25 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 – We are part of this community

2012
> The Gift of Many People - Seven Years On.
> The Golden Rule - Don’t 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
June 2013

RISKS - HELP US GROW IN FAITH

The other day I heard about a family from Mexico City who have come to live in Auckland while they are studying here.

Quite apart from the fact they are finding it very cold here and learning about such unknown comforts as electric blankets and heaters the real difference they are finding in is the way we live. They went to the local beach with NZ friends. As dusk approached and the children were still racing round and the parents seemed to be unconcerned about darkness falling, they were quite agitated. “ Was it safe? Is it safe to let the children run around? Shouldn’t we get home quickly because darkness is falling?”

They come from a city where murders happen daily , where the fighting between factions and drug cartels and gangs is so common the ordinary citizen does not go out after dark. Nor do parents let their children walk along the road in front of them in case they are snatched and kidnapped or worse.

Fear had become so much part of their daily life that their children have not known what it is like to have a barbeque on an Auckland beach as darkness falls, the fire flickers, and stars shine clearly in an enormous sky.

Those with them realised that what they take as a right — our freedom of movement and personal safety — [despite the efforts of the media to portray a fearful and unsafe world around us] — is in fact precious and not to be taken for granted.

Of course we have to be careful and be aware of dangers and even people who seek to harm us - but do we really realise how different life is when people are constrained by fear for their lives when going about their everyday work?
Places where the police force cannot be relied on to help but are made ineffective and even dangerous by corruption and the government of a country is not able to protect those who are vulnerable and weak?
Much of our time is spent on worrying about material things but freedom and trust of ones neighbour and the ability to walk in the streets are necessities of life like breathing and loving. Children need to be able to run and take risks, protected from dangers they cannot know about but free to try things out.

The old rope swing, hung from a springy Pohutukawa tree branch over the water. There was plenty of water at high tide and low. It was scary clinging to it, but gradually each time we got more confident and swung out and let go to fall in the water. Cautious kids like me looked at the branch to see if it was strong and at the rope to check it wasn’t fraying, but others just did it. Risky? Probably! But there were no casualties that I was aware of apart from a broken arm where a friend tripped over walking up the road.

Parents gave warnings, probably checked the tree out when we didn’t know it, and enjoyed the peace while we played. We didn’t exactly always tell them what we were doing. Tearing down steep dry grass slopes on the fallen nikau leaves—it felt scary and dangerous but we got faster and faster.
The little children were kept out of harm’s way by the older ones — and maybe on those summer days we learnt more about life and pushing the edges than we knew at the time. Those children of my childhood are now scattered round the world as are our own children, making a difference in many places.

As I thought about the Mexican family and about our freedom to experiment and make mistakes in a safer environment, it seems that faith is another word for risk taking. When we find we can trust enough to grasp the rope and swing out over the water, that is great, but then we find we can also trust to let go of the rope, and we fly free to dive and swim and play, We don’t know until we do it how much more we can do and trust and risk. The first steps lead to the next. Just when we think we’ve got it sorted we are pulled further and tested more, but always, always, we find that we are given the things we need to deal with the next challenge.

The Mexican family needed the encouragement of those who knew it was OK to stay that evening on the beach. We need the encouragement and love of one another as a church, to get more confident and not be afraid to trust in the God who calls us to come and follow.

Jesus was clear when speaking to his disciples that if they followed him they would not know what would happen, they might be hurt they may be scared. Sounds risky? Sounds like faith!.

He said when we let go and trust, he will be there and that where he is, God is, and there is love and life which is lasting.
A bit like grasping that rope and swinging high far above the clear water and letting go. Flying, falling swimming and doing it all again we don’t find out until we trust.

Isaiah 40:41
but those who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength,
    they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary,    they shall walk and not faint.

Blessings


Rev. Margaret Anne Low

 


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