Kia ora All Saints Whanau,
Last week we began our series on 'The Kingdom of...'. It is a series looking at the people who Jesus pronounces as blessed. He is talking to a crowd of people who would have thought of themselves as not worthy, thrown out, people who are unimportant, no one is looking to them for answers - these are the people who Jesus pronounces are the first to recieve in his Kingdom.
This week I also virtually attended a session on the idea that small groups change the world and in fact it is a major part of what Jesus focussed his time on - 12 people. It also talked about how we are naturally wired to look and spend our time focussing on the crowd.
It reminded me of the reason we believe in House churches and small groups. These are the places of transformation for us as Christ followers. These are the places where we are pulling each other along on the journey. These are where community and discipleship happen. What encouraged me about this is that we are doing this really well at All Saints. If you are not in one then please reach out and we can help you find a house church to be a part of.
This week Guy is bringing us the Sermon on 'Blessed are those who mourn.' Be sure to pick up a booklet if you havn't, not got one already and follow along with our series.
Coming up we are going to be looking at what does our future look like her at All Saints. What is the Flight Path going forward? We are inviting everyone in the Parish to help us with this task. There are 6 sessions designed to look at our Parish from 6 different perspectives including our profile of our Parishioners, our community we find ourselves in, our gifts and talents and our resources plus a few more. We want to do these six sessions starting June 24th at 3pm to 5pm with dinner afterwards. Kid minding will be provided and as many people as possible participating will get us the best result!
For now I will be praying for our House churches this week and may you be blessed in all you do.
Mā te wā
Kia ora All Saints Whānau
Happy Matariki weekend to you all! This is the first year that we are as a nation celebrating Matariki, Māori New Year, which heralds a time of remembrance, joy and peace. It signals a time for communities to come together and celebrate.
This Matariki we as a parish are gathering on Friday 24th June 2pm for a time of reviving and cleaning our building and land, a way of us each connecting with one another and caring for the resources and land we are privileged to have access to. A time of great joy and celebration together as we spend time with one another. This will be followed by a feast of Fish and Chips from 5-7pm as we spend time eating and fellowshipping together. Young and old together as whānau. We know that there is so much that happens over shared experiences and food so make sure you don’t miss out and pop down to All Saints tomorrow (Friday 24th June) there will be something for everyone to participate in.
This coming Sunday is Central Gathering Sunday and we are launching into our new sermon series call “a kingdom of” where we will explore together who was Jesus talking to on that mountain he gave that great sermon from! What is this kingdom he’s speaking of? We will be looking at the scripture from Matthew 5: 1-12, we will read this same passage each week as we go through this series was a way of building upon it each time.
As a short reflection for us this Matariki, as we consider the greatness of our God and the depth of the personal relationship we have through Jesus, one thing we have been wrestling with our Missional Huddles over the last few sessions is what does a rhythm of rest and work in Christ look like and how does this affect the way operate in life and ministry. Consider John 15:1-8 We are called to remain in him and he in us, there we will bear much fruit. As we remain him we will bear much fruit. Consider the semi circle (image attached), we often operate out of a place of needing to rest from our work. But Jesus says remain in me come close, let me work on you, let go of some things while we spend some time together. This of course will be different for us all, walking, hiking, sailing, reading, listening to music. From that place lets go to work, from that place lets see fruitfulness and when the time and season comes again lets come close to the gardener again, lets let some things go, cut away the stuff we don’t need and we go again. What does resting or sabbath with Christ look like for you? Weekly, Quarterly, annually? How about we put the big rocks in of remaining in him first and then we operate out of that place and see the fruitfulness of Christ in our lives and community!!
If you want to know more about the semi circle shape click the link below.
Check out the rest of our newsletter for things that are coming up in the near future and ways that you can continue to get involved.
ngā mihi nui
Kia ora All Saints whanau
This week in the life of the Anglican Province we are celebrating two different days together; Te Pouhere Sunday and Disability Awareness Day. These two days together create a beautiful expression of what it means to celebrate and engage with our diversity. The theme of moving from being “them and us” to being “us together” weaves together Te Pouhere and Disability Awareness through the concept of becoming united in our diversity. Our differences can strengthen our communities, our faith and the expressions of our faith.
There is a strong theme in our readings this week of going beyond our comfort zones, seeing a new way and learning to love each other through the differences. In John 15:9-17 Jesus speaks about no greater love than laying down one’s life for one’s friends. Jesus commands us to love. We are to love each other by doing so in a way that goes beyond our own interests and seek to put ourselves in another’s shoes. Seeing things in a new way, loving others and reconciliation is not easy. It is, however, fundamental to our faith in Christ.
If you would like to engage in more resources around Te Pouhere Sunday and Disability awareness Sunday please click the link below.
We have a new sermon series starting next week called “A Kingdom of…” where we explore one of Jesus' most famous sermons, the sermon on the mount, looking in particular at what are famously called the beatitudes. Let us begin to prepare ourselves by starting to consider who Jesus is talking to, what sort of Kingdom Jesus is announcing, what does it mean for his hearers then and now and how do we see God in the face of Jesus?
I have been reading the novel “The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe” by C.S Lewis to my girls each evening and I recall the conversation between the siblings and Mr and Mrs beavers where the children are told about Aslan and assume Mr Beaver is talking about a person and when it is revealed that Aslan is, in fact, a lion. Lucy, the youngest, becomes afraid and asks if he is safe. Mr Beaver chuckles a wee bit and says “Safe! Of course he isn’t safe. He is a lion. But he is good! ” We can think about this statement as we think about what it means to give our lives fully to Christ and embrace all that Christ is calling us to. The act of giving our lives to Christ pulls us out of our comfort zones and challenges us to see new ways that we should go about loving others and practicing reconciliation (which by the way looks like putting yourself in the middle of a group of people who in that present moment do not get along). Is it going to be safe! Probably not. But it is going to be good!
I pray this week that God will continue to help us see the Kingdom breaking through in our communities and that we have stories to share of the great things that God is doing amongst us.
A reminder to check out the things that are coming up at All Saints over the next week while, particularly the Matariki working bee and intergenerational dinner.
Much love in Christ,
Bishop Justin asks us to join in prayer for the friends and family of Ven Ian Bourne who passed away last week.
Ian held many roles within our Diocese, including Vicar of Haitaitai-Kilbirnie, Vicar General, Canon Emeritus and Archdeacon of Wellington, before he and his wife Margaret moved to Christchurch.
His funeral will be held in Christchurch on Monday 20 June at St Peter’s Church, Riccarton Road at 11:30am.
May he rest in peace and rise in glory.
+Peter has sent us his words from the Christchurch eLife newsletter this week: On Friday night Archdeacon Ian Bourne died peacefully, at the age of 90. Ian trained for ministry at College House and was ordained deacon in 1956 and priested in 1957. While at College House and in the St. Martins’ Spreydon Bible Class, Ian met and courted Margaret Bruhn (one of my lovely aunts). Throughout their married life Ian and Margaret have served Christ and Christ’s church together. With the exception of ministry in Epsom, England, 1965-67, Ian was a parish minister in the Diocese of Wellington from 1956-1995, notably serving as Vicar of Haitaitai-Kilbirnie from 1971-1995. This period included two periods as Archdeacon of Wellington and a long period of service on the Prayer Book Commission which produced the 1989 NZPB. In retirement Ian continued in ministry in Wellington in a variety of ways. Several years ago, Ian and Margaret moved to Christchurch and have been worshipping in the Parish of Upper Riccarton-Yaldhurst. The funeral service for Ian will be at 11.30 am Monday 20 June at St. Peter’s, Church Corner, Upper Riccarton. Clergy are invited to robe with white stoles and asked to arrive by 11.15 am. Please remember Margaret Bourne and their three children and their families in your prayers.
Kia ora All Saints Whānau,
Colossians 3:12 This week I (Emily) went to a funeral of a wonderful woman of God. She had been at our church in Christchurch for over 50 years, and had a loving (and cheeky!) marriage for a few months shy of 50 years. During the service I reflected on my relationship with her, being my mentor in my late teens and a great role model of a generous woman who was faithful to God and her community. One of her sons shared that on the day she died he happened to glance at his phone which had a verse for the day:
"Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience." - Colossians 3:12
He felt this summed her up well. It got me thinking, what characteristics am I 'clothing' myself with? What would I like to be known for? Andy spoke last week about Pentecost meaning we as the people of God are mini temples - God dwells in us. So do we look like the ultimate example of God's temple - Jesus? I have been reflecting that this verse doesn't just say we should have compassion, kindness, etc., but perhaps implies actively cultivating these things. Clothe yourself in these characteristics. Choose to cover yourself in them.
So as I consider the inspiration dear Jill has been in my life, I am challenged to look at my actions, thoughts, words and attitudes, so that I can take a pause and choose to clothe them in the words of Colossians 3:12, and other qualities I know Jesus to have. I encourage you to do likewise and watch the Spirit of God, which dwells in you, overflow to impact our community and our world.
Bless you all, Emily