Last Sunday we had a baptism at St Hilda's. It was a special baptism. All baptisms are special, but this was extra special 'cos it's the first time we have had a baptism at Messy Church.
Amanda who was baptised is one of the many adults and children who come along to St Hilda's Hall every 2nd Sunday morning for this monthly gathering. The folk from the 9am service join us for morning tea, we play creatively, we build things, we chat away to each other as we do - adult to adult, child to child and child to adult. We have gathering time that includes singing action songs, thinking about life and God and finishing with a scrumptious, two course lunch.
So, why did Amanda get baptised at Messy Church. Well, she could. And she wanted to get baptised where she meets with God. She also wants to learn more about God. One of the things she was given at her baptism was a new Bible. And as the banner behind her says, "I'm special because I'm baptised." Baptism for Amanda reminds her, and will always remind her, that she is God's special child.
Perhaps it won't be long before we have another baptism or two at Messy Church. In the meantime, Jolene and John are soon to be married. It won't be in messy church; but in their back yard with Messy Church people there.
Messy Church is Real Church; done a little bit differently!
Good Friday 2018 saw the Upper Hutt walk of witness revived as Anglicans and Baptists traversed the route from Rimutaka Baptist Church to St Hilda's Anglican via Maoribank School.
This regular joint effort is an attempt to identify by local Christians, to more closely identify with Jesus' walk to His Cross on the first Good Friday. In the process they pray, listen to scriptures and reflect on their personal faith. A consequence may be that those who pass by them also pause for a moment to reflect on their faith.
This year 20+ people completed the whole walk over 90mins. before a closing service in St Hilda's in Cruickshank Rd. Several others joined in for shorter sections of the walk. The walk had begun in the Rimutaka Baptist Church with a service there. Appropriately, drinks and hot cross buns were the fare in St Hilda's hall at the end of proceedings.
This year the route of the walk was altered to recognise the relationship that exists between both Churches and Maoribank School. Both churches have members who support Supakidz during lunch on Mondays and the Sunday evening community gathering, begun by the Baptists last year.
Expressions of interest have been received by the Union Parish, Awaken Church and the Church of Jesus Christ and the Latter Day Saints to involve in Next year's walk. Watch this space and look forward to another Walk of Witness on Good Friday 2019.
During Easter time Christians and Churches celebrate what they believe is the most significant three days in history. During these three days Jesus Christ was judged guilty, suffered an incredibly painful crucifixion and death. Then less than three days later arose from his grave alive and appeared to many people, beginning with his closest followers. An understanding and acceptance of these events forms the cornerstone of Christian faith and commitment.
If, after watching the short video above you prayed the prayer of commitment offered we would love to have a chat with you to support and encourage you. Please call or text Terry (027 600 1926) or call Judy (526 2002) or, visit us at St Hilda's sometime soon.
If watching the video causes you to wonder but you are not ready to pray the prayer yet, then call or visit us anyway and know that we will offer you a listening ear.
Digby Wilkinson, Vicar of Tawa offers a very helpful message in the video below as he reminds us that God calls us by name and that makes a difference in how we respond thereafter. Like the potato digger's daughter (*see video message) who responded differently after she was told who she really is, we too are changed when we get it that God cares and loves us enough to call us by name.
Interestingly the Gospel reading on the Sunday when we heard and viewed this video, tells us how Jesus responded when he was called by name (Messiah) by Peter for the first time - see Mark 8: 29
29 He asked them, ‘But who do you say that I am?’ Peter answered him, ‘You are the Messiah.’
Jesus took that recognition as the right time to start talking about his journey to the cross and resurrection,
31 Then he began to teach them that the Son of Man must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. 32 He said all this quite openly.
It seems that Jesus could only begin talking like this and more fully enter into His mission because he had been recognised by one of His disciples and called by name. Jesus like us was human and here He models the very point that Reverend Digby makes in his second Lenten sermon.
What a wonderful thought; that when we realise that we are called by name, by God, we too are empowered to walk by the Spirit and enter more fully into our ministry, which is Jesus ministry!
The theme of our first Lenten devotional study this year has been, "A Sent God." This picks up the profound thought that God sent the Son to earth on a mission to save it. This first devotional study helped us to unpack that thought a little in word, discussion and song.
Bishop Ellie reinforced the theme in her video sermon, "God is Sent" (below) some of us viewed and heard on 18 February. Jesus' mission included spending 40 days in a desert place experiencing temptations to abandon the mission and in so doing he experienced much of our temptation with yielding to it. Ellie helps us to better understand the place temptation has in our lives.
Michael Card's song below (part of our 1st study) helpfully reinforces Jesus' identification with humanity. You can view the words on YouTube here:
If you would like direct access to the Lenten Study booklet and all the Lenten sermons please visit:
Well, January is nearly done; the heatwave continues and Ash Wednesday followed by Lent is just around the corner. Welcome back to St Hilda's as we resume normal operations this week with the first Thursday communion (yesterday) and the 10:30am service resuming this Sunday 28th January.
I want to thank the Wardens Lyn and Dave, Parish Chaplain Judy and the others who have taken extra responsibility to allow me an enjoyable and refreshing January break. I return to ministry amongst you feeling refreshed and encouraged. The more so as a number of new people have been worshiping with us since Christmas. Welcome Lynette, Jamie, Kieran, Terry & Christine and others. We pray and yearn that your time with St Hilda's community is spiritually refreshing and edifying. Please introduce yourself to these folk and any others you have not previously met at St Hilda's.
Since returning from holiday I have been speaking in services a little about "change". The theme was there in a reading from Jonah 3 where the people of Nineveh and their King repented of their sin covering themselves with sackcloth and ashes, after which God had a change of heart and did not visit judgment on them. The 'change' theme was there as we read about the beginning of Jesus' Galileean ministry as he succeeded John by proclaiming repentance and belief in (new) Good News and in the process began calling disciples around him who were ordinary people like you and me. People who were excited to follow a guy full of integrity, truth and the love of God.
I have been suggesting that we need to be early adopters of any Spirit-led call and movement of God. Sometimes we can be accused of proclaiming and following an inflexible Gospel and Lord. Jesus regularly chastised religious people who were like that. He by contrast was always willing to meet people where they were and lead them from there into a more mature and faithful understanding of God and God's ways. For instance, He cautioned people who would judgementally stone a perceived immoral person to look at themselves carefully. Having done that, and if they consider themselves guiltless of sin, then go ahead, otherwise do some personal business with God!
Radical Christians follow Jesus in matters like this. May we at St Hilda's be a group of radical Christians who are true disciples of Jesus? Shortly we will form two groups who will meet on Thursdays for a series of 6 Lenten Studies entitled, "A Sent People". We'd love to have you join us either at 1:30pm or 7:30pm to follow this theme beginning Thursday 15th February. The afternoon group will meet in St Hilda's Lounge; the evening group venue is to be advised. The study material is available now and can be collected from Church or by giving me a call - $5 donation invited.
Terry Alve, Priest
027 600 1926
About 65 people attended the service celebrating our patron saint (Hilda) last Sunday (19 Nov). A Celtic service from St Patrick's Episcopal, L. Tahoe, Nevada was adapted for the occassion to reflect S. Hilda's Celtic sympathies. The service used is available via the PDF link below.
Guest speaker at the service was Christine Cuthbert who is a long time member and leader at St Hilda's Church, Island Bay in Wellington. She brought to the service her reflections on S. Hilda, along with a stone relic from the Abbey at Whitby and an image of St Hilda's, Island Bay S. Hilda window. During the service Priest in Charge Terry reflected on the significance and symbolism of the prominent S. Hilda stained glass window at S. Hilda's, Upper Hutt. A feature of this window is the merging of the Celtic and Roman traditions which were at issue in the Synod of Whitby in 664 AD which S. Hilda and her community hosted, and where a decision was taken for the Church in England to follow the Roman tradition, including the dating for Easter.
St Hilda of Whitby is the Patron saint of Upper Hutt Anglicans. The reason why is lost in the mists of time. However, we do endeavour each year to honour our link with St Hilda and Whitby in the UK. Our tradition is to share breakfast as the St Hilda's Congregations (9am) and have one Celebratory service (10am) followed by morning tea together. That will happen again this year on Sunday 19th November.
Features of the this year's service are:
* 'Clypping' is an old English word which means 'embracing' or 'clasping' and during the patronal service, everyone is encouraged to form a circle round the Church, hold hands and so clyppe or embrace the Church. As we do this we sing the clypping hymn. It is a way of showing our thanks to God for our Church and asking God to bless it. It also reminds us that we are joined together as the community of St Hilda's, Upper Hutt.
You are invited to attend this special annual service of remembrance in St Hilda's at 7pm on Sunday 5th November. Please come and offer the name of your deceased one/s, light a candle in remembrance of them, give thanks for them and participate in this short worship service.
Marlene Schmidt and Neil Frank have been worshipping at St Hilda's during the past year while they have been living, working and travelling in New Zealand. Neil farewelled the St Hilda's congregation last Sunday and in his subsequent email to St Hilda's PIC Terry he wrote,
One of the things Neil and Marlene have been doing during their NZ stay is writing a Blog cataloguing their Kiwi experience via word, image and audio visual offerings. This Blog offers very perceptive reflections on NZ through the eyes of curious Americans. You can view their Blog here:
If you would like to contact Neil or Marlene please contact Bob Reid or Terry.
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.