Welcome & Message from the Clergy Desk

 

 

Old St John's Anglican Church Arawata St Te Awamutu  New St John's Church

 

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. Welcomer 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 Amy at our office know.
  • Please visit our new Facebook Page 

 

Message from the Deacon

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and the Holy Spirit, Amen.

 

In the Holy Gospels, we hear and read of the transfiguration of our Lord Jesus on an un-named wind-swept and sometimes cloudy mountain in Israel. Jesus takes two of his closest disciples James, John and Peter along as he climbs the mountain. There on the summit, our Lord is joined briefly by two of the greatest figures in Hebrew Scripture, namely Elijah, the prophet of all prophets, and Moses, the giver of the Law. And for a brief time they talked, possibly of our Lord’s mission on earth and what was to happen next.

 

The two Old Testament saints disappeared in a bright white cloud and Jesus was affirmed by his father in heaven for what he was called and prepared to do.

 

The Old Testament is littered with saints in a manner of speaking, not that the Jewish people would regard them in that light. We have Gideon who defeated the godless Midianites, Samson, the wise king, Samuel who served God and David, an ancestor of our Lord, known to us as the Psalmist and shepherd king, not overlooking of course our friends Moses and Elijah.

 

While not all of those people led blemish-free and perfect lives, they were used by God as the instruments and means of gradually developing his plan to bring back a lost and confused Israel to himself. He also used many prophets, great ones like Isaiah whose words we have heard earlier in the service and well as those in the minor league such as Micah. They were his mouthpiece, through whom he chastised and taught his chosen people. And through Moses, he gave them the Law –  the Guidelines by which he expected his people to honour, fulfil and live by. So everyone had a part to play in the grand scheme that was being developed.

 

But unfortunately prophets were often ignored, mistreated, beaten and even killed because the words they were inspired to share were a little too close for comfort, they pricked the conscience of the sinful and sometimes they were the harbingers of doom and suffering and destruct- ion. Being a prophet or indeed a saint in those days was not an easy task.

 

In the reading from Hebrews, the writer talks to us about how the saints of the times after the death and resurrection of our Lord fared. Obviously the people of God and those who were pagan was and were not receptive to the words and ministrations of those called by God to do his will. The writer tells us that some died by the sword, stoned to death, imprisoned and chained, mocked and persecuted, and cast out of the synagogues and the cities.

 

Despite all what they endured, as recounted in the New Testament in the Acts of the Apostles etc., they, like their earlier counterparts in Hebrew Scripture, had faith in God who had called them and perseverance to endure what was thrown at them. They were saints in his eyes, they were lights shining in the darkness of sin and confusion and lack of faith.

 

Today is the Feast Day of All Saints. We remember and give thanks not only for those of the Old Testament but also that of its New counterpart. We acknowledge that they were instruments of God’s will and plan of things. We recognise also that through their ministries and sometimes violent loss of life, they serve to inspire us.

 

Through the water of Holy Baptism and anointing with the consecrated oil, we are all marked to service for our Lord and his Father in heaven. He created us in his own image and gave us gifts and talents with which to use. Many of us were confirmed, the Bishop of the day praying over us that we might the power of the Holy Spirit in our teenage lives to do the Lord’s work. And when we assemble for the Holy Communion or the Eucharist or the Mass, we are fed with the love of God through the sacrifice of his only Son. So then, we have all been empowered and nurtured to do his will.

 

Whether we are as willing to minister as robustly and fearlessly and faithfully and confidently as those saints of the Old and New Testaments is of course up to us. We may not see ourselves as saints in this our Parish and this our community, but we are. For everything we do here or in the community through voluntary service or ministry are something valuable, and it furthers the kingdom of God. Often we may not realise the impact of what are doing on the lives of others – all for the good of all.

 

Those saints we have heard about and know of had much faith, and yes sometimes they did experience pangs of self-doubt. They too were human just like us. God had as much faith in them as they did in him if not more! But as the modern day saints of and in our world as we know it, do we also have faith not only in God but also in ourselves and our own abilities. Do we have the courage to step out and step up to offer of ourselves and the goodness that we have?

 

Those are questions that we alone can only answer in our hearts and minds and souls. We have a myriad of saints to admire and be thankful for and even are inspired by. But are we prepared to listen to and learn from them and follow in their footsteps?

 

This feast day of All Saints serves to remind us of all those things. God has given us the examples to look upon. Only we can provide the answers and walk the talk.

 

And to that, let us all say,

 

Amen!!

Deacon Norris

St Saviours at Pirongia
St Saviours at Pirongia

 

 

St Pauls, Hairini