Dates for October 2013

Tuesday 1st 7pm Come to Quiet Lindisfarne Lounge
Sunday 6th 10am Kids N All Service
Monday 7th 10am Drop Inn Morning with residents from Regency & Shoal Bay Villa
Sunday 13th 10am Quiet Service
Wednesday 16th 7pm Church Council Meeting
Friday 18th 12.15pm Roast Meet, Lindisfarne Lounge
Sunday 20th 10am Café Church
Friday 25nd   Friday Fun Nights
Sunday 27th 10am Communion Service
Sunday 3rd 10am Kids N All


October 6, 2013 in Dates to Remember, Newsletter by

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Duty Rosters – October 2013

Duty Rosters

  Elder Door Duty Cleaning Flowers
Oct 6 Pat Colin & Edith Jet Cleaning Margaret
Oct 13 Helene Bev & Avis Betty H Robin
Oct 20 Jeanne Nan & Joss Jet Cleaning Robin
Oct 27 Margaret Malcolm & Linda B Jeanne Margaret
Nov 3 Mary B Andre & Helene Jet Cleaning  

October 6, 2013 in Newsletter, Rosters by

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Progressive Christianity – October 2013

Progressive Christianity

Meanderings by Keith Rowe

as published in the Newsletter of the Community St Lukes, Remuera.

A number of people have asked me to write something for the newsletter about ‘Progressive Christianity’ – what do we mean by the term, how it differs from other expressions of Christian believing and why the term ‘progressive’?

Progressive Christianity represents a movement within the church to rediscover the essential heart of the Christian way and what it means to live and believe in the pathway pioneered by Jesus in our generation.  Progressive Christianity is a renewal movement within the Christian church.  It’s relatively new as far as any organisational form is concerned, but it draws on a long tradition of questioning faith. Negatively, it represents a sharp critique of many of the forms Christianity has taken in our time.  Progressives have turned aside from the dogmatic, fundamentalist and moralistic forms of church life that are so common in our time.  Many of those who identify with the progressive movement have left congregations locked into a narrow fundamentalist interpretation of the bible, a dogmatic adherence to past formulations of Christian belief and strong resistance to the challenge and excitement of scientific knowledge and truth shared with us by followers of other faiths.  Others remain within congregations where they are not fed spiritually or intellectually.

There’s a regular stream of folk who attend St Luke’s occasionally to supplement the light spiritual and intellectual rations offered in the congregation they attend with diminishing enthusiasm.  In many quarters the word ‘Christian’ has become a sort of swear word describing groups known for their exclusion of those who don’t fit what they regard as ‘normal’ and opposing any truth that doesn’t fit their pre-determined and rigid belief structure.  Progressives seek a more open and adventurous expression of Christian faith.

Progressive Christianity values the traditional sources of Christian wisdom and practice – Bible, church, sacraments, prayer, worship – though it may want to reshape or reinterpret them. Importantly, Progressive Christianity is committed to a vigorous and disciplined engagement with all areas of life and discovery.  So Progressive Christians are engaged in conversation with emerging truth unearthed through scientific discovery.  We welcome the picture opened up by those who have helped us to appreciate the evolutionary nature of our cosmos. There is no conflict between evolution and Biblical myths about creation. They are answers to different questions. Progressive Christians seek to dwell in conversation with all areas of human living, allowing wisdom found among artists, scientists, philosophers, psychologists, other religions, social critics and economists to mingle with Biblical and theological wisdom.  Progressive Christians understand the Christian way to be a journey into truth and onto God.  When it comes to thinking about God, Progressive Christians are wary of the inherited view that God is like a great, all knowing, all powerful and judgemental ruler. They find more help in Biblical images where God is described as love within which we live and more in which we have our being; more like a river within which we flow than a judge before whom we quake.  For Progressive Christians, Jesus is the focus of Christian living and of their understanding of life’s possibilities.  However, they acknowledge that founders of other religions and the traditions they built also bear witness to the presence of God within the human family. Progressive Christians are uneasy with the way those shaped by more conservative or fundamentalist perspectives describe the significance of Jesus’ crucifixion – that his death was a sacrifice offered to an offended God so that God might then be able/willing to forgive people for their sins.  Imagery like this may have served earlier generations but it paints a dreadful picture of a God who takes on a vindictive and punishing face. Faced by problematic events recorded in the Bible like virgin birth, Christmas stories, miracles, healings and the resurrection, Progressives seek the truth conveyed within these ancient stories rather than arguing of the historical reliability of these and other Biblical stories or myths (a technical literary term referring to tales that though not historical are the bearers of deep truth).

(Keith Rowe has published, in February 2013, a book ‘Why weren’t we told?)

October 6, 2013 in A Little Extra, Newsletter by

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Holyland Pilgrimage 2013 – October 2013

The Cathedral Monsignor was the spiritual leader, Priest, and kind caring pastor for the group. A couple who run Holyland Pilgrimages annually were the organisers and general “whips”. And 37 mostly wide-eyed and slightly apprehensive travellers trotted along behind.

For a few it was not the first visit but for most of us it was brand new into the Middle East. Hundreds of others joined us on the very large jumbo – each having their own reasons why they would go near what some in kiwiland would call a danger zone – and who didn’t mind going via Aussie – with the most bureaucratic airport staff we encountered in the 19 days.

So 30 hours later after descending on Dubai and hopping to Amman we ended up in Petra via a three hour bus trip. And accompanied – as we were for all of the three days we spent in Jordan – by a pistol-packing Tourist Police Officer – a “routine security precaution”.

Petra – who could forget you – way down south through the desert, second most popular of the 7 wonders of the world (behind China’s wall). Houses, temples, ”treasury”, places of worship all carved out of the steep stone mountains. Bedouin children selling rides on camels, donkeys and horses. Indiana Jones; Moses walked there, so did the Wise Men.

Jordan – mostly desert, occasional oasis, death place of Moses and Aaron, home of lovely kind caring and gentle people.

Then across the only river (more of a creek really) anywhere within a camels roar – the Jordan – baptismal scene for Jesus and John. Oh and there was time and suitability for most of us to renew our baptismal vows. (We won’t talk about the large river rat!). The border – bags on bus, bags off, bags dragged through, bags on new bus. It took an hour or two, and a bit more for trolley mirrors under the bus – perhaps we looked like potential terrorists!

Israel – a big contrast to Jordan – very fertile and watered land. Growing bananas, olives, grapes, dates (300 varieties and good for making honey!), figs, tomatoes, more olives, mangos and olives!

Water – what a critical issue for the whole area. The Sea of Galilee is vital for both Jordan and Israel. Rationing is routine in Jordan. Very hot (40 degrees most days). The lake looked as big as Taupo, but actually only 25% and shrinking through inadequate rain.

Hour-long Masses were held each day and a memorable one took place on a Jesus-type boat on the Lake where I was privileged to sing “The Stranger Of Galilee”. Two hundred metres below sea level there.

And hotter still at the Dead Sea – 400 metres. Can’t sink there and a strange sensation in the “water” – not a good idea to get it in your eyes. But the mud from it is said to be good for your skin – so they say as they sell it to you in pottles.

Lots of Biblical places. Magdala – scene of a very exciting and current “dig”. Capernaum in the Gollan Heights where Jesus spent a lot of time. Jericho – it really is “down” from Jerusalem. Nazareth; Bethlehem (inside the West Bank taken from Jordan in the 1967 war) where we talked to the kiwi Vice-Chancellor of the University and experienced the saddest sight on the trip – the walling-in of this city by the Israelis with 25 foot-high concrete. They say for “security”, the Palestinians say “apartheid”. I incline to the latter view.

And then Cana – the wedding and the wine (or lack of it). Opportunity for the 9 couples in our group to renew their marriage vows – memorable, and the rings!

Jerusalem – so rich with sites depicting many of the big events of the life and death of Jesus. And of course the unforgettable “wailing” wall. The prayer requests of the earnest stuffed in the cracks, looking for some good to come from the annual visit and collect by the High Priest. Sadly some will not make it – blown away in the wind and trampled.

Masada – magnificent mountain with the Herod-built fortress (seen the film?), where a fanatical Jewish sect held out the Romans for ages, and then took their own lives rather than be captured.

Gollan Heights – only 120 sq kms (Israel is a very small country) from where you can see nearly everything – good for a rocket base etc.

Generally a peaceful country – laid back drivers on grid-locked roads; no obvious fear or aggression; no road crashes, violence or demonstrations seen – the bigger issues were pick-pockets in the pressing crowds and merchants who might rip you off on price or through theft of credit card details.

Sense of history – big digs everywhere, some current, some past. Layer upon layer of past civilisations. Some sites and details authenticated, some uncertain, and some plain dubious. Crowds of tourists, flash buses everywhere. Big queues for main sites.

Did I say queues? Particularly for tourists from Europe, what are queues? Didn’t God give you elbows, shoulders and muscle and isn’t it good to know the value of the pincer movement?

Piety – the problematic Hasidic Jews, immigrants mainly from Europe with their stifling black suits and hats, and ringlets. The partial shut-down of the country on the Sabbath – no hot food in the hotels on Saturday. Who’s for cold toast? Peculiarities of not doing work on the Sabbath still there (didn’t Jesus have a crack at that 2000 years ago?) For example dedicated hotel lifts with no required button-pushing on the Sabbath (work!).

Just a thought – if you were looking for a job and were not keen on work you could take up exterior house painting. But you would need to cover the whole of Jordan and Israel and you would have no competition. Houses are built of sandstone and when you look at a whole hillside of apartments they are all one colour!

Heather and I loved the history; the beauty (mosaics and wall/ceiling art in churches and sacred places); the buildings – ancient and nearly ancient demonstrating brilliant architecture and breath-taking engineering; the poignancy (there is still at least one olive in the Garden Of Gethsemane proven to be 2500 years old); the vibrancy of the people; sadness from seeing the treatment of the Palestinians in the West Bank; connection with the historic roots of our faith. And the “family-ness” of our fellow travellers.

For those who haven’t been – a must for your “bucket list”. Go with a group (who will hire a good bus driver and an essential local guide). Prepare for the heat. Get fit for a fair bit of walking. And soak in the whole feelings of history and meet some lovely people – Palestinians (especially), and Christians, Muslims and Jews. And have fun!

Robin G

October 6, 2013 in Foreign Correspondents, Newsletter by

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St Aidan’s Meanderings – October 2013

Greetings – Whew! What a time we have had – so much going on.  What an amazing spectacle to see those magnificent sailing machines in the America’s Cup flying over the waters of San Francisco. Our Team was so strong and skilful – we were so proud of them – we felt the pain of losing the final race, after sailing impeccably, and being the virtual winners for so long.  It was interesting that there was only one American in the crew of Oracle USA and that their boat speed was due to N.Z. expertise pushing it along.  We look forward to welcoming back the Team publicly after a thrilling regatta from which we have almost recovered!!   The small boat sailors (49ers – male and female) have done well at the World Champs in Barcelona as have our ‘special’ athletes in the swimming.

Our St Aidan’s Floral Affair was a resounding success, both as a fund raiser and a happy social occasion. Thanks to the floral artists who celebrated “Spring” with their lovely arrangements; the organisers and performers at the ‘world class’ concert;  the hostesses and providers of food – right up to standard; the girls who assisted with food distribution.  It was a good show – our friends went home happy.

Friday Fun Night continues to be an enjoyable night for the children – thanks to a combined effort. If you would like to provide food or materials for this outreach, give Robin a call.

Also, is there someone who would like to be involved in the reading programme for 5-6 yr olds at Northcote Primary?  Please contact Edith (418-2620).

We are pleased to see Colin back to normal after his skiing accident; Bev A has recovered from surgery on her hand; Anne G. still must rest her leg as much as possible to complete the healing. She is looking forward to being able to get about, especially now the sun is beginning to shine.

The Colvens are coping with a few medical problems at present – we wish you well, Jimi.

It was good to welcome the folk who have come to join us in the Community of St Aidans at the service in September.  Welcome aboard folks – nice to have you with us.

THE ANNUAL MEETING was not well attended at the end of September but there was good discussion on some important matters.

BIRTHDAYS   We have a number of folk celebrating their birthday this month – Kimberley; Graeme; Rob and Lee in Oz; Pat; Yvonne.  Happy birthday.

Two of our ladies have a special occasion in October – Mary A turns 90 and Margaret S turns 92 !!!  Congratulations and Happy Birthday to you both.

OUT AND ABOUT – Val W.  Enjoyed an interesting experience when she accompanied her grandson’s Auckland Grammar Under 15 hockey team to their Hamilton tournament.  Val learned a little of what is involved in feeding and seeing to the needs of a group of teenage boys away from home.

She was also fortunate to join ‘Ship and Shore’ on their excursion to the Wearable Arts Festival in Wellington, travelling by coach to National Park (staying at the Chateau), then train to Wellington and back to Auckland by Air.  Like most people who attend, Val was WOW’d by the whole experience!!

Edith had an unexpected ‘treat’ when she attended the All Blacks/South Africa Test at Eden Park in September. First time on the ‘hallowed ground’ since the World Cup, “being there” in the crowd was almost as much fun as the game itself – some interesting behaviour , especially as the seats were directly below the glass pavilion of the S.A. coach!!   There was some good running Rugby but the tough S.A. style of play was much as remembered from the past.

The Operatunity concerts are always good, but the audience was treated to a special feast at the concert of “The Greatest Song Ever Written”.  People had submitted their favourite during the year and the singers had compiled a programme of 26 of the most popular – over a wide range – quite a job.  The quartet consisted of two sopranos, one baritone and one tenor, all accomplished singers.  They gave a beautiful rendition of Leonard Cohen’s “Halleluja” as the finale – perhaps it was the most popular.  The choice was from the whole of N.Z. as their concerts are performed from Invercargill to Whangarei.

Lynda’s and Andrea’s daughters, Alex and Emily, were proud to be part of the Northcote Intermediate Girls’ Hockey team who won their winter hockey championship.

Our Jeanne has been running again – she tackled the Hamilton half marathon and followed it a week later by the Melbourne Marathon – wow!  The Melbourne trip was all the sweeter as she was able to spend time with son Jacques who is at university there.  What a great way to spend the school holidays.  Good luck Jeanne.

Remember if you are walking in the parks over the holidays to keep an eye out for the newly hatched babies – four beautiful grey signets were seen at Chelsea, hitching a ride on mother’s back – very cute.

Have you thought about inviting a family member, friend or neighbour along to Cafe Church?


The game of life is the game of boomerangs.

            our thoughts, deeds and words return to us sooner or later,

            with astounding accuracy

Florence Scovel Shinn

Blessings –    Go well and safely.


October 6, 2013 in Newsletter, St Aidans Meandering by

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