Whilst in Wellington we’ve been to Sunday services at St John’s Presbyterian Church. It’s been good to join in their worship and there’s always someone to welcome you as you arrive and chat to you afterwards over tea or coffee. New Zealanders are very friendly people. The service was a basically the same as we’re used to but at the start the (old) Bible was brought in and everyone stood – I presume that’s a Presbyterian tradition. The minister didn’t immediately welcome everyone which surprised me, but after the first hymn there were notices and a welcome.
The sermon the first week was about finding your ‘call’ based on readings from Jeremiah (his call to serve God) and the gospel where Jesus is not welcomed when preaching in his own home town. The minister said that as the son of a minister himself and seeing all the pressures his father had been under, it was the last job in the world he wanted … but we must be open to God’s call. This week it was about the transfiguration and the minister (a different one – there are two) encouraged us to seek ‘mountain top’ experiences during this Lent period in whichever way we found would help us draw near to God.
They also had a slot during the service called ‘The Other 6 Days’ where the minister interviewed one member of the congregation for a few minutes. The person shared something of her daily life and her faith. Interesting.