When the invite for our friend Claire’s wedding came through, I had just applied all my annual leave for an upcoming family holiday to Taiwan.
Yet we eventually decided to travel down to Christchurch for it (Saturday morning in, Sunday afternoon out). Stayed at a motel on Riccarton which my brother-in-law David kindly booked for us (he also acted as chauffeur with a rental car that had no power steering!). Here’s E riding in the back:
Claire is very dear to us as one of the earliest people we met from the Christchurch, Evanglican, YLC crowd. She moved up in 2011 to brave the Auckland traffic, start a city job, and fellowship at HBC. Over the next two years she loved, served and encouraged us lots, and was a regular in our young adults home group. So in the end I was glad to have made the wedding!
Nathan and Claire’s wedding was beautiful. Nick Duke the minister did a great job officiating and giving a gospel talk. I always appreciate ministers that make the effort to explain terms that Christians take for granted. He did a good job bringing a clear talk from chapter 5 of Paul’s letter to the Romans.
The wedding cake and refreshments afterwards were really nice too – E loved the berries in the fruit punch, and got very hyper after eating an adult-sized serving of wedding cake!
Each time we’ve made it down to Christchurch we’ve visited a church in the evangelical Anglican network. I come away from each one (St Johns, St Stephens Shirley) refreshed, encouraged and brimming with lots of “aha! Why didn’t we think of that” moments.
We worked out how to get there with the address supplied on their website and some signposts that were put up outside the High School that they meet at. Really appreciated the good signposting!
Encouraging service leading from another one of their interns, Chris. Also enjoyed the clear and uncomplicated music leading from Matthias their music guy. I personally learnt and enjoyed some new songs, particularly the Trinitiarian “Praise the Father, Praise the Son” by Chris Tomlin. Also pleasantly surprised to hear Steve and Vikki Cook (Sovereign Grace Music)’s “Hide Away in the Love of Jesus” work well congregationally. Here’s a verse:
Come, guilty ones weighed down with sin
Hide away in the love of Jesus
The freedom you long for is found in Him
Hide away in the love of Jesus
Hear Him calling your name
See the depths of His love
In the wounds of His grace
Definitely noticed the song choices were supportive of the gospel and of the themes of the sermon. I actually missed Pete Collier explain 2 Corinthians (took E to the nursery, which was welcoming and well looked after), but Cheryl said that it was helpful.
Praying that they’ll be able to reach out to the Riccarton community (they “officially launch” in November) and be used by God to win new followers for Christ.
Overall it was a nice visit, we made it onto our flights back (just!) – though at times revealed my irritability, impatience and lack of love with Cheryl and E.
It’ll be good to be back worshipping God together with my church family this Sunday though. (Though come to think of it, it will be the only Sunday in 5 weeks that I’ll be at HBC – man!)