attending and Summer will be here to serve alongside a bunch of our Aym’ers in our central gathering space.
I will be recording a message for us that has been on my heart for a few years now as I worked in the Global Mission arena with NZCMS. We will be looking at the passage from Matthew 28 and the Great Commission. We will be digging into the four building blocks of life, God, Self, Relationships and creation, and how this relates to the brokenness of the world and our part to play in the kingdom of God breaking through here on earth as in heaven!
So gather your House Churches, your prayer groups, your missional communities and encourage them to gather this Sunday at All Saints for our Central Gatherings at 9 and 10:30am to praise and worship, chew through the word of God, pray, and gather around Gods holy table together.
Just as a reminder before I sign off, that this Saturday evening is Daylight Savings change over, so spring forward one hour! and tonight (23rd Sept) is the Youth Group fundraising Dinner 7-9pm suggested koha of $20, please make it along if you can! Its going to be a great time!
Love and Blessings,
Kia Ora All Saints Whānau,
After what has felt like a very long, cold, and wet winter, I’m sure you are all rejoicing with me (and the rest of Wellington) at the sight of the sun once again! Feeling the light and warmth of the sun, even in the cold air, seems to have lifted the mood of most of the city. Everybody is talking about it and getting outside as much as possible because it’s been so long since we have had days like this.
This past Wednesday, Rachel and I took our two youngest to Coolsville to hang out in the community and share a warm cup of coffee (if you remember, it was not one of those sunny days). There were a lot of other mums there, some with their kids and some who had come alone after school drop off. As we all chatted together, a conversation emerged in which these community mums shared how they have been marvelling at how different our church seems to be from what they expect from past experiences with churches or Christians. Some of them go to Mainly Music, others have just gotten to know people from our church family. There they were, all sitting around the table together talking about how friendly people were, how everybody remembers their name, and what excellent coffee we serve (shout out to Warren!). It was the best gossip I’ve heard in a very long time!
This is what we are meant to be about and I’m so proud of the way all of you are engaging deeply, loving fiercely, and being Jesus in our community. It’s refreshing to everyone and apparently causing heads to turn.
In the same way that the sunshine has lifted all our spirits and given everybody a renewed sense of hope for days to come, when we shine the light and love of God to those around us, people begin to desire more.
God is doing something in our midst. It’s exciting to watch and even more exciting to be a part of. I want to encourage you all that people are noticing God within us and the way we love and care for our community. Let’s continue to pour out ourselves so that we can be filled with the Holy Spirit and share that love and light as widely as we possibly can. I’m proud of all of you. You guys are the real deal!
Kia ora All Saints whānau,
What wild weather we've had this week! Snow and sunshine, both blessings in different ways. This week I've been really appreciative of our church family as Leon and I battle yet another bug from crèche (or as I now affectionately call it, the Plague House). When I have to step out of meetings and commitments, it does give me a wake-up call. Who am I when I'm not being useful or helpful? Where can I see God at work when I'm not at work? And does the world stop when I stop - am I that important? This can be humbling for me and reminds me that I am loved by God just as I am, and the fate of the world doesn't rely on me (thankfully).
It is such a privilege to serve alongside you all in our faith community, and I am grateful for God being alongside us. In our cluster of local church leaders we have been learning about and discussing whether we are trying to imitate Christ or be united with Christ. Often we think just of imitation, which can be disheartening as we can never fully achieve it and it relies on our own steam. If we seek to be in unity with Christ then it is Christ doing the work, but we get to join in. Jesus saved the world, not us. Jesus changes lives, not us. Our part to play is important, of course, but if we seek unity with Jesus, His plans become ours and we join God's redemptive work in the world.
These are my musings for this week. How are you growing in unity with Christ? Have you made time to rest/abide in Christ this week? Is your work rooted in Jesus or are you trying to fix the world with your own steam? Sometimes taking time out changes our perspective.
Praying for you all,
We thought we would give you an update about what has happened in regards to our building recently - which in short is not much!
As part of our MAP - Taking Flight process we were looking at some options of what could buildings be used for in this parish in the future and I am sure that has sparked some discussion and some ideas that might be floating around. There is really no limit to dreaming about what we could do with our buildings and what they could be used for.
Some examples include: restoring the brick building, demolishing the brick building and building a multi-purpose building, restoring the brick building exterior and modifying the interior as multi-purpose, building housing units on church land, creating a community hub for after-school clubs and social services, What are the social, spiritual, mental and physical needs in our community and how could we help meet them? How can we be good news in our community?
What dreams do you have?
The Diocese requires us to have a plan for mission in our area to be able to approve building projects so the MAP process is part of the first step regarding our mission here and what buildings would help us achieve that.
However, we're still a long way off making a decision on any future possibilities. Any big decision regarding any building requires a Special General Meeting.
The Brick Building
In July, we received a letter from the Council asking us for an engineering report as they had identified that the building was potentially an earthquake risk.
In working with the Diocese we provided the engineering report that was done a while ago (which subsequently meant we could not use the building).
Therefore you will see on the doors of the building there are now official notices from the council stating the risk of the building's earthquake rating. It also states on it that we have until 2 July 2037 to rectify the situation.
The Church Centre
Parish Council has spent quite a lot of time looking at the Parish Centre and how we keep it maintained for future use. It is coming up to 10 years next year since it was built and we would like to keep it functional and maintained so we do not end up with big bills all at once.
Therefore we have taken steps to get quotes to repaint the centre and we are putting together a Maintenance plan to make sure we are keeping up with the maintenance of all the elements of the building. For instance - when do we need to service all the doors and when should the floors be done?
Donations towards buildings
There has been some confusion recently over donations towards buildings. You are more than welcome to donate towards costs associated with our buildings. General donations towards buildings go into our general fund, where most of our expenses are paid from.
If you would like to donate towards the action required on the brick building, you are more than welcome to do this but please do recognise there is no decision on what that action would be. We cannot guarantee restoration or demolition at this stage. You can write 'Brick Building' on any of these donations.
Hope this is helpful and we look forward to more discussions on this in the near future.
Andrew Spence on behalf of the Co-Vicars and Wardens
Kia ora All Saints whānau,
Last week we finished up the meeting part of our MAP process. There were some really great comments about what people found helpful about the process:
"Appreciate the preparation and thought/prayer that has gone into the sessions."
"Sense of community, respectful of different opinions."
"Being able to connect with each other in fellowship and be honest in a small group."
You can still view the results of the Congregational survey on the wall in the Gathering Space but we have now taken everything down to consolidate the answers to all the questions. The consolidated answers will then be viewed and discerned by the Co-Vicars. The Co-Vicar's will then put together a draft plan for Parish Council, who will then again discern that plan before we present it to the Parish at the November AGM. Thank you so much for everyone contributing to the process. It was a good turn out over the 5 weeks and we are so excited that people could be honest and discuss allk the issues openly.
This week is Fathers Day - so may we remember our Dad's this weekend. I am sure many of you will be reaching out, gathering or sharing some time together with your Father's this weekend. These of course come in many shapes, sizes and configurations!
The best example of a Father is in fact our God. Every Father's day I am reminded of the tale of two sons (Luke 15:11-32). The image of the father running towards the son who had gone off to squander everything his Dad had worked for and the lavishness of celebration when he returned. Then the image of the head of the feast, lowering himself to go outside and talk to the older brother who is bitter and twisted. It is an image of God going to his children where they are and showing huge generosity. May we be Dad's that are like our Father in Heaven.
On an entirely different note this week we begin our Mission month!
Rev. Amilie Paynter from Ohakune is bringing us the message this week.
This month is all about looking at what mission involves, what is mission and therefore what does it look like in different parts of the world including New Zealand. So enjoy looking at that in your house churches.
May God bless you this week!