The Inside Column 24/6

Posted in: The Inside Column- Jun 24, 2012 No Comments

Good morning and a very warm welcome to all.

I am writing this early in the week as I will have been at Synod for the second part of the week. Fun, Fun, Fun!

For those of you that don’t know what Synod is, it is the yearly gathering of all the Anglican churches in the Nelson Diocese. A big AGM! I think there about 23 churches in the top part of the South Island and each church has three members that represent them.

Our Synod reps are David Featherstone, Stephen Tanner and Angela Galbraith, all of whom will be happy to talk to you about what happened at this year’s Synod.

Good news, great news, brilliant news…

As many of you will know, we as a church have been working hard on bring the Church finances in check. For several reasons we as a church had built up a Substantial debt to the Diocese. This of course was causing the finance team and the vestry some anxiety. We have all been praying hard about the church’s finances and for the last couple of months we have been holding steady. Well, this week we received a very generous and anonymous donation of $10.000 that will go a long way to getting our finances back in line. This is firstly and foremost an answer to prayer, and a great encouragement to me and to the whole team.

This week we have also received $500 from the proceeds of the Ladies Guild recent sales, and another $2000 in one off donations from Parishioners. Time and time again I have seen God provide for our needs and yet I am still amazed when things like this happen. Thanks be to God.

We still have a way to go to get out of our debt, and at the end of next month (July the 29th ) we will be having a breakfast, and a combined service. The service will be part of the Vision and Gift day to address the rest of the need. But let’s give thanks that we have a truly amazing God—and people who listen and hear his voice!

Remember the prayer meeting Tuesday mornings from 7.00am till 8.00. You are welcome to come for the whole meeting or just as long as you can. Join us as we pray for our church, community, world and each other.

Have a great week!

Yours in Christ


The Inside Column 17/6

Posted in: The Inside Column- Jun 17, 2012 No Comments

Good morning and a very warm welcome to all.

A Christian theology of leadership holds two things together. The first is the conviction that God is the ultimate source of power and authority in our world.

The second conviction is that a Godly exercise of power and authority (in leadership) is about developing and protecting what is in our charge – working and taking care of what has been entrusted to us. In a world which has fallen from grace, the delegated power inherent in leadership is very often abused to become self-serving and self-protecting rather than other-serving and other-protecting, which is the true task of leadership. This is why a leader’s character is such a crucial ingredient in good leadership.

Martin Luther famously described sin as ‘human beings turned in on them selves’ – a self-serving and self-protecting way of life. The transformational message of the Christian faith is that in Jesus Christ, our sin can be healed and our lives redirected outward from a destructive self-serving and self-protecting posture to one that is other-serving, other-protecting and life giving.

Two weeks ago we celebrated sixty years of Queen Elizabeth’s leadership. The Queen in her Christmas address six months ago said this: ‘Although we are capable of great acts of kindness, history teaches us that we sometimes need saving from ourselves – from our recklessness or our greed. God sent into the world a unique person – neither a philosopher nor a general, important though they are, but a Saviour, with the power to forgive. Forgiveness lies at the heart of the Christian faith. It can heal broken families, it can restore friendships and it can reconcile divided communities. It is in forgiveness that we feel the power of God’s love. It is my prayer that…we might all find room in our lives for the message of… the love of God through Christ our Lord.’

Let as join in her prayer, that in our nation we would all know more of the transforming love of God in our lives, families and communities, through Christ our Lord.

Yours in Christ


The Inside Column 10/6

Posted in: The Inside Column- Jun 10, 2012 No Comments

Good morning and a very warm welcome to all.

In my Bible readings lately I have seen that we are to be a people of thankfulness in all we do and say. It can be easy for us to look for the negative in things, but we must give thanks for all that God is doing in our lives and in other people’s lives, and for the things he is going to do. It says in 1 Thessalonians 5:17- 18…

Pray continually; give thanks in all
circumstances, for this is God’s will for
you in Christ Jesus.

Thankfulness is not something that comes naturally for many of us and is something we have to work on and learn.

I have often reflected about the time my old Vicar Sandy Miller came back from holidays with a big scratch in his new car door. I ask his how it happened he said was very thankful for the scratch because it had happened as he was pulling into his mothers drive way in Scotland.

Now every time he saw the scratch it reminded him of his mum and the place where he was born, and for this he was very thankful.

We are told to give thanks in all situations and circumstances. I wonder how many of us can truly say we do. A good place to start is to give thanks for all the little things that happen in our lives, not just to take them for granted, things like running water, clean air, a roof over our head, these are all things to be very thankful for.

Talking of being thankful… We have Synod in a couple of weeks. Please pray for this, there is not much on the agenda this year, but this can be when random things from someone’s personal agenda can come up. Pray for Richard as he leads us. Please pray that he will be aware of the will of God, particularly during this difficult time for him with Hillary and her cancer treatment.

Yours in Christ


The Inside Column 2/6

Posted in: The Inside Column- Jun 02, 2012 No Comments

Good morning and a very warm welcome to all this Queens Birthday weekend.

Firstly a big thank you to all that helped with the Pentecost service last weekend, from those that made delicious soups, help set up, vestry members for serving and cleaning up, the City of Light band, the people that help run the crèche, a big thank you, it was a real team effort.

And secondly thank you to the people that have given prizes for the Quiz night. Now is the time to register your team, we have a limited number of tables so don’t delay. There are some great prizes to be won and a great night of fun to be had, so get your tables now.

Last week I mentioned the church finances. To follow up… We are reviewing the church budget and updating it to more accurately reflect our reduced spending targets.

There are some costs that have been carried over from last year that we will need to address in the future. The finance team have met with the Diocese and talked through the issues with them.

We are keep a tight reign on discretional spending and monitoring all expenses..

The finance team will present a more detailed report over the next couple of weeks, but I would ask all members of the church to start to pray for the church finances, that we will be able to honour all our commitments by the end of the year.

Remember the church weekly prayer meeting on Tuesday morning starting from 7.00am.

This week we move into the second half of our series entitled “Resurrection Living”. We have looked at aspects of how we could live in the Spirit using the book of 1 Peter as the point of reference. So far we have looked at Peter’s journey through life, we examined honour and how to put this into practice, the principles of family life and marriage and last week we explored the topic of everyday living.

Over the next three weeks we will cover suffering, our gifts and community.

Hope you have a great week.

Yours in Christ


The Inside Column 27/5

Posted in: The Inside Column- May 27, 2012 No Comments

Hello everyone! Jonathan here – thanks once again for your support!

There has been a miraculous provision of some finance from the diocese in the form of an internship which has been able to help fund me to continue with the youth work both here at St Barnabas and House 44. I remember praying with Phil for the Lord to provide and a day and a half later – Phil received a call with an offer of an internship scheme… moments before a vestry meeting – God’s timing is amazing, He really answers prayer and it’s always exciting!

I am really inspired by the youth of the area and am looking for other people within the congregation who share the heart and passion about seeing youth grow, to form a youth team. Specifically it is really important to get to know the youth by spending time with them, sharing the joy of Jesus and putting this knowledge into action by loving others.

Sunday morning, every second Friday evening, occasional one-off camps and Wednesday and Thursday afternoons are the times where service opportunities exist. Please talk to me if you are interested in becoming involved in this.

This weekend some of the youth are away a Wakefield as part of the 40hour famine. We have been building a ‘box city’, getting to learn more of how the living conditions for some people on other countries of the world which are so different from here in New Zealand.

I am extremely excited to have a new team of four youth Leaders: Antonia, Boaz, Jean and myself, to run the after-school teenage drop-in youth group out of the hall and youth lounge. This will be running on Wednesday and Thursday afternoons 3:15-5:15pm.

I have been here a year now – hard to believe! It has been great getting to know some of you, there are still a few faces and names I have yet to get to know well and who I would like to get to know better.

Thank you for your ongoing prayers and financial support toward reaching into the Stoke community, for the ongoing gifts to the food bank and your generosity. It is a powerful witness to those I meet.

Yours in Christ