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...

In 1849 the Rev J F Lloyd arrived in NZ in 1853 he would become the second vicar of St Paul’s. Here were some of his first impressions: “With a climate highly favourable to vegetation and to the health of man, with noble harbours and a rich soil well watered, with magnificent forests containing inexhaustible supplies of timber, and scenery scarcely inferior in picturesque effect to that of the most favoured parts of Europe… New Zealand can scarcely fail to become, when her resources are properly developed, one of the most prosperous and most delightful countries in the world, and her people one of the healthiest and most vigorous of the human race.”

fri 28 jul | 7.30 pm | st paul's church | tickets $20 students $10
Now's the time to get your tickets to the Ceilidh as numbers are limited and they are being snapped up fast. If you haven't experienced a Ceilidh before we promise you this will be the best Friday night you've had all winter. Mulled wine // winter warming dessert // church wide party! If the thought of getting on a dance floor brings you out in a cold sweat but FOMO is creeping in, join our fun volunteer team on the night and be amongst it! To join the team email Kyleigh. #introvertscanpartytoo

wed 2 aug | 7 - 9pm | st paul's church | $10
Are you curious to know more about faith, purpose and meaning? Maybe you have a friend - your daily barista, someone you bump into at the school gate, or a team-mate that Jesus is nudging you to talk about your faith with. We've created the perfect low key environment to explore life's big questions - The Life Course! Join us for a stunning evening at our banquet table. If you are new to the church this a great way to get to know people. Hear engaging stories from inspiring people about their journey to faith. Click here to register.

tue 25 jul | 7.30pm | st paul’s church | free parking
At The River we will be releasing breakthrough for every situation in need of the miraculous power of God. Jesus calls us to set captives free, open blind eyes, and heal the broken! If you need prayer for anything then this is the place to come. Join us on the last Tuesday of every month.

sun 20 aug | 9am & 11am services | st pauls church
Our next infant dedication & baptism services are coming up soon . If you're interested in having your little one dedicated or baptised with the support of our wonderful church family please email Shelley.

sat 5 aug | 3.45pm - 6pm | st paul's church | free parking
Fancy indulging in something a bit special for a great cause? Join us for Midwinter High Tea in the glorious setting of our church sanctuary! Fiona Witt and her amazing team are hosting this event to raise funds for the Comfort Rwanda & Congo Ambulance Appeal. Early bird tickets close THIS SAT so be sure to get your tickets today and recieve a whopping $10 discount. Invite your friends, work mates, neighbours, great aunty Maude or your sweet little nieces! For more information click here.

sat 12 aug | 10am - 11.30am | st paul's annexe | free parking
We are excited to announce that Fiona Witt is teaching another free 5 week baby massage course. During the course you will receive practical tuition and a delicious morning tea to nurture you as you nurture your baby. Great for bonding more deeply with your baby whilst learning to soothe growing pains and tummy pains etc. Watch your baby relax under your calming touch, hopefully helping their sleep (and yours) and general happiness. Meet other parents and have the opportunity each week to share tips on common difficulties parents experience with their babies. To find out more email Fiona.

Would you like to get involved and help out with our pre-schoolers? Perhaps you're a parent that benefits from your child currently in our programmes or has done in the past, or maybe you're a student or grandparent keen to serve in our Children's Church? We have an amazing team of leaders running our preschool age groups on a Sunday morning - they do the planning and leading and you'll do the helping. Please email Shelley to get involved.

Tax receipts have been generated for the 2016/17 tax year and should have arrived in your inbox. Please follow the instructions to download your tax receipt via the link within the email. Please note: SPAM filters are very effective so please check your “Junkbox” if it hasn’t made it through to your inbox. Email Jodelle if you have any queries.

sun 9 jul | 1.15pm | st paul’s church
Bikes, riding, and cafes offer a potent way to spend time with one another and our machines. Eagles is a group for the bikers amongst us.This Sunday we're planning a 200km road adventure to Kaipara South Head. If you have a full motorbike licence, we'd love you to join us! We're meeting outside the church, weather permitting. For more details get in touch with Tom or find us on facebook.

C. S. Lewis is known as one of the great cultural raconteurs of his day. He brought his huge intellect and imagination to the question of life, meaning, and faith, but not in the warm safety of the church. He largely held these conversations in the midst of a world in turmoil. His book Mere Christianity stands as a timeless description of our faith, but the most powerful aspect of this project was its context. The book began its life as a series of radio shows broadcast in Britain during the darkest days of WWII. It was Lewis’ inspired response to the questions and challenges faced by his culture—to bring comfort and clarity to a people cowed by War.

Last Sunday I spoke about how we are being formed by the daily habits, patterns and rituals that we spend our time and energy engaged in—whether it’s shopping, work, social media, fitness, and so on. Philosopher James K. A. Smith makes the insightful point that there are no religiously neutral times or spaces in our lives. Even the things we do that seem most neutral or functional actually carry a specific vision of life—what Smith describes as “secular liturgies,” which are essentially devotional practices that point our lives in a certain direction, towards a certain goal. So, if we are (at least in part) made by what do, last Sunday we spoke about how we can be “Sabbath-keepers” who carry the peace of Christ with us 7 days a week.

The flipside of this, of course, is that we are also called to articulate the hope of our faith in words and ideas that relate to every context of life. Just as C. S. Lewis engaged with the challenges of his times, we are also scattered as salt and light in ours, to cleanse and clarify. We follow in the footsteps of one of the iconic characters of the Old Testament, King Solomon, who stands as an exemplar of our role in the world as God’s people. In Solomon’s humility, God granted him wisdom in every sphere of life, which travelled far beyond the confines of Israel. Foreign rulers came from every part of the known world to draw on his wisdom and knowledge. (1 Kings 4:34)

So, with these illustrious mentors in mind, today we’re exploring what it means to engage with some of the urgent questions and concerns bubbling up within our own culture. These sorts of topics may feel strange to be discussing in church, and yet they go to the very heart of our faith and calling in the world.

Rev Jonny Grant

I recently gave a lecture at a graduate college and was struck by the words of a student there. He was wondering aloud whether we can say anything with much certainty as Christians. Given that previous generations have so often got it wrong on issues like race and gender, how could we be sure we’re not falling into the same mistakes on different issues? It’s a sobering question and one that should give us plenty of humility as we seek to make our way in our faith.

But it’s also a question that gives way to a more assured answer. Responding to this sort of uncertainty, theologian Stanley Hauerwas observed that “we don’t know everything, but we have enough to go on.” Our faith is a bit like marriage. There is a certain naiveté about standing in church in our relative youth and making grave promises about a shared but unknown future. Much complex uncertainty lies ahead, but in our love for each other we have enough to make a start.

So what do we have to go on in our faith? In a word, it’s the Incarnation. Rather than our faith consisting of abstract ideas and beliefs, like a philosophical work or political manifesto, it has taken shape in human form—in the flesh and blood of Jesus’ body, in the rhythms of his life and teaching, and in the world-changing significance of his death, resurrection and ascension.

The Apostle Paul sums this up in his amazing description of Jesus in Colossians: “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 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 organizes 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.”

So what does all this mean for us? Most significantly, although we can adhere to ideas, we can actually follow the person of Jesus. Just as Paul did before us, we can walk in his footsteps and model our own lives on his. In Jesus, the invisible God becomes visible. So there is at least something very right about the impulse behind the “WWJD” movement and ones like it. In Jesus we see God in the flesh, working out His purposes in the world.

The student in my lecture was right, in part. God in His wisdom has not shown us everything, but He has given us enough to go on, and He’s given us each day as a field to play on. One day we will see in full, and until then we see in part. In the revelation of Scripture, in the community of the church, in the breaking of bread, and through the empowering presence of the Holy Spirit, the invisible God is made visible in our lives.

Rev Jonny Grant

One of the challenges of being a man is that when searching for things in cupboards, sheds, or on the kitchen bench, what we’re looking for can be right in front of us but still physically invisible. It’s known as the legendary “man-look”; a legitimate gender disability which we can’t possibly be blamed for.

The same can be said of aspects of our faith as followers of Christ. The sorts of things we confess in the Apostles’ Creed, for instance, are so audacious that they can easily feel disconnected from the practical hustle and bustle of our daily lives, and so fade into our background consciousness. And yet it is these astounding convictions about true reality, human identity and the destiny of the world, that breathe transforming life into the things we do everyday—the vocational contexts we travel in, whether in our families, jobs, studies, and other pursuits. Genesis 2, Psalm 8 and Isaiah 61, for instance, infuse everything we do with divine and eternal purpose, even those things that seem mundane or insignificant. God’s calling is often hidden in plain sight within the contexts and conversations of our daily lives.

This week as a church we’ve raised over $15,000 to ease the bleak daily experience of Syrian refugees. Seen in one way, it’s a mere drop in an ocean of need. But seen from the perspective of heaven, this is a spring of generosity poured into God’s redemptive mission in the world, bringing joy and hope to real people. So thank you St Paul’s!

One of our greatest challenges as Christians in a secular world is keeping our vision fixed upon the greater story that we’re part of. That is, the bold conviction that Christ is Lord over all creation and is bringing all things under his rule; that we already live in that future age made present. The incredible hope of the Christian message is that everything we do in God’s name, whether it’s overtly spiritual or not, is swept up into this future. Put another way, none of what we sow into this kingdom will be lost.

This vision gives huge significance to everything we do—our training and education, our acts of love and compassion, those all-nighters nursing sick children, advocating for the dispossessed, and our care for God’s creation. As Chris Clark from World Vision said last Sunday, the key is that we are not called to bear the burden of changing the world, but simply to join in with God’s mission to save and restore His world.

C.S. Lewis sums this all up in Mere Christianity: “A continual looking forward to the eternal world is not a form of escapism or wishful thinking, but one of the things a Christian is meant to do. It does not mean that we are to leave the present world as it is. If you read history you will find that the Christians who did most for the present world were just those who thought most of the next. … It is since Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world that they have become so ineffective in this. Aim at Heaven and you will get earth “thrown in"; aim at earth and you will get neither.”

Rev Jonny Grant

Our perspective on things is decisive for how we approach and travel in the world. For instance, whether it’s been a good week for the Lions tour depends a lot on which side of the fence you stand. And whether Jimmy Spithill is a good guy depends a lot on which boat you want to win.

Along these lines, Eugene Peterson makes an insightful observation about how we tend to see things as modern people. In relation to our faith, for instance, our scientific paradigm tends to treat any mystery as uncertainty to be clarified and made certain through sharp-lined description. If we can just solve the mystery then everything else will fall into place. And yet the most important aspects of Christian belief terminate in paradox. Who can fully explain the divine trinity, or the incarnation, or what embodied life in the Age to come will be like? Yet, as Peterson says, our faith does not present complex problems to be solved, but rich mysteries to be entered into and explored. Even in the fruition of that future age, we will never reach the end of our understanding of who God is.

For me Peterson’s insight also provided a pastoral epiphany. Forming an authentic community of faith is a messy business and it can feel, at times, like people are complicated problems needing to be fixed. This never-ending slog ultimately creates an unbearable burden for those involved. Peterson helpfully flips this perspective on its head, so that becoming part of a community of faith is less like solving a murder mystery and more like admiring the pattern of an intricate Persian rug. It is our joy to enter into the unfolding mystery of relationships as we enable the Spirit to bring transformation in each of our lives. Just like that Persian rug, this brings coherence to the complexity of our community rather than simplifying it!

The same is true as we look across our world. One perspective would be to see endemic chaos, corruption and violence, and to throw our hands in the air or to engage in mission as an act of defiance. But it’s here where the divine lens gives us a radically different perspective, which brings with it hope and energy for mission. As Tom Wright says, the central message of the Gospels is not to prove that Jesus is God but to show that, in Jesus, God has become king of the world. His peaceable kingdom has come in power and one day we will see His rule throughout the whole of creation. Although we don’t always see the evidence of this on the surface of things, every act of generous love we make is sowing seeds into this eternal and unshakable kingdom.

I’m proud that St Paul’s is such a generous community and actively engaged in God’s mission in the world. As we highlight missions this month, I hope you can take this opportunity to sow more seeds of generosity into the great work going out from this community.

Rev Jonny Grant

“When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in the same place. Suddenly from heaven came a sound of a strong, rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared tongues of fire, distributed among them so that one settled on each of them, and they were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability.” (Acts 2:1-4)

Nothing sets kiwi hearts racing like the haka before a big game, especially when it’s against a Lions team full of muscle and bravado. This pre-match ritual conjures up a heady cocktail of pride, memories and anticipation of what’s to come.

The Day of Pentecost plays a similar role for us as followers of Christ, but with a twist. For those first believers, it was a reminder of God’s ancient faithfulness to his people, as it marked the beginning of the harvest each year — “the day of the firstfruits” (Num 28:26). The Pentecost described in Acts gives this festival powerful new meaning, fulfilling an old promise and providing a new beginning.

The Prophet Joel saw a time when God would pour out His Spirit on all humanity, releasing Spirit-inspired prophesies, dreams and visions among the people. More recently John the Baptist had foretold that the Coming One would baptise with wind and fire. The Pentecost described by Luke in Acts truly was “the day of the firstfruits,” when God filled His people with divine inspiration and heralded the beginning of the harvest to end all harvests.

When the current crop of All Blacks pull on their shirts and perform the haka later this month, they’re carrying both memories of the past and hopes for the future. In fact, you could say it’s the memories that give power to the hopes they carry. When I think of the rushing wind and tongues of fire coming upon those early believers, it reminds me a bit of the haka. As Christians Pentecost is our living history; it’s a present reminder of who we are and where we’ve come from. That we are a radical people filled and united by the Spirit of God to take up our part in His mission in the world.

And here’s the twist. The haka is a war dance but Pentecost marks the beginning of God’s peaceable kingdom. Whereas the Tower of Babel marked the enduring conflict and division between people as symbolised through their different languages, at Pentecost God unites people through His one Spirit, and this unity is expressed through a diversity of languages — different tongues but all praising God.

Pentecost is a beautiful, radical and powerful living memory of who we are as followers of Christ and it’s also an expression of what we seek to become as his church here at St Paul’s.

Rev Jonny Grant

Late on Monday evening the world stopped for dozens of young concertgoers in Manchester and their families and friends as a suicide bomber blew himself up among the revelers. It was a sudden and shocking reminder that there is something very wrong with our world, a perennial dark streak that refuses to go away. When we are capable of so much good how can we explain what happened on Monday night?

Over the years philosophers have come to radically different views about what lies at the heart of humanity and the cultures we create. Thinkers like Thomas Hobbes and Machiavelli painted a bleak portrait of people pitted against each other in endless rivalry and conflict, while German thinkers like Kant and Hegel envisioned the steady evolution of humankind towards a sort of heaven on earth.

In between these polar extremes of fatalism and fantasy, the Gospel presents a sort of Realistic Idealism. It faces square on the honest reality of who we are, but it also offers a journey of unimaginable hope. The key to unlocking the power of the Gospel in our lives is to understand the story we’re in, and to let it shape our whole reality. It involves knowing who we are, where we’ve come from and where we are going.

A few years ago in the US a couple of psychologists noticed an amazing link between how much kids knew about their families and their emotional health. Even having a basic knowledge of their family history and origins seemed to make a difference — it gave them a firm basis for their emerging identity and increased their resilience. Knowing where their grandparents and parents came from, how they met, some of the difficult experiences their family had made it through gave them a firm foundation on which to stand. The healthiest family story turned out to be the “oscillating family narrative,” which essentially said we’ve been through some challenges as a family but we always get through it and stick together.

It’s a great reminder as a church of the power of our ‘family’ story to shape our identity and to give us confidence for the journey ahead. One of our defining stories is that we are Pentecost People, meaning that we share in the legacy of that day when God breathed new life into a rag-tag group of followers and gave them a world-changing purpose.

One of the most distinctive features of that first Pentecost community is that they became a close-knit ‘family,’ united by their experience and love of God. It’s why we believe it’s so important for all of us to find places of deeper relationship at St Paul’s where we get to share our stories of God’s faithfulness with each other and go on the journey together. So if you want to host or lead a group, or find an existing one, talk to Lex & Barb or email them at


Stories have so much power because they resonate on a human frequency. They are the landing place where truth becomes real — where it takes on flesh and blood. Our lives are unfolding stories, and so it’s no surprise that for the Creator to pursue intimacy with His creation, the Word would need to become flesh. The genius of the Gospels is that they land the unimaginable truths of God’s plan for creation in the messy details of real people’s lives. Instead of scientific formulas or pristine theology, God’s Kingdom takes shape in and through imperfect people.

A few years ago Benedict Cumberbatch starred in the film “The Imitation Game.” It told the story of the introverted mathematician Alan Turing who broke the Nazi Enigma Code in WWII and became the “father of computing.” Turing’s early life reveals an awkward kid growing up, bullied and isolated by his boarding-school peers. He seems destined for a lonely and non-descript life. Yet his one friend at school says something that takes root and becomes Turing’s guiding principle. He says: “Sometimes it’s the people who no one imagines anything of, who do the things that no one can imagine.” And so it was. Through his improbable work, Turing swung the destiny of nations and birthed a new field of technology.

This is also the guiding theme of the Gospels — that through God’s empowering presence, He engages normal people to do remarkable things for the glory of His kingdom. As Luke says in the Book of Acts, He does this “To witness to the mighty works of God.” The first leader of the early church, Simon Peter, is a clarion example of this and a model for us. An average person from a backwater province, Peter became one of the most prominent people in history. But what happened to this raw and impulsive fisherman that made the difference?

On Easter Sunday the risen Jesus ushers in a New Age. As this new reality dawns, it’s like a crisp, clear May morning, when white light throws everything into sharp focus. And although Peter isn’t physically resurrected like Jesus, in a sense he is birthed into a whole new existence and way of being. What’s most challenging and inspiring about Peter’s story is that it reveals God’s great compassion for us. Although Alan Turing was an unlikely hero, he still possessed a uniquely powerful intellect, well beyond most of our reach. But, in choosing Peter as the leader of his fledgling church, Jesus chose someone like us, someone who reflects our own struggles and frailties. You could say that in choosing Peter, Jesus has chosen us. He’s spoken over us (like Peter): “Sometimes it’s the people who no one imagines anything of, who (through God’s empowering presence) do the things that no one can imagine.”

Through Peter’s story Jesus cuts a path on which we can all travel. The question is do we have the courage like Peter to go where the journey leads us?


Psalm 68 says: “The Lord gives the word; the women who announce the news are a great host.” It seems fitting today, as we thank Jennie Milne for her great service to St Paul’s, to quote from the Psalms. They are the passion of Jennie’s life and they sum up her exuberance for who God is and the adventure He’s called us into.

It’s all too easy amidst the heavy burden of church ministry to lose sight of why we do this in the first place, and what makes it all possible, which is the love and power of God’s Spirit. But one of the most inspiring things about Jennie is that she always travels with God close at her side. She lives, as Eugene Peterson says, in a “Psalm-shaped world,” constantly turning life and ministry back into prayer and encouragement. In the words of the Psalmist she is always announcing the good news of God, and she is also a great host!

Which brings us to the second thing we love about Jennie. As many of us within the staff team and congregation can witness to, Jennie’s generosity and encouragement know no bounds. Even in her busiest times, she seems to have endless space to show care and support for other people. Ever since we arrived from Vancouver three years ago, Jennie has been a constant source of hospitality and reassurance for us personally, but also a strong leader guiding her team through the changes and challenges of the last season. So we’re thankful for her energy and joy, which are infectious.

Of course, as the old saying goes (or should have gone): “behind every great woman there’s a great man”! Scottie and Jennie are pillars of our church, and they’re an inspiring example of a couple ministering together as a powerful team. So, we’re very aware that although Jennie has been on our staff team, Scottie has also been a constant presence with her, delivering courses, encouraging our families team, and sitting on Vestry. We’re looking forward to all they have to offer St Paul’s in the years to come.

Jennie has achieved a huge amount in her five years since taking up the reigns of the families team. Everything she does is fired by a passion to see relationships, families and children flourish. We’re thankful for all the ministry areas and initiatives she’s built up over that time, but especially for the strong staff team she leaves behind. We’re praying today for Jennie as she oversees the challenging transition of her parents into managed care in Christchurch, and the words of Psalm 91 shape those prayers:

You who live in the shelter of the Most High,
who abide in the shadow of the Almighty,
will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress;
my God, in whom I trust.”

Rev Jonny Grant

We find ourselves involved in so many different things these days that it’s hard to keep track of it all. A large part of our brains are taken up just juggling the dozens of passwords we need for various online subscriptions, which seem to be constantly changing. It raises the question: given that we’re connected to so many things, what does it mean to really belong to something?
It’s in this context that Anzac weekend reminds us how precious our communities are and the enormous sacrifices that have gone into protecting them. Today we remember those people across the generations who gave up their own future so that we might have one.
Along similar lines, the Book of Nehemiah provides a beautiful picture of what it means to belong to and fight for a community of people gathered by God. At the start of the story Nehemiah is working for the Babylonian ruler King Ataxerxes when he receives God’s clarion call to rebuild the broken down walls of Jerusalem. Incredibly his foreign boss blesses this mission and sends Nehemiah to restore the ruined city. This begins a rollicking adventure, which sees the dispirited squatters in Jerusalem rebuild their city walls in 52 days, despite constant threats from their neighbors. As Nehemiah says to the Israelites at one point: “Don’t be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your people, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes.”
This improbable project was made possible because each family and group worked side-by-side along the unbroken length of the wall, united and unflinching in their common purpose. They literally formed a human wall as they rebuilt the stone one. Anzac weekend, like the Nehemiah story, reminds us of those who were united in a common purpose and protected our community with great courage and at huge personal cost.
It also reminds us of the church, and what it means to belong to this community of faith. An important part of the Nehemiah story is the recording of all the exiled families that returned to the city, 42,360 in all. Recently, our church community showed great solidarity and common purpose by giving generously to the ministry of St Paul’s at a time when we needed to repair the walls of our finances which had been recently damaged. It was such a strong response that we even exceeded the ambitious target we set ourselves! Another way we belong to this community is by keeping records of who we are as a collective group. So, just like those ancient Israelites, we’re taking a St Paul’s Census, which allows us to keep reliable records so that we can communicate more effectively with the church. But more than just record keeping, it gives us a clear picture of the human wall of protection that surrounds this church—in New Testament language, the living stones of this temple of the Holy Spirit.
As we remember the brave people who made our larger community possible, it’s a perfect opportunity to recommit ourselves to this church by signing on as part of our upcoming Census later this week.
Rev Jonny Grant

The pilgrims waving Jesus into Jerusalem on the eve of their biggest party were full of expectation for the future drawn from the past. Passover was the Big One, the time when Jews remembered God rescuing their ancestors out of Egyptian slavery, drowning its Superpower army, and setting God’s people on the path to the Promised Land. And God was about to do it again.

Fast-forward a few days to a darker scene beneath the Cross, on the first Good Friday. The soldiers threw dice for Jesus’s tunic because it was a valuable garment, made from one seamless piece of fabric (John 19:23-24). Their wager is a powerful image for what Easter represents for all of us, ushered in by the high expectations of Palm Sunday. As Jesus enters the Holy City of David, there’s an outburst of praise that reflects the huge anticipation of what he will become — the true king who will “make Israel great again” (heard that recently?). The last person who rode into Jerusalem to an adoring crowd waving palm branches was the revolutionary hero Judas Maccabeus, who threw the Syrian King out of the sacred Temple two centuries before Jesus.

On that humble donkey Jesus carried centuries of prophetic and nationalistic expectation. The pilgrims cheering him on that day wanted political independence — the freedom to rule themselves. But by reaching so low they missed the greater prize that the true king had his eye on — nothing short of emancipating humanity from the ravages of sin and death. Just like that festive crowd a few days earlier, the Roman soldiers squabbling over Jesus’s tunic at the foot of the Cross are a bit like the children in that famous wardrobe arguing over which coat to wear, when the greater adventure of Narnia lies a few feet away — the invitation to rule with the Lion himself.

The Cross and the Christian life could be described as the glorious frustration of human expectations. Richard Bauckham puts it like this: “There is no smooth path to God which we can ascend with all our expectations of life confirmed and fulfilled. There is only the way of the cross, where the condemned and crucified Jesus contradicts our expectations, forces us to see ourselves as we really are, not as we would like to be seen, and reveals the world as a strange new landscape we had not seen before, a paradoxical game in which only losers can succeed.”

The mystery at the heart of Easter is that the Lion of Judah must die before he can breathe life into death. The same can be said of our lives. We, too, must go on the journey of Easter — to have our low expectations gloriously frustrated, so that we might find our way through the back of the wardrobe into the vast expanse of God’s reality beyond; a world that our weak imaginations need the jolt of Easter to enter into.

As the bright sun of Palm Sunday gives way to the darkness of Good Friday, what expectations or fantasies might need to follow the Lion into the tomb? May this mystery gloriously frustrate and fulfill you this Easter.

See you on Friday!
Rev Jonny Grant


I’m looking for some casual or part time work. Possibly cleaning your house once a week or nannying/ babysitting.  I can also do may handy man jobs around the house. I’m available to work Mondays Tuesdays and possibly Thursdays I’m a business student so can also help out in the office if you need. Call me on 02111358173 Laura Howe


Board available for a Christian female with our family. Located in Mt Albert our home is close to bus and train lines to city and university;  5 minutes from Unitec.  $250 per week, including all expenses. If you think you can cope with living in a busy, female-dominated household, please give Jo a call on 027 446 9112.  We'd love to hear from you!



Introducing the "Snuggery", a cute little self-contained flat located in Royal Heights. This unit is tidy and compact with one bedroom plus adjoining bathroom and kitchen. It comes with a fridge, dishwasher, microwave, power, water and internet.


Located at the end of a cul-de-sac, it has ample on-street parking. Handy to the motorway and shops.


Bush views and walks right on the back door, the Snuggery shares a garden with the main house which includes a Christian couple, one dog and a couple of chickens. Would be great for someone who loves animals and wouldn't mind doing the occasional chicken-sitting!


Rent $140 per week.
3 weeks bond on moving in.


Please contact Chad for any enquiries or for photos!
(09) 832 7196
021 447 359

Hi we are two christian ladies looking for a male flatmate to move into our cool house in Mt Albert area.

Must be working full time and is clean and tidy and reliable and mature.   Male or female flatmate.   Looking for flatmate aged 30 to 40s. 

Rent is $200 per week then pay towards the power, internet and phone,

Location very hardly to city and walking distance to St Lukes shopping mall.   We are both clean and tidy. 

Please contact Narelle 0226276077

Our renovated 3 bdrm 2 bathroom Ponsonby bungalow has had a room come free from the 3rd June. Super warm (well insulated with a Heatpump), great outdoor area, modern bathrooms and spacious modern kitchen with open plan living. Great for entertaining or just chilling out.

Both of us (both guys) are Christian, in our early 30s, work in the city, love a yarn and the occasional shared meal but also have lifestyles that make a flexible flat best. If you love something a little bit less rigid then this may be the place for you!

We are a short walk up to Ponsonby Road and have plenty of street parking (permit parking, so you are covered).

Give me (Evan) a text or call on 0275615902  with any questions.

Rent is $270 plus $30 exp (Power/Gas, water, unlimited fibre and all cleaning products). Available from 3rd June.

1x large room with deck, queen bed provided and a built in wardrobe!

2 existing flatmates, we are Christians looking for another likeminded person! We both work full time but enjoy catching up when we're home.

Quiet neighborhood, deck at front and back, garden.
10 mins walk to Morningside train station, 5 mins walk to bus stop, St Lukes Mall 8 mins walk away and great cafes!

If you don't mind a cat and don't mind helping out in the garden we'd lovely to meet you!

Room is $245 per week + expenses. Unfortunately we can't have couples.

Have you or someone you know planned a sojourn away for a month or longer? Need someone to care for your home/pets whilst you're away?? Well I'm your lady! :) Let's chat! Ask for Chelsea Bartlett 0210789820. 

Room (with queen bed) for rent in cute 2 storey 3 bedroom/2 bathroom modern home in Ponsonby.

Available from 3rd July 2017 to share with mature female owner.

Room has ensuite and walk-in wardrobe. 
One off-street car park available. 2 minute walk to Ponsonby Central, buses, cafes etc.

Please email 
with any enquiries.

Rent $300 pw plus expenses.

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  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
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.