Pre-Worship Activity – Making a cross from Harakeke (flax)
(prepared by Adrienne)

In many churches, it’s traditional to hand out small crosses folded from a palm leaf on the Sunday before Easter. This is to commemorate Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem, riding on a donkey, while people waved palm branches and shouted ‘Hosanna!’

The little crosses are also a reminder of Jesus’ words to all of us:
“Then Jesus said to his disciples, “All who want to come after me must say no to themselves, take up their cross, and follow me.  All who want to save their lives will lose them. But all who lose their lives because of me will find them.” (Matthew 16:24-25).

If you have access to Harakeke, New Zealand flax, in your garden or close by, you might want to make a cross for yourself. When you go out to cut it, remember to say a prayer of thanks for the earth that grew this plant and the sun and rain that nurtured it. Cut one of the outer leaves – never cut any of the 3 central ones. One large leaf will probably give you up to 4 crosses, so don’t cut more than you need. Return any scraps of flax that you don’t use to the garden rather than throwing them in the rubbish.

Click here for a link to video with instructions for folding your strip of flax. 
Or some old-fashioned instructions to follow can be found here.

Jesus’ Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem

Mark 11:1-11
1 When they were approaching Jerusalem, at Bethphage and Bethany, near the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples 2 and said to them, ‘Go into the village ahead of you, and immediately as you enter it, you will find tied there a colt that has never been ridden; untie it and bring it. 3 If anyone says to you, “Why are you doing this?” just say this, “The Lord needs it and will send it back here immediately.”’ 4 They went away and found a colt tied near a door, outside in the street. As they were untying it, 5 some of the bystanders said to them, ‘What are you doing, untying the colt?’ 6 They told them what Jesus had said; and they allowed them to take it. 7 Then they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks on it; and he sat on it. 8 Many people spread their cloaks on the road, and others spread leafy branches that they had cut in the fields. 9 Then those who went ahead and those who followed were shouting, ‘Hosanna! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!

10 Blessed is the coming kingdom of our ancestor David! ‘Hosanna in the highest heaven!’
11 Then he entered Jerusalem and went into the temple; and when he had looked around at everything, as it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the twelve.

Call to Worship (prepared by Adrienne)

Our Call to Worship today is part of Psalm 118.

This is one of the traditional Psalms for Passover. In Jerusalem, all those years ago, it would have been buzzing through people’s heads like Jingle Bells at Christmas. When you read these words, you can see why people were so excited about Jesus arriving in the holy city.

Give thanks to the LORD, for the LORD is good;
            God’s love endures for ever.
 The LORD is with us, we will not be afraid;
            The LORD is with us; God is our helper.
 Open for me the gates of justice; I will enter and give thanks to the LORD.
            This is the gate of the LORD. Everyone who does right may enter.
 The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone;
The LORD has done this, it is marvellous in our eyes.

This is the day that the LORD has made;
            let us rejoice and be glad in it.
 Hosanna! LORD, save us!
            Hosanna! LORD, grant us success.
 Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD.
With branches in hand we join the procession.
You are our God, and we will give you thanks;
            You are our God and we will praise you.
 Give thanks to the LORD for he is good;
            God’s love endures for ever.

Worship Songs (selected by Jesse)

E Toru Nga Mea – click here
Open the Eyes of My Heart – click here
Be Thou My Vision – click here
It Is Well With My Soul – click here

RNZ Hymns (thanks to Robyn)

If you’d like to listen to the RNZ Hymns on Sunday programmes, click this link: Hymns. This takes you to the homepage where you will find links to the audio files for each week going back around five years.  When you click on the programme a page opens with the words for each song.

Kids Church  (prepared by Sue)

Watch this fun, interactive video with your kids (or even you don’t have kids!) and see what some Central kids have been doing this week (click here).
Have a chat about expectations, discover a hands-on way to pray for the world and listen to a story about Palm Sunday.
Acknowledgements : Crossroads Kids’ Club   and soundtrack from Rend Collective; My Lighthouse

Prayer for the World (prepared by Sue and Adrienne)

Watch the Kids Church video above (begin at 3:33 minutes) and create your own Prayer for the World.  We’d love to see a photo of your prayer – please send to the office.

Prayers for Palm Sunday Stillwaters (prepared by Adrienne)

Our prayers today are taken from the Stillwaters model of praying together.
We have 4 books of prayers: for our community; for our country; for our world; and for the season (currently Autumn/Lent). In our church service, when it comes to the prayer time, the books are handed out and someone chooses a prayer from each book to read out loud.

After these four spoken prayers, we have a time when anyone can light a candle and say a prayer aloud or silently.

We end each prayer with the words ‘Lord hear us,’ and everyone responds with ‘Lord, hear our prayer.’
Alternatively we use the Māori words: ‘E te Atua, whakarongo mai,’ and the response is ‘E te Atua, whakarongo mai ki tō mātou karakia.’

Prayer for our community
(this prayer was adapted last week for our present circumstances)

Lord, we thank you for the Stillwaters and Central communities.
We pray a blessing on our time apart.
We thank you for old friends and new ways of communicating.
May our laughter, talk, singing, praying and eating apart still be worship to you.

Lord hear us                   E Te Atua, whakarongo mai

Prayer for our country

Spirit of justice, creator Spirit;
help us to make and keep this country
a home for all its different peoples,
and grant to our government and all its representatives
imagination, skill and energy
that there may grow amongst us aroha and peace.

Lord hear us                   E Te Atua, whakarongo mai

Prayer for our world

He honore, he kororia ki te Atua
Maungarongo ki te whenua
Whakaaro pai ki ngā tāngata katoa. Āmine.

All honour and glory to God
Let there be peace and tranquility on earth
Goodwill to all people. Amen.

Lord hear us                   E Te Atua, whakarongo mai

Prayer for this season

Jesus, when you rode into Jerusalem
the people waved palms
with shouts of acclamation.
Grant that when the shouting dies
we may still walk beside you even to a cross.

Lord hear us                   E Te Atua, whakarongo mai

Prayer for our individual needs

For all these prayers, spoken and unspoken,
Lord hear us                   E Te Atua, whakarongo mai

Offering

Please continue to give as you are able. We have lost nearly all our rental income due to the “stay at home” order, so we really appreciate your generosity.

  1. Internet banking & AP – The Church’s bank account is 03-0502-0169965-00
  2. Credit card payment through Pushpay – click here

This Week’s Message (by Ann)

Great Expectations – How do we cope when nothing turns out as we expected?
Psalm 118:25-29; Luke 19:28-40

The people of Jesus’ day expected a very different Messiah; Jesus was a huge disappointment, even a failure in their eyes. How do we take a fresh look at life when nothing is turning out as we expected? Will we allow Jesus to shape our life in unexpected ways?

Ann’s message is available here as an audio or video.

Central Blessing

You are God’s people, gifted with dreams and visions.
Upon you rests the grace of God like flames of fire.
Love and serve the Lord in the strength of the Spirit.
May the deep peace of Christ be with you,
the strong arms of God sustain you,
and the power of the Holy Spirit strengthen you in every way
Amen

During this coming week

CENTRAL CONNECTIONS: Join one of the many groups connecting digitally. Just flick an email to the church office for more info.

  • Central Kids’ Church
  • Seniors Connection
  • JYG (Junior Youth Group)
  • Youth Group
  • Young Bunz (young adults)
  • Book Group
  • Small Groups
  • Bible Study and Prayer Groups

STILLWATERS: Please remember the Stillwaters community in your prayers. Some of our people are at risk for various reasons and will struggle through this period.

Please consider making a cash donation(s) so we can continue to support our community. Donations can be made through the Church bank account (03-0502-0169965-00) and will be passed on to Stillwaters each week.