Pastor’s Blog

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Grain Of Rice – 3 June 2020

by Elliot Rice

Grain Of Rice Black Lives Matter There’s no avoiding the news going around at the moment about Goerge Floyd and the protests in the USA and here in Aotearoa—and may we, followers of Christ, not shy from these important events! One of the phrases many of us are hearing, and which I used in a […]

Bittersweet

by Soundman

Sermon #1 in the Series Returning from Exile   Sunday Gathering, 31.5.2020

Grain Of Rice – 27 May 2020

by Elliot Rice

It is with a mix of deep sadness and joyful hope that we share the news of Peter Sapsford’s death and exaltation to glory. He passed peacefully on Tuesday morning, having turned 88 years old earlier in the month. The picture is of him celebrating at Burwood Hospital during lockdown—what a beautiful expression of his […]

Grain Of Rice – 20 May 2020

by Elliot Rice

Kia ora whānau, I hope you’re knowing the joy of having your identity defined in Christ today! I loved being reminded of that on Sunday in our worship service—thanks for the great devotion Colleen. We’re continuing to plan and dream for the return to gathering in our building. In the meantime, we’re after your feedback: […]

Grain Of Rice – 13 May 2020

by Elliot Rice

Next stop: Level 2, and a Celebration Our last day of Level 3! That’s worth celebrating. Tomorrow our staff team will be meeting (in the flesh, in the building!) to begin planning for the next season. We’ll discuss things like Sunday Gatherings, ministries, and small groups. I’ll keep you posted on Friday with the Long […]

Grain Of Rice – 6 May 2020

by Colleen Hutchinson

But Our Eyes are on You! Kia Ora Whanau, How has your week been? Have you managed to enlarge your bubble or has it remained the same?Have you started back at work or are you worried if there will be work for you to get back to? What about next week? What is that looking […]

Grain Of Rice – 29 April 2020

by Colleen Hutchinson

Bubble vs Bowl Kia Ora Whanau I don’t know about you, but I have had many new words and terms to learn over the last few weeks. Or new meanings to attach to old words and terms.  Terms like ‘Alert Level 4’ and ‘flatten the curve’, ‘physical distancing’, and ‘stick to your bubble’. If you […]

Grain Of Rice – 22 April 2020

by Elliot Rice

Dear church, We are remembering you constantly in our prayers as we continue to journey together through each new day with its mix of joys and trials. I read Ezekiel 1 this morning, and I was reminded of the awe-some glory of God—a glory revealed to God’s people as they struggled in exile by the […]

Grain of Rice – 15 April 2020

by Elliot Rice

Kia ora church whānau Today many of our church have headed back to school and tertiary education as students and teachers, meaning a return to routine for some of our families. We’re praying for you as you adjust this week to the new learning and teaching format, asking that there would be unexpected gains even […]

Grain of Rice

by Elliot Rice

Dear church, The coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic is causing extraordinary disruption to our communities, our nation, and our world. Covid-19 is highly contagious and represents a real danger, especially for the most vulnerable. As people of faith, however, we need not fear because we know that Covid-19 is not the final word. God alone has the […]

OASIS GATHERINGS – (update on contact details)

by Colleen Hutchinson

Fortnightly gatherings of the Oasis group are being postponed until further notice. We encourage everyone to stay connected with one another, if not in person then by phone or by other forms of social media. It is good to remember that the experts are telling us that looking after ourselves and others at this time […]

Kia Ora Church

by Elliot Rice

Firstly, thanks for your continued support for Sarah, Charlotte, and myself. We’ve now enjoyed our final meal from the dinner roster you formed for us—what an incredible support that has been. In fact, given the quality of your cooking we’ve decided to keep the roster going on a permanent basis. Just kidding! Our sincere thanks. […]

God Have Mercy

by Colleen Hutchinson

I enjoyed the recent preaching series on the parables of Jesus found in Matthew 13. I enjoyed the way Jesus was able to convey deep meaning often with such short illustrations. During my readings this week I was drawn to another of his parables, this one found in Luke 18:9-14. Here Jesus is teaching his […]

Ash Wednesday

by Elliot Rice

Today is Ash Wednesday, which marks the beginning of Lent (the 40 days leading up to Easter Sunday). Around the world, many Christians still remember this day by drawing the image of the cross on their forehead out of ash, and wearing this symbol throughout the day! This season reminds us of the weeks leading […]

Thanks

by Elliot Rice

Greetings friends, Elliot here—I’m back on deck! Our Charlotte is now three weeks old, and both she and Sarah are doing well. I was able to take 2 ½ weeks off to be at home, for which I owe a great deal of thanks to our church staff. Aren’t they amazing? I’m afraid Colleen has […]

Learning to Linger

by Colleen Hutchinson

The pace of life seems to be getting faster and faster. Messages are no longer thought about at length while they are written on paper, but are sent quickly, often in shorthand via text or messenger, or various other apps. Coffee dates are scheduled into diaries around a variety of other events with definite ‘must […]

A Season for Everything

by Colleen Hutchinson

Whether it is the very changeable weather at the moment or the fact that there has been a lot of change happening in the lives of those around me, I have been reflecting on seasons of life this week. I am aware of welcomes and losses, I am rejoicing hearing plans of going out while […]

Celebrating our Diversity

by Amelia Baling

Kathryn Thorne’s words last Sunday were so powerful that we think they are worth reading again, so here is an abridged version. You can read the full version on our Facebook page. One of the ways we participate in and embody God’s Kingdom is to recognise and embrace one another and celebrate our diversity in […]

God For Us

by Elliot & Sarah Rice

I’ve been spending time planning this week, thinking about our Sunday Gatherings and Grow Night series for the coming months. I love this time of year, between Christmas and Easter, when the church calendar invites us to remember what God did for us through Jesus‘ birth, life, death, and resurrection, and then after Easter to remember […]

Christmas Appeal

by Elliot & Sarah Rice

For our 2019 appeal we have three exciting focuses we are looking to get behind as a church. We hope to raise $3000 for each focus, as this will make a significant difference to each area. The first is our missionaries at Papanui Baptist Church: Jocelyn and Stephen Head, Jay and Mary Huffman, Ross and […]

Isn’t it so Good When we Submit to Christ’s Reign?

by Elliot & Sarah Rice

Throughout the ‘Being Baptist’ series we have talked about how we gather as a community of believers under Christ’s reign (christocracy). We take seriously Matthew 18.20, ‘for where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.’ Last Sunday we had a panel who reflected on the series and grow course of […]

Neighbourhood BBQs

by Elliot & Sarah Rice

On the 24th of November we have our neighbourhood BBQ. We’ve tried our hardest not to miss anyone but if you have been missed or know someone who has, please get in contact with the relevant host or the office: Northlands—St Albans: Greg & Chris Scott Wairakei: Denice and Barry Van Beurten Church Block: Ken […]

Coming Up!

by Elliot & Sarah Rice

Sunday Gathering: This Sunday we’re privileged to have John Tucker, Principal of Carey Baptist College bringing the message: “Absolutely Positively Baptist: Why I Love the Baptist Movement.” John’s an outstanding communicator—you don’t want to miss this! Elliot’s Sabbatical: As many of you are aware, in November Elliot is headed to San Diego, USA to attend the annual meetings […]

Adding Our Splendour

by Elliot & Sarah Rice

Near the end of the book of Revelation we read about the new Jerusalem in the age to come (ch. 21), when our hope will be realised: living face-to-face with God! John describes it like this: “The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God […]

Jesus Wants Your Fish

by Elliot & Sarah Rice

We’ve been reflecting again on the story of Jesus and the miraculous catch of fish in John 21. It’s classic: after yet another rubbish night of fishing, the disciples had caught nothing. Then, in the morning, Jesus comes calling from the beach: “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you’ll find […]

PapBap Happenings

by Elliot & Sarah Rice

There’s been a lot on this last week. Here’s a snapshot of what’s been happening… On Friday many of us gathered at St Albans Baptist to grieve the passing of Wendy Smith, who died Sunday 6 October after a short struggle with cancer. Wendy and Nigel were members of our church until about a year […]

Being Baptist

by Elliot & Sarah Rice

On Sunday we kicked off our new preaching series, “Being Baptist: A Compelling Vision of Church,” because, well, we think it’s compelling! We genuinely think living into our Baptist identity can be a gift to the church of New Zealand in the 21st century, just as Baptist women preachers and decision-makers were gifts to the […]

Being Baptist

by Elliot & Sarah Rice

This Sunday we are kicking off our ‘Being Baptist’ series. Papanui Baptist is one of over 240 local churches in Aotearoa who are networked together as the Baptist Churches of New Zealand. The Baptist denomination actually shares most things in common with other Christians, such as belief in the Trinity, in the incarnation and atonement of […]

The AGM is Coming…

by Elliot & Sarah Rice

On the 3rd of November we have PBC’s 2019 AGM. This is a time where we celebrate all that Jesus has done and look ahead to what we feel he is calling us into. We come together to discern the mind of Christ, and this starts before the AGM begins. As a church, we are […]

Church Camp Reflections

by Elliot & Sarah Rice

Over the weekend we had our PBC church camp, where together we explored how our story is found in God’s story. 110 people came out to camp over the weekend, with ages ranging from one through to the late eighties! We are blessed with many wise Christians in our church, and it was wonderful to […]

Camp this weekend!

by Elliot & Sarah Rice

Two days until camp—woohoo! We can’t wait to gather with many of you this weekend for two nights of great fun. What are you most looking forward to? What are you most hoping for as we engage with God together? The theme of the camp is “The Story: Exploring Our Own Stories Within God’s Story,” […]

Life Together

by Elliot & Sarah Rice

As a community we do life together as the priesthood of all believers. We seek to encourage each other to keep following Jesus in the midst of so many other things that compete for our attention. In our life together, there are different roles that serve us as a whole. On Sunday, the church discerned […]

Gathering in the Name of Jesus

by Elliot & Sarah Rice

This Sunday we are having a special members meeting (although anyone is welcome to come). This meeting is best described as a ‘Christocracy,’ meaning we are a community in which Christ reigns, and his Spirit guides us to know his mind. The call committee, co-senior pastors and elders have endorsed both Colleen (for associate pastor) […]

Ministries

by Elliot & Sarah Rice

Wasn’t the Sunday Gathering this week so inspiring and uplifting! We loved hearing what God’s been up to in a number of our Papanui Baptist ministries, including Iconz and Iconz4Girls, our Oscar-nominee Y@P crew, Oasis, Papmando, Prayer Ministry, and the Kanuka (creche), Matai (primary), and Tōtara (intermediate) programmes. It was fitting that in the same […]

Upcoming Sunday Gatherings

by Elliot & Sarah Rice

On Sunday we brought our Tale of Two Temples series to a close, remembering the paradigm shift that took place for the people of God in Acts as they went from being heavy and attractional to light-footed and incarnational. The Spirit mobilised the church to announce the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, beginning in Jerusalem, […]

New Associate Pastor

by Elliot & Sarah Rice

Throughout the year we have been advertising for an Associate Pastor and have had wonderful people on the call committee at different times. Thank you to Mike Dodge, Neil McKenzie, Verity Stewart, Greg Scott, Pamela Griffiths and Heather Mclennan for your amazing involvement. The current call committee (Verity, Greg, Heather and Pamela) have put a […]

Do you want to join a small group?

by Elliot & Sarah Rice

PBC has a long history of having small groups of people who gather together to explore God’s Word, join in on His mission and open themselves to each other. Over the years these groups have taken different shapes at different times. In this season we have two types of small groups operating in tandem. The […]

Feeding One Another

by Sarah Rice

Elliot and I would like to thank the numerous people who have offered to cook us meals while I have been unwell. We have felt so loved and cared for. Elliot is a very good cook and we share the cooking at home, so we are doing well for meals at this point. There are, […]

Summer with your Neighbours

by Elliot & Sarah Rice

Jesus is actively at work in your neighbours’ lives and he calls us to participate in the good things he is up to, which is amazing. The council also value us getting to know our neighbours – how great is that! You can now apply to your local community board for a subsidy to hold a […]

We Love the Church

by Elliot & Sarah Rice

This last weekend we Rices were up in Auckland for our annual year group retreat, catching up with our peers from Carey Baptist College. These people are participating in Christ’s ministry in churches and other workplaces around the country, and they inspire us. Our retreat is a space for sharing about the year that’s been, […]

In case you missed it…

by Elliot & Sarah Rice

On Monday, David Alsford received a PAPANUI-INNES COMMUNITY SERVICE AWARD 2019. These Council Community Service Awards are a way to acknowledge people who make our local neighbourhoods a better place to live. This is well-deserved recognition for David who is dedicated and passionate in how he seeks to participate in Jesus’ redemptive work through serving in […]

What is God saying to you?

by Elliot & Sarah Rice

The Torah, prophets and psalms speak not only to the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, but also to the preaching of the early church and its mission from Jerusalem to all nations. The fulfilment of this is the premise of Acts. Pentecost is a story of the OT being fulfilled (Exod 40; 2 Chr […]

Be the Bridge

by Elliot & Sarah Rice

On Sunday, Aidan Williams talked about a group that is starting at PBC that’s focused on racial reconciliation, and will be using the resources developed by Be the Bridge. We are embarking on an exciting journey and we are one of the first churches to be doing a Be the Bridge small group in NZ […]

Your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit

by Elliot & Sarah Rice

On Sunday, Elliot started our new sermon series of, ‘A Tale of Two Temples,’ which is focused on Acts 1-8. These chapters represent a paradigm shift for the people of God. It begins with the disciples waiting in the upper room, praying for Jesus to fulfil his promises. Then, in Acts 2, Jesus acts: he […]

Do You Love Me?

by Elliot & Sarah Rice

Last Sunday Elliot talked about how Jesus asked Peter, “Do you love me?” Jesus asks us that same question. Why not pause and in your mind, let Jesus ask you that same question? Dwell in this space and let Jesus ask you in your inner most being. May God by his Spirit enable us all […]

Who’s Who in Jesus’ Neighbourhood

by Rebecca Andrew

Grow Nights are back on Tuesday nights for the month of June, and we have three courses on offer! They’re for everyone, and you’re welcome to bring your friends. One course on offer is “Who’s Who in Jesus’ Neighbourhood” with Pamela Griffiths. Who’s who in the New Testament? Lots of names, lots of characters! Who were […]

Prayer

by Rebecca Andrew

Grow Nights are back on Tuesday nights for the month of June, and we have three courses on offer! One course on offer is “Prayer” with Jocelyn Head. She writes, “Prayer is actually a GIFT from God.  It is an encounter with the great mystery—GOD. God will be gifting us through a variety of prayer […]

Delighting in the Trinity

by Elliot & Sarah Rice

Grow Nights are back for the month of June, and we have three courses on offer! They’re for everyone, and you’re welcome to bring your friends. The first, “Delighting in the Trinity” with Elliot, begins and ends one week earlier, starting May 28th and finishing June 18th. Have you ever wondered what the difference is between […]

Staff news

by Elliot & Sarah Rice

  As we announced last week, our Office Administrator Rebecca is moving on to a new role with Stats NZ. Her last day of work is tomorrow, with the new job beginning next week. We’ll hear from her about this in our service on May 19th. We’re glad to have a seamless transition in the […]

Rebecca’s moving on

by Elliot & Sarah Rice

This last week Rebecca Andrew received exciting news: she’s been successful in her application for an administrative role with Stats NZ, and will begin her new role May 13th. We’re very happy for her and the Andrew family, knowing she’s well placed to serve in that environment. Of course, her gain is our loss—we’re sorry […]

Updates

by Elliot & Sarah Rice

  ·      We enjoyed a very special Easter weekend out at Spencer Park with Y@P (Youth at Papanui) for Easter Camp, and now we’re at home with the post-Easter Camp blues (a.k.a. a cold!). Thanks for your prayers and contributions to camp, it has been a significant time, which we’ll hear more about on May 12th for […]

Easter

by Rebecca Andrew

We’ve been sharing the journey with Jesus as he travels from Galilee to Jerusalem in Luke’s Gospel. Having come to Jerusalem noting the different responses to Jesus—the praising disciples, the nervous Pharisees, silent Jerusalem—we have entered Holy Week. On Friday at 9 am we’ll gather to remember the passion of Christ. As the disciples did […]

God Loves This World

by Elliot & Sarah Rice

John 3:16 is a Scripture we know well, but I find it never gets old: “For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” We’re a community who have received God’s love through Jesus Christ, and in him we have the hope […]

Cuppa Tea at the Rices 

by Rebecca Andrew

This Sunday from 2-4pm you’re invited to come have a cup of tea at our place, which is 41 Barnes Road, Redwood. Please be aware, we have big windows that could be mistaken for doors: don’t walk through them! We also live close to the railway line, so be mindful of your children roaming far. […]

Associate/Assistant Pastor: Ministry Director

by Elliot & Sarah Rice

Over the last couple of months we have received applications for the vacant role we have here at PBC. As you know, with the elders we have reviewed and changed the role to focus largely on ministries within the church—a “ministry director” as such. This is an area we are excited by and think needs […]

Entertainment Book & Church Camp

by Elliot & Sarah Rice

From the 13-15th of September we are having our church camp, and the theme for camp is The Story, and how our story is found within God’s story. This will be an amazing space to invite friends who are interested or open to the Good New announcement, that Jesus is King and wants us to […]

We’re better when we do it together…

by Elliot & Sarah Rice

Last Sunday we had our annual Bike ‘n’ Picnic and a big congratulations to Shonta’e who won the best and brightest fluro outfit—although John Stewart’s bright green wig was a close second. I always find that Jesus uses these times to weave us more strongly together, and that deep conversations and laughter is had. Being […]

Come be apart of something awesome… 

by Elliot & Sarah Rice

The Papanui Neighbourhood Fair is happening on the 17th of March, from 12.30-3pm, at Northcity Church. This is an opportunity to make a significant difference in our local community by signing up to volunteer. You will be apart of providing a love-filled family day, which will let people know they are noticed and valued. God […]

Picnic and Grow Nights

by Elliot & Sarah Rice

It is good to be back and we’re looking forward to seeing you on Sunday. Don’t forget to get your fluro on for the Bike ‘n’ Picnic on the February 24th– that’s this Sunday.  There will be a prize for the brightest dressed person on the day. We will be riding the Puari ki Papanui cycle route, […]

Grow Nights

by Elliot & Sarah Rice

Grow Nights are back! The first series will run on Tuesday nights through March. The two courses on offer are “The Bible Safari” with Sarah and “Kingdom Living” with Elliot. They each run for four weeks, 7-9pm—a great thing to get your Neighbourhood or Ngage Group along to together!   The Bible Safari The word […]

Get your fluro on…

by Elliot & Sarah Rice

Last year for our Bike ‘n’ Picnic event we rode the Puari ki Papanui cycle route, which is a cycle-way that connects Northlands and the Northern Line Cycle-way to the Central City and is right on our door step here at Papanui Baptist Church. It was a beautiful ride in and out of the city. And now […]

While the Rices are away…

by Elliot & Sarah Rice

  As you read this Elliot and I (Sarah) are tramping the Old Ghost Road! We love getting into the mountains and cannot help but be reminded of how grand our God is. We are on holiday for 3 weeks, back February 19th. While we are away, Sala, Pamela, and Jeremy are preaching, while Dan, […]

Welcome back!

by Elliot & Sarah Rice

Kia ora whānau, we’re back for another year of Papanui Paper Plane! This is the weekly email keeping you up to date with the latest happenings at Papanui Baptist and our neighbourhoods. We’re excited for the year ahead: we’re eyeing up a Bike ‘n’ Picnic event in late February, we have Grow Nights starting back on […]

Daniel Carter Appointed

by Rebecca Andrew

Some good news for us all as we head into the Christmas break: Daniel Carter has accepted our offer for the Youth Intern position at Papanui Baptist. From mid-January Dan will be overseeing our Y@P youth group, working closely with the leaders as they continue to put on an outstanding Wednesday night programme, along with […]

From the Elders

by Rebecca Andrew

Earlier this year I participated in a workshop where one of the topics was building trust in our workplaces. In an environment with the increasing use of electronic communications, it was interesting to note that one of the key aspects involved in building trust is eye contact and physical proximity. It reminded me of the […]

Youth at Papanui

by Elliot & Sarah Rice

  On December 14th-16th Y@P is heading away on camp, this year held at Ashley Gorge. Please keep this weekend in your prayers. You could help make this weekend extra special: we’d love to provide baking, some camp sponsorship, and caravans for camp parents, so why not take up one of these opportunities by getting […]

AGM Results

by Rebecca Andrew

  Thanks to all those who attended or gave apologies for Sunday’s AGM. We were thrilled to have two thirds of our members in attendance. It’s great to see how much we all care about this whānau, as evidenced both by the presence of so many and by the discussions we had through the meeting. […]

Church Family AGM

by Elliot & Sarah Rice

Our AGM is this Sunday, where we’re planning to communicate about our structure (particularly in terms of staff) for 2019, together with the budget. There is a choice of two budgets, which we as a church will seek to discern Christ’s mind on: A status quo budget, keeping the same giving as this year, with […]

Baptist Hui

by Elliot & Sarah Rice

  This past weekend we Rices attended the annual Baptist Hui along with about 400 other people, hosted this year by Palmerston North Central Baptist Church. We love these gatherings because they give us a sense of the wider Baptist whānau to which we belong. The Hui began with a powhiri and continued through the […]

Baptist Hui

by Elliot & Sarah Rice

Today we’re flying north to Palmerston North for the annual Baptist Hui, where members of Baptist Churches from around Aotearoa gather to share stories from the year, encourage one another for our participation in God’s mission, and give God the glory. It can be a really special space! As many of you know, we Baptists […]

SHAKTI – ETHNIC WOMEN’S SUPPORT GROUP

by Sarah Rice

A member of New Zealand’s Women’s Refuge Organisation, Shakti offers various means of support, encouragement and hope to immigrant and refugee women. Let’s bless these brave ladies from Papanui Baptist this Christmas. You can contribute by bringing pre-loved (but in very good condition) handbags and/or small gifts with which to fill the bags. Examples of […]

Some Updates

by Elliot & Sarah Rice

  Kia ora whānau, We have a few updates to report in this Grain of Rice—you might want to sit down with a cuppa as you read. We’re very sorry to share that Gwynneth Moss passed away last Thursday morning. Gwynneth and Graham were long time members of Papanui Baptist but moved to a retirement […]

Elders & AGM Prep

by Rebecca Andrew

With our AGM fast approaching next month, we’re looking to receive Elders nominations. If you have noticed someone who you think God would like to serve this church by being an elder, then we would encourage you to take these steps. First ask the person if you can bring their name forward to the eldership […]

60 Years of God’s Faithfulness

by Elliot & Sarah Rice

On the 14th of October, we are pausing to celebrate the work Jesus Christ has been doing in and through Papanui Baptist Church. In the service, we will be hearing testimonies of God’s faithfulness and we’ll have fun singing our way through the decades. After, we’ll have kai together to celebrate what has been, and […]

Papanui Baptist 60th

by Sarah Rice

Jesus Christ has loved the Papanui area since God spoke this land into being. Christ has wanted to be in relationship with all who have and will dwell on this land, starting with Māori who have guardianship of the land (Tangata Whenua) and those who are welcomed onto the land (Tangata Tiriti, “People of the Treaty”). […]

Jesus is better than everything!

by Rebecca Andrew

 Unpacking the book of Hebrews through this lens we are constantly challenged to consider the many dimensions of the  ‘great salvation” which is offered to us through Jesus, the Son. Like a diamond with its many facets, the brilliance of Jesus catches our attention from many angles. His atoning death on the Cross is at […]

Bula!

by Elliot & Sarah Rice

  I’m now into my last week at the restaurant and am counting down the days for Elliot to arrive. There have been so many wonderful surprises I couldn’t have anticipated. One of them is the church plant that’s funded by the business I’ve been researching. They feel called to announce the Good News to […]

Mental Illness

by Elliot & Sarah Rice

  It’s hard not to be aware of the effects of low mental health in Aotearoa at the moment. You’ve heard the stats: In the 12 months to August last year, 606 Kiwis took their own lives. New Zealand has one of the highest suicide rates in the western world, and it hasn’t improved at […]