22 November 2017



2016
> The Hope of Christmas
> COMPASSION BREAKS DOWN BARRIERS

2015
> Northern Presbytery Moderator Christmas letter
> ANZAC DAWN REFLECTION
> Freedom of Speech or License to Stereotype?

2014
> Advent Hope and Interns
> 200 Years of New Zealand Christmas
> Prayer of the General Assembly 2014
> The Legal High Trade
> REFLECTION ON A JOURNEY
> Giving up for Lent - A Challenge from our Children

2013
> Christmas in the Graveyard
> FAREWELLS
> Mrs Hunters' Tea Party [Hunters Corner named ]
> PERSPECTIVE
> RISKS - HELP US GROW IN FAITH
> EMBRACING DIFFERENCE
> DOING OUR WORK
> 150years Ė We are part of this community

2012
> The Gift of Many People - Seven Years On.
> The Golden Rule - Donít Do or Do?
> WATER, WIND and FIRE
> COUNCIL FOR WORLD MISSION at ST JOHNS
> Signs of Spring
> YOUNG, MESSED UP AND ON THE GAME
> REAL WORLD - AND THE HUNGER GAMES
> The Journey to the Cross - An Easter meditation
> Can Jesus Heal Cancer
> CHRISTIAN HERITAGE in PAPATOETOE

2011
> LIGHT ON THE HILL
> LOOKING FORWARD
> GOOD WORDS
> ALCOPOPS and EXCESS DRINKING
> COMPASSION in ACTION
> Christchurch Reports
> Shattered Illusions, Faithful journeys.
> EARTHQUAKE
> The Windows, Images of Faith - Opening Day

2010
> THE CITY CAN NEVER BE THE SAME
> "The Hope that Comes from Faith"
> SPARKING SPARKIES
> ADVERTISING A NON-GOD!

2009
> PRAYING FOR THE COMMUNITY
> DATES THAT COULD DESTROY
> MERCY, JUSTICE AND LIVING IN GOD'S WORLD
> Warmth in the Frost
> GENEROUS GIVING
> Hunter's Corner - A Dilemma of Publiic Space.
> Easter customs to tell the Story
> Our Mother Tongue God is too Small
> Tragedy at Fox Glacier

2008
> THE BIRTH STORIES OF JESUS
> CONNECTING WITH - FAMILIES IN OUR NEIGHBOURHOOD
> WELL If you want it Quiet ......
> Finding Pearls
> Of Winter fuel and things
> Disaster and Relief Work
> Prayer on hearing the News
> Conflict of Interest
> Practical Christian in the community.
> Who are these Christians?

2007
> We still keep singing the Christmas carols
> Getting our pirorities
> Travelling
> Spring flowers shout that life is not dead.!
> Focusing on the task
> Change
> Real Families
> Water - Source of conflict
> Prayer

2006
> Violence and Children
> Faith and Reason
> PEACETIME AND HOPE
> Playdough and PC
> Violence to Children
> Climbing Everest
> Celebrating the Good things
> THE GNOSTIC GOSPEL OF JUDAS
> Focusing on the Essential
> Living with other Faiths
> SuperVolcanoes and other worrying things

2005
> Advent - Saving the Earth Saving its Peoples
> Halloween - The time of the Saints
> Responding to Terror
> Time of Winter
> Noah - a Story of Conservation
> Off the Tracks
> Moving On and Looking Back
> Tsunami Prayers

2004
> Upside Down Christmas
> From Assembly - Dean Drayton address
> In the Community
> Weaving together the threads
> 150 years of History revisited
> July - Faithfulness
> Getting 150 years in perspective -
> Passion -The Film
> Letter From Niue

2003
> Christmas hope
> Maintenance and Mission
> Annual reports June 2002- June 2003
> Who will come to the Party?
> Time to Change
> Unity is Strength
> Prostitution Laws
> Gone Fishing


Minister's Minutes
July 2003

Prostitution Laws

A few years ago when I was chaplain for the Association of Presbyterian Women's national executive I was given the task of being the liaison person ECPAT. [Ending of Child Prostitution in Asian Tourism]. I dutifully read the literature and went to some meetings and became aware of the trade in children [boys and girls] in countries where poverty forced families to sell their children into this trade.

The children were in great demand - some as young as five and six [it was rumoured that you could not catch AIDS from a child. [WRONG - the statistics told us that most had the HIV virus very quickly] as well as providing paedophiles with easy access, denied in their own countries, to young children. As many of the customers came from Western countries, we were asked to make our government aware of the problem and get legislation passed so that anyone who had taken part in this activity in another country could be prosecuted in New Zealand [and Australia]. The old laws to do with slavery gave precedence for being able to do this and it was successfully argued in international courts that this was slavery. A child is defined as being under the age of 18 years. Although a lot of successful prosecutions were not expected to take place, the threat of prosecution at home would act as a deterrent for those travelling.

I suppose many of the women of the APW thought this didn't really affect them until it was found that sports teams travelling in Asian countries, or on a stopover in say Bangkok were taking in the child prostitution scene as part of the expected activities. When mothers in Gore and Invercargill, Kaitaia and Katikati found out what their sons were doing on these trips [and its very hard to draw out of a group activity] the APW along with other organisations rallied to lobby their members of parliament to pass the necessary legislation - which was done.

So now I reflect, that the new law about adult prostitution in New Zealand was passed apparently to protect those in the industry. Unfortunately, I doubt that it will give protection to those who linger outside St Johns Church after 11.00 at night sniffing glue before they pick up another customer, or those in the small [under four people] brothels in the streets of Papatoetoe round the corner from the manse. It does protect those in big business and they will become arrogant and aggressive in their search for business, but the 85%[?] of the prostitutes who have drug convictions will not be able to run their own place. It will give the illusion of easy money to our school leavers who search so hard for work - and who can prevent a legal business operating to attract workers? And will we accept money from the local brothel for our community activities?

Jesus says , I come to bring life, life in all its abundance "

We are challenged to teach our young people about the life and living and loving Jesus brings so they will not be fooled by easy money and the illusion of glamour. Parents and grand parents need to ask about the itineraries of travelling sports teams and give their children the power to say NO when they are uncomfortable about what others might urge them to do.

We as a church community, need to remember that people come to us because of the life we offer in Christ in our lives and loving.
May God use us to bring life and not destruction to our community.


Rev. Margaret Anne Low

 


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