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Kids’ Stuff – February 2012

Hi kids,

Well holidays are over and it’s back to school! I hope you all had a wonderful time enjoying wherever you were, even if the weather wasn’t the greatest for some of us.

This year promises to be full of happenings just for you at St Aidans.

We had a great time at our Friday Fun Nights and we will be running FFN again in Term 2 and Term 4.

We are also going to have something new for you and for your whole family. It is called Messy Church and will be on a Friday night once a term. It is an exciting new idea and we hope you will all be able to be part of St Aidans’ Messy Church. The first one will be held on Friday 30 March, so mark that date on the calendar NOW and we will give you more details next month.

And of course, there are our Kids n All services on the first Sunday of each month and Rise and Shine on the 3rd Sunday.

Kids n All on 5 February will focus on ‘being Kiwis’ with Waitangi Day the next day. Our focus on 4 March will be ‘Children’s Day’. Remember

Kids n All is for ALL AGES so come along with the whole family and bring your friends – there will be something for EVERYONE!  Start time 10am.

Rise and Shine starts at 8.30am with a yummy breakfast and then activities and conversation for the whole family. Our first Rise and Shine is on Sunday 19 February…(and a little bird told me there will probably be pancakes for breakfast –YUM!)

Another new happening at St Aidans is our new website where you can get lots more information about what’s going on. So take a look at

www.staidansnorthcote.org.nz. We are quite excited about it.

Well that’s it for this month. I hope you have a good start back at school and all the Kids Friendly team look forward to welcoming you back at St Aidans soon.

Until next time, look after yourself and all those you love and all those who love you.

Liz   (for the Kids Friendly team)

February 13, 2012 in Kids Stuff by

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St Aidans Meandering – February 2012

Greetings – –  What a funny old summer we are having.  Our campers got rained on – some even came home – but the sunny days were beautiful when they arrived.  The “cure all ills” swimming therapy  missed out until one day I braved the cloudy, cool conditions and decided to go in anyway.  Well, the water temp was o.k., but by the time I had walked up the beach in the breeze, had the coldest shower in Auckland, been rained on in the changing shed (no roof), I ran to the car, put the heater on full to ‘thaw’ out and drove home.  No sunbathing that day!  Of course there are lots of jobs one could do, but who wants to tidy cupboards or update the address book – those are winter jobs !!

The tennis in Auckland was disappointing, mainly because of the weather, but the Aussie Open provided fans with some wonderful tennis – the strength and endurance of the finalists was amazing.

Our little 14yr old golfer, Lydia Ko, astounded us with her win in the N.S.W. Open and became the youngest player to win a professional golf tournament.

Looking back to our Christmas Eve service of carols and readings, it was good to see a number of visitors along.  The time of 7pm was attractive to most, especially for children, and it was nice to see some of the children from Friday  fun night along. Did you ‘host’ Mary & Joseph?  There was an interesting reaction from the family and I was glad we hosted them.

Our services combined with the folk of St. Luke’s in January were as always enjoyable.  We look forward to meeting with them again at the World Day of Prayer in March when we get together with all the other churches in our area.

We send BIRTHDAY GREETINGS this month to our dear Win Ferry at Northbridge (I make it 98 this year, Win, is that right?)  A wonderful age and lots of happy thoughts your way.   Happy Birthday to Michael Ayodele from us all.

CONGRATULATIONS to Pat & Colin Reid and Rachel & Simon Hurr on their wedding anniversaries.

 

OUT AND ABOUT

Liz and David Hansen were able to return some of their “international” hospitality at Waihi Beach over the holidays, with friends from the Highlands of Scotland, Italy, and America.  Liz tells us that Jenny, Eric and Lucas will be returning from their work appointment in Indonesia early this year – good news for the family.

Margaret Shepherd had a great idea and took herself on a tour up north over the Christmas time.  She met interesting people and had a good time.

Rosemary & Ralph made the journey to Perth  and enjoyed time with family there.

Kerr Inkson was treated to a visit from daughter Eileen on the occasion of his 70th birthday.   Nan & Kerr recently returned from a visit to Melbourne and Tasmania where they enjoyed the lovely scenery.

Jeanne van der Merwe spent an enjoyable 18 days visiting her parents in Capetown.  She found her parents well and though the weather was hot, it was a drier heat than ours.  Jeanne was pleased to come home again after her lovely holiday.

Margaret and Malcolm did a bit of ‘local’ exploring – after quite a long drive they found Kawhia and had a look round the area, staying a night or two.  For a week after Christmas they visited our Northland beauty spots, including Baylys Beach (once home to quantities of toheroa) and Dargaville, the lovely Opononi on the Hokianga, up to Kaitaia and the Cape Reinga trip, and Kerikeri.  A good chance to recharge the batteries for the year ahead.

While their son and daughter were visiting from Texas, Andre and Helene decided to take the family on a short cruise on the “Pacific Pearl”, round the Hauraki Gulf and the Bay of Islands.  The cruise was a new experience for the family and no doubt a lovely memory to take back to Texas.  Andre mentioned that they saw flying fish and while sitting at breakfast on the ship they could pick out the Church of St. Aidans on the landscape.  We hope the visitors will come again – bon voyage !

Anniversary Day has always been a day for sailing or viewing the yachts from North Head.  This time Edith F and a friend took the Fullers  Ferry Anniversary Cruise – a beautiful day and hundreds of boats of every shape and size and the ferry cruises in their midst.  The highlights  were the race of the eight or more tugboats, including the William C. Daldy, and the start of the Classic yachts race from off Princes Wharf. Unfortunately there was a serious collision between a Classic yacht and a larger boat motoring in to Westhaven, which resulted in the smaller craft being split in two and sinking.  Not a happy day for them.

We send messages of comfort to our St Aidans folk who are not well or are coping with injury and hope to see you again soon.

We all look forward to the year ahead with its joys and challenges.

GO  WELL  AND  SAFELY

 

February 13, 2012 in St Aidans Meandering by

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Dates to Remember – February 2012

Sunday, 5 February     10 am. Kids n All – Come and celebrate living in New Zealand.

Monday,  6 February             Waitangi Day.

Wednesday,  8 Feb.      7.30 pm Finance Team meets.  

Sunday, 12February    10 am Service of quiet reflection.

Monday, 13 February  10 am Drop- In Morning with residents from The Regency & Shoal Bay Villa.

Wednesday, 15 Feb.      Church Council Meeting at 7 pm in Lindisfarne Lounge.

Friday, 17 February      Roast “MEET” Lunch at 12.10pm. Contact Margaret to book

a place (483-5680) .

Sunday, 19 February     Rise and Shine starts at 8.30 am.

Sunday, 19 February     10 am Interactive Service

Thursday, 23 February  Midday. Items for March Newsletter to Malcolm (483-5680)

   by noon please.

Friday, 24 February     6.00pm to 7.30 pm Selling toys ex Toy Library with Sausage

                                         Sizzle here at St Aidan’s

Sunday, 26 February    10 am Worship with Communion – Looking at what’s coming

   up this year at St Aidan’s.

Sunday, 4 March           10 am Kids N All -Theme “Children’s Day”.

Monday, 5 March         10 am Drop-In Morning with Residents from Regency & Shoal Bay Villa.

Tuesday, 6 March        7 pm – 9pm Contemplative Prayer Group meets in Lindisfarne Lounge.

 

WORLD DAY OF PRAYER

Friday, 2 March 2012

Northcote Baptist, Eban Ave., Northcote at 10.30 am.

“Let Justice Prevail”

Malaysia

All are welcome.

February 13, 2012 in Dates to Remember by

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What on Earth Is Happening At St Aidans – February 2012

St Aidans is now on line at www.staidansnorthcote.org.nz this means anyone who is connected to the World Wide Web can check us out and read what is happening here at St Aidan’s. When I pause and reflect upon this, it really is mind blowing, that someone in sayVladivostok orTimbuktu orBath orWoodside Avenue here in Northcote Auckland can read about St Aidans.

Being on the World Wide Web, is not some instant panacea for growth and mission, rather, it is simply a methodology, a way to communicate with people outside the walls of St Aidans Church building.

If you visit our web page you will notice that the Newsletter is being posted on line, however, you will still receive a copy via your elder or through the mail.

If you are on line, why not visit us, and leave a comment on Alf’s blog.

Meanwhile Peace in your Surfing (Surfing the Internet)

Alf

February 13, 2012 in What an Earth is Happening at St Aidans? by

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From the Minister – February 2012

Greetings fellow traveller,

 There is a new natural history programme being shown on TV I called ‘Frozen Planet,’ it is narrated by Sir David Attenborough. During last week’s programme images of snowflakes were shown and the comment from Sir David was that no two snowflakes are the same. I have long known this, but it was good to be reminded of this wonder – filled natural phenomenon. As each snowflake is different, so us humanoids are different, not only are our DNA’s (deoxyribonucleic acid) very different, so will be our responses to the myriad of images we observe on our TV sets.

Over the last eighteen months we have experienced a wide range of images on our TV screens, from the Pike River Mining Disaster, The Christchurch Earthquakes, The Rena Disaster, The Queensland Floods, The London Riots, the Ballooning tragedy in Carterton and the recent images of the Italian Cruise Ship Costa Concordia lying on its side.  Each of these events produces varying responses within us. Of course you and I could well be very much removed and detached from the human aspect of these events, unless of course we have a connection, through a family member or friend and then everything changes.  It then becomes more than just another news item, we are intimately drawn into the unfolding tragedy and our lives are changed forever.

Images carry enormous power, without there being any verbal comment, one such image is that of Phan Thi Kim Phuc, she is best known as the child depicted in the Pulitzer Prize winning photograph taken during the Vietnam War on 8th June 1972. This particular iconic photograph taken in Trang Bang (South Vietnam) by Associated Press photographer Nick Ut and shows her at about nine years of age running naked on a road after being severely burned on her back by a South Vietnamese napalm attack.  A South Vietnamese pilot mistook a group of South Vietnamese for enemy soldiers and attacked the group killing two of Kim Phuc’s cousins and two other villagers.  The image of Kim Phuc running naked amid the confusion of the bombing became one of the most powerful anti – war images of the Vietnam War. In an interview many years later, she recalled she was yelling, Nong qua, nong qua (‘too hot, too hot’) in the picture.  After taking the photograph Ut and others took Kim Phuc and the other injured children toBarskyHospital inSaigon. It was determined that her burns were so severe that she probably would not survive.  She was in hospital for 14 months and had 17 surgical operations, later she returned home to her family and village.

As a young adult Phuc studied medicine, she converted to Christianity in 1982 and in 1986 she was granted permission to continue her studies inCuba.

After arriving inCubashe met Bui Huy Toan another Vietnamese student who later became her fiancé. In 1992 Phuc and Toan married and went on honeymoon, during a refuelling stop inNewfoundland, they left the plane and asked for political asylum, which was granted. She later became a Canadian citizen.  The couple now lives inAjax,Ontarioand have two children.

In 1997 Phuc established the Kim Phuc Foundation in theUSwith the aim of providing medical and psychological assistance to child victims of war.  She continues to undertake public engagements, on one such occasion she shared:

‘Forgiveness made me free from hatred. I still have many scars on my body and severe pain most days but my heart is cleansed. Napalm is very powerful, but faith, forgiveness, and love are much more powerful. We would not have war at all if everyone could learn how to live with true love, hope and forgiveness. If that little girl in the picture can do it, ask yourself, can you?  – Kim Phuc in a National Public Broadcast on US radio 2008

Looking at that image in 1968 who would have thought that coming out of such pain and hurt, new life, hope, courage and compassion could flow, for Phuc learnt to be strong, even in the face of pain.

Mention the word forgiveness and all kinds of images may come into our awareness. Sometimes in our discussions on forgiveness, we enter into what I call ‘the theoretical stratosphere,’ where we put forward all kinds of evil atrocities and speculate can these people really be forgiven.  When we engage in this, it gives us distance from our own hurt and pain.  Because we are followers of Jesus the Christ, forgiveness is at the heart of the gospel story. Yet, sadly, even Christ followers may carry the heavy burden of hurt and emotional pain.

When I read stories like Phuc’s I reflect upon my life, and how I respond to life’s hurt and pain.  Just like each snowflake is very different, so each person who reads her words will respond in a different way, so too we each respond to the pain and hurt that comes across our life’s pathway in very different ways.  I recall those words of W H Auden in his poem In memory of W B Yeats, if you could look past the masculine language there is a message of hope there:

In the deserts of the heart
Let the healing fountain start,
In the prison of his days
teach the free man how to praise.

W H Auden

Forgiveness, begins within, it is there that we are held prisoner, not by concrete, with coils of razor wire and closed circuit security cameras, rather by the power and energy of refusing to forgive.

There are many definitions of forgiveness; I came across a new one recently from Stephanie Dowrick in her book Forgiveness and other acts of love:

Forgiveness is the means to release yourself and perhaps others, too, from an experience of hurt, injury, wounding, suffering humiliation or pain that has already passed. It is what allows you at least some separation from that experience so that you can be fresh to what is present in this moment

 We could well describe forgiveness as releasing another or yourself from one’s personal judgement. Notice that forgiveness is not only about what others have done to us, but what we ourselves may have done to others and indeed ourselves. Often quoted is the quip ‘forgive and forget,’ when those words are spoken what might be the meaning behind and beyond the words?  Can a person actually forget the pain, hurt and suffering they have received in their life and move on?  ‘Forgetting’ does not mean not remembering an event or experience never happened or denying any such thing occurred. Rather, through forgiveness we gain strength and courage not to keep playing the same movie over and over in our heads, especially at2.00 amin the silence of the night. It does mean that when we wake up in the morning our painful experience is not the first thing we think of.  Also, it does mean that at times, often unexpectedly perhaps through a song, a movie scene or even a whiff of pipe tobacco smoke, we will remember what happened, but the intensity of pain will have lessened.

This forgetting is the kind that says to the heart, I have been through pain and hurt, but I will enjoy a meal and a glass of wine with friends, I will enjoy making music in my heart through dancing with friends.  I will delight in my friend’s good news and refuse the invitation to indulge in self pity.  One of the most popular musicals of recent times is Les Miserables, in the final chorus the cast sing Beyond the Barricade, the words are:

Do you hear the people sing? Lost in the valley of the night
It is the music of a people who are climbing to the light
For the wretched of the earth there is a flame that never dies
Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise.
They will live again in freedom in the garden of the Lord
They will walk behind the ploughshed, they will put away the sword.
The chain will be broken and all men will have their reward!
Will you join in our crusade? Who will be strong and stand with me?
Somewhere beyond the baricade is there a world you long to see?
Do you hear the people sing? Say do you hear the distant drums
It is the future that they bring when tomorrow comes
Will you join in our crusade? Who will be strong and stand with me?
Somewhere beyond the baricade is there a world you long to see?
Do you hear the people sing? Say do you hear the distant drums?
It is the future that they bring when tomorrow comes!

 

The story of Les Miserable is the story of forgiveness and hope, the words of the above song encapsulates the experience of forgiveness, of walking beyond our self imposed prison, which entombs us in our pain. When the light of forgiveness shines, we move beyond the barricade that pain and hurt have erected and look forward to a future that tomorrow brings with hope and joy in our heart.

This experience of moving beyond the barricade is found in the most extraordinary places, like these words scratched on the walls of a cellar inCologne,Germanyby a Jew hiding from Nazi persecution:

“I believe in the sun,
even when it is not shining.
I believe in love,
even when I don’t feel it.
I believe in God,
even when there is silence.”

 

To live with hope and faith is a decision we make, not forced from without, rather flowing from the heart within, a heart free to praise and delight in life, a heart unencumbered by anger, bitterness and regret, a heart ready to live with forgiveness and love beyond the barricade. This kind of heart has decided to live with incompleteness and the mystery of life. I leave you with a prayer that has been a source of strength and comfort to millions, it is especially helpful with forgiveness; the prayer of serenity:

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

-Reinhold Niebuhr

Meanwhile Peace Somewhere Beyond the Barricade

Alf Taylor

February 13, 2012 in From the Minister by

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