The Inside Column 10/6

Posted in: The Inside Column- Jun 11, 2018 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.

This week we continue our series hooking into 1 Corinthians. I don’t know about you but I find Paul’s letters to the early church deeply challenging. It’s incredible to think a letter written by a humble apostle well over a thousand years ago could still be so relevant for a new generation of audience today and have the impact that it does within the church as we meditate on its message.

One of the things I love about Paul is that although he has to deal with some pretty serious pastoral issues with a church that’s struggling to be holy – he refuses to give up on them and instead keeps encouraging them to be all that they can be in the Lord. He has such a heart for the church, which is Jesus’ church, and his desire to see the Corinthians functioning as the body of Christ shines through amidst the rebukes and at times stern ‘This is how it is’ moments.

This month I’m involved in leading a regional worship team conference called ‘Glorify’ with the Nelson Worship Collective. At its heart, this is an event aimed at gathering together the wider body of worshipping musos as one for a weekend of encouragement, excelling in our gifts and encountering God. It’s exciting to see how God is stirring the worship leaders in Nelson / Tasman to network more closely and collaborate more and a privilege for me to be a part of the collective. At this year’s conference one of our previous St Barnabas worship leaders Paul Devine will be speaking and leading ministry which will be great.

The Ambient, our bi-monthly night of worship, is happening on Sunday 1 July at 7.30pm which will cap off a great weekend after Glorify. If you’re hungry and thirsty for God’s presence, I encourage you to join us – we’ll make sure the church is warm!

In my role as Curate this month I’ve take the initiative to be involved more at Summerset and they have agreed for St Barnabas to provide pastoral care to the Care centre, residents and staff over the winter months. We have a number of St Barnabas people who call Summerset home so if this is you make sure you look out for me on Wednesday afternoons. If you’d like a visit yourself you’re most welcome to fill out a care card located in the reception and Care Centre foyers :)

The Inside Column 3/6

Posted in: The Inside Column- Jun 04, 2018 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.

Made New

Last year we launching the Made New Project, a fundraiser which was for the most part to replace the church roof. At the same time as doing this Vestry decided to upgrade some other
components of the Church:

  • Carpet the church auditorium
  • Upgrade the audio-visual
  • Investigate heating options
  • More church chairs and tables
  • Refurbish our facilities

With the work on the roof been completed, over the next couple of months we will be carrying out the rest of the upgrade, starting with the church carpet at the end of June, and some new staging.

We were looking to raise $160,000 for the made new project. Thanks to everyone, with your pledges and donations we have been able to carry out this work so far without having to take out a loan through the diocese, and we will be able to achieve all the Made New objectives.. This is an incredible result, thanks to your generosity and faithfulness. It will be a couple of months before we know exactly how our finances are and we will give you a full breakdown on all the money spent – but so far we have been very blessed.

Remember that the person who plants few seeds will have a small crop; the one who plants many seeds will have a large crop. You should each give, then, as you have decided, not with regret or out of a sense of duty; for God loves the one who gives gladly. And God is able to give you more than you need, so that you will always have all you need for yourselves and more than enough for every good cause. As the scripture says:

He gives generously to the needy; is kindness lasts forever. And God, who supplies seed for the sower and bread to eat, will also supply you with all the seed you need and will make it grow and produce a rich harvest from your generosity. He will always make you rich enough to be generous at all times, so that many will thank God for your gifts which they receive from us. For this service you perform not only meets the needs of God’s people, but also produces an outpouring of gratitude to God. - 2 Corinthians 9: 4-12 GNT

Food Bank
If you interested in supporting this outreach to the community we need to stock up our shelves with:
Pasta, Pasta Sauce, Canned Goods (Spaghetti, Baked Beans, Soups, Fish,) Rice, Spreads (Peanut Butter, Honey, Marmite, Jam) Muesli Bars, Crackers, Coffee, Tea, Sugar, Long-life Milk, Toilet Paper, Soap, Toothpaste. There is a box in the foyer for donations.

Yours in Christ


The Inside Column 27/5

Posted in: The Inside Column- May 28, 2018 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.

We are now well into the heart of 1 Corinthians and it does not get any easier. Paul is writing to this group of people warning them about many things, but at the heart of what he is getting at is the way they have taken what was happening in the world around them and mixed it with their Faith. They have been shaped buy the culture of the day. Paul says this is stopping you from
growing into all that Christ has for you, and all that Christ did for you on the cross.

Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. - 1 Corinthians 6: 19-20

Paul is challenging what we would call their world view. In his book Every Good Endeavor buy Tim Keller he addresses the concept and importance of “worldview”. Worldview has become a buzzword these days and that is unfortunate. Because of the overuse of the word it is beginning to lose much of its meaning. Tim Keller attaches the idea of worldview to the concept of narrative and story and detaches the idea of worldview from mere philosophical or  intellectual ascent. Here’s his take:

The significance of stories is this. While many stories are often no more than entertainment, narratives are actually so foundational to how we think that they determine how we understand and live life itself. The term “worldview”, comes from the German word Weltanshauung, meaning the comprehensive perspective from which we interpret all of reality. But a world view is not merely a set of philosophical bullet points. It is essentially a master narrative, a fundamental story about (a) what human life in the world should be like, (b) what has knocked it off balance, and (c) what can be done to make it right. No one can really function in the world without some working answers to those big questions, and so, to provide those answers, we adopt a worldstory, a narrative that explains things—a worldview.

You do not “get” a worldview, you live inside of a worldview. In our day we tend to take our culture what is happening around as and apply them to the worlds of faith and ideals. We treat salvation in the church as something that you can “get”. Likewise, many marketing strategies for books on “worldview” are marketed as a commodity, “Read this book and acquire a Christian worldview!” Tim Keller says you do not get a worldview but you live and act through one!

Food for thought as we work our way through 1 Corinthians.

Yours in Christ


The Inside Column 20/5

Posted in: The Inside Column- May 21, 2018 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.

Well we are in the heart of 1 Corinthians and some of the harder parts of what Paul has to say to this Church and its people. At the heart of what Paul is saying is his love for the Church that he had
planted, his heart is to see them become mature in Christ, that they will not be shaped by the culture of the day, but they will have the mind of Christ, be filled with the Spirit and their actions will show they are children of God.

This message is one that is not lost on the church down through the ages and for us to day. As Luke was saying last week we are called to keep each other in the faith that we have been planted and are growing, and we do this with truth and grace and great love for each other.

With this in mind an update on Motion 29…
Andrew Burgess, Dean of Bishopdale College shared his thoughts on the motion:

I want to offer my thoughts as someone who just ‘represented’ Nelson at the General Synod. The General Synod of the Anglican Church in these islands just voted to adopt the recommendations of what we have been calling Motion 29 report. I don’t want to try and go into detail on the report – for many people reading this the key issue is straightforward, and that is the acceptance of blessings for same-sex couples in a civil union or marriage. The church, as a whole, agreed to allow Bishops to choose to have some sort of service or part of a service written, and for those Bishops to allow a minister to use that material for a blessing of a civil union or civil marriage, regardless of the gender of the couple, and so on.In doing that, the outcome includes these things:

  • No Bishop has to offer this in their Diocese.
  • No Anglican minister has to use this (ever even if their Bishop allows it.
  • Anglican ministers remain free to teach for and against these blessings – a minister who does not agree with this decision is free to teach that disagreement in the Church.

While I am very grateful for these points, I voted against the motion. The reason is simple: I don’t agree, because Holy Scripture is clear that same-sex sexual relationships are outside of God’s purpose and call for humans. I do not agree at all with the claim that the relevant passages are about something else. In addition to those individual passages I see the whole picture of human creation and redemption toward our final fulfilment in union with Christ, and I see an emphasis on female and male together, even though some of us are called to be unmarried now and all of us will be unmarried in the resurrection.

The gospel is for every person and welcome, love and compassion are key – I want to bless every person, because God is like that. More than that, I am very well aware that I am a sinner, and that God blesses me. Within that, Holy Scripture also speaks directly about the importance of sexual behavior and obedience, with great importance placed on what the Church holds up as fitting. So, I cannot bless same-sex sexual relationships.

What about Nelson Diocese and BTC? Our stance remains and is clear: these blessings will not happen here and cannot while we hold to our policy on human sexuality. Equally the call to love and share Christ with everyone remains absolute, regardless of every circumstance.

Please keep praying for our church, if you would like to talk more about this please give me a call

Yours in Christ


The Inside Column 13/5

Posted in: The Inside Column- May 14, 2018 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.

You will have noticed a few changes over the last couple of weeks. Last year we launched the Made New Project, so that we could get the roof fixed. We have had that work done which is great but fixing the roof was only part of the Made New Project. Other parts of the Project include getting some more chairs, upgrade the projector screen, the sound system and some other smaller things like lighting.

Now that the roof has been done, (there will be a bit more work done on the guttering) the next step is to get have carpet laid in the church. This work is booked in to be done within the next month. The next thing will be to upgrade the sound and vision followed by getting more chairs.

One of the main things that was fed back to me from our time in the hall was that people love the sense of closeness, of community, the feeling of been one, the smaller space brings us closer together. All of this has given us a chance to think about the layout of the seating and the way we run the services.

As you know we have been trialling new things and I thank you for the feedback. I think we are getting closer to making things work more smoothly.

When it comes to the finances for the Made New Project we have been very blessed. At this point because of your amazing generosity we are on target to meet all our commitments. This is something to be very thankful for. My hope is that by years end we will have completed all the parts of the Made New Project. Please keep praying for this work and the funds to cover it.

Our Community – Our Response Anglican Care Conference is at All Saints Church 16-17 May 2018. Focus on hearing about the issues facing our community (eg poverty, homelessness, loneliness, social housing shortages, drug and alcohol use, family violence) and the potential of our parishes to respond. No one person should want for love and companionship and basic needs and the Church has capacity to help. Everyone who is interested in attending are welcome to register:

Yours in Christ