A few things for you to read and listen to while we are in Lockdown

Living in the Stillness.
Joel Tempero and Cassie Close have produced this short video, with "Tips on how to live in the stillness" - well worth a watch.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KyBGpP0Tpek
A Message from PCANZ
Dear Friends and Colleagues,  Kia Ora, Talofa lava, Kia Orana, Fakaalofa lahi atu, Anyoung haseyo, Malo e lelei, Taloha ni.  Warm greetings in Christ’s name.  As our Prime Minister has reminded us since the first case of COVID-19, these are unprecedented times.  
Who would have thought only a few weeks ago, that as a country we would have closed our border; we would be in lock-down; and many of us would be joining together from our own homes via the internet for our worships services? The pace of change has been swift and very necessary. We fully support these and urge you to do likewise.
 We all know these measures may go on for some time and that we will not be returning to normal – whatever that might look like – anytime soon. We read that any measures that will successfully “flatten the curve” in the coming weeks or months will also extend the curve further out. No-one knows for how long, and many of our parishes and people face uncertain times.  
The competence of our Government, Ministry of Health and Civil Defence officials, doctors, nurses and health workers, plus the sheer resourcefulness and resilience of people all around us, is humbling and encouraging. Please continue to pray for these people and their families.   
 Our local arrangements team for Assembly have highlighted some of the travel and other issues we face as a result of COVID-19 if we continue to plan a General Assembly in Hawke’s Bay for this October. While still six months away, the administrative responsibilities for our Assembly require us to fulfil various tasks now. Some important local arrangements need to be confirmed – and costs incurred. Presbytery clerks/executive officers tell us they are struggling to name who should be commissioners, especially elder commissioners, and to make accommodation and travel arrangements is almost impossible. At this time of lock-down and uncertainty, there are many more urgent tasks that folk are facing.  
We have listened to our public health and epidemiological experts who remind us that the measures we need to have in place will be required for some months. Even then, no one should imagine that the COVID-19 season will have ended, certainly not on a national scale.  
We have asked, what is the Spirit saying to the Church?  
We have spent time in prayer.  In the light of this, we, as the Moderator and the Assembly Clerk, using the provisions of the Book of Order Section 14.29(2) have made the decision to postpone General Assembly until September/October 2021, to be held within the bounds of Presbytery Central.  
We recognise this is a bold step.  
We want to give surety and relieve pressure off our parishes and presbyteries in making this decision, so that time and energy can be devoted to the pressing issues presented by COVID-19.  
We recognise the implications of this decision and will be working on those in the days and weeks ahead. We will keep you informed as we proceed.  
We invite you to join us in praying for our country; our people; our Church. And let us… “Stay home,  wash our hands, and be kind”.  
Na, ma te Atua, nana te tumanako, e whakaki koutou ki te hari, ki te rangimarie, i runga i te tumanako ki a ia, kia hua ai to koutou tumanako, i runga i te kaha o te Wairua Tapu./ May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 15:13)  Ngā mihi nui  
Rt Rev Fakaofo Kaio                                                                     Rev Wayne Matheson Moderator                                                                                    Assembly Executive Secretary

A message from Reverend Johana

Dear folks, Below are some links I have been sent to online ways to connect with worship.  You will find others, do share them.  St John’s in the City - see their Facebook Page
St Andrews on the Terrace – Online Order of Service and Reflections to read and reflect Knox Lower Hutt – Audio Podcast on their website St Albans Presbyterian Church – Visit their Youtube Channel St Paul’s Napier – Livestream on their website  And here is collect Helen shared with me yesterday.  
Collect for the fifth Sunday in Lent
God of hope, in you we see a life that never dies.
Surrounded by death and violence may we never give in to despair.
But rest in you our resurrection and our life.
For you are alive and reign with the Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
Amen

Praying as one for New Zealand

New Zealand Christian Network has announced that it has been able to work with a number of groups (NZCN, Move NZ, Rhema Broadcasting, Intercessors for NZ, Missions Interlink, and the World Evangelical Alliance) to pull together Pray As One NZ, a 9-day initiative intended to unite Christians all over NZ in prayer and fasting for our nation. We are inviting leaders from all over NZ to join us in leading this initiative.
This will begin with national day of prayer on Wednesday 1 April, with a full day (5:45am - 6pm) Zoom prayer conference, followed by an evening live streamed prayer and worship service (8-9pm).  
Days 2-9 will consist of a nightly 1-hour interactive Zoom prayer conference, from 8-9 pm.   Further details about Wednesday and the 8 days following will be uploaded on to the Pray As One NZ website


The work must go on

Christian World Service is continuing its work to end poverty. We are in contact with our international partners who are experiencing many of the same situations - all are worried about what happens if COVID-19  is not contained.Now we are approaching the highest Alert level, we want you to know that we are working from home. All phone calls to any CWS numbers will be answered by Jordyn.  We are happy to respond to any questions or concerns you have by email but we will not be able to visit the office once the Lockdown begins.All donations have been processed to date but once the Lockdown begins we may be unable to collect mail.
The best way to donate to any of our appeals is by direct banking or online.  The details are available here.  We can then send a receipt.  We will send receipts for postal donations as soon as we can.  End of the year receipts will be sent after March 31 when possible – please contact Jordyn or 03 366 9274 for more information if necessary.
Messages of care and concern have been flowing around our network. Everyone is reaching out – Radio CEPAD and MaridiFM are sharing vital health advisories in Nicaragua and South Sudan. In the Middle East, the Department of Service to Palestinian Refugees is extremely worried about its effects on an extremely vulnerable situation for refugees.
The National Garment Workers Federation in Bangladesh has requested funding for an awareness programme for 4.2 million workers who make clothes in crowded conditions. Many are losing their jobs as supply chains dry up.Our thoughts and prayers are very much on people affected by COVID-19 – all of us. The health and safety of our partners and supporters are very important.  We will be supporting our partners to get help to the people in their communities.Working together with a global outlook we can limit the harm this virus can do.   If necessary, we will launch a specific appeal for those affected.  Please watch out for further emails and Facebook posts – or follow us on Twitter.  We will share news from our partners and other matters of interest.
More than ever we need to focus on what we can do for each other: following government regulations and health advisories, taking care of one another and remembering those who are vulnerable and in difficult situations.  We can learn from the work you supported in Sierra Leone that limited the spread of the deadly Ebola virus - simple things like not touching and the importance of good health advice.  We are praying for all those affected by the virus and for you.  Stay safe and well Pauline McKay National Director March 25, 2020

A message from Reverend Johanna

 The Moderator will lead devotions online at 9am:  (click on the link on the Helpful Links page on our website) The video devotion will be on my Moderator Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/modpcanz/ There is also a link on the National Church website and Facebook.  
I am fine. A walk in the Domain this morning, talking on the phone to my niece and baking rock cakes this afternoon. 
Do ring or email and tell me how you are doing. 
Stay safe, stay home, keep well God bless you all, Johanna
COMMUNITY PRAYER
Margaret Reeson has written this prayer for the community at this time. There are a lot of changes, most happening very quickly and it may take some time for us to adjust. You are invited to carry this prayer with you today, and into the week, perhaps you can find a time every day this week to pray it. Know we're praying for you all and that we are each praying for each other.
Lord, I have never travelled this way before. I don’t recognise this track at all. Road signs are twisted and unreadable. I have no idea where it is leading. Please shine some light on my path and if that is not possible just now, please hold my hand in the dark.  
Lord, my friends have never travelled this way before. They are stumbling along just as I am. They ask a neighbour for directions, but ‘Sorry, I am a stranger here myself’, they say. Please hold my friends and this community in your safe embrace, even when I cannot offer a hug.  
Lord, our church leaders have never travelled this way before. There is no simple roadmap, no precedent to follow. They long to give reassurance and a word from you But the familiar ways of connecting are being taken away each day. Please give our church leaders hearts of love, spirits of grace and minds of deep wisdom.  
Lord, our national leaders and decision makers have never travelled this way before. Crushing responsibilities have suddenly landed on them without warning. Everywhere they turn they are faced with another crisis, another catastrophe. They are isolated from international support as every nation is struggling. Please give all those in authority the wisdom to listen to the very best advice and to act responsibly for the wellbeing of this whole besieged nation.  
Lord, as we all blunder along in uncertainty and anxiety, We give thanks for beautiful autumn weather, for clean air, for water in our taps, a roof over our head, the benefits of electricity, telephones and the internet, for food on our table. We give thanks for time to read, and listen to music, and create craft and quilts and books and photography, and to make art. Speak to our hearts in this strangest Lenten period we have ever lived.  Amen