Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.
You will have heard today the latest update from our Government that public gatherings of over 100 are recommended to cease for the time being. It is with deep sadness therefore that we must also recommend that from this coming Sunday, our public acts of worship and other church gatherings will also cease. We are particularly aware that the population most vulnerable to Coronavirus makes up a large proportion of our family and we want to be proactive in protecting our people. We are also aware of how fast recommendations are changing and the responses of the church worldwide.
Our Diocesan leaders have been working hard to prepare both practical best practice guidelines, solid communication channels, and creative resources for continuing to be able to offer worship within our homes, as well as being a joyful presence to our communities. More about this will be released over the next few days, but will include resources for home or small group worship services, and ways to create a community care register. You can watch me (Bishop Ellie) share more about this in this short video.
Being able to communicate with one another will be key during this time, and we strongly encourage you to all make sure you are signed up to Movement by Mail, at www.movementonline.org.nz/signup.
Although it is so sad for us not to be able to gather together in prayer and praise in our usual places of worship, we are so thankful that Jesus is our High Priest and that, wherever we are, we can always enter into the sacred and intimate presence of God! Let us make the most of any time in which we must withdraw from the social world, by drawing on our spiritual rhythms and practices and very intentionally coming closer to God.
This time of gathering in our homes is also an opportunity to encourage one another more closely and intimately than our corporate worship sometimes enables. The gift of friendship in Christ is a very, very precious gift. Our prayer for us all during this period, is that Christ will deepen our spiritual friendships with each other, as we support and help each other to hold to faith, hope and love.
Now more than ever our local communities need us to be Christ’s hands and feet in loving service and as bearers of gospel hope. If we meet the challenges of this season well, we will glorify God and become more fully what we are called to be: to love our neighbours as ourselves.
Jesus is God’s new and living way. Whatever era of challenge the Church finds itself experiencing, over time and space, Christ is always creatively amongst us, enlivening us as his body.
+Justin and +Eleanor
229 Ruahine Street,
Phone: (06) 358 5403
Office Hours: The Parish Office is operating remotely. Please contact using the details above.
St Peter's regrets that the Church and Hall are closed for bookings until further notice.