On April 14 we celebrate Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem, but the mood of that city soon changes as we move into Holy Week and begin to journey through Holy week to Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and on to Easter day and the great celebration of Christ’s Resurrection. On Easter morning, we are reminded that violence, destruction, and death do not have the last say. The empty tomb is the first witness that God has done a new thing and the season erupts with joyful alleluias. The Season of Easter is 50 days long and leads to Pentecost Day when the church celebrates the gift of God’s spirit.
I think most people in New Zealand are keen to ensure that the violence, death and destruction that occurred in two Christchurch mosques on Friday March 15 also did not have the last say either. The tragic loss of 51 lives was such a violent act but I am hoping the acceptance, love and compassion that have been poured out since the event will not become forgotten and lost with the passage of time. I appreciated the statements made by our senior bishops at the time which you will find later in the Messenger. I must add however that Bishop Ross Bay’s reflections on Romans Chapter 12 beginning at verse 9 provided us with the opportunity to ponder and to consider not only in light of the recent events but also in our own lives. “Let love be genuine”. The epistle continues with ways to show love but that statement is so important. Let OUR love be genuine.
If the love we have seen poured out in the past week is carried by each and every one of us into the future, our community will be a much happier and richer place.
St Andrew’s was open for candle lighting and prayer for the week and on the following Friday we did ring the bell 50 times, once for each life lost.
Bob and I attended the gathering on the Friday evening. We had invited people into the church and extended the hand of friendship. Bob and I are about to visit a young Muslim family for coffee. I met them on social media this week as they thanked us for our messages. I have spoken with the Iman and we are keen to begin some dialogue with interested people so we can begin to increase our understanding. Both faiths proclaim the love and peace that God seeks for our world but we have different channels to that point. For us of course it is Christ through whom we pray, for other faiths this is different. We have the opportunity to demonstrate our acceptance of all people in seeking to make a loving, compassionate community.
It is out of Christ’s love for humanity, including for those who were rejected by others in the city of Jerusalem that Jesus sought justice. It is for seeking this justice for all that Christ sacrificed his life and so offering new life, peace, love and comfort to all.
So as we journey toward the Cross and Resurrection let us remember to pause and give thanks to God for Christ’s life on earth where he sought justice, love, peace, compassion, reconciliation, acceptance and joy for all people.
As we heard and learnt about the faith of the Muslim people there is one thing at least that we need to ponder — what would our community be like if we as Christians all remembered to pray at least five times a day?
May you all experience the peace, love, joy and hope of Christ anew this Easter.
Blessings to you all.
The veil of darkness
Transformed to the brightest light.
The most dreadful end
Became the most beautiful beginning.
The depths of despair
Fade to reveal hope everlasting.
The curse of death
Defeated by eternal life.
Thank you Lord, for the wonder of Easter.
Our love should not be just words and talk, it must be TRUE LOVE which shows itself in action.
Marks of the True Christian
Let Love be Genuine
Romans Chapter 12
9 Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good;
10 Love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honour.
11 Do not lag in zeal, be ardent in spirit, serve the Lord.
12 Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer.
13 Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers.
14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them.
15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.
16 Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly; do not claim to be wiser than you are.
17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil, but take thought for what is noble in the sight of all.
18 If it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.
19 Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave room for the wrath of God; for it is written, ‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.’
20 No, ‘if your enemies are hungry, feed them; if they are thirsty, give them something to drink; for by doing this you will heap burning coals on their heads.’
21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
Statement from Archbishops Philip Richardson and Don Tamihere
joint leaders of the Anglican Church in Aotearoa New Zealand
We are shocked at the appalling and horrific acts of violence that occurred in Christchurch.
We feel utterly saddened for those who have lost their lives, and for their families and loved ones who mourn them. Indeed, we mourn with them as fellow citizens and members of the same human whānau, and we utterly condemn the despicable and cowardly acts of violence that took their lives.
The freedom of worship and religious life is an absolute right to all in this land. We choose to stand with our Muslim brothers and sisters and support their continued and inalienable right to live and worship here in peace.
All of us who live here in Aotearoa New Zealand must stand in solidarity in the face of such evil — and we call upon Anglicans throughout Aotearoa New Zealand to uphold all those affected in prayer, and to respond to this act by rejecting the rhetoric of hatred and religious intolerance, and to show compassion and kindness to all our neighbours who wish to live here in peace.”
Archbishop Philip Richardson, Senior Bishop of the New Zealand Anglican dioceses, Archbishop Don Tamihere, Pihopa o Aotearoa
People are often unreasonable and self-centred. Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.
If your are honest, people may cheat you. Be honest anyway.
The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough. Give your best anyway.
For you see, in the end, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.
O God, Give peace to your people,
peace among faiths
peace among nations,
peace in our dwellings,
and peace in our hearts:
turn our hearts to your ways;
and give us peace.
The great gift of Easter is hope
Christian hope which makes us have that confidence in God,
in his ultimate triumph, and in his goodness and love,
which nothing can shake.
Mark Your Calendar
Lenten Sharing Group
During the season of Lent we will be holding some Lenten discussions on a Sunday morning after the 8am service and Mondays at 7pm.
Wednesday April 3
Meet in church at 10am followed by meeting in lounge.
Guest speaker Sandra Gibbons. All Welcome.
Indoor and Outdoor Easter Garden displays
Open April 7-27
Harvest Festival services 8am & 9.30am
Sunday April 7 at St Andrew’s
Please bring along an item of food to share with people in need in our community
Combined Contemplative Prayer Service
7pm Sunday April 7 at St Andrew’s
Handel Consort & Quire Concert
3pm, Sunday April 14 — Haydn’s Creation
Women’s Fellowship Eucharist and Outing
10am, Thursday April 18
6.30pm, April 18, meal and hand-washing service.
Sunday April 7
8am & 9.30am ~ Harvest Festival services
11.15am Seniors service — Nora Brown
7pm Combined Contemplative Service at St Andrew’s
Sunday April 14
8am & 9.30am ~ Services St Andrew’s
11.15am Buckland Service
3pm Handel’s Quire and Consort performing Haydn’s Creation
Thursday April 18
6.30pm Maundy Thursday
Meal and hand-washing service
Friday April 19
11am Good Friday Reflective Service
Sunday April 21
Easter Day services
8am & 9.30am ~ St Andrew’s Pukekohe
11.15am St Paul’s Buckland
Thursday April 25
Saturday April 27
7pm The Armed Man performance at Pukekohe High School. Franklin Community Choir
Sunday April 28
8am & 9.30am ~ St Andrew’s
Note: NO St Paul’s Buckland service
2pm The Armed Man at Pukekohe High School
Harvest Festival, Sunday April 7
Services 8am and 9.30am
If you are able please bring along a food item to share with those people in need in our community.
This may be fresh fruit or vegetables or a non-perishable item for our food parcels.
Celebrate World Earth Day with us
Saturday April 27 & Sunday April 28
Footbridge Centre for Innovation & Sustainability, 59 Chamberlain Rd, Bombay.
Bring your log of wood for our biochar fire and learn how you can help our environment.
Saturday April 27, 1pm-5pm, Sunday April 28, 1pm-5pm, seminars at 3pm Fun and activities for children * The Charcoal Fire * Food * Biological treatment of agricultural pests and diseases * Holding global warming to well below 2C * Biochar’s role in sequestering atmospheric carbon
Cherished Earth, Papa-tū-ā-nuku — he taonga, he tapu. A Climate Justice Initiative of the Anglican Diocese of Auckland
What does sustainability mean to you?
One dictionary defines it as “the ability to be maintained at a certain rate or level”.
Let’s consider water. On the one hand, we have had enough flooding locally to realise that we do not have a water flow (rate) problem. On the other hand, the dry period we have experienced this year has, for many, severely tested the availability (level) of water.
What this tells me is that we do not have a water flow problem but instead, have an issue with water storage. That problem is easily fixed with the local collection and storage of rain water. This concept, a rainwater harvesting system, is what we have in the St Andrew’s food garden. The consequence is that in this growing season just finishing, we have not used town water to keep the garden green.
In our food garden, then, is a climate and water sustainability action that anyone can replicate at home.
The food garden also features waste sustainability: recycling food and garden wastes to apply to the garden as fertiliser.
And the garden increases food sustainability and energy sustainability by growing our own food locally, and avoiding the carbon emissions from transporting food.
I prefer a more compelling definition of sustainability: meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.
This is what last Friday’s global School Strike for Climate Action was all about. In what may well have been the largest global day of climate action ever, these young people are coming of age at a crucial time in our response to climate change. They will be part of the generation that has to face the consequences of damaging actions to which they have contributed little.
Here are two climate/sustainability actions that you can take to help ensure their future is as fulfilling as our past has been.
One is to join us on the Grow Your Own Food course that starts at St Andrew’s on Wednesday April 3. For six Wednesday evenings, from 7.15 pm to 8.30, we will cover food growing: from soil organisms, through when to plant seeds and seedlings and crop rotations, to planning your own easy-as productive food garden.
Second is to plan on coming to our 2019 Earth Day event (on Sunday April 28) where we will take the next essential action in mitigating climate change: removing carbon from the atmosphere.
Ph. 09-238 1357 | 021-463686
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The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace
Franklin Community Choir and the Armed Man Orchestra
Composer: Karl Jenkins; Conductor: Linden Moyle; Soloists: Mary Kelsey, Katie Trigg, David Bull, Dragan Atamatov
Saturday April 27, 7pm and Sunday April 28, 2pm, Pukekohe High School Hall
An Easter prayer for teenagers and older children
you have overcome death
And conquered every fear
I could imagine.
Help me to live each day
You are alive.
That You are bigger
or any situation
and that Your power is real.
you’re my hero
and I’m walking with you.
Palms Rest Home: 10.30am Tuesday April 2
Palms Hospital: 11am Tuesday April 9
Lakeside Rest Home: 10.30am Wednesday April 10
Pukekohe Hospital: 10.30am Wednesday April 17
Possum Bourne Village: 11am Tuesday April 23
Franklin Village: 10.30am Thursday April 25
Possum Bourne Village: 11am Tuesday April 30
Anyone who wishes is welcome to join us at these services
Bible Readings in April
First: Isaiah 43: 16-21
Gospel: John 12: 1-8
Theme: The Fragrance of Life
First: Psalm 118: 1-2, 19-29
Gospel: Luke 19: 28-40
Theme: Palm Sunday
April 21 ~ Easter Sunday
First: Acts 10: 34-43
Gospel: John 20: 1-18
Theme: Easter Day
First: Acts 5: 27-32
Gospel: John 20: 19-31
Theme: Love’s Disruptive Witness
Daylight Savings Ends on Sunday April 7
Remember to set your clocks back one hour before you go to bed on Saturday night
Prayer for Easter Morning
Lord we lift our hearts to you.
As the dawn breaks, may we carry the unity we share into every moment knowing that we are one with the risen Christ.
Lord, we lift our eyes to you.
As the sun rises, may this moment stay with us, reminding us to look for the beautiful colours of promise in your word.
Lord, we lift our prayers to you.
As the dew air falls, may we breathe this morning in and know that like the Earth, you sustain us, keep us and work within us always.
And so, we lift our voices to you.
We celebrate the greatest day in history, when Jesus rose from death, defeated darkness and bathed the world in stunning resurrection light.
May we ever live to praise you!