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.
Porirua Anglicans chose to call the building that is their Centre, Te Whare Karakia when it was blessed by Bishop Ellie Sanderson because they wanted it foremost to be a Prayer Centre. Literally "Whare Karakia" means House of Prayer or more colloquially "Church". A cursory reading of the Gospels of our Lord Jesus Christ makes it very clear that the amazing things that flowed from His ministry were the result of praying. Nothing has changed and the amazing things we experience as we see lives and situations changed are the outcome of prayer to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, before they are anything else.
In recent weeks we have prayed for four (I suspect young) people who have requested prayers through our web form at Porirua Anglican. In responding to their requests today, after weeks of prayer, I have invited them to each report back how it is for them now. I believe each of these people has been touch by the love and power of God. My request to them to respond is not so that we get a tick for our successful praying, there's no humility in that. Rather that they notice and express their benefits and ultimately give thanks to God for these. St Paul writing to the Philippians in chapter 4 was strong on encouraging the blessed to return thanks,
4 Always be glad because of the Lord! I will say it again: Be glad. 5 Always be gentle with others. The Lord will soon be here. 6 Don't worry about anything, but pray about everything. With thankful hearts offer up your prayers and requests to God. 7 Then, because you belong to Christ Jesus, God will bless you with peace that no one can completely understand. And this peace will control the way you think and feel.
8 Finally, my friends, keep your minds on whatever is true, pure, right, holy, friendly, and proper. Don't ever stop thinking about what is truly worthwhile and worthy of praise. 9 You know the teachings I gave you, and you know what you heard me say and saw me do. So follow my example. And God, who gives peace, will be with you.
Luke 17:11-19 is a Gospel story about ten lepers who were cleansed and healed by Jesus. Only one came back, prostrated himself before Jesus and said thank you. Only he had the privilege of hearing Jesus's words of affirmation, "Your faith has made you well." Thanksgiving is a primary task for the soul that wants peace and blessing from God. Don't forget to say thank you. Mum was so right when we taught me to do that.
Members of the Porirua Anglican Communities