2nd Sunday of Easter

(4th week of lockdown COVID -19)

Dear Parishioners

Acts 2:42-47, Psalm 118, 1 Peter 1:3-9, John 20:19-31

On this Sunday after Easter make time to read today’s Gospel, JOHN 20:19-31. Think of the disciples locked in the upper room together. I think of them grieving and fearful.  Perhaps they argued, questioned and doubted. I picture Mary with them, encouraging them to tell their stories and share their memories of Jesus.

The thing is that the Risen Jesus didn’t say “Come on outside and I will give you peace.” The Risen Jesus is with them all in the locked in the upper room. This is where he is present with all their grief, questions, doubts, fears, dreams and memories.

Strangely, none of the Resurrection accounts speak of “life after death.” Instead, here is the Risen Jesus within the present world. Like the disciples in today’s Gospel, we will meet the Risen Jesus in our present reality.

As you begin your prayer, take time to re-read today’s Gospel, JOHN 20:19-31. Become aware of your present reality- your experience of lockdown in your bubble. Perhaps you are going out as an essential worker or being the shopper for your bubble.  What is this like for you?

Become aware of the reality of our world at this time- all its sorrow and suffering, kindness and hope… your family and friends who may live in other places.

Become aware of the place you are living in now.  Who or what things around you bring comfort or peace or stir up hope? Welcome the Risen Jesus into your reality. Welcome this renewed life of intimacy and companionship. Let the Risen Jesus be with you as you are today with your feelings, needs and desires.

Listen for what he might invite you to as you try to live this new reality of the Risen Jesus in your everyday life. How might it change the way you understand and live your life?

Like the early disciples, you will live your life in this forever changed world, meeting the Risen Jesus there within it.

Entrust the Earth and all people to the Risen Jesus.

End by noticing your breathing. Give thanks for the gift of this time of prayer.

-Anne Powell, Cenacle Sisters - 19 April 2020

Poems for Week 3 COVID-19 by Anne Powell 15/04/2020

Soul space

Your soul is a space
for great flocks of kotuku
to rise up

or a forest
of quiet rimu
attentive to wind

or water
transparent, quick
in a Tongariro stream.


Plant the wisdom tree close to water.
White birds will dance
wing to bright wing
transforming your ruin into joy.


The small boat

There is a small boat
out on the sea
that separates and unites us.

The sea has its own song
called by rhythm of moon
above our earth.

There is a small boat
far from land.
Its sails are open to the unseen wind of the Spirit.
We surrender to the wind.

There is a small boat
out on the sea
beyond maps
and there is bravery.


Crown of stars

The winter Te Arikinui Te Atarangikaahu died
Girlie couldn’t do the tangi.
Terrible asthma.
She rings Tumu.
“Are you going to Ngaruawahia?”

“Ae. Ae.”

“If you are there, then I am there too.”

Girlie puts down the phone
in the certainty of communion            
and takes up the small tasks of everyday life.

She picks lemons
listens to homework
makes tea for Jack
and stands on her back steps seeking
a new crown of stars
on the dark head of sky.



Old woman of Palestine
tends her onions and mint
the slow bend of heard
reverences earth she doesn’t own
hears the moan of wind
in the olive grove.

Old woman of Palestine bends
to be invisible
to the horizon’s glare
bends to bury her voice
beneath the olive tree
believes in new shoots.


Dream rising

Souls awaken.
And oh!
their sounds grow round and round
in thin alleys
where smells of tamarind and cinnamon and almonds
seep into my clothes.
Till in my dreams - it seems
I am woman of Jerusalem.

By Damascus Gate
an old Arab
hawks eggs and breads
from a box on a bicycle
his face ravined
with loss of land.
Tilll in my dreams it seems
I am a place to stand.

The tomb guard
a man upright and grand
as a piano.
His ivory hands
hurry people along.
Till in my dreams it seems
I am a song
bright in the breast of a lark



A warm wind is worrying the curtains
rattling flax
blowing grace
all over the place.

falling from sky
healing earth
lapping on shore
glowing in eyes
dawning Christ.