Each year we scramble together some words… here are some excerpts:
In so many ways our year has been defined by the shaking of the earth. What we thought was bad after September last year escalated with the February quake – we had thought we had got off lightly with no fatalities but that wasn’t the case this year. It is the way of things that the world moves on but this Christmas will be so sad for so many. We have had over 16,000 quakes now – 25 in the last week. Fortunately we rarely notice them now – anything under 3.5 seems to miss our worn down body radars! Our St Stephen’s Church building is badly broken and probably will not make it. Since February we have been doing everything in our church hall – in so many ways it has been the best of things. The congregation has found a yet deeper way of being together in the intimacy of the hall. Our fortnightly Gathering breakfast thing with young families has taken off a bit and the hall also works for them. But the flipside has been some scaling down of the Community Centre because of the lack of space. That should change again in the next year or two.
A real highlight this year has been a supermarket voucher drop into one of the lesser known ‘red zone’ parts of the city where a whole neighbourhood is being relocated. Over $85,000 was raised from far and wide which enabled three west city churches St Stephen’s, St Giles, & St Mark’s to walk out hundreds of $200 vouchers and give them to people as an act of solidarity. The response from all concerned was overwhelmingly lovely – the ‘givers’ feel that they were the ‘receivers’ – and there were many tears and hugs. One couple we got to know through this project should be on TV One News Christmas Eve or Christmas Day.
Through this most challenging year there have been many phone calls and emails from friends and we are very grateful for your support. We are hoping for a quieter 2012 – but who knows?!
[since writing this we have had 2 quakes, 5.8 & 6.0… blimey, so disappointing!]