parish council logoDear Friends,

We are writing to you on behalf of the Parish Pastoral Council of North Harbour Parish. We have all experienced a complete change in our lives over the past months, due to events we could never have anticipated that bring concern to many parishioners and their families.

Change of any kind can be challenging for us, we like to feel we are in control of our present, and to an extent our future, but this pandemic has taken that control from all of us. If nothing else, it has made us realize how dependent we are on one another, on our leaders and our God.

We often hear the phrase “We are all in this together.” Even though there is implied support in those words, for some the enforced isolation and dependence on others causes disharmony, financial anxiety and loneliness. For others there are increased responsibilities, busyness and stress.

One suggestion is to nominate four goals to achieve each day: (1) Remain prayerful, (2) Keep to a routine – rise early and prepare for the day, (3) Get adequate exercise daily, and (4) Try to sleep well at night. We invite you to incorporate some of these suggestions into your own day.

Some of us now have “quiet time” like never before and it provides a chance to meditate, reflect and pray, inviting us to think deeply about our lives. For others, especially those in essential services and working families with school children at home, we have never been busier, nor
perhaps more stressed. If we can set aside even a short time for quiet prayer each day, God will
give us strength where we need it and show us ways to help ourselves and others.

Keeping a routine and daily exercise can certainly help lessen anxiety and assists sleep. We invite you to move outdoors in the sunshine even for a short time and notice in a new way the beauty of nature. Neighbourhood gardens, greetings and smiling faces of others passing by, children playing happily, birdlife to admire and enjoy, all uplifting experiences that can help us take a break from the worry of our lives.

We are indeed “All in this together” and we will come out of it together - wiser, calmer, more compassionate and grateful for the knowledge we have gained of ourselves and others.

The following free number may provide information and assistance for specific needs:

National Coronavirus Helpline – 1800 020 080.

If you are in need of extra pastoral support during this time, please contact the parish office.

In prayerful support for one another, especially those who are ill or suffering at this time,

On Behalf of the Parish Pastoral Council,

Tim Wunder

Anne Halloway