Kia ora All Saints Whānau
“If the church doesn’t look, act, sound and think like Jesus its probably not the church of Jesus” This is a quote from Mike Frost from a Podcast he was on with his good friend Alan Hirsch where they discuss the re release of their book Re:Jesus A wild messiah for a missional church.
As I heard this I was spurred to think about who we are as a community of Jesus followers and do we look, act, sound and think like Jesus? I’m sure on some level we would all respond with YES YES YES of course! But then again I know in my own life there are things I hold back or try to do on my own or through my own strength. The journey of aligning our lives more and more with Jesus is a process that requires all of us to admit that we don’t have it all together and that we are together pushing and pulling each other closer to the Messiah.
This week we are shifting the culture in our parish by turning ourselves outwards. Towards those who don’t show up in our building not only on Sundays but ever! Increasing the missional DNA of our parish life with our first Go Sunday, stopping our usual gatherings as we collectively step out into our community. We have spoken about the Up In and Out Triangle before (see image) by which we are seeking to model our lives as Jesus lived, by connecting to the father (up) discipling one another, walking together, pushing and pulling each other along (in) and thirdly going out, as we watch Jesus reach out to those around him we too are called to go out! Connect, build relationship, proclaim the Good News. We get a great glimpse of this in Luke 6:12-19 Jesus went to his father to pray, then when morning came he gathered his people, his disciples, and following that he went to the crowd to those around him.
“If the church doesn’t look, act, sound and think like Jesus its probably not the church of Jesus” Let us not become a place that doesn’t reflect Christ! Let us continue to push more and more, to hunger and thirst for more, to see the kingdom come in real and powerful ways. May we stand together, even when its hard and goes against what society or friends and family think or say, and say YES JESUS more of you, more like you and let us declare that to others.
Change can often bring a sense of uncomfortableness, anxiety or even fear of the unknown. I would like to lay down a challenge in this season that following a wild messiah comes with spaces we find ourselves in that are uncomfortable. As we take a collective step in an environment we haven’t been in before or at least for a very long time that we look to one another to support, encourage and invite along. Whether its Care for creation on Mt Vic, connecting with local families at the Kindy Clean, Clearing Litter with neighbors, feeding the community in Kilbirnie or being part of a group who are wrapping the community and Go Sunday opportunities in prayer step out together and follow a wild messiah into our community. Step out and create memories with our parish family.
Its not too late to sign up or if you are not sure where to land feel free to pop along to the All Saints Centre at 10am on Sunday for the community prayer opportunity led by Andy, or email me on email@example.com.
May you be profoundly impacted by the space you are engaging in on Sunday, may you see the kingdom shining through, we pray for divine connections and conversations. But my biggest prayer is that we as a church family, our hearts are aligned more and more to the wild messiah Jesus
Love in Christ
This Sunday - May 29th - We are shutting down our services to GO! Go Sunday is all about connecting and building relationship in our community!
Being followers of Christ calls us to go out! So thats what we are doing. Make sure you dont miss out there is something for everyone. Jump in. Email us if you need more information.
Kilbirnie Community Centre
Preparing and participating in a beautiful community meal for the Kilbirnie community .
Joining together with families from our local kindergarten to clean and tidy inside and out of the Kindy grounds.
Contact for meeting point
Connecting in with the Mt Vic Regeneration group who gather to care for creation in our city.
Hataitai Community Centre
A community wide litter blitz around the Hataitai community. gather together with others to keep this community clean.
All Saints Centre
For those who are less able a chance to gather together and pray for our community and those who are out connecting. Led by Andy
Kia Ora All Saints,
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about connection. In my mental health practice I’ve been studying the nervous system and how our nervous system responds to our external environment, but especially to connection with others around us. We are created by God to be deeply relational human beings. The biggest hurts in our life come from disconnection and the best things in life come through connection. It’s how God made us and it’s fun to read the work of the world’s top neuroscientists as they explain this through a scientific lens.
This is important for so much of our life. It affects our physical health, our happiness, whether we are anxious or calm. But it also affects our faith. Connection with others brings us into a state of nervous system function that sets us up for being able to sit in God’s peace and dwell in his goodness. This is not to say that we can’t get there on our own, but together with others it’s so much easier, and again, it’s how God made us.
Leading up to our “Go Sunday” at the end of this month I have been thinking a lot about the importance of connection and relationship as we strive to be deeply a part of our local community. Our house church is doing a working bee at Hataitai Kindy and already we know of 3-4 other kindy families who are going to join us. I believe this is more valuable than we even realise.
The connections we will all make on May 29th aren’t just for the purpose of one day inviting them to church (although that’s cool too). The connection itself is an agent of God’s healing in this world. When we bring the Holy Spirit, and the peace that comes with that, into time spent with other human beings, we bring a taste of God’s kingdom.
So whether you are going to share cups of tea with those at Rita Angus, walk with others in the community at the Hataitai Litter Blitz, clean up the kindy, or any of the other things our church whanau is going out to do – know that your presence is powerful and your connection with those around you is important. This is what the church is meant to be about and I’m so proud to watch as you all take up the challenge!
Ngā Mihi Nui,
This week Parish Council met and we wanted to keep you updated with what was discussed. If you want to discuss them further then please contact one of the Parish Council members found at the bottom of this message.
This week our devotion was John 15:1-8 and was a good reminder of staying connected to the vine and bearing fruit. There were many great reflections around the table as we discussed this passage.
In November 2021, the Parish voted at the AGM to have three foci for 2022. You can click the link below and see what those are. Parish Council took a look at those foci and were pleasantly encouraged by how far we have come as we almost reach 6 months of the year. We hope you can be encouraged too and see where we are doing well in focussing our energy there.
Vision and Buildings:
Parish Council are trying to determine how we can discuss the brick building and what we can and could do with it. However, the realisation is that we need to have a Vision about what All Saints is going to be about before we can decide how buildings fit into that Vision.
There have been discussions across the Diocese about the Mission Action Plan (MAP) model for doing this and we would like to do this with the Parish in June/July. You can find out more about that here.
On top of this discussion we are also looking at how we keep maintenance of the Church Centre so that we can keep this building nice and usable. More information will come out once we have compiled a list and coordinated some ideas to keep the buildings maintained.
Parish Council heard in the Co-Vicar's Report that we will return to communion in two kinds starting from Pentecost. There is more information in the newssheet about this for the next few weeks.
There are also two key things we are keen for you to know about:
If you have any questions about any of this then please see one of the Parish Council members below or talk to one of the Co-Vicars.
Parish Council for 2022-23:
This week I (Guy) would love to share with you all in the parish about one of our epic ministries that operates in the Parish! Mainly Music! Mainly Music has been operating for 15 years here in the parish which is a huge feat.
Each Friday at 9:30 we gather with a group of up to a dozen other parents from around the eastern suburbs for a time of singing and dancing followed by morning tea and community. Warren is always there ripping some great shots of coffee for those of us who have been up too many times in the night.
Over the last few months we have been slowly building up the visibility of Mainly Music in the community and word of mouth gets around about this place where you can sing and dance but more importantly spend time with other parents who are in a similar position.
We have a great group of volunteers who show up each week to minister to our families that come along. Roles include set up and pack down, Welcoming families in the door, leading the singing and dancing, and the all important morning tea crew! its a vibrant beautiful place to engage and connect! We are seeing more and more God move in a gentle beautiful way, whether through conversation, listening or prayer.
Mainly Music is poised to be a great onramp for families in our community into a wondering and explorative space of faith and Christ, please pray for our team as we navigate what it looks like to bridge the community gathering and a place of freedom and transformation in Christ. We pray each week that Jesus is radically present and may we be his hands and feet.
If you love being part of a vibrant team and want to get involved we are always on the look out for more people to join our Mainly Music Squad! What's not to love about Singing, Dancing and building community!
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to know more.
Much love, Guy