Kia ora All Saints Whānau.
We have reached the end of another week of being in the mixer of the Omicron wave. I (Guy) often feel like I’m playing a crazy game of dodge ball with this virus. The competitive nature in me is thriving off the idea that I’m still going, and I guess that’s a good thing in this scenario. I hope that you are all well out there. I have been hearing of a small number of you that have had to isolate but it seems for the most part that the parish is doing well and are supporting one another well.
This week we are entering into our 3rd week of Lent and we are continuing on a journey through our Lenten study, “Sentinels – Discerning New Life”. This week the theme is on the lost art of God conversations. Archdeacon David Rowe takes us through a reflection of how and why we should be regaining the courage and practice of having God conversations wherever we are.
He stresses the point of remembering our own first love when we met Jesus. What does it mean to be like the church of Ephesus and “recover your dear early love” (Rev 2:5 MSG)?
What is our role in our community and how do we have these conversations? How are we introducing people to Jesus who deeply knows and loves us and by whom we are being constantly and profoundly transformed?
I thought to myself that I would give it a whirl this week while I went out for coffee with my friend. As we were ordering we had to show our Vaccine passes. I made a joke with the server as they were scanning my pass that “this will validate me” (as you may know, the scanning app flashes up the word “Valid” once your pass has been scanned. I then proceeded to say, “scrap that, only Jesus can really validate me”. My comment was subsequently lost amidst peripheral banter and then not regained, but I thought to myself and I joked with my friend that we launched an opportunity and then missed it, but alas we were brave to try. My hope is that my very low bar attempt is inspiration for you to have a crack at some God conversations this week. Maybe this spurs you on to think about what you might say if you were asked about your faith or this person named Jesus that you’re so into. There are a number of resources we can help with if you need help articulating this in your own life. There is absolutely no judgement or shame in upskilling and preparing yourself in this way.
Please continue to stay connected with one another during this time. If you need help or assistance, please don’t hesitate to contact the Covid Response Team – 04 889 2023. There have been a number of people who have been assisted through this ministry, but what is most pleasing is that so many people have been supporting one another and with the slowness of the spread it seems that not everyone is down at the same time.
Also, if you aren’t in a House Church please contact me via email (firstname.lastname@example.org). We have loads to choose from and a range of different times and locations. Remember there is also a group that meets at the centre on Sundays at 10am for worship discussion and prayer run by the Worsleys and Minnees.
Continue to pray and intercede for our country and the world! There is too much conflict and strain and we are desperate to see Gods kingdom break through and bring transformation in people’s lives. Let’s been those people! Let’s share what we know to be true and good! Let’s usher in the Kingdom in our patch of the world!
Hei konā mai me te aroha,
Rev Guy on Behalf of the co-vicars.