The Inside Column 4/12

Posted in: The Inside Column- Dec 04, 2011 No Comments

A warm welcome to you all…

Being on sabbatical has made this year feel like a long weekend. Suddenly it’s the end of the year with Christmas celebrations only two weeks away. A frenetic time for everyone.

I just want to highlight that the “9 Lessons and Carols” on Saturday 10 December at 6.30 pm with Schola Cantorum Christchurch is not a concert but is part of our series of Services at St Barnabas to celebrate Christmas.

Please can you make every effort to attend this celebration and service. Besides a top choir from Christchurch, our own St Barnabas choir is joining them. It is a unique celebration of new music at a very high level of presentation. We will follow this with a fairly significant supper.

Schola Cantorum Choir are also performing of the Sunday at a Foyer@Four concert . Clare and I with Roger Buckton on flute will also be performing as guest artists in this concert.

Then the really BIG event. SHINE. We still need helpers on clearing up and the general organisation. This is a highly significant and extremely high profile event for St Barnabas How this has come together has been nothing short of..and i mean this… miraculous. I appeal to you in the strongest possible way to assist and help wherever you can for this event. It will be an awesome and exciting time. Please pray for good weather.

The combined service Sunday 18th is an outreach event… put aside any doubts you may have and enjoy it for what it will be, a St Barnabas family celebration. Ask someone along. If we are to keep growing and moving forward we need to think outside of ourselves and our own perceived wants and needs. These services that have been so carefully planned, prayed through and superbly organised are an incredible opportunity for us to be outward facing to the community and to be significantly mission focused to our community in Stoke.

May God richly bless you over the coming week.


The Inside Column 27/11

Posted in: The Inside Column- Nov 29, 2011 No Comments

A very warm welcome to all.

What are you hoping for this Christmas, the latest gadget, new clothes or new toys? We hope for all sorts of good things in our lives.

The Bible tells us that faith is being sure of what we hope for. We hope that God will bless and guide us at work, that he will help us with exams, protect our families, heal the sick, and bring peace – the list is endless. But at a deeper level, the Bible tells us to put our hope in God himself . Psalm 42:5 says: “Why are you so downcast O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise Him, my Saviour and my God”

I don’t think it is wrong to want God to bless us and other people – after all we know that God cares for our needs, and we are told to present all our requests to him with thanksgiving. But ultimately putting our hope in God himself means that we trust him in everything, even if he does not do what we expect or pray for.

Hope in God is the hope that he is who he says. He is the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin.

It’s the hope that ultimately we will be with our GOD in heaven. It’s the hope of glory. Pastor, Teacher and Writer John Ortberg puts it like this, “When I hope, I believe that God is at work to redeem all things regardless of how things happen to be turning out for me to day.”

Christian hope is not a private, individual hope, but the public hope of the whole creation as it awaits the renewing work of God.

I love the image in Hebrews 6 of hope as an anchor: “We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where Jesus who went before us, has entered on our behalf.”

As we continue to hope in God, to cling to him and trust him through trouble, we are changed. We develop perseverance and character, and become more like the one in whom we place our hope.

So as Christmas approaches may each one of us put our hope in the one true God.

Yours in Christ,


The Inside Column 20/11

Posted in: The Inside Column- Nov 20, 2011 No Comments

Good morning and a very warm welcome to you all. I was away all last week at a New Wine Conference (3 days), then a catch up with family in Hamilton, then two days in Auckland to see what they were up to at St Paul’s in the City.

It was really encouraging to see what other churches are doing and spending time with other church leaders. Key questions I came away with were these:

1. What is our church culture?
2. Can the church leaders articulate it?
3. Can the people in our church easily articulate it?

I believe this is something for us to think about and work on next year.

Shine Shine Shine

Not long to go now! Planning is well under way and if you have not signed up to help in one of the teams now is the time. Shine will be an amazing time for us as a church to bless the Stoke
community this Christmas and to lift the profile of the church.

Invitation cards will be available next week for you to take and invite all your neighbours, friends and family -the more the merrier.

Resurgence is coming

Next year February 10,11,12th the Diocese is putting on a major event call Resurgence. Leader’s day is Friday 10 February. The open conference is Saturday 11 February. I would love as many of us as possible to attend.

The keynote speaker is Mike Pilavachi, Senior Pastor of the Soul Survivor Watford church which he set up in 1993 along with worship leader Matt Redman. He was a youth worker at St Andrew’s with David Pytches and Barry Kissell who launched New Wine.

There will be a range of seminars and speakers. Registrations will start at the end of November and numbers are limited, so we need to be in quickly.

I have been asked to help run the prayer ministry for the event. Plan to attend the prayer ministry course in late Jan early Feb next year.

Mike will be speaking on Sunday 12th Feb here at our 945 service, followed with a picnic in the park. Resurgence is a not-to-be-missed-event, so mark your diaries and register early.

Yours in Christ

The Inside Column 13/11

Posted in: The Inside Column- Nov 13, 2011 No Comments

This week we have a report from Jonathan Wasley Community/Church Youth Worker …

September for me involved having some substantial corrective shoulder surgery. Unfortunately a month out from the operation there has been some unexpected complications which mean ongoing pain and slower recovery than expected.

House 44 Youth
Last term due to the left shoulder operation I missed the end of term boy’s night at house 44. Coming into the final term we are hoping to get out and about a bit more, with bbq’s and trips to the river planned. Some funding was secured to give the youth involved with the house the opportunity to have each their individual swimming skill-level assessed and the offer of doing some water safety modules before the some trips out on the harbor in a row dingy purchased by the house. Should be a great opportunity to learn skills, safety and perhaps even acquire some kai moana.

Community Youth
Following the event of a youth shooting a member of public with a BB gun, the project was shut down for a couple of weeks prior to the last holiday’s. During this time I was having and recovering from surgery. The project coordinators meet together to look in more detail at how they wanted the programme to be run. Presbyterian Support have withdrawn from it currently, however are still involved in running their own activities using the church facilities.

As there seemed to be a difference of understanding regarding the exact details and methods of how the programme would be run, operating procedures have been drafted up and are almost finished; to be taken before the next Stoke Youth Meeting.

Other considerations are the future goals and aims of the project and funding. Including my involvement, (currently reliant upon diocese funding) the funding renewal/reapplication process should hopefully look closely at the potential for how the role might expand next year as the project grows.

Church Youth
We had an end of term sports/activities evening which involved a collection of activities including but not limited to; sucking ice cream through a straw, a game of giant ‘pong’ (involving ping-pong balls and a large bucket), alongside singing and some other games. In the end the one who cleaned the dishes took out top spot – I won’t reveal their true identity, but can only say they went by the pseudonym ‘the Mikiri ranger’.

Spring Camp
Labour weekend, 21-14 October though only a couple of youth ended up coming along a great time was had by all! There were some great challenges and workshops on various topics from the Holy Spirit, prayer and worship to apologetics. Alongside the teaching we even got to see the All black scrape in a win against the frog’s… only just mind you J! The camp is a great platform for ministering to youth who don’t know God and those who do alike.

St Barnabas are working with House44 to provide a safe and supportive environment for all Stoke Youth. After – School programmes run on Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons. Average attendance is between 12—25 youth.

Be sure to check out Stoke Youth on Facebook.

Rock da House to perform at Shine Event

Posted in: Events- Nov 09, 2011 No Comments

There were no boring songs in the lineup for the September 2011 combined Nelson and Waimea Primary and Intermediate Schools Choir Festival Rock da House, primary school music specialist John Phillips said.

Nearly 1200 pupils rocked the Trafalgar Centre, 400 children on each of the three nights.

Mr Phillips said the joint concerts used to be held in Nelson but had fizzled out and it was decided to get them up and running this year.

The aim of the concert was to expose pupils to the joys of singing and music in a non-competitive environment. “It’s just a big celebration of song, as well as a chance for young soloists to come through and do parts as well.”

Mr Phillips said there were lots of opportunities for primary and intermediate school pupils to come together and play sports, and this was providing them with the same opportunities but in the musical arena.

Schools practised the 15 songs for over a term and a half.

The range of songs featured in the festival included songs by current chart topper Bruno Mars, and a few classics like American rock band Survivor’s Eye of the Tiger and Queen’s We Will Rock You. The programme also included original songs written by Mr Phillips.

John Phillips with the Rock da House band will bring the magic of the September concerts to Shine at St Barnabas on Friday 16 December with a mix of songs for children and adults alike.