New Year’s Greetings to you all.
It is several weeks into 2018 but many of our activities for the year are yet to begin.
Lent begins on February 14 this year and we will be having two services on that day, 10am at St Andrew’s and 7pm at St Patrick’s Catholic Church. For those of you who are not so familiar with Anglican traditions, Ash Wednesday is marked by the ceremonial distribution of ashes as a symbol of entering into the penitential Season of Lent. The ashes are made by the burning of the previous year’s palm crosses from last year.
We will be burning the crosses and preparing the ashes during our pancake picnic on the vicarage lawn on 11 February. Please bring your palm crosses with you either to the picnic or if you won’t be attending that event please bring them to one of the services on that morning or earlier.
The name Lent comes through the Old English lencten, referring to the season of spring, which it is in the Northern Hemisphere, and that coincides with the lengthening of days. Dark purple is a penitential colour evoking sadness and deep reflection. In the first century of the Christian, purple dye was hard to come by so only the wealthy could
afford purple garments.
In preparation for the New Year, I have been doing quite a lot of decluttering.
In the middle of sorting through books in my office, at home, I found a book of Lenten studies.
The title was Give Up Something Bad for Lent. This drew my attention and caused me to think. If it is “something bad” why would you give it up for Lent?”
With Lent approaching I thought: Don’t judge a book by its cover.
So I opened it and read the chapter titles.
Each starts with “Give up” and ends with “for Lent”
These chapter titles are:
1. Consistent with the title – Something Bad
Some of the suggestions here are bitterness, apathy,
discouragement. All worthwhile things to give up and likewise
2. Harsh, Condemning Judgments
3. The Enemies within
4. Running away
5. A Bad Habit
Holy Week and Easter – wrap your arms around something good for
I would certainly agree with giving up of all the six of these attitudes or habits. At the end of each week it encourages a person to make a personal inventory of habits, strengths and considering what is holding
them back from having a better relationship with God and with others.
However I would also encourage them not to just “give up” these things for Lent but to carry this over into all aspects of life whether it be Lent or not.
Like New Year’s resolutions, what commitment we make is a promise to ourselves, or if we make such commitments during Lent it is a personal commitment between us and God. Whether it be to give up something
that is not helpful for our relationship with God or others or whether it be something positive and supportive, let us try to incorporate it into our lives every day for the future.
As a short-term Lenten sacrifice it may involve giving up doing something we enjoy. However in its place we need to replace it with something positive and remember the purpose of our sacrifice is strengthening our relationship with God and others.
To me it is important to spend time reflecting on our relationship with God and with others during the season of Lent. To this end I am looking forward to receiving copies of a Lenten study on hope which I am intending to use in the parish. Please let me know if you would be interested in joining either a day-time or an evening session of this series.
I am also looking forward to attending a quiet day at the Tyburn Monastery at Bombay. This will be led by the Reverend Anne Moody on February 24. All welcome. It will be a time of prayer and reflection with input from Anne.
On Palm Sunday evening, March 25, at 7pm we will be having a Taize Service at St Andrew’s. The people from St Patrick’s Catholic parish will be invited to join with us, along with any other people who would like to attend.
It was quite amusing at the end of the 9.30 service on January 21. The Gospel reading had been Jesus calling the first disciples. We concluded the service with the song I Have Decided to Follow Jesus. As we processed to the back of the church those involved in leading the service tapped people on the shoulder and beckoned for them to follow.
People were hesitant, they were confused, they didn’t know what was going on.
Would it have been like that for those disciples who were the first to be called by Jesus? Mark tells us they left their nets immediately and followed. I wonder what we would have done!!!
Maybe that’s worth our reflecting on over the next few weeks and how committed are we to doing just that in our daily lives.
Blessings and best wishes for 2018.
From the Parish Registers
December 10, 2017: Stella, Jaxon
December 30, 2017: Slee, Mila May
December 30, 2017: Slee, Harrison John
January 10, 2018: Fausett, Anne Proude
Rest Home Services ~ February
Palms Rest Home: 10.30am TBC
Lakeside Rest Home: 10.30am Wednesday February 7
Palms Hospital: 11am Tuesday February 13
Pukekohe Hospital: 10.30am Wednesday February 14
Possum Bourne Village: 11am Tuesday February 27
Anyone who wishes is welcome to join us at these services
On February 18 our first testament reading is Genesis 9: 8 – 17
Noah and God’s Rainbow
A rainbow reminds us of God’s promise –
a blessing poured down
through rain and tears
a blessing mixed in rays and drops
of joy and sadness.
A rainbow reminds us of God’s sadness –
disappointment in creation
humanity turning away
caring more for self
than God or others.
A rainbow reminds us of storms past –
weathering cloudy darkness
life’s hardships and trials
feet shuffling forward
love a weight and a relief.
A rainbow reminds us of future blessings –
promises carved of sky
visible but not always realized
grace given to all
blessing us in its abundance.
Bible Readings in February
First: Isaiah 40: 21-31
Gospel: Mark 1: 29-39
Theme: Called to Healing
5th Sunday after Epiphany
First: 2 Kings: 1-12
Gospel: Mark 9: 2-9
Theme: Called to Resurrection
Last Sunday after Epiphany
First: Genesis 9: 8-17
Gospel: Mark 1: 9-15
Theme: God Loves Us
First: Genesis 17: 1-7, 15-16
Gospel: Mark 8: 31-38
Theme: The Blessing of Generations
Put This On Your Calendar
Wednesday 7 1.30pm Study Group in Church
Friday 9 9.30am Oasis begins
Sunday 11 8am Regular service
9.30am Family service and Sunday School
– followed by Shared Pancake Party on the lawn
Wednesday 14 Ash Wednesday services
10am at St Andrew’s
7pm at St Patrick’s – combined service with Catholic Parish
Saturday 17 Pot Luck family meal in the parish hall
Libby will be over from Australia so it will be a chance for everyone to catch up
5.30pm gather | 6pm Meal
Sunday 18 9.30 Sunday School begins
Wednesday 21 1.30pm Study Group in Church
Saturday 24 10am – 4pm Quiet Day – Tyburn Monastery Bombay led by the Rev. Anne Moody
Sunday 18 Parish and Central Vestry Trust Board AGM. There will most likely be a special general meeting later in the year to approve the audited accounts as these will be probably be with auditors at the time of the AGM
Easter displays open – Indoor and outdoor
Sunday 25 9.30am Palm Sunday family service with groups presenting each of the scenes. If fine this will be in the garden
7pm Taize Service at St Andrew’s
Sunday February 11 after the 9.30am service on the Vicarage lawn, if fine. Otherwise in the Reid Anderson Hall.
Fun for All !!! All ages Welcome
Wednesday February 7, 10am. Beverly Berwick will be the guest speaker, talking on her visit to Mothers’ Union in Tasmania. Meet in the Church. All Welcome
This is an open group with the purpose of getting to know each other
better and offering support and encouragement to each other.
If you can look at the sunset and smile, then you still have hope ….
If you can find beauty in the colours of a small flower .…
If you can find pleasure in the movement of a butterfly .…
If the smile of a child can still warm your heart, then you still have hope….
If you can see the good in other people ….
If the rain breaking on a roof top can still lull you to sleep,
If the sight of a rainbow still makes you stop and stare in wonder….
If the soft fur of a favoured pet still feels pleasant under your finger tips then you still have hope ….
If you meet new people with a trace of excitement and optimism ….
If you give people the benefit of the doubt ….
If you still offer your hand in friendship to others that have touched your life then you still have hope ….
If receiving an unexpected card or letter still brings a pleasant surprise .…
If the suffering of others still fills you with pain and frustration .…
If you refuse to let a friendship die, or accept that it must end, then you still have hope ….
If you look forward to a time of quiet and reflection ….
If you still buy decorations, put up the Christmas tree, or cook the turkey….
If you still watch love stories and want endings to be happy, then you still have hope ….
If you can look at the past and smile .…
If, when faced with bad, and told everything is futile, you can still look up at the end of the conversation with the phrase ….
‘yeah, but …”, then you still have so much hope.
Hope is a marvelous thing.
It bends, it twists, it sometimes hide, but rarely does it break ….
It sustains us when nothing else can ….
It gives us reason to continue and courage to move ahead, when we tell ourselves we’d rather give in ….
Hope puts a smile on our face when the heart cannot manage ….
Hope puts our feet on the path when our eyes cannot see it .…
Hope moves us to act when our souls are confused as to the direction we should travel ….
Hope is a wonderful thing, something to be cherished and nurtured, and something that will refresh us in return….
And it can be found in each of us, and it can bring light into the darkest of places ….
Never lose hope ….
Hope is based on our faith in God.
God is a loving God who watches over each of us.
Seasons for Growth – An after-school group held on Thursday for children
who have experienced a significant loss or grief in their lives.
Space for you and baby – A group for first time mums and their babies.
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. Drop in and see the children having fun.
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, Scrabble or other activities. It is good to see people getting out mixing with others and on
Tuesdays and 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.
Some thoughts to reflect on
At a recent Methodist Synod meeting the Rev. Jaco Reyneke shared Richard Rohr’s summary of Philip Gulley’s ideas on how we must rebuild spirituality from the bottom up:
1. Jesus is a model for living more than an object of worship.
2. Affirming people’s potential is more important than reminding them of their brokenness.
3. The work of reconciliation should be valued over making judgments.
4. Gracious behaviour is more important than right belief.
5. Inviting questions is more valuable than supplying answers.
6. Encouraging the personal search is more important than group uniformity.
7. Meeting actual needs is more important than maintaining institutions.
8. Peace-making is more important than power.
9. We should care more about love and less about sex.
10. Life in this world is more important than the afterlife (eternity is God’s work anyway).
Cherish Our Earth
Food for thought: Do you know how much of an impact your food has on climate change?
Beef, for example, long lambasted by the demagogues of sustainable food production, causes significant volumes of climate-changing gases to be released to the atmosphere — gases to the amount of 23 times beef’s uncooked weight. At the NZ average beef consumption of 106kg/person per year, we each add 2500 kg of carbon gases annually to the global warming load. Farts not included.
Potatoes, on the other hand, emit only one fifth their own weight in carbon gases.
So should we all eat only potatoes and no beef?
No, of course not. But what if we reduced our beef consumption? To, say, 150 grams per serving? Or, say, four days per week? That would halve our individual beef-related carbon emissions. It would also make a significant difference to health-related issues from excessive meat consumption.
Talking about cutting emissions, how many of us have looked at the plastic bags containing contributions to the parish food bank each Sunday? So firmly fixed in habits we are, that we see single use plastic bags as normal. Not so Anita and Jo who looked at them, and decided to reduce waste and make their own food tote bags.
So easy it is to add to the parish’s sustainability efforts and reduce waste. With some help from seamstresses and donations of cloth such as curtain fabric, we could make supermarket bags available to the many. Can you help in this waste sustainability effort?
Friends of the communal food garden behind the St Andrew’s vicarage will continue to meet over the holiday break – from 7 pm for just an hour. If you can help us maintain our food garden or want to learn how to … come along and have a chat.
Ph. 09-238 1357
We were informed in December that historic places listing was to be placed on both St Andrew’s and St Paul’s churches. This category listing is in place from the time of notification. There has been an extension to the time in which we can make submissions this is not early February. If you have any comments that you would like to make please speak to Jan, Graham Russell, Alistair Parke or one of the wardens, Pauline Brown or Neville.
This may assist with our resource consent with regard to the removal of the beech tree in front of the church.
A team of surveyors, architects and councilors are currently working with us on the proposal to move the Buckland Church. We will keep you informed of progress.
It was great to see that there were no leaks at the front of the church following the repairs to the roof late last year although one tree on the vicarage lawn suffered a little in the storm. Certainly we were nowhere near as badly affected as other areas.
Don’t Forget !!!!!
You are invited to the PANCAKE PARTY on Sunday February 11 after the 9.30am service on the Vicarage lawn, if fine, otherwise in the Reid Anderson Hall.
Fun for All !!! All ages Welcome
Wednesday 7pm Garden Education Session
Sunday School 9.30am (Children aged 3 years up)
Seasons 4pm Thursday afternoons during term time
Oasis Music/Coffee Group 9.30am Monday & Friday during term time. All pre-schoolers and caregivers welcome
Selwyn Group 9.15am Tuesday & Thursday
Op Shop 9am~12 noon Wednesday, Friday & Saturday