Vicars Letter - 2 June 2023
Kia ora All Saints,
I’m so sad that I couldn’t be with you last Sunday. I have heard that it was a beautiful time of worship and celebration together. I was away on a weekend for the Diocese where I celebrated the gift of the Holy Spirit in a much quieter but still significant way. My job on this weekend was basically to use my gifts and to listen to the Holy Spirit. When I came back, I had a renewed freshness in the discipline of listening to God, both in times of intentional prayer, but also simply in the daily moments of life.
Having just participated in Thy Kingdom Come, I hope you all are also experiencing a renewed freshness in partnering with the Holy Spirit and God’s love for all his people. I have been in many conversations just in the past few days where it is so clear to see the power with which God is moving in our communities and relationships. Sometimes we take these things for granted; we get caught up in the busyness of life and that distracts us from our awareness of God in the smaller moments where the Holy Spirit may be working around us. But the more we talk about these things and share our God stories with those around us, the more in tune to the movements of God that we are.
This week marks the beginning of a very exciting sermon series on the Gospel. What is the Gospel, exactly? What makes it good news? What kind of impact does it have on our lives? And how is it relevant to those around us who do not yet know about it? As we go through this series, we are doing so, not just with our own growth in mind, but with our hearts for those God is seeking to reach front and centre. I think that many of us know why we love Jesus but might struggle to articulate that in a way that’s able to be understood by others. This is what we are seeking to tackle by spending the next 8 weeks on this topic.
So don’t put away your list of 5 from Thy Kingdom Come just yet. And if you didn’t make a list of 5, it’s not too late. Let’s commit as God’s family to continue to pray for those people in our lives. And let’s pray specifically. It might feel safer to pray a prayer like, “God I want to lift up all those around us who don’t know you” but it takes a different level of hope and faith to ask God to use you to share the good news with one particular person who the Holy Spirit has laid on your heart.
I want to encourage you all to step out on that journey. Continue to pray, share the stories of how God is moving with others, and be ready to take brave and practical steps in response to how the Holy Spirit may be leading.
I can’t wait to see what God does!
Vicars Letter - 25 May 2023
Kai ora All Saints Whānau
Pentecost is upon us! The space in the year where we as a church celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit upon the first disciples! For me (Guy) Pentecost is a funny moment in the church calendar. Let me tell you why it is such a decisive moment in history where we see the fulfillment of God's promise through Jesus to be with us always. We see the power of the Spirit at work throughout history, speaking, moving, healing, comforting, and bringing peace. But each year that Pentecost rolls around, I think to myself, why have we waited till this day to highlight the power of the Spirit? What have we been doing the rest of the time? You can call me a closet Pentecostal haha. But seriously, what's going on? We speak of the wonder and power of the Spirit and the way the Spirit manifests in the lives of those throughout history and today, but Come Lord Jesus! Let us see your Spirit move amongst us, we pray! I think that as we lead up to Pentecost this year may we be so overwhelmed by the power of the Spirit both in the quiet and meek spaces and the powerfully supernatural spaces, and may we not only acknowledge and seek the Spirit at this time of year but all year each day and every day in the hopes of seeing as in heaven on earth!
This week is Thy Kingdom Come, a global call to pray for 5 friends and family to come to know Jesus in a real and powerful way. Who have you been praying for? I have my little bookmark, with 5 of my friends who live in a very close geographical circle around me, positioned on my laptop so that each time I open it up, there are my 5 to pray for. Where do you put yours? I would love to hear your stories. I also note that I see these people often, which is a fun little game to see them and then pray for them. We are praying come Lord Jesus move in their world.
This week we have also had our prayer stations set up in the Kākāriki room (Formally the meeting room) for people to pray for their friends, church, selves, community, etc. I would love to point you toward our 24 Prayer Vigil at All Saints this Saturday 27th – Sunday 28th. You can sign up by clicking here.
We are running a prayer vigil to intercede on behalf of our friends, ourselves, our church, and our community, praying that God would come and move amongst us. It's exciting to gather in this way again after many years of being unable to. It is also a real testimony to the community here at All Saints that there is energy and passion to seek after the heart of God after years of feeling burned out, tired, and lacking motivation. Come, Lord Jesus!
Sign up and get praying. Invite your house church along, bring your partner, friends, and family. When 2 or more are gathered you are there Lord.
Following Pentecost, we are launching into our 8-week "Gospel in Life" series. We are digging into what is the Gospel/the good news. Come with the openness to see your hearts renewed by the power of the good news! We will break down this series into bite-size pieces with a chance to dig deeper and let that permeate your hearts. This will lead us to our Go Sunday at the end of July. Our challenge is who from your list of 5 friends you are praying for are you willing to invite to Go Sunday? – Just as a heads up, we have a really exciting opportunity on our next Go Sunday that will look like gathering all together as we engage with others in caring for Gods creation through tree planting (watch this space), so with regards to inviting others, this should be an easier onramp to being missional together.
37 When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, "Brothers, what shall we do?"
38 Peter replied, "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call."
This scripture is a powerful statement from Peter to first-century Jews, which I think sticks today! The good news has a way of cutting through all the crud of the world, past all the trauma, the shame, the embarrassment, the toils, failed hopes, and dreams. It cuts so deep that it transforms. So seek the Lord as we come together to dive into our Gospel series, seek the Lord to move and speak to you, seek the Lord that the Good News would renew your lives and that as we share others lives and the lives of their loved ones would be transformed.
Come Lord Jesus!
Ngā Mihi Guy
Vicars Letter - 19 May 2023
Kia ora All Saints whānau,
Thy Kingdom Come has started!
It is a call to pray for people for people to come to know Jesus. If you have not heard about how Thy Kingdom Come started here is the story:
We are taking this a step further at All Saints:
Our desire is that people will come to non-threatening environments with their friends and meet Christians. It will give an opportunity for conversations, and questions. The lead in to all of this is our 8 week "What is the Gospel?" series. Which will clarify, challenge and give us words to know what the gospel is.
Pentecost is on the 28th May. Our combined 10am service is going to include Baptisms of Jasper and Arlo Spence. Our prayer vigil leads into this service and there is a chance to pray for the Spirit to work in this place and the world.
There is so much happening, with many ways to pray, engage with and join Jesus in his mission here. In all of this we are trying to live into our mission as a church: To be passionate disciples devoted to Christ's Kingdom transformation.
Bless you all this week!
Vicars Letter - 12th May 2023
Kia ora All Saints whānau
This week we are all back in the room together for our Central Gatherings, the first time since before our Go Sunday a couple of week ago. There are so many wonderful stories that are bubbling to the surface following our time spent out and about, I look forward to hearing some more on Sunday.
I (Guy) have shared here before about our discipleship huddles that are operating in the parish on a regular basis, where we come together to chat through what God is saying to us and what we are going to do about it, we are vulnerable with each other, we are accountable to each other and we are passionately seeking God together. During our time together we also have a space for some input/teaching where we look at some tools for our tool belt in regards to how we are disciples of Jesus and how we build and develop other disciples of Jesus around us.
Last time our group gathered together a week or so ago we discussed Ephesians 4 which talks about bearing with one another in love and through the bond of peace, we talked about the way God equips us as Teachers, Evangelists, Pastors, Prophets and Apostles, often referred to as the five fold ministry, and finally we talked about what that means as we become mature in these giftings and our faith together with one another.
I have been thinking and praying over the last week for us all here at All Saints about what are the gifts that God as equipped us all with and are we living those out for the kingdom? Not just for ourselves, so that we might become the more mature one or the one whose gifts is exercised the most or looked upon with great desire. But that we might exercise our gifts so that we as a community push and pull each other closer to the Lord and that the kingdom is grown through us.
There is something powerful when we think about the way that all our gifts, when operating in harmony and peace with one another, continue to build and grow more and more. You may see yourself as more of a Teacher, Evangelist, Pastor, Prophet or an Apostle but you actually are all of them, the reality is that you might just sit more comfortable in one of those spaces more than others, so don’t cast of the other gifts because it feels uncomfortable let us challenge ourselves and each other into the beautiful expression of Gods gifts to us as we seek him and his will for our community! Click here for a metaphor on the different workings of each gift.
This week may you be prompted to unravel the mysteries of the was God is using you amongst this community and how we can continue to see his kingdom grow through us.
May I draw your attention to a few things coming up in our community over the next couple of weeks.
Thy Kingdom Come is starting next week. We would love you to take a card that will be available to you this Sunday to write down 5 friends to pray they come to know Jesus. This is a global call to daily prayer for our friends. We will then celebrate Pentecost all together where we celebrate the power of the Holy Spirit. Following that we will have a series on the Gospel (Good news) which will lead us all the way through to our next Go Sunday in July where we are still praying for our 5 friends and looking to invite one of them along to a Go Sunday event. We pray that you are up for this journey.
I just want to point out that 28th May is Pentecost where we will have a combined service and baptisms. Wear red if you like to celebrate. We are excited to gather all together with each of you.
Continue to love each other so well and those around you! Continue to share the stories of where God is moving in your lives, especially those conversations that are popping up about faith in peoples worlds.
Come Lord Jesus.
Vicars Letter - 5th May 2023
Kia Ora All Saints’ Whānau,
It’s the end of the week and I’m still buzzing from Go Sunday. I have heard so many great stories and even just the conversations I had myself with people about what we do on 5th Sundays and how we operate as a church, have been so faith building. People are curious, they’re surprised, and they want to know more.
I had a conversation recently with somebody who was identifying that in their own community (another ministry unit in the Diocese of Wellington) there seems to be so many people who are beginning to ask questions about faith. And he noted that he has heard many others from various other communities and ministry units say the same. This same thing is happening around us at All Saints as well, and our clergy team aren’t the only ones who are finding themselves in God conversations or conversations about big life things that will likely turn into God conversations as the relationship grows.
This is quite significant. There is a hunger around us that is real, and God has positioned us among the people in our lives to bring the love of Jesus. If we acknowledge that this is true, the very relevant question that follows is “what do I say to people who ask?”. How do we respond to the things people bring to us? How do we as a church continue to place ourselves in spaces where people know that we love them, we care about them and that we welcome their emotions, their griefs, and their hard questions?
We are launching into a journey in the next few months where we will have an opportunity to explore the answers to those questions. May is Giving Month and in the next few weeks we will journey together to explore how we use the resources God has given us for the Kingdom. My prayer is that we will wonder together what God might be inviting us into both as individuals, as house churches, and as a wider congregation.
At the end of this month is Thy Kingdom Come when we commit to praying for 5 people around us to come to know the Lord. Together we will pause to ask the Holy Spirit who he has brought into our lives with an invitation to share more about him.
Then in June we will launch into a sermon series on the Gospel. What exactly is the Good News? How do we share it? How do we share it in a way today, in 2023, where people won’t put up barriers to truly understanding who Jesus is?
This is such an exciting journey and one that I feel privileged to go on with each of you. The longer we journey together as a family, the more clearly we are all able to see the ways in which we are on mission together, working to bring about God’s Kingdom around us.
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