Greetings again from Auckland. Amazing to think we are into November already!
Fiji Festival: The Fiji Festival was held at the Coral Coast Christian Centre from October 12 to 21, and once again was very successful indeed. A summary excerpted from Isei Colati’s Festival report can be seen here.
Anniversary: Last Sunday the Masterton congregation held a special service and meal to celebrate their second anniversary, with 65 in attendance. Here is a report on the event from Dennis Richards:
“Had a wonderful day yesterday in Masterton at their second anniversary celebration. They invited friends from work and other churches and several attended, including a missionary couple based in Featherston (AOG) who are heading over to the Philippines next week to help however they can (he’s an octogenarian but very fit and well and she’s an older Filipino lady he married about a decade ago). There was, of course, a good feed afterwards and lots of socialising. The service, I thought, went really well and the songs, despite being mostly new to me, fitted into my topic (“Fishers of Men” – a retelling of the Luke 5, Matt 17 and John 21 fishing stories) amazingly well. They sported a full band for supporting the worship and their musical and vocal skills were great. We were blessed by a wonderful vocal duet by Edwin Jovellano and George Sotalbo – they both have excellent voices and the harmonising was lovely. They were joined also by four from our Wellington congregation, and on top of that the day was fine and warm, making for a splendid and happy occasion.”
Women’s Retreat: Every third year we have held a Women’s Retreat at Waikanae in February, and the next one is scheduled for 15-17 February 2019. Click here for a letter/registration form from Marilyn Wong, who is co-ordinating this retreat. Please make these available to all of the women in your church area, and please consider using congregational funds to help sponsor ladies in your area to this important national event.
Halloween: I’ll conclude this week with the latest “Thought for the Week” on our UK website, written by James Henderson, since it is so topical. We reproduced this on our GCI-Auckland website and Facebook page. I find it really worthwhile to check in to the UK website (https://gracecom.church/index.php) from time to time. There’s some great stuff there!
“You tend to love it or hate it. I’m talking about Halloween. It’s an annual reminder of superstition, often laced with laughter and stupid antics when adults and children alike dress up as vampires and devils in order to scare us. Does this suggest that we’ve outgrown the world of demons and ghouls, and that we can laugh at evil?
“Can we really laugh at evil? If we think of a few of the recent news stories such as the humanitarian catastrophe of the war in Yemen, extremist attacks in the USA, the Philippines and elsewhere, and constant stories about sexual abuse, we can see that evil is not a laughing matter. It’s not over. The evil within us and around us is very real.
“The Christian message is that we can get free of evil. With Jesus Christ we can begin to transform who we are so that we don’t hurt each other and engage in evil. Nor do we have to be afraid of imagined or real demons, because in Jesus the fear of evil is overcome.
“Trust in Jesus. And let him deliver you from evil.”
Warm regards to all, Rex