The Inside Column 25/2

Posted in: The Inside Column- Feb 26, 2018 No Comments

Hi and good morning from the Vicar. If you are visiting us today we hope you feel welcomed and encouraged as you encounter God’s presence with us. Feel free to stay after the service for a coffee and to get to know some of our people.

Today Luke will continue looking at the heroes of faith from Hebrews 11. If you have a faith story or a encouragement that you would like to share, please do come and share it with me.

Wow what a weekend we had at Kaiteriteri beach last weekend. This was the biggest camp we have run with around 100 children and youth, great weather, amazing speakers, great worship, and a good dose of Beach and sun. One of the comments I had at the end of the weekend was, why is it was only two days, and why can’t it be for longer? There was a great spirit at camp this year like I have not experienced before, with people coming together with expectation, and anticipation of meeting with God. Put the dates on the calendar for 2019 – Friday 15 to Sunday 17 February.

Have you booked your table for this year’s Banquet in the Garden yet? This event is to raise money for one of our mission partners, and is a great night out in a beautiful setting with great food, music, and good company. Get some friends together and don’t miss out. This year’s project a Children’s Hostel in the border area of India and Bhutan, which has been seriously impacted by the closure of many of the local businesses related to the tea estates in the area which has caused significant poverty. The local people are very poor and many of the men have left the area to find work in other parts of India. Bright Hope are deeply involved in faith-based community development in this area and there are a number of components to the work they do, one of which is running a hostel for 16 children (2 girls and 14 boys) ranging in age from 7-15. Some have no family to care for them, some come from vulnerable families and some have no school in their village so they stay at the hostel during school term.  The vision is to provide a safe place for the children to grow up in and receive a good education. They would like to grow the hostel to no more than 40 but this is dependent on them being able to find the resources to finish the building and upgrade facilities.

If you would like to make any comment about Motion 29 that we will be talking about at a special Synod meeting on Saturday 10 March please speak to me our one of the Synod Reps.

Yours in Christ

Phil

 

The Inside Column 11/2

Posted in: The Inside Column- Feb 12, 2018 No Comments

The Inside Column…

Hi and good morning from the Vicar. If you are visiting us today we hope you feel welcomed and encouraged as you encounter God’s presence with us and hang out with our whanau. Feel free to stick around afterwards for a coffee and to get to know some of our people.

Next week is church camp. It’s not too late to sign up. There are only tent sites left as all the cabins are booked, or you can still sign up to come out for the day. There is a bus that is leaving from St Stephens at 9.00am on Sunday morning and there are spaces available  if you need a ride to camp. $5 per person. You can book a seat by calling St Stephens 546 4051 or email:  office@ststephenstahunanui.nz by Wednesday 14 February.

For those not coming to camp there will be one service here next week at 9.30am.

This coming Wednesday 14 February is Ash Wednesday the start of Lent. What is Lent?…

Lent is a period of fasting, moderation, and self-denial. It begins with Ash Wednesday and ends with Easter Sunday. The length of the Lenten fast was established in the 4th century as 46 days (40 days, not counting Sundays). During Lent, participants eat sparingly or give up a particular food or habit. It’s not uncommon for people to give up smoking during Lent, or to swear off watching television. It’s six weeks of self-discipline. There is a day of pray happening at the Cathedral. Here is the programme for the day:

7.00am    Morning Prayer and imposition of ash for those who wish.

8.00am    Prayer on the hour. (Short prayers led  by lay people. This will be the pattern each hour).

9.00am    Prayer on the hour

10.00am    Eucharist and imposition of ashes

11.00am    Prayer on the hour

12.00pm    Eucharist with +Richard and imposition of ashes.

1.00pm    Prayer on the hour (Continues on the hour until 7.00pm)

7.00pm    Combined service with the Roman Catholics with the imposition of ashes. (The service will conclude with tea and biscuits).

9.00pm    The evening of prayer will conclude with Night Prayer.

Don’t forget Saturday 3 March is the date for our annual Banquet in the Garden mission fundraiser for our mission partners Bright Hope World, book your tickets today.

Yours in Christ

Phil

 

The Inside Column 4/2

Posted in: The Inside Column- Feb 05, 2018 No Comments

Hi and good morning from the Vicar. If you are visiting us today we hope you feel welcomed and encouraged as you encounter God’s presence with us and hang out with our whanau. Feel free to stick around afterwards for a coffee and to get to know some of our people.

Motion 29

The Anglican Communion, (Aotearoa and Pacifica) and our Nelson Diocese has been discussing and praying about the issue of homosexuality for some years now. More specifically we have discussed gay marriage, same sex relationship blessings and the ordination of practicing gay people. There has been a lot of talk and no decisions have been made. Motion 29 will be discussed at General Synod, In New Plymouth on 4 -11 May. Our Diocesan General Synod  representatives will present the views of our Diocese. It has been Saturday 10 March 2018 our Diocese will have a one day Special Synod. The sole purpose of that meeting is to discuss Motion 29.

Our Parish Synod representatives will represent your views at the Diocesan One Day Synod in March. Synod reps are (Matt MacDonald David Fither stone Angila Galbrath) That means we need to know what you think about Motion 29. At this point most of you will not even have heard of it. Simply put, Motion 29 is a pragmatic suggestion, to our national church, of a way to deal with the blessing of same-sex relationships. The  suggestion aims to hold together our national church in the midst of widely-differing viewpoints.

Motion 29 suggests that clergy be allowed to bless same sex relationships in dioceses where their bishop gives permission. No one will be forced to conduct same sex blessings if they believe it is wrong. No one will be permitted to carry out same sex marriages. Same sex marriage is not addressed in this motion. Neither is the ordination of practicing homosexuals.

For some people Motion 29 is one step too far. For others it doesn’t go anywhere far enough. In December 2017 our parish began the process of sharing information and asking for feedback about Motion 29. Our Diocese has put out some information to give us very useful background; historical, theological and pastoral. This can be found on the internet: www.nelsonanglican.org.nz/diocese-resources - you need to scroll down to Motion 29 near the bottom. There you will find 5 video clips and 4 documents. All are useful. Please do access them.

There are two ways for you to give your feedback on Motion 29. They are either by way of written submission or simply talking to the Synod reps or to myself. Please pray, especially for those you disagree with. Pray for our church unity (local and national) and witness for Christ.

Yours in Christ

Phil

 

The Inside Column 24/12

Posted in: The Inside Column- Dec 27, 2017 No Comments

Hi and good morning from the Vicar. If you are visiting us today we hope you feel welcomed and encouraged as you encounter God’s presence with us and hang out with our whanau. Feel free to stick around afterwards for a coffee and to get to know some of our people.

One sleep to go till the big day. It can be easy as a (grown-ups) sometimes to get a little over Christmas – all the spending, different time pressures, things to get done before you finish work, planning the holidays. But with little children in the houses you cannot help but see the excitement in their eyes—the things they like to do year after year, the different family traditions you have  that make the day special. And of course it is the time we celebrate the birth of the most important person that has ever lived.

C.S Lewis put it like this:

At Christmas we remember the central event in the history of the earth—the very thing the whole story has been about. The point of Christmas is Jesus Christ. At Christmas we celebrate the birthday of the most important person who ever lived. He is the centerpiece of our civilization.

The birth of this one baby, baby Jesus changed the course of history. And I think at the heart of the birth of Jesus is love, and what we celebrate at Christmas is the love of God, for all people. In the birth of Jesus we see true love come into the world. Emmanuel God is with us and when we put our faith, we believe in him, this love comes and lives in us. Jesus came so that everyone may know Gods love in their lives, and out of this love, learn to love each other and his world.

Last week we had Shine our carol service up in Isel Park. It was a great night and we had a great turn out. The children sang there song Love Shone Down, with the ukelele band, Graham O’Brien sang solo O Holy Night, and the brass band played the Carols.

Well done to all the children, and people that did the readings. This was a great way for as to be in the community, and we have been asked to come back next year. I had one chat with a lady that had heard the singing as she was walking up to the park and had come straight over and joined in.

I will be away over the next three weeks but there is a great team of people that will keep the services going over January. All services are at 9.30am. I would like to say Merry Christmas to you all, and I pray that you all will have a safe and happy Christmas.

May you be blessed,

With the spirit of the season, which is peace,

The gladness of the season, which is hope,

And the heart of the season, which is love.

 God bless you all this holiday season

 Yours in Christ

Phil

 

The Inside Column 17/12

Posted in: The Inside Column- Dec 18, 2017 No Comments

Hi and good morning from the Vicar. If you are visiting us today we hope you feel welcomed and encouraged as you encounter God’s presence with us and hang out with our whanau. Feel free to stick around afterwards for a coffee and to get to know some of our people.

Only one week till Christmas, this morning is our Christingle Service. Before I was an Anglican I had never heard of a Christingle, and when I first saw one I thought why are we giving out fire bombs to little children?!!

The Meaning of Christingle

The story of the Christingle is that there were three children, who were very poor, but wanted to give a gift to Jesus, like the other families at church were doing. The only nice thing they had was an orange, so they decided to give him that. The top was going slightly green, so the eldest cut it out, and put a candle in the hole. They thought it looked dull, so the youngest girl took her best red ribbon from her hair and attached it round the middle with toothpicks. The middle child had the idea to put a few pieces of dried fruit on the ends of the sticks. They took it to the church for the Christmas mass, and whereas the other children sneered at their meagre gift, the priest took their gift and showed it as an example of truly understanding the meaning of Christmas.

The Christingle consists of:

  1.  an orange representing the world God created… In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. - Genesis1:1,2
  2. The red ribbon around it representing the blood of Jesus. Jesus came in to this world to pay the price for the things we do wrong, so we may know God through him.
  3. Lollies and dried fruits skewered on four cocktail sticks pushed into the orange, representing the fruits of the earth and the four seasons –     different seasons of life, the many different good things God blesses us with.
  4. A lit candle pushed into the center of the orange, representing Jesus Christ as the light of the world. This is the good news of great joy to all mankind.

Next Sunday is Christmas Eve, we will be having a 9.30am combined church service, all are welcome. Then at 11.00pm is the Christmas Eve Carol Communion service, then on Christmas day we are back for a combined 9.30am family Christmas Day communion service. I might just sleep in the office!

Christmas is a great opportunity for us to invite our friends and families to celebrate the birth of Jesus.

God bless you all this holiday session

Yours in Christ

Phil