21 September 2021
Annual reports June 2002- June 2003
Dear People of St John?s and St Philip?s Parish
Much has happened in the year July 2002 to July 2003. It has been a time of change and new beginnings and of searching for the way forward for the parish as it heads towards 150 years of worshipping and living in word and deed the good news of Jesus Christ in this area.
In ministry, I have had two different roles, that of supply minister up to the end of December 2002, then as your parish minister, being inducted in February 2003. The hospitality which the parish gave at that time was indicative of the depths of warmth and practical caring which the people of this parish show in their pastoral caring and their generous catering.
These reports celebrate people giving willingly and freely of their time, possessions, skills and using their gifts to help others and support the mission of this parish. .Much is quietly done through networks and people being aware of others needs.
The fire in August in the opportunity shop, a result of arson, tested all our resources. Those who worked in the shop, many quite elderly but definitely not ones to give up, were affected most by the crisis. The community co ordinators and our able secretary added skills of negotiation with insurance assessors, tradespeople and management of the restoration project to their qualifications. The black hole was transformed along with a few other parts of the community centre [smoke travels a long way!] and a new opportunity shop, gleaming and clean arose from the ashes. The community of Papatoetoe gave enough stock to fill the shop to its usual overflowing [but tidy] state and they were back in business. The good will shown to the church by many gave a warm connection between church and community at this time of our need.
We give thanks for all those who are involved in the Centre?s life, especially for Margaret Ayris and Briar Aitken co-ordinating people and events, the op shop servers and those who are on duty in the creche and those who produce prodigious amounts of food, catering for all sorts of events.
The music of the church has gone through many changes in the last year. The abrupt departure of Bruce Baker and the considerable loss of his musical skills in January 2003, meant that we had to find other ways to deal with music in our congregations. We were all aware that organists are becoming a rare breed but by June 2003 we had a roster of four organists. By then the choir at the 9.00am service had shown it could lead the very good congregational singing with no instrumental accompaniment on at least two occasions and the 11.00am service had launched into Hillsongs under the able leadership of Michael and Rebecca Salu. The Manukau First Presbyterian singers had grown in confidence and strength for the 11.00am service. Michael took the youth group to Camp at Motutapu Island, they reported on this when they returned. Services for Girls and Boy?s brigade were celebrated joyfully representing lots of work from enthusiastic youth leaders.
These reports have behind them the work of all those who keep things going, from making cups of tea to mowing the lawns. The work of elders and managers should never be taken for granted and we give God thanks for their faithful service.
Our Future directions planning had proceeded as far as discussions with the congregations at the 9.00am and 11.00 am services as we looked at what our mission is and specifically whether it is was best done from one or two places. As part of those discussions, on June 8, the Day of Pentecost, we freed ourselves from our buildings and went into Friendship House in Manukau City Centre and worshipped as a parish.
We are starting to grapple with our changing environment and to look as a whole at our total resources and be very intentional about how they are best used in Manukau City in the future to bring people the knowledge and love of Christ.
There have been significant changes in the parish as people who have been valued and active members for many years have retired to other centres, we have welcomed new people into our congregation and look forward to their participation in the life of the parish. Weddings, baptisms and funerals have given us the opportunities to both rejoice and weep with others. Prayer and worship have kept our focus on the 0ne who calls us to be church in this place and to follow Christ into the community where we live and work and play. We give thanks for the many blessings we have received as a community this year. Let us continue to journey in the confidence that God will bring us to our destination and equip us with all we need for travelling on.
I wish to thank all the people of St John?s and St Philip?s for your support during the first five months of my ministry with you. I thank Rod Beil, Chair of the Board, and Sandra Hodgson the Board Secretary for their willing service and Rosemary Tweedale for her dedicated work as treasurer... I also thank Susan Randall our resourceful and able secretary who goes the extra mile for those who seek her help and Gresham Poole and Alan Robinson for their support as we worked our way through the musical needs of the parish.
I give thanks for our session clerks Maree Allan and Phyllis Nuttall for their wisdom and the work they do as servants of God in this parish.
July - 2003
Rev. Margaret Anne Low
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