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...

The second vicar of St Paul’s was the Rev John Frederick Lloyd. In 1859 he became concerned for the plight of orphans in the parish. Together with Dr J. Kenderdyne he arranged for the care of seven orphans, this number steadily increasing as facilities improved. The Trustees of the St Stephens estate and Bishop Selwyn provided a site for an orphanage at Judges Bay, “near the sea beach where the children can play and bathe”, and in 1866 the children moved into large and airy dormitories. The Rev Lloyd was actively involved in ensuring the wellbeing of the children and was influential in changing the age when children could be sent out to work - raising it from 10 to 12 years of age!

The ministry of The Well has expanded! 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 Tuesday 28 March at 7.30pm. Free Parking at Wilson’s carpark, 47 Symonds St. Remember to display your dash pass.

Do you have a heart and passion for working with children? We need someone to lead our pre-school programmes at both the 9am and 11am services on Sundays. You should have energy, creativity, a character suited to nurturing our 2-4 year olds and a heart for facilitating the beginning of their journey with God. This will be a paid part-time position (9 hours). If you are interested in this role please send your CV and contact details to Cara.

Our sound team create an amazing environment for us and set the stage for our services.... we are recruiting! If you are interested in helping with sound or finding out more about it, please get in touch with Chris to find out more. Training provided. Is worship your thing? Do you play an instrument or sing? If you think you might be a good fit for our wonderful worship team here at St Paul's, get in touch with Chris to find out more.

Prayer delights Gods ear; it melts his heart and opens His Hand. Join us as we pray for St Paul's every Wednesday morning from 7am-8am. It's early but it is worth it! Parking available next to the church in the staff carpark.

Bikes, riding, and cafes offer a potent way to spend time with one another and our machines. We are launching a group for the bikers amongst us; this Sunday at 2.00PM at St Paul’s Symonds Street. For more info, contact us here.

SPAM was spawned back in 2005 a few months after we started our 'new services'. We were a pretty productive bunch for a few years and played a big part in establishing the creative culture of St Paul's. While we've never gone away, we reckoned it was time to reach out to SPAMmers old and new to tell some stories and create some new ones. So we’ve set up a Facebook page where we’re sharing some of the stuff we've done in the past, and discoveries of God intercepting arts and media. We also have some ideas for projects we can create together if people are keen. Come share your thoughts, your creations or discoveries and ideas!

The time has finally come to farewell our beautiful Rebekah from our staff team. Her enormous capacity and great love has ably run our Pre-School programme at St Paul’s over the last four years while completing her BA and MA in commerce at Auckland University. Her heart for God and prayer are reflected in the faith and enthusiasm of the children coming through the Salt and Light programs, and we can see the love and trust that the parents have in her. So it is with sadness and joy that we say thank you and all the best as she steps into the business world. The real joy is that you will continue to see her bright and beautiful presence around St Paul’s as she continues to participate in the many threads of ministry she is involved in. We will be celebrating and thanking Rebekah at both morning services on Sunday 26 March.

Have you experienced the pre-service prayer gathering on Sunday nights? Come and encounter beautiful worship as we pray and wait on God. This is a great opportunity to enter into God’s presence before the 18:30 service. It’s open for everyone, so come and join us in the crypt.

Fancy finding a place of peace, reflection and rest in the midst of your working week? During Lent, the 40 days leading to Easter, we are offering a half hour mid-week service of scripture, silence and prayer at 12:30pm on Thursdays. At today’s service we were so encouraged to see people flowing into St Paul’s away from the bustle to come and reflect. We open the doors at 12pm so feel free to come early, bring your lunch and have a coffee and a chat. See you there.

In the 1970’s a “Biblical Garden” was planted on St Paul’s northern side, which was filled with palms, figs, olives, and even a cedar of Lebanon! It expresses the vision of St Paul’s as a garden planted by God in the heart of our city, and it’s an idea that finds its origins in the story of Scripture.

In the Book of Genesis two rival images of human life emerge. First, we see God’s vision of life established within the fruitful productivity of Eden—the original garden. A little later, a very different form of human existence takes shape in Pharaoh’s Egypt. Whereas Eden was animated by God’s abundance, Egypt was dominated by Pharaoh’s nightmare of famine-induced scarcity. Under Joseph’s guidance, Egypt’s people are progressively enslaved, trading food in stages for their livestock, their land, and ultimately their own freedom.

In many ways the ancient imagery of Genesis accurately reflects our own life in a bustling modern city like Auckland. The theologian J. I. Packer describes the Christian life as a journey through contested territory, in the space between the Creator and the Corrupter. Put another way, we live in the tension between Eden and Egypt—God’s provision versus self-reliance and the fear of scarcity. We’re privileged to live in a beautiful vibrant city like Auckland, but it also poses challenges to our journey of faith. We can become caught up in the creeping anxiety of how to sustain life and keep progressing in a competitive city that is among the world’s most expensive.

It’s within this challenging context that Jesus’s call to worship God with everything we have blows like a fresh breeze from Eden. And it's here where we need to acknowledge that our finances are heavily contested territory. But they also provide us with a powerful opportunity to express our faith in God’s provision, while blessing others. Scot McKnight calls this the “reciprocity of grace … God gives to us so that we can become grace to others.” Tom Wright puts it this way:

“Don’t let the parodies put you off. The habit of giving, of giving generously, is not an extra option for keen Christians … because our whole calling is to reflect God the creator, and the main thing we know about this true God is that his very nature is self-giving, generous love. The reason why “God loves a cheerful giver” is that that’s what God himself is like. Someone like that is a person after God’s own heart. Making a regular, formal and public practice of giving money is designed to generate the habit of heart which forms a key part of what is meant by agape love.”

So, today I want to thank you for what you give to this community of faith and the Kingdom of God through St Paul’s, and also to welcome you into that adventure if you are not currently giving. What this church does is only possible because of your generosity. So why not grab a giving card today and get involved?

Our ultimate future lies in the “Garden City”—the New Jerusalem. This will be a place where God’s presence and provision permeates all of human life. Just as rivers flowed out from Eden giving life to everything beyond its boundaries, St Paul’s is built atop one of the natural springs that used to flow down what is now Queen Street. Our vision for St Paul’s is that it would be a spiritual Garden offering hospitality, hope and restoration, and that its rivers of life would flow out into and bless our City as a taste of the New Jerusalem in the bustling heart of Auckland.

Blessings,
Rev Jonny Grant

The journey of faith is full of mystery and paradox. One of my favourite scenes from Scripture is in 1 Samuel when an exhausted David, on the run from the murderous King Saul, finds himself holed up in a dark cave at Adullam. It’s here that David composes Psalm 142, which ends with these desperate but hopeful words: “Listen to my cry, for I am in desperate need; rescue me from those who pursue me, for they are too strong for me. Set me free from my prison, that I may praise your name. Then the righteous will gather about me because of your goodness to me.”

God always hears and answers our prayers, but not always in the way we expect Him to. David receives one of these unexpected answers to his prayer. We’re told in 1 Samuel 22:2 that: “All those who were in distress or in debt or discontented gathered around him, and he became their commander. About four hundred men were with him.” David inherits a rag-tag bunch, which Eugene Peterson describes as those “who were down on their luck—losers and vagrants and misfits of all sorts.” I doubt this is what David meant when he prayed that the “righteous” would join him. But this rabble became David’s Mighty Men, a group that became famous throughout Israel for their courage. What a beautiful scene and how typical of God!

Last Sunday I spoke about the frustration we often feel when God colours outside the lines we draw for him, working outside of our plans and timeframes. But the reality is that we follow the One who created the cosmos and everything in it—the One who sees the bigger picture and knows what lies ahead. Like David’s prayer in the Cave of Adullam, God often brings answers out of unexpected places so that we might know that He is God and find new reasons to believe. And like those ‘down-and-out’ guys who were transformed into an invincible fighting unit, we often find our purpose and answer “on the way.” Not stuck in a world of sustained introspection, but as we courageously step out into serving God and others.

One of the mysteries and paradoxes of our faith is that God often meets our needs out of our own generosity. But that inevitably takes courage! When Jesus first announced his ministry, he held up an obscure widow from the Old Testament as an example of faith. She and her son were on the brink of starvation when the prophet Elijah asked for her last ounce of oil and flour. Imagine how hard it must’ve been to give that last meal to a stranger instead of her own son! Yet out of her courageous generosity, God miraculously fed her family during three years of drought.

As a pastor, I’m most inspired by the stories of people at St Paul’s who respond creatively, courageously and generously out of their own needs. You never know, just like David in that dark cave, your needs may end up being a blessing to countless others. So where is God inviting you to see your places of lack as an opportunity to be “strong and very courageous” today?

Blessings,
Rev Jonny Grant

When we lived in the UK, I entered the world of football hooliganism with a group of friends in southwest London. Over 10 wintry seasons we saw some amazing players, witnessed some historic games, and enjoyed some fine pork belly and ale during our customary pre-match ritual. For a few years our team was coached by an imperious Italian called Claudio Ranieri, who became known as “the Tinkerman” for his quirky (and unpopular) team selections. Two years ago he took over an unfancied team called Leicester City, who were odds-on favorites to be relegated at the end of the season. Instead, without any big-name players, Leicester romped to victory in the English Premiership in what’s been described as the greatest ever sporting achievement. At the start of the season they were literally 5,000-1 outsiders to win the title.      

These “rise of the underdog” stories resonate deep within us and the Bible is packed full of them too. From beginning to end Scripture is the story of God bringing about His improbable kingdom through an unlikely people. Even Israel’s most famous King—David—wasn’t even included in the initial interviews by his Father Jesse … thanks Dad! And there’s a point to it all. When we become bearers of God’s unmistakable presence, we bring glory to Him. We bear witness to divine power rather than human prowess.

People often ask me what our vision is for St Paul’s. So here it is. When Jesus announces the beginning of his own ministry in Luke 4, he borrows and adapts a famous passage from Isaiah 61. In this vision the prophet paints a picture of God releasing and restoring his people—the oppressed, mourners, prisoners, captives and the broken-hearted. Jesus adds a few of his own to intensify the vision—good news for the poor and sight for the blind.

It’s a stunning picture of new creation, but the radical key to Isaiah’s vision is one that we can easily miss. It’s not the trained priests who carry out the restoration work while the people watch on, it’s the people themselves who express these ministries of restoration and rebuilding. It’s a two-part movement: God renews His people so that they can carry his kingdom forward. The apostle Peter describes how Jesus disperses God’s kingdom, flattening its power structures, by establishing a “royal priesthood” which is made up of everyone in the church, young and old, beginner and ‘expert’.

Our vision for St Paul’s is that this church will be a place where each of us discovers and explores the work that God has called us to and anointed us for; that each of us will find our distinctive role within the intricate body of Christ here at St Paul’s. That will be a messy journey at times, for sure, but if the body never tried to move then where would be the sense of adventure. There are things to do and places to see!

Blessings

Rev Jonny Grant      

One of the downsides of tv box-sets is that they draw you into their orbit, immersing you in a world of characters that become like family, and then one day they drop you off in a post-finale wilderness, leaving you bereft and listless! Excuse the melodrama but we’ve just finished “Friday Night Lights,” which follows the lives of a Texas high school football coach and his family. Although the premise sounds unpromising, it’s been magnetic for us because it’s such an insightful take on life, people and the complexity of human communities. I’m sure it was written by a church pastor!

That’s also why the gospels have stayed so fresh down through the ages. The central character is pretty magnetic, but it’s also about the razor sharp observations the gospel writers make about how people respond to Jesus. These stories have the fragrance of authenticity about them—this is the way people are—and they teach us about our own journey of faith. One of the most dramatic examples of this is the resurrection of Lazarus in John 11. 

This story shows the constant wrestle between Jesus’ way of working and people’s expectations of him. It’s almost farcical. It begins with Lazarus’ sisters Martha and Mary sending Jesus urgent news of his serious illness, but Jesus decides to wait. Then, 2 days later, he gets ready to go to Lazarus, but his disciples challenge him because the Jews in that area have just tried to stone him. Next, Jesus returns to the sisters during their brother’s “wake” and they rebuke him with the words: “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died”! Then, when Jesus tells them to roll away the stone, Martha tries to talk him out of it because of the smell after 4 days. Even when Lazarus walks out of the tomb, there’s a mixed reaction! Although many believe in Jesus after this sign, there’s another crowd that tell the religious leaders who immediately (and ironically) start planning his death. 

We can fall for the temptation of thinking that everything would be simple if Jesus was with us in the flesh. But even his closest followers in the gospels cover him in a dense forest of projected expectations and disappointments. These sisters who know that Jesus could have prevented Lazarus’ death, don’t seem to believe that Jesus could revive him. We are complex creatures! Doesn’t this all sound a bit too familiar though? Jesus has called us into his resurrection life and yet we often find ourselves resisting his ways of working, his timing, and bending his power into our limited range of expectations.   

The essence of the Christian life is that Jesus has called us into the “first-fruits” of the new creation. And yet we still find parts of our lives, our ministries, and our relationships that are lifeless and starting to smell like those old grave-clothes. We can find ourselves saying, like those sisters, “Jesus if only you had been here earlier, I wouldn’t be in this state.” But we forget that Jesus is not just a physician, he is resurrection! So what does he need to bring back to life for you today?

Blessings,

Rev Jonny Grant


n the Old Testament there are two archetypical, and quite different contexts, that Israel came to associate with God’s presence – the Tabernacle and the Temple. During their wilderness wanderings, God gives Israel instructions for a holy tent in which God would travel with His people, moving from one place to the next. Wherever they went, God went with them. Later, once Israel was settled in the land, Solomon famously built the Temple in the holy city, which became the ‘permanent’ dwelling place of God.  

Borrowing these two images, by analogy, brings into focus what Andy has been to St Paul’s. Within an established context like St Paul’s, familiar patterns, rhythms, traditions and ministries tend to become like the solid walls of the temple – permanent, immovable and irreplaceable. They are the life-giving places where we have experienced God with us and so they become precious. But they can also eventually become places of stasis, where we get bogged down or miss the new direction that God is taking us. When I think about Andy, I am reminded most of the Tabernacle – the meeting place between God and his people, which remained dynamic and responsive to new places and new directions.

Andy has been a creative leader in the best sense of the word – full of vision and ideas, but combining that with openness to God’s leading. He has been at the heart of so many of the ministries and initiatives at St Paul’s over the last 8 years, including Worship Central, GLOW and the worship albums God with Us and Creation’s King, to name just a few. But, even more importantly, he has been sensitive to the wind-shifts at various points and so able to set his sails in a new direction. A great example of that has been the development of Alt Carols as a fresh way of re-telling the Christmas story. Like his own hairstyles over the years, Andy has been able to move with the times and live well within them. 

But here’s the twist. There’s also a way that Andy has been more like the Temple than the Tabernacle. We often judge a leader by how we experience them when they’re with us. But, actually, the true test of leadership is what leaders leave once they’ve gone. Andy has been a great leader among us over these last 8 years. But the enduring testimony to his leadership is what he leaves behind – more like those solid Temple walls than tent canvas. Andy leaves behind a mature and thriving worship team and in Chris a leader who can lead them and us into the next adventure. So, we want to thank Andy for his incredible season at St Paul’s. Just like Israel’s ancient worship spaces, Andy has helped to shape a context in which we have experienced God with us. Thanks Andy – we will miss you!

Blessings,

Rev Jonny Grant 

This week we made an historic discovery. The original hand drawn plans for the third St Paul’s building – dating from 1893 by architect William Henry Skinner – have been lost for as long as anyone can remember. The Diocesan Archive had concluded that they had likely gone back to the UK with the Welsh architect, hence their disappearance from the records.

Before Christmas I mentioned the missing plans to historian Earle Howe, who’d come across them years ago in an antiquarian bookshop on High Street. It was our only lead and two weeks ago Simeon (who shares a love of history) and I resolved to track them down. My email enquiry to the bookshop went unanswered but soon after Jonny attended an evening at the Venn Foundation and sat next to a man who had spent some time studying in Oxford. Over dinner he mentioned that he and his wife had attended St Paul’s a long time ago and that Jonny might be interested to know that a friend who had also spent time in the UK had some architectural drawings of St Paul’s on his study wall.

There have been lots of plans drawn over the years for not only the three St Paul’s buildings (Emily Place, the temporary church at Eden Terrace and the final St Paul’s on Symonds Street), but also for various changes to the building. There were no guarantees that these plans would be for the current building.

This week I met the couple, who have since moved back to New Zealand. To my joy I discovered that the stunning plans they fell in love with 25 years ago in that antiquarian bookshop on High Street are indeed the full and original plans for our beautiful church! There are four large pages dated ‘1893’, each backed with linen, which have hand drawn elevations and details for the North, South, East and West. 

The discovery of the plans is invaluable to the future restoration work, as there are several parts of the building that have been significantly altered over the past 122 years and many more that were never completed. The current owners were delighted to know what a treasure these are for our church and have given them to us on loan so that we can have them professionally scanned and replicated for our use.
Framed copies will be gracing our church walls soon!
 
Blessings,

Esther Grant

Last weekend, as a church, we joined several thousand others at Festival One. It was an encouraging reminder that we are not alone as Jesus followers – that his local family is large, diverse and multi-generational. Between the sun, endless conversations and great bands, we were also reminded of the story that we are caught up within as the church. Across his three sessions Sam Bloore reminded us of the very foundations of our identity and calling as Christians, and one idea really stood out for me. That is, that down through the ages human identity has been formed by the stories that each community tells. These have tended to revolve around the two extremes that we are either slaves to the gods or gods ourselves. Although these ideas sound primitive to us, they accurately describe the modern world too. We are taught that we are either slaves to our biological impulses or self-creators who can become whatever we choose. But the truth is much more powerful. We are creatures formed in the image of the Creator God himself, called to reflect his beauty into the world and to offer creation’s praise back to him. What an amazing identity and vocation that we get to express in every sphere of our lives!

But the question remains, in a world that treats us as either slaves or gods, how do we learn to walk as sons and daughters of the living God? The simple answer is that our identity is formed through the story we choose to inhabit and the community that brings that story to life. In the early church, the waters of baptism gave believers a new identity (signified in many cases by a new name), a new story (told in Scripture) and a new community (the church). Over the next 2 years, we’re going to read together the divine story that gives shape to our lives and everything in them—the Bible. I encourage you to join us in this daily adventure. The Bible is a rich and complex story, which can make it challenging to access or navigate. So structured reading plans can provide a clear and walkable path for us to follow. Although there are endless options here (including the Anglican Lectionary), we are following the Gospel Coalition’s plan because of its elegant simplicity. You can find it at tinyurl.com/stpauls-bible-reading-plan and start walking on the daily journey today. What better way to enter the new year than reading the story that gives us life, purpose and a sure destiny.

Blessings,
Rev Jonny Grant

Last Sunday, our Anglican lectionary fell upon the prophet Isaiah’s divinely-uttered poetry in Isaiah 65. This stunning book is often called the “5th gospel” because it so clearly anticipates what would unfold in Jesus and the New Testament. Through Isaiah, God expresses our future hope that all will be well: “Pay close attention now: I’m creating new heavens and a new earth. All the earlier troubles, chaos, and pain are things of the past, to be forgotten. Look ahead with joy.” This picture of “new heavens and a new earth” is especially comforting after a traumatising week of earthquakes and aftershocks across the country.

With Advent just around the corner, we’re reminded that we have a foretaste of Isaiah’s future hope right now and that God is on the journey with us, like a proud parent filled with both joy and grief as we experience the ups and downs of the present age. The same goes for our life as the church, the heavenly-community-in-training.

This week you would’ve received letters from Bishop Ross and our Vestry, drawing to a close a process that began at the beginning of the year and was referred to at our AGM in May. For me personally, these last few years have been the best of times and the worst of times. The confidential and sensitive nature of the processes referred to in the statements has required me to remain silent in the face of the stories that have swirled around, which has been a deeply painful and complex journey for both Esther and I. At the same time there has been the great pleasure of leading a church that is so full of energy and life, and I’m constantly staggered by the incredible people we have in our staff team and congregation.

I am also profoundly sad that some people within our community have felt the need to move on from St Paul’s in the wake of this season. Our vision has always been for reconciliation rather than rupture. We wish this group well in their new gathering and pray that God will bless them richly with the new hope Isaiah describes. The statements from the Bishop and Vestry effectively draw to a close this prolonged chapter of transition and we now look ahead to building on the blessed foundation we have at St Paul’s. Leading the church through such a challenging season has been a steep learning curve for me — one full of lessons that I’ve had to learn the hard way.

When Esther and I first felt called to come to St Paul’s, God planted a strong vision within us that this church would become a deeply relational community. That we would walk with conviction into the call to be a spiritual family and the intimately connected body of Christ. This remains a challenging vision for a fast-flowing city church that is always changing. But it’s a journey that I want to invite you into afresh in this coming year. The Apostle Paul, consciously echoing Isaiah’s words, says: “When someone is in Christ, look, the new creation has come!” It is our challenge and our inspiration to walk towards Isaiah’s vision of unrestrained joy in a future world where all is well. So today, as God encourages us to do: “Look ahead with joy.”

Blessings
Rev Jonny Grant

2016 will go down in history as a year of geopolitical shocks. First Brexit, then The Bachelor, and now a triumphant Trump. It’s a good time to take comfort from the fact that we don’t put our ultimate trust in earthly kings and their fleeting reigns. As I watched this week’s election with a mixture of fascination and disbelief, I couldn’t help but wonder if Donald Trump hadn’t stacked the deck all along, by filling American cities with huge glimmering monuments to his power and success in the form of the Trump Towers. Like King Nebuchadnezzar before him, they are powerful visual advertisements for a man who postures to rule the world.

But aside from all this, one thing that’s always impressed me deeply about American elections is the incredible number of people who passionately engage in the political process and volunteer their time and energy to the causes they believe in. Something was birthed into the American spirit that still lingers there—a belief in service, commitment and sacrifice—essentially Christian virtues.

It reminds me of the “beating heart” of our church too, which is those of you who work so hard to keep this church going in and out of season. The Spirit gives breath to the body of Christ, the church, but it’s our volunteers who keep that body moving. I’m filled with admiration and relief every Sunday morning, especially during the depths of winter, when I walk into a freezing church to see a group of volunteers already preparing for the long day ahead. What motivates these people to give their time so early in the morning within a building that’s impersonating a fridge-freezer? It’s just one of countless examples I could give from throughout the week.

On Friday night we celebrated and thanked our volunteer leaders at a private St Paul’s showing of Hacksaw Ridge, a film that put faith, conviction and sacrifice in shockingly clear perspective. Last Sunday you responded generously to Esther’s invitation to financially support our church family. As a church funded by its own people, we live and breathe through your gifts of time and money, and we are truly blessed by the generous spirit that exists at St Paul’s.

In biblical times it was only the priests who worked on the Sabbath. By facilitating the worship life of God’s people, they helped to renew God’s creation and especially His image-bearers—us! As I see it, our volunteers are like those Sabbath-working priests. They work so that the whole body of Christ can be built up for the mission that Jesus has prepared for us.

So, brothers and sisters, please be upstanding and charge your glasses. I propose a toast to our tireless volunteer leaders—our beating heart; our Sabbath-working priests; and most importantly of all, our image-bearing reflections of Jesus himself. Be sure to thank them in person when you see them.

Blessings

Rev Jonny Grant

From the very beginning we humans were born into a wrestle of epic proportions. We were made by God to be like Him, and to look after the good creation he set us within. But we’ve always been tempted to put our trust in the things God made rather than God Himself. Even in that abundant Garden-gift—Eden—we put our trust in the tree and the serpent and ourselves, rather than the One who made them all.

Fast forward countless generations and we find ourselves in that same, age-old bind: Who will we trust? What will we invest in? This is heightened by the stressful economic reality of a city that seems too expensive to live in and strong competition for jobs and career opportunities. Even within the relative wealth of Auckland, we feel intense pressure to keep our lives and families financially afloat and safeguarded for the future. As they often do, trust and fear go hand in hand. Just look at the US Elections!

It’s within this context that the Gospel blows like a cleansing wind. It challenges us with that original question: Who will we trust? What will we invest in? The Gospel antidotes to the modern fear of scarcity are found in the form of joy, gratitude and generosity. Joy expresses that God holds our ultimate future in His hands, while gratitude keeps us firmly focused on the God who is the source of all good things. Our generosity turns these two gifts around and allows us to be like God by letting His abundance flow from us to others. Scot McKnight calls this the “reciprocity of grace … God gives to us so that we can become grace to others.” The New Testament vision of money is that we would express these three gifts within the church as the family of God and Christ’s body in the world.

I love the way Tom Wright puts it: “Don’t let the parodies put you off. The habit of giving, of giving generously, is not an extra option for keen Christians. It is absolutely obligatory on all – because our whole calling is to reflect God the creator, and the main thing we know about this true God is that his very nature is self-giving, generous love. The reason why “God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Cor. 9:7) is that that’s what God himself is like. Someone like that is a person after God’s own heart. Making a regular, formal and public practice of giving money is designed to generate the habit of heart which forms a key part of what is meant by agape love.” NT Wright, Virtue Reborn

So, today I want to thank you for what you give to this community of faith and the Kingdom of God through St Paul’s. What our church does is only possible because of your generosity, and the potential of what we’re planting here at St Paul’s excites me. After a long period of transition and change, we now have an opportunity to plan for the future and to start putting those plans into practice.

What makes us unique as followers of Jesus is that we believe in an Age beyond this one—a divine reality that shapes and gives significance to everything we do now. Our firm conviction is that what we sow into and through the church now will pay great dividends in the future—not just in our lifetime but in the Age to Come in a world without end. What better investment could you wish for?

Blessings
Jonny


Hi,

I'm Christina and I live in Germany.  I am coming to New Zealand in September to get to know the country, the culture and especially the language.

I'm looking for a host family to live with during my stay. To finance my stay I am happy to babysit.  I will be attending a language course during my visit.

Please email me ckireew@yahoo.com

Our busy, General Practice is seeking an experienced Practice Nurse to work four days per week (Monday – Thursday) 8.30am-5.30pm in a desirable central Auckland suburb. This is an exciting opportunity for the successful applicant to join our growing, family-orientated practice, and to become a part of our small team.

Our nurses work autonomously but closely with the General Practitioners to provide a full range of primary care.  The successful nurse will provide acute clinic and telephone triage, vaccinations, wound care and chronic disease management.

The successful applicant will have:

  • Previous experience as a Practice Nurse or generalist nursing experience
  • The ability to work autonomously, and take ownership of some aspects of patient care and management decisions
  • Excellent teamwork and customer service
  • An organised and efficient manner, and the ability to prioritise
  • A keen interest in well-health education
  • Registration with the Nursing Council of New Zealand and hold a current Practicing Certificate.

Ideally, the successful nurse will have experience with Medtech 32, and the ability to administer immunisations (with current vaccinator certificate) however this is not essential, and training will be provided for the right applicant.

Please send queries and applications to aucklanddoctor@gmail.com

Applications close 16 March 2017.

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 jaynebaileynz@hotmail.com 
with any enquiries.

Rent $300 pw plus expenses.

I'm 19, fun, responsible and looking for a place that is no more than a 15 minute drive to Newmarket. I'm employed full time as an apprentice hairdresser at M11.

I would love to be in a flat with other Christians although it's not imperative. I can pay up to $220 per week including expenses.

I have great references and am leaving my current place as it was only available short term. I need a place by 31 March or before.

If you could text me on 0278470008 I can call you back when I get a chance between clients.

Thanks, Sharni.


3 bedroom house with 1 bathroom.

Sunny three bedroom house situated at end of quiet drive. Bush, birds, and nice neighbours.
The rent is $245 + expenses which includes power,water and internet.

House has front and back deck and a garden.
The room is large unfurnished but can provide double bed if needed. It has a built in wardrobe and a little outdoor deck. 

Celeste and Rick are friends in their mid 20's. Rick works in Media Design and Celeste studies and works part time. We are friendly, quiet and enjoy hanging out but we are not party animals!

Ideal flatmate:Active, independen­t - but social, considerate and clean. Not into video games :)
Sorry no couples as the tenancy allows only 3 people.

We also have a flat cat.
Bond is 3 week's rent in advance. Which would be $695.

If interested please contact Celeste with a bit about yourself, and if you'd like to come and see the flat.
Email: celeste.watson@hotmail.com

We are a young professional couple moving to Auckland for work. Katja is a lawyer and Peter is a software-developer/engineer.  We are currently in Wellington and attend Karori Baptist Church.  Our work in Auckland starts on 13 March.  If you know of a permanent accommodation option available in/close to the Auckland CBD then we would be very interested to hear from you.  Alternatively, if you know of a short term accommodation option where we could live for a month or so while we look for a more permanent situation, then we would also love to hear from you. Katja & Peter Heesterman - katja.heesterman@gmail.com

 

Our current tutor has had to leave us for a full-time teacher role, we are looking for a student to assist a 16 year old boy who attends Western Springs College, and wants to do really well in school.

 

He wants to be a History Teacher, excels in public speaking, drama, writing, English, Theology, philosophy, and mostly adores history.

 

Twice a week 1 hour sessions has been done at $40 per session. General chatting about life, school, help with homework, understanding concepts, exams, writing etc.

 

We would like a christian, as would prefer a Christians mentoring, and points of God's views

 

Please enquire with his mum, Angela Scott

3606012

0242464760

Grey Lynn (just up the road from Motat)

A Christian couple moving to Tauranga have their house for rent at 120
Dominion Road, Papakura.  The house will be available from February 1st.
Details of this property can be viewed on Trade Me
http://www.trademe.co.nz/Browse/Listing.aspx?id=1235942001 or contact
Michelle 021 0244 8981

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.