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

The Wise seek Him

a sermon for January 6th 2013. Readings Matthew 2:1-12

The Journey of the Magi, by James Tissot (1894)

Matthew the gospel writer tells a story we know automatically as the Three Wise Men – mind you nowhere does Matthew actually tell us how many there were, we are simply told that Magi or Wise Men came from the east.

They came following a light to find the light.

And that’s what this story is about: it is the story of the light shining in the darkness.

As Matthew tells the story there is a foreboding in the air – the Magi sense it and don’t trust Herod, and as events would soon show they were right in their caution because it was not long before a furious Herod attempted to destroy Jesus, and he left little to chance – his orders were explicit and brutal, as he demanded the death of all little boys in and near Bethlehem two years old and younger. Continue reading

Pastor’s Pen – 28 September

Dear Church,This Sunday we gather at St Margaret’s at 10.30am (PLEASE NOTE THIS IS CORRECT – information about St Andrew’s is incorrect) for our end of month combined service and shared lunch. This week we also take a little time to conduct the business of the Annual Meeting. I know that some of you will groan at the thought of a meeting but I trust you can come to this particular meeting with an attitude of thanksgiving and anticipation. This will be a time to hear some stories and to celebrate all that God is doing in our midst, and maybe, if we dare, to begin dreaming of what might be as we faithfully follow God in tomorrow.

I’ll be reflecting on Hebrews 11 and would encourage you to do likewise between now and Sunday. This chapter reminds us of some wonderful men and women of faith who achieved remarkable things. But the real point surely is that these men and women were actually pretty ordinary, they were weak and at times disobedient to God, yet they had faith and their faith was in God who they believed was trustworthy and who could do the impossible. Why else would they have stepped out of their places of comfort, taken the risks, exposed themselves to ridicule except that they believed that God was worth following no matter what. As we look back on our lives, either personal or corporate, where have we stepped out in faith? What has that cost us? What have been the results?
What I wonder is the new thing that God is calling you to, what is God calling us to? 
Do we have the faith to step out?
Services this Sunday: 30th September

30th

Manna Café – Queenstown Team 9am
Combined service and Annual meeting at:St Margarets – Frankton Ian Guy 10.30am

Combined service followed by SHARED LUNCH

ALPHA:     continues this Saturday. We are having some remarkable conversations. Plenty is going on in people’s lives.
Meals continue to be needed – please let Amanda or myself know if you can help. Also to those who have offered to help with meals: we do have enough for this week but we will need ongoing help. Also help is required 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 Kim and Kenneth head up the HIV prevention work of SIM in Asia with a focus on community transformation. Next Sunday Kenneth and Kim will introduce you to their work, share a little of their experience in Thailand and bring us a message from God’s word. You are also invited to contribute to a special offering in support of the Fleck family.
To understand more of their work view the video ‘Radical Grace from Kenneth Fleckor visit the Hope for Aids site.

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 Update: Saturday 27th October is our FAIR DAY!

Thank you to those who have donated ingredients for the marmalade making and to those who have made donations of money to help make goods for the Produce Stall- much appreciated.

Right now is the right time to be potting up seedlings from your garden and planting cuttings from bushes that are starting to grow again after their winter hibernation.

A new stall at the Fair this year combined with cheese rolls is a Cup Cake Stall. So we’ll be looking for support from the cup cake makers in our community.

We are on the lookout for someone to run the mini golf game – all the gear is supplied, so if this sounds like you please let a committee member know.

Like last year there will be a second ice cream and drinks stall in the show ring and we need 2 or 3 people to sell these goods. Let a committee member know if you are willing to help here. We need help from EVERYONE on Fair Day so please consider these requests.

Arohanui
Ian

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

Pastor’s Pen – 7 September 2012

Dear Church,
 
Sad news this week with the death yesterday of John Manson of Arrowtown. Westray and their daughter Fiona are supporting one another and are also well supported by the church and Arrowtown community. John’s funeral service will be held at St John’s on Monday at 2pm.


This week we conclude (for a time) our following of Joseph’s story.
Much has changed in his life: from rejection, slavery, prison and now power. And here we now see him reunited with his brothers. Clearly it’s not an easy meeting, you sense Joseph wrestles with his emotions, surely part of him wants justice or is revenge a better word, let kinship is strong, and love and responsibility is also present.
We all have a choice when it comes to dealing with our past: we can stay in the pain – we can increase the pain and shut the door on healing; or we can choose a better way, God’s way.
The text this week is Genesis 42: 1-29, 36-38 I also encourage you to continue reading to Genesis 46: 7
Arohanui