Kia Ora All Saints Whānau,
This past Sunday, as a part of our response to Halloween, All Saints’ Day and a Go Sunday missional outreach, we hosted our annual light party at the centre on Sunday as part of our response to Halloween. There was a moment that day that I realised that we were not prepared for the number of people coming through the door to participate in the festivities. I stood there thinking to myself, “the flood gates have opened and there is nothing I can do, we all just have to roll with it!” It was an incredible moment, but I was equally daunted by the prospect that this event may be all over inside the first hour. I prayed that the candyfloss machine wouldn’t catch the building on fire (thanks Heather for tuning on the ventilation). I prayed the candy wouldn’t run out too fast. And sorry to the Verners, I forgot to pray for the popcorn and it ran out first! I prayed that one day people would be flooding in the doors to know and worship Christ.
Now, I have positivity high in my strengths and I’m usually the eternal optimist, but I also know that it is not me who controls revival. I am, however, convinced that as we continue to pray fervently and regularly, as we become bold in our understanding of the good news of Jesus, and if we can be creative and strategic about how we operate with those who don’t yet know Christ, the Kingdom is going to come in a real and powerful way.
As I read through Romans 8 I continue to be reminded of my/our identity in Christ. As we put our hopes, dreams and identity in Christ it is out of that space that we are able to be obedient to his will in our lives. As disciples, we can rest in the knowledge that we cannot work in our own power to bring about God’s Kingdom, but there is a very real invitation to join in the work that the Holy Spirit is doing around us. No amount of good works, great programs, or epic light parties can earn us a place in God’s Kingdom. It is by grace alone that this gift has been given to us and we are, therefore, asked to share that good news with those around us. It is this reminder of where my identity rests, and how I’ve been invited to share in the Spirit’s work in the world, that spurs me on as I think about seeing Gods kingdom come in this place and to those around us. Not through my own works or strength but through God’s.
Summer, the kids and I are heading off to America for the first time in 5 years. It is very exciting for our family and we feel so fortunate that we are able to go. We are looking forward to introducing Addison to Summer’s family for the first time. We will get to be with family for the Christmas holidays for the first time in 10 years. Our kids will experience their first American Thanksgiving and winter Christmas. We plan to visit family, friends, some of our teammates from our years of missionary work in Cambodia, and many other people who have been praying for us and supporting our ministry for nearly 13 years . We also hope to show our kids some of America and allow them time to get familiar with this part of their culture and identity. We will be away from Nov 16th through Jan 11th. Please pray for us, for safe and easy travel, for quick recovery from jetlag, and for the time we will have with the people we love. Pray for a refilling of the tank and energy for the new year, which we are already very excited about.
A couple of things that I would love to fill you in on and point your attention to,
Next week is our AGM so we will be having one combined service at 10am followed by a potluck lunch and the AGM. Please bring a plate and be ready to hear all about how our MAP process played out and what the next steps are for our parish. We as a parish council and clergy team are extremely excited to share with you all.
House churches only have a couple more weeks of gathering before we enter into Advent which is a beautiful season of preparation for the birth of Christ. So just a reminder that House Churches break over the summer so that leaders can have a much deserved rest. We will restart House Churches again in 2023 in the middle of February. If you have any questions please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org my hope is to put a video out shortly with some information on our hopes and dreams for House Churches at All Saints.
Lastly, New Wine Summer Festival happening Jan 19-23rd!
A group of us from All Saints are going along and hoping for more people to come and camp with us. There will be about 1000 others from the Wellington Diocese coming out for a long weekend of worship, teaching, fun, food and summer festival vibes.
There is something for the whole family. Each day, all age ranges have a specific zone for appropriate fun/content/input. Adult zone runs alongside youth/kids/preschool. It’s an absolute blast and a phenomenal way to start the year off together in the spirit of God.
You can register at the link here https://newwine.org.nz/festival/
If you are keen to come we will start to build a list of who all is coming so we can work out catering numbers and tents etc.
As always, you are all amazing! We love you dearly and we look forward to worshiping with you all on Nov 13 before we fly out.
Much love and blessings,