Hi ,
This week we begin Advent. Our theme this year is Coming Home. Over our weeks we explore four themes:
  1. Home sick : Hope
  2. Laying the foundation : Peace
  3. A home for all : Joy
  4. Seeking sanctuary : Love
We begin Advent with Luke 21, known as the “Little Apocalypse.” Writing like this helps remind us how far from home we are at times. The world is not as it should be. In a pandemic world life is not as it should be. I heard of one person this week who having not been vaccfourinated, lost their job and home. There are big choices in front of us. For some these are straight forward, for others they are nuanced, for others they are very complicated. Many have lost their physical homes, many feel alone, and many are isolated. Many of us feel as if we are wandering with no clear way forward. This first week speaks to our deep longing—for our home to be made whole, made right, and made well. With deep longing, we watch for God. Thankfully, God enters a homesick world.

Please remember:
  • AGM Rehersal -Friday 7:30pm here.
  • AGM - Saturday 4pm here.
Journeying with you, Dion

    Online Worship

    Goes live on Sunday at 10am with a YouTube Premier here: or click the button below
    We will then share morning tea and catch up with each other here:
    If you would like to talk with someone in particular, let Dion know on the day, or before hand on 0211378624 and he can put you in a breakout room together

    Pre-Advent Calendar/ City Mission Collection

    For those of you that did the Pre-advent Calendar for the City Mission or would like to contribute to a collection for the City Mission Angel Collection there is a collection box going into the Community Shop, (since we can not collect at church this year.) The box will be open until the 10th December only. Donations for the City Mission can be left there during shop open hours.

    Advent Packs

    We have created some home Advent packs with some activities and treats for the Advent season. If you would like one for you and your kids or you and your grandchildren please email Angela on with how many adults and children in your bubble and approximate ages, and your current address (this is super important). You can expect contactless drop off next week.

    Devotion books

    We have printed devotional books available that we can post to you. If you would like a devotional book please email Debbie at with your postal address. Please note these will come in the Advent packs so there is no need to sign up for both.
    ACM angels

    Auckland City Mission

    Be someone’s Angel this Christmas.

    The Auckland City Mission - Te Tāpui Atawhai is facing a bigger Christmas than ever before. With demand for food parcels already skyrocketing due to COVID-19. The City Mission is facing more requests for help than ever. In order for then to be able to make Christmas extra special for thousands of families, please consider donating directly to the Mission or contributing to the Mission via our collection box at the Community Shop until 10th December.

    Last year, the Mission gave out 30,000 gifts and 9,000 Christmas food parcels to Aucklanders who would otherwise have gone without. We know that this will be another tough Christmas for many families in our community. If you are in a position to help this year, please consider supporting the City Mission


    Monday 29 November to Saturday 25 December

    Friends of Holy Trinity Cathedral and ADJust have joined forces to bring this year's Nativity Project to life. When you visit the nativity scene outside Holy Trinity Cathedral, you will have the opportunity to ‘plant’ a native tree and gift it for Christmas through a small donation to Trees that Count. The nativity installation will depict the holy family as natural elements within the entire scene, literally ‘growing’ on the Cathedral forecourt throughout Advent, to be in full bloom at the arrival of Jesus.

    You can visit the instillation on the Holy Trinity Cathedral forecourt from 29 November in a safe and socially distanced manner.

      By 'planting' a tree at the nativity scene outside Holy Trinity Cathedral, you will help create a more sustainable future for Aotearoa New Zealand. For a $10 donation you can gift a native tree now on the registry at Trees that Count. Find out more on our website or here.

      Countdown to Christmas by Kereru Publishing.

      Last Call For Expressions of Interest.

      This starts on the 27th November so you need to Email by 5pm 25th to join.
      countdown to christmas
      Drawing from traditions of Advent Calendars, Kereru Publishing (the same people that run Stroll for Soul) are present a short daily dose of inspiration delivered direct to your email inbox each morning. The resource is written by Caroline Bindon. Emails begin on Saturday 27 November 2021, and will arrive every day throughout Advent ending with a final email on Christmas Eve, or 6th Jan if doing 12 DAYS.

      If there is a demand for this resource St Mary's will purchase a group booking allowing registered individuals to be included in our group for FREE. If you would like to be included in our group booking for FREE please let me know so I order the right size group purchase. If you would like to join please email church office with Countdown to Christmas in the subject line from the email address you would like to register. Or include in the text the email you would like to register if different. Expressions of interest by 5pm on 25th November please as I will purchase to the required number on the 25th.

      This year theme is for the Countdown to Christmas is RHYMES, RHYTHMS AND RITUALS. As our world continues to experience the disruption and challenges of the COVID pandemic our usual Christmas routines are yet again uncertain. Gathering with family and friends may not be possible this Christmas. The flavour this year is to offer soothing and comforting inspiration for these troubled times. Each daily email will draw from the rhythms and rhymes of one of the Christmas songs or carols from a curated playlist. A link to the song will be provided along with a short reflection, a little bit of interesting info about the song choice, and an idea for an experiential ritual to carry out in your own time and space.

      Also included in the Counting Down to Christmas resource are the following:
      LIGHTING ADVENT CANDLES - A PDF download for those wanting to light candles on an Advent wreath on each of the four Sundays. Each of the four weeks follow the traditional Advent themes of Hope, Peace, Joy and Love.
      ADVENT BIBLE READING PLAN - A curated Bible Reading Plan will be provided with either weekly or daily readings covering the words of the prophets and the Christmas story as recorded in the gospels. This will also be in the format of a PDF download.
      And for after Christmas, 12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS- The traditional period of Christmas is known as the twelve days of Christmas. This begins on 25 December, Christmas Day, when we celebrate the birth of Jesus and ends on 6 January, Epiphany, where the celebration marks the revealing of Christ to the world.
      Our Twelve Days of Christmas includes the following:
      A worship outline and printable resources to hold an 'at home' worship experience on Christmas Day. If getting out to church or gathering with friends and family on Christmas Day isn't possible this year, then this resource will help you mark Christmas Day in an experiential and meaningful way.
      A playlist of 12 songs available to listen to or sing along with on Spotify or YouTube Music. Short written reflections are included, one for each of the 12 days between Christmas Day and Epiphany. These are each based on a song from the playlist.
      A few fun and festive ideas to mark Epiphany and hold your own feast and celebration in your own home.

      Annual General Meeting 27th November 2021

      The current level of Covid brings uncertainty and makes it hard to plan much in life, but we do still need to ensure that we have a plan for our parish for the next year and a leadership team in place to over see this. In light of this we will be holding our AGM on Saturday the 27th November, at 4pm. This will be an on-line AGM. Due to the AGM being on line this year, vestry have agreed that we will NOT be able to take General Business items from the floor.

      Nominations for vestry, synod and warden have now closed.
      Items for the agenda, 'General Business' have now closed.

      AGM reports are below.

      AGM Phone Call Instructions

      To dial into the AGM via phone, dial (09)884-6780
      when prompted, enter the meeting ID: 919 265 616
      All participants are muted, to raise your hand to speak on your keypad dial:
      *9 [Raise hand]
      When asked by the host to unmute yourself to speak, on your keypad dial:
      *6 [Toggle mute/unmute]
      we suggest that you join the rehersal on Friday night to practice this.

      You can vote for a motion at the time that people are asked to vote. You will not be able to vote against a motion, as zoom doesn't give that feature when you are on a phone call. If you do not raise your hand, you will be counted as abstaining. You will not be able to vote for vestry members, as this uses the Zoom Vote/Poll function, and that does not work across a phone call.

      We encourage you to try to connect via a computer, mobile phone, tablet or laptop, so you can fully participate in the AGM.

      AGM Rehearsal

      Our AGM will be on Zoom here:
      We will be voting and interacting for our AGM, using the following Zoom functions:
      • Chat
      • Raise hand
      • Vote [Yes/No]
      If you have not used these before, and would like to experiment, we are having a rehearsal, Friday 26th November 7:30pm. Come along then to be tutored and experiment with these, so that Saturday you are ready to go.
      Rehearsal here: @ 7:30pm

      Archbishop Don on Vaccination

      Covid-19... doesn’t care about our sense of our personal freedoms or rights. ... Vaccination is the best protection that’s available to us. ... Our Lord calls us to sacrifice and service of others... Today we might say: Greater love has no-one than this, than to lay down their rights for their whānau (family) ... We must be wise enough to do the right thing. ... remember that we’re connected, that we’re in this together, and to hold these conversations with aroha (love). ... people have genuine questions ... help them to seek the proper information. ... those who have decided (no) ... we still have to extend our aroha (love) ... they remain a part of us. ... our safety (is) realised in ourselves together as a people. We are all in this together. ... We will explore ways to work with the proposed protection framework, alongside the knowledge that our tikanga (tradition) and our whakapono (faith) is dynamic, resilient and responsive."

      Stay in the loop

      Covid 19 - Level 3 Closures

        That means:
        Stay safe. Be kind.


        Wednesday Online Zoom Study Groups

        Wednesday afternoon online study group meets at 10:30am this Wednesday on zoom. The invite for the study is here:

        Sunday 28th November

        Theme: Home Sick/ Hope


        Luke 3:1-6, Baruch 5:1-9, Philippians 1:3-11


        Vaccination FAQ

        Are you wondering if you should get vaccinated? Do you know someone who is hesitant? Here are some resources that might help.

        "I find it's quite useful for people who are on the fence, instead of asking them why aren't you getting it done? Say why is it that you're only halfway towards it? What is it that makes you think about wanting vaccination? And then discussing the positives rather than the negatives." - Dr Alistair McLean

        If you haven't yet had your first vaccine then please talk to your medical practice and ask your questions now. NO question is daft and no worry too small; it is important that you get answers to your concerns so you can make informed decisions. Please don't sit on the fence and wait. The time for action is now so we can all get back to doing what we love whilst knowing that we are protecting those around us that we love.

        If you had your first vaccine on or before Supper Saturday you are now able to get your second vaccine. Please arrange to get your second vaccine now. Call your medical provide to ask any questions you might have.

        Official Advice

        Please follow the official advice at the Government Covid19 website below:
        There are several locations of interest. Check the Ministry of Health website to find out where the times and locations of interest.
        If you have been at any of these locations of interest, please follow public health advice to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

        If you are sick, call your doctor or Healthline on 0800 358 5453 for advice about getting tested.

        Contact information

        Call Healthline if you have symptoms 0800 358 5453
        Need to talk? For mental health help, call or text 1737

        Online Worship Options

        During Covid19 there are a number of online options for worship

        Adjust - Daily Offices

        ADJust offer daily devotions online at 7:30am and 8.30pm here:
        This office is sourced from A New Zealand Prayer Book He Karakia Mihinare o Aotearoa which is available online at

        Word for Today and Our Daily Bread

        As the paper versions of Word for Today and Our Daily Bread run out. You can access them online here:
        and the youth version here:
        Our daily bread here:

        Magazines on-line

        Below are PDF links for the new Insight Magazine (Spring) , this is currently available on line. Once Auckland goes to lock down two physical copies of the magazines will be sent to the church for those who want one.

        More resources

        For personal prayer, Pray As You Go has a daily devotion, as well as prayer and meditation around different emotions, as well retreats for different times of the year based around the Ignatian tradition. Lectio 365 is another space which offers morning and evening prayers and other prayer practices. Both are available as mobile apps.

        Mainly Music is cancelled for now.

        For more information on Mainly Music please email Carol Henry on , she sends out email updates to those registered to the group. If you are able to volunteer some time on a Thursday and / or Friday when the group runs, please get in touch with Meg Norton 473 8444.

        Community Shop. Re-opens

        We are please to announce that the Community shop has re-opened. The shop is currently open Tuesday- Saturday 10am- 4pm under the changes allowed under level 3.2. (Note:- NO Monday Opening at this time). Thank you to everyone for your support in this venture, it has been a long time coming.
        A5 shop moved

        Anglican Missions

        Get one- Give One Campaign.

        Get-one. Give-one is an Anglican Church wide and New Zealand wide campaign aimed at supporting access to the Covid Vaccine globally via the COVAX alliance.
        So far we have raised $145,000 to provide vaccinations in low-income countries. We aim to raise $150,000 which will provide vaccinations for 24,000 people.

        In being thankful for the availability of vaccines in New Zealand, we are aware that many people are not so fortunate. The Get one. Give one. Campaign aims to protect and support the poorest and most vulnerable. When you get your Covid-19 vaccine, please consider donating $10 so that one of the world's most vulnerable can get theirs. $50 covers a family of five and $100 covers two families!
        Supporting the 'Get One. Give One.' campaign is simple. Donations are being directed through Givealittle, rather than through Anglican Missions.
        DONATE HERE:
        Lets pass our gratitude on because "We're only safe if Everyone's safe".
        In New Zealand the Covid vaccine is Free to everyone aged over 16.

        So please continue to make donations to the Givealittle page linked below. You can watch the Thank you video below.
        getone give one

        ATWC Christmas Collection.

        Traditionally St Marys has supported the Anglican Trust for Women and Children’s Annual Christmas Appeal, however this year I have received the following information from the ATWC regarding their 2021 Appeal.

        "Due to infectious nature of the Delta variant in our community, this Christmas we are taking a new approach. We are operating under very strict guidelines to minimise the risk of any chance of transmission and have decided that our best option to ensuring the safety of everyone will be to limit any donations to financial contributions. All of the funds raised by our appeal will be used to purchase Christmas Gifts for children and families in-need who are engaged in our services. Thank you in advance for your understanding around this new process as we work this through together."

        Ruth Pretty Christmas Cakes and Puddings.

        These are now available to purchase, with the Anglican Trust for Women and Children (ATWC). Please see the attached order form with details and prices to order a Ruth Pretty Christmas Cake and / or a Pudding, in supporting the work of the ATWC You can donate to ATWC and at the same time receive a delicious and beautifully boxed fruit cake and / or pudding, made by renowned chef Ruth Pretty. If you would like to order these delicious Christmas cakes and puddings, please complete the order form attached and email back to myself or you can order via our website Credit card payments can be accepted. If you have any queries please contact

        Cyber safety.

        Auckland Dioceses have made us aware of a scams currently targeting churches.
        People are emailed, apparently by the clergy, and asked for money to support a person in need. If you receive any email asking you for money, gift-cards or anything similar, please ignore it and delete it. It is recommended you report it to the Police and/or Netsafe. You will never be asked for money or gift cards via email. Please only give money to St Mary by the Sea, via online banking (details below) or EFTPOS at St Mary by the Sea.

        This is a timely reminder to all parishioners to be cautious of any email asking for money or gift cards. Auckland Diocese has a policy that clergy in the Anglican Church do not ask for funds directly in this way.


        Update celebration information here.

        Marking and celebrating milestones is more difficult in times of Lockdown but it is important to share and celebrate our good news and achievements at these times as well. Below is a link to a form you can use to add birthdays, anniversaries and other annual events that you would like to share at church. This form can be completed multiple times, (for example for every grandchild's birthday!). If you do not like forms you can always just email the office with the information in a letter and I will work from that. If there is a one off event that you would like to share in church please let the office know.

        Church Roll Update

        If you are unsure whether you are on the church roll or if in the last year you have changed address, phone number or email please either email the office to update your information or complete the form linked below.
        Many Thanks Debbie

        Community Garden

        Are you interested in being part of the St Mary by the Sea community garden? For more information, see the information on the Welcome Desk, or talk to Dianne Denman, or Nannette Randall at the 10am service. There is an expression of interest form here, and a brochure here. and on our website here:

        Regular Information


        Online Worship when alert levels don't allow in person worship
        Wednesday - 10:30am - Zoom Bible study
        Sunday - 10am - YouTube worship with Zoom morning tea
        In person Worship when alert level allow
        - 10am - informal communion from NZ Prayer Book
        Sunday - 8am - formal communion from NZ Prayer Book
        Sunday - 10am - intergenerational worship with communion

        Praying for Others

        Please send names for the Sunday Prayer-List by Sunday evening to Tony Nettleton, 027 278 1450 or Names can be sent at other times as required.



        Vestry would like to encourage you to give to support our ministry. Giving and donations can be made to:
        St Mary by the Sea
        BNZ Browns Bay 02-0120-0047903-003
        Please reference your donation with your surname or giving number.


        The EFTPOS machine prints 2 receipts, the first is your copy, the second is printed by selecting MERCHANTS COPY on the screen. This second copy should always be left on the appropriate clip on the notice board. With out the second receipt it is not possible to know what the money was intended for. For Church Giving, you can either keep the first receipt or place it in the DONATION BASKET to go up to the altar for the blessing. Please write your giving number or full name on the second receipt if you want the donation added to your tax receipt.


        Have some feedback? Feel free to email


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        Debbie Rhodes, 09 4738180
        Office hours, Mon to Thr 10am-2pm


        Rev’d Dion Blundell, Office:09 4738183 Mb:021 1378624 Hm:09 4732270

        Priest Assistant

        Rev’d Jay Smith, 021 1045914


        Jean Coomer, 09 4780080
        Mark Van der ham, 021 2711207

        Synod Representatives

        Auriel Andrews
        Susan Haslam

        Vestry Secretary

        Susan Haslam, 09 4150073

        Vestry Members

        Bruce Rogers,
        Chris Waddingham,
        Jenny Cheer,

        St Mary by the Sea

        PO Box 89-082, Torbay, Auckland, 0742
        168 Deep Creek Rd, Torbay, Auckland, 0630
        Thanks for reading. See you soon!

        The St Mary by the Sea Team
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