21 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
June 2004

Getting 150 years in perspective -

My apologies for not being able to reproduce the photos of the Nagasaki sites as our present technology will not allow this

As we approach the celebrations of 150 years in this parish - a long time by New Zealand standards - there is a lot of remembering going on. Mainly about people who were part of the life of the parish and those who still are here. Those who taught and played music and were in the sports clubs and youth groups. The reunion is a people time and it includes everyone who is part of this parish including the newest visitor to walk through the door. A time to get together which may not come again for some.

150 years ago people who had travelled from far lands met and found their God in the new situation in Papatoitoi. .But we need to be aware that for those 150 years there has been no opposition to being able to worship and to ask others to join our journey following Christ. Maybe that is something we take for granted, for it has never been any other way for this parish. Maybe it is something we take so much for granted that we just expect the church to be there in its present form always and are shocked by changes which differ from our memories.

Our 150 years of worship got brought into sharp perspective when we visited the Martyrs memorial in the heart of Nagasaki during my leave last month. The relief of 26 crucified for being witnesses to Christ are on outside wall and the window inside remembers all those who were killed or persecuted for being Christian especially after Christianity was banned in Japan in 1614. For 250 years these Christians met in secret and passed the faith onto their families. 250 years meeting with fear of being discovered and being killed. That?s one hundred more years than this parish has been around. No one knew about them until a church was permitted to be built in the 1880?s for foreign residents. One day a group of Japanese arrived announcing they were Christian and could they join with that church? A brave move - for the practice of the faith was still forbidden. Their remembering over 250 years was lists of those who were witnesses for Christ and stories of how they had managed to keep their faith alive.. These people of faith faced the atomic bomb disaster and gave strength to that city to seek peace not revenge.

I wonder whether our descendants in the faith will be still worshipping and following Christ after 250 years? We can give thanks for the peace and freedom to worship this parish has been given over the last 150 years and pray that we value and use that freedom well - we do not know how long it will last. We can pray that our comfort has not made us forget the cost which others have paid for following Christ. We can realise that the first 150 years are only the beginning and we can trust God to ensure that Christ is in the midst of the people of this area whether in secret or in ways we may not recognise

May the joy and peace of God be yours


Rev. Margaret Anne Low

 


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