Hello everyone,

This weekend we will farewell Rowena Somogyvary, long-time member of St Andrew’s.  As people have responded to the news of her death, they have spoken of her as compassionate, warm and interesting.   One detail I remember about her is beautifully coloured scarves!

Funerals are complicated occasions.  Sometimes we bring to them griefs we had thought were long dealt with – and yet they creep up behind us (!) and surprise us with their intensity as we sit mourning the loss of another.

Death also writes a definite line under a person’s life.  That leads to us looking, perhaps for the first time, at a person’s life ‘in the round’, as a whole. We are forced into facing how we felt about them.  That spills over into how we feel about how we go about the world.  We ponder what we have done and what we have not done, what we could have done or might have done, what we wished we had rather not done – all of the above!

It is no wonder that death is a subject we sometimes would rather avoid! – but, on Saturday, Barrie Keenan and I will be with you as we navigate this time which carries for us sadness at losing Rowena from our world, but gladness for her that she is no longer battling health issues on different fronts.

In the meantime the UK elections are reporting in as I write and the US is analysing every word and nuance of former FBI Director Comey’s testimony.

Perhaps the best thing we can offer another human being is relationship which is as honest as we can make it – relationships uncompromised by power dynamics and games as far as we can achieve that.  Power dynamics are always there even in the simplest of relationships, of course, but let us strive to be open to each other, appropriately vulnerable to each other, and offer each other the benefit of the doubt because we are all human!

On Sunday we gather to beat the June statistics again and to ponder the Trinity – always a mind bending exercise.  Look forward to seeing you there and at the congregational conversation which follows.

Susan

St Andrew’s Parish News…

THE SEASON OF PENTECOST BEGINS!
Susan will be leading the services through the next month until the end of the second school term.  A variety of themes are waiting in line!  These include Trinity Sunday, June 11, with Disability themes, World Refugee Sunday on June 18, Matariki on June 25 and Communion on July 2.   The Rainbow Room will be operating with volunteer leaders for the rest of the term.  All children are more than welcome, as are all adults!

ST ANDREW’S ASKS YOU – WHAT KIND OF SOCIETY DO WE WANT?
On three occasions this election year St Andrew’s presents the issues to the general public. Keep these dates free.  Invite others.  Events held 5.30 and 7pm on Monday July 10 Housing. Wellington Central MP Grant Robertson and others.  Tuesday 15 August Income Inequality in NZ. Paul Barber and Max Rashbrooke and others. Thursday 31 August, 6-7.30pm (note different time)  we host political candidates for the Centre for Theology and Political Issues’ series ‘Keeping Faith in Politics’

ST ANDREW’S TRUST FOR THE STUDY OF RELIGION AND SOCIETY
12:30 – 2:00pm Thursday June 15 The art & science of human encounter – Theodore Taptiklis
Precis: In public life a long slow march has begun away from individualism and towards collaborative group practice. But efforts so far have revealed how ill-prepared we are to truly recognise each other, and to make proper use of each other’s talents in our daily interactions.
Our work at Human Methods Lab seeks to open us up to the detailed reality of our influences upon one another, and then to help us to channel these influences in helpful and productive directions. This approach values our differences, and starts to bring a new language of understanding and coherence to our shared efforts.
Bio: I’m dedicated to creating and deploying methods for people to recognise, relate to and learn to work strongly with one another.
After 25 years in the artifice of the corporate world, I looked for ways for us to sense and make sense of our differences together.
My search led first to storytelling and listening and by degrees to Enspiral and to Loomio, now my home.

Wider Church and Community News…

INEQUALITY IN NZ:  OUR SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY?
We are living in a society which is becoming increasingly divided.  Where do we stand on the subject of inequality in New Zealand and how does it affect us?  How can we best educate ourselves to understand that we can no longer afford to brush this issue aside?  Speakers from Challenge 2000, The Child Poverty Action Group, Wesley Community Action and more.  Tuesday 20 June, 7-9pm at Petone Baptist Church, 38 Buick St, Petone, Lower Hutt.  Organised by Fiona Roberts Year 13 Raphael House Rudolf Steiner School.  Entry by Koha.

SPECIAL SERMON TO BE ‘RE-PREACHED’
On June 25, 2017 there will be ‘re-preached’ in St Peters Anglican Church Willis Street Wellington, the famous sermon delivered by Rev’d Godfrey Wilson, ( the then Vicar ), 50 years ago in support for the caring of homosexual men.  That event was the beginning of the unofficial campaign for homosexual equality  –  and it was, surprisingly, broadcast live on National Radio. Please join us at 10.00 am if you can, and you are welcome to forward this email to anyone you feel would be interested.’

NUCLEAR BAN TREATY DRAFT TEXT
this message is to ask if you have any comments on the text of the draft Convention on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, which was released on 22 May following the first negotiating session of the UN Conference to Negotiate a Legally Binding Instrument to Prohibit Nuclear Weapons, Leading Towards their Total Elimination, which was held from 27 to 31 March 2017 in New York. The draft Convention text ( A/CONF.229/2017/CRP.1) is available on the iCAN Aotearoa New Zealand site, www.icanw.org.nz

ENCOUNTERING AUGUSTINE
A public lecture series by Professor Gillian E Clark. In this lecture series, Professor Clark examines Augustine’s central, most influential and contested ideas, exploring their context and origins and assessing their enduring significance.  Each lecture will take place in the Council Chamber, Hunter building, Gate 2 Kelburn Parade.  Tuesday 15 August, 5.30-6.45pm Peace and Empire.  Wednesday 16 August, 5.30-6.45pm Where does evil come from?  Thursday 17 August, 5.30-7pm What happens in a life?