Our service for Sunday, 11 December 2016
A service to remember Colin Moore - member of our church family since 1990.
For the second time in two years our church community suffered the sudden and tragic loss of a beloved member. Colin Moore died in a
freak accident. He lost conciousness and stopped breathing for ten minutes after he choked on a sandwich. He was 69. We spent time
dealing with the shock of Colin's death and sang "Let justice roll down like a river, let justice roll down like a sea, let justice roll down like a
river, let justice begin through me" - a hymn which sums up Colin's life. Later we donated gifts to DCM and farewelled Mark and
Carl, also part of our family but moving to Hamilton. We sang Happy 112th Birthday to our church and Vivienne and Mary cut Elaine's
beautiful birthday cake. At the end of the service, Brett and Merge held a bake sale at the back of the church to raise money for a trip
next year to 'New Wine'. Jo warned everyone to keep the 5th March free for Neighbours Day.
Our service for the second Sunday in Advent
Service of Holy Communion Sunday, 4 December 2016
Last week we lit the candle which represented Hope. This
week we lit the candle of Peace - a candle to remind us that
God promises peace, comfort and strength. Following Holy
Communion we shared news: Ruth's family had
celebrated her eldest daughter's wedding. She introduced
another daughter, Kathryn. Meg and Michelle are off to the
UK for seven weeks, Nan's son is coming from Switzerland
for Christmas and Vicky had heard from Becca who said
her local pond had iced over and the ducks were walking
across it! Alister went through the notices.
We had a
shorter service this Sunday in order to continue
our congregational conversation about the future of our
Artist at Advent Our service for Advent Sunday, 27 November 2016
with special guest Pavithra Devadatta
We lit the first Advent candle today as a symbol of Hope and then we had the
pleasure of listening to Pavithra talking about her life and art. She brought three
paintings to share with us, first, a portrait of Mother Teresa. Her childhood
friend David Roberts is now head of the Missionaries of Charity, an order
founded by Mother Teresa. David sat with Pavitha's father when he was dying.
The second entitled 'Ah chai', is the face of a man in Varanasa watching
the cremation of a loved one, but comforted by a cup of tea. She loved his face
which showed his grief but also acceptance. Lastly another painting inspired by
a group of school girls aboard a British train. Many were Muslim in full purdah
but although only their eyes showed, they still shared the same animation, joy,
hopes and dreams of the other girls (picture at left).
Alister read the week's Notices. Audrey has copies of her late husband's novel
for sale - proceeds to the Community Fund. The carol service may have to be
held in the Onslow Community Church's new auditorium if the Ngaio Town Hall
is still closed for earthquake appraisal. There were no birthdays this week.
What Is Your Image of God? Our service of worship on Sunday, 20 November led by members of
the Worship and Education Committee.
It was a pleasure to welcome members of Khandallah Presbyterian and to
have Marion and the band, who began with "If it be your will" - a tribute to
Leonard Cohen who died this week.
We were also privileged to be able to hear and hold two poems by Maren
Tirabassi, which addressed the tumultuous events of the week - the Kaikoura
earthquake and the election of Donald Trump. Appropriately the first began with
the words "God is not in the earthquake". Earthquakes are often called 'Acts of
God'. Does your image of God, support this view? We have many images of God -
Father, Son, Holy Spirit, Love, Hope, the Light, ... the list is endless. The
congregation explored their images of God concluding with Elaine who read her
own poem 'God - You Are More' .
In our community time we shared Sue and Geoff''s joy at becoming grandparents
to Arlo. Rhondapromoted Vincent's art exhibition, Brett was congratulated on his
engagement and Alyson urged everyone to come next week for the 'Artist at
Advent' service when Pavithra Devadatta will share her art and artistry. This week's notices.
We are Living in God's 'Now' Our service of Worship on Sunday, 13 November
led by Rev Lionel Nunns.
What does it mean to live in God's 'Now'? Lionel described this as
a working journey with God based on today's realities. Our community is
one which believes the world can be a better place, that science and the
spirit of goodness in people can work with the re-creating capacity of Creation to solve problems. We believe in 'invisible realities' - trust,
joy, courage, fairness, beauty and wonder. Working with God through the
rough and the smooth, we can contribute to a world where the lion lies
down with the lamb. (Isaiah 65:17-25)
Special news from our community time: Geoff and Sue became grand-
parents today! Many congratulations. We sang Happy Birthday to
Lionel, Margaret, Sandi and Gloria. Brett and Alexa announced their
engagement - multi congratulations and best wishes. Elaine's book
launch had been very successful. Alyson spoke about the upcoming
Artist at Advent service which will feature artist Pavithra Devadatta.
Sue gave a report from the Parish Council.
Presence - Experience - Engagement
Our Service of Worship and Holy Communion
led by Rev Lionel Nunns, 6 October, 2016
It was good to have Lionel back from holiday! He
reflected that whilst away, in the natural world, relaxed
and with time, he felt God's presence more vividly,
which in turn, heightened his experience and
engagement with God. In the reading from Haggai
(1:15b-2:9) we heard how Haggai persuaded King
Darius to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem as a tangible
reminder to the people of God's promise and presence
- a presence leading them to experience and then
engage with God.
Following Communion we shared
news of the week: Partsom was made 'Player of the
Day' in a soccer match against Wellington College.
Congratulations Partsom. Then we looked at photos of
a group of NUCers lunching at Karori Park Cafe last
week. Alister read the week's notices.
Our Work and Ministry Service of worship on Sunday, 23 October, 2016
led by Graham Millar
This Labour Weekend we remembered Samuel Parnell's campaign for a 40 hour working week, making New Zealand one of the
first countries in the world to put this into law.
The church's work of ministry is ministry to the whole people of God. This
work is pastoral (care for one another), priestly (where meaning is
explained) and prophetic - the work done to effect change. We are all
involved. Graham read usJames K Baxter's version of the works
of mercy most pleasing to God. Most particularly though he talked of the Future of Work conference held in Auckland in March, and the campaign
for a UBI (a Universal Basic Income) - an example of prophetic work
for change and justice. (The Bible mentions very little about work, probably
because slavery eliminated it as an issue!) Graham illustrated his point by
recalling his experience in Zimbabwe where everyone worked for
the good of the village. When a woman married and went to live in her
husband's village, the husband's village had to pay to offset the loss of a
valuable worker. If God is love and we love people, we should work for a
compassionate and just society for all. Community news: It was Kate's birthday! And she came third in the
poetry competition and goes to the Nationals in Hamilton. Congratulations
Kate. Vicky asked for prayers for those involved with exams.
Our service on Sunday 16 October, 2016 led by Rev John Howell
Our two Bible readings today (Luke 18:1-8 and Acts 5:33-39) demonstrate
ways of tackling moral dilemmas - reference to moral principles and/or
weighing up the consequences - the harm vs benefits (uitilitarian)
John referenced Jonathan Boston's recent articlein the Dominion Post
on the issue of climate change, our ratification of the Paris Agreement and
reduction of emissions. Which nations should contribute the most to curb
emissions - today's high polluters or those which have polluted over a long
period of time? What is our fair share? Like the widow in Luke who kept
coming to the judge until she wore him down, this issue is not going away.
Community news: Tesca reported back about her experience of the 14
hours homeless campaign; there were no birthdays or celebrations; we
sent our good wishes to Graham recovering from an argument with a log of
wood; the report from the Parish Council included the resignation of Mark
as chair of the Parish Council - we wish him well but we wish he wasn't
going; and we said farewell to John who is going back to Manchester.
Kate gave a promo for the nextPoetry in Motion. And Lionel and Diana
look like they are having a great time in Australia!
' Gratitude and other Extreme Activities '
Our service on Sunday 9 October led by Sue Brown
We began our service with prayers based on "The gratitude we intend' by
Walter Brueggemann. 'Thanks' is one of our most commonly used words and
for us, in our neighbourhood, we have much to be thankful for. Sue unpacked
the story of the ten lepers - all healed, but only one (a Samaritan) came back to
thank Jesus for the miracle. Jesus says to him 'Your faith has made you well' or
'whole'. She asked: 'Why a leper?', 'Why this town?', 'Why does Jesus say 'Your
faith has made you well' when all the lepers were healed?' True wellness, she
reflected, is the turning around, the running back to God - the extreme things we
do like hospitality or caring for others - to express the things we feel in our hearts.
Much gratitude was expressed to all those who helped at Neil's funeral on
Tuesday, and to Pauline who played beautifully today. Neil had asked that, in liue
of flowers, donations could be made to the Blind Foundation. Merge had raised
more than $1,000 for 14 hours homeless! Tesca even managed some sleep in
her cardboard box. Vivien's granddaughter has been to Australia competing in a
handball competition. And Nan had a birthday this week.
Sunday, 2 October 2016 Worship Service and Holy Communion led by Rev Lionel Nunns
followed by the AGM chaired by Mark Jeffries
Today's service used the liturgy for World Commnion Sunday. We prayed in
thanksgiving to be joined as one to all people, generously sharing God's love
and compassion, always.
With sadness we reflected on the loss of Neil Lindsay who died last Thursday.
Neil was our principal pianist, and a worshipper at Ngaio since 1960. Despite his
diffident manner, he was a brilliant musician, with a delightful sense of
humour and great knowledge. He will be so very missed. A memorial service for
Neil l will be held at NUC on Tuesday at 2.30 pm.
Merge had brought along cakes to buy in support of 14hours homeless; it was
Andrew's 30th birthday; Adelaide, supported by Sue was admitted to the bar.
We welcomed Mark's mother, Moya and Anne's in-laws June and Kelvin.
Slides from the AGM will be put on the members pages.
A service of choir music in the Season of Creation
Sunday, 25 September, led by Rev Lionel Nunns
Today we celebrated the immensity of the cosmos helped by our special guests
Cantate Choir. We were treated to Vivaldi's 'Gloria in Excelsis Deo' followed
by 'The Lord's Prayer', Dorothy Buchanan's 'Peace Song' and the blessing.
Lionel's reflection focussed on wisdom - is it like your wisdom tooth? What is
wisdom? How is wisdom presented in the lectionary readings (Proverbs
8:22-31 and Colossians 1:5-20)? What is wisdom theology? Is it more about
humanity or the gap between humanity and the deity? Wisdom is often
personified as Sophia (see the illustration) and is a prescription for living a good
life. But Jesus becomes the one who straddles the space between the human
story and the heavenly.
In our community time we celebrated the birthdays of John and Becca. Merge
will be selling their baking next Sunday and are looking for the odd tenner!
SPANZ magazines are available in the foyer. Rhonda had attended a Human
Rights Commission forum. Kate asked for prayers. Our service concluded as
always with a delicious morning tea.
Khandallah Presbyterian, Ngaio Union and Wadestown Presbyterian Churches
Combined service, held at Wadestown, 18 September.
How wonderful to join together for worship and fill Wadestown's newly
strengthened and refurbished church. How good too to have Brett as our youth
leader. He and Merge members proudly showed the film 'Bread Wars' they
took to Presbytery's Film Fest in Palmerston North where they won and award
for the most original film. Merge is taking part in '14 Hours Homeless' and
need prayers and financial help.
The focus scripture for the day was Genesis 15: 1-6 where God shows 90 year
old, childless Abram the stars and tells him that one day his descendants will
be as numerous. Ryhan's message was that, Jesus brings life to places where
you didn't think life existed anymore - not just physical but spiritual life. Leanne
reminded us that faith is not passive acceptance of what is, it is hard. Faith is
a gift . We have a choice to accept God's invitation, to live as people of hope,
living it out in the present, in the here and now. WPC and Merge Youth are
living testament to that faith.
Our service on Sunday, 11 September, led by Rev John Howell
'God's love is a searching love'
The parable of the good shepherd (Luke 15: 1-10) gives a picture of a
different kind of leader - one whose total focus is on the one lost sheep rather
than the majority in the fold. It is a style foreign to most leaders today whose
efforts go into pleasing the majority. God's love is like this - active and unlimited,
always searching for those who are lost. And who are the lost today? Can we
encourage our leaders ignore the ballot box and put their energies into helping
the poor, the abused, the homeless?
Community news: we sang happy birthday to John in Manchester, Kate was
very impressed with the young people she met at Friday's Merge meeting. Next
week at Wadestown we will see the film they made. Sadly we noted that Neil
is no longer in the hospice but is in a rest home. Notices for this week.
Our service for the first Sunday in the Season of Creation
Sunday, 4 September, led by Rev Lionel Nunns
Most old sailors are spiritual people, says our resident Skipper, Trish. She and
Maurice spent seven and a half years sailing the world and she says when you
are alone with the sea and the sky, you can't help but reflect on the wonders of
creation - the sunsets, the clouds, the sounds, the fish - and she read to us her
poem, 'The Squall'. To celebrate the sea, we built a beach, complete with a fish,
shells, rocks and sand (but not water!) and Ian recreated sounds and images of
the sea on the screen. After Holy Communion, we sang the hymn 'Here I am,
Lord' to our Lord of Sea and Sky, offering ourselves to God's service.
There were no birthdays this week but it was Fathers' Day, so all our fathers had
a hearty round of applause. Partson and Eric reported on Merge Youth's trip
the previous evening to Presbytery Central's Film Fest in Palmerston North.
They didn't win but they were praised for their originality, and it was lots of fun.
Kate's parents had celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary. Enid offered a
welcome to anyone who would like to join the outing this Wednesday to Malvina
Major Retirement Village. Anne reminded everyone of the Council meeting this
Thursday. It will begin at 7 pm not 7.30 pm.
Our Annual Combined Service with the Wellington Good Church Sunday, 28 August, led by Rev Woo Young Jung and Rev Lionel Nunns
A day of celebration for the two congregations which use Ngaio Union Church. We enjoyed singing together in either Korean or English,
praying in Korean or English and listening to a wonderful Korean men's choir. This year Rev Woo Young Jung was able to add a much
appreciated English translation to the words of hymns and prayers and even translate some of his reflection, Lionel's reflection centred
on the reading from Luke (Luke 14: 1, 7-14) where Jesus gives advice to anyone attending a wedding. Except it is really advice for life.
Whilst our natural inclination might be to aim for the best, and to only associate with 'the best', as a church and as individuals Jesus
advises us to be humble, to offer hospitality as an open table for all, to be generous for its own sake, rather than in the hope of some
Stumbling Blocks, Stepping Stones and Challenging the Rules All-Age service of worship, Sunday 21 August 2016 led by members of
the Worship and Education Committee
Stone and rules - the sure foundation of structures and society - seemingly solid and set, yet able, with persistent pressure, to be
changed. Reflecting on the reading (Luke 13:10-17) where Jesus helped a women and thus broke the rule of not working on the
Sabbath, we asked, when do we break the rules? Elaine looked back to the history of Christian Pacifism, telling the stories of
the Rev Ormond Burton, and Ngaio people Joan Cochran, Max Rands and Tom Stephens - all people who defied the rules for the
greater good. Our 'Youthies' were interviewed: what rules did they encounter, what had they defied and WWJD (What Would Jesus
Do?). Then our 'Retirees/Rewirees' and 'Middlies' (excluding Kate, who is only 28!) were interviewed with the same questions. We all
prayed and thought of times when our hearts have hardened, or when we have felt weighed down. Lord, help us to turn our stumbling
blocks into stepping stones. Help us ro recognise rules which lead to injustice, to support the drip, drip, drip pressure for change.
Our community news: Alister read the Notices for the week, nobody had had a birthday. Rhonda drew our attention to two new
resources one of which she had contributed to. See 'Events'.
Our service for Sunday, 31 July 2016
led by Rev Lionel Nunns
Lots of talk and discussion this morning. Firstly we heard from Alex who spoke of his experience of 'Merge' the new HUB youth group led
by Brett Reid, and of the Connect Presbyterian Youth Leaders Conference held at El Rancho on the 21-23 July where he learnt a lot
especially about mentoring. Then we discussed our gospel reading from Luke 12:13-21 - the parable of the rich fool - the man who, when
his farm produced too much, built bigger barns to store his bounty. Our discussion questions were:
1. Answering honestly, what thing/s can I most easily become greedy about?
2. What do you think the Christian church finds it easy to be greedy over?
3. How is the rich man in the parable simply a good businessman, and how is he just greedy? Or is it something else.
Morning Worship for Sunday, 17 July 2016
led by Rev Lionel Nunns
The story of Mary and Martha (Luke 10: 38-42) is unsettling
because it seems as if Jesus is siding with Mary, the sister who sits
at his knee, rather than Martha, the one who is doing all the work.
Surely Mary should be like the Samaritan and offer to help?
Instead Jesus affirms the value of being still; of listening and
learning and believing. People are all different - some doers, some
thinkers. We are who we are, with our strengths and weaknesses.
Knowing our strengths is one thing. Identifying and working on our
weaknesses is a way to grow and mature - as an individual and as
News and Notices: Sadly we noted the death of Audrey's husband
Ivan, but welcomed Alyson's friend Janet and Diana's father, Doug.
Happier news too was the wedding of Liesl and David the previous
Morning Worship for 10 July 2016
led by Rev Lionel Nunns
The Good Samaritan and Loving Your Enemy.
Have you met a good Samaritan? Many of us have
had the experience of unexpected kindness from
strangers - help that does not necessarily remove the
pain or the problem, but makes such a difference.
Significantly, in Jesus' time Samaritans were
considered to be an enemy. Who are our enemies
today - Nazis, ISIS? These are the people Jesus
would have us love - just as much as those who are
close to us. Not easy.
News and Notices: Shirley and Alex had birthdays this
week and Becca and Aaron celebrated their 2nd
wedding anniversary. Tesca told us how Merge
Youth had chosen their name and logo. She has
especially enjoyed meeting students from different
schools and the Quiz night. Sue told us all about her
experiences studying to be a Methodist Lay Preacher.