St Joachim and St Anne were the parents of St Mary the mother of Jesus. In other words they were Jesus' grandparents on his mother's side. I quote from the website of St Anne's Catholic School in Woolston, Christchurch.
Each year the Church venerates the memory of Saints Anne & Joachim on July 26th. An ancient story dating to the first centuries of the Church’s life recalls how Saints Anne & Joachim, like Abraham and Sarah, were scorned by their neighbours because they had no children.
This info comes to us from the Gospel of St James which is an Apocryphal writing dated a little later than the Bible Gospels and which does not carry the same authority in some Churches. Nevertheless, the story seems to be credible in the light of the stories we have in the Bible of Jesus and Mary.
We will take time on Sunday 26th July this year to remember St Anne and her husband Joachim and in the process honour the faith that their story inspires, true or apocryphal, that speaks of faithfulness to and trust in God in the light of very difficult circumstances. At the same time we will remind ourselves that the ministries of St Anne's are entirely fitting to be named for St Anne in that she was a kuia who cared for her mokopuna (Jesus and others) and in so doing was blessed to have the Son of God as her moko.
Please pray for all the ministries of Porirua Anglican that is named for St Anne, that they will faithfully reflect Gospel truth, love and compassion.
An International Morning on Pentecost Sunday will mark the end of St Anne's Thy Kingdom Come season of prayer which will begin on Ascension Thursday 30 May. During this season of 'prayer focus' various activities have been scheduled including:
Indeed Sunday 24 February was a day to remember at Russell School as the Anglican Congregation there hosted a Christian baptism and renewal service. Over 60 people attended from the local churches and communities to support Paula MacEwan and Amber Barclay-Williams who made baptismal commitments and Mai Sa who renewed her baptismal vows.
Local Priest Terry Alve began his message to those gathered by reflecting on the baptism service venue journey from Titahi Bay to Plimmerton Beach to Russell School. On Friday the weather forecast suggested a beach baptism would not be wise. While we had been praying for fine, beach weather until Friday; we changed our prayer (as sometimes we need to do) to ask for a storm so that the move to Russell School was justified. A hastily found inflatable birthing bath became a baptismal pool and the three ladies at the centre of proceedings didn't have to freeze as they were immersed in the pool - Matt had immersed his heating irons in the water for a few hours before the event. It was noted during the service that being baptised in a birthing bath captures well some of the meaning of the spiritual rebirth that baptism symbolises. Each candidate was sung a waiata after being immersed in the water and words of encouragement, scripture and prophecy were prayerfully offered.
Rev Cath Growcott - former Porirua Anglican Priest - conducted the baptisms, having been involved while in the Parish with the candidates. Rev Rochelle Grace who ministers in the local Maori Pastorate and Rota Waitoa Church led liturgy and included Te Reo Maori in the service and Interim priest in Charge Terry Alve shared the message and led the communion prayers. The Russell School congregation were gracious and generous hosts as they shared in setting up the venue and oversaw the catering which was sumptuous and plentiful.
What a vision: the development and regeneration of Eastern & Western Porirua. Following on from the Prime Minister's recent announcement at Russell School of a 25 year plan to invest in our city, work is underway planning and ensuring that things will begin to happen on the ground in 2019 in Eastern Porirua.
May I encourage Porirua Anglicans, and other Churches and Christians, to be at the forefront of community consultation and action, helping to ensure that local opinion and sensitivities are communicated to the government and agencies who are funding and implementing this vision. Let's do all we can to allow this great opportunity to be a wonderful community building exercise.
A new website has been launched to communicate the vision and concept. A key request is that people sign up for email information as it becomes available. You will learn about community meetings and decisions and be kept up to date about progress. Can we all make sure we sign up as the beginning of our commitment to be involved?
The map below appears on the website and highlights the areas that will be developed. Certainly most of us Porirua Anglicans are living within these areas. We will be affected. Let us be active to ensure that we and our neighbours get the best possible deals.
I am reminded of an old story that has particular relevance at the moment. Let's not leave action to the other person and walk on by... let's get involved.
[The lawyer] wanting to justify himself, asked Jesus, ‘And who is my neighbour?’ Jesus replied, ‘A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell into the hands of robbers, who stripped him, beat him, and went away, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a priest was going down that road; and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan while travelling came near him; and when he saw him, he was moved with pity. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, having poured oil and wine on them. Then he put him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii [2 days' wages], gave them to the innkeeper, and said, “Take care of him; and when I come back, I will repay you whatever more you spend.” Which of these three, do you think, was a neighbour to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers?’ He said, ‘The one who showed him mercy.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Go and do likewise.’
We have been presented with a wonderful opportunity to be neighbourly. It will be challenging; it will be worth it. Let's do it!
Interim Priest in Charge
“The war to end all wars,” was how the first world war was perceived at the time. The world, in its shock at the extent and the cost of WW1, thought humanity may have come to its senses with this war. Sadly, this war did not end wars. If anything the terms of settlement ensured that WW2 would follow after a short time.
It is the nature of people, that we fight for what we believe is right, and sometimes that results in physical confrontation. Other times, as our gospel today asserts we, “cheat widows out of their homes” (Mark 12:40) or, otherwise dispossess the oppressed unjustly. The capacity of humans to be inhumane knows few bounds.
Today, as we celebrate 100 years since the WW1 armistice on 11 November 1918 we are compelled to continue praying for peace. Peace for ourselves including peace of spirit; peace for our closer ones. Peace in the nation and world peace. Wherever there is absence of peace we pray God of all, may swords continue to be turned into ploughshares and sophisticated armaments into food for the hungry and justice for the needy.
This Sunday 11 November 2018 marks the centenary of the first Armistice day - the day when WW1 ended. To celebrate we are invited to do four things at St Anne's, Porirua:
PLEASE DO JOIN US FOR THIS HISTORIC EVENT.
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.
Members of the Porirua Anglican Communities