February 23, 2020


180th Anniversary Service



We gather today to remember those who went before us,
our foremothers and forefathers in faith.
We can retrieve their names and some facts about their lives,
but know only a little of their yearnings,
their motivations and personalities.
We honour their courage and willingness to risk,
but also recognise their
lack of understanding and harm done.
Through faith they sought sustenance, guidance and protection.
So also do we, for ourselves
and for all who live in this land.

PROCESSIONAL HYMN CH4 268 O God of Bethel!
Scottish Paraphrases, Paraphrase 2 based on Genesis 28:20-22
Music: Johann Michael Haydn
(This hymn is reported to have been sung at the first Presbyterian Church service on Petone foreshore.)

1. O God of Bethel! by whose hand
thy people still are fed,
who through this earthly pilgrimage
hast all out fathers led.

2. Our vows, our prayers, we now present
before thy throne of grace;
God of our fathers! be the God
of their succeeding race.

3. Through each perplexing path of life
our wandering footsteps guide;
give us each day our daily bread
and raiment fit provide.

4. O spread thy covering wings around,
til all our wanderings cease,
and at our Father’s loved abode
our souls arrive in peace.

5. Such blessings from thy gracious hand
our humble prayers implore
and Thou shalt be our chosen God,
and portion evermore.

Kia ora tatou.
Kia ora.


Today we remember the 180th anniversary of the first Presbyterian church service in Aotearoa New Zealand, led by the Reverend John McFarlane on Petone foreshore, on February 23rd 1840.

The settlers had dreams of a better life than the one they left behind.
And we too dare to dream of how our lives could be.
As they journeyed to this place they shared meals, discussed plans, formed relationships, and worshipped God together.
We do likewise, strengthening our community and seeking to work for the wellbeing of all.
Misled and misinformed, the settlers encountered unexpected difficulties and complications.
In this time we affirm the importance of truthfulness and respect in our public life and our dealings with others.
John McFarlane’s vision was inclusive, seeking justice, peace and the welfare of both migrants and iwi.
May we follow his example in our daily lives, respecting difference, seeking understanding and reaching out to others.

We take a few moments of silence now to remember what St Andrew’s on The Terrace has meant to each of us …

We give thanks for those who founded this church, for their energy, commitment and faith. May their memory live on and inspire us as we strive to live out our faith in this time and place.
JESUS PRAYER Jim Cotter paraphrase on card



We send you to the Rainbow Room to hear stories, ask questions
and have fun together. We bless you. Amen.

Feel free to pass the peace with those nearby or move to greet others further away. Passing the peace consists of shaking hands and saying “Peace be with you.” The response is “Peace be with you” or just “And with you.” Or, simply saying “Hello” is a good idea. Also feel free to simply observe if you wish!


Hebrew Bible: Genesis 28:10-22
New Living Translation (NLT)

Contemporary Reading: from an article by Shane Te Pou, former Labour Activist and Political Commentator. The Sunday Star Times January 26th 2020.

As a New Zealander who moves between the Maori, Pakeha and Asian New Zealand worlds, let me tell you we’re not “one people”. But that’s a good thing. I like my milk homogenised, but not my communities.
New Zealand is a partnership of different peoples, bound by a common citizenship. For all it has been abused and breached in the past, we can now thank the ideals of the Treaty of Waitangi for how we live together successfully. And yes, overall we do live together successfully.

The Polynesian people who discovered the world’s most geographically isolated inhabitable islands nearly 1000 years ago, were the most skilled, talented and adventurous seafarers the world had then ever known.
It was certainly a land of plenty, but not an idyllic paradise. The settlers negatively affected some aspects of the environment, like people everywhere have tended to do.

But the people who became the Maori also forged a unique culture. Among their most important values are kaitiakitanga and manaakitanga: environmental guardianship and hospitality.

That meant the people who came next were welcomed. They too were the most skilled, talented and adventurous seafarers the world had then ever known, and representatives from its greatest (and hopefully last!) Empire….

Both sides tried, but first encounters between people with no knowledge of one another are difficult and sometimes disastrous.

The British certainly broke their word, stealing lands, property and even heads. But the Treaty stood the test of time.

From the 1800’s Asian and other New Zealanders also came to New Zealand, working in the gold mines and dairy industry in particular. Historically, Asian New Zealanders have suffered a poll tax and much worse. Since then, others have bravely searched out New Zealand from the likes of Vietnam, Cambodia and the Middle East. Like the original Polynesian and European settlers others have come to apply their entrepreneurial talents to build a better life. Today many.. perhaps most –were born here…….

For the Word in scripture,
for the Word among us,
for the Word within us,
we give thanks.

REFLECTIONS Coming to New Zealand- different modern experiences
Laura Hurtado
Liz Weinberg
Richard Keller
Marius Hechton

HYMN AA 155 ‘Where Mountains Rise to Open Skies’
Words: © 1971 Shirley Erena Murray. Music by Vernon Griffiths
Music: © 1971 Faber Music Ltd
Where mountains rise to open skies
your name, O God, is echoed far,
from island beach to kauri's reach,
in water's light, in lake and star.

Your people's heart, your people's part
be in our caring for this land,
for faith to flower, for aroha
to let each other's mana stand.

From broken word, from conflict stirred,
from lack of vision, set us free
to see the line of your design,
to feel creation's energy.

Your love be known, compassion shown,
that every child have equal scope:
in justice done, in trust begun
shall be our heritage and hope.

Where mountains rise to open skies
your way of peace distill the air,
your spirit bind all humankind,
one covenant of life to share!



So now you are invited to make your own “memorial”, by writing on the sticky note in the order of service, and place it on the wall under our own Iona cross at the front of the church.
You may wish to remember a specific ancestor.
Or make a commitment to embody a positive quality in the early settlers.
Perhaps you might want to mark an arrival or leaving.
Or recollect a spiritual experience….
You could also just sit peacefully and enjoy the music.


We remember with gratitude all that we have received from the tradition out of which this community has grown.
We celebrate our connections with the wider world even as we are deeply rooted in this country.
In presenting these gifts, we offer also our intention to make this community, this city and this country a better place for all.

We recognise and bless the gifts brought to the table, and those which wing
their way electronically from our banks to the church’s account.

People share notices and visitors are welcomed. If you have a notice, please move to the front row, ready to speak briefly from the lectern.
For the benefit of newcomers, please introduce yourself before you begin.


We think today of the people of United States and the Presbyterian Church of the United States of America. We remember the detainees of Manus and Nauru Islands, yearning that their cases be resolved. In New Zealand, we remember those in Parliament, and today we name Jackson Willie and Shane Jones list MPs. Here in the Central Presbytery, we pray for the leaders and people of Wadestown Presbyterian Church.


HYMN CH4 39 Wisdom far beyond our knowledge
Words: © 2002 Colin Gibson, HIOS 157, Tune: Hyfrydol,

Wisdom far beyond our knowledge,
Word of endless mystery,
God in whom is comprehended
All that was, is now, will be,
You have set us free to wander,
World on world, through time and space,
Haunted by the hope of heaven,
Nurtured by your constant grace.

Unimaginable lover,
Faithful to eternity,
God fulfilling and indwelling
All that was, is now, will be,
We can never stray beyond you,
Loving Presence, you are here;
Called to join your great adventure,
Forth we go to find you here.

Focus of our search for meaning,
Truth in our perplexity,
God the one in whom we measure,
All that was, is now, will be;
Centre of our heart’s devotion,
magnet of our questing mind,
spirit’s birth and soul’s companion,
journey’s end in you we find.

BLESSING (from the Iona Community)

On our heads and our houses
the blessing of God.
In our coming and going
the peace of God.
In our life and believing
the love of God.
At our end and new beginning
the arms of God to welcome us
and bring us home.



THANK YOU                                                                                                   Bruce Cash

Our Musician today

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