Those two words have almost become a motto for our country since the beginning of lockdown. To me this should always be our way of life as it is an underlying principle in our Gospel.
The comment became part of many TV presentations as we prepared for the lockdown period and so we were reminded to be kind to those who were with us in our bubble and those with whom we could communicate by phone, social media or other methods while ensuring that we took good care of ourselves.
Unfortunately being kind to those in our bubble did not always work that well for some families or relationships. The constraints increased the tension in some bubbles resulting in increased domestic violence and breakdown of relationships. We have assisted with the resulting needs in several of these situations. The constraints of lockdown
allowed for increased alcohol and substance abuse. Twenty-four hours a day seven days a week contact for some couples where there was already some tension was too much especially when there was limited external support.
Reduced incomes through job loss, reduced hours of work for many and wage reductions for others certainly resulted in increased mental health issues again at a time when external support was limited.
In some neighbourhoods, kindness was shown by dropping off items of food and such like to people in our neighbourhoods and this was great to see and hear about. Soon some of the pain began to kick in. Stress and tension mounted for some where the people were confined to their bubble for 24 hours a day and seven days a week.
Issues escalated, especially for those living alone where anxiety began to set in. It is healthy to talk about issues that we faced and maybe we are still facing, so we can support each other.
As I had been asked by our MP Andrew Bayly to co-ordinate support for our elderly and vulnerable people, referrals began to roll in from many organisations, and individuals.
– Medical centre referring elderly who were too afraid to leave their homes and yet needing supplies.
– Plunket referring families, young couples or solo parents who were losing their jobs or having wages cut.
– Schools referring families in need for similar reasons.
So the list goes on.
The requests for food would often accompany requests for help with warm clothing especially for the children. We are so lucky to have our Op Shop and wonderful team of volunteers. They so willingly help with these provisions.
Pukekohe Rotary and Pukekohe Community Action along with Bromley Park providing eggs, New World providing groceries that have damaged packaging or are close to expiry date and Wilcox vegetables are also a great help.
It is so good to see the community and organisations working together to share resources and to make referrals and help our vulnerable community members.
It was an extremely busy but rewarding time but we were so fortunate to be well supported by people within the church and many from the community who appreciated the work we are doing in the community.
Our reading for last week from MATTHEW 10: 40 -42 tells us very clearly that this is the work that God calls us to do:
“Whoever welcomes you welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. Whoever welcomes a prophet in the name of a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward; and whoever welcomes a righteous person in the name of a righteous person will receive the reward of the righteous; and whoever gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones in the name of a disciple — truly I tell you, none of these will lose their reward.”
Of course it took a lot more effort from people in the time of Christ to provide a cup of cold water than it does for us today when we can just turn on a tap. However it does remind us that our giving of even what we consider is a little is worth so much to the recipient.
As a parish we are fortunate to be able to support so many people who are in need. This is only through the generosity of the parishioners and the community. We have been able to deliver 921 pairs of pyjamas to children in our schools in lower socio-economic areas, who have been identified by their principals and teachers as being in need.
We are still receiving requests from individual families who are particularly challenged at this time. Currently our food parcels requests have been 263. The Sikh community also made a great contribution of food in our area, as did our local growers.
It has been sad to have families mourning the loss of loved ones without being able to be physically united with family and friends and in particular we have had services affected by the very necessary restricted numbers able to attend and border restrictions, but we do need to consider the best for our country and community. Our thoughts and prayers continue for the families of Judith Meyer and Isobel Castle who have both been very active in our parish. The readings from our lectionary have fitted so well with the issues we have been facing over the past few months.
Thank you all for your part in making Pukekohe and surrounding area the wonderful caring community that it is.
Wonderful feedback on the Pyjamas from Tuakau Primary School
Tuakau Primary School had a sleep over for Matariki.
Here are some of the children wearing the Pyjamas that our wonderful community donated.
In their school newsletter they wrote:
“Thank you to Pukekohe Community Action / Pukekohe Anglican Church and Middlemore Hospital. Ruma Tahi & Ruma Rua love their PJs!!!”
FOR YOUR DIARY
Sorting of Op Shop clothes
Monday 5th July, 9.30am.
Saturday 18th July – Garage Sale
at St Andrew’s 8am until 11.30am.
Items for the garage sale can be left around by the garage behind the Reid Anderson Hall.
Shared lunch and farewell to Noeline Craighead
Please sign the form in the church foyer to give an indication of numbers likely to attend
Sunday July 19th 11.45am, Reid Anderson Hall
Please bring food to share.
This event has been delayed because of the Covid-19 situation.
All of our groups are now up and running with the exception of
THANK YOU TO PAULINE AND RENTON BROWN AND THE SUSTAINABILITY GARDEN GROUP
The garden at the rear of the vicarage has been planted with vegetables for winter.
Later this month we will be planting a Puriri Tree on the Queen St side of the vicarage lawn. This is in memory of John Allen who contributed so much to our understanding and awareness of the need for climate change action from the parish.
A new seat for the vicarage garden will also be blessed.
NOELINE PHILIPS MEMORIAL SEATS
Over time the condition of these have deteriorated and it has been necessary to replace one of these along with the memorial plaque and this also will be placed in the garden shortly.
There are automatic payment forms ready for completion on the table at the back of church if people would like to
contribute to the life and work of the Parish by automatic payments. Or deposit into ANZ Bank Account No. 06 0405 0012157 00
For Envelope Giving ~ you can join the envelope system, contact our Parish recorder Keith Gardner – Ph. 238-9928 Many thanks, Vestry
If you do not receive an email copy of The Messenger this month or there was not one in the basket in the Church foyer with your name and address on it, please complete one of the Parish Membership forms from the back of the
church and post it through the slot by the office door.
Many thanks, Jan