Pastors Pen – 21 September

Dear Church,
Driving across to Alexandra on Tuesday I was reminded of how much there is to give thanks for. God is good! In the busyness of life we sometimes lose sight of this most basic of truths; so it is good to slow down, to stand back, and to give thanks to God. I confess I often find it hard to take time for this – but when I do I am sure that it is good for me and I believe also that God is pleased.
Too often our prayers are reduced to a shopping list, but prayer should be far more than that. Prayer is a time to adore God, to thank God, to humble ourselves in confession, to listen and hear God’s words of forgiveness and affirmation, and a place to bring our needs to God.
In our church services this Sunday we will be celebrating communion at St John’s, St Margaret’s, and St Andrew’s, then next week we gather at St Margaret’s for our monthly combined service, annual meeting and shared lunch.
Church Services this Sunday: 23rd September
Manna Café Team 9am
St Margarets – Frankton Murray Shallard 9am
St Johns – Arrowtown Ian Guy 9am
St Andrews – Queenstown Ian Guy and YWAM team 10.45am
Remember 30th Sept, combined at St Margaret’s, includes the annual meeting and shared lunch.
Please note copies of previous sermons are normally posted on our Facebook page or on in our web page. Feel free to look, to comment, to share.

ALPHA:     continues this Saturday. Thankyou also to those who have offered to help with meals: we do have enough for this week but will need ongoing help. Also help will be needed to serve and clean up: please let me know if this is you! Can we also all be in prayer please for those participating in Alpha that God may use this time to reveal himself to them in fresh, deep and compelling ways.
COMING UP:
Special Guests:    The Fleck Family: Kenneth & Kim, Jenna & Shani, will be with us on Sunday 7th October, when they will speak at St John’s at 9am followed by St Andrew’s at 10:45am. Usually living in Chiang Mai, Thailand they work to combat HIV and AIDS with the support of SIM NZ
General Assembly: I will be away from the 2nd to 11th October to attend the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand, plus have a few days leave. Murray Shallard will also be in attendance as will Pastor João Petreceli who will be an international guest of the Assembly representing the Presbyterian Church of Chile.
Fair: Saturday 27th October is our FAIR DAY!
Donations of the following can be made from now on by leaving them at the St Margaret’s kitchen:
  • Oranges, lemons, grapefruit for marmalade.
  • Frozen Fruit for Jam
  • Packs of Grated Cheese for Cheese Rolls  
Possible changes to the definition of Marriage: This is an issue that has caused considerable debate up and down our nation. Currently the proposals are at a select committee before coming back for further debate by parliament.
Now is the time for you to have your say. There are a number of ways of doing this.
You can write to an MP. Letters through the post seem to carry greater weight than emails. Write to: (Name of MP, Parliament Office, Private Bag 18 888, Parliament Buildings, Wellington 6140).
  • be very brief. Long letters will not be read.
  • state clearly in the opening your reason for writing: ie “I write to express my opposition to the Bill currently before parliament that seeks to change the definition of Marriage.
  • be moderate, fair and reasoned.
  • in composing your letter try to think with the mind of a non-Christian. Do not fill your letter with Christian jargon or scripture quotes.
You can also make a submission to the select committee that is currently working on this proposal.  Go to http://www.parliament.nz/en-NZ/PB/SC/MakeSub/4/1/c/50SCGA_SCF_00DBHOH_BILL11528_1-Marriage-Definition-of-Marriage-Amendment.htm
Here you can learn about the submission process and at the bottom of the page there is a link to an online submission form. 
If this is a matter that you feel strongly about then I urge you to let our politicians know how you feel.
Arohanui
Ian