ARE WE READY?
Just a month to go until we celebrate again the birth of the Christ Child and I am sure we are all praying we will be able to gather for this celebration without the restrictions we have experienced during the year.
But first there is the season of Advent, the time of reflection and preparation. I am hoping that things will settle down from this time of madness and we will take the time to prepare well, keep calm and look forward to some family time. Having said that, I am very aware many families won’t be able to come together as they had planned for Christmas this year. The separation from loved ones who are not able to be with us through the closure of borders and the need to quarantine is a challenge.
Please do try to take time this Advent season to remember the true reason for the celebration of Christmas and God’s wonderful gift of Jesus to us. There are so many ways in which we have been very fortunate in New Zealand this year but there are also many ways in which a significant sector of our community have suffered, usually
through no fault of their own.
This Christmas may be a challenge for many people and the greatest gift we may be able to give them could be our love and this may mean sharing of our time with them, not just at Christmas but throughout the year.
It has been a particularly hard year, as we have lost so many very special people during the past 15 months and they and their families will continue to have a very special place in our hearts.
It has also been an extremely busy year for us as a parish in our efforts to support the people in need in our community. To me one of the most encouraging aspects of this is that we have not done this alone.
Our community has been incredibly supportive and encouraging. Food has been so generously donated along with financial donations from so many organisations, businesses and individuals in our community. The people of Pukekohe have been incredibly supportive of those who are in need. The need for such support has not gone away and many people are having to adapt to different ways of living.
At Synod, Pukekohe Parish was again seen as being a parish that cares about people and not just those within the church family but reaching out in so many ways. A huge thank you to you all for the support that you have offered. I am certainly acknowledging that it has been a year of hard work and I think we are all looking forward to some more
relaxed and quieter times. Having said that, we all know that the Christmas season is a challenging time for so many families. Financial challenges, frequent domestic tension as we endeavour to make this time special can result in additional stress in families and on relationships.
This is not the purpose of God’s gift to the world. The gift of hope, peace and love are the most precious gifts in the world. These best come from our spending time with each other, showing care and compassion. If we can but make that the focus of our Christmas starting with giving thanks to God for the gift of the Christ child we can contribute even more to making our world a better place and bringing us closer to how God would have us be.
It is great to welcome Leonie Menzies to the role of office administrator. We are very fortunate to have another caring, welcoming and friendly face in the parish office. Louise has taken on a full-time position with Fonterra and this will give her more time to spend with her mum in Taranaki. She is able to work remotely more easily in her new position. Currently Leonie and I are working on procedures, tidying files in the computer and getting systems in place. To manage this vestry has asked Leonie to work for more hours when hopefully she will have some
uninterrupted time to concentrate on this. Again during this time of transition please bear with us as we work on these developments which make the administration easier in the long run. Thank you Leonie for helping us to move through this time of transition.
If you are travelling please take extra care on our busy roads. Treasure your family, friends and neighbours as we give thanks for the privilege of living in this beautiful land for which we have the responsibility of caring for future generations.
Bob and I wish you all a very blessed and happy Christmas.
OPPORTUNITIES FOR WORSHIP
Sunday Worship Times
Each Sunday 8am & 9.30am Holy Communion
1st Sunday 11.15am Holy Communion (Nora Brown Hall)
SUNDAY 27th DECEMBER PLEASE NOTE ONLY ONE SERVICE 9AM AT ST ANDREW’S
St Paul’s Buckland
2nd & 4th Sundays 11.15am Holy Communion
Sunday 6th Nine Lessons and Carols
7.30pm at St Andrew’s combined with St Patrick’s Catholic Church
Sunday 13th 9.30am Family Christmas Pageant
Thursday 24th Christmas Eve
5pm Children’s Christmas Story
7.30pm Buckland Christmas Eucharist
11pm Christmas Carols and Mass
Friday 25th Christmas Day
8am and 9.30am Christmas Eucharist
27th December only one service 9 am
Readings in Church
Dec 6th, First Isaiah 40:1-11; Gospel Mark 1:1-8
Dec 13th: Psalm 126; John 1:6-8, 19-28
Dec 20th: 2 Samuel 7:1-11;16 Luke 1:26-38
Dec 24th/25th: Isaiah 9:2-7; Luke 2:1-14
Dec 27th: Isaiah 61:10-62:3; Luke 2:22-40
IMPORTANT MEETINGS AND GATHERINGS
Future of St Paul’s, Buckland
7pm Monday 23rd November, Buckland School
For members of the parish and Buckland community members to discuss the future of St Paul’s Church.
Pukekohe Community Action
Thank you to the community for their assistance with our projects during 2020
COME AND HEAR WHAT YOUR SUPPORT HAS ENABLED US TO DO.
It has been a year of great need and it has been a privilege to be able to work together to help the people in the community.
5.30pm to 7pm, Wednesday 25th November, Reid Anderson Hall
Thank you to our Op Shop volunteers
Friday 27th November, 12.30pm in the Parish Lounge
A thank-you lunch for the people who work in our Op Shop, again providing a great community service. The lunch will be followed by their meeting. Many of our volunteers come from the wider Pukekohe community.
St Andrew’s Day, Simple Parish Breakfast – trying again!!!!! Let’s hope this time we are successful.
29th November, 8.45am. For catering purposes please write your name on the list in the church foyer. This is between the 8am and 9.30 services, an opportunity to share in fellowship together. ALL ARE WELCOME
Franklin Community Choir — Saturday 12th December, 3pm
Followed by shared refreshments on the vicarage lawn (weather permitting). Tea and coffee provided. Please bring your glass and any other refreshment you choose and a plate of food to share. Koha donations appreciated.
Handel Consort & Quire Christmas Concert — Sunday 20th December, 5pm
It has been a very changed year for us this year in so many ways. One of these changes has been our inability to hold our usual concerts from the likes of the Handel choir, so it will be great to have them share with us for a Christmas concert.
CHILDREN’S CHRISTMAS BREAKUP
Monday 14th December 5pm
End-of year BBQ with a special visitor for Sunday School Children, Oasis playgroup and Space families. This is a shared meal. Sausages, bread and sauce provided. Please bring a salad or dessert to share and a named gift for your child. There is in bag in the meeting room for these.
It is with regret that we have farewelled Joan McDonald and Joan Balle this month from our retirement village as both of them, at least for the time being, need a higher level of medical treatment. Early December we welcome Judith Meyer to unit 4. We welcome Judith to our community and look forward to seeing her regularly around the premises. Judith is a very regular volunteer in the Op Shop.
Unit Available in St Andrew’s Court
(Behind the church complex)
Please talk to Jan if you would like to know more about this and to view the unit.
Grounds and Maintenance
If your usual route to church has you entering via Queen St you will be pleased to see that at long last the driveway has been fixed. Thank you Richard and Talitha Gibbons for making this happen. This was a project for which Alistair Parke spent a lot of time and effort on the preparatory work. The requirements of plans and such like to gain consent for such projects is very time consuming and your contribution is much appreciated.
Richard is continuing to work with the engineers as we seek to earthquake-proof St Andrew’s Church. This is a major project and again thank you Richard for your work with this.
A couple of weeks ago a piece of the copper guttering was stolen from St Andrew’s Church. This will be replaced when the plumbers are working on maintenance projects around the complex. Currently this is tidying up units 3 and 4 in between residents. While the units are empty it is a good opportunity to do some of the more intrusive
redecorating to ensure the units are well maintained.
While the painters are on site for the units we are hoping to do some of the touch-up painting around the buildings.
The complex will be washed down on Monday 30th November and the contractor will also be spraying the exterior for cockroaches which continue to visit us.
We are very grateful to Pauline and Renton Brown for the way they care for the grounds of the church and the vicarage for us all to enjoy.
For the maintenance of the grounds and to those who assist with lawns and working bees, thank you. It is great being able to go out and pick fresh vegetables for our food parcels and some to the Pukekohe North Pataka Kai. I am always pleased to see that it is the fresh vegetables that are taken first.
Vegetable Garden News
The winter produce has almost finished producing. The second plantings of cauliflowers have been much more
successful than the first. Matt Paul’s suggestion to plant the seedlings close together paid off. The broad beans were a bountiful crop and enjoyed by many.
Keith, Rowena, Lois and Pauline cleared the last of the winter crops and have planted the summer crops: beans, courgettes, sweet corn, silver beet, cucumbers, and tomatoes.
We are glad we have the water tank to water the garden.
The compost bins and the worm farm are working very well. We have already used one bin of compost/mulch for the citrus garden.
We are currently exploring whether or not this would be a good move for the complex and potentially the retirement units but this is very much a work in progress.
We know the financial and family stress increases over the Christmas season. This year with job losses, hours of work cut, and mental and other health issues that have arisen over the year this will be worse than ever. As usual we will be preparing special food parcels for people referred by Victim Support and Plunket. If you would like to add
something extra to these parcels please either drop them in the food basket at the back of church or pop them into the office.
I am hoping we will be able to pop a gift for the children into these parcels so donations of small gifts for girls, boys, or their parents would be much appreciated.
REST HOME AND HOSPITAL SERVICES
Tuesday 1st 10.30am: Palms rest home
Thursday 3rd 10.30am: Franklin Village
Sunday 6th 11.15am: Nora Brown
Tuesday 8th 11am: Palms Hospital
Wednesday 9th 10.30am: Lakeside
Tuesday 22nd 11am: Possum Bourne Village
IT WOULD BE GREAT TO HAVE SOME PEOPLE COME AND JOIN US AT THESE SERVICES TO SING SOME CAROLS.
Health and Safety Policy
THERE IS A DEFIBRILLATOR INSTALLED BY THE OFFICE DOOR
A copy of the Parish Health and Safety Policy along with the processes required for the implementation of the policy is currently available on the shelf at the back of the church, published on our website or available from the parish office.
An evacuation plan is in each area for the church and complex.
Reid Anderson Hall: Assembly area is the car park adjoining the hall unless the location of the emergency situation is on the south wall preventing evacuation on that side of the building. In this case the assembly area is on the
road frontage in front of the church.
Nora Brown Hall: Assembly area is on the road frontage in front of the church or on the vicarage lawn depending on the location of the emergency situation.
Other rooms in the complex: Assembly area move to the vicarage lawn.
St Andrew’s Church: Assembly area is on the road frontage at the front of the church.
St Paul’s Church: Assembly area is on the road frontage at the front of the church.
First aid kits and accident reporting sheets are located:
1. Reid Anderson – In the cupboard over the small hand basin, by the back door in the kitchen.
2. Nora Brown – on the shelf above the microwave. Record sheets are next to the microwave.
3. Parish office – 2nd to top shelf on left side in the back room. The office is locked when unattended.
Forms are to be completed as soon as the accident has been dealt with.
Treatment including resources that are used are to be recorded on the sheet.
Community Programmes at Pukekohe Anglican Church
Space – for you and baby
For the first year of baby’s life.
A number of groups are run each week to keep the age range of the babies within about 3 months. Term time only.
Oasis – Music & Coffee group
A natural progression from Space for preschool children. Mon & Fri 9.15am ~11am. Term time only.
The Selwyn Foundation
For the older members of the community. A hot lunch is available for a small charge. Transport can also be arranged. Tuesday 9.30am
St Andrew’s Seniors fellowship group
For older members of the community – exercise, morning tea and cards. 9.15 am Thursdays.
An after-school group held at 4pm on Thursdays for children who have experienced a significant loss or grief in their lives. An adult programme runs at various times. Phone 0274521366 for information.
Nine Lessons and Carols – Sunday, 6th December, 7.30pm
Community Choir Christmas – Saturday, 12th December, 3pm
Concert, followed by afternoon tea on the vicarage lawn
Family Christmas Pageant – Sunday, 13th December, 9.30am
Children’s Christmas Breakup – Monday, 14th December, 5pm
Handel Christmas Concert – Sunday, 20th December, 5pm
Christmas Eve: Thursday, 24th December
Children’s Christmas Story 5pm
Buckland Christmas Eucharist 7.30pm
Christmas Carols and Mass 11pm
Christmas Day – Friday, 25th December, 8am & 9.30am