Hello!  It is Easter!

Through the magic of the church year, the small baby whose birth we celebrated only a few months ago, has grown up, packing approximately 33 years of living into approximately 4 months.

I wonder if the 33 years passed quickly for his mother as she watched his risky rise to fame and now his slide into failure from the tense events of Thursday night to the horror of Friday, the absence of Saturday and the resolution of Sunday?  I wonder if that was the longest four days she ever lived.  Time is elastic – it shortens and lengthens, widens and deepens depending on what we are doing with it.

Working on church-year time, it is two years since Roger and I arrived on Palm Sunday 2015.  What a lot has happened!  Yet I can think of other years which drag and stutter their way along.

Sometimes we must make every minute count, pack in as much as possible, live life to the full every second.

Other times it is good to take it quietly, to savour the moment, – what are the ‘now’ words?  ‘hang’ or ‘chill’.  It’s called being mindful.  Taking the time to notice the time.  Taking the time to just be, to be still.  The phrase “Be still and know that I am God” suggests quietening, being still, brings us in touch with the sacred depths of ourselves.  It gives time to notice, to care, to feel.

Since being a wordsmith is part of my being, lots of words can fill even the Gatherings where we attempt to notice the sacred.  In their appreciation of Duane’s flute solos on April 2, someone reminded me of how wordy a Presbyterian service can get.  This weekend you might find the time to listen – to silence or music or emotions, or maybe the laughter of children.  I hope you can

In between your personal listening, there are opportunities to be together and hear not only silence but also words, to let music resonate in your soul and feel the sharp tang of communion wine or juice on your tongue mixed with the everyday taste of bread.   There is a quiet small gathering around communion in an ‘almost’ re-enactment of the Last Supper on Thursday night (6pm).  On Friday at 10am a group has prepared meditations to accompany the stations of the cross with prayer and music.  On Sunday (10am) joy bursts out and we celebrate, also with communion.  The contrast between the feeling of foreboding at Thursday’s communion and the ‘foretaste of glory divine’ at Sunday’s communion will be interesting!

In between I am sure there will be chocolate!  May your Easter be special whatever you are doing.

Susan

  1. If the weather worsens significantly on Thursday and Friday please put your safety first and do not attend the Maundy Thursday and/or Good Friday Services if that would put you at risk.

St Andrew’s Parish News…

HOLY WEEK AND EASTER – DON’T BLINK AND MISS IT! April 13 Maundy Thursday 6pm “A Last Supper”.  April 14 Good Friday 10am (Trish McBride & team) “Stations of the Cross”.   April 16 Easter Sunday, 10am   DONATIONS Shortly, people on automatic payments or our envelope system will get their annual donation total.  If you’re not using either system, it makes sense to do so. If we keep a confidential record of what you give, we can write you a letter with the total at this time of year and, on application, you can receive back from the government a third of that total.  You can keep this or re-donate it – whatever you choose.  While the Centre covers the costs of the Centre (wages, consumables etc.,) we aim that Church activities and personnel are paid for with congregational giving and donations.  Please keep this under review, your costs will be going up, but so do the church’s! If you are an occasional cash giver, you can still use the envelope system.  It does not commit you to a regular amount each week or month.  What you can give when you can give it is, however, recorded and then you can get the government tax refund.  Just a thought – it’s that time of year.
THE SEASON OF EASTER Following Easter, we will be celebrating the experience of being human in a reflection series entitled ‘The Spirituality of Life’:  Sunday 23 April ‘Life and War’; Sunday 30 April ‘Life and Treaty’; Sunday 7 May ‘Life Together’ (welcoming newcomers and commissioning leaders); Sunday 14 May ‘Life and Breath (Prayer)’; Sunday 21 May Rev Dr Frank Hanson; Sunday 28 May ‘The Life at the Depths of Me.’   This will take us up to the beginning of the season of Pentecost starting Sunday June 4 with Pentecost Sunday.
WELLINGTON WHITE POPPIES COLLECTORS NEEDED Collectors are needed for the 2017 White Poppies for Peace Appeal (which is held annually from 17 to 24 April, and is the main fundraiser for the White Poppy Peace Scholarships) to help with the street collection in Wellington on Thursday, 20 April. There are two street collection times in central city locations this year: from 12.30pm to 2pm, and from 4.30pm to 6pm – if you can assist, please email whitepoppies@ymail.com  providing your name, telephone number, and the time/s you are available, thank you.

Wider Church and Community News…

DCM FUNDRAISER Buy tickets for the Circa show ‘Olive Copperbottom’ AND at the same time raise money for DCM!  The awesome people from the comedy festival musical ‘Olive Copperbottom’ have given us 30 tickets to sell to the preview night for the show (Tues 9th May) with 100% of funds raised going to DCM! This is a great opportunity to get a group of friends together for an hilarious night out, so book your tickets now by emailing office@dcm.org.nz  or ph (04) 384 7699. Tickets are $30 each. Go on! Following the delicate sold out successes of Promise and Promiscuity, Penny Ashton (Radio NZ The Panel) swaps Austen for Dickens and brings orphaned hero Olive, and a squalid gaggle of Victorian characters to poxridden London life. Will Olive find a family amongst the brothels, toffs and gruel? Or will Mrs Sourtart, Mr Fivestars or even Mr Goodsort break her heart as well as their teeth? A rollicking one-woman musical journey that will fulfil your greatest expectations and be the best of times and well… the best of times. To find our more visit http://www.circa.co.nz/package/olive-copperbottom/ Matthew Mawkes, (04) 384 7699, www.dcm.org.nz
NAMING NEW ZEALAND   “… an organisation to help transgender, gender diverse and intersex youth with updating their identity documents to correctly reflect their sex and gender. We provide resources about the process of correcting identity documents within New Zealand, connect trans youth with organisations that can help, and assist with the costs of making these important changes.”   They take donations.  Find them at www.naming.nz/ 
FREE LUNCHTIME KORERO There will be a series of free talks organised by Wellington Treaty Network held over three weeks at the Wellington Central Library on Fridays 28 April, 5 May and 12 May.  12.30- 1.15pm on the Ground Floor.  Guest speakers include Liz Mellish, Morrie Love, Carwyn Jones, Tamsin Hanly and Jen Margaret.  For further details please see the poster at the back of the church or visit wellingtontreatynetwork@gmail.com   THOMAS GAYNOR IN CONCERT The Zimbelstern Foundation presents Thomas Gaynor in concert featuring music by Bach and Durufle on the Maxwell Fernie Organ at St Mary of the Angels, 17 Boulcott St on Tuesday 2 May, 7.30pm.  Admission Free.