Kia ora te Whānau
We know that living in a pandemic means that anything could happen at any time and this week it did, this time affecting Wellington. However, we will be holding our normal church service on Sunday 27 June, taking account of Alert Level 2 requirements, including spacing the rows at one metre, and having a sit down morning tea in the hall. See below for our full measures at Alert Level 2. We aim to continue with life as normal and to keep everyone safe.
Until the week was disrupted by such unwelcome news, I had been thinking a lot about spirituality and indeed about God or the Divine. What exactly do these concepts mean in the 21st century with all the challenges that we are facing: the COVID-19 pandemic, global warming, the housing crisis in NZ, hunger and famine in many countries, war, terror and oppression, and myriad other problems that arise when a civil society does not exist. In our consumer-driven world, enabled by the internet, have we become consumed by technology and by capitalism itself? Does all of this, taken as a whole, amount to a spiritual crisis for humanity? It is easy to feel overwhelmed and I am aware that for many people, especially young people that is exactly how they are feeling.
It makes to hard to respond adequately when it is increasingly unfashionable to talk about spirituality or God in our secular society. Nevertheless, as a faith community that is exactly what we need to do. While there is no denying that we are facing a crisis, we need to ask ourselves some pretty fundamental questions: what is important, what do we value about our lives and the society we live in and what do we need to do to preserve those things especially for future generations. Our recent submission to the Climate Change Commission addressed some of these issues.
One of the things that we value at St Andrew’s on the Terrace is gathering as a community, habitually on Sunday but also celebrating various events that are meaningful to us like our 180 year anniversary last year. We value being able to contribute to life in the city whether it is through hosting concerts or public prophetic debate on important issues like the Living Wage, housing and climate change. And we value our liturgy each Sunday, our ritual of welcoming and candle lighting, time with the children, prayer, readings and the reflection, singing and music, offering and community notices, and the blessing – it’s all part of our practice as a community. It is our way of being spiritual and of acknowledging the divine.
Rev Dr Jim Cunningham is leading the service on Sunday and he tells me that he going to reflect more on the “Storm” theme begun last week (The Stilling of the Storm Mark: 4: 35-41), so apt in a time of turmoil, challenge and change.
Alert Level 2 Measures at St Andrew’s on the Terrace
On arrival scan the COVID QR code or record your visit on the sheets provided (Alert Levels 1 and 2)
Hand sanitiser available
There will be no printed OOS at level 2 except for those who are carrying out various duties
Please go direct to your seats and avoid mingling
Rows of chairs are placed at one metre apart
Space out along the rows – one meter between family groups along the rows equates to two chairs
Non-skin contact ‘Passing the Peace’ – Minister will ask you to stay in your seats this week
No singing – either listening to the music and humming along or reading of hymns
Morning tea will be in the hall, seated and served, with no mingling.
To view the full e-news click here: https://mailchi.mp/63211562be66/this-weeks-newsletter-from-st-andrews-on-the-terrace-4758118