Hello everyone,
I write this on the morning of Pink Shirt Day.  I liked this californian version of a pink shirt.

We got a glimpse into sensitivities about gender identity and sexual orientation on Tuesday.  Mani Mitchell, counsellor and psychotherapist, let us into the vocabulary but also personal effects of not fitting comfortably into the boxes society prepares for us – boy or girl.  We can sit comfortably in a society-approved space, not realising how uncomfortable those places might be for others.

I was reminded of how urban a box I have been in over past decades as Roger and I drove home between State Highway 2 and the east coast from Waipukurau.  There’s a lot of hinterland there – beautiful green rolling farmland mostly.  We cruised down river valleys and over passes into the next, guessing how many buildings there’d be at the next name on the map.  Sometimes we were right, other times wrong!

We struck a town ceremony in the main street of Pongaroa.  The first sod had just been turned for the new 24 hr fuel stop.  Everyone turned out, even school children.  Yet, there was also a (now vacant) solid Post and Telegraph building (probably 1920s).  Looking at 2013 pictures of the town, I see it has recently undergone a revitalisation.  We discovered the Nobel scientist Maurice Wilkins spent the first 6 years of his life there.  It was a different world from Wellington or Christchurch or Dunedin.  People living there must have very different priorities from urbanites and probably will look for something different in their politicians this election.  If it had been America I would have said it was Trump country.  Lovely service in the general store/café.  The town has a great spirit about it.  Small can be great.

Some updates.  First, finding orders of service on the website was discussed with the website designers this week.  Helpful tweaks have been identified.  This will delay reinstatement of the archives for a month or so, but it is still on track.   For people still unsure, ‘til changes are made the best route to the order of service, reflections and audio is:  Click on ‘News and blogs” then click on “Sunday Gatherings”.  Then click on the heading which is in large blue print.  Scroll down a little and this will bring you to the OOS, reflection script and audio.  If the first heading you see is not the one you want, do not click on it but scroll down the page and you will find previous weeks’.  Or, if you want to go further back look to the right, scroll down to archives and click on the month where you think the Gathering happened.

Second: The order of service and the script for the reflection are timed to come live on the website  12 noon Sunday.  This is a change from Friday.  Audios usually added Sunday afternoon or Monday.

Third:  I write a blog (a bit like this editorial) about once a fortnight.  A new Spirituality blog just went on yesterday.  Click on ‘news and blogs’ and then on the heading ‘Spirituality’ and you should find it.

Fourth: We are using the ‘American’ dating system because it orders files in a helpful way – first the year, then the month, then in order of the days:  e.g.  this Sunday is 2017-05-28.  Last Sunday was 2017-05-21.  If you have any questions don’t be afraid to ask directly, even if you’re angry. We can explain and perhaps find a solution.

Don’t get lost on the website because we want to see you at church on Sunday!  (smile).  We’re looking deep within.  See you there.   Susan

St Andrew’s Parish News…

PENTECOST BEGINS! June 4 is Pentecost Sunday.  Please wear, if you can, clothes in flame colours like red, orange and yellow.  (A touch of blue and purple also works!)  The community brunch follows since June is an ‘even’ month.  Please bring a generous plate of food to share and plan to stay.

HOLIDAY TIME IN THE OFFICE Laetitia is away from Monday 29 May, returning Wednesday 7 June.  Vivien is also on leave on Friday 2 June and Sunday 4 June.   We’ll continue to cover the Parish and Centre. Just take into account there may be only one here to help at certain times, so response times might be a little longer than usual.  Thank you for your patience.

ST ANDREW’S ASKS YOU WHAT KIND OF SOCIETY DO WE WANT? On three occasions this election year St Andrew’s will help present the issues to the general public. Keep these dates free and invite others to these events held between 5.30 and 7pm.  Monday July 10 Topic:  Housing. Wellington Central MP Grant Robertson and other speakers.  Tuesday 15 August Topic: Income Inequality in NZ. Speakers to be confirmed but probably Max Rashbrooke.  Thursday 31 August we host political candidates for the Centre for Theology and Political Issues’ series ‘Keeping Faith in Politics’

Wider Church and Community News…

LUTHERAN- CATHOLIC COMMEMORATION OF THE REFORMATION On Sunday 4 June the Lutheran and Catholic churches will gather to pray together in Commemoration of the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation.  This is a very significant event in the lives of our two churches and to mark this we invite you to a joint commemorative worship at the Roman Catholic Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, Hill St, Wellington.  The joint commemorative worship will take place at the Cathedral at 3pm on Sunday 4 June.  This will be followed by a light afternoon tea and an opportunity for socialising.  We would very much appreciate your presence with us that day.

John A Cardinal Dew                     Bishop Mark Whitfield Archbishop of Wellington               Lutheran Church of New Zealand

WELLINGTON SAFER HOMES EVENT The Wellington City Council and the Environmental Protection Authority invite you to the inaugural Wellington Safer Homes Event, Michael Fowler Centre 26 & 27 May. Joined with partners NZ Fire Service, NZ Police, ACC, Safe Kids, Plunket, Wellington Free Ambulance, Earthquake Commission, National Poisons Centre and Housing New Zealand to provide information and improve understanding about some of the potential dangers around the home.  On Saturday 27 May, the event will be open to the public from 10am – 4pm and will have sessions on various aspects of safety in the home. Please respond to helen.flannery@epa.govt.nz by Friday 5 May if you are interested in your group attending the designated seniors safety session at the Safer Homes event on Friday 26 May. Please indicate numbers. There are limited places available at this session. We will confirm your booking and provide additional details at this time.

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