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,