Building Use Policy

Building Use Policy

Many not-for-profit’s, community groups, commercial organisations and other churches use our buildings for meetings, programs, lectures, classes, presentations, and other activities. Our policy regarding building use is as follows:

The Wakatipu Community Presbyterian Church has three main centres: Queenstown, Frankton, and Arrowtown. In each location, we seek to share our facilities with the community as appropriate. The Church Council believes that it is good stewardship of our property to have the church buildings active, open, and alive throughout the week. However, first and foremost these buildings were built to the glory of God and are for the purposes of Christian worship and ministry. Therefore we reserve the right to ensure that whatever other use is made of these premises that they be used in ways which are wholesome, appropriate, and respectful of Presbyterian values and beliefs.

All building use requests must be approved, and are subject to calendar availability, space availability, and type of use. Phone the church office for more information, 03 441 4250.

(Policy last updated September 2013)

Get the Fear

This morning we begin a 4 week series looking at the book of Jonah – a familiar story that has much to teach us about the sovereignty, and justice and mercy of God.  Jonah 1.

By way of background we need to be aware that Jonah ministered between 800-750BC during a time of relative peace for the northern kingdom of Israel. However a major threat from the north was posed by Assyria, whose intentions for domination of the region were obvious.

Jonah was a contemporary of Elisha, Amos and Hosea. Earlier in his career he had been used by God to bring good news to Israel, in particular he encouraged King Jeroboam to restore Israel’s borders to their former glory (2 Kings 14:25). I’m sure this positive prophet became popular in the royal court and no doubt enjoyed the good favour of the people as well.

However no sooner had Israel achieved the promised security than she began to gloat over her success and became exceedingly complacent about her favoured status with God (Amos 6:1). Religion became focused upon the Day of the Lord (Am 5:18-20) in which other nations would be engulfed in darkness while Israel basked in God’s light.

In any age what does God require of us? Continue reading

Song to the Holy Spirit

Lord, Holy Spirit,
You blow like the wind in a thousand paddocks,
Inside and outside the fences,
You blow where you wish to blow.

Lord, Holy Spirit,
You are the sun who shines on the little plant,
You warm him gently, you give him life,
You raise him up to become a tree with many leaves.

Lord, Holy Spirit,
You are the mother eagle with her young,
Holding them in peace under your feathers.
On the highest mountain you have built your nest,
Above the valley, above the storms of the world,
Where no hunter ever comes.

Lord, Holy Spirit,
You are the bright cloud in whom we hide,
In whom we know already that the battle has been won.
You bring us to our Brother Jesus
To rest our heads upon his shoulder.

Lord, Holy Spirit,
You are the kind fire who does not cease to burn,
Consuming us with flames of love and peace,
Driving us out like sparks to set the world on fire.

Lord, Holy Spirit,
In the love of friends you are building a new house,
Heaven is with us when you are with us.
You are singing your songs in the hearts of the poor
Guide us, wound us, heal us. Bring us to the Father

– James K. Baxter, ‘Song to the Holy Spirit’, in Collected Poems (ed. John Edward Weir; Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1979), 572.

No need to be imprisoned

From a sermon delivered 12th May. Read Acts 16:16-40

Paul and Silas are going to a place of prayer and meet a woman. This woman is a no-name slave girl, no power, no status, no freedom: doubly enslaved: to her human master and to a spirit that bound her in fear.

At first reading I am confused by Paul’s reaction – this woman is after all speaking the truth, at least close to it; she provides free advertising for Paul. Continue reading

New Zealand National Anthem

In New Zealand we have two national anthems of equal status: God of Nations and God Save the Queen. God of Nations was written as a poem/prayer by Thomas Bracken of Dunedin in the 1870’s and was set to the music of John Joesph Woods of Lawrence in 1876. On Christmas Day that year it was first performed in Dunedin but did not become an official national anthem until 1977.  A Māori version was written in 1878 and today the first verses of both the English and Māori are commonly sung at events where as a nation we are stressing our national identity – ie before a sporting test. But I also like to sing it as a prayer.

Please consider it carefully and pray it. For those of us in the Wakatipu, especially as we seek God’s guidance in establishing the Wakatipu Global Community, this is a particularly appropriate prayer. These old words speak to our situation today. We seek to worship together, men and women from the nations, our responsibility before God is to call all people of every race to come and know God, to worship God and to grow in faith.

God of nations! at Thy feet
In the bonds of love we meet,
Hear our voices, we entreat,
God defend our Free Land.
Guard Pacific’s triple star,
From the shafts of strife and war,
Make her praises heard afar,
God defend New Zealand

Men of ev’ry creed and race
Gather here before Thy face,
Asking Thee to bless this place,
God defend our Free Land.
From dissension, envy, hate,
And corruption guard our State,
Make our country good and great,
God defend New Zealand.

Peace, not war, shall be our boast,
But, should foes assail our coast,
Make us then a mighty host,
God defend our Free Land.
Lord of battles in thy might,
Put our enemies to flight,
Let our cause be just and right,
God defend New Zealand.

Let our love for Thee increase,
May Thy blessings never cease,
Give us plenty, give us peace,
God defend our Free Land.
From dishonour and from shame
Guard our country’s spotless name
Crown her with immortal fame,
God defend New Zealand.

May our mountains ever be
Freedom’s ramparts on the sea,
Make us faithful unto Thee,
God defend our Free Land.
Guide her in the nations’ van,
Preaching love and truth to man,
Working out Thy Glorious plan,
God defend New Zealand.

Remember Me

from a sermon delivered Sunday 26th April at St John's, Arrowtown. Read 1 Corinthians 11:1, 17-34

If you have been part of this church, or for that matter, almost any church, for more than a month or two you will be familiar with the words, “Do this in remembrance of me.” In virtually all congregations these words are said each time communion is shared. Continue reading

What do you make of Easter?

What do you make of Easter?

A much needed long weekend in which you can relax, catch up with friends, gather with family. An excuse to indulge: chocoholics delight!

These are not bad things – enjoy and be thankful.

easter-lily-Christ-risen

But please reserve your greatest thanks for God. Remember again the promise of an empty tomb. Hear the words again: ‘He is not here, he has been raised.’ Why are we surprised by such words? This is what Jesus always said would happen? And now that it has we’re invited to live in his resurrection.

And here’s the tragedy – too many of us fail to live as Easter people; resurrection people. We shuffle around – timid, barely raising a smile at the greatest news ever heard. Christ is Alive!!! Death is defeated!!! Our sin forgiven!!! We live again!!!

Let us celebrate with thanksgiving: as the hymn ‘We are an Easter People’ by Bill Wallace puts it “… our fears have died, we rise to dream, to love, to dance, to live”.

 

to the Cross

A sermon for Palm/Passion Sunday 24th March. Luke 19:28-41, 22:39-48

Entry to JerusalemThis Sunday we enter what the church calls Holy Week, a week that traces the final days of Jesus’ earthly life and invites us to enter the journey for ourselves: some of us will attend to prayer and bible reading, and if that’s for you there are suggested readings that I sent out by email this week and on our web page and Facebook there’s a link to a book you can download there.

Sometimes this time in the church year can seem a little ho hum, been there done that. We know the details of Palm Sunday, the Last Supper, Good Friday, and Easter. We are going through this again? Why? Continue reading

Holy Week Devotional

Holy Week begins on Sunday March 24 this year, Palm Sunday.

As a preparation for Easter and to help maximise the impact of the Easter weekend I believe it is helpful to use the week before it in prayer and bible study.

There are many ways to do this, but one good resource, and it’s free, I have discovered is a small book from John Piper, which will make the lead up to Easter more meaningful for you.

Love-to-the-Uttermost-copyAbout the Book

Love to the Uttermost: Devotional Readings for Holy Week is designed for Lent 2013. The readings begin on Palm Sunday (March 24), end on Easter Sunday (March 31), and aim to focus our attention on Jesus he displays his love to the uttermost (John 13:1). These meditations on the self-giving love of Christ are all excerpted from the preaching and writing ministry of John Piper.

Comprised of eight excerpts (plus one prologue reading) selected from John Piper’s extensive writing and preaching ministry, this new devotional was compiled and shaped for use in personal devotions or family and group settings.

As Pastor John explains, this one term — uttermost — is loaded with significance. When used of Jesus’s willing death for his friends, it means he endured unimaginable degrees of suffering to do so (John 13:1, NAS).

To love to the uttermost is to love freely, without reserve or limit, and without flaw or failure. As we watch his arrest and trial and death unfold for eight days, we gaze on a God-man who begrudges no pain or reproach on his pathway to redeem lost sinners. This is the man who “humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross” (Philippians 2:8).

“Fix your gaze steadily on him,” John Piper writes of Holy Week, “as he loves you to the uttermost.” To that end, you can download the free devotional — Love to the Uttermost — in three formats:

Note: To load the eBook on a mobile device it may be necessary to view this blog post from within your device, then to click the download option.

Table of Contents

Editor’s Preface
Prologue: A Vision for Holy Week
1. Palm Sunday: Seeing the King on Palm Sunday
2. Monday: He Set His Face for Jerusalem
3. Tuesday: Depth of Love for Us
4. Wednesday: Why Jesus Is All-Trustworthy
5. Maundy Thursday: Thursday of the Commandment
6. Good Friday: What Good Friday Is All About
7. Saturday: A Holy Week Volcano
8. Easter Sunday: Such Amazing Resurrection Love