DONOVAN, William Brookby (Bill): Passed away on 16 August 2019, aged 71 years.
It is with sadness that we farewelled Bill recently and we especially extend our condolences to Dawn his wife who also worshipped with him at St Anne's. Rest in peace our dear brother in Christ.
Priest in Charge Terry with his wife Margaret have recently returned from holiday in Europe and the UK. Sadly, they were absent when Bill died and return with a deep sense of loss at his passing. Their time away included Retreat time at the Holy Island of Lindisfarne and with the Sisters of the Order of the Holy Paraclete at St Hilda's Priory, Whitby. At both these places they connected with our Celtic Heritage, the amazing devotion of saints from 7th & 8th centuries of the Christian era, and the beauty and ruggedness of the North east England coastline.
In Terry's absence, Deacon the Reverend Rochelle Grace oversaw St Anne's Parish ministries and life. We are deeply indebted to her loving leadership and rejoice with her now as she proceeds to ordination as a Priest in the Church early next year.
On Sunday 29th September we worshipped joyfully at St Christopher's, Tawa in a combined service with people from the Parishes of the Porirua Anglican Cluster - Pauatahanui, Whitby, Titahi Bay, Porirua and Tawa.
Last Sunday (16 Oct) saw a full church at St Anne's and we had an intimation that we are moving into a season of Prayer. Last Friday we celebrated St Luke's Day with healing services in St Anne's that gave rise to testimonies to healing in Church on Sunday.
From Wednesday 30th October we are scheduling an additional prayer service weekly 2-3pm Wednesdays in St Anne's. While we will always pray for particular personal needs as they come to our notice; we will be praying for the development of the Porirua Anglican Churches. As we move towards the end of 2019 and anticipate the new year we live with a deep sense that God has something new for us. We are keen to discern what that is and what is required of us. Whether or not you can come regularly to our weekly prayer meets, please do pray with us and feed back to us your discernment....
We congratulate those who have been elected to the Porirua City Council including new mayor Anita Baker and prayerfully commend them to God's blessing and wisdom.
And as we go to Press we have just received news that the Reverend Peter Watson vicar of Pauatahanui Parish has just been appointed to St Matthew's in Masterton beginning in the new year. Congratulations Peter; commiserations Pauatahanui.
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.
Yesterday the liturgical theme at St Anne's was "The Baptism of the Lord." We thought about what Jesus' baptism in the River Jordan by John the Baptist means. While Jesus' baptism was not a baptism of repentance as ours is - we believe that Jesus had nothing to repent of - it was an action identifying with his and our humanity and it was a public declaration by God that He was the Messianic Son of God who is to be heeded. Jesus' baptism is similar to ours in that the Holy Spirit came upon Him; something we expect to happen when we are baptised and/or confirmed. We won't go into the connection here between baptism and confirmation as understood by Anglicans, other than to say that the Spirit is at work in both rites.
The important question I would like to pose today is, "Are you baptised and if not might it be the right time to consider being baptised?" We are preparing for a baptism service, possibly at the end of February. If you would like to join a group who are preparing for baptism please make contact. This group will meet over four weekly sessions during January and February beginning the week of 21 January. Participation in the group will invite you to explore the meaning of baptism. You may decide to proceed to baptism (possibly on 24th February), you may choose to wait longer or, you may decide baptism is not for you. Whatever your decision it will be respected.
So, if you are an adult or a teenager who would like to explore baptism for yourself; or if you are the parent or guardian of a child for whom you would like to consider baptism, this group is for you. I'd love to chat with you about joining with us.
Members of the Porirua Anglican Communities