The Inside Column 5/11

Posted in: Uncategorized- Nov 06, 2017 No Comments

Good morning and welcome to St Barnabas Stoke. If you are visiting today we hope you encounter God’s almighty grace for you and loving presence as you join us in worship. Please feel free to chat with us afterwards over a coffee and meet some of our people.

Last weekend we had the quiz night. We had a great turn out and a lot of fun was had by all. I would like to thank Richard Currie for all the work he puts into making the quiz night happen, he really does an amazing job.  Thanks also to the ladies that helped in the kitchen to put on the  supper.

Next Saturday 9.00am to 1.00pm is the church fair. Thanks to everyone that has put their name down to help run one of the stalls and to those that are going to help. The St Barnabas church fair is one of those events that sounds like a lot of work, and it is, but it is also a great way for everyone to work together, to meet new people and to invite the community into the church. I am still looking for people to help set up and pack down so if you have any time at all can you please let me know.

This week we look at the:
One Thing You Lack

Jesus looked at him and loved him. ‘One thing you lack,’ he said. ‘Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come,   follow me.’

- Mark 10:21

The rich young ruler claimed to be righteous, but he is unwilling to give Jesus the one thing He asked for: himself. The rich young ruler was willing to impress Jesus with his track record, but he was unwilling to surrender his status.

Heads up for 2018 church camp

Transformed Life
Steve and Watiri Maina will be leading us to explore the transforming love of Christ in our lives and how we can share our experience with others. They will be sharing their insights in three ministry sessions. There will be times of corporate worship and prayer ministry in all the sessions as well. Steve Maina leads the New Zealand Church Mission Society. He is an ordained Anglican minister and a gifted public speaker. Steve and his wife Watiri, a counsellor, supervisor and counselling educator, are both passionate about advocating God’s mission. During the main meetings there is a crèche for under 5’s, two fun  activity based children’s programmes for years 1-4 and years 5-8 and a full youth programme for years 9 -13. The camp is at Bethany Park Camp at Kaiteriteri Beach. Put the dates in you diary, it really is a great way to start the year. There are some cabins for those that get in fast.

Have a great week

Phil

The Inside Column 29/10

Posted in: Uncategorized- Oct 30, 2017 No Comments

Good morning and welcome to St Barnabas Stoke. If you are visiting today we hope you encounter God’s almighty grace for you and loving presence as you join us in worship. Please feel free to chat with us afterwards over a coffee and meet some of our people.

Every child learns to live in at least two worlds, and learns also how awkward it can be when the two worlds collide. Here we are at home: we are with the family, where we speak in a certain way, behave at table in a certain way, and order our lives in a particular routine.

But then here we are at school: there are different routines, different topics of conversation and ways of speaking about them, and perhaps even subtly different table manners. But then comes the dreaded time when the parents come into school; and when children speak of being embarrassed at that moment.

I think the embarrassment comes because here two countries, each in itself normal and liveable-with, overlap; and the child, who is knows the language of both countries, the individual and corporate body-language as well as the verbal language, isn’t quite sure which one to speak.

And of course it isn’t just parents coming into school: a similarly strange moment occurs when you’re out shopping with a parent and, lo and behold, there is one of the teachers from school, buying groceries in the supermarket just like anyone else. And you don’t quite know what to say. The two worlds aren’t supposed to meet in that way.

Many of us find that we live in several different worlds, each with its own expectations, its own individual and corporate body-language and spoken language.

The point of Pentecost is that it’s the point at which two worlds collide. The two worlds are of course Heaven and Earth; and in the first century as in the twenty-first many people supposed that these two worlds were supposed to stay firmly and safely apart. We live on earth; God lives in heaven.

In ancient Israel the place of that commerce was of course the Temple, the spot on terra firma where Heaven actually overlapped with Earth; and the Temple thus functioned to the rest of Israel rather like the fireplace functions in a living room, the place where that which is normally dangerous can be safely located and dealt with.

But if you think of the Temple as the fireplace, providing warmth and light to the room while being in a safe spot, then the imagery of Pentecost stands out in all its starkness: here are the tongues of fire, touching down not on the Temple, or the priests about their normal activities, but on the disciples in the upper room! The fire has leapt out of the fireplace and seems to be setting light to the rest of the house!

And as the book of Acts proceeds that is indeed exactly the point. In Jesus the two worlds have met, without embarrassment and awkwardness and we are invited to be set on fire.

Have a great week
Phil

The Inside Column 22/10

Posted in: The Inside Column- Oct 23, 2017 No Comments

Good morning and welcome to St Barnabas Stoke. If you are visiting today we hope you encounter God’s almighty grace for you and loving presence as you join us in worship. Please feel free to chat with us afterwards over a coffee and meet some of our people.

It’s great to be back after three months full time work as the Returning Officer for the election. This involved planning and securing voting place venues, staffing them, managing the
advance and official counts, special vote processing and generally making sure that all went to plan here in the Nelson electorate.

There were sleepless nights when I had to draw on that wonderful verse:

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God”. - Philippians 4:6

Nearly three weeks later, as I write this we still don’t have a government. Let’s just pray that when it is all decided that the chosen parties prove to be both fiscally wise and socially
conscious of the needs of our nation.

I’d like to thank the wonderful volunteers who continued with ‘Out to Lunch’ when I was absent. These lunches are just one way we can be socially conscious, providing outreach to the community. There are many ways you can be involved with this outreach:

  • Bringing a friend or neighbour along
  • Letting others in the community know about it
  • Helping with food preparation at home or at church
  • Dishes!

If you would like to be involved please talk to me. On Wednesday 1 November we have one of our lunch regulars, David Kemp talking about his family history in the Stoke area over the last 175 years.

We also have morning tea each Wednesday morning starting around 10:20am This is a lovely relaxed social time which I’d like to see grow. My vision is that people walking past will pop in, chat, enjoy some home baking and a cuppa and feel welcomed and in time stay for the 11.00am service.

Please pray for these ministries that they may grow and meet the needs in our community.

Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms. - 1 Peter 4:10

Have a great week

Kathy

The Inside Column 15 /10

Posted in: The Inside Column- Oct 16, 2017 No Comments

Good morning and welcome to St Barnabas Stoke. If you are visiting today we hope you encounter God’s almighty grace for you and loving presence as you join us in worship. Please feel free to chat with us afterwards over a coffee and meet some of our people.

Today we welcome David Riddell Principal of Living Wisdom Association of Counsellors, speaking on Adultery. A couple of quotes from David’s website:

 All paths lead to God - ‘All paths lead to God’ sounds good, until one path leads to Jonestown or to Waco. Then we must acknowledge that truth clearly discriminates right from wrong.

        Were God to answer your wish - Were God to answer your wish to suddenly appear and set the world to rights by eradicating all evil, how long would you last?

David always brings a challenge to how we think about the world, our Christian world view, and how we see ourselves.

Here is an update on the Made New project:

Cash received:                                                            $40,505
Pledges: (including increased regular giving)             $24,932
Diocese Grant                                                             $10.000

We are so thankful for the donations that have come in so far, it is truly amazing. We give thanks for the provision that has come in so far, to go towards the upgrading of the church building. We still have a way to go, but with what has come in it looks like we will be able to move ahead with getting the church roof replaced. Can I ask that we all keep praying for this project and that this work will enable the work of the kingdom to continue here at St Barnabas for many years to come.

Have you got your team organized for our Quiz Night? This fun night is at 7.00pm Saturday 28 October. Get a group of friends together, to test you brain matter, win some prizes and have a great night out. Tickets from the office.

A date for your diaries – Saturday 11 November for the annual church fair. If you have stuff to go into the White Elephant, you can drop items off to the Church Hall. Volunteer signup sheets for helpers will be in the foyer soon.

Quote:

The test of spiritual maturity is not the ability to speak in tongues, prophesy, memories or expound scripture. It is the ability and willingness to serve God and others through good works, it is learning to love and serve the unlovely, it is valuing those whom the world has discarded.

- Sandy Miller

Have a great week

Phil

 

The Inside Column 8/10

Posted in: The Inside Column- Oct 09, 2017 No Comments

Good morning and welcome to St Barnabas Stoke. If you are visiting today we hope you encounter God’s almighty grace for you and loving presence as you join us in worship. Please feel free to chat with us afterwards over a coffee and meet some of our people.

I came across this in one of my readings by Nicky Gumbel this week, and though it worth sharing.

More and More: Sanctification

When I first became a Christian I was taught to make a distinction between ‘justification’ and ‘sanctification’. ‘Justification’ is God’s declaration that we are in the right, in spite of our sin. This declaration, which will be made on the last day, is brought forward on the basis of Jesus’ death on the cross for us. It is a one off act in which we are justified by our faith (see Romans 3:1 – 4:25). On the other hand, I was told that ‘sanctification’ was a process. Although the word is used in different senses in the New Testament, sometimes it does refer to a process, as in the passage for today where St Paul writes, ‘It is God’s will that you should be sanctified’ (1 Thessalonians 4:3). Whereas justification is a one off event, sanctification is a process of gradual inward transformation, resulting in increasing holiness of life.

Twice in today’s New Testament passage Paul uses the expression, ‘more and more’ (4:1, 4:10). First, he urges them ‘to live in order to please God … more and more’ (4:1). Secondly, he urges them to ‘love each other … more and more’ (4:9-10). God calls us to ‘live a holy life’ (4:7). The Greek word used (agiasmō) could also be translated ‘sanctification’ (eg New American Standard Bible). The root verb (hagiazó) means ‘to be made holy, to sanctify’. The process of sanctification, being made holy, takes place through the work of the ‘Holy’ Spirit. God ‘gives you his Holy Spirit’ (4:8) for this purpose.

In each of the passages for today we see something about what it means to live a holy life and to be sanctified.

  • A life of impartiality, honesty, restraint and industry (Proverbs 24:23–34)

A life of love for God and neighbor: holy and honorable (1 Thessalonians 4:1–1)

I hope the holidays are going well for all.

Remember  that David Riddell is with us next Sunday.

Have a great week.

God Bless

Phil