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    • December 2022 Messenger
      • There is a New Zealand Christmas carol some of us have sung ever since we were kids:Not on a snowy night, by star or candlelight Nor by an angel band, there came to our dear land Te HarinuiGlad tid-ings of great joyBy singing this we remind ourselves not to take for granted the proclamation of the Christmas story – a proclamation of great joy.

    • Weekly Bulletin: Staying connected as a church - 13 November 2022
      • Kia ora St John’s whānau, This Sunday we have a Baptism, celebrate Communion and a special guest preacher (see below), and we will consider how much we rate human wisdom in relation to God’s power! <figure class=" sqs-block-image-figure intrinsic " > If you want to read the Bible readings before Sunday, they are: Isaiah 12: 2-6 and 1 Corinthians 2:4-5 Children start at 10am with their peer group in the St John’s Centre and join in Communion later. The Youth Group will stay in the whole service this Sunday, to hear Dr Gray Manicom. If you can’t gather in the city, and you want to join the worship service via Zoom, here are the details to access the live-stream: Zoom Meeting ID: 370 260 759Passcode: worship The link to join the Zoom worship service is below. https://us02web.zoom.us/j/370260759?pwd=b2ZkajZ5d28rTy9EN1VKZDJUM3N4dz09   If using your phone: dial 04 886 0026 (Meeting ID: 370 260 759#, Passcode: 1560107#) This is the link to the printable Service Sheet  <a href="https://www.dropbox.com/s/c2g9klv741oqk46/13th%20November%202022%20Order%20of%20Service.pdf?dl=0" class="sqs-block-button-element--medium sqs-button-element--primary sqs-block-button-element" > Printable Service Sheet <a href="https://us02web.zoom.us/j/370260759?pwd=b2ZkajZ5d28rTy9EN1VKZDJUM3N4dz09" class="sqs-block-button-element--medium sqs-button-element--primary sqs-block-button-element" > Link to Zoom Service If worshipping via Zoom, please be prepared for Communion at home with your bread and cup. <figure class=" sqs-block-image-figure intrinsic " > VISITING MATHEMATICIAN We are delighted to be hosting Dr Gray Manicom for a visit at St John’s in the City this weekend (12th & 13th November)There will be three opportunities to hear him: on Saturday at 3pm (for students), in the Sunday morning service, and an informal presentation after the service. Dr Gray Manicom is a mathematician with interests in dynamical systems. His PhD is in the study of memory effects in heteroclinic networks. He is a research fellow in the Department of Physics at the University of Auckland, modelling and investigating the spread of the COVID-19 epidemic on a network. He loves cricket, movies and talking about ideas. Please help us share the Saturday event for students… <figure class=" sqs-block-image-figure intrinsic " > ‘Uses of Mathematics today: How Mathematics helps solve the world’s problems’Can 42 actually be the answer to the ultimate question? Can an equation take over the world? Can mathematics unlock lockdowns and quarantine pandemics? The next few decades of human development will depend on big data, AI, genetic editing, quantum computing, space travel and other fields that are, in essence, entirely dependent on mathematics. Quantum particles are too small, space too far, data too plentiful and AI too unpredictable to experiment on these things in traditional ways. Scientists in these fields typically no longer rely on experimental data to tell them what is true or not, instead, they rely on the language of mathematics' ability to describe the world. But is this trust justified? What are the differences between science and mathematics? And where does God fit in? Saturday 12th November, at 3pm in the St John’s Centre at St John’s in the City On Sunday after the morning service the talk in the St John’s Centre is: ‘Mathematics, Creativity and the Creator’All mathematics is created by people, and imagination is still the main tool for mathematical progress. However, just like with inspiring art, sometimes it seems to go beyond something created, beyond the imagination of the human creator, to suggest there was something fantastic and real waiting to be discovered the entire time. Join me as I reveal the secret life of the mathematician, and how my quest through the realm of mathematics has led me closer to the ultimate Creator.   OTHER THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT... THE MESSENGER The most recent St John’s Messenger newsletter reviews some recent events, and looks ahead to what is next. <a href="https://www.stjohnsinthecity.org.nz/news/october-messenger" class="sqs-block-button-element--medium sqs-button-element--primary sqs-block-button-element" > The Messenger Newsletter   RAISING THE STANDARD OF GIVING Last week, we highlighted the slides from the AGM about the church finances. <a href="https://www.dropbox.com/s/s9vqtz7wnuqaegp/AGM%20Finances%2030th%20October%202022%20slides.pdf?dl=0" class="sqs-block-button-element--medium sqs-button-element--primary sqs-block-button-element" > Slides from the AGM These show that we are continuing to navigate a difficult financial environment with multiple pressures. Even though St John’s achieved an “accounting surplus” for 2021/22, a large deficit of $400,000 is budgeted for 2022/23. This arises because of:• The need to inflation protect the Trust Fund – high inflation and low returns means very limited real returns are expected this year• Insurance costs are $176,000 (plus GST) for the year – a $20,000 increase on last year and a 50% increase over the last 3 years• Repairs and maintenance – painting the manse, washing the buildings on the St John’s site, and the repair of the Church reception roof have added to costs this year• Higher salaries arising from market demand and the intention to fill the youth and children’s ministry vacancies• A significant decline in annual congregational giving of about $60,000 compared with 2018.Some of these challenges, such as insurance, will require a regional or national approach, as other Churches are facing similar cost challenges. And some of these challenges are ours. Giving should be a joy that reflects our faith and enables our worship, ministry, mission and outreach. Jesus talked about money a lot. At least a third of his teaching was about money and property related matters – the incidents of the rich young ruler and the widow’s mite are forthright in their implications. Jesus did this because he knew that many of those he spoke to considered money more important than the Kingdom of God. Let’s prayerfully re-examine our giving as an important expression of our faith and rise to the challenge of an additional $20,000 a year over the next three years. <figure class=" sqs-block-image-figure intrinsic " >   ONE CONFERENCE We are excited to have over 240 participants registered for the One Conference here at St John's in the City November 17-19. <figure class=" sqs-block-image-figure intrinsic " > You have the opportunity to attend any of the four main sessions of the conference for just $5 per session. For information on the main sessions go to: https://www.oneconference.org.nz/keynote-speakersYou do not need to preregister to attend, simply come with $5 cash before the session and pay it at the hospitality desk in the St Johns Centre.   WHĀNAU NIGHT 5pm-6.30pm, Sunday 20 November, BYO Picnic. The theme for the evening will be a youth-led Code Breaker night.We started off the year with a picnic in the park, and we are going to finish off with a picnic in the hall. We invite you to bring your own meal to our final celebration.This will be our LAST whānau night of 2022. And in order to continue whānau nights in 2023, we are looking for a committed leader to help orchestrate and organise teams, as Gordon Fitch is stepping down from this role. Please get in touch if you can to help organise whānau nights. <figure class=" sqs-block-image-figure intrinsic " >   DCM Foodbank Appeal …Saturday 19th of November. St John's have been asked to collect from 9am -1pm at Chaffers St New World, with two collectors per hour. You might consider doing this for the sake of those in our city who need help. Please contact Carolyn Goudswaard, if you are able to help. Annual General Meeting …Monday 28th November. Their AGM is in the St John’s Centre. Refreshments will be served from 5:30pm with a meeting start time of 6pm. DCM’s Manahautū, Stephen Turnock, will offer a reflection.   SCOTS COLLEGE ADVENT SERVICE At St John’s in the City 4pm Sunday 27th November 2022.   COMBINED ADVENT SERVICE With St Mary of the Angels and St Peter’s.At St Mary of the Angels 7pm Sunday 27th November 2022 <figure class=" sqs-block-image-figure intrinsic " >   FELLOWSHIP GROUP The Fellowship Group meets for the traditional Advent Service on Tuesday 29th November at 11am in the St John’s Church. Please note this is the fifth Tuesday of the month.The usual shared lunch will be enhanced by strawberries and ice-cream. And a koha will be invited in support of the work of Christian World Service.   The grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.Allister

    • October Messenger
      • RASING THE STANDARD OF GIVING <figure class=" sqs-block-image-figure intrinsic " > ‘Raising the standard of giving’ – describes the thoughtful re-examination of our giving as an important expression for our faith.  We give meaningfully, not because the Church needs it (it does, of course) but because as Christians we need to give it for our own sake spiritually. Our giving connected to our:  Discipleship Shared mission and vision Expression of generosity in proportion to our means. Together we are encouraging one another to think about our values, to examine or re-examine our giving habits accordingly, to make carefully thought-out decisions, and to re-arrange our priorities in using money to enable us to carry out these decisions.  Money is a real responsibility. The more we have of it, the greater our responsibility. The place we give it in our lives, the purposes to which we put it, are very relevant to our Christian life.   Our attitude to money and possessions provides a practical test of our love of God and for others. Often our money may be taken as a yardstick measuring the value we put upon our beliefs. Our attitudes to money, the place we give it in our lives, provide a telling clue to our Christian character.  What is ‘token giving’? Giving is not primarily token by the size of the gift, but by its relationship to the financial means of the giver and how it relates to her/his intention in making it.  What about ‘sacrificial giving’? Graham Redding recently wrote:  “Has the concept of sacrificial giving had its day? For as long as people deem the act of giving to be an integral part of their sense of vocation, then the answer to that question must be no. What is freely and abundantly given, even at a sacrificial level, can be a joy, not a burden.”1  Sacrificial giving is best understood as generous enough to involve substantial cost, and so has real meaning to the giver. It brings to the giver a sense of fulfilment - of responsibilities faced and met. It comes only after careful thought, realisation of the issues involved, prayer and the planning that makes such a gift practicable. It makes a significant impression on the giver’s spiritual life because it brings into sharp focus the importance of spiritual values in life.  So, as we move forward on the journey of faith together, let us re-examination our giving as we put our faith into action every day.  [1] ‘Time to talk about responsible rather than sacrificial giving?’ Graham Redding, Otago Daily Times, 29th April 2022. https://www.odt.co.nz/opinion/time-talk-about-responsible-rather-sacrificial-giving LUMINARY Luminary is a sculptural installation by artist Auckland Karen Sewell which was installed in St John’s chapel from 29 July to 7 August this year, having earlier been shown as part of the collateral projects programme of the Venice Biennale 2022 in Italy and in Auckland, Dunedin and Christchurch. It explored the metaphor of light and light giving bodies and was an effort to revive the long-standing tradition of placing art in churches, in this case with contemporary art. It involved a large sphere illuminated in white and gold light high in the ceiling of the chapel, accompanied by a display of lumen prints, showing another aspect of light.  We saw it as more than that. While providing an opportunity for people to reflect on creation and light, it was also an opportunity for St John’s to connect with the wider community and tell people about our own historic building, with its own art works of high interest such as our stained-glass window of the Good Samaritan on our north wall or Christ’s last supper, shown in the chapel. It worked well. With support from the Congregation contributing to expenses and volunteers helping to open Church, more than 300 people saw the work, including more than 200 from beyond the Congregation. Some stayed for up to half an hour and engaged well about St Johns and what we do on site. A good range of people showed interest, including many students and younger people, some who just wanted to see inside the Church which is normally not open. The sale of Karen Sewell’s donated artworks raised $207 for DCM’s work with the homeless too.   A big thank you to all who helped, including to show us some other ways to connect with our community, as we want to fulfil our vision for St John’s.   See the video production of the installation at St John’s in the city https://www.luminaryvenice.com/luminary-wellington-video  See more at www.luminaryvenice.com  David Galt  <figure class=" sqs-block-image-figure intrinsic " > CHURCH CAMP 2022 This month saw our church whānau join together at Forest Lakes campground for Church Camp 2022. We were treated to lovely spring weather, a plethora of activities, and meaningful worship sessions all packed into just 2 nights! <figure class=" sqs-block-image-figure intrinsic " > Arriving on Friday night, we quickly stowed our things in our cabins, then started camp right with icebreaker games, and a session in the chapel. We got to sing along with the combined worship band and hear more about our theme of “Journeying together”. It felt apt knowing that not only had we all journeyed to Otaki to be together, but we’ve all been on our own journeys through COVID and a rapidly changing world. Games and movies and supper sufficiently tired us all out ready for what we hoped would be a good nights’ sleep in cold cabins. Saturday dawned bright and the whole day stretched before us. After breakfast it was time to welcome our day campers and get stuck into more worship. Truly, guitars and clapping and singing - such a great way to wake up! Then came a life auction; working together in multi-generational teams and trying to build a meaningful life on a (imaginary) budget created rich conversations for sure. Being a part of a ‘poorer’ group really did make our group focus on just a few, top priority qualities that make a huge difference to a good life. Digesting this while hearing more stories of people on a journey brought home how lucky we are, and how we can keep going towards more. Free time in the sun followed our time together, with kayaking, golfing, archery and more. Kids entertained and happy campers mingling together and chatting through life with smiles beaming. <figure class=" sqs-block-image-figure intrinsic " > After more games and then dinner, it was time for the long-awaited camp concert. What talent our church whānau possesses! From dancing to singing to karate to hose trumpets, it all ended with a blow out youth band jam session. What do you do when you’re alone in an elevator?? And of course, camp wouldn’t be complete without the bonfire. We saw roaring flames, gooey marshmallows, and warmth all on a beautifully still night. A perfect chance to be real, and engage with one another. <figure class=" sqs-block-image-figure intrinsic " > Sunday morning worship and we tied together our journeying theme of the weekend. All tied together like a fairy tale.Church camp had been just another casualty of the COVID cancellation era last year, and it was fantastic that we got to pick it up and revive it for this year. It seemed extra rewarding that it came following a big time of post-pandemic change and busy-ness in our lives. A huge thanks to the team of volunteers who helped plan and organise to get it going, and to all those that helped while we were there to keep things running smoothly for us all. God is definitely close when we’re moving towards Him together. Amanda Fitch A FUTURE IN THE CITY In 1853 St John’s was surrounded by paddocks, on the fringe of a new settlement town. Down the road was Te Aro Pa, and in and around Dixon St were ramshackle shanty buildings and an abattoir. Muddy roads, typhoid outbreaks and a British immigrant population were seeking a new beginning having bought land from the unscrupulous NZ Company. Meanwhile Tangata Whenua hailing from Taranaki Whanui and Te Ati Awa were slowly being disenfranchised from their land. The history of Wellington’s settlement is far from pretty. By 1893 women had the vote and there was a strong movement for social improvement. As expressed in the NZ Presbyterian magazine the ‘Christian Outlook’, the place of cities, their influence, the call to be a part of the social fabric and be Christ ‘where you are’ was strong. To ‘Make that one corner, room, house, office as like heaven as you can.’… to “Beautify it, ventilate it, drain it.’… Educate it, Amuse it, Church it. Christianise capital; dignify labour.’’ In 1895, the church was calling members to get involved in the nitty gritty and dirty parts of life, to use their capital for good. To be involved in the hard stuff, to engage in social issues and matters of justice. Not to sit back and watch, but to “Join councils and committees. Provide for the poor, the sick, and the widow. So will you serve the city." This is the whakapapa of St Johns – In the City. Fast forward to 2022. 169 years later we are asking ourselves once again, what does it mean to be part of the City? How do we be Christ’s hands and feet amongst the high-rises, the apartments, and the shadows of the City where loneliness is common? How do we provide a place of restoration in a world of hard tarmac and where open spaces are rare? How do we meaningfully share the knowledge of a loving, hope-filled God to a understandably cynical generation, who have heard more about the damage meted out by religious authority, and never had firsthand experience of the church as a loving, accepting and generous community? This is what we have been grappling with for the last year. We’ve been asking ourselves what is our future? Who do we need to be for a new generation? How do we demonstrate Christ’s message of love, hope and create a place where people feel they belong and can find respite, in order to recharge for whatever life throws at them?After much deliberation, prayerful, presbyterian debate and discussion, we agreed the following statement captured our Vision for the future:We explore and share the gospel with our dynamic neighbourhood. We create safe spaces to be, to belong, and to navigate the tough stuff. Getting to know God is a team sport – that’s why we do this together, not alone. <figure class=" sqs-block-image-figure intrinsic " > The Pohutukawa tree represents our community, our hopes and aspirations – with strong roots in God’s love building faith together, a trunk with many strands that is a place of acceptance and belonging, reaching out our branches in many diverse ways to connect with the dynamic community that surrounds our site and explore the Gospel together.Quickly moving onto Actions, we have tried to put legs on good intentions, and turn theory into practical actions providing a renewed sense of community purpose post-COVID. An interactive workshop where members got a chance to choose a project team they wanted to participate in kicked off this stage. Site and Space TeamChristmas in the Courtyard - a celebration with food, music and carols    Friday 9 DecemberContact Rob Anderson or Judi Ferguson , Phone: 021 239 1702    Community Rebuild Supporting Attendance at Church Camp and Talent Show. 20 older congregation members came to church camp for the day! Awesome job team!!  Whānau Night ExtensionYouth Lead Code Breaker Night, 20 November 2022 – Come along! Vision Communication and ConnectionsImproving Signage and Billboards, Contact: Elizabeth Gibbs. This group has met and made plans. Now…full steam ahead! Getting to Know our Neighbours / Understanding Our Eco System/CommunityParticipating in Wellington Heritage Week (with our Open Day on 5 November), connecting with local property developers to understand future populations.  Contact: Pamela Cohen  Phone:  027 440 1838 Fiona Purchas NOTABLE MENTIONS New MembersAnjali George, Robyn Albertson Pearse Lane for receiving the Chief Scout Award, as well as a Karori Youth Award and MVP for his Football season with Wellington College. Alice Carter won Hutt singing competition and sang in the national Memorial Service for QEII Leon Scohpa (Son of Richard Hpa and Chantelle Scoon) for his Baptism. Bhanu Pancha for her Baptism

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