Thank you, thank you for all you did to make this last weekend such a celebrative and happy one.
I know it was a huge amount of work and some of you on Monday looked a little piqued and weary. You have every reason to be so – the days and hours of work cannot be counted.
People love the buildings I do too. What I loved more was seeing people enjoy one another. I loved the music on Sunday, in the morning and in the afternoon at the concert.
I enjoyed watching the children sing their best and do their little play as well as the enjoyment of opening those gift bags at church.
It was great to share the occasion with Desley Simpson, Toni Millar, Andrew Norton, Pip Cheshire, and other community leaders. They were enthusiastic and genuinely glad to be there. I felt proud of our own people – Isabella Tedcastle, Yvonne Cossar and Jeanette Kirkpatrick, the Mathiesons, the Sawtells, the Wus, Miranda, Don Bain, Bruce Anderson, Wendy Caspersonn, Denis Lozica, the Byrnes, Barbara Spiers, Raewyn Dakers, Susan Piaggi and Small Miracles team, Projekt 80, Jeanette Miller, Mark Roxburgh, the Holmes, Gill Blower, Andrea Perez , Sandra Machado, Marcello Napoli, Joshua Yang, the Dunns, Fran Watts, all presenting, leading and preparing so well for the people of our community.
The ones I have mentioned are a stream of consciousness and I know there are so many others. Forgive me but by not mentioning anyone for fear I will offend isn’t the choice I made.
I thank God with a full heart for the weekend.
We all know there is still a lot to do and tonight at 5pm we have a Redevelopment meeting to make a long list of the things that require attention.
There will always be a lot to do but we pause and celebrate and thank God for where we have come to.
The Easter Story is the centre of the life of the Christian, it is the core of our faith. Jesus Christ is the revelation of God for the Christian. We renew our faith in Jesus every Easter.
It is important to remember and The Holy Week services start tonight
Tuesday - Reflective worship with Ian Kilgour leading us at 7.30pm
Wednesday night is communion led by Bill Duncan at 7.30am
Thursday is the Service of Shadows at 7.30pm This is a very dramatic and ancient form of service. Older children should come to this – don’t keep them from the power of the readings.
Good Friday starts at 9.00am at our church and then we journey down to St Philips for the second part of the service. Some are needed to help with morning tea at st Philips following the service. If some one could help with hot cross buns who haven’t been able to contribute to the last weekend’s events that would be good. They need to be dropped off at the church before Good Friday morning.
Dawn service is on the St Heliers Beach - 6.00am BUT its daylight saving that very day so put your clocks back one hour. Breakfast is on the beach following the service - for a gold coin koha.
I do need assistance with the cooking of the breakfast and seek volunteers who can come at 5.30am and prepare. Please contact 027 271 6182 or call Andrea 575 6098
Easter Day services at the church are 9.00am and 10.30am. Bring flowers to decorate the cross. Easter egg hunt for the children is 9.30am
The Moderator’s message on Sunday, which many of you found so helpful, included a piece of prose from a well-known Christian writer, Jan Richardson.
This prose is speaking of the response we make to the voice of the great I Am at the Burning Bush The great I am calls to us.
I include Jan’s writing for you:-
Blessing at the Burning Bush
You will have to decide if you want this— want the blessing that comes to you on an ordinary day when you are minding your own path, bent on the task before you that you have done a hundred times, a thousand.
You will have to choose for yourself whether you will attend to the signs, whether you will open your eyes to the searing light, the heat, whether you will open your ears, your heart to the voice that knows your name that tells you this place where you stand— this ground so familiar and therefore unregarded — is, in fact, holy.
You will have to discern whether you have defenses enough to rebuff the call, excuses sufficient to withstand the pull of what blazes before you; whether you will hide your face, will turn away back toward— what, exactly?
No path from here could ever be ordinary again, could ever become unstrange to you whose seeing has been scorched beyond all salving.
You will know your path not by how it shines before you but by how it burns within you, leaving you whole as you go from here blazing with your inarticulate, your inescapable yes.
Jan Richardson ©
I conclude with two verses from the Bible that help me in all busy times and when I sense a friend is in need of help or when I need help.
“I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.” Psalm 34:4
God has always been a God of invitation – inviting us to get closer to the Word (the meaning) of life; the presence of light and hope, the inner strength and perfect love that is the great I AM.
God is within and without, around and beyond us – ready to save and restore, ready to work with our response to this great invitation to live fully. Indeed a response is the least we can give to life.
"Come to me all who are burdened and heavy laden and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11: 28
This is more sustaining and life giving than buildings and programmes. This is the meaning that will enable programmes and buildings to be the means of giving and sharing the life of God.
Some of you are travelling now or will travel this Easter. You know to be careful and attentive on the roads.
Some will be glad of a rest at home and a catch up.
The peace of God be with you all.
St Heliers Church & Community Centre - 100 St Heliers Bay Rd - Office 09 5756098