Email Update 11 – 8 May 2020 :: Change is in the Air

Kia Ora
How are you going this week?  Currently, we’re in level 3 and will head to level 2 in the not too distant future – change is in the air!!
Just a couple of things to make you aware of as we head into this weekend:
Firstly, in line with the Ministry of Health guidelines, we have decided that as a church we will continue to broadcast Hope at Home during level 2, and will not return to being in our Hornby site until we are able to gather as a whole body.  This is (as it’s always been) constantly changing – but for level 2 we will not be meeting as a church on Sunday morning and will continue to do our services online.  As things develop and change we will continue to keep you informed.
Secondly, as a church we want to respond to our communities needs during this next season of COVID-19.  No one really quite knows what the economic and social impact is going to look like, but as a church we are called to and must respond to the needs of our community.  We’re not sure what this might look like, but it would be great to gather with some of you to chat about what Hope Hornby’s response could be.  So, if you’re passionate about the church responding to the community in this uncertain economic time, then please reach out to me and we’ll gather together this coming week via Zoom to see where God might be leading us.
And lastly, before we hear from Dennis, next week we are starting a new preaching series “The Big Questions” where we are tackling some of the questions of faith that people may be asking especially in this uncertain season.
Thanks everyone and God bless you all



From Den:


I was a youth leader trying to fulfill the expectation of a church who used to have great youth work.  To get the youth going was part of my employment contract. I discovered as I got more into the job that the previous youth leader had burnt out.  I encountered anger and resentment among the youth towards the church.  I was no newbie to youth work; I knew the pitfalls of doing one of the hardest and most thankless jobs in a church.  I was the product of people who believed in young people.  I’d tasted the rawness, hunger, passion, and potential of youth ignited for God.  In the entry interview to Theological College, I was asked “Have you ever done anything other than youth work?” I was 35 then.  What I was battling, was others expectations, and I didn’t know it.  It came to a head with me knocking on the minister’s office door and saying, “I can’t do this anymore.”  He was a wise head, and gave me a quote, “You are not what you think you are.  You are not what other people think you are.  You are what you think other people think you are.”  It wasn’t a 5-minute conversation.  He gave me the afternoon off; Jen and I walked the beach, and talked.  I was running on other people’s expectations to be the “silver bullet” youth minister.  Self-enslavement to someone else’s drumbeat was killing me.  Eventually, we canned the youth program.  Instead, we met at our house on Sunday nights, played soccer on the empty section next door, ate banana splits, and made room for lots of gutsy discussion.  It was low key, easy, and fitted my psyche.  It was a risk, others’ expectations counted less.  I didn’t have the energy for anything else.  What did Jesus want, and what did I want? Meaningful conversation, fun, and me being me.  And it worked; non-churched teenagers also began showing up.  Some of the stars of the past youth disappeared.  I was never going to be the other guy.  Naturally I disappointed their parents, but then Jesus left people disappointed.  When Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls” (Mt 11:28-29), he could have been talking about expectations.  I have learned Jesus is a much easier boss for me, than me.  Many people are troubled not by laziness, but by not knowing when to cease.  Learning Jesus’ way is counter-intuitive but if we can, the process detoxifies our souls.  Our culture screams, “use every minute.”  Jesus says, “Dance to my tune.  Find rest, abundance, enjoyment, and fulfillment.”  In it, I can be true to myself.  To whose tune will you dance?

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