27 Nov

Happy New Year! The First Sunday of Advent marks the beginning of the new church year.
The theme for the first week of Advent is HOPE.

We’d like to encourage you to do an Advent Prayer Calendar this year.
As you wake each day this Advent, ask God to focus your mind on a particular person
for whom you will pray. You might want to put a reminder on your phone throughout
the day. Each time the reminder comes up intentionally hold that person in prayer.

Some time during the day send them a message to tell them that as part of your
Advent practice you have been praying for them today.
It could be as simple as a text message or email.
Or, if you want to get really fancy, you could write them a card.
Here’s one you can use Advent daily prayer card (simply print, cut and fold).

Why not get creative and make your own Advent Calendar and write the name of
the person you have prayed for on each day? Or you could make this a household project.

Let this Advent be intentional.



28 Nov

Does your bottom drawer contain years-old Secret Santa gifts you neither want nor need?

Why not let your Secret Santa gifts support the work of the Auckland City Mission or the Anglican Trust for Women and Children instead? Both are wanting to bring the magic of Christmas to families who could not otherwise afford to enjoy the festive season.







29 Nov

Advent is about hopeful anticipation. Read the story of the annunciation from Luke 1.

Then watch this cool song that Malcolm Gordon has created called Hey Mary!



30 Nov

Often hope is confused for naive optimism, like a form of denial. Augustine of Hippo reputedly said,

“Hope has two beautiful daughters.
Their names are anger and courage;
anger at the way things are
and courage to see that they
do not remain the way they are.”

How does this quote alter your understanding of hope?

Visit the Radio New Zealand page and read today’s news. Where do you notice “anger at the way things are”? How might this translate into courage, and then into hope?



1 Dec

Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat write, “Hope is a positive and potent spiritual practice with the power to pull us through difficult times. It is usually described with light metaphors — a ray, a beam, a glimmer of hope; the break in the clouds; the light at the end of the dark tunnel. It is often discovered in unexpected places. Hope can be learned with practice. Certain attitudes support it. One is patience … the other is courage … and a third is persistence. We have hope when we can say, all will be well, and we mean it.

Today, every time you switch on a light be intentional about practising Hope. Say aloud “All will be well and all manner of things will be well.”



2 Dec

Today is the day in the church calendar in which we celebrate one of the most popular of the saints: Bishop Nicholas of Myra.

Nicholas lived during the fourth century. There are many stories about his love and care for children. He became the patron saint of children and, in a North American development, the giver of Christ-mas presents as Santa Claus. He is also a patron saint of Russia, sea-farers and pawnbrokers. There are many delightful legends told about Nicholas.

Today, take particular notice and care of the children you encounter. Give them the gift your time, your full attention and your encouragement.



3 Dec

The word Advent is taken from the Latin word adventus, which means “coming.”
Advent gives us an opportunity to wait in joyful expectation for the coming of
Jesus, who is Emmanuel, God with us.

The Bible Project have put together a series of Advent Word Studies.
Check out their explanation of Hope here.

The Piano Guys offer a beautiful rendition of the Advent Hymn,
O come, O come, Emmanuel.