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
December 2013

Christmas in the Graveyard

The big pohutukawa is flowering right now at the back of the cemetery, whole flowers are being blown onto the path in the big winds we are having at present. It is a sign that Christmas is near. Our NZ Christmas tree with deep red flowers, deeper than usual this year and a little earlier too.

It reminds me of the stories of that Christmas when Samuel Marsden preached the first New Zealand Christmas sermon, probably in Maori, but clarified and expanded by the local chief Ruatara. Ruatara was keen for his people to hear the gospel. Pohutukawa trees in flower grew all around that valley and it wasthen they were called the New Zealand Christmas Tree.

As I walk along the path toward the church I look over to where, under one of the camellia bushes in the graveyard, there is an inconspicuous plaque marking the ashes of Willow Macky [Katherine Faith Macky] poet and folk singer.[1921 – 2006]. Willow was a great grand niece of our first minister, Rev John Macky.

At Christmas each year in this church, we are using her words when we sing “Not on a snowy night.”

The Sounz NZ website describes her - “Willow Macky is one of New Zealand’s great, but largely unheralded composer of New Zealand songs. It would be unusual to have attended an end of year school assembly in New Zealand in the last 40 years and not have sung her work Te Harinui – A New Zealand Carol. Of her prodigious output of over 113 songs and 92 lyrics, Willow wrote mostly folk songs, even a folk opera called The Maori Flute. She also wrote over 300 poems.”

Willow enshrined in song the history of the first Christian service on Christmas Day 1814 at Oihi in the Bay of Islands. How many of us would remember the details if we had not sung this carol at school and church over the years? She did this at a time when all our Christmas cards had snow and northern hemisphere images of Christmas. Te Haranui – Glad tidings of great joy............

Not on a snowy night
By star or candlelight
Nor by an angel band
There came to our dear land
Te Harinui , Te Harinui, Te Hari-nu-i,
Glad tidings of great joy

But on a summer day
Within a quiet bay
The Maori people heard
The great and glorious word
Te Harinui, Te Harinui, Te Hari-nu-i,
Glad tidings of great joy

The people gathered round
Upon the grassy ground
And heard the preacher say
I bring to you this day
Te Harinui, Te Harinui, Te Hari-nu-i,
Glad tidings of great joy


The joy of Christmas lies in those “glad tidings”, good news of the Child who came to show us God's love and give the world God’s peace.

Christmas blessings


Rev. Margaret Anne Low

 


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