E NEWS 10TH MAY 2024 

Last Friday was one of my busiest days since coming to SAOTT just over two years ago. In the morning I planned Lloyd Jobson’s tree planting memorial for tomorrow with Molly and Sarah in Ranui, Porirua.  Then I whipped up to Paraparaumu for a lovely lunch with Bronwyn White and Warwick.  On my way back home veering to BUPA in Crofton Downs to plan Janice Gault’s funeral with her children.  Followed by my visit to Caroline Glass at the Mary Potter Hospice.  I should have gone home afterwards, but I had a prior booking with a colleague from Laidlaw College who I thought was going to present a lecture on cults; I promised him I would attend when my diary was empty at the time.

So after dinner with a friend on the Terrace we ubered to the Central City Baptist church.  Alas, it was not a lecture but a panel discussion of so-called purported experts on the Shincheonji Korean cult sweeping across some NZ churches. My friend Terry merely facilitated the discussion.  The fears of this cult were that they were turning families against one another, sheep stealing, distorting biblical scripture, lying and indoctrination etc, more so amongst Pacific youth.

As far as I was concerned this phenomenon of cults has been happening for hundreds of years even among the Christian para-churches as well as mainline Christian denominations.  In the early 1830’s the newly formed Christian church in Samoa was competing with the newly formed Siovili cult (Joe Gimlet cult).  It also had similar traits about it too and rose to popularity before slowly petering out as the Christian church got stronger with its adherents.  So it was not a huge deal to me but Laidlaw College were catastrophising it.

At the end of the night one of the main speakers concluded the evening assuming she knew her audience and said, “did you know there are also other cults who refer to God as Mother God!!!” She says this with a horrified look on her face thinking that everyone would also be equally horrified. Then I responded “there’s nothing wrong with that!” OMG they looked at me like I was Satan incarnate.  No, I did not stay behind for tea and bickies afterwards, I couldn’t get out of there fast enough.  Tony Pears was also there he can provide his own perspective of the evening, probably a bit kinder than mine.

Yesterday we had a beautiful funeral for Janice Gault.  There were some hiccups to begin with.  When Jim and I arrived at the church the funeral director had already placed Janice’s coffin on the stage with a huge bouquet of dried flowers blocking our view to the congregation and their view of us.  I’m normally consulted before all funerals as to where to place the casket, but in this case I wasn’t and the church was already full and it was an awkward moment. Jim and I then moved our table to the side by the grand piano but it looked a bit lopsided and unbalanced.  Thankfully the family agreed to remove the trolley so Janice was lowered directly on to the stage.  This worked ok until I had to do the committal.  In my culture one cannot stand next to someone who is lower than you i.e. sitting or lying, you must also sit alongside them so you are not lording it over them, it is very disrespectful.  So I was pondering throughout the service how I would perform the committal.  In the end I carried my chair over to Janice’s side and did the committal seated while everyone else was standing, not ideal but I needed to honour Janice.  The other hiccup was Shirley Murray’s song “Sing no sad songs” had not been feminised and referred to his and he and him.  So I asked the congregation to replace male pronouns with female as we sang along.  But thankfully at the end of the day it was a sweet send off for our dear Janice.

Last evening I was invited to co-preside Eucharist with my dear friend the new Dean of Wellington Cathedral Katie Lawrence to celebrate Ascension day.  It was a full-on service full of pomp and ceremony complete with choir and choristers and 3 clergy presiding to a small faithful crowd of 13 people.  Afterwards, Katie and I sat and ate pizza and had a long deserved catchup.  It was a nice way to end a full on busy week.

Tomorrow we will celebrate Lloyd Jobson with the tree planting memorial at their home.

This Sunday our theme is “Honouring Mothering” led by Maxine Cunningham.  She has put a lot of hours and thought as well as passion and dedication into preparing for this service.  If I remember rightly I booked her almost a year in advance so we could hear it straight from the expert herself.  I hope you are able to come and join us.  Faafetai.

Go gently into the weekend and wrap up warmly.  Ka kite ano, Fei.

You can read the full E-news here: https://mailchi.mp/1a4c95455486/this-weeks-newsletter-from-st-andrews-on-the-terrace-9446444

Fill in your details to download the welcome pack

You will be added to our mailing list to receive news about St Andrews Church

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our St Andrews Church.

You have Successfully Subscribed!