2 April 2020
Dear Parish Family
I pray you are all keeping well and not too isolated by the lockdown. I’m very thankful to Gary and Sue for all they have done to set up teams of parishioners to phone others, and to co-ordinate pastoral care. I know most Connect groups are meeting by Zoom or similar means, and there are various prayer initiatives, the latest being the nationwide Pray as One nine day prayer campaign (see below for details about joining).
As you continue to care for one another and pray for our nation, please don’t forget our brothers and sisters who are already suffering much around the world. They will only suffer more, without access to health care or social welfare. I’m sure the Lord wouldn’t want us to reduce our support for them in the face of our own challenges, which are always going to pale in comparison.
We have had good feedback regarding the Sunday service the past two weeks so we will continue with this format. Delivery of the podcast last Sunday was totally different to the week before (different venue, different equipment), and we encountered a number of problems, but expect to have the podcast available by 10.30 this Sunday and with improved quality. Don’t forget that daylight saving ends, so clocks go back one hour.
Each Sunday one parish in the Diocese is the designated ‘official podcast’ for any congregation which is not able to do its own. This Sunday WHCC is the designated parish, so we will be joined by others around the country.
Next week is Holy Week, the week leading up to Easter. I will endeavour to do a 10 minute podcast at 10am Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday. On Friday we will join a Diocesan-hosted service, put together by a number of leaders. Time and how to access to be confirmed, but probably in the morning.
After Easter we had been scheduled to begin a series on Ezekiel but I have decided to swap this with James, which we were going to do later in the year. I am currently writing a daily devotional on James (same format as John) so that we can continue studying God’s Word together. These will be posted daily online. Hard copy will be delivered to the few who don’t have internet access.
It would be a great encouragement to us all to hear any testimonies you might have of the Lord’s goodness, or of things he may have taught you during this time of lockdown. If you do have something to share, please send it to me.
As a starter, I received this news from Gabriel this morning: Hi Michael, someone in the world has given an extravagant gift to Kesi’s ministry in the south. We can now get it started – well, once the virus has settled a bit.
Maybe that person read John 12.1-8 on Sunday morning.
I would encourage you to use this time to walk closely with our Lord, more so as we move into Holy Week. And please don’t hesitate to ask for prayer if you’re facing challenges. We already have a group interceding for medical professionals and essential workers, but everyone will have their own issues to face and we don’t want anyone to feel they need to do so alone. Prayer Chain is one option. Please phone Sharon on her mobile rather than the land line, 0225900500.
In Christ’s love
Please see below the link to an important notice from Steve Jukes.
Pray as One NZ – Christians Uniting for Aotearoa is a coordinated period of prayer.
It began at 5:45am this morning [Wednesday], and will continue for nine days.
Bishop Jay led us in prayer this morning at 7:30am, and others will continue throughout this period. If you follow this link you will find more information and details of coporate prayer meetings (via Zoom).
Please do take this opportunity to hold New Zealand, and the World in your prayers this week.
2 April 2020