• Service times

    Services times are:

    Saturday night 7:30 pm for our Chinese/English service. (Pastor Daniel Choi.)

    Sunday 10 am for our English language service (Senior Pastor Jeff Whittaker).

    Sunday 11:30 am for our Chinese (Mandarin) language service. (Pastor Daniel Choi.)

  • Contact details…

    Physical and postal address:
    4 Inverary Avenue,
    Epsom,
    Auckland 1023,
    NEW ZEALAND.

    Email:
    epsombaptist@clear.net.nz

    Telephone:
    (0064 9) 6306010

    Contacts:
    Rev. Jeff Whittaker
    Pastor Daniel Choi

  • Church Officers…

    Church Treasurer: Ann Guan

    Church Secretary: Margaret Whittaker

    Church Deacons: Anne Bartley, Ian de Stigter, Kristy Choi, Willa Hui, Donglan Zhang and Alfred Zhou.

Shrove Tuesday…

Last Tuesday, that is a week ago, was Shrove Tuesday. The word ‘shrove’ is the past participle of the verb ‘to shrive,’ meaning ‘to forgive.’ Traditionally, on Shrove Tuesday one went to confession, and had one’s sins ‘shriven’ before the season of Lent began the following day (Ash Wednesday). Shrove Tuesday is also known as Pancake Tuesday, from the (Northern Hemisphere) custom of celebrating with pancakes before fasting began with Lent. (At times, the fasting was more than optional as food supplies ran out in late Winter, and one had to wait for Spring for food to come back into availability.) The custom of celebrating with feasting on Shrove Tuesday has given us the words Mardi Gras (literally Fat Tuesday) and Carnival (from Latin words meaning ‘to leave behind meat’). This all  paints the picture of preparing for a season of scarce food – thus fasting – through both spiritual preparation (confession with absolution) and a last celebration with feasting.

Now, we celebrate Mardi Gras and carnivals. But the going without of Lent has largely been abandoned. I believe that the result of this separation of old traditions is that the celebration of Shrove Tuesday has lost its moorings, and inevitably has moved into Bacchanalian excess because there is nothing to check it or hold it back. With no season of self-denial, we take for granted our right to festivity and indulgence which, paradoxically, increasingly fails to satisfy. All the major religions know that seasons of self-denial cultivate appreciation for the appropriate indulgence in the good things in life. So, come back to the discipline of Lent. See how much more satisfying life can be when life’s blessings are really appreciated after a season of denying them to oneself.

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