Shifting my goals

mundane2

The horror of the “same old thing” is one of the most restricting passions of the human heart.

We wear the word mundane, with shame.

We dread that something be the same as it was before, for to be unchanged, is to be failing.

Without realising, my demand for change diminishes my pleasure and increases my desire, whilst simultaneously emptying my pockets, and my sense of satisfaction.

When I finished high school 3 years ago, I went on an adventure. And I did some incredible things, things I don’t regret doing, and things I will truly treasure for the rest of my life. However, I am beginning to realise that although taking on new challenges and striving for cool, great things is not necessarily bad, for me, pursuing adventures for myself has at times blinded me to the reality of the consistent beauties that already exist in my life.

I have been living a “mundane” “normal” life again for over a year since my trip.

“Back to study” “Back to work” “Back to living at home” “Back to the same old thing.”

And secretly, and sometimes not so secretly, I seem to circle back to a longing to be elsewhere, back there, somewhere different, somewhere exciting.  Continue reading

The Grace Collective presents: GOALS

Are you a new year resolution list-maker? Have you got dreams of making that Big Change this year? Or are you just hoping to scrape through 2016 with some degree of success?

GC Goals

At the beginning of a new year it is a great time to make goals for the days ahead. Get straight As. Buy a car. Travel more. Pray more. Land your dream job.

However research shows that – no matter how well intentioned we are – by July most of us will have bailed on our goals. So where are we going wrong? Why is it so hard to turn our dreams into reality? Is it possible that we have been going about it the wrong way?  What if Jesus has some even better goals in mind for us?

Join us for the GC guide to goals – our amazing line up of speakers will share their stories and wisdom on making goals that are worth keeping.

Wednesday 9 March, 7.30pm at Crave, McDonald St, Kingsland

See you there!

A Journey to Easter: Lent 2016

If you’re looking for something to fuel your thoughts and prayers through Lent, then take a moment to check out our diocese’s latest project: A Journey to Easter.

It’s an online multi-media devotional, which includes activities to complete every day of lent. There’s readings, reflections, prayers, and journal activities, all based around the Sermon on the Mount. The content is drawn from a range of authors and artists, including A New Zealand Prayer Book – He Karakia Mihinare o Aotearoa, and features uniquely New Zealand photography.

12592295_479152388952374_1638508722441267400_n

Each day only takes 3-5 minutes so it’s totally do-able. Take the ‘journey’ by yourself or together with your small group.

Check it out at www.lent.nz -it’s not too late to start!

Refugees Are Welcome in Auckland

wellingtonRefugees have to move in order to save their lives or preserve their freedom. The process of settling into a new life into a new country can be a difficult one. The government provides assistance to refugees coming to New Zealand, but there is a vital community component which is invaluable in helping refugees settle in their new home.

As the Grace Collective we hope to create a movement of hospitality towards refugees that welcomes them the way that Jesus would. We believe our city of Auckland is big and generous enough to welcome more refugees better. So we are proud to be supporting ‘Refugees are Welcome in Auckland’.

welcome fb banner

‘Refugees are Welcome’ began with the Anglican young adults community in Wellington. They reached over 70,000 people online through their campaign. We’re are excited about the impact that a campaign in Auckland will have and we want you to be part of it.

All it involves is getting together with mates, our “Refugees are Welcome in Auckland” sign and our flash camera, and take photos with people! Shifts are about 2 hours, yet the impact you can have in such a short time is surprisingly powerful. Find out more at our event tomorrow (Saturday 21 November – more details here, like ‘Refugees are Welcome in Auckland’ on Facebook, spread the word, and get signed up to a shift.

My 36 Slaves

RSZslave-croppedIt was a casual Sunday afternoon. I went to the supermarket – I needed to buy sugar.

I got to the plethora of sugar options on the shelf and stared.

And stared.

I picked one up. I put it back. I couldn’t bring myself to buy one.

Why? Not because of all the options before me. It’s because I know that all this sugar in front of me isn’t produced in ways I agree with. I’ve known that for a while, but that day it made me unable to purchase sugar. But I needed sugar. What to do? Driving across Auckland to the TradeAid store to purchase sugar doesn’t seem a great ‘sustainable choice’ either. So I went home with no sugar. But I knew that soon I’d need sugar and be faced with the same dilemma. (Let’s not get into the ‘do you really need sugar’ debate in this one, we’ll save that for another day – and luckily I found out that a different supermarket close-by stocks Fairtrade sugar.)

More than anything what surprised me about this sugar-debacle was myself. I’ve always ‘cared’ about ethical and sustainable consumer choices, but often it becomes idealist with an I’ll-buy-fair-trade-coffee-if-it’s-in-front-of-me thrown in on the side (though this is still a great place to start).

So what’s changed? I’m not exactly sure.

Continue reading

Getting things out in the open

Hey guys, Charlie here. You might have already seen this interview with Brandt Russo we shared on Facebook a while back. If you haven’t watched it yet, it’s totally worth it, as it touches on so many of the things we talked about at Authenticity and some of the issues that were so courageously addressed by our speakers.

Brandt talks about how he wanted to be open about his struggles, but couldn’t bring himself to go through it. However once everything was exposed, he said “I realised I had put myself in a horrible situation and God still is who He promised He is and He can redeem this… I could finally get free because everybody knows.”

It takes a lot of openness and support to get through our struggles. Brandt questions whether churches are ready for that: “We haven’t prepped ourselves to be that open.” I wonder if he’s on to something here.  Continue reading