Andrew Picard, one of the lecturers at Carey College wrote this a few days ago, entitling it a 'Prayer for a Spacious Place':
Yesterday, at our management retreat, [we had] a reflection on Psalm 118. Verse five stood out to me as particularly pertinent at this time: “When hard pressed, I cried out to the LORD; he brought me into a spacious place.” There’s no doubt that, despite our increased freedoms, we have been hard pressed again this semester. Many students and staff have juggled varying levels of illness and isolation in themselves or their families, some for much of the semester. And this is not to mention the wider social, economic, political, or cultural impacts of Covid, let alone other issues we are facing personally or corporately. It is a hard time; we are hard pressed.
Psalm 118 is the concluding psalm of the Hallel collection, which the Jews used at Passover. It alludes to the return from exile, and celebrates God’s deliverance as the basis for hope. The psalm gives a very succinct account of God’s deliverance: the psalmist was in a tight spot (the word for “distress” has the sense of restricted, narrow, or tight), they cried out to God, and God gave them space. The image is of someone feeling strangled, constricted, and in distress, and the LORD rescued them to a broad place; a place where they could breathe. Many of us are currently hard pressed, and we too are crying out to God. My prayer is that God would bring us into a spacious place; a broad place where we can breathe. Our circumstances may not change, but things look different from a spacious place.
May God give you the reality of His spacious place this week.
This Sunday: Good vs Very Good
This Sunday, Alistair Hall, lead pastor at Manukau Baptist Church, will be speaking via video on the story of the rich young ruler (and p.s. ... it's not about money!).
Spark and Blaze programmes begin again this Sunday! Come join us 🙂
RBC Youth are taking part in World Vision's 40 Hour Famine!
This annual event, happening from 1-3 July, is something that schools, churches, and youth groups around Aotearoa take part in, to raise both funds and awareness. The theme for this year's challenge is "change everything with water" with all the money raised going towards providing safe, clean drinking water around the globe.
Our aim is to raise $324, which will provide 3 long-term water pumps close to communities. We will be taking part in the challenge in a number of ways, but a big part will be not eating anything but rice over the weekend. While our hope is to do the full 40 hours, this year a lot of events are on the same weekend. So our focus is on our young people being able to take part in as much as they can, even if it is not the full weekend.
If you are willing and able, we would love your support to make this happen. So talk to a young person who is taking part in this challenge, or donate into RBC's account referencing "40 Hour Famine". And please keep our young people in your prayers over the 40 Hour Famine weekend.
Time: 10 am (during the Sunday morning gathering)
Date: Every Sunday during school term
Bible Study Connect Group
Come along next Thursday at 10:30am, either physically or on zoom as we continue studying Paul's amazing letter to the church at Ephesus.
Worship This Sunday: Gathered AND Online
It was so exciting to be back together in our church building again! We will be doing it again this week at 10am (with masks and vaccine passports)!
There will also be an online service available to view, and a link will be sent out to you at 10am on Sunday morning.
Prayer Connection Points
Come along to a prayer gathering at the church lounge Thursdays from 11:30am-12:00pm. Masks are required. Also, On Mondays from 12:00 – 12:30pm there will be an Online Prayer Gathering for half an hour via zoom. Contact the office if you would like the meeting link and passcode.
The Book Club has chosen their first book - "One Soul At A Time" - a biography of Billy Graham. Please contact Carolina at the church office if you want to join - it's not too late!
If you or others you know are having to isolate because of covid, please contact the office.
Join us next week, 10 am at the RBC Lounge for the last mainly music session before the school holidays.
Thursday Morning Bible Study Group
Every Thursday morning at 10:30am in the church lounge. We are currently looking at the Letters that Paul wrote to the Church of Ephesus. Please email the church to be added to the Facebook page, and check Facebook for updates of what we have going on. We'd love for you to join us! Please note that masks are required.
Thursday Prayer Group
Every Thursday in the church lounge from 11:30am - 12:00 pm. Contact the office for more information. Please note that masks are required.
Monday Zoom Prayer Group
From 12:00 – 12:30pm on Zoom. Contact the office if you would like the zoom link to be sent to you.
Thursday Night Book Club
Every Thursday from 7:30pm via Zoom. Contact the office if you would like the zoom link to be sent to you.
Young Adults Home Group
Every Sunday evening at 7:30pm. Please email the church to be added to the Facebook page, and check Facebook for updates of what we have going on. We'd love for you to join us!
Wednesday Night Home Group
Thursday Morning Home Group