The Inside Column 05/05

Posted in: The Inside Column- May 05, 2019 No Comments

Good morning and welcome to St Barnabas Stoke – if you are visiting today we hope you encounter God’s goodness and love for you as you join us in worshipping Him, please feel free to stick around afterwards for a coffee and a chat.

Hello, Angela here. I have the pleasure of writing the Inside Column this week and I hope to encourage you all into some storytelling. Whenever stories are told there needs to be some good listening going on as well!

During the course of my work I get to hear the stories of so many folk ; a whole kaleidoscope of happy, sad, tender, joyful and oftentimes Humorous tales that are recounted readily but then there are others that only come welling up through prompting or when someone else is reminiscing.

At Whareama we have a little weekly fellowship group called Gold In Our Memories. The aim is to share our memories, not to dwell on the past but to keep us (sometimes put us back) in touch with our very souls and hopefully find meaning in our shared experiences.

My 89 year old father is a great storyteller with an amazing recall especially when it comes to remembering the names of people and the chronology of family and other history and I guess a  lot of our conversations tend to be quite factual. During a recent discussion he surprised me with his perception that his mother never truly loved him. It seemed a relief to him that he could finally confess this thought and I am glad we were able to talk about this at length and we came to some conclusions as to why he felt this way but more importantly it gave me the opportunity to thank him for always ensuring his six children felt well loved.

I spend time with a lot of families as they prepare for funeral or memorial services for loved ones and there are always surprises. “Wow ! We never knew that about Mum, Dad, Grandma, Poppa.” Quite often too there will be different versions of the same stories. The FDANZ (Funeral Directors Association of NZ) has a campaign running at the moment called Take The Time To Talk. They have published some pamphlets with some helpful suggestions to get meaningful conversations started and ideas for recording life stories. I have placed some of these out in the foyer for you to take home if you wish.

Of course we should never forget that as Christians, thanks be to our Lord Jesus we have the very best story of all to share with those around us.

Take care and be earnestly on your guard  not to forget the things which your eyes have seen, nor let them slip from your memory as long as you live- teach them to your children and to your children’s children.                - Deuteronomy 4:9.

 

With every blessing

 

Angela

 

The Inside Column 28/04

Posted in: The Inside Column- Apr 28, 2019 No Comments

Good morning and welcome to St Barnabas Stoke – if you are visiting today we hope you encounter God’s goodness and love for you as you join us in worshipping Him, please feel free to stick around afterwards for a coffee and a chat.

What happens after Easter?

I came across these thoughts by N.T. Wright:

The classic symbol of the love of God is of course the cross itself, and to that we shall return. But there is another. When I was ordained deacon, thirty-five years ago, my aunt, who is a nun in Fairacres convent in Oxford, sent me a card with a circle on it. The circle is explained by some words of John Donne: God’s love is like a circle; and a circle is endless. Whom God loves, he loves to the end; and his end is, not that he should cease to love them; no: his end is, to love them still. Jesus, having loved his own who were in the world, loved them to the uttermost. He loved them eis telos, ‘to the end’: there was nothing that love could do for them that love did not do for them. And, as we saw, that was expressed graphically as he took off his outer clothes, wrapped a towel around himself, and – to their surprise and alarm – washed his disciples’ feet. Then, putting on his clothes again, he told them they had to do the same. That is the message upon which all Christian ministry is founded: to enact and embody the love of God. That is what being a Disciple is all about. It is about taking time to inhabit the basic role of all ministry: that we are to be, before all else, living embodiments of God’s surprising and alarming love, God’s utter self-giving love, the love that goes on, like a circle, without end. And as the great prayer in John 17 comes to its close, we see another circle, the circle of the whole discourse: because here, at the end of the prayer, we find the same theme once more. ‘Righteous Father,’ Jesus prays, ‘the world does not know you; but I know you; and these know that you have sent me. I made your name known to them, and I will make it known, so that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.’ There you have it: the entire discourse, all five chapters, encircled within the ongoing and eternal theme of the love of the Father for the Son.

Learning to love without end, as Jesus love us.

 

…Food for thought.

 

As you know I will be away for the next two weeks, if you have any needs please call the office. While I’m away Yvonne McLean will be acting Priest in charge.

 

Peace be with you

 

Philip

 

The Inside Column 21/04

Posted in: The Inside Column- Apr 21, 2019 No Comments

Good morning and welcome to St Barnabas Stoke – if you are visiting today we hope you encounter God’s goodness and love for you as you join us in worshipping Him, please feel free to stick around afterwards for a coffee and a chat.

Today we move from shouting…

‘Hosanna!’

‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!’

‘Blessed is the king of Israel!’

To…

He is risen…He is risen indeed

He is risen…He is risen indeed

He is risen…He is risen indeed

 

Of course there is a lot that has happened between these two events. This morning we are on the other side of the cross as today we celebrate the risen Christ. In the build up to Easter we spend a fair bit of time thinking about the death of Jesus especially during the week before his death, (and rightly so!).

Sometimes we get to Easter Sunday and      celebrate his overcoming the grave and move on pretty fast. Yet it is this side of the cross that we are called to live in. We to are to take up our cross and follow Jesus, we don’t stay at the foot of the cross, Jesus is not there, he is alive, and he lives in you and me and through him we have life. This is truly something to celebrate this Easter morning.

There is a little line at the end of John’s Gospel in that we should not overlook:

Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.  -  John 20: 30-31

Today day is a great time to believe, today is a great time to start to live, and today is a great time to come to the risen Jesus. Amen!

Some of our youth are away at Easter camp at the moment, can I ask that we all pray for them, as it is things like camps when they are away from the norm that God can really speak into the lives of our young people. Pray that they will encounter the risen Jesus afresh this weekend and for safe travel home.

God bless you all this Easter, and we pray that we will continue to encounter the risen Jesus

daily.

 

Peace be with you

 

Philip

 

The Inside Column 14/04

Posted in: The Inside Column- Apr 14, 2019 No Comments

Good morning and welcome to St Barnabas Stoke – if you are visiting today we hope you encounter God’s goodness and love for you as you join us in worshipping Him, please feel free to stick around afterwards for a coffee and a chat.

Thank to everyone that came to the AGM, and to the people that have put themselves up for vestry and other leadership roles. I remember reading one day about something the All Blacks coach said; “The team can only play well if all the other pieces are in place with good management, support people and the people that carry the gear”. The same can be said with the running of the church. For there to be a place for ministry and discipleship to happen there needs to be good management and a team working for the same goals. I have been very blessed in my time as leader of St Barnabas that I have had a great team of people supporting the vision and ministry of the Church. Thanks you all very much very much, you are all very much appreciated.

Our Easter Services – 9.30am Good Friday is our Reflective Service followed at 10.30am by the Stoke Cross Walk stopping at Stoke churches along the way and ending at St Francis of Assisi Catholic Church for hot cross buns and a cuppa. On Easter Sunday we gather for breakfast at 9.30am followed by our combined communion service at 10.00am.

The youth Group is heading off to Easter camp down in Christchurch, with other youth groups from the Diocese, If you would like to financially support them in this trip please note on your giving envelope, and of course keep praying for them.

On the first of May I will be heading over to London for the HTB leadership conference as part of my professional development. I’m travelling with Simon Martin from All Saints and Ian Hussey from St Barnabas. You may recall that Greta and I went to the same conference a couple of years ago and had a wonderful time. Apart from going to the conference we will also attend several churches, meeting with other Church leaders and may even catch up with a couple of bishops! I will be heading up to Leeds to visit a friends Church for a weekend as well. I will be back home 17 May.

Note: The church office will be closed the week of 22 April to the 26 April. Any notices for Sunday 28 April Pew Sheet need to be sent by this Thursday 18 April.

 

Blessed is the one
who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take
or sit in the company of mockers,
but whose delight is in the law of the Lord,
and who meditates on his law day and night.
That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither—
whatever they do prospers.

- Psalm 1:1-3

Peace be with you

 

 

 

Philip

 

The Inside Column 07/04

Posted in: The Inside Column- Apr 07, 2019 No Comments

Good morning and welcome to St Barnabas Stoke – if you are visiting today we hope you encounter God’s goodness and love for you as you join us in worshipping Him, please feel free to stick around afterwards for a coffee and a chat.

For the Diary…

Archbishop Philip is pleased to announce that the service of ordination and installation of Steve Maina as Bishop of Nelson will take place on Saturday 31 August at 9.30am at Christ Church Cathedral, Nelson.

Bishop Elect Steve has advised that a considerable contingent from Kenya will be arriving to help celebrate his ordination as Bishop.  He hopes that several of these guests will be able to spend about a week in each parish across the diocese following the ordination, to share in the life and worship of the parish. We will be seeking a number of billets in each parish to share hospitality with our brothers and sisters in Christ from Kenya during their visit.

Dates for Easter

9.30am Good Friday is our Reflective Service followed at 10.30am by the Stoke Cross Walk stopping at Stoke churches along the way and ending at St Francis of Assisi Catholic Church for hot cross buns and a cuppa.

On Easter Sunday we gather for breakfast at 9.30am followed by our combined communion service at 10.00am.

The youth Group is heading off to Easter camp down in Christchurch, with other youth groups from the Diocese, If you would like to financially support them in this trip please note on your giving envelope, and of course keep praying for them.

On the first of May I will be heading over to London for the HTB leadership conference as part of my professional development,. I’m travelling with Simon Martin from All Saints and Ian Hussey from St Barnabas. You may recall that Greta and I went to the same conference a couple of years ago and had a wonderful time. Apart from going to the conference we will also attend several churches, meeting with other Church leaders and may even catch up with a couple of bishops! I will be heading up to Leads to visit a friends Church for a weekend as well. I will be back home 17 May.

A Lenten reading from Isaiah 43:18-19

“Forget the former things;
do not dwell on the past.
See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
and streams in the wasteland.”

 

Peace be with you

 

 

Philip