Happy New Year to you and yours. May it be a great one!
We have just completed our Advent-Christmas-New Year community outreach with 150 people attending our various weekend and weekday community and worship events in te Whare Karakia. It is most satisfying from my perspective to see such great responses to what we offer in the Eastern Porirua community. The core group of around 25 people who are the heart of the Porirua Anglican community have excelled by both attending, and encouraging others to attend the ten weekend, and other weekday activities, during December and New Year's Day. We have built an amazing group of people who seem increasingly proud to gather and contribute to our life together.
Recently three of us from Porirua Anglican did an ALPHA Course at Johnsonville over 11 Thursday evenings and a Saturday, and benefited greatly from the food and fellowship. We even got together for a meal pre-Christmas in a group Reunion too. And we greatly benefited from the ALPHA videos and discussions that followed. We were a mixed group; there was even a young Nepalese man there for part of the time, and and an older Chinese lady. The uniqueness of ALPHA is that it attracts people of all ages and, as above, all ethnic groups. More than that, it gives people an orthodox Christian and very understable opportunity for people to ground their faith.
In two weeks time we will begin an ALPHA Course at te Whare Karakia, beginning Wed. 17 January @ 7pm. Details of this and an online enrolment form are here:
The first five sessions will be addressed via video, and allow discussion of these five questions ...
On Saturday 2 March we will spend a day together focused on questions about the Holy Spirit.
Each session will begin with food so don't eat too much before you come as we will eat together for 30-40 minutes before watching a 25-30 min. video which we will then discuss, finishing sharp at 9pm.
The last session will be on Wednesday 27 March when we will address, "What about the Church?"
Want to know more? Contact us via any of our Contact Us channels.
And, let's know you are coming so that we can prepare and maximise your experience of ALPHA.
Hei konā mai | Goodbye for now
Priest in Charge
Jesus the Way to the Father
John 14:1 ‘Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me. 2 In my Father’s house there are many dwelling-places. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, so that where I am, there you may be also. 4 And you know the way to the place where I am going.’ 5 Thomas said to him, ‘Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?’ 6 Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
Paul, a Titahi bay boy, was the descendant of Welsh bishops and a head choir boy at Old St Paul’s when it was the Wellington Anglican Cathedral. He was a student of ecclesial, heraldic, regal, political and many other histories. He was also an artist, and combining these gifts he has left a rich heritage of artefacts and decorations around Wellington and beyond. More relationally, he has enthralled those of us privileged to hear him wax lyrical on any number of topics. Paul was a raconteur with many vivid stories to tell.
As has been indicated in the tribute, Paul was a fiercely proud Welshman and seemed to know the country as well as, if not better, than most natives of that romantic land. Amongst Paul’s awareness was the poetry of Dylan Thomas and one of his most celebrated writings written in 1947 as his father was dying. Paul’s explicit request was that the first stanza of this poem should be read today, and so I read,
Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
And so I begin to understand the enigma of Paul’s last battles. Many a man would have died with Paul’s medical history long before he did. His determination and his defiance of death can, I believe, be traced back to sentiments like Dylan Thomas’. These typify the Welsh spirit of defiance of a powerful enemy whether that be the English or things more private like death. Paul, now that the ‘light has died’ for you and you have gone into the ‘good night’ may you rest in peace. Hear the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ saying to you,
3 … I go to prepare a place for you, I will … take you to myself, so that where I am,
there you may be also.
Paul, your earthly struggle is over. Walk with Jesus now into the heavenly realm and brighten it up, as you have the earthly.
Paul was one with Gwladys in marriage. Gwladys today we must offer a last word to you who have so faithfully kept your vow of marriage to Paul. You have tirelessly and generously supported him. Especially in these last few years as, “He raged against the dying of the light”. You have wonderfully been alongside encouraging, providing and frankly, just loving him. As you journey through the gap that is his physical absence now, may you be strengthened and comforted. God bless you.
It was a poignant moment when seven of us from Porirua Anglican met at te Whare Karakia for morning tea with Barbara Edmonds MP for Mana and two of her staff at 10am on Monday 27 November. Earlier that morning Chris Hipkins had submitted his Labour government’s resignation and before we parted Christopher Luxton and his team were being sworn in as the new coalition government. For Barbara her term as a cabinet minister ended as we talked! The moment was acknowledged.
We were encouraged to hear from Barbara that the Kenepuru Hospital Emergency Department closure has been delayed. We remain optimistic that this only ED between Wellington and Palmerston North hospitals, serving 80,000 people, will continue operating. Barbara has been at the forefront of negotiations. Our discussion with her was wide ranging including CAB funding; food security and the planned new Ngatitoa iwi social supermarket; housing regeneration in Porirua which includes infrastructure development; social unrest at change of government; retirement village reforms, etc.
Just as Barbara faces new options and possibilities as a member of the Government main opposition party, so this Advent is a reminder for us God is doing a new thing in our midst, rebuilding the Church to be a more effective community in eastern Porirua.
Please pray with us that our Christmas and New Year community facing gatherings and the ALPHA course to begin 17 January contribute to making us a strongly engaged Church, united in the Spirit and experiencing the Lord adding to our number regularly.
Members of the Porirua Anglican Communities