Newsletter December 2017

Vicar’s Address

As the Advent Carol goes
Advent has come, Christmas is near,
light up a candle and bring it here.
Advent has come, Christmas is near,
light up a candle and bring it here.

Stars are shining silver bright,
soon it will be Christmas night.
Then we will each a present bring,
showing our love for the new infant king.

Jesus Christ will soon be born,
Mary will swaddle him in his shawl.
Then we will each a present bring,
showing our love for the new infant King.

When we think of Christmas what is it that springs to mind?
What are our earliest memories? For me, it is of family being together celebrating. I am so fortunate to have grown up as part of a family where being together at this time of the year was so important. This was especially so for my mother whose parents died when she was very young and hence she did not have great family childhood memories of her own. Then there is my Nana’s Christmas pudding boiled in a cloth for four hours. That is a tradition that I hang on to even today even though they’re not a favourite with the wider family. They are special memories I like to cherish as I reflect on and give thanks for people who have had such an impact on my life. I give thanks for each and every one of them.

Christmas is a family time for our church as we come together to celebrate the wonderful gift of the Christ Child. Part of the story of the birth of the Christ child coming into the world is the journey made by Mary and Joseph as they travelled to Bethlehem, the place central to their family, in order to register in their census. We celebrate the love, joy, hope and peace that this story brings to our lives and family. For many they miss this as the busyness, pressures and anxiety are more familiar experiences to people at this time.

Advent should be a time of preparation and reflection as we ready ourselves for the coming of the Christ Child into our lives and into our community. During this time, can we all think about how we can actually make Christ’s presence in the world more visible and relevant to our community? How can we make the Christmas message of God’s son bringing peace, hope, love and joy a reality – at least in the life of a few people with whom we have contact? Maybe you could suggest they join you at one of the many Christmas services or events.

At the same time we must keep in mind that the concept of peace, love, joy and hope will be far from the reality of many in our world. The refugees, those living in terror, in war torn countries and with civil unrest, the homeless, the places in our communities where life is dominated by alcohol, drugs, abuse and fear. Let us remember in our hearts and in our prayers, all for whom Christmas will be a challenge, doing what we can whenever we can to make life for others as God would have it be.

Blessing, hope, peace, joy and love be with you all in these seasons of Advent and Christmas.

Take care and for those traveling, travel safely.

Christmas Greetings to you all from Jan and Bob

From the Parish Registers

Baptisms

November 19: Liam Peter Bond
November 25: Zac Noah Chapman

Funerals

October 30: Lesley Naomi Skilton

Worship

Rest Home Services ~ December
Palms Rest Home: 10.30am Tuesday December 5
Lakeside Rest Home: 10.30am Wednesday December 6
Palms Hospital: 11am Tuesday December 12
Pukekohe Hospital: 10.30am Wednesday December 13
Possum Bourne Village: 11am To be advised
Anyone who wishes is welcome to join us at these services

Christmas Services

Christmas Eve: Sunday 24 at 8am, 9.30am, 11pm at St Andrew’s
7.30pm at St Paul’s, Buckland
Christmas Day: Monday 25 at 8am and 9.30am

Prayer Chain

If you would be willing to join our Prayer Chain in praying for people who are struggling in some way, please contact Pauline Taylor Ph. 238-5256 | Jan Wallace Ph. 0274-521 366 or the Parish Office.

Bible Readings in December

December 3

First: Isaiah 64: 1-9 – Readers: John Robinson (8am), Cecily Daroux (9.30am)
Gospel: Mark 13: 24-37 – Readers: Bruce Shepherd (8am), Jill de Kock (9.30am)
Theme: Two-side coin, Advent 1
December 10
First: Isaiah 40: 1-11 – Readers: Heather Wrigley (8am), Glenis Kerr (9.30am)
Gospel: Mark 1: 1-8 – Readers: Graham Russell (8am), Pauline Brown (9.30am)
Theme: God’s Way to Love Lasts Forever, Advent 2
December 17
First: Psalm 126 – Readers: Graeme Deed (8am), All Age Family (9.30am)
Gospel: John 1: 6-8, 19-28 – Readers: Joan Renall (8am), Pageant (9.30am)
Theme: Shout with Joy, Advent 3
December 24
First: Luke 1: 26-38 – Readers: Alistair Parke (8am), Neville Phillips (9.30am)
Gospel: Luke 1: 46b-55 – Readers: Sue Muir (8am), Sylvia Gardner (9.30am)
Theme: Here I am, Advent 4
December 25, Christmas Day
First: Jan Scarth (8am), Gavin Jack (9.30am)
Gospel: Phil Meyer (8am), Bob Wallace (9.30am)
December 31
First: Luke 2: 22-40
Gospel: Isaiah 61: 10-62:3
Theme: New Beginnings, Christmas 1

Parish calendar for December

Friday 1: LAST DAY for ordering hams for our fundraising for the parish. Please give your order into the office.
Sunday 3: 2pm Community Choir Concert. We are fortunate to have the choir joining us again this year with their beautiful Christmas music.
Sunday 3: 7.30pm Service of Nine Lessons and Carols at St Andrew’s church combined with St Patrick’s Catholic church. There are many people in our community who enjoy joining in the singing of Christmas Carols and hearing the Christmas story retold. Maybe you could invite others to join you. Please could you bring a plate to share for supper at the end of the service.
Monday 4: 6pm, in Church ~ meeting re. historic places listing of the churches, vicarage and memorial arch. Tuesday 5: 1.30pm Op Shop end of year meeting.
Thursday 7: 5pm Children’s ministry including Sunday School, Oasis and Space ~ Christmas Party, BBQ and Santa visit. Again all ages will be able to share in the joy the children bring us in a special way at Christmas and we again tell the Christmas story with the children at their level.
Monday 11: This week will be the final sessions for the Selwyn, Space and Oasis Groups.
Monday 11: afternoon ~ Delivery of Christmas hams. Please collect from Reid Anderson Hall.
Sunday 17: 9.30am Parish Family Christmas Pageant. 8am congregation are especially welcome to attend as we
share in presenting the Christmas story with all of the parish and community. A very short 8am service this day– no sermon nor hymns.
Sunday 17: 3pm Handel Quire and Consort Concert.
Tuesday 19: 11am Pastoral Care and older members of the parish lunch together with members of the Sewing Group, Op Shop Volunteers, Mothers’ Union, Women’s Fellowship, Selwyn, our recently bereaved or anyone whom you think would like a little more Christmas cheer.
Sunday 24: 8am and 9.30 Regular Eucharists.
Sunday 24: 5pm Children’s Service ~ Children & family Christmas story at St Andrew’s.
Sunday 24: 7.30pm Buckland Christmas Service.
Sunday 24: 11pm Carols and Christmas Eucharist at St Andrew’s
Monday 25: Christmas Day Eucharists 8am and 9.30am
Regular services on 31 December and throughout January.

From The Ministry team

During next year we would like to focus on enhancing our relationships with God, with each other, with our community and with our environment. We are exploring what this may mean in a practical way for us. If you have any thoughts please let me know.

Pancake Party: We are going to trial this next year on Sunday February 11 after church.

Lent begins with Ash Wednesday on February 15. We would like to be organised to begin our Lenten Studies on “Hope” starting in the week of February 18. Please consider joining a daytime or an evening group.

The Parish office will be closed from Friday 22 December until Monday 8 January. I will be available and working through so please do not hesitate to contact me on either 238-7723 or 0274-521366.
Jan

Social Opportunities

Methodist Fellowship ~ invite us to their Christmas celebration evening at 7pm on December 4.
If you would like to attend, please contact Anita Little, Ph. 238-7716. It’s lots of fun.

Pastoral Care Christmas Service & Lunch – Tuesday December 19.
11am Seniors’ Christmas service.
12 noon ~ Lunch, Reid Anderson Hall for Selwyn Group, Op Shop Helpers, Mothers’ Union, Sewing group,
recently bereaved and the older members of the Parish. Come and enjoy the Christmas cheer and a delicious lunch. If you are available to assist with serving, etc, of the meal, please add your name to the list at the back of the Church. Thank you. All Welcome.

Thank You

Angel Tree Gifts

A big THANK YOU for all the gifts donated. Any remaining gifts can be left at the Parish office between 9.30am ~ 12.30pm before Wednesday November 29 at the very latest. THANK YOU.

Pastoral Care

Seasons for Growth – An after-school group held on Thursdays for children who have experienced a significant loss or grief in their lives. If you are interested in finding out more about this group please talk to Jan or Marisa.
2018 Term 1 begins on February 15.

Space for you and baby – A group for first-time mums and their babies.
2018 Term 1 begins on Wednesday February 7 and Thursday February 8.

Oasis – This is the natural progression from Space. As the babies “graduate” at the age of 1 year they transfer through to the playgroups which have music, morning tea, free play and a story with a related craft. There is the time for mums to chat amongst themselves and to build relationships as many are new to Pukekohe. In this group the parents are encouraging and supportive. Do feel free to drop in and see the children having fun. 2018 Term 1 begins on Friday February 9 and Monday February 12.

Selwyn Group – For the older members of the community. Join in the exercises, chat over a cup of tea or coffee and then enjoy cards, Skip-Bo, Scrabble and Bingo or other activities. It is good to see people getting out mixing with others and on Tuesdays enjoying lunch together. This group runs every Tuesday and Thursday morning from 9.30am.

For further information on any of these groups please speak to Jan.

Vestry

Historic Places listing
This past week we have been advised that the Auckland Council plans to have St Paul’s Anglican Church, Buckland, St Andrew’s Anglican Church, Pukekohe, the St Andrew’s Vicarage and the memorial arch added to the
historic places list.

The impact of this on the future may be restrictions on what we can do to the structure of the buildings and in particular any decision to move or demolish, extend or make other significant modifications. These will not necessarily be prohibited but may well become more challenging.

Submissions can be made to the council before Friday December 15. The Diocese has been advised of this.

People may like to come together to discuss any implications of this listing on Monday December 4 at 6 pm in St Andrew’s church. Please invite anyone who you think may be interested.

Finances
The Vestry continue to be concerned with the excess costs of running the parish over our current income. They would appreciate people joining the automatic payment scheme if you feel able, as this would help considerably with the budgeting and management of our finances.

The Vestry would like to thank all those who helped with the parish fair at the end of October which helped with our finances. Alistair applied for a refund on our excessive water accounts earlier in the year which was successful in a refund of $1,600. Well done Alistair.

Parish Fair takings
Op Shop $250.30
White Elephant $2,478.80
Plants $278.40
Raffles $321.15
Toys $151.00
Morning tea $73.40
Cakes and jams $677.90
Books $316.70
BBQ $92.70
Tombola $96.20
Children’s activities $14.20
Sewing group $359.00
$5109.75

Many thanks also to those who helped out with the working bee on the parish grounds. They are certainly looking beautiful with the roses in full bloom, hedges trimmed and the property all tidied up. Our thanks to Pauline and Renton for initiating and leading this as well as to all who helped on the day.

Sustainability Matters

This spring has left the friends of the St Andrew’s communal food garden feeling a little beleaguered. For two reasons.

First is the presence of neighbourhood cats in the garden. Our first sowing of seeds resulted in many areas being scratched over as the cats went about their business. Yes, I know, cats will be cats … so, second time sowing seeds, we placed netting and plastic trays over newly sown areas. Seems to be working so far.

Second, and like many food gardeners, we found this spring has not sprung as energetically as previous years. Colder temperatures lowered the germination rates of many seeds, resulting in our re-seeding parts of the garden. Once germinated though, plants are growing strongly. As we know from handling the prolific growth rates of our lawns.

One consequence of that high growth rate is the volume of compostable materials available. Grass clippings, weeds and the prunings from this weekend’s clean up are a valuable resource for a food garden. We have established a new compost system and will be doing more composting over the next couple of weeks.

So if you would like to learn how to set up your own compost, or have an hour to spend helping the Friends on Wednesday evenings, do come and join us behind the vicarage from 7pm.

Many thanks to those who contributed seed pots and tools to the garden and in particular to the kind person who donated a seed raising plastic house. That is now providing a warmer environment for striking new seeds.

Cheers
John Allen
Ph: 238-1357 | 021-463 686, email: john@wjohnallen.nz

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