On my day off on Monday I had my bi-monthly podiatrist appointment being a type 2 diabetic I prefer to go to a podiatrist rather than cut my own toenails, having had both parents afflicted with the same disease I know exactly what to do if I want to avoid the same pitfalls, they found themselves in.  Later that afternoon I had a relaxing hairdresser appointment and then I treated myself to a head, neck and shoulder massage at the Sunshine massage place at Queensgate Mall.  I came home and I was hanging out my washing and I was wondering why it felt so difficult, bending down then lifting my arms to peg the clothes on the line felt painful and sore, I thought nothing of it at the time.  That evening I went to bed as usual and woke up at 1.30am sick as a dog, so I thought I better test for covid, and sure enough I tested positive.  First thing the next morning I rang my pharmacist, and I began antiviral medication straightaway.  For two days I was out of action, then on Wednesday I felt a little bit better and could do some preparation work for the three Christmas services coming up in the weekend.  

I knew my 5-day isolation period would finish by Sunday 24th December right in time for Christmas Eve morning and evening church.  On Thursday my second RATS test was negative, since then I have felt pretty normal and been able to prepare three orders of service and three reflections.  At the end of the day, I’m just relieved and happy to be able to be present as your minister at all three services.  I said to myself well you get what you get to the best of my ability and on top of this all continuing my recovery from concussion.   

It’s always a treat when Christmas day falls on a Sunday like last year because then you get to do one less service, but hey I’m not complaining just stating a fact that most minister’s and I’m sure everyone else would also agree with.   

When Christmas service comes around each year I always wonder, what can I share in my reflection this year that is different from other years?  How can I weave what’s going on the world and in our lives and communities with the Christmas story without sounding too preachy and without the pie in the sky theology that talks of angel bands and choirs that reads like something out of a Walt Disney fantasy movie.  Sorry if I sound too cynical!  But in the light of what is going on in the Ukraine and Gaza we cannot avoid the human tragedies and the lack of basic human rights and dignities that we see happening right before our eyes on the television news reports.   

There will be no Christmas celebrations for both Israeli’s and Palestinians, the airstrikes will continue to hit Gaza without any regard for the people, women and children living, hiding within those buildings that are targeted.  We can only watch in horror and heartache and support whatever agencies and charities are doing in our country to support all those afflicted in particular the victims of war.   

Over this Christmas weekend we will be taking up a special offering for Christian World Service Annual Christmas Appeal.  This year it is “Share Kai this Christmas”, and special envelopes are available at church if you wish to donate physically at church or send a donation directly to CWS via snail mail or via internet banking.   

Pam Fuller and Dawn Cowdry are offering to host a Christmas lunch for those of you who will be alone or wish to join with others over a meal on Christmas day at the church straight after Christmas day service at around 11am.  Please do take this opportunity to join in the company of friends and make your Christmas dinner one of good company, good food and friendship.   

Whatever your plans this weekend, I pray that time with family and friends will be enriching and fulfilling.  Don’t overindulge and remember Jesus is the reason for the season.  Do take care and Meri Kiritimati, manuia le Kirisimasi.  Fei  

You can read the full E-news here: https://mailchi.mp/eb7c96d8d706/this-weeks-newsletter-from-st-andrews-on-the-terrace-9417456

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