Our Church Services
New to St Paul’s?
Often people who haven't visited a church before or even in a while wonder what to expect. While every church is different, this is what you would typically find any given Sunday at St Paul's.
When you arrive
Firstly, there are two entrances to the car park, and heaps of room, so please do drive in. You can access it from Burwood Road, just before you get to Travis Road heading south. If you come from Travis Road or QEII Road you can enter through Travis Country Drive, and turn left into St Pauls Place- just head to the end.
What we do
Well, here at St Paul's we welcome you as you are. We dress casually, so feel free to do the same. We start at 10 am, but people are welcome to wander in a little late too! Upon arrival, you'll be greeted and given a bulletin so you know what is happening and what Bible passages will be read during the service. Sometimes you'll be given song books or they may be displayed on the screen during the service, or a service sheet that leads us through the service. Sometimes there are spoken bits by the whole congregation, sometimes it is sung- join in when you feel comfortable doing so.
Children & Parents
We have an area at the back of the church that is open and suitable for toddlers and children to spread out with their parents, so please do make use of this area during the service if you wish; you are still part of the congregation, able to see and hear everything. The rest of the church has comfy bench seats and you are welcome to sit next to someone or choose a place you feel comfortable. Part way into the service the children are invited to head out to Sunday School (see the outline in the Sunday School description of what happens), and they come back in at the end to share what they've been learning.
We follow a liturgy, which is the overall shape and structure of the service. It includes these things as collectively spoken or sung words, led by one of our leaders: the invocation, confession of sins, absolution, readings from the Bible (we stand for the reading of the gospel), sermon, creed, freewill offering, prayers for others, the Lord's supper (communion), and the blessing. You'll see different people get up and lead different parts, plus you have songs and hymns throughout the service. We usually have communion, which is when you are invited to go up and partake in the Lord's supper or communion if you have been baptised and believe in Jesus Christ. You do not have to go up. If you do go up, we kneel (or stand) at the rail and receive the wafer and then the wine or juice. You can sip from the communal cup or have an individual cup.
At the end the children come in with their teachers to share what they have been doing, and conclude with notices and celebrations.
Following the service
Everyone is welcome to chat over a cuppa and morning tea in the hall right next to the sanctuary after the service. This is the best way to get to know people.
All age primary school children join in the weekly Sunday School lesson time. Children stay in the church for the first part of the worship time and then withdraw to a teaching room for their lesson time.
Sunday School teachers are trained teachers who enjoy working with the children. Other members of the congregation provide assistance with lesson time, especially with craft related activities.
Sunday School lessons include:
A short prayer time
A Bible story
An art or craft activity
Sunday School each Sunday morning Every Sunday morning.
Confirmation class –Every Sunday morning.
Thursday 26 October Bible Study starts at 7pm-9pm for 7 weeks- come to one or all that you can make it too. We have started 'Women of the New Testament'. Note change of day to Thursday. At Iona's house.
Thursday 26 Octobery & 30 November Service at Alpine View Care Centre at 11am.
Sunday 29 October Reformation Sunday Service at St Pauls 10 am.
Tuesday 31 October Reformation Service at Knox Church 7.30 pm
What we believe
So where does the Lutheran Church come from?
The Lutheran Church is the first of the protestant churches (those that split from the Roman Catholic Church; which includes Baptist and Presbyterian) and started in Germany. Martin Luther, a priest, stood up against an incorrect gospel that said you could buy forgiveness, and wrote 95 theses to protest against this deviation from the gospel. The gospel teaches that grace is a free gift from God, and not something you earn. This was back in 1517 and was called the Reformation. Following this the Lutheran Church grew. This year churches around the world celebrated 500 years since the Reformation of the Christian Church.
What do we believe?
The Lutheran Church is an Evangelical church- one that teaches in accordance to the gospel on the New Testament. The doctrine or beliefs of the Lutheran Church is simply that of the Christian faith described in the New Testament and summarised in the Apostle's Creed.
- We believe humans are created by God.
- We believe that God created us free moral beings, including freedom to disobey our Creator.
- Man did disobey his Creator, and the result is sin.
- We believe that God did not abandon us in our sin, he revealed Himself in his as the Saviour, his son, Jesus Christ.
- Our Saviour's birth was a miraculous one by the Holy Spirit of the Virgin Mary.
- Jesus suffered death on the cross and paid the debt of our sins.
- We believe that He rose again and overcame sin, once and for all.
- All have sinned and need God's forgiveness.
- As Christians we are baptised and profess that Jesus Christ is our Lord.
- We are not perfect and welcome imperfect people to come and experience the love and grace of God.
St Paul’s Lutheran Church was once in the city on the site of our present Art Gallery on the corner of Worcester and Montreal Streets. The site was bought in 1872 by the German Benefit Assn which was set up to assist settlers of German nationality who were finding it difficult to assimilate into the Canterbury community. They wanted a Church in which services could be conducted in German. An appeal was launched and 550pounds was raised. As many more German settlers were expected, the Provincial Government contributed another 250 pounds. The Germans built a wooden church witha bell tower. Unfortunately the money ran out before the bells could be bought. However, the German Chancellor, Otto von Bismarck, pledged a peal of three bells, weighing more than a tonne. They were set in the bell tower and rung for the first time during a Christmas Eve dedication ceremony in 1874.
FINAL SERVICE SURPRISE AT ST PAUL’S CHURCH IN CENTRAL CHCH
The original German Church on the corner of Montreal and Worcester Streets had a magnificent peel of bells donated by the German Government. Sadly they were taken down and smashed at the time of the First World War. In the foundry where the bells were melted down, the Foreman, Joe Mantell, picked up a piece of the bronze embedded in the earthen floor and fashioned it into a miniature Bible. Upon reading an article about the final service of the city church (2 August 1987), Joe Mantell’s son, Rex Mantell, decided that the bell memento should be returned to its true home. This was the surprise that he presented during the final service. It was very gratefully received. You can see the Bible memento in the glass display case in our present Church’s hallway. What a history this little treasure can tell!
WE CELEBRATE MAORI LANGUAGE WEEK
With a long and involved story line, Pastor Peter and Ahi Allen based their bilingual oral drama on conflict resolution (Matt. 18:15-20). ʻThe pastor and the music director were not getting along and the conflict began to spill over into the worship of the church. As the pressure between the two mounted, the story line threw well known hymn titles around (I shall not be moved), voices were raised and arms flung skyward by the actors. ʼ Our Sunday worshippers laughed loudly and clapped enthusiastically as the novel presentation drew to an end. But behind it all lay a careful message about listening. We need to develop our skills so that we receive a clear message and use different situations (private and one-to-one, small group) as appropriate. Listening skills may involve appreciation, sympathy, empathy, confrontation, meditation, arbitration, use negotiation, or even litigation – but in any conflict we need to consider relationships and issues, remembering another hymn title “What a friend we have in Jesus!”
Installation of Pastor Peter Ravikumar
At a special evening service last Wednesday 23 August, Bishop Mark Whitfield conducted the Rite of Installation and blessing for Pastor Peter. The Leadership Team gathered round and prayed for him. “Keep watch over yourself and over all the flock, of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseer, to shepherd the church of God that he obtained with the blood of his own son. The Lord bless you so that you may bear much fruit, and that your fruit will last, “ concluded the Bishop.
Our first Advent Dinner was held on 29 November 2014, marking the beginning of the Advent season, leading up to Christmas. It was a special occasion and included a presentation from the elders on the meaning of Advent and the four candles of the season. A catered dinner allowed the large attendance to enjoy an evening of fellowship, singing and worship as the new church year commenced. It is intended that this will become an Annual Event for the congregation.
With large grounds to maintain, the church holds working bees every few months. These are on Saturday mornings and people are encouraged to bring their own gardening tools, enjoy a shared working time together and always feast on an excellent morning tea.
St Pauls regularly collects donations of foodstuffs to donate to those in need. Two bins are provided in the foyer of the church and when filled, these are taken to the Linwood Salvation Army, who distribute the food to local families requiring food and budget support.
Alpine View Community Care
Monthly services are provided at the Alpine View Community Care Centre in Burwood. A group from the church regularly attend to provide support and contact for these senior citizens. Bible readings, prayer and community singing are enjoyed at these times.
Pastor Peter Ravikumar 021 058-9584 email@example.com
Chairman Andrew Mattiske 021 402-809 firstname.lastname@example.org
Deputy Chairman Ahi Allen 03 352 6762 email@example.com
Secretary Judy Calder 03 384 1269 firstname.lastname@example.org
Treasurer Susanne Thompson 03 351 9286 email@example.com
Church Office: St.Paul's Church.
Address: 130 Burwood Road, Burwood, Christchurch-8083.