The most disastrous news this week is the strong intention of the US President to withdraw the US from the Paris climate agreement. Already the CEO of Tesla has resigned from two White House Councils on which he was sitting to positively influence action on climate change. Online articles note a significant number of Republicans supporting the President also received past campaign funding from fossil fuel interests such as Exxon and the Koch brothers. The book Dark Money documents how these interests are making concerted efforts to stall climate change prevention.
This is a dark situation. When politicians get compromised by from who or from what or from where they receive financial support, ‘very bad’ things can happen. Online articles also point out complaining about other nations not carrying their weight in NATO is ironic when now the US will not pull its weight in climate change prevention. Of course there’s other disastrous news – a huge explosion in Kabul killing more than in Manchester. Also continued bombing and warfare in Syria. The total human cost is horrific.
I am sure I am like many of you, when I note this world news and then push it out of mind during the day as much as I can. It is disturbing and depressing to read of corruption, self-interest, ignorance, conflict, revenge killings and the pain and suffering of many.
What can we do? On the world stage not a lot as individuals, though an avalanche of letters to key players is a good idea. Is it possible to crash a twitter account? That would be satisfying!
I’m reminded of an old Sunday school song – “Jesus bids me shine with a clear pure light. Like a little candle burning in the night… see us shine, you in your small corner and I in mine.”
We can do lots of things in our ‘small corners’. Smiling at others might be the simplest! Tending a garden. Writing a letter. Valuing and preserving beauty. Meeting people for coffee, lunch or the movies. Supporting groups which do good.
That includes supporting St Andrew’s so its collective light can shine out brightly here in Wellington and across the world. That means working the rosters and encouraging each other. It means upping giving to combat losses we’ve sustained due to a computer crash and the Kaikoura earthquake. It means attending. June is when worship attendance is counted. I already have notes in my diary of several people overseas in June. How about the rest of us beat the statistics at church every Sunday in June if we possibly can! It’s vital we do not fall into despair and take for granted institutions like St Andrew’s who work against the flow. “St Andrew’s” is not what gets things done, it is the individuals within it who are the mainspring of St A’s collective reaching out into the world. That’s you and me.
See you Sunday. It’s Pentecost! Wear your flame colours. Come to rejoice that the Spirit is abroad in this crazy world of ours
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!
HOLIDAY TIME IN THE OFFICE Laetitia returns Wednesday 7 June. Vivien’s on leave today. Thanks for your patience.
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 10Housing. Wellington Central MP Grant Robertson and others. Tuesday 15 AugustIncome 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 SOCIETY12:30 – 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…
LUTHERAN- CATHOLIC COMMEMORATION OF THE REFORMATIONSUNDAY 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. We invite you to a joint commemorative worship at the Roman Catholic Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, Hill St, Wellington at 3pm. This will be followed by light afternoon tea and time for socialising. We’d appreciate your presence with us. John A Cardinal Dew Bishop Mark Whitfield Archbishop of Wellington Lutheran Church of New Zealand
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
Weekly update from our Minister, Rev Dr Susan Jones
and a look at what is happening at St Andrew’s this week.
St Andrew’s on The Terrace is a progressive Presbyterian church. The gathering at 10 am on Sunday is the heart of our faith community life. St Andrew’s is also a place of welcome and hospitality for the wider community of Wellington for arts, music, meetings and events.