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.
During 2019 the Operation of St Anne's Pantry has been reviewed. The Review was prompted by the retirement of key volunteers Diane & Bob Stuart and Val Grace. The review process considered all aspects of the Pantry's operation and concluded that its continued operation is warranted, if key personnel are found and other concerns are satisfied.
An informal meeting of Porirua Anglican Vestry members on 16 November 2019 agreed to the continuation of St Anne's Pantry on the following basis:
The Reverend Tric Malcolm, ex Wellington City Missioner and Executive Member of the Council of Christian Social Services will join us on Sunday (21 July) as we continue our St Anne's Pantry Review. Tric will discuss current thinking about Christian and Church food ministries and help us as a congregation to continue our Pantry Review, informedly. The Pantry review working group has met twice and discussed with current Pantry leadership how the Pantry currently works; things that work well and the challenges. One of the Pantry's assets is they make food deliveries. This helps deliverers better appreciate the circumstances of food parcel recipients. We are aware of the extensive network behind the scenes that ensures goods and money are available to resource the St Anne's Pantry delivery operation. While we are aware also of some of the other church and community food providers, we are seeking to learn more as we map the bigger picture. Is there a case for better co-operation, especially across the churches?
In today's Sunday service in St Anne's our Scripture sentence (Psalm 82:3) was,
Be fair to the poor
and to orphans.
Defend the helpless
and everyone in need.
And our Gospel reading the story of the Good Samaritan.
There is no doubt that our neighbours are not necessarily the people next door; rather the people in our community who have urgent need. There is no doubt God is calling us further into such ministry.
We continue to become aware of a number of households and families with children who appreciate food support. Recently several children came to church and shared in breakfast before the morning Sunday service. We are open to our food resource being used to these ends - even a weekly Sunday breakfast with church members collecting children and delivering them home after the service?
Please pray with us as we at St Anne's seek to be obedient to and discerning of God's call to us about this cornerstone outreach ministry.
Terry - Interim PIC
Members of the Porirua Anglican Communities