On Sunday I will be doing part 2 of The Last Week. It will cover some of the material for Good Friday, Easter Saturday and Easter Sunday. I hope you find this 2 part series helpful in understanding the events of the last week in Jesus’ life and ministry. There are a number of different views about the meaning of Good Friday and Easter – some more and some less attractive to people in 2021. I hope I can contribute something to help you come to your own conclusions.
It’s now a year since we started living with the threat or the corovirus. For many it has been a difficult and anxious time not only for themselves but for their families living overseas. We now have a vaccine becoming available to us. But there is also uncertainty among some people about whether to have it or not. And there has been a lot of misinformation.
The Moderator of the General Assembly has written a Pastoral Letter to the Church. It is printed later in the e-news. I commend it to you. He also refers to a paper written by the Inter-Church Bioethics Council giving professional information and advice on the vaccine. There is a reference in the Moderator’s letter that you can “click on” and get a copy of the at report. There will also be some copies of the report available at church on Sunday morning.
We are back in the church building on Sunday and you will be able to see all the work that the organ builders have done in the last few weeks. There is still some work to be done to get it ready for Easter Sunday.
There are a number of Special Services between Palm Sunday and Easter Day:
Palm Sunday 28th March: The service will be conducted by The Parish Council. It is a service of readings symbols and music that takes us from the events of Palm Sunday through to the events of Good Friday.
Maundy Thursday 1st April. A quiet meditative service to be held in the Common Room upstairs at
6-30pm. We remember the Last Supper.
Good Friday 2nd April at 10am in the church. Service conducted by Fiona and Sonja themed around
“The Stations of the Cross”. Other members of the congregation will be contributing readings and prayers.
Easter Saturday 3rd April. A quiet meditative time in the church on Saturday morning. Watch for more details next week.
Easter Sunday 4th April at 10am in the church. A celebration of Easter – hear the restored pipe organ accompanied by brass instruments and piano and the St Andrew’s Singers – a feast of music.
There will also be a sermon and Communion!! You are invited to bring some food to share at morning tea.
That’s it for this week.
Look forward to seeing you on Sunday.
To view the full e-news click on this link: https://mailchi.mp/8db6c9d0b577/this-weeks-newsletter-from-st-andrews-on-the-terrace-4744533
Presbyterian Church of Ch Aotearoa NZ Letter from The Right Rev Fakaofo Kaio
18 March 2021
I am writing to you once more concerning COVID-19, but not to talk of the challenges of lockdowns; I write with gratitude for all those who have kept us safe, and I am looking towards the vaccines that will soon be offered to all of us.
We are now a year on from the first case of COVID reaching Aotearoa New Zealand and the introduction of our ‘new normal’.
Over the past months, we have been through uncertainty with the ups and downs of changing alert levels. We have been saddened by the COVID related deaths in our country; and concerned by the affect COVID could and has had on the health and finances of family, friends, and communities.
We have missed those we cannot be with due to restrictions on gatherings, and our borders being closed to all but New Zealand citizens and permanent residents.
We have joined in prayer for those who have not been as fortunate as us – the millions overseas who have lost loved ones to this terrible infectious disease.
Reflecting on the past year, I know we are all so grateful and thankful for our medical staff, border workers, managed isolation and quarantine staff, and essential workers who have served us all so well. Continue to hold them in your prayers, we have not defeated COVID yet.
Since the pandemic began, we have heard many speak about the importance of a vaccine, and soon vaccines will be widely available here.
It is important we all access accurate information about the vaccines in preparation for the national NZ COVID-19 Immunisation Programme.
To this end, the Interchurch Bioethics Council (ICBC) has produced a paper to assist our understanding of the vaccines, and a copy is attached and also available on our website. This paper will also be available in te reo Māori and Samoan in due course.
I commend the ICBC paper to you. I encourage everyone to be well informed as the vaccines become available to us all.
Blessings Right Rev Fakaofo Kaio Moderator of the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand