Kia ora te Whānau
First, a message from Rev Ross Scott who is leading worship on Sunday.
Lent has arrived. And it got me thinking about last year and the way we were given a form of Lent. The lockdown. Not exactly forty days but then lent is a bit more than forty days as well. It was a time, for many of us, when our normal rhythms of life were disrupted. The wilderness ventured into our cities as our cars gathered dust. Some enjoyed lockdown and some did not. I learnt a lot about myself and my needs in life. And now a month short of a year later I am reflecting on what it means to me now.
On Sunday I will build on what Jim said in the Lent e-news on Wednesday and look at what we have taken form the lockdown/lent of 2020. You may want to review what I said back on the 11th of October about Jesus’s forty days in the wilderness.
I am pleased to provide news about the arrival of our Croft pipe organ.
The organ is due to arrive back at St Andrew’s by container on 1 March. The South Island Organ Company team will also arrive in Wellington in time to meet the container, unpack it and reinstall the organ. Moritz Fassbender, who led the dismantling process in May last year, will lead the reinstallation process, taking about four weeks. This initially involves laying the component parts out over the church floor and methodically putting the organ back together – it’s a three dimensional jigsaw puzzle, although every component is numbered to help the process. This means that for the first two Sundays in March (7th and 14th) we will hold worship in the hall. Some of you experienced a service in the hall with Fiona McDougal leading worship last month.
We are planning three events to celebrate the return of the organ so please put these in your diaries:
- Wednesday 10 March, 10 am – 12:30 pm Open Morning
- Easter Sunday 4 April, 10 am – first ‘outing’ of the restored organ at Easter service
- Sunday 2 May, 7 pm – Welcome Home concert
Moritz has kindly agreed that the Organ committee can hold an Open Morning so that members of our community who are interested can drop in to watch the team at work. SIOC team members will be available to explain what they are doing. We hope that a small team of parish volunteers will provide morning tea and that this can be another small fundraiser. We needed another $24,500 as at 31 December to reach our goal of $500,000 – an outstanding achievement thus far but it would be wonderful to get over the line. We will invite representatives of the wider community who have supported us as well.
Easter Sunday will be the first time that Peter (or anyone) will play the newly restored organ as part of worship. He and Mark Stamper are planning some very good music to celebrate Easter (the end of Lent) and mark the occasion. The St Andrew’s Singer’s are already rehearsing.
Finally, Peter Franklin and I are planning our ‘Welcome Home’ concert for Sunday evening 2 May at 7 pm. We hope this will be our final fundraiser (this may be optimistic!) and so we would love to have a full house. Please think about who you’d like to invite and let them know to reserve the date. It will be a variety concert with a fabulous line-up of performers (professional and amateur) and instruments. They will perform contemporary music as well as the classics so that we can show off the newly restored organ and its versatility. We also have another surprise up our sleeves, so we think it will be a fun evening. Tickets ($30 waged, $20 unwaged) will be available on Eventfinda from early March and we will advise you when they go on sale.
Changing the subject, and thinking about the ‘up and down times’ that I referred to last month, I can confirm that now we are back at Alert Level 1, our Sunday worship will take place as usual. This Sunday morning tea will be at the back of the church so that people can easily get to Congregational Conversation – yes it is the third Sunday in the month. Catriona will chair the conversation and other members of Parish Council will also be present to update you on Parish Council activities.
Thinking too with love, about those of you who had to manage extraordinary circumstances while we were in level 2 for the first part of the week (moving house, illness and getting to the doctor, relatives and friends in hospital, funerals) or whose lives were otherwise disrupted by COVID-19 making its presence felt yet again.
Ben and I leave for a week in Stewart Island on Saturday – we are complementing our recent trip to Cape Reinga with an excursion to southern most parts of the country before summer is over. Time for Lenten contemplation.