18 February 2018
Prayer of the General Assembly 2014
The General Assembly is the place where the legislation of the church is done. [In fact the gathering Government of NZ is called the General Assembly because of the Presbyterian influence in our heritage]. The people attending the Assembly come from each Presbytery – an elder or a minister from each parish at present although this has been changed at this Assembly.
Presbyteries themselves are the regional bodies which are formed by an elder and minister from each parish in its region. From this Assembly two new Presbyteries the Alpine Presbytery and Presbytery Central have been formed by the merging of Northern South Island Presbyteries and Lower North Island Presbyteries respectively. This means there are now five regional Presbyteries, Northern, Kaimai, Central, Alpine and Southern and two ethnic Presbyteries - Te Ako Puaho and Pacific Island Presbyteries in a move to help us work more efficiently in Mission.
There is a lot from the 2014 General Assembly which is available on the internet– including recordings of the speeches and guest speakers. http://www.presbyterian.org.nz/about-us/general-assembly/ga14-assembly-week/
look at the side menu for those who wish to explore.
Rod Biel was our commissioner from St Johns to the 2014 Assembly and Rod reported to the congregation on Sunday October 12th.
However it is the Prayer resource of the Assembly which the new moderator, Andrew Norton, has enabled to be produced, which I consider to be one of the best things to come out of the Assembly.
Assembly gatherings are times of celebration and conflict, joy and worship, debate and discussion, and tears and trust, all mixed up and brought to God as part of God’s church. Somehow, despite our flaws, God slowly works on us as a church and that gives me hope. The Prayer resource from Assembly encapsulates all this. Some of the prayers from it are below and through the October Newsletter.
Prayer for Strength
God, you are the renewer of our strength.
You help us to mount up with wings as eagles.
to run and not be weary
and to walk and not faint.
Strengthen us when we want to give up
And expand our horizons
So we can reach out with your renewing love. [Vivienne Ball]
Prayer for Our Church
Disturb us, Lord, when
We are too well pleased with ourselves,
When our dreams have come true
Because we have dreamed too little,
Disturb us Lord
When we arrived safely
Because we sailed too close to the shore.
Disturb us, Lord, when
With the abundance of things we possess
We have lost our thirst
For the waters of life;
And in our efforts to build a new earth,
We have allowed our vision
Of the new Heaven to dim.
We have ceased to dream of eternity
Having fallen in love with life,
Disturb us, Lord, to dare more boldly,
To venture on wider seas
Where storms will show your mastery;
Where losing sight of land,
We shall find the stars.
We ask You to push back
The horizons of our hopes;
And to push into the future
In strength, courage, hope, and love.
[Prayer of Sir Francis Drake]
Rev. Margaret Anne Low
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