kia ora and welcome to st paul's, a vibrant community gathering in auckland's oldest city church. come along, get stuck in and help us in creating, relating, restoring and whole pile of other 'ing' words...

Recent events at St Paul’s like the Craft Market, Ceilidh, ALT CAROLS and white Christmas trees may have felt like cutting edge ideas, but events like these have been hosted at our church for over 100 years. In Dec 1917, a fete was held in the church with a myriad of home-made goodies and gifts, tasty treats, dancing, musical performances and a Christmas tree. They even one-upped us with a juggler.

Alt Carols Website

sun 10 dec | 6.30 pm & 9 pm | 7.30pm food collective
We are amped for ALT CAROLS this Sunday! Get set for another epic St Paul's alternative Christmas experience, combining the creative elements of music, art and design, and bringing a fresh taste to Christmas. This is a free gift to our city and we’d love you to join us. Stay on (or come early) for food collective eats in the crypt. Who are you going to invite?

jan 26 - 29 2018 | mystery creek
This year's Festival One is set to be our biggest camping community ever, with over 100 St Paulser's already signed up! Grab your weekend pass now and get in on the action. This is a great opportunity to hang out, worship, build community and share good times together. Remember to enter the #STPAULS code to be able to camp with our group - and to get that 10% discount. Sweet!

We think meeting in small groups is vital and enriching, and over the next few weeks we will be introducing you to a few of the 60+ groups that are sprouting up all over the city. A small group gathers each week in Remuera to pray, with a focus on declarations. Declaring scripture over your life is a powerful way to ignite your hope and joy, and renew your mind with truth. To find out more about our flourishing small groups get in touch with Barb Mcmillan.

mon 11 dec | 10am - 2pm
St Paul's Love Your New Neighbour is once again helping to organise a Christmas party for women with refugee backgrounds. We'd love volunteers for serving, hosting, and set up on the day. If you're keen to help out, find out more, or donate towards the event, please email us at SPLYNN.

With the Christmas Season upon us, we have an exciting array of services and events, and while we are reluctant to make changes to our service times, we have made some adjustments due to the demands of the season. There will be one more 3.30 service this month, on Sunday 17 December. If this is your normal service, we would love you join us at our other services this month. Please see the diary for service times. Normal service times will resume on Sun 14 Jan, 2018.

St Paul's, you are a hugely generous and caring church community! We have been totally blown away by the incredible response to our recent Angel Food appeal. This care ministry makes such a difference for those needing support in our own church family and beyond. To all those snow angels who have helped load up the Angel Food freezer over the past few weeks, thank you!

sun 17 december | 9am and 11am services
We are on the hunt for amazing volunteers to help with the Christmas Nativity. We're after anyone who can sew, create props, do face painting, would like to take an active role in our rehearsals or help as a stage hand on the day. Does this sound like something your talents could be put towards? We'd love to hear from you. Email Cara.

sat 9 dec | 8.30am - 3.30pm | meet at st paul's
Want to impact the lives of those in need this Christmas? A volunteer team from St Paul's are getting together to help sort donations at Auckland City Mission and you're invited to join us! You need to be over 18 years old. Bring your own lunch and meet at St Paul's at 8.30am sharp. Get in touch with John and Shula and be a part of this amazing team!

Alt Carols Website

ALT CAROLS CD sales once again went large this week! CDs are available for sale at all services in the lead up to the big event. This Christmas, why not give a unique gift that will spark conversation? This is the perfect gift for just about anyone you know - candles for teachers is so last year, corporate clients will drive home happy to ALT CAROLS beats and even your holiday cat sitter will love you for it. Get yours this Sunday! You can get your hands on one for just $20, or even better, buy three for $50. Boom! The album is also be available on iTunes or the ALT CAROLS website for download.

The essence of the Christmas story is the advent of a world-changing reality unfolding in secret. It is a pattern that’s been embodied and played out in the lives of Christ’s followers ever since, through their humility and service. Recently, we witnessed a vivid example of this from our own community of faith. In November, our organist Michael Jenkins received a national award in the Parliamentary buildings, presented by Simon O’Connor MP. This “Unsung Heroes Award” was in recognition of Michael’s “faithful and sacrificial service in demonstrating a heart for mission in the local church and for being an inspiration and example to all Christians around New Zealand.”

Michael grew up aware of his family’s heritage in Christian mission, especially among Maori. Coming to faith in his teens, he was actively involved in teaching at children’s church and worked with ‘at-risk’ young Maori in Ponsonby. St Paul’s is an historic church, founded in the same year as the city, but it’s rare to have someone whose ministry here also spans the decades. Over the last 25 years, Michael has taught and ministered to young people, and particularly international students, through St Paul’s. As a professional music teacher, he has given many hours of free music tuition to promising students, as well as providing open and free keyboard lessons every Saturday morning in the church. Michael has given countless hours of free English lessons to international students over the years, with this hospitality providing an invitation to explore the Christian faith through social events and bible studies.

For decades, Michael hosted Friday night “gospel services” at St Paul’s for mostly Asian international students and immigrant families. He and his team of helpers served those who came, providing home groups and pastoral care. Michael has a huge heart and has generously opened his home to those who are most in need over the years.

Finally, Michael is St Paul’s resident organist, playing with passion and faithfulness in and out of season. We hope that forthcoming repairs will enable him to further harness its beauty and power for the sake of the church’s worship for many years to come.

This morning we want to thank Michael for his radical hospitality towards people from many nations and cultures over the years on behalf of this church. As this award suggests, he is one of our Unsung Heroes, whose humility has kept his ministry hidden in plain sight. And yet, like the Advent story, it carries the world-changing power of the gospel. So, today we want to shout his praises from the rooftops!

Blessings,
Rev Jonny Grant

One of the church’s early fathers located our core personal identity in “our memory”—essentially our consciousness about who we are and where we’ve come from. Developmental psychologists encourage families to tell children the stories of their heritage—how their grandparents or parents first met, where they came from, some of the challenges they’ve had in life and how they got through them. Our memory is the very foundation that we live upon and so curating our memories is a key part of what it means to “be in Christ”—progressively bringing our imagination and identity under the goodness of God’s grace.
My warmest memory from living in North America was spending Thanksgiving with various friends in all different parts of the US and Canada. Aside from the madness of Black Friday, there was something magical about families travelling from all over the country to be together for a few days of feasting and reflection. Thanksgiving has its genesis way back in the 1600s when the original pilgrim settlers arrived in America. It was a harvest festival that was about thanking God for His provision.
As we look ahead to the New Year, it’s important to take time to pause and reflect on what God has done in this past one. Thanksgiving is not about covering our memories with the mist of fantasy but, rather, it’s about thinking well of the year by redeeming our memories with the good that God has done. It’s significant that the Thanksgiving tradition was forged during the most challenging times, when they needed it most. It began with a group who were far from home facing an uncertain future. Many years later, Abraham Lincoln finally set a common day for the whole country to share Thanksgiving at exactly the worst moment in its history—during the Civil War. It was a symbol of the peace and unity they yearned for at a time when it seemed furthest from their grasp.
Out of the complex busy-ness of the year, it’s often challenging to separate out what we’ve journeyed through and to make sense of it all—to find a coherent thread. For some of us, the year may have been dominated by life-changing events like a serious illness or injury, the end of a relationship, a different job or stage of life, or the death of someone close. In times like that it can feel easier to look forward than to reflect on what’s gone before. But the Christian art of Thanksgiving comes into its own at times like this. The Christmas story reminds us that God has stepped into our shoes and has walked where we walk—including through the uncertainties and inevitable pain of human life and death. Not only does He understand the struggles of the world as it is, but He has also breathed into life the promise of the new creation.
So, as we pause to think well of the year, we thank God for what He’s done, and we renew ourselves in the hope that as we turn towards Him, the source of light, all shadows fall behind us.
Blessings,
Rev Jonny Grant

The end of the kiwi year can feel like a Doomsday Clock as we rush to cross every imaginable task off our list before the impending end of the world on Boxing Day! As we approach our annual “silly season,” we’re faced with a word that sums up an essential part of the human condition—limitation. We’re unique creatures because we are aware of the infinite (God has placed eternity in our hearts), but we are also constrained by the intimate (we can only do what we can do, even at the limit of our stretch).

We are limited across so many dimensions: by our time and energy, by our health and finances, by our relational states, by our families of origin and what we learned there, and by our capabilities. One of the most frustrating constraints we face is that we’re partial creatures, possessing some gifts but not others, and so we’re reliant on others to experience fruition. U2’s Bono once described the rage he felt knowing that he couldn’t write a song without the band, that his fullness lay in them.

It’s timely that our silly season coincides with Advent, because it is here—in the Incarnation—where the astounding message of Christmas and the Christian story really grip our experience. The idea that Jesus, being the Infinite One, chose to be constrained by the limitations of the intimate for our sake is staggering beyond comprehension. We tend to think Jesus’ temptations in the wilderness must have been easier for him because of who he is, but they also posed a challenge that we don’t face. Satan offered Jesus what he’d already known, an opportunity to step out of the frustrating limitations of the intimate and seize back the power of the infinite. Jesus, of course, famously chose to humble himself and embrace the will of his Father in heaven.

The Incarnation—God taking on human flesh—radically transforms our lives because it redeems our limitations; they’ve been shared by God. It allows us to make peace with the frustrating constraints we face, and to be present to the here and now of our lives, rather than always facing into what we don’t have. And, as we make peace with what is before us, it also opens up the possibilities of the infinite through the One who can do all things.

I’m always struck by the Apostle Paul’s orientation to his calling to preach the Gospel to the gentiles. Because we read history backwards, it’s easy to read Paul’s letters and ministry with the confidence that they would eventually shape the western world through the power of the Holy Spirit. But, the daily reality of Paul’s experience involved dealing with small, fledgling and often-dysfunctional communities, which existed on the margins of their societies. Paul is a great model for us because he embraced the intimate with conviction and passion, and God breathed the infinite into his work and ministry. As we approach the silly season, let’s make peace with the constraints of the intimate and be present to what God has given us. And, as we make space at this busy time, let's fill our minds with the One who has placed eternity in our hearts and can breathe new life into all things.

Blessings,
Rev Jonny Grant

I hope you’ve been enjoying the Alt Carols album this week. Aside from the diverse musical genres and creative artistry, for me the power of it has been lighting up age-old lyrics in a way that has landed for me in a new way. It has brought our essential story—the Christmas story—to life.

A few centuries ago, during the Enlightenment, it was decided that this story would have to justify itself according to the scientific principle, meaning that the Christian faith had to be proved through reason and evidence. Instead, the true curve of the universe is not revealed through scientific discoveries, but through the daily realities of our lives. We find there that we are not masters of our universe, but worshippers within it. It’s the heart as much as the head, which steers our daily lives and our future destiny. As Augustine says of our Creator, “You have made us for yourself, and our hearts are restless until they find their rest in you.” We are restless creatures, drawn to God as the Source of our yearnings, and yet also bent towards other loves.

The late novelist, James Foster Wallace, describes this struggle in his famous commencement lecture at Kenyon College in 2005. He says: “In the day-to day trenches of adult life, there is actually no such thing as atheism. There is no such thing as not worshipping. Everybody worships. The only choice we get is what to worship. And the compelling reason for maybe choosing some sort of god or spiritual-type thing to worship … is that pretty much anything else you worship will eat you alive. If you worship money and things, if they are where you tap real meaning in life, then you will never have enough, never feel you have enough. It's the truth. Worship your body and beauty and sexual allure and you will always feel ugly. And when time and age start showing, you will die a million deaths before they finally grieve you. On one level, we all know this stuff already. It's been codified as myths, proverbs, clichés, epigrams, parables; the skeleton of every great story. The whole trick is keeping the truth up front in daily consciousness. Worship power and you will feel weak and afraid, and you will need ever more power over others to keep the fear at bay. Worship your intellect, being seen as smart and you will end up feeling stupid, a fraud, always on the verge of being found out. And so on. Look, the insidious thing about these forms of worship is not that they're evil or sinful; it is that they are unconscious. They are default-settings. They're the kind of worship you just gradually slip into, day after day, getting more and more selective about what you see and how you measure value without ever being fully aware that that's what you're doing.”

Wallace brilliantly names the human struggle to live an authentic life. It’s a big project and one that took nothing less than God himself taking on the human condition and breathing heaven’s new life into a weary world. As Advent approaches, we’re seeking to let this story fill our imaginations afresh and to invite others into this wild adventure.

Blessings,
Rev Jonny Grant

Every Sunday we gather together and do a strange and counter-cultural thing—we sing songs of praise and worship. We do this, in part, because God’s people always have. No less than 41 psalms tell us to “sing unto the Lord.” Carrying on this tradition, Gordon Fee says the early church was characterised by its singing; wherever the Spirit was, there was singing! And whenever there’s been spiritual renewal in the church’s history, there has been an accompanying explosion of Spirit-inspired songs. So, it’s timely that our stunning new Alt Carols Album lands today. It’s putting a fresh spin on those timeless, Spirit-breathed songs of worship. We’re chuffed with how stunning this album is, so be sure to grab a handful and pass them onto others!

So, why do we worship? What’s the point? Christian philosopher James K. A. Smith calls worship “the heart of discipleship” because it’s in worship that we regularly train our hearts to trust God, to aim our desires, longings and aspirations towards Him, and to turn away from other sources of our identity. Smith puts it like this: “To be human is to love, and it is what we love that defines who we are. Our (ultimate) love is constitutive of our identity. So we’re not talking about trivial loves, like when we say “I love pizza”; we’re not even quite talking about significant loves, like when we say we “love” our parents or we “love” a spouse. Rather, we are talking about ultimate loves—that to which we are fundamentally oriented, what ultimately governs our vision of the good life¬—in other words, what we desire above all else, the ultimate desire that shapes and positions and makes sense of all our other desires and actions.” (Desiring the Kingdom)

To be human is to love, and that means living our day-to-day lives in a dense forest of competing sirens that draw us towards different sources of light. But we soon find out that not all that glitters and shines leads to life. As we gather on Sunday to worship, we re-tune our hearts to the melody of heaven. In Revelation 4, John describes a scene of unceasing praise as God sits on His heavenly throne. Probably echoing one of the early church’s songs, the elders in John’s picture sing: “You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.” In worship we join the praise of heaven and remind ourselves that our Creator is the source of life, the only One who we can trust with all of our longings and desires and fears.

St Augustine knew firsthand what it was like to be pulled in all the wrong directions by his cravings. He once famously prayed, “Lord, give me chastity and self-control, but not just yet!” Describing worship, he said, “You never go away from us, yet we have difficulty in returning to You. Come, Lord, stir us up and call us back. Kindle and seize us. Be our fire and our sweetness. Let us love. Let us run.”

Blessings,
Rev Jonny Grant

As the world eagerly embraces the release of Taika Waititi’s “Thor: Ragnarok”, it’s a powerful reminder that kiwis can compete with the best. But, more than that, the film shows our enduring appetite to create imaginative worlds beyond our own, which shine a light back on our reality. As we’ve journeyed through the Apostle Paul’s letter of encouragement to the young church in Colossae, I’ve been impressed more than ever just how important it is for us to exercise our spiritual imaginations at full stretch, that we might come to understand the unimaginable riches we have in Jesus.
It may seem far-fetched watching Thor battle a green rage-monster in a far off galaxy, but Paul presses our imaginations even harder with his description of the Gospel in this letter. Paul says we live under a Big Sky, a sacred canopy which reshapes our perspective on every aspect of our lives and relationships, as well as our ultimate future. At the start of the letter, he reminds the Colossians that, in Jesus, we see the God who spoke creation into being, who brought order out of chaos, who spread out the heavens like a tablecloth, and who set the stars in their allotted places. For Paul, putting Jesus in proper perspective is fundamental for understanding our own lives, because it is this Jesus who has bound himself to us, who calls us his friends, and who invites us to share in his resurrection life now. Once we are established on this foundation, Paul says, why fool around with the frail and powerless things that we used to trust in?
This week we continue our journey under the Big Sky Paul paints for us in Colossians. It shows us that the key to the Christian life is engaging our spiritual imaginations about who Jesus is and what he’s done. Once we really grasp that, we can put our full trust in him, leaning the whole weight of our identity and aspirations on him, and the rest is detail.
At the beginning of chapter 3, Paul encourages us to get up high and see life from God’s perspective. Not to let our ambitions be earthbound, but to see everything from where Jesus sits. We’re called to judge everything from the standpoint of the new creation to which we now belong, not by the standards of the old world order that we buried at our baptism. So today, I invite you to let your imagination expand to fit the world Jesus has called us into, a new creation that has dawned with his resurrection, and will one day be revealed in its fullness when he returns. As G. K. Chesterton put it: “The trumpet of the imagination, like the trumpet of the Resurrection, calls the dead out of their graves.”

Blessings,
Rev Jonny Grant

Over the last couple of Sundays we’ve been speaking about the ways we’re called as a church to be a living expression of the “new humanity” founded in Jesus right here in Auckland. Unlike many political slogans, this audacious vision is not just wishful thinking. It’s based on the hope of the resurrected Jesus, the author and king of all things, who brings the new creation.

So, it’s fitting that we spend the next month or so in Paul’s letter to the fledgling church in Colossae. Paul writes under pressure (he’s in prison for preaching the Gospel) to a group who are under pressure (they’re finding it hard to live out their new faith in a world that’s wired in a completely different way). What Paul delivers is nuclear. Whereas the Colossians are trying to add Jesus to their existing lives, like a new patch on an old pair of jeans, Paul says Jesus is a whole new wardrobe for a brand new body.

In this short but amazing letter, Paul describes this radical new way of being. In the Colossian church watertight social boundaries were beginning to break down, which was causing stress among them. For instance, Paul refers to a slave (Onesimus) who’d run away from his owner (Philemon). Although it was Philemon’s right to demand the slave’s death, Paul asks him and the community to welcome Onesimus back into the church as an equal brother. Paul’s point is that the new creation which arrived in Jesus is a shockwave that has changed everything, and the church is the place where these new sorts of relationships take shape.

Over these next few weeks I encourage you to make this letter your daily meditation, to read it slowly and repeatedly, to connect it up with the challenges and opportunities of your own life and relationships. To get us started, Paul prays the “messiah poem” in Col. 1:15-20, which is the lens through which every part of our lives makes sense.

“We look at this Son and see the God who cannot be seen. We look at this Son and see God’s original purpose in everything created. For everything, absolutely everything, above and below, visible and invisible, rank after rank of angels—everything got started in him and finds its purpose in him. He was there before any of it came into existence and holds it all together right up to this moment. And when it comes to the church, he organises and holds it together, like a head does a body. He was supreme in the beginning and—leading the resurrection parade—he is supreme in the end. From beginning to end he’s there, towering far above everything, everyone. So spacious is he, so roomy, that everything of God finds its proper place in him without crowding. Not only that, but all the broken and dislocated pieces of the universe—people and things, animals and atoms—get properly fixed and fit together in vibrant harmonies, all because of his death, his blood that poured down from the cross.” (The Message)

Blessings,
Rev Jonny Grant

This weekend we were reminded of two things that define our present existence. Daylight savings reminds us that we are bound by the limitations of time, while national politics reminds us that we are bound by the imperfect rhythms of human ideals and schemes. Whatever the result overnight, we are truly blessed to live in a country with relatively free and clean institutions, which allows us to make choices about what sort of community we want to be part of. Our privilege of voting in each election cycle reminds us of the lack of freedom experienced by so many around the world, whose communities are shaped by corruption and coercion, rather than freedom and choice.

The bold promises of present-day politicians brings into focus the political manifesto that stands above all others, unrestricted by both the limitations of time or human frailty. In Luke 4 Jesus picks up the baton passed down by the prophets of the Old Testament – the good news of God’s rescue and restoration of all people. This mission took on new life in the ministry of Jesus, as he healed, freed, affirmed and restored outsiders back into communities, before passing this same manifesto onto his followers, to proclaim God’s salvation through words and actions. This was a charge taken up by the early church under the power and guidance of the Holy Spirit. As a result, many of the institutions of care that our elected governments now steward, had their origins in the bold and sacrificial care of the church.

That’s a legacy we’re seeking to pursue with the same vigor here at St Paul’s. So, today, we’re celebrating some of the ways that people within our community are stepping into that mission to make God’s grace known to those most in need, the very people Jesus spoke about in his Luke 4 Manifesto—the poor, prisoners, the blind, the burdened and battered. As we do this, we’re also considering how each of us can support these ministries of compassion and all that we do as a church. I want to thank all of you who support St Paul’s financially and making what we do possible. And if you consider St Paul’s to be your church, I want to invite you into this adventure of giving to what God is doing through our community of faith.

Scot McKnight sums up this privilege: “The Apostle Paul thinks everything we have is the result of God’s grace, that the material and the spiritual are tied together, and that our responsibility is to see that God’s grace is such that our duty is to pass the grace — we get in order to give. God rescues us and we respond materially, and others provide materially and we respond spiritually. It’s tied together. The fundamental principle of Paul’s theology of money is reciprocity. God gives to us so we can become grace to others. Paul doesn’t teach the tithe or charity. He teaches grace and grace is more radical and more revolutionary than the tithe and charity.”

So, as our politicians promise the earth, let the Kingdom come in Jesus’ visible and active body, the church. As Bill Hybels audaciously put it: “The local church is the hope of the world”!

Blessings,
Rev Jonny Grant

So goes the story of a tourist visiting the Emerald Isle who asks a local from Cork how to get to the big city of Dublin. “Argh,” says the local man with a look of disgust, “I wouldn’t be starting from here”! Today we are speaking about who we are as a church, and our sense of vision for the future. As we do this, it’s also important to discern where we are now and how we move ahead towards what God is calling us into.
Like the early stages of a new relationship, we are often most attuned to what God is saying when he first calls us into a new context or project. I vividly remember when Esther and I first arrived at St Paul’s during Easter 2014. We had a strong impression of the things God had for St Paul’s—to be a place of spiritual renewal for the wider church, and a source of mission to those around us, including the 60,000 students that migrate through our parish.
That and much more lies ahead of us, and St Paul’s is already a garden bursting with so much life that I’m constantly surprised throughout my week by ministries that I’m still discovering in our remarkable church. And yet, at the same time as our garden blooms, we are in a year of significant rebuilding that will eventually enable us to fulfil our visions for the future.
The image God has set before me for this year has been that of Nehemiah’s calling to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. The essence of the story is that the walls had to be restored before the city could thrive, and this project involved everyone in the city, with each family and group working side-by-side. This restoration project was led by both Ezra and Nehemiah. Ezra was a priest who worked with worship and words, while Nehemiah was a builder who worked with stones and mortar. Both were sacred tasks that were equally important in restoring God’s people.
This year we, too, have been steadily rebuilding our own ‘walls’ across a whole range areas—across our leadership and staff, across our ministry and volunteer teams, and across our congregation and our finances. Like Nehemiah we are also rebuilding our physical walls, although we stand on the shoulders of previous generations who have set aside capital in trust to help restore our buildings. It’s been hard work but—like ancient Israel—this call to restore and protect our church deepens our resolve, commitment and unity as a community of faith.
Earlier this year, as a church, we filled a significant hole in our finances. Despite that, we still face a challenge. So, today, I want to thank those of you who financially support St Paul’s. And I also want to invite those of you who call this church “home”, to stand alongside us in the joyous project of restoring the walls of our church so that it may thrive in the work God has set for us.
Blessings, Rev Jonny Grant

There’s nothing like the first few days of Spring to remind you of life on the other side of Winter. It takes me back to the final days of University exams, when all of the intense study and stress gave way to the smell of freshly cut grass, the warmth of the sun, and the possibilities of the Summer ahead.

God has set us within his creation, which includes the seasons of the year. And some of the most powerful imagery we have in Scripture of God’s renewal is rooted in seasonal change. In Isaiah 35, for instance, God likens his saving presence to the glory of Spring in the desert: “Wilderness and desert will sing joyously, the badlands will celebrate and flower—Like the crocus in spring, bursting into blossom, a symphony of song and color.” The streets of Vancouver are planted in cherry blossom trees, and this Scripture reminds me of one week every year in Spring when the whole city would burst into silent song, a riot of white and pink. It was a moment of sudden awakening and it had a dramatic impact on us all. So, it’s fitting that our church is in full bloom this weekend. All of this Spring life is cause for celebration, and it’s also a call to prayer for God’s renewing life to flood the dry and waterless places—in our lives, in our church, and in our wider networks. At Deeper on Tuesday night we all got a taste of what that might look like!

So, what new life is springing up this weekend? One of the highlights is the Life Course Weekend in beautiful Flaxmill Bay in the Coromandel. Over the years this weekend has been a watershed moment for people as they tangibly experience the undeniable presence and power of God. We’re looking forward to the stories of encounter with God that come back!

Also, over the last three days, several of us have been taking part in our Diocesan Synod at Holy Trinity Cathedral for its annual parliamentary session. It brings together over 300 clergy and other representatives of the Anglican Church in Auckland to discuss and vote on key issues within our church. It’s a good opportunity for us to mingle with others within our network, but also to have a voice into the many strategic issues and opportunities that face our church. Our People’s Warden Louise Bridges boldly led the prayers and intercessions that happened alongside Synod for the whole three days. For me, Synod is an expression of the significant role St Paul’s has to play in the future as we pursue the church’s renewal in our city. That’s a vision that fills me with excitement and anticipation for what lies ahead.

And, as if all of that wasn’t enough, tonight back at the Cathedral, Chris and the St Paul’s Youth Band will be leading over 1,000 young people for a combined youth worship event, for the second year in a row. The event is focusing on the theme of faith in Jesus – both the challenge of sharing our faith with others and also growing in our own faith in Jesus. And so, as we contemplate and celebrate all of this Spring life, let’s be open to how God is breathing his renewing Spirit into each of us, especially in those parts of our lives where we need it most.

Blessings,
Rev Jonny Grant

Hi guys,  We are a friendly & fun Christian flat in Freemans Bay (Ponsonby). Flatmates consist of 2 guy & 2 girls 25-32 y.o. We work in tech, fashion & retail + one of us is a medical student in their final year.  The room is about 12sq m, fits a double bed, has a window. You'll be close to CBD, Ponsonby, Vic Part, New World.  We cook once a week each for the flat, enjoy a wine together & general good times.  Ideal flatmate is Christian, easy going, at least somewhat social, 25-35yo. You rent will be $160 + $65 expenses which include dinners, snacks, power, internet etc. Also, we've got off street parking.  Move in late December 2017 - mid-january 2018 Sounds good? Lets chat! Email mmmmmasha@gmail.com to org flat viewing

We are seeking a trustworthy early-riser who can multi-task morning vespers and coffee.  It is a 5:30am start in order to open at 6am and serve customers with a smile until 9:30am from Monday to Friday.  It is an ongoing commitment and more hours can be offered if the perfect someone needs a more full-time position.  We can train in all aspects of restaurant service however care, consideration, creativity and patience are a prerequisite.  

All those interested or curious are welcome to come down in person and speak directly to me, Anna.  I am there from 9:30am-9:30pm M-F.

Ci vediamo al Divino Bistro, 15 Nicholls Lane, Carlaw Park, Parnell.

 

Grazie mille.

 

Anna Holt

021 057 6937

 

 

Christian student seeking accommodation I'm a mature-age, full-time visual art doctoral student looking for central-ish accommodation in Auckland. Looking to move either before or around mid December. I'm open to various options including a boarding arrangement or a self-contained unit or sleepout. If anyone can help, please let me know. Thank you. Lance Pearce: 027 906 6517  messagefile@gmail.com  


Hi there, 

We're looking for a new flatmate to join our great lil flat in Onehunga! We are 2 girls and 2 guys, all in our 20s, all working.

Our ideal tenant is a 20-35-year-old working professional. Preferably a girl as she will be sharing a bathroom with the other girls. 

We are all involved in different churches but enjoy hanging out when our busy schedules allow. 

It is a modern room with great views of Manukau Harbour.

Rent p/w is $175 including expenses.

Text or call Rhys on 027-677-9888 to discuss further.

We are a three Mount Eden babes with a beautiful house that is drenched in sun, fully insulated, and a smooth 11 minute drive into the CBD. Plus it has TWO bathrooms, both with showers so you only have to share with one other person. It also has two large living areas, two fireplaces, a separate laundry, and a backyard with a deck. We are 10 minutes walk to the village, and right around the corner from a cafe, bakery, and pharmacy.  We are looking for someone who is lots of fun very tidy, responsible, social, but also happy to do their own thing when life gets busy. We are open to either male or female flatmates, so if you are a rooster happy to nest with some classy hens, don’t be shy!  About us: We are three females in our mid-late 20’s working in the creative and health care industries. We are classy, creative, and a lot of fun. We love friends, wine, good food, fashion week, film, photography, and performing arts.  The room is a double room with a wardrobe and is $250 including expenses  https://canz.co.nz/flats/view/18336 Contact: vika: vika0788@gmail.com

 

We are an older reliable Kiwi couple who have been engaged in mission work in Thailand for 10 years.  We are coming back to NZ for a couple of months and are looking for a house-sit in the Auckland area for the two of us for the period of 2 December - 8 January.  It doesnt have to be for the whole time.  If you can help can you please drop us an email at djkk.dean@gmail.com.  Keith & Joy

Im looking for a place to live till christmas,

27 Years old, Christian, does not smoke, apprentice builder Keeps Tidy and clean, & cooks

021 023 00987 Mobile number

 

Thanks

Luke

 

I'm looking for a 3+ bedroom flat to rent from February 2018 on (have the flatmates sorted, just need a place to stay!) We're looking for a house a short way out of the city centre (e.g. Mt Eden), rent preferably under $200.  We are a very tidy, organised and respectful group :)  If anyone has a rental or knows someone moving out of a flat, I'd love to hear from you!  Please contact me on 021 030 6163 or jomaree1402@gmail.com.   Thanks,  Johanna 

To all those interested in social justice, ethical trade, consuming with integrity, restoring right relationships and making a difference... The Fairfield Trust warmly invites you to the inaugural Fairfield Conference, 10-11 February at AUT.

Empowering producers, traders, retailers and consumers to make ethical choices which bring freedom, integrity and allow all people to enjoy the work of their hands.

Through speakers, seminars and participatory workshops, a marketplace and documentaries, we will explore different approaches, models, issues and strategies.

Everyone is welcome! Attendance and food is free.

See the amazing speakers at  www.fairfieldconference.org.nz  and to register.

We're a pretty social lot at St P's. So if you have great shots of our community, please share them on our photo social channels. 
You can get to them by clicking the icons at the top of our website, or here for Flickr, or here for Instagram
On Flickr, add your album or shots to our photostream. On Instagram, tag your shots #stpaulsauckland
Or if you have shots of anything and anyone in our community that you think might look ace on Happening or our Welcome sheet or as a website header or in a film, send em to me at spam@stpauls.org.nz
We're a pretty diverse lot, so the more contributors and the more creative the better. Shots of 'official' events are great. But so are pics of you and your church mates just doing your thing.

Want to know more about our story as Auckland's oldest church? The "Mother Church" of Auckland in fact? I've been beavering away at our formerly sparse Wikipedia article over the last few months, incorporating Kate Hannah's wonderful brief history, the Parish Profile we all helped create, various written and pictorial historic sources and some contemporary stuff including Tom Roberton photos. Hit the W icon at the top of this page or click here.