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From Pastor Jacqui Caetano (19May2024)

Our devices can keep us very entertained for hours if we let it. We use it for most things like a camera, for taking notes, keeping a calendar, an alarm, a calculator, an photo album, a Bible on tap, a number of Apps and games, messaging, social media and phoning. Funny that a phoning device should do all these things. A phone can lead us down rabbit holes research stuff of interest etc. detracting from bible reading and prayer. Owning a device takes discipline.
I have introduced some of you to an App called Lectio 365, short for “Lectio Divina for 365 days of the year.”-- Lectio Divina meaning Divine Reading or in lay terms “a method of praying through scripture.” I (we) wake up and start the day with prayer before we have to hit the ground running. I am not so much a morning person but Lectio 365 helps my scattered senses focus on Jesus. It guides me through pauses and reflections, my approach to a passage of scripture, guides me to pray for myself and others and the closing prayer is poignant taken into the coming day to live it!
Father, help me to live this day to the full, being true to You, in every way. Jesus, help me to give myself away to others, being kind to everyone I meet. Spirit, help me to love the lost, proclaiming Christ in all I do and say. Amen.
Lectio 365 is a tool that is helpful for me that has built in habits of putting Jesus first that leads to mission. This is a beginning to a day of devotion to Jesus that leads into QT and action. There is an evening session too that helps me wind down from the business of a day too reflecting on my day with guided questions and scriptures. If you struggle with sleep, this is something you could try. It’s a useful App to start and end your day with Jesus in a meaningful way.
One thing that has touched me deeply to understanding the work of the Holy Spirit. Every day of the 50 days between Easter and today, we have focused on an aspect of the powerfully working Holy Spirit. You’ll hear some of these this weekend. A yielding prayer, Jesus, I repent of the ways I have bound Your love, compartmentalising Your power to my comfort zone. I surrender now to Your leading today. Let my life – everywhere I go, everyone I meet, every word I speak – be an act of witness to Your resurrection life. Amen.
Pastor Jacqui


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From Pastor Jacqui Caetano (12May2024)

Crisp blue skies, snowcapped mountains, autumn leaves ablaze, and a chill in the air that has numbed my fingers. All I can say right now is “How Majestic is your name Oh Lord! How Majestic is your name! - the “M” emphasized as I speak out aloud with tears welling up from the cold. I am staring at the Southern Alps lining the horizon all around me. It’s picturesque and mesmerising! I am utterly engrossed in its grandeur and loving this part of the country I have never visited.
The village is small, you blink and you’re through it and at a dead end. You can continue on foot up the Conical Hill. There is no transport other than your own. There is a bus from Christchurch daily but that’s it.
I travelled to Hanmer Springs by bus and so had no transport to the venue 9 km away from the town. I assumed there would be uber or a cab around (my individualism thinking) I knew no one coming to the pastor’s retreat and had no contact for a ride. I did go to our national pastors and leaders Facebook page to inquire about the H.S. Retreat before I booked and got two vague and non-committal replies that were not particularly helpful. After pondering the 2 hour walk or as a last resort hiring a bicycle (my individualism exposed again) I decided to private message the two unknown FB replies I got. Well, both of them had decided to come to the Retreat and both said YES they would give me rides! I somehow left home trusting for rides.
Why did I not ask my unknown pastor colleagues before I spent hours pondering and googling alternatives to walking the intense uphill trip! Was it because I did not know them personally? - but they are part of the wider Baptist Whanau! Could I not rely on them being here from their non-committal replies? Was I fearful or trusting God for a ride? Yes and no, more like none of the above. My individual thinking kicked in first and stood in the way of me asking.
I’m so thankful for the collective communities that I am part of, even when I do not know them personally, because when we ask, strike up a conversation or take a blind leap to include others, we disrupt individualism a god of our culture. When we step out of it, we reap a blessing, others benefit and in the sharing God is glorified!
Pastor Jacqui


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From Pastor Jacqui Caetano (05May2024)

We enter our missional season for the next wee while. Alisha from Tearfund is sharing what they do in the aftermath of natural disasters in countries where people can’t get ahead because they live in the Pacific Rim where natural disasters are frequent. TV news brings the events to our lounges and we may support in some way, which goes a long way to provide ongoing support long after we have forgotten the event ever happened. Alisha will share her stories of visits to these forgotten places. We will revisit our missional goals as a redeemed people here in Epsom. Evaluating how we are being, doing and going and where to next?
We will also revisit our NZ BMS Prayer and Self Denial series and share in our collective Baptist mission. In the past, NZBMS have focused on overseas mission in SE Asia, but the work now includes local mission to Maori.
So the ESOL English Bible study has ended and I’m sad about that ofcourse. It was a very fruitful mission but difficult to do alone. I know that when God closes a door, somehow He opens another. Our missional season is jam packed with tasters and opportunities and you’ll have an opportunity to contribute towards the next chapter. Keeping our garden looking spruced is being missional. Contributing to our ANZAC biscuit blessing to our neighbours is a small way saying we are an alive and active church! You participating in some aspects of our Sunday service and fellowship afterwards is growing our community inward and outward. Who you contact in the week builds community! You are a reflection of Jesus in every interaction and conversation seasoned with salt every day. What is God doing because you helped someone with their packages!
Helping Linda McB. with some aspect of Trinity House Hostel is mission! Cleaning and fixing stuff in the church and hostel Is part of being hospitable! - could someone please change the toilet seat in the church disabled toilet! � it’s horrid! The background work is the backbone of front line mission and we greatly value the unseen efficiency making mission more effective. Flowers speak! Thank you to you all for what you do!
Pastor Jacqui