Reflection on Silence from Ian Kilgour:
We often fear silence because in those moments we have to face who we really are. Somehow silence makes us feel uneasy and so we fill the silent gaps in conversation with superficial talk. But if we persevere and drill down into ‘deep silence’ we can find our true self and know ourselves deeply loved by God. As God said to Hosea, “I will lead you into the desert and speak to your heart”. Approaching the Cross Jesus also needed times of silence in the garden where he could commune with God and have confirmed that he was doing the will of his Father.
Thomas Merton has said, “The highest form of prayer is not a prayer for anything. It is a deep profound silence, in which we allow ourselves to be still and know our God. In that silence we are changed, we are calmed, we are illumined.”
Let us, then, labour for an inward stillness -
An inward stillness and an inward healing;
That perfect silence where the lips and heart
Are still, and we no longer entertain
Our own imperfect thoughts and vain opinions,
But God alone speaks in us, and we wait
In singleness of heart, that we may know
His will, and in silence of our spirits,
That we may do his will, and do that only."
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
This week our theme for Lent is Silence.
This Sunday 9.00am and 10.30am Stan is the preacher assisted by David Carden and there will be special notes for anyone wanting those.
We will have them ready for you on Sunday morning and after that on the web site.
Pray for the Fathers and Kids overnighter to be held on the Saturday 5th and coming home on Sunday 6th April this will take place at Tauwharanui.
Gary Taylor is leading this with the support of our staff, Joshua and Svet.
Urgent need: For some time I have been working with a family trying to overcome the problems re health, finding hope, and financial difficulties related to their living in a very leaky home. The parents have three teenage children all at college. Recently, one of the children developed quite serious health issues and it has become necessary for them to move from their home.
They can afford to pay reasonable rent and they need to stay in this area for schooling . They are looking for a house for just a few weeks whilst accommodation is sorted out through the bank. This is very hard working, decent family who have fallen on very difficult times. If you can help with this need in any way or know of someone, could you contact Barbara Spiers. email@example.com 027 201 1615
Events and Worship
Notice: Day Light Saving finishes 6th April - put clocks back one hour
Palm Sunday Celebrations 13th April - change of times
Now only one service.
This has been decided because of all the comments received from parents, choir members and also Denis our Music director. I am happy to oblige.
Reasons given to me for the one service and change of times
· The music by the combined choir is very special and let’s offer it to everyone.
· The children’s choir is featured and one performance to a packed church will work better for these very young ones.
· We have a congregational meeting so one service makes likely that more people will stay for this.
· We have a drama and simple Passover meal at night so one service in the morning will have people coming back for that very different event and meal.
· There is the set up for the Easter Exhibition – Sights and Sounds of Easter in the church and foyer and all the helpers volunteering have more time with only one morning service.
Repeat!! April 13th Palm Sunday worship - 9.30am is the new time NOT 9.00am and not 10.30am!
The worship celebration beginning with Palm and Choirs procession is at 9.30am.
Palm Sunday Programme
9.30am - Worship(Palm and Choirs procession)
10.30am - Sunday Godzone for all children and young people whilst the congregational meeting is on
10.30am – Congregational meeting.
11.15am - Brunch/Lunch – a filled roll and sweet
Setting up of Easter Exhibition - This will take place all afternoon so that people can help when they can.
5.00pm Palm Sunday Night Drama @ 6pm & Light Meal- enactment of the Last Supper preceded by simple meal of lamb & salad. We remember Jesus' last supper and enter into the drama and tension of that dark night, Maundy Thursday. Meal is $5 per person
The Easter Sights and Sounds - Mon 14th to Thurs 17th April
An exhibition, an educational experience of the Christian story of Easter which will help us journey into the historic events of long ago as well as the present hope and suffering in our world.
Suitable for all ages. it is set up as a simple exhibition in our church..
Easter Sights & Sounds Exhibition Content
· Easter traditions in Germany, Spain and Eastern Europe
· The Passage of Humanity – Syria, Ukraine, Philippines, Central African Republic
· The Last Supper Table
· At the foot of the Cross drama
· Story Tent - true life stories every day
· Meet Dietrich Bonheoffer “ - a mime and soliloquy”
· A prayer space- solitude, silence, stillness, simplicity - reflect on the symbols of the
Easter story, light a candle and pray for the world
· The empty tomb –place a pebble to remember people who have died and who have
blessed our lives.
3 Daytime Sessions from Monday 14th April to Thursday 17th April
10.00am 2.00pm and 4.30pm
Browsing invited in between.
Monday & Wednesday Night 7.00pm
Other Holy Week events
1) Community BBQ with lunar eclipse on the cliff top of Glover Park(Waitara Street) come at 6.00pm. bring food to bbq. The eclipse commences at 7.00pm. St Heliers Community Centre is organising the bbq aspect for all interested in what will be a spectacular eclipse. (If it rains and there’s only clouds, then it’s off! rain date in 70 plus years!!)
2) Thursday Service of Shadows 7.30pm (Maundy Thursday)
A dramatic 45 minute worship with extinguishing of candles accompanied by readings from the Biblical Narrative.
3) Good Friday - combined worship with St Philips Anglican - commencing St Heliers Presbyterian 9.00am. Concludes at St Philips with Hot Cross Buns
Easter Day Combined Churches Dawn Service on St Heliers Beach at 6.30am
Sunday 20th April
(sunrise is officially 6.50am). Simple breakfast on the beach - gold coin koha.
Easter Day Church is at 9.00am and 10.30 with dressing the empty cross with flowers. (We ask people to bring flowers, or colourful leaves or even one flower.) Easter Egg Hunt on Easter Day at 9.30am for all children; 0 - 12 years!
Recently, two small groups from our church did the Tongariro Crossing. Stan and I joined one of those groups and to our surprise we both made it!
We had help from the team for which we will be forever grateful. It was a wonderful experience. Thank you to Jeanette Shaw for her initiative in getting this organised.
Stan and I could only take this walk because a very strong team of leaders and helpers led worship last Sunday. Thank you especially to Rev Glyn Cardy, Andrew and Emily Lienert, the Bay Singers, Denis Lozica and the Musos. It is the spirit of the help that is such an encouragement to me and that spirit and leadership will be there for the April 6th worship when Stan and I will be in Australia.
Silence: Home groups and individuals have all been thinking more abut Solitude, Stillness, Silence and Simplicity as part of our living with Space for God.
How helpful this has been to so many. I conclude with some words from Stan’s study sheet prepared for some of the study groups this week.
“Silence is not the absence of something but the presence of everything.”
Psalm 62: 5 “For God alone O my soul, wait I silence, for my hope is from God.”
My love and prayers that silence will come as a gift and that you will use it, and that it will speak to you clearly of love and hope and your purpose for this day.