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6 to 12 December 2015


Letter from Hugh

The second Sunday in Advent and Christmas now has a real inevitability about it.  The retail world is in overdrive while others suggest we stop calling it Christmas because non Christians might feel excluded.

I am not a Buddhist or Hindu, but I have been made to feel welcome at both the celebration of Buddha’s birthday and the Diwali festival.  There are also other religious and cultural festivals celebrated publicly in New Zealand, and most of us don’t feel excluded from them, or are offended by them.

However I am a person of faith and see value in religious and cultural services and perhaps, atheists feel they can’t do any Christmas shopping because that would be betraying their rejection of faith.  That would certainly be a tragedy to both the retail industry and the market economy.  Maybe Aldous Huxley pointed the secular society in the right direction in his 1932 novel Brave New World, where he suggested that all the crosses had their tops cut off to celebrate the production line initiated by the mass production of Henry Ford’s Model T.  However Henry Ford promised his customers they could have their car any colour as long as it was black and although that could well excite a good number of kiwis, it hardly seems an appropriate colour for the greatest retail festival of the year.  Besides, black has a strong association with rugby, which of course is a religion in New Zealand and that could also offend secularists and of course squash players.  So we would need to flag that idea along with twin peaks, ferns, stars and the Union Jack.

Of course 1932 and the production line were very much part of modernism and any good philosopher will tell you that we are now postmodern, if not heading towards post-postmodernism.  In the post modern world the assembly line is a relic of the past and online ordered, customised production by computer controlled robots, is the order of the day.   

Along with the abolition of mass production and the birth of customised consumerism, a virtual smorgasbord of spiritualities is also a feature of the postmodern world.  What that means is that the majority of people searching for their own spiritual destiny are more inclined to sample a range of spiritualities and religions, rather than lock into a hardened atheism that takes offence at what it cannot understand.

So, instead of trying to say happy holiday when people on zero hour contracts or revolving ninety day trials don’t get holidays, perhaps the retail world could focus on encouraging consumers to overspread all year round and add a catchy tune to the traditional sales jingle that promises salvation, health, wealth and happiness but only if you respond now.

Daily diary and News

Knox Church Christmas concert

THIS AFTERNOON, Sunday 6 December 2015 , commencing 2.30 pm. Venue: Knox Church, corner of Victoria Street and Bealey Avenue.

Cost: Waged $15, unwaged $10, family $25.

Nine Lessons and Carols

TONIGHT, Sunday 6 December at 5 pm.

¨ Christ the King Catholic Church, 90 Greers Road, Burnside.

¨ An Ecumenical service of Christmas lessons and carols by North Western Christchurch churches.

Refreshments will follow the service.

Reverend Alan Leadley

Rev David Bush, the General Secretary of the Methodist Church, has advised us with very deep sadness, of the death of the Rev. Alan Leadley early on Tuesday, 1 December, after a long illness.

Alan died peacefully at home after sharing in a final Communion service with his family the previous night.

Alan’s funeral was held on Friday 4th December at 12.30pm at the Chartwell Cooperating Church, Comries Road, Hamilton.

Messages to the family can be sent to Muriel Leadley, 14 Kenneth Place, Rototuna, Hamilton 3210, or muriel [at] ergoworks [dot] co [dot] nz

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

Special envelopes are available for donations. They are at the back of Studio 131.

There is another article about the CWS partners in this year’s appeal, beginning on page 16.

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

It is difficult to see much from the street and some of the changes are quite subtle, anyway. It may not be long before the skylight along the length of the building is in place. Keep looking though.

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 November Parish Council report

Some people may have been confused by the wording in part Hugh’s report, where he wrote about a meeting in January 2016. It was made to seem the new church would be opened in January 2016. The date was meant to refer to a meeting in January to consider when the new building would be opened. A March opening still looks likely, but we will keep an eye on it!

Another correction!

We succeeded in reducing our cost of printing the weekly bulletin by now spelling our organist’s name correctly; that is with one less ‘n’ There is only one ‘n’ in Diane! Sorry Diane for the lapse.

More on spelling

Please feel free to express the child in you by coming to the Christmas Eve service at 5.30 pm, either in your pyjamas or pajamas. It does not matter which. Night-dresses would avoid the dilemma. But not if you have adopted one of the modern spellings of that garment).

See also ‘Big Oxford’, second edition (1989), volume 12, page 927. The first recorded use in of pyjama English is in 1800. Pajama is preferred in the USof A.

Interesting what you may learn from a kids, Christmas-time activity, don’t you think?

CWS and Advent 2

Today is the second Sunday of Advent and the focus moves to Nicaragua. The theme today is Peace and it is part of the liturgy along with the lighting of the Candle of Peace.

There are other stories to be told about Nicaragua than we can accommodate in the bulletin, but Giselle’s story, and a little bit about her country, appear on pages 12 to 15.

Licensing of Ministry Interns

Carlton Johnstone and Jordan Redding will be licensed for ministry at a special service at The Village Church, Papanui at 4 pm on Sunday, 13 December.

Jordan Redding will also be ordained and inducted at Hope Presbyterian Church Hornby at 6 pm also on Sunday, 13 December. (Advised in Alpine Presbytery Newsletter, 26-11 15).

People Helping People

The November issue of the Presbyterian Support newsletter has arrived.  There are some good, inspiring stories in this little newsletter. Find out what is going on in the church’s welfare area by taking a copy of the newsletter. It is on the form at the back of Studio 131.

Cycles of Hope

This is the two page newsletter of the Christchurch Methodist Mission

Read about Aratupu’s Healthy Heart Award.

Aratupu has recently been given a Healthy Heart award (Rito) from the Heart Foundation. Rito is the first of three levels available and recognises the commitment of staff to create an environment that promotes healthy eating and physical activity.

Marie Benns is the cook at Aratupu and worked hard to ensure that all necessary requirements were met. This included providing a nutrition and physical activity policy and copy of a menu listing five different vegetables used across the week and  a daily fruit serving. The menu was available to parents and Marie provided stories relating to  nutrition and physical activity over the past year. receiving this award underlines Aratupu’s commitment to promoting the holistic wellbeing of children and their whanau.  (Extract from the newsletter).


The summer issue is now available of the Presbyterian quarterly news magazine.

This edition contains articles on overseas mission appropriate for the season of Advent. They are on the form at the back of Studio 131.

Summer of Fun

Friday, 11 December 2011—THIS COMING FRIDAY.

Imaginatively jammed into the small space we have available at 262 Knowles Street!

There are hundreds of fliers to distribute (early in the week if possible).

To make the event a success (as the previous Summer of Fun was) be a volunteer postie and spread the good news.

This might be a good job for the kids after school. Take a bundle of fliers and put them in the letter boxes around where you live!

Two United Nations days to reflect on in ths coming week

Wednesday, 9 December is the International Day of Commemoration and Dignity of the Victims of the Crime of Genocide and of the Prevention of this Crime.

It s quite a title! But genocide on a small or large scale still goes on. In the season of Advent we should not allow ourselves to be lulled into a sense that it does not exist anymore. Read more at:

Thursday, 10 December is World Human Rights Day

On 10 December 1948, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was signed. Read about it at

Advent is a timely reminder of how delicate is the thread of freedom that we hold in our hands. We must strengthen it.

What they said about peace

Abraham Lincoln said: “Avoid popularity if you would have peace.” The great statesman reminds us, as if we needed reminding, how a person may start out with the best intentions in the world, but popularity and power may soon change him into a demagogue.

Lord Acton, a British historian, observed in 1887, "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men."

It is a sobering thought about great men, but history is littered with good men turned bad because they forgot the ideal of service to others.

Dwight D. Eisenhower said: Peace and justice are two sides of the same coin. [In other words: unless people have equality in life and are justly treated, there can be no peace amongst them.]

Rosters and Lectionery


6 December              Rev Hugh Perry

M Steward                 Ernie French

D Steward                  Bruce Baillie

Organist                     Anne Millar

Morning Tea              Jennifer Delaney

                                   Ellen Howard

Reader                       Ernie French

Malachi                    3: 1—4.

Luke                        1: 68—79.

Philippians               1: 3—11.

Luke                         3: 1—6.


13 December            Rev Hugh Perry

M Steward                 Eleanor Monson

D Steward                  Bill Delaney

Organist                     Diane Comyns

Morning Tea              Jennifer Delaney

                                   Margaret Angus

Reader                       Lindsay Evans

Zephaniah                3: 14—20.

Isaiah                       12: 2—6.

Philippians               4: 4—7.

Luke                         3: 7—18.

20 December            Rev Hugh Perry

M Steward                 Rev Bob Coates

D Steward                  Ernie French

Organist                     Diane Comyns

Communion               Jennifer Delaney

                                   Bill Delaney

Morning Tea               Heather Mace

                                   Pam Popenhagen

Reader                       Raewyn Perry

Zephaniah                3: 14—20.

Isaiah                       12: 2—6.

Philippians               4: 4—7.

Luke                         3: 7—18.


24 December           Rev Hugh Perry

Christmas in Pyjamas at 5.00 pm; Traditional service  at 7.30 pm


25 December,  Christmas Day at 9.30 am, Rev Hugh Perry




27 December            Rev Hugh Perry

M Steward                 Lindsay Evans

D Steward                  Bill Delaney


Morning Tea              Jennifer Delaney


Reader                      Bill Pearcy

1 Samuel                   2: 18-20 & 26.

Psalm                        148.

Colossians                 3: 12—17.

Luke                          2: 41—52.


Advertisement about a Sugar Free Christmas


Is that unhealthy post-Christmas feeling inevitable, or could there be an alternative?


What if those alternatives were great tasting, easy and sugar free?

If you’d like to make (this is hands-on) some sugar free Christmas food, catch a taste of festive food that’s fun and have a qualified nutritionist explain what healthy lifestyle choices could look like for you over Christmas, come along and hear—


Delwyn MacKenzie, DHSC, Grad Dip Tchng, PG Dip Sci, MSc. Registered Clinical Nutritionist and Practitioner of Natural Medicine.


St Marks Presbyterian Church Community Lounge,

150 Withells Rd Avonhead


Saturday, 12 December 2015



$20 gets you lunch and takeaway Christmas fare that you will make on site and what might well prove to be a life-saving and enriching experience.


You will need to register by emailing asap:

Rev Alan K Webster at csi [dot] clear [at] gmail [dot] com


Due to cooking limitations and a high anticipated demand, there will be a strict limit to the numbers we can cater for. You must be registered to attend: we are unable to admit people who just turn up.

The Advent candles

The Candle of Hope—We celebrate the Hope we have  in Jesus.

The Candle of Peace—We celebrate the Peace we find in Jesus.

The Candle of Love—We celebrate the Love we have in Jesus.

The Candle of Joy—We celebrate the Joy we have in Jesus

The Christ Candle—The flame of the candle reminds us Jesus is the Light of the World and if we follow him, we will never walk in darkness, but will have the True Light of Life.

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