The Parish of St John
“a community living, growing and sharing the Gospel of Christ”
Our congregation is made up of ordinary people from all walks of life and backgrounds. We’re young and old in age, single, married, divorced and widowed, new Christians and mature ones.
- We have something for the young, the middle years and for the older folks ( check out the Friendship page)
- There is an unconditional welcome waiting for you and we trust you will enjoy worshiping God with us.
- For some people going anywhere for the first time can be a bit of a nerve racking experience. Welcomers will meet you at the door and don’t be afraid to tell them you are a new visitor.We aren’t super spiritual beings, we’ve all had a first day somewhere and you’ll find us a friendly bunch.
You are invited to join us and meet other Church members after the 10 am service when we enjoy a cup of tea or coffee in the lounge. On the second and fourth Sundays we have a more traditional service with a lot more of the traditional hymns and on the first and third Sundays we are a little less formal. What ever suits you we always have a warm welcome whatever service you would like attend! And on Thursdays in Old St Johns we even have the 1662 Eucharist Service. So we have something for everyone.
We are richly blessed in having alternative places to worship in St Johns Parish. We have two sister churches, one in Hairini – the historic St Paul’s and St Saviour’s in Pirongia. Services at these churches will be found on the Service Times page. You would be most welcome there, too.
We are pleased that you have taken the time to visit our website and we would be delighted to welcome you to any of churches in the parish.
- If you would like Home Communion, please let Bev at our office know.
- Please visit our new Facebook Page
Message from the Deacon
Christmas is now but a distant memory if not expensive memory. We hope that you had a wonderful festive time enjoying the company of family and friends; remembering of course that Jesus is the reason for the season. Since celebrating the nativity of our Lord, those who have attended worship after Christmas have contemplated on the baptism of Jesus by the John the Baptist, His presentation to the temple as required by the Law of Moses, in addition to the Festival of Epiphany observing the manifestation of god in our midst through His only begotten son, Jesus. A busy time and schedule for all concerned, and a memo that the Church year does not grind to a halt immediately after Christmas.
The Festival of Epiphany, which is very dear to the Eastern Orthodox tradition – more so than Christmas itself – reminds us of the visit by the Wise Men, or the Magi, to the infant Jesus. They traveled from afar bearing expensive gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh, presenting the treasures to the Holy Infant on arrival.
In the words of the melodic hymn “We three kings of Orient are” we are informed that:
“Myrrh is mine: its bitter perfume
tells of His death and Calvary’s gloom;
sorrowing, sighing, bleeding, dying,
sealed in a stone-cold tomb.”
Hardly a joyful aftermath of a festive and joyful Christmas!
Jesus and his parents had a torrid time, vacating the Bethlehem stable since there was no room in the inn for them; fleeing for safety to Egypt from a jealous and frightened Herod, a Jewish ruler who slaughtered male infants 2 years and younger in that auspicious city of David to ensure he still had power and influence. The dark clouds that would shadow the ministry of Jesus in His day and setting were already gathering overhead.
But those words serve to remind us that on February 18th, we observe Ash Wednesday, ushering in the penitential weeks of Lent. Instead of the gold and white and flowers that joyfully decorates the church interior, we are plunged into the sober colour of purple for 40 days, no flowers, no singing or reciting the “Gloria” at the Eucharist.
Like Jesus, we too experience a potentially harsh preparation. For Jesus, His ministry; for us, the great Festival of Easter. For all of us, we learn and we pray and we withstand temptation and we wait. Like Jesus, we make a journey of fasting or doing without for those 40 days.
Before all that time of starkness, however we will have observed Candlemas on February 1st. On that Sunday we bless the candles to be used on the altars in our four worships centres. And we will have promised that like Jesus who was God’s shining light in His creation, that we too will reflect that love into our respective communities.
Like Jesus, we will be in words of Simeon in Luke’s Nunc Dimittis:
“a light to reveal You to the nations: and the glory of Your people Israel.”
In the lead up to Lent, let us pray for our Parish, the Ministry Team both ordained and lay, for the congregation at St Saviour’s in Pirongia as they begin to minister each other, and for ourselves; giving thanks that here in New Zealand we can worship, minister and witness as Christians without persecution and the fear of death and our light never be extinguished. Prayer is always answered!
May God bless us all and give us His peace this Lent and beyond, enlightening us as we journey in His presence. Amen.
Shalom and blessings,
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