Kia ora All Saints,
As an American immigrant to NZ, there are still a few things I struggle to adjust to. For example, I drive fine on the left side of the road, but when I walk across a street I almost always look the wrong way when checking for cars. I can accurately estimate outside temperature in Celsius, but I still can’t process my kids’ temperature or weight in the metric system. Seasons confuse me as well. More frequently than should ever happen, I have to pause and think really hard to remember what month it is. My seasonal and cultural cues of what time of year it is, like warmth/cold or the start of the school year, are all upside-down and confusing and it leaves me without any natural internal rhythms for the year.
In America, Lent begins close to the start of spring. Everybody is beginning to anticipate the end of the school year, but the craziness hasn’t begun yet. Christmas is far enough away and kids were all back to school after Christmas break by the second week of January. It’s something most people have time to think about in advance, we all get ready for it to come, and most have had a chance to at least think about what sort of Lenten discipline we might take on.
Meanwhile, every year in New Zealand Shrove Tuesday wacks me upside the head with its’ arrival and I’m shocked we are already here again. The start of the year feels like it’s only just really begun. The kids are still adjusting to being back in school. Just when everything gets back into peak business we are asked to pause and consider the eternal perspective of our lives. Are you kidding me? I’m so tired from getting back into the swing of things that Guy and I struggle to even manage a conversation after finally getting the kids in bed.
For years I’ve felt a bit cheated out of my desire for depth and contemplation (I feel cheated during Advent too, but that’s for another newsletter). But this year I’ve begun to consider that perhaps this time of life ramping up and business taking over actually might be the best time to be thrust into Lent. I’m disorganised, not feeling particularly spiritual, and definitely have no time for depth and contemplation. I am, however, deeply aware of how weak I am, how broken this world that we live in is, how silly it all feels at times, and how desperate we all are for a saviour.
Whatever state you find your heart in these first few days of Lent, I pray you can see clearly the eternal perspective that Jesus offers and notice in a fresh way the signs that we and all creation are groaning for Him. Draw near to God, my friends, and let’s go on this journey together.
Kia ora All Saints family,
It’s Guy here and I’m back on the vicars letters again! It is so good to be back with you all both in person and in the digital space.
Last weekend we had a couple of amazing central gatherings both at 9 and 10:30, we used this opportunity to talk about what are some of the main nuts and bolts of discipleship and how that plays out in the rhythms that we have here at All Saints with a particular focus on sending out our House Churches and leaders for the year, as this week our rhythm of house church Sundays starts up again.
We looked at how discipleship is, Whole of Life, Intentional, Connects the internal and the external worlds, and is deeply missional! So as we begin the year let us think about the way that we do discipleship with one another, and how we are being deeply missional at the same time.
This week is our last week before we jump into our season of Lent and Easter. This Lent we will follow along with the Diocesan Lent studies titled “A Global Journey with 1 Peter”. A series that Bishop Justin has put together out of his time at Lambeth last year.
Next week is Shrove Tuesday where you might like to gather with your house church or your prayer group and cook pancakes together, I know the young adults and the young families are each doing an event inviting their friends along.
The day after is Ash Wednesday where we will be having a midweek service at 10 am here at All Saints with the imposition of ashes.
Something that we are called to do as disciples is to NOT do it alone, but to live as part of a community of believers, Jesus sent people out in twos and groups. So may you this Lent and Easter be encouraged in your walk with the Lord as we all humbly walk with one another closer to God.
If you are not in a House Church yet and would like to be please email me (Guy) at firstname.lastname@example.org, join us for morning prayers at 6:30 am on zoom, or grab some friends around you and start a group that prayers, chews through the word of God and reaches out to those around them (email me for more details on how to do this.)
There are loads of things to get involved in here at All Saints so check out your E-News, get in touch with us, we are passionate about seeing the good news spread with the people around us.
Much love and Blessings, Guy
We are seeking a Communications Coordinator (5 hours a week) to join us at All Saints. This position is intended to help coordinate a group of volunteers that help All Saints to communicate with the wider public. It includes some design work, sending out a newsletter and website coordination.
Long-term we are looking to develop a set of Brand Guidelines and also have a communications strategy.
Click below for a copy of the Job Description.
To apply send your CV and Cover Letter to our Wardens by the 3rd March.
Kia ora All Saints family,
Our summer in the Psalms has come to an end and this week we are back to our regular service times. What a joy it was to spend time all together and journey through what it means to live in the Psalms all year 'round, with honesty, vulnerability and holding on to God's truth and faithfulness regardless of our circumstances. I encourage you to reflect on what stood out to you or what you learnt over this time and write it down or tell someone about it so it stays with you. Our next combined service is for our AGM on 26th March and we look forward to worshiping and meeting together again then.
Coming up in a couple of weeks we have Lent ("but Christmas has only just been," I hear you say! I'm with you!) which is traditionally a time of reflection and repentance, recognising our deep need for the redemption and restoration Jesus offers. It may be a good time to start considering if you'd like to put a routine in place or give up a comfort over Lent to help you reflect and prepare for the joy of Easter Sunday. You could do this by yourself or as a group with others for accountability. Using this season of Lent well can be hugely beneficial for your relationship with God, yourself, others and creation.
May God bless you deeply, not with worldly comforts but with the deep peace and joy that only comes from our Creator and perfect Father. Much love to you all.
Kia ora All Saints,
We are back for 2023 and what a blessing it has been to be together over the summer. It was just glorious to see both services interacting and engaging in our Psalms series. Then to finish January with the Parish Picnic - was so amazing. Lots of energy, excitement, conversation and fun in the room. Next year hopefully we can have it outside!
This week, with Waitangi weekend, wraps up our combined services and Summer in the Psalms series. Next week we are going to have a focus on Launching our House Churches for the year and then we are into house churches the week after that. It is all go here at All Saints! Of course the 9am congregation will continue to meet in the centre at 9am.
As we head into the year, we have at the top of our mind making some progress on the Mission Action Plan. We are going to release a Video shortly for everyone, so that you can catch up with what was agreed at our AGM in November. It sets out the direction for the church for the next few years and you can see it hanging in the Gathering Space at the Church Centre.
I am reminded of Psalm 95 as we begin this year (and as I preached about a couple of weeks ago).
Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord...
Come, let us bow down in worship...
Today, if only you would hear his voice, “Do not harden your hearts
May we all continue to be aware of God's voice and open to what he wants to do this year.
Andrew on behalf of the Co-Vicars