25 September 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
August 2003

Unity is Strength

Remember God did not give us a Spirit of timidity but a Spirit of power and love and self control. [2 Timothy 1:7]
One author has said the greatest threat to the church is smallness of vision or no vision. Our readings this month challenge us as people and as a church to a bigger vision.
In John 6 we have the story of feeding the five thousand plus hungry people in the wilderness.
Jesus puts a question to Philip: "Where can we buy bread to feed all these extra guests?" He wants to see how far he could stretch Philip?s thinking. Philip replies, "Even if there was a bakery out here, you?d need to take out a mortgage to pay for a slice each!" Simon Peter?s brother Andrew, speaks up: "There is a lad over here with five bread rolls and a couple of fish. It?s a drop in the ocean for this mob, though." © Nettleton
Jesus challenged the disciples to look beyond what they didn?t have, to see what they did have and to dare offer that to be blessed and given away.

The writer of Ephesians is saying a similar thing in 3: 14-21: There is One who is at work within us who can accomplish far more than we can ever imagine, beyond our wildest dreaming .
Why can?t we imagine all that God can do through us? Why would we never think to ask for such power? Maybe because we focus on holding on to what we already have, not letting go to allow change because we fear we might lose everything. We make problems of the past when God calls us into the present. And we are underwhelmed by God?s strength to see us through, and are afraid to use the gifts God has already given us.

Ephesians has a song of praise to the God who strengthens and empowers us. It is a power that can bring change into our lives and relationships and change into our community and nation. Its the power to look at the big vision of where we are asked to serve our community in Christ and know it is possible.

Even the little we have is plenty when we are strengthened by the grace and love of God. All congregations have weaknesses and threats to their existence. There is also the strength we have which we can overlook. A rope has greater strength than the combined individual strength of the strands that make it up. Why? The answer is quite simple. Individual strands have weak spots along them where they easily break. But in a rope, the weak spots are randomly distributed along the length of the rope and the twist in the rope allows the strands to cancel out the weak spots of the individual fibres.

It?s the same with people. We all have strengths and weaknesses. On our own, our weaknesses can break us, but bound together in Christ we work to achieve strength for all. Our unity as a parish is a strength which is ours to claim.
It is time to start dreaming what has previously been unthinkable and unimaginable ? realising that these are the very visions for which Christ will strengthen us. If we have not experienced that strength, maybe it?s because we have forgotten to seek those visions!
Let us dare to look towards Flatbush and ask what we need to do now so there is a future . Let us work together in new ways in the coming months and see what God will do among us in Papatoetoe. If we do not try we will never know.
May God bless you as we work in hope.



Rev. Margaret Anne Low

 


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