The Reverend Jenny Dawson will lead the eucharist with members of the Waitangirua Anglican Community at Russell School this Sunday - 28th October 2018. This monthly 10am gathering invites all associated with the congregation to come and give thanks for the month that has been and to pray for the coming month. Visitors are welcome to this gathering at the School in Fantame Street, Waitangirua.
The St Anne's congregation in Ranui Heights will have guests from Auckland - Rev Dr Derek Tovey and his wife Lea. Derek was lecturer in New Testament studies at St John's College, Auckland for many years. Derek's mother is Marjorie who accompanied Dr Jocelyn Williams (Porirua Anglican) home, after she had nearly died of Hepatitis B - as mentioned last Sunday. Derek & Lea spent two years with Porirua Anglican priest Terry & Margaret Alve at St John's College as neighbours. Derek and Terry were ordained deacon together in Christchurch Cathedral in 1980.
Derek & Lea will be with one of their ex-students Elaine and write, "One of our ex-students, Elaine Roub, is coming to NZ. She is a daughter of the past principal of the Murree Christian School, in Pakistan. She is an American, in her late forties, and a 'missionary' in Belfast, Northern Ireland. At the beginning of this year Elaine received a Churchill Fellowship for research on bereavement."
A fourth guest in this service may be the Reverend Rochelle Grace a daughter of the Parish and deacon with the Rota Waitoa Maori Church at Elsdon. Rochelle will join us if she can be relieved of duties at Rota Waitoa. She too is a former student of the Tovey's at St John's College.
After the service both congregations are invited to join together at the home of church members Casey and Shannon and boys at 12 Kohika Grove, Elsdon for a barbeque lunch with their neighbourhood.
Our Bible reflections this Sunday will speak of happy endings - Job's blessings after his suffering; Jesus' eternal and perfect high priesthood; and Blind Bartimaeus' gaining sight because of his faith. These scriptures are a fitting corollary to our St Anne's focus last Sunday on St Luke - Healer and Evangelist. The one who delighted to talk about the blessings of Christian faith and encourages us to pray for the sick and tell of the Good News about Jesus.
Sunday (21 October) was celebrated as St Luke's day in St Anne's. We reflected that St Luke was both a physician and an evangelist. His writings - Luke's Gospel and the Acts of the Apostles are full of references to both: accounts of prayerful healing and proclamation of the Good News about Jesus. After recounting various stories about Jesus, the Apostles and the earliest Christians, Luke focuses on St Paul in the second half of Acts portraying him as the model for evangelism and proclaimer of the word of God. We noted that Paul (2Timothy 4:11) reported to Timothy that, "Only Luke has stayed with me." Luke championed Paul as the pre-eminently early evangelist whose story it was important to record for posterity. Thank God for that.
We also noted that Luke records in his Gospel (chapters 9 & 10) that first the 12 Apostles and then 72 of the earliest followers of Jesus were sent by Him to heal and to tell the Good news about the kingdom of God. We noted that those sent were instructed to accept hospitality offered and not to sweat by carrying anything more than what they stood up in. They were to venture out with faith believing that God would provide not only for their personal needs, but also do what they were commissioned to do - tell the Good News, heal anyone with need and, in the case of the Apostles, exorcise demons.
To their amazement they discovered that God worked through their faithful obedience just as God had been doing through Jesus' ministry. Our lesson: just do it, focusing on the mission and not sweating the small stuff, believing that God is with us. We left thinking about this challenge in terms of the power point slide we viewed which asks, "What do we need to do and be?"
We concluded our reflection time by viewing this image from a secular context which indicates that a healing context is created when we, "Care." The meaningfully rich te reo Maori word, "Manaakitanga" offers insight into the kind of healing presence the Gospels refer to.
Luke 10:8 If the people of a town welcome you, eat whatever they offer. 9 Heal their sick and say, “God’s kingdom will soon be here!”
While Jesus was with them, His disciples experienced the healing power of God when they prayed for sick people. The people of St Anne's, Porirua similarly experience this. I know from personal experience. St Anne's folk prayed intensively for my five year son who had leukaemia in 1996. Today Caleb is a robust 28 year old working in IT with Kiwi Bank. Just this week elderly Bill assured me that he is alive because of the prayers of St Anne's folk - several times he has been dying in hospital to discover the healing power of prayer.
This healing Eucharist on St Luke's Day 2018 at 12pm on Thursday 18 October will again offer us encounter with the healing Christ. As you come, remember to bring friends and family; anyone who needs healing. We will pray and anoint people with oil believing that God will be present to heal the sick, bless the discouraged and comfort the afflicted. Then we will give thanks by sharing communion together. All welcome regardless of who you are. Come and be blessed by God.
And to follow up we will continue to focus on healing in our worship on Sunday 21st October at 10am in St Anne's.
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We are looking forward to our inspiring family festival celebration on Saturday the 17th of November, 2018 at Wellington Cathedral of St Paul as we celebrate our Diocesan Thanksgiving and Ordination service. This day is our opportunity for everyone to come together as diocesan family to celebrate the ordination as deacons and priests those responding to God’s call to be the gatherers of the faith community; and to celebrate how God has been answering our prayers with and through us over the last five years, transforming us and our local communities as we partner with Him.
It really is open to everyone – and we know that when you come, you’ll go back to your community full of appreciation of God’s goodness, and excitement for the opportunities to be a blessing and to make a difference. So we encourage all – from Ruapehu to Seatoun, leaders and parishioners, young and old will to come together, learn together, and continue to build the bond of family.
We’ll update you on how the day will run as we get closer to the event. Please pray for Bishop Justin, Bishop Eleanor, all the ordinands and their families, and all diocesan personnel involved in the discernment and ordination process.
Although it was the first Sunday of the school holidays there was a great turnout at St Christopher's for eucharistic worship last Sunday. Parishioners from the Porirua Cluster parishes of Pauatahanui, Whitby, Porirua, Titahi Bay and Tawa-Linden joined together for this fifth Sunday service. Tawa Associate priest Terry McIvor led the service, con-celebrating with Bishop Ellie who also preached a message centering on the Gospel story (John 4:1-26) of the woman at the well who encountered Jesus there. Peter Dennison, Pauatahanui warden, read the scriptures and Tawa parishioners provided the lead for sung worship and offered prayer ministry during communion. Youth pastor Luke spoke to the children about living water before they moved to watch a video.
Bishop Ellie in her Gospel reflection sketched a verbal picture of the woman at the well who, on the basis of recognising Jesus as a prophet, had the privilege of telling her fellow townsfolk about him. Jesus gave her acceptance and status and enabled her to be reconciled to God - the theme of the day's epistle reading (2Corinthians 5:16-20). Her listeners were left with invitations to consider their own encounter/s with Jesus, what it means for them to be reconciled with God and to be alert to not judge others.
A wholesome morning tea followed in the St Christopher's Annexe.
Members of the Porirua Anglican Communities