Kia ora All Saints whānau,
Hooray for Level 2! This week we (Spences) had friends over who brought takeaways with them and those two things felt like such luxuries. Having some time stuck in our bubble gave me (Emily) the opportunity to take stock of the simple blessings I have. I've been praying most nights with Leon as I put him to bed and considering all the things for which we can thank God. One night I found myself thanking him for our carpet! Sometimes it feels that the world is too heavy and there are so many people and situations that desperately require our prayer, which is true, but in the midst of it all we are so blessed and can praise God for so much.
Summer shared some mental health tips recently, one of which was to focus on each of your senses to 'ground' yourself if feeling anxious or overwhelmed - name things you can see, hear, feel, smell, taste. I found myself going through these as I prayed and thanked God for each of them, which I found helped me see that God was with me in that moment. Perhaps you might like to try this too - what can you be thankful for in your here and now? Are you able to articulate to God your gratitude for the small blessings we often overlook?
May you know the comfort and generosity of the Father's heart as we join him in bringing his kingdom to our homes and neighbourhoods.
Ngā mihi nui,
Emily, Andy, Summer and Guy
Watch here as Summer speaks to us from Mark 11:1-11 as we start our third part of this series talking about "How Jesus becomes king."
Bible study booklet can be found here
We want to keep up with our sermon series. Despite being in lockdown we can still preach the word. Andy this week will bring a message to us and talk to us about the third conversation with the disciples where they don't get it.
If you would like the sermon series booklet to follow along with here is a copy.
Kia ora All Saints family!
I (Guy) have had two really challenging and exciting conversations this week. One with several people from the diocese, and one with a new friend from Te Pīhopatanga o Te Tai Tokerau (Maori Diocese of Northland). In both of these where we were talking and dreaming around how to best continue to be the church in this environment when the worship in the Temple – in big gatherings - is not a viable option. There is a Maori proverb that says Ka mua, ka muri: Looking back in order to move forward. For us in this environment it’s important for us not to think of some new snazzy way of doing things but rather about looking backwards to go forwards. We have felt that during this time the establishment of house churches is our greatest vehicle of discipleship and stability as a parish.
This week I sent out a detailed newsletter on how this is going to be rolled out over the parish and how you can get involved. You can find that here.
As we establish this house church network in our parish we are excited by the way we can continue to connect with each other and our communities. There are three things that we feel are really important to the culture that is being embedded into our parish and our groups; these are UP, IN and OUT. UP = our relationship with God, Jesus centred, reading the word of God. IN = Authentic community, discipling one another, sharpening one another, connecting, relationship. OUT = Being missional, reaching those in our community, creating on-ramps for people who don’t know Christ.
Our passion and desire is to see each person , family and group grow and be discipled closer to Christ, closer to each other, and closer with the community around us.
We know this is big and new for most of us so I want you to please feel free to call or email me if you want to chat through anything that stands out.
Guy, Summer, Emily and Andy.