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29 November to 5 December 2015

Letter from Hugh

This is the first Sunday of Advent when we begin our journey to Christmas through our lectionary readings.  Alongside we follow stories of the work Christian World Service does on our behalf, which reminds us that walking with Christ is about transforming the world by transforming lives.

I began the week with a quick trip to the office to shift the chairs for Music and Movement then Liz and I attended the Community Board Leadership Day.  The keynote speaker was Dr Peter Cammock, who some will remember spoke to our Community Comment some years ago.  Peter is no longer full time at Canterbury University, but is still working in his consultancy business and guest lecturing at both Canterbury and Otago universities.  He held the audience spellbound as he gave a strong and hopeful message to those working in the volunteer and welfare sectors.  The other main speaker was Jono Campbell from Te Ora Hou, a youth-based organisation that provides a number of innovative programmes for youth at risk.  As usual, it was also a good chance to network and build relationships with others working in this community.  All our Community Board members and our two City Councillors attended at least some of the programme, along with church and NGO representatives.  A number of people commented on the great progress on our building. 

The venue the North City Church which has tremendous facilities that prompted some interesting dreaming about how we can utilise our new complex.  When I returned late afternoon the wooden framing for the skylight was well under way, one window was in place and battens were being fixed over the building paper ready for the weather boards.

Tuesday evening was the Methodist Synod at Rangiora which Jennifer Delany and I attended.  It was a long meeting, slowed by the fact that there were decisions to be made that involved money.  Some people were reluctant to make a decision in case there was a better use for the money in the future. 

On Wednesday morning I joined Lindsay and Jody in the door knocking campaign with the people from St Christopher’s.  Each of us partnered one of the veteran volunteers and I let them introduce us and I kept the records.  It was a brilliant sunny day and most people were OK, but appreciative of the call.  However, we all encountered people who still had issues and they really appreciated the written information we were able to leave with them.  

Our parish council met on Wednesday evening and Thursday morning I was back on the door knocking campaign and probably a late night sermon writing session so that the final work on Sunday’s worship will be completed on Friday.

Christian World Service Christmas Appeal

The appeal period is from today, the beginning of Advent.

Once again special envelopes are available for making donations and bulletins will feature the special features of the season.

There are also leaflets featuring the Gifted range of gifts you may like to consider as part of your generosity at this time of the year. This is another service provided by C.W.S.

Christmas dinner

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.


Rebuild report

The roof is in place and some windows have been installed. The ‘sky-light’ that runs the length of the building is being installed. The inside maze of timber walls continues to expand and building paper now covers the walls, in readiness for the cladding.

Photographs will again become the best evidence of progress, though the sounds from within the paper surround still indicate a high level of activity from the builders.

There is at present fewer piles of wood lying about to indicate the internal walls are just about complete.

Climate change conference—Paris

30 November to 11 December 2015. The conference is on-now and we await an outcome that will meet the needs of many small Pacific states.

The Parish Council report for November

The Parish Council met last Wednesday for the final meeting in 2015.

Hugh noted in his report that he and the two Bills, along with Gordon Prier, who is installing our audio-visual equipment, had a walk through the new building on Wednesday the 18th, as part of the regular fortnightly meeting with the architect and builders. A number of details were clarified.  In January we will talk with the architect and builders about a suitable opening date, but in the meantime, it might be good to agree on a process for deciding the form the opening will take.

Hugh added, on Wednesday I began playing my part in the post-earthquake door knocking campaign (with St Christopher’s Church).  Thank you to Lindsay and Jody for also volunteering to be part of this worthwhile campaign, which will help raise the profile of the parish and give us a better understanding of part of our neighbourhood.

In her report Liz noted that the breakfast church, along with some members of the 10am congregation, are getting together to do a carol sing-out in the week leading up to Christmas.

Liz added, for future planning, she and Hugh spent last Friday morning looking at planning for getting into the new building.

“As part of this, Jody and I have had an idea with a mutual friend of ours, Dee.  We have been thinking about how we can be intentionally multigenerational and looking after the well-being of the whole person, in terms of providing for the mental, physical and spiritual wellbeing as well as intergenerational interaction.

We are wondering how the parish would feel about our offering a sit and be fit class, in conjunction with Music and Movement and part of a bigger community coffee morning in the new building.  The idea would be that Dee, who is doing a few of these types of classes around the city and who is a resident in this community, would lead them on the same basis Jody does Music and Movement, and then the coffee afterwards unites the two groups and allows for interaction.  This is a sounding out suggestion at this stage and from here I can work on a full proposal”.

Various plans for next year are being considered and actively pursued. There will be special emphasis on the Breakfast Church and 10AM congregations being more integrated.

There may be sources of funding for some of the planned programmes, that we may be able to tap into. Funding, generally, will be continue to be kept under close review.

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