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Thoughts and informers from Westchurch people and some others too. These are unlikely to convey the beliefs of all our people. Please feel free to comment or blog - it really is easy.

24 August 2008


“Lifting the Lid on Death”

A four-week Sunday evening Spring public lecture series at St. Marks Somerfield from 6.00-8.30pm on August 31, September 7,14 and 21.

The intention of the series - is to bring into the open an issue that continues to be largely taboo in our society yet affects everyone.

The format of each evening will be:
6pm-6.45pm An optional time when hospitality will be offered with a bowl of soup and bun.
7.00-7.40pm Presentation by guest speaker
7.40-8.00pm Small group discussion
8.00-8.30pm Questions and conversation with the speaker

The speaking schedule is as follows:

August 31 Mark Gibson the full-time minister at St. Marks Somerfield will speak
on “The Ecology of Death: A spiritual exploration of Endings”.

September 7 Dr Sandy MacLeod a medical consultant with the Nurse Maude hospice
will speak on “The Medical Aspects of Dying”.

September 14 Jayne Hubble, M.N.Z.A.P., a psychotherapist in private practice
working in Christchurch South will speak on “Fantasies of Death and
Dying: Reflections by a Psychotherapist”.

September 21 Rev. Dr. Jim Stuart a retired Methodist minister and theologian will
speak on: “The Other Side: Exploring the Near Death Experience”.

We hope that this series will be of wide interest in the church and local community.
All welcome. Opportunity will be given to offer a koha."

Copied from http://www.stmarks.methodist.org.nz/

Katherine recommended this to us at at church this mornng.

23 August 2008

Food Basket

This week, contributions to the food basket would be appreciated. Non-perishable food items, household cleaning and toiletries are all suitable. The people that receive these food parcels are families that are known by people in the Westchurch community. This is a gesture of care that we are able to make.

15 August 2008

Red letters 08

Hi friend, you may have heard that we are intending to do another Red Letter Voices later in the year (November 21-22). Like last year that will mean a Friday night and all day Saturday. This year we want to explore the practice of fighting for others. For example:

  • how does one fight for others at a political level (Kim Workman, NZ Director of Prison Fellowship),
  • how does one fight for indigenous people (Jon Owen, Urban Neighbors of Hope Chapter Leader, Sydney Australia),
  • how does one fight for global justice (Justin Duckworth, a Founder & Leader of Urban Vision, Wellington ),
  • how does one fight for stigmatized women & children (Ruby Duncan, CEO Iosis, South Auckland ),
  • how does one fight for the disabled (Evan Clulee, Ministries Director of Christian Ministries with the Disabled),
  • how does one fight for peace (Adrian Leeson, who was one of the three arrested over their symbolic protest at the Waihopai spy base),
  • how does one fight for the gay community without compromise ( Mike Hercock from Sydney who recently got over 100 Pastors to rally for the gay community even though some of them could not condone the practice of homosexuality),
  • plus Musicians from both NZ & Australia whose music is a blend of God, us & the other.

The emphasis, as noted, will be on "how to…" rather than challenge. This will be an informative gathering. RLV will be sponsored by Alongsiders (Mick Duncan) and held at Carey Baptist College , Penrose, Auckland Friday 7.30-9.30, Saturday 9.30 – 4.30). There will be a conference fee of $50.00pp.

While women weep, as they do now, I'll fight; while children go hungry, as they do now I'll fight; while men go to prison, in and out, in and out, as they do now, I'll fight; while there is a drunkard left, while there is a poor lost girl upon the streets, while there remains one dark soul without the light of God, I'll fight, I'll fight to the very end!"

So, if you're keen to be at this gathering then flick me back an email: mick@michaelduncan.org


07 August 2008

Small Groups

SMALL GROUPS are a great way of building friendships, encouraging each other in the messy business of life & faith - and having a lot of fun! They could be Westchurch-based or made of a handful of friends or people with a common interest sport or hobby.

If you're interested in belonging to a small group (no matter how small or odd-shaped), have space in yours for someone else, or would consider starting a new group - don't sit on the idea for too long! Take a first step - talk to someone about it. And the pastoral team (Kathy, Brian, Trudi & Blair) can help put you in touch with resources and others you could team up with.

06 August 2008


The older youth group is setting up a small library. It will allow the youth group an opportunity to read Christian books that they may not know about or have access to.

The reason I'm telling you is that the more books we have the better, so if you have some good Christian books that you have read and think would be suited to people of our age and stage (please no boring books you want get rid of) then bring them to church with your name on the inside cover. This would be a loan and you would have access to them whenever you want.

The books would be signed in and out so they shouldn't get lost in the ether -- as most loaned books seems to. We are looking for any Christian related books, anything that would be of benefit.

Any questions feel free to be in touch.
Ryan and the youth group

Nooma Series

Westchurch now has the Nooma series of 20 short films (around 10mins ea) in DVD form dealing with issues we care about and often want to talk about with friends, from a Christian perspective. They're a brilliant resource for small group discussion.

You can find out more & pre-view at http://www.nooma.com/ . [Also see earlier blog]

Contact Blair 352 6778 if you would like to borrow any of the series.