Vicar's Letter - 29th July 2022
Kia ora to you all,
It is Go Sunday this week and we are super excited to do this for the third time!
There are plenty of options and you can still sign up and have a go at meeting our neighbours.
As always we are excited about this day but the ultimate reason for going out is to spread the gospel! So the relationships you build are important and the work you do is also important. If you want to invite your friends that is totally ok.
Go sunday does three things: It helps us grow in our discipleship, it meets our community and it also spreads the name of All Saints and Jesus to our neighbourhood. I look forward to hearing all the stories as they come back next week!
A couple of things to continue to be aware of:
Have a great weekend and we will see you Sunday at one of the Go Sunday activities.
Vicar's Letter - 22 July 2022
Kia Ora All Saints Whānau,
We are in the middle of winter and it’s tough! I was reading somewhere this week that in the middle of winter in the northern hemisphere they at least have festive events happening such as Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years. Down here it’s cold, wet, windy and boring. And we have no exciting holidays to look forward to. Alas, we are on the other side and we are trending towards summer. If you are like me, you love the warmth and the days at the beach (if you aren’t that’s ok, we still love ya 😉).
You may have seen in the newssheet, over the last several weeks there was a notice about a new prayer rhythm happening in the parish at 6:30am in the morning on Zoom. It’s usually around 15 mins, a short liturgy with space to pray together. It can be a bit brutal! Its dark, I tip toe through the creaky house trying not to wake the kids up. I grab the laptop and hope the sound of it turning on isn’t too loud. But then I log in and I know that others are there to meet me at pray together! This is what keeps me going. I battle my earthly self every day about getting up, but I turn up because there are others who have showed up and we are making space for God together. Now, I tell you this story not to tell you to turn up at 6:30am for prayers (although do if you want to because it’s a primo way to start the day), but I tell you this because it’s hard doing life as a Jesus follower alone, whether it’s getting up in the dark to pray, praying at all, resisting temptation, being vulnerable, allowing others to speak into our lives, or what ever it is, It’s TOUGH!
And for me that’s precisely why we shouldn’t do it alone! That’s precisely why we do discipleship with one another. I don’t just mean, listen to a sermon together. I’m talking about the real deep push and pull. This is why we gather in the central gatherings, its why we gather in houses, its why we go out together into our community. We need to do these things together because, who can take on the world alone? It’s a fools challenge. Recently I was listening to the Re:Builders podcast by Mark Sayers where they were discussing the power of small groups, and what can be achieved through small groups of people who are passionate to see God move. The power of small groups is not to be underestimated.
So as we journey through winter and into the warmer months to come, may we know who our people are that we are journeying with. It may be your house church. (Side note: we did a stock take of our house churches here at All Saints, and over the last couple of house church Sundays we have had an average of 63 people attending our house churches across the parish! Praise God!) It may your missional huddle, your prayer group, or just some good Christian friends. Whatever it is, with our people may we continue to keep our eyes fixed on God together, in all he calls us to - in the central gathering, in the house churches, and in the out. May we be a whanau together on God’s mission in this world.
I would also like to draw to your attention this week a couple of key notices in our parish.
Firstly, starting this Sunday is our Taking Flight – Mission Action Plan afternoon. We are asking the questions, “What does our future look like here at All Saints?”, “What is the Flight Path going forward?” We are inviting everyone in the Parish to help us as we ask these questions. There are 6 sessions designed to look at our parish from 6 different perspectives, including the profile of our parishioners, the community we find ourselves in, our gifts and talents, our resources, plus a few more.
We want to do these 6 sessions (on Sunday afternoons) 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! We hope you can make it.
Second, July 31st is our Go Sunday and there are some really good options to tap into this month. Make sure you check out the list and sign up for one of the options. Remember that there is no gathered worship that Sunday as we all go out together.
Click here to sign up
Thirdly, we as a parish have been asked by Bishop Justin to help serve lunch at the Dio training day on on July 30th. We are after 6-8 volunteers to help serve lunch. Not only is Dio training a great day of connecting to the wider diocese, but also a great chance to soak up some of the great teaching and learning from those from different ministry spaces. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are able to volunteer.
Make sure you check out the rest of the newsletter for more info and ways to engage with stuff happening around the parish.
Much love to you all,
Vicar's Letter - 15 July 2022
Kia Ora All Saints Whānau,
I hope this letter finds you well and staying warm and dry. As we continue through this series on the Kingdom of God, I have found myself going about my day noticing how contrasting the world around me here in eastern Wellington is to Jesus’ teachings about God’s Kingdom. Wellington isn’t nearly as ruthless as the Roman Empire that was in power in Jesus’ time, yet still, it is quite ruthless in its’ own seemingly civilised way.
A few weeks ago, Guy and I, along with several members of our missional discipleship huddle, went along to Food for Thought in Kilbirnie to help serve alongside the amazing couple that run that ministry. Some of you may have gone to Food for Thought before or joined the group that went on our last ‘Go Sunday’. What an incredible night it was.
It was Sunday evening, and I was quite exhausted after a day of services and talking to a lot of people. I’m quite extraverted but I for some reason that night, I felt incredibly overwhelmed at the thought of having to find the energy to talk to people I didn’t know. I even said to Guy, “I’m just going to go with you so you can carry the conversation”. But within a few minutes of engaging with the people who came to share a meal that night, I felt like I had been hit upside the head by the Holy Spirit. Not only did I enjoy the conversation I found myself in, but I felt energised and inspired through it. We had connections that we didn’t realise with the people at our table and within the next week or so we ran into several out in the community.
I went to the library with the kids a couple of days ago and their toilet was broken, so when Quinn needed to go, we had to leave and visit the toilet at the Kilbirnie rec centre next door. There was a man sitting on the bench outside the library when we walked in and while I noticed him sitting there, I am a bit ashamed to admit that I didn’t really notice him. I left with Quinn and when I came back I realised that it was Peter, who Guy and I had talked with at Food for Thought the week before. In that conversation at Food for Thought, Guy realised that he had also met Peter at the barber in Kilbirnie and shouted him a haircut a while back.
Stopping to say hello to Peter outside the library, suddenly he felt like a friend. I introduced him to Quinn and he got a huge smile on his face. I’ve probably seen Peter in the community many times before, but not stopped to really see him. In the world we live in, Peter is probably often not noticed. And things in our society certainly aren’t set up well to ensure he’s honoured and well cared for. But in the Kingdom of God, Peter is first. The Kingdom is for all of us, but it’s for Peter over and above everybody (myself included) who passed him on the bench that day in front of the library and didn’t even take notice.
When we ask God for eyes to see the world as God sees it, everything gets turned upside-down. And, while the thought of allowing our paradigms to be altered so completely can be very overwhelming, in truth it is where the abundant life begins.
This week my prayer for all of us is for eyes to see the world as God sees it. Will you join me in that prayer? Imagine the power of God that can be ushered into our community if we are all intentional in the way we look for God’s Kingdom and live within it.
Vicar's Letter - 8 July 2022
Kia ora All Saints,
This week I’ve been doing some deep thinking about my life – particularly around the theme of joy (not happiness, a deeper unwavering contentment). I have just farewelled a friend who left with a one-way ticket overseas and she is hugely excited and equally terrified about what her immediate future holds. At the same time, I have not long emerged from our second period of isolation during which I tried to slow down and enjoy the immediate pleasure of spending time on the floor with our toddler. Last week in our Sunday services/house churches we discussed the beatitude, ‘Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted,’ which was confronting, working out how to deal with the bigness of the pain in this world. I think all of these things have potential to rob us of the joy the Spirit gives us – if we live in the future, seeking joy in the big adventures only, then we miss the simple contentment of our day to day life. If we only live in the present, we lose the drive to push into new, challenging and exciting possibilities. If we dwell too deeply in the brokenness of our world we can lose sight of the hope of God’s kingdom which will one day bring full restoration and is already breaking into our lives now.
So what does joy look like right now? My current thinking is that it is about dwelling in the stability of God – that the Father created and loves us unconditionally, that Jesus is our constant companion and understands us fully, and that the Spirit is working within us even if we can’t see all the results yet. If we hold onto these truths then we can push into the excitement of the future, enjoy the small joys of the present, and mourn for ourselves and the world without being overwhelmed because Jesus promises we will be comforted through the restoration of ourselves and the world.
In the middle of winter I think it is good to have a reminder to make sure our lives are rooted in joy. As we continue to journey through our ‘A kingdom of...’ series, we see the promise of hope for those at the bottom of the heap, in this upside-down kingdom with Jesus at the head. And as we are all about to launch into our visioning process, ‘Taking Flight’, we hold hope for the future of our community, that we and those around us would know the joy of the Lord and experience more of God’s restoration. What do you think that looks like? What kingdom dreams do you have? Make sure you have your say in our Taking Flight sessions!
90 Hamilton Road, Hataitai, Wellington, New Zealand
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