Sunday 12 May 2024

Beautiful Family

Today we celebrated Mother's Day, and all the special people - Mums, Dads, Grandparents, Step-parents, Aunts, Uncles and extended family, who love and care for us. 

We talked about what it means to be part of a family, and what it is to be part of the family of God.

We shared the beautiful pukapuka, Tōku Whānau Rerehua/My Beautiful Family. Written in te reo Māori (with the English translation appearing second on the pages) by Rauhina Cooper and beautifully illustrated by Isobel Joy Te Aho-White this pukapuka is a wonderful celebration of the diversity and vibrancy of families within our communities. 

We remembered how Jesus showed us that each one of us is loved and treasured by God. 


We created clay people representing the beautiful diversity of people in our families, and our church family / the family of God. 
 



Livvie's is a work in progress. We hope she will share the finished product with us soon!

Prayer:

God of life and love,
who created a world of diversity and vibrancy

Thank you for whānau - for all kinds of family
for the special people in our lives
who love us, care for us, protect us and keep us safe.

Thank you for our church family, for our leaders,
our role models, our guides and our friends.

Thank you for Jesus, who taught us You love 
each and every one of us, just the way we are.

Amen


Friday 26 April 2024

Say Something!

 Enjoy watching the video created by our tech experts, Livvie and Liam a few weeks back. 'Say Something' was inspired by the book of the same name, by author/illustrator Peter H Reynolds.



There are a lot of things that might worry or scare us, but God wants to take those fears away and give us peace instead. 

We can trust that Jesus is near, even though we do not see or feel Him all the time. There are things that are scary and worrisome to us, but Jesus wants to take those burdens and replace them with His peace. He wants us to rely on Him. He can take away those fears and swap them for His peace. 

We don’t have to bear grudges and worries alone. We can have the comfort of His love surround us always. And we can share the love, forgiveness, and peace of Christ with others around us.


Dear God,
Thank you for the peace of Jesus
Help us to rely on that instead of fear
Help us to trust in you and share your love with those around us.
Help us to say something with words, with action, with creativity, to spread peace and love.
Give us the courage to use our voices to inspire, heal and change the world.
Amen!


Saturday 17 February 2024

Welcome back!

 


It was a hot day for the first day back at the Chapel Street Centre for 2024! Our Awesome Kids enjoyed some ice blocks to cool off.

We had our Blessing of the Backpacks and there were devotional book presentations to those who were starting secondary school.

We were so happy to see you all! Thank you for coming! You are AWESOME, God loves you and your church family loves you!


Sunday 14 January 2024

Blessing of the Backpacks


Join us on Sunday 4 Feb at 10am for our Blessing of the Backpacks.

Bring your schoolbag, kindy bag, uni bag ... and we'll have a special blessing with Rev Anne to mark the beginning of our school year.

We'll have some presentations for our youth who are beginning secondary school too.

Look forward to seeing you there!


Saturday 25 November 2023

Youth Christmas Service


 Join us on Sunday 10 December at 10am for our very special Christmas Service, led by the Chapel Street Youth. All welcome!

Friday 22 September 2023

Wilderness Sunday

What better way to celebrate Wilderness Sunday than to make some sand saucer art! Do any of our grownups out there remember doing this as a kid?

In the 'old days' we had sand saucer competitions at Industry Fairs and Parish Fêtes ... 

First ... we took an old saucer ... 'What's that?' I hear you ask! Ah ... long before disposable coffee cups and bubble tea, we drank hot tea from a teacup, which rested on a tea saucer. A little plate, smaller than a sandwich plate. 

Next ... we put a layer of sand on the saucer. (I was using some special 'magic sand' in the photo below).

Finally ... we arranged flowers, greenery and whatever else we fancied, to make a little garden scene. 

I remember making one many years ago for the Greymouth Industries Fair and I used a little piece of broken mirror for a lake. 

If you're interested in reading more about sand saucer competitions, there's a great short story on the Christchurch City Libraries website. You can read it here: https://my.christchurchcitylibraries.com/new-zealand-childrens-authors/phyllis-johnston/sand-saucer-competition/


These photos show the beginnings of a creation ... I forgot to take a photo at the end, so you'll have to use your imagination! (I got a little distracted playing with the magic sand!) Or, why not make your own sand saucer art at home and send me a picture for the blog!


Prayer:

God of the wild, the beautiful, the mysterious,
We thank you for the wilderness of Aotearoa,
for open spaces, beaches, mountains, forests, bushland,
for lakes and rivers.
Thank you for space to play and be.
Help us to step out of the noise and busyness of our lives,
away from electronic devices;
to be kind to our world, to be kind to each other,
and to be still, breathe and focus afresh on you.
Amen


Sunday 10 September 2023

Land Sunday

For Land Sunday in our Seasons of Creation, Carol and Maureen talked about how we are all connected to each other and the earth and we need to take care of the earth.

Our Awesome Kids played a board game and planted some little gardens. I hope they are better at watering plants than I am!





Sunday 27 August 2023

Lego and Geese

Do you like playing with Lego or building blocks? You can make all sorts of amazing creations. 

If I gave you one block, do you think you could build an awesome house with it?

No, of course you couldn't! You’d need more blocks. All sorts of blocks. Different sizes, shapes, colours. Blocks that have different functions. What a silly goose I am for thinking you could make something with just that one block.

And that brings me to geese - who aren't silly at all. Do you know that geese fly in a V formation? Scientists have discovered that as each goose flaps its wings, it provides lift to the goose following. It gives the geese 70% more flying range when they fly in a V formation. When the lead goose (who is working harder than the rest) gets tired, they fall back and another goose takes its place. What awesome teamwork! 

You might also have noticed that as the geese fly, they do a lot of honking. They do this to encourage each other. I know when I'm doing something difficult, I often need a lot of encouragement! 

Today, our Awesome Kids practiced 'teamwork' and used their individual gifts and talents to work together to create some cool Lego monsters and amazing backdrops. Check out the photos below, which were also taken by Beth and James.







As we were working, we made sure to do lots of "honking" (encouragement) to help one another along.

Afterwards, our resident Lego master builder, Catherine, shared these photographs of her epic Lego builds:



Awesome!

Let us pray,
Dear Lord, Help us to use the gifts you gave us, to help and encourage one another. Amen.







Friday 25 August 2023

Awesome Time this Sunday!




 What do LEGO bricks and a flock of geese have to do with this week's message from the bible? 


Join us for Awesome Time this Sunday at 10am to find out! We'd love to see you, and I sure do need your help to do some building!


We look forward to seeing you!

Science with Carol & Maureen

 Who knew that when Carol and Maureen are on deck as Awesome Leaders, you not only get a bible lesson, but a science lesson too!



Tuesday 15 August 2023

Jelly

 


On Sunday, Carol and Maureen shared the story of Jesus walking on water. Lukas and Isabella enjoyed the science experiments involving mandarins and jelly!


Friday 4 August 2023

Worry Beads


Last Sunday our reading from the bible was from the book of Romans, chapter 8, verses 26 to 39. This is one of my favourite bible readings. I love the parts in verses 38 and 39 where it says:

nothing can ever separate us from God’s love
Our fears for today, our worries about tomorrow,
or where we are - high above the sky
or in the deepest ocean -
nothing will ever be able to separate us from the love of God.

In different translations of the bible there are different lists of things suggested that can’t separate us from God’s love. All kinds of troubles and challenges are mentioned.

When I was looking up the children’s ministry websites for resources to help illustrate this bible reading, there were two books recommended. 

The first story was Florence Parry Heide’s Some Things Are Scary!

The book goes through a long list of things that some people find scary… like, stepping on something squishy when you’ve got bare feet or skating downhill when you haven’t learned how to stop.

There are lots of scary things in life, and they will be different for different people. But no matter what, there is nothing that can separate us from God’s awesome love.

The second book was written by Shel Silverstein and it’s called ‘Whatif’. It starts off, 

Last night, while I lay thinking here,
some Whatifs crawled inside my ear
and pranced and partied all night long
and sang their same old Whatif song:
Whatif I'm dumb in school?
Whatif they've closed the swimming pool?
Whatif I get beat up?
Whatif there's poison in my cup?
Whatif I flunk that test?
Whatif green hair grows on my chest?

And it goes on, so many ‘whatifs’ - so many worries. Do you ever worry about green hair growing on your chest? 

When I was younger, one of the biggest ‘What-iffers’ around, was my little sister. She had the longest list of ‘Whatifs’ you could imagine. So much so, that our Mum and Dad put a poster up on her bedroom wall that said, ‘Don’t tell me worrying doesn’t work - the things I worry about most never happen!’

It’s rather fitting that the story I chose to read to our Awesome Kids was written by my little sister. In it, the little girl has a long list of troubles, which she shares with her Great Uncle Arthur. But, as you’ll hear, Great Uncle Arthur has also had his share of fears and woes. 

You can find 'You Don't Know How Lucky You Are', written by Belinda O'Keefe and illustrated by Ross Kinnaird in the library. Or, you can watch and listen to me reading the book during the service by going to our church facebook page.

As it says in The Message version of our bible reading today “absolutely No Way! can anything separate us from the love of God; anything thinkable or unthinkable—absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love.”

Out in Awesome Time, we traversed through a 'mine field', played giant snakes and ladders - and then made some worry beads, to remind us that wherever we go, whatever we do, God is always with us, loving us always.

Let us pray.
Loving God,
Thank you for your never-ending love. Help us to remember that through the scrapes and scares and in our pain and fears - you are with us, loving us always.
No matter what our worries or our whatifs are, You are always with us.
Amen.



Saturday 24 June 2023

Refugee Sunday

 


Bring a blanket and a soft toy on Sunday. We will hear the beautiful story, My Two Blankets and create a quilt together ... and maybe even build some blanket huts!

Monday 12 June 2023

Health check!

 



A few weeks ago, our Awesome Kids heard a story about one of Jesus's disciples, Matthew.

They also did some doctoring things - like taking a temperature, BP and listening to our hearts!


Prayer:

Dear God

Thank you for your accepting inclusive love
We are thankful that you want to be a friend to everyone
Even those who have chosen to do wrong
Thank you that we are your children whom you love
We thank you that we are part of your family of faith
Help us to show your love to others
And make them feel part of a loving family
Amen

Sunday 28 May 2023

Pentecost Party pics

 




We each wrote our name on a balloon, then mixed all the balloons up. When I said, "Go!" we each tried to find our own balloon, as fast as we could. It was a little chaotic as we all rushed to find our own balloon.

Next, we tried it a different way. After all the balloons had been batted about the church and muddled up, I asked everyone to pick up the balloon that was closest to them. Then I asked them to read the person's name on the balloon and take the balloon to them. 

What a difference! It was so much faster and a whole lot calmer. 

We all saw how much better it is when we put others first, when we are givers and when we share God’s love with others!

God’s spirit fills us up - like the air in these balloons - God gives us power that enables us to do God’s work on earth.  God inspires us, gives us gifts (talents), and works through us.  God expects us to “do something in God’s name.”  This is a powerful self-image.  We are powerful and God has work for us to do.  


Let us pray:

God
Thank you for always being with us.
Thank you for our church family.
Thank you for Your love.
Help us to spread your love to others.
Amen

Sunday 14 May 2023

Happy Mothers' Day!

This morning we learnt that there are many different names for God. Sometimes God is referred to as a king, a shepherd and even a rock. Many people call God 'Father', but did you know that God is also like a Mother?

In the bible, in the book of Matthew (chapter 23, verse 37), it talks about God being like a mother hen, 'gathering her brood under her wings'. In Isaiah 40:11, 'God tends the flock like a shepherd; and gathers the lambs with gentle arms and carries them close to the heart'. 

We shared the brand new book 'Mumapalooza' by NZ author and illustrators Sarina Dickson and Ant Sang. It's a wonderful celebration of all the mums and mother-like figures in our lives.

With 'gentle hands' we played the game of 'Pick Up Sticks', and created some beautiful framed artwork for a treasured mum.



Loving, gentle, caring God,
Thank you for loving us always, no matter where we are. 
Thank you for the special people in our lives who love us;
For the mums, dads, stepparents, foster parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles… 
for everyone who gathers us in with gentleness and love 
and carries us close to the heart, just like you.
Help us to show them how much we love them too.
Amen

Sunday 7 May 2023

West Coast celebrations


Check out the wonderful road map and cupcakes our Awesome Kids decorated this morning. Each cupcake was adorned with a placename of a town on the West Coast. It's amazing how many 'Coasters' there are in our community here in Canterbury.
 

Saturday 6 May 2023

The Good Shepherd




Last week our theme was the good shepherd. We made some 'lost sheep' and Claudia demonstrated just how to pick up and carry a lost sheep!

 

Sunday 9 April 2023

Palm Sunday

 


On Palm Sunday, our Awesome Kids made 'palm leaves' using their hand prints and check out these brilliant tiny teddies waving feijoa lolly palm branches! Thanks Carol and Maureen for sharing!

Wednesday 22 March 2023

You Are Special

 We heard the story of Punchinello, the wooden toy - who believes he isn't good enough because of the things people say to him. Finally, he meets someone who has a very special message for him.

It was very much like the special message God has for us. God sees beyond all mistakes, all past, all dots and stars, and sees the child God made. God says You are beautiful. You are special. You are loved.

Find the book in your local library and read the story for yourself, it's You Are Special by Max Lucado. You can also watch the service on our church Facebook page and hear me reading the story there. Facebook page (fast forward to 13:27).

Afterwards, Lukas and Isabella had fun creating some handprint art for our gallery. I forgot to take photos of the finished work, so you'll just have to go and check it out in person at the Chapel Street Centre!