13 to 19 November 2015
Letter from Hugh
This Sunday we are holding our traditional readings and carols service in the morning, for a number of reasons. We focussed on the ecumenical nine lessons and carols at Christ the King, which was a great success and a number of our people attended. Recent attendances at our own carol evenings have been declining. We are also operating in temporary premises and using volunteers for our music. All of which means that we run out of time and people for extra seasonal events as everyone gets caught up in pre-Christmas events.
The two weeks with door knocking mornings certainly cut into my routine tasks time, but I felt the effort was very worthwhile and look forward to doing some more of our parish area in February. I have also recently attended the volunteers’ lunch at WesleyCare, the Christian World Service Christmas party, and we have given the traditional roof shout for the builders. On one level these are social occasions, but they are also networking activities that keep us in touch with the wider church and the social service and community agencies that we support and also support us.
As I write this, Liz is busy making last minute preparations for our annual Fun Day and it will be interesting to see how we cope with the limited space of our temporary situation. The Spring Barbecue gave us a practise run, but hopefully, with a good weather forecast, a good leaflet delivery, a full colour advertisement in the Mairehau, and notices in the local school newsletters, we will have a much bigger crowd than attended the barbecue, so it will be interesting. Of course, by the time you read this, we will know just how interesting. This is the last year of funding for Summer of Fun events, so we need a successful event to carry our enthusiasm and reputation into the future of better facilities, but also the need to find alternative funding.
The Fun Day is about giving ourselves to the community and is a vital part of making friends with our neighbourhood and making it easier for people to join us. For a biblical mandate for our Fun Day we need go no further than the feeding of the five thousand. Jesus asked his disciples to feed the people that were there and didn’t put any preconditions on their attendance.
As we look to bring our new complex into mission, that open food fellowship of fun and food will become an important part of the ‘friend raising’ that will enliven all our activities, break down the suspicion so many people have of the church and encourage others to join our faith journey. Doing things for others might even reenergise our own faith commitment.
News and Notices
Support a Family
The Christchurch Methodist Mission (CMM) is again promoting Support a Family at Christmas Time and St Albans Uniting will again take part. Special envelopes are available at the back of Studio 131.
Christian World Service Christmas Appeal
Donation envelopes are still available at the back of Studio 131.
Averil Cullen again offers Christmas Day dinner to anyone wanting good company on the day. Come along to 90 Kellys Road, but please let Averil know in advance, for numbers.
The issue for December has arrived. It includes a letter to the editor that has the title Are Cooperating Ventures killing Methodism. Interesting! You will have to read the letter yourself to discover what the writer had to say on the issue.
We have a few copies of the December issue to give away
Call for help
Helpers are urgently needed for Princess Margaret Hospital Sunday services between now and Christmas. Anyone able to help, please telephone PMH Chaplain, Sandra Wright-Taylor, on 337 7899 Extension 66582. Please leave a message if there is no answer.
The exterior walls are starting to go up and as the building paper is covered up we can begin to see just what our new church will look like. Once the outside is more-or-less complete, the interior fit-out will move ahead rapidly. The appearance of the gardens, paving and walkways is not all that difficult to visualise, either. Such signs of growth, regrowth-really, should put our minds to planning the only growth that really matters. People, people and more people, all ages, from all walks of life, ought to be in our thoughts as we move towards our opening. Rebuild of the complex is a challenge financially, but rebuild of the people will be more complex. Continue praying for it.