Hello everyone,

It was great to hear people found the Easter Gatherings good value.  I hope those away for the weekend had a relaxing time.  A number of visitors at Palm Sunday and Easter included grandparents from Scotland visiting family, a couple from Auckland, former minister, Rev Jim Stuart and regular and ‘irregular’ members brought family with them.  We reached the ‘ton’ for attendance on Easter Day and celebrated a first wedding anniversary!

16 lovely Easter cards have gone to Edgecumbe Primary School as a message of solidarity from the children at our Easter Gathering.  Really lovely and imaginative offerings were amongst them.  Also thanks to the St Andrew’s Singers and Duane McKibben (flute) on Palm Sunday and Easter Day – and to Vivien who arranges and conducts for us.

After a recent Lutheran lecture in honour of 500 years since the Reformation, I felt confirmed in my opinion that church in general talks a lot about sin but often fails to name and describe the Life we celebrate at Easter.  Our theme will be ‘Spirituality of Life’ over the next six weeks til Pentecost (June 4.)

It’s a challenge to begin this theme with ‘Life and War’ on Sunday since we are only 2 days away from Anzac Day!  Harriet Dawson will speak about her grandfather who was a conscientious objector and Pat Booth will tell us about her uncles who fought on the battlefields of France in WWI.  I will draw it all together in a clever and intelligent way in a few minutes! (smile).

It also seems appropriate that the study group after church this week continues its study of the DVD series 'Violence Divine: Overcoming the Bible's Betrayal of its Non-Violent God' with the second study entitled "Sin and Escalatory Violence."
One of the tragedies of war is the mistake made again and again of conflating evil with actual people – or on the other hand conflating right with people either!   We might fight the wrong, but not necessarily the people.  We might revere the good but not necessarily sanctify the person.  Not easy in the real world, when our own interests get involved.
On those weighty thoughts, I hope you enjoy the sun today and, I hear, perhaps tomorrow too.  See you Sunday.

St Andrew’s Parish News…

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.
Following Easter, we will be celebrating the experience of being human in a reflection series entitled ‘The Spirituality of Life’:  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.

Norman Wilkins would like to donate his handyman skills towards The St Andrew’s organ fund.
He suggests that if you have any handyman projects that you would like him to do for you, he would donate his time (you would pay for materials and maybe a bit towards transport) and you would then make whatever donation towards the organ fund that you considered appropriate for the time he spent working for you.  If you would like to find out more, please contact Norman Ph 970 1010 to discuss whether any jobs you want doing would be suitable.

Wider Church and Community News…

A lunchtime forum on government spending priorities.  Join a discussion on Social spending with Paul Barber, Policy Advisor, New Zealand Council of Christian Social Services.  And Military spending with Edwina Hughes, Coordinator of Peace Movement Aotearoa.  On Friday 28 April from 1pm-2pm Conference Room 3 at the St Andrew’s Centre, 30 The Terrace, Wellington.  BYO lunch, tea and coffee available.  For more information and to rsvp visit www.facebook.com/PeaceMovementAotearoa/eventsDCM 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 9 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
You can also see Margaret Pannett after church on Sunday or Ph 384 3382 or email pannett@actrix.co.nzNAMING 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/
Remove from this week but put in every 2-3 weeks or soFREE 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

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.

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