Kia ora All Saints,
This week we have our now famous Trick and Treat Party. A non-scary alternative to Halloween. It is a fantastic event and one we are excited to host again. It is always well attended and we are so thankful for the people who have stuck their hand up to help. I am particularly excited by the ask the oldest people in our church a question booth - the wisdom there will be immense!
I have found myself over the past two weeks at three events:
2. Leading Your Church Into Growth (LYCIG) Conference
3. Laidlaw Leaders Day - talking about Te Rongopai.
In all of these there has been a distinct theme of sharing the good news with those around us. The church seems to have lost the art of sharing faith. Words that often people associate with it are: 'Manipulative', 'Scary', 'Judgy' or even 'Unneccesary'. What would your word be?
It however, is first and foremost a command of King Jesus in the Great Commission. Matthew 28:16-20 The greatest line I think here is in verse 17:
"When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted."
Despite their doubt Jesus commands them to go and make disciples.
Secondly, in Romans 13, which we studied last week, it talks about clothing yourself with Jesus Christ and our acts showing our love. Evangelism is an appropriate and expected response when you love something and think your friends should know about. You would be eager to say to your friends: "Did you see that game last week?", or "You have to go try that restaurant", or "have you seen that series on TV?"
Evangelism is key learning we are trying to install through our Go Sunday events. How do we do relationships with people in our community? Create connections and then the next step is to share the gospel with them. We realise that we have a long way to go in creating good steps for people to make once we have built relationships. In attending the recent three events this is what was helpful about some of these events.
One of the concepts we have been thinking through is showing a four step process from seeking Jesus to becoming a Disciple Maker. Where are you on this process? Where are your friends?
Some of the questions we are asking as a leadership team is where do people invite their friends to who might be interested? Where do we proclaim the gospel to non-Christians as a church? How is discipling happening and how are we providing opportunities for this to happen? Where can people move to servant? Are we being apostles (disciple makers)?
The first groups to kick this stuff around are our youth groups and young adults. We are hoping we can help make this a regular part of their rhythms and understandings. Most people become Christians before 18 anyway so it seems like a good place to start. But maybe you can think further - how is this happening for you?
A lot to consider there and as we go and do our light party - may more of these questions and wanderings lead us to pray for more people to join the kingdom of God!
See you Sunday, Go the All Blacks and may God bless you!
Kia Ora All Saints,
We have come to the end of a long week of exciting Kingdom dreaming and planning. Last weekend we were away at Synod with other members of our diocesan whānau and while there was a lot of business agenda and passing of motions, there were also beautiful threads of hope and excitement at what God is doing in our midst. Gathering with others in our diocese is always an amazing opportunity to remind ourselves that we aren’t isolated and alone in the Eastern Suburbs of Wellington. We are a part of a large and vibrant movement of God!
Many All Saints leaders then went on to spend Tuesday through Thursday of this week learning about strategies and ways to continue to further the work of God’s kingdom in our community. There was a fair amount of excitement and challenge brewing so stay tuned for opportunities to hear more about this in weeks to come.
And of course, coming up next weekend is one of the biggest opportunities we have in the year to engage with our local community. Our annual light party is Sunday, October 29th from 3-5pm. If you have not yet found a way to get involved then ask around this Sunday at our Central Gathering or just come along on the day and meet people from our community.
In all the spaces where we have been this past week, we as leaders continue to be so proud to be a part of this parish and proud of all of you for stretching and growing together as we learn more about sharing God’s love with those around us. You are faithful and you are brave and we can’t wait to see the ways God will continue to move in our midst.
Kia ora All Saints Whānau
Guy here this week. This past weekend, we had Bishop Justin in the room for part 1 of his two-part series with us (he's here again Nov 5th). He spoke on the death of Jesus and how God demands our allegiance not through force of coercion but through invitation and self-emptying sacrifice.
I just wanted to share that Bishop Justin commented on how much he enjoyed his time with us and was proud of our parish and the position we are in going forward.
This year, there has been a year of real growth and learning for us here at All Saints in many areas, such as boldness in the gospel, missional outreach, deeper discipleship, and parish connection. There are ways we can continue to grow and deepen our relationship with God and reach out to those around us who don't know Christ. 2024 is shaping up to be another powerful year here at All Saints, but only if we as a community are committed to the Good News that Jesus offers.
A few things are coming up on our radar that I would love to bring to your attention.
29th of October - Annual Light Party. Click here to sign up to host an activity or role at our annual light party. This is our Go Sunday weekend, so there are no services this Sunday. Grab your House church, Bible Study, or Prayer group and sign up for a couple of activities, and lets really engage with our local community.
2 Combined services in a row - 5th and 12th of Nov
We have All Saints Day (5th of Nov) and AGM Sunday (12th of Nov) coming up next month, so make sure you get those in your calendar 10 am services. The AGM Sunday will have a shared lunch between the service and the AGM. If you want more information about the AGM, click here, including information about applying for Parish Council, etc.
Advent is fast approaching. 3rd Dec-24th Dec. This is a time each year when we come back together from our House Churches and gather for a season of preparation leading up to Christmas.
Kia ora, All Saints,
My week has been full of conversations around the election and how people are deciding who to vote for. It has been interesting for me hearing what issues are on top for my friends, family and colleagues of different demographics and situations, and hearing their hopes for the next government.
Last week's house church we had a great conversation about hope, from Andy's sermon. We talked about how we can show hope to the people around us, and what Biblical hope is. We discussed how the English word 'hope' is often used for something which might happen, but possibly won't, so we hope for it and have to wait and see. Biblical hope is not like this - it is a certainty, something we can hold onto when things are hard. Biblical hope is the surety that God is active in our world and will restore it, bringing heaven and earth together. We have the privilege of being part of this restoration, joining in with God's grand plan.
So what does hope (the Biblical version) mean for you in your life? Does it impact how you make decisions? Who you choose to vote for and which issues are on top for you? What would it look like to help bring heaven to earth for the people around you?
As you prepare to vote, may you find God in the midst of the issues, hold onto hope that restoration of this world is in progress, and find your part to play in it.
Bless you all, Emily