The imposition of ashes has been a feature of Lent for more than 1000 years
You probably know a few people who 'wear their heart on their sleeve' - people who make their feelings about someone or something pretty obvious. However, you may not know that this phrase originates from medieval tournaments. Knights who wanted to display their affection for a particular lady would tie her hanky to their sleeves and then charge at someone with a lance. It was considered to be a very courageous display of loyalty... On Wednesday, March the 6th, we invite you to 'wear your heart on your sleeve' by attending an Ash Wednesday Service. During this service you will receive the sign of the cross - a symbol of our mortality, penitence, and belonging. When we see that sign on other people's foreheads we are reminded that we belong to the tribe of Jesus; we are part of a movement. By receiving the imposition of ashes we become a public witness to the work of God. It is a public and courageous display of our loyalty to the One we love. So, go early, go often, and be seen!
ST ANDREW'S, INGLEWOOD
Almost 100 years after the foundation stone for St Andrew's was laid by Bishop Averill, Anglicans continue to worship. They might not be in the church anymore, but they are not phased either! Here's an update from the Rev Robyn Freeman:
We are settling into the hall and tweaking a few arrangements so services flow well. I am so proud of the way our people have done this – no moans but total support for each other. The end of each service is quite funny. It is like ‘take up your mat and walk’: everyone (of their own initiative) picks up their chairs and stacks them in the lounge. Then they have their morning tea. Those who cannot do this themselves have it done for them. Two people have volunteered to help me set the hall up every Saturday. Please continue to pray for Robyn and the Parish of St Andrew's as they dream dreams about the future of mission and ministry in Inglewood. As their plans unfold we will continue to provide updates. In the meantime, know that the church is not for sale!
SEASONS FOR GROWTH | HAMILTON
Seasons for Growth is a peer support programme for young people aged 6-18 who are suffering grief and loss. This might be due to the death of a loved one; life-threatening illness of a parent or close relative; separation or divorce of parents; imprisonment of a parent or close family member; long-term placement with foster parents; migration or other circumstances.
Since its launch in 1996, Seasons for Growth programmes have reached more than 300,000 children, young people and adults across six countries, including New Zealand. It is an innovative, evidence based education programme which leads young people on a structured journey to explore feelings and develop sustainable coping strategies for grief and loss. The programme does not provide counselling or psychotherapy. Support is provided in small, age-appropriate groups of young people who work alongside two volunteer adult companions for apx. 1 hour/week over 9 weeks.
Volunteer Companions We are seeking volunteers who: enjoy working with children/young people; like working in a team; are comfortable leading a group; have experienced grief themselves and can be flexible. Each volunteer is police checked and undertakes a rigorous training programme prior to supporting young people. This is a wonderful way to gain experience and make a positive difference in your community.
If Seasons for Growth sounds like something you would like to support but you are unable to volunteer, you could consider making a donation toward the Seasons for Growth library. We have a number of picture books we would like to purchase. You don’t have to find the books – we’ll do that. Alternatively, you may like to sponsor a child on the programme ($25) or their journal ($15). Give it some thought and give Melanie a call!