The prayer temperature is rising nine days into our 21 Days of Prayer & Fasting at St Hilda's, Upper Hutt. With Pentecost Sunday upon us tomorrow we are noticing reports of effective prayer in the St Hilda's community.
We remind ourselves that this prayer initiative was prompted as we approached the ordination of a new Bishop in Wellington. Well, that happened last night as Ellie Sanderson became the Assistant Bishop of Wellington during a wonderful celebration of diocesan life and faith at the Wellington Cathedral of St Paul.
The Archbishop of Canterbury in England had promoted worldwide prayer for Christian outreach and we have been viewing some of the videos produced for that initiative - two of them are on the home page of this website currently. And, this time between Ascension Day and Pentecost Sunday has always been promoted as a time of prayer for Christian unity. In that regard, the episcopal ordination service last night was also a celebration of Christian unity. The Cardinal Archbishop John of Wellington was there and the preacher was Pastor Amy Page-Whiting, Senior Pastor at the Cashmere New Life Church in Christchurch. There were Bishops present from all around the country and the Pacific and Christians from all around the diocese.
Closer to home, last Sunday about 15 people from St Hilda's gathered after the 10:30am service at Jocelyn's new home for a house blessing before sharing in a scrumptious lunch and rich fellowship.
During the week another house blessing and prayer took place in the Parish as the Parish Chaplain Judy joined me, and two from Prison Fellowship, to pray at the home of an ex prisoner who had requested a house blessing following some disturbing experiences. When I returned yesterday he was very peaceful as he gave thanks during a home communion service and spoke of his desire to follow Jesus again.
During the Thursday communion service this week, Grace talked of some of the answers to prayers (recorded in a notebook she keeps) that she and her group have received. She talked of a young girl run over and badly injured finding healing. And also of an older girl who has found the work she sought and more, after a time of waiting and doing menial work.
Let us praise God that pray works. Let us keep praying and talking about prayer answered.
Terry Alve - Interim Priest at St Hildas.
Movie : Inside Out : 11th June
This is one of the movie suggestions from the Lenten studies: Our Transforming God. (If you have the Lenten study booklet check out the Family Studies section page 59.)
Who: For anyone that would like to come along.
Bring your own floor-cushion and snacks. Coffee and normal chairs provided.
Time: 1pm in St Hilda's hall following the Messy Church service.
Come to Messy Church first and have lunch before viewing.
Theme: "The Rich Fool"
Come along and join this monthly Service which begins at 10:15am.
A Messy Church service is: Christ-centered, all age, with hospitality, creativity & celebration.
Lent Studies – Transformation
I had decided to commit to lent this year and so with that intention I signed up for a Lent study course, 'Transformation' was the theme. Did that mean I was going to be transformed to a beautiful butterfly? Was there hope for me? The expectation was high. And so it was that found myself once a week with other church members huddled together at the church hall for a couple of hours a week for six weeks.
Lent is a very powerful time, where we are asked to take the time to consider what Jesus means in our lives. Although this can be somewhat hard as we deal with today’s extremely busy world full of constant distractions. And I am easily distracted, however I did my best to be focused.
Each week we walked Jesus’s journey towards the cross as recorded in the book of John. We stopped off at various points and delved deeper into passages. As the members shared their interpretations and meanings of the various verses, the bible became more alive for me and gave me a greater understanding and fuller appreciation of those written words than I had before.
As the group began to trust one another, some shared their life experiences that related to the passages we studied. I considered they knew that they were being protected by the holy spirit. Still I considered this honesty an honour that they felt they could share their feelings within the group. It helped me to understand them in a way that I hadn’t before, they had become three dimensional instead of just the one I saw each Sunday morning.
At the end of it all, did I turn into a beautiful butterfly? Well, my outside remained the same, but I know that there was something different stirring inside. The caterpillar inside was wanting to eat more. I learn’t that Lent is about an internal journey regardless of whether it was taken alongside others. That the ability to tune into God at deeper level is truly what lent is about, the enhancing of a personal relationship with God is biggest gift that Lent could give, and sharing this journey with other special people was just a delightful bonus.
Diane - April 2017
N.B. Thank you Diane. We are always looking for feedback about how the life of St Hilda's Church, and walking the Christian Way, has impacted you. Your contribution (with permission) may be published in this Church Blog.
Terry - Interim PIC
St Hilda's have taken a cue from the Wellington Diocesan Week of Prayer initiative, "Come Holy Spirit" to keep the time from the Sunday after Ascension Day to Pentecost Sunday as a time of focused Prayer. Something that also echos the Church England initiative, "Thy Kingdom Come".
This prayer focus will be expressed in all St Hilda services from Ascension Day (25 May) until Corpus Christi (15 June). Worshipers will be encouraged to be regular in prayer, to notice answered prayer, in whatever form it comes; and to be thankful. They will be encouraged to talk about their praying, some of them may choose to talk about it in Church services. The following services will have a Prayer Focus:
A couple of busy weekends coming up. In addition to Sunday services, two special events are scheduled. On Sat. 29th April from 9-11am St Hilda's annual Parish Fair is happening.
Then, a week later, at 1.30pm on Sunday 7th May the Bishop and a Diocesan Nominator will consult with us about the appointment of a permanent priest/vicar. Come and have your say and listen to what others, including the Diocese, have to say.
St Hilda's, Upper Hutt church members attended the noon Good Friday service at Trentham this year. Pictured is the procession approaching the XIV (14th) Station of the Cross as they prepare to lay the crucified Jesus in His garden tomb - featured by the red blanket (left). The lady in blue acted the part of Mary, Jesus mother, and the story was told from the perspective of a Centurion (right).
Around 70 people participated in and witnessed this dramatic re-enactment entitled, 'The Way of the Cross'.
Henceforth we will be attempting to post on this website's SERMONS page copies of Sunday Message files - print and audio - as they are available. We are mindful that some cannot get to church and other church members are 'shut in' or ill. Others who were in church may find it helpful to read or listen again to the message. This service will hopefully assist to create and maintain a greater sense of community among St Hilda's folk. If you find this service helpful please let us know.
Online access to the Church Sunday Newsletter (pdf) will henceforth be available in two places:
Of course the newsletter will continue to be published in the usual print format and available to all who attend worship on Sundays.
St Hilda's News
St Hilda's Anglican church and parish, Upper Hutt is a special place for many people. This News section of the website is designed to keep you in touch with what's going on in this community of Christian faith and love.