The Inside Column 12/8

Posted in: The Inside Column- Aug 14, 2012 No Comments

Good morning and a very warm welcome to all.

The Big Question

What is The Big Question? On the 16 September at 5.00pm we will be hosting a discussion at the Honest Lawyer. You are invited to bring your non-churched friends to this event. We will put  forward the question, “If you could ask God one question, what would that be?”  We will collect all the questions and over the following couple of weeks at the same time and venue we will explore the answers. We will provide some nibbles and you can buy your friends a drink.

I spoke a couple of weeks ago about the vision of the church, and our mission as Christians to share the Good News in accordance with the Great Commission recorded in Matthew 28.

16 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.


This is our Great Commission; this is our core business.


The Big Question is our opportunity to bring some friends to a place where they feel comfortable, the ‘market place’ if you like, and talk about faith, to give a reason for the hope that we have in Christ. Please take time to consider who you know that you could invite. You could put their name on the prayer board so we can start to praying for them at the prayer meeting.

We are partnering with St Stephens Tahunanui  in this outreach, which will be a good chance for us to get to know our parish neighbours as well.

We will have some flyers out next week so you can start inviting people


Yours in Christ


The Inside Column 5/8

Posted in: The Inside Column- Aug 12, 2012 No Comments

A very warm welcome to you all.

Wasn’t it wonderful last Sunday to have our two congregations worshipping  together in order to give thanks for what God is doing in our various ministries and to commit ourselves to what he wants to do in the future.

He has a plan for us here in Stoke and we need to be praying, listening, encouraging and seeking his will as to what we each can do individually to make a difference in our community.

Identifying those who are in need is a good place to be listening to what God might want to do and Jonathan’s work with Stoke youth needs our committed prayers.

In my role as Rest Homes Pastoral Care coordinator, I am aware of the increasing proportion of rest home residents who have been de-churched or who have had little or no contact with the church throughout their lives. Nowadays we need to be seeing rest homes as more of a mission field than as groups of  established Christians. We have a wonderful group of willing people who visit parishioners in rest homes and of course we have Jill Smith as our Chaplain at Whareama and we are so grateful for their ministry.

Some months ago, I read a report on aged care produced by the Government and Grey Power that stated that many elderly in rest homes suffer from loneliness and depression. I was moved with compassion and I thought …  wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could brighten up the lives of those who suffer in this way not only by loving them but also by bringing them the message of hope that we are privileged to have in the Gospel? I thought to myself, what would Jesus have us do?

I have some thoughts about how we can improve our pastoral care and ministry to rest homes and I would love to hear from you as well; a few people have already approached me.

Together we can make a difference to those who need Jesus’ love and hope in their lives


Yours in Christ



The Inside Column 29/7

Posted in: The Inside Column- Aug 12, 2012 No Comments

A very warm welcome to all this morning. Today is a day to give thanks— a day to give.

No-one really likes talking about it, but we figure you can handle it. Money and time…

The vast majority of the income which enables the vision of St Barnabas to be realised is given voluntarily and generously by members of the church. Giving financially to the work of the local church is something that the Bible points to be a normal and regular part of being a follower of Jesus, committed to the life and  vision of a local church.

Not only does such giving enable the different ministries of the church to continue and to grow, it is also a way of preventing money from getting an unhealthy grip on our lives. The Bible views    financial giving to be a spiritual issue, not just a practical concern. Generous giving to the work of God’s Kingdom, through the work of the local church, is an expression of our worship of God and a practice which guards against money beginning to master us.

We are a church that has a history of generous financial giving and of time. The reason for  having a gift day?

  • We want to give people a chance to commit to being involved in the life of the church and our vision and mission.
  • We want to address our financial situation.
  • We want our giving to be a celebration of joy and worship.


Today when we take up the offering instead of handing around the bags we will have a basket up the front for you to come up and put your pledge card or your offering in as we worship, making our giving  part of our worship, as we each choose to give with great joy.

As the Bible says in 2 Corinthians 9: 6- 8…

Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.

Each of you should give what you have  decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion,  for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly,  so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.


Yours in Christ



PS, If you are a visitor

today, there is no

expectation for you to give.

The Inside Column 22/7

Posted in: The Inside Column- Aug 12, 2012 No Comments

A very warm welcome to all this morning

Today we are having the youth help and run different parts of our service. Jonathan has been leading the youth group this year and they meet every Sunday for Bible study and fun games, and on every second Friday night for social activity. As a parent of one of the youth, I can say Jonathan is doing a great job, and I know we will all be blessed by today’s service.

Last week you were given an up to date finance report. If you did not get one they will be available at the back of church. Today you will have been given our vision book with a card for you to fill in and bring back to next week’s combined thanksgiving and gift day service. I would love everyone that does anything at St Barnabas to fill in the card, and when we take up the offering to come up the front and put it in the basket at the front of the stage. This request is for all those who call St Barnabas home.


The reasons for doing this…

We want to give people a chance to be involved in the life of the church’s vision and mission.

We want to address our financial situation.

We want our giving to be a celebration of joy and worship.


Giving like this is not something many of us have done before, but I would like to encourage you over the next week to spend some time in prayer giving thanks for all of God’s blessing in our life, and asking how you might get involved, and what you might like to give financially to the Church and its vision.


Paul says in Colossians 1:10-15

10 so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, 11 being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, 12 and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light. 13 For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.


Yours in Christ



The Inside Column 15/7

Posted in: The Inside Column- Jul 15, 2012 No Comments

Good morning and a very warm welcome to all.

On the 29th of July we will be having a combined breakfast, vision and gift day service. This is been planned with two things in mind.

Firstly to give thanks for the many blessings that we have in our lives and in the life of the Church, and to share the vision of the church as we move into a new and exciting time together.

Secondly for those that would like to give to the life of the church, whether it be  financially, or time, we ask you to        consider completing a pledge of support to God’s work here at St Barnabas.

We ask you to prayerfully review your financial giving. If you have never given or only occasionally give, we encourage you to consider making a regular financial commitment to support the work here.

If you already give regularly to the church we hope you would consider increasing your giving. Maybe you would like to give a one off gift, additional to your regular giving.

Maybe you would like to give to a specific need or mission of the church.

For those of you that already give your time and finances maybe you would like to restate your gift, like a renewing of your commitment to St Barnabas and our mission.

So on Sunday the 29th, come prepared with your heart full of thanksgiving. We will have a basket at the front of the church and we will have a time of praise and worship where we will have the opportunity to come up the front and put our pledges in the basket.

We want to be a people that live a life of thanksgiving and a people who give with joy.

My prayer is that we will truly see God move in powerful ways over the coming months and that we as His church will honour God in all we do.


Yours in Christ