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
July 2004

July - Faithfulness

Dear Everybody

The airforce understood about commitment. I was listening to the stories of one of our senior retired elders this week. He was talking about his wartime experiences in the airforce. One task his group had was to package parachutes. This was a job which carried with it the responsibility for the life of the person using it. The commanding officer would come in at times, take a packed parachute off the shelf and tell one of the packers - go and jump. In the same way when they were servicing a plane for its big overhaul, a man from the team doing it would have to accompany the pilot on the test flight. This really is quality control!
Being faithful in packing correctly every single time was important, there was no room for mistakes, not even one little one because a person might die if you did it incorrectly.

The parable in Luke 16: 10 tells us that "whoever is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much and whoever is dishonest in little is also dishonest in much. and if you have not been faithful with what belongs to another who will give you what is our own?"

Sometimes we put aside the small things thinking it doesn't matter and nobody will really notice the difference. Faithfulness is about the way we do it, as well as what we do. Have you ever realised how many people serve God and us as the church community faithfully in the unobtrusive tasks they do and they keep on doing them, well, carefully and lovingly?. A vase of flowers on the table for the Bible Study group is not essential but every week it is there placed carefully by one person - it makes a difference. Those who turn up in plenty of time for duties and make sure it is done, it makes a difference. Those who ensure that the floor is clean, the flowers arranged and the music is ready for the Sunday service, all these are small things but we notice if they are not done and they make a difference. The work done by our Session and Board members, quietly and without fuss, giving their time and those who help in the community centre and op shop. All these things say we care - not about buildings and things, but that the people who use them are valued and they want it to be clean and welcoming as we would do it for ourselves..
Faithful in little things - our prayers for our neighbours, trimming stamps for leprosy mission, the way we use our time and talents, the extra care taken to do something well.
There is an integrity in faithfulness, those who are faithful are faithful in everything they do and others notice. If we are not faithful the parable says then we are serving another master
One elderly friend of ours as a young minister had showed much promise. He served as a chaplain during the second world war and returned in a state of breakdown. He was convinced he was unworthy, he left the ministry and eventually was able to pick up his life with his family and got a job in a retail paint shop. He worked there for many years and then retired. He was a humble man but one day he told me of his surprise, when just before he retired one of the staff thanked him for leading him to follow Jesus. He was amazed as he had never spoken of religion all those years. When he asked the man how this had happened he said he had watched him over the years. He observed how he had listened to other staff and helped them with their troubles, he had never taken a shortcut in his work, he always gave the feeling to others that they were valued. This man said I knew you followed Jesus by the way you loved us. It turned out that quite unknown to him he had had a tremendous effect on those he worked with. He had not followed programmes or the latest ways of reaching ones work mates for Jesus - he had just been faithful. His ministry had been fulfilled in that place through his faithfulness.
Let us give thanks for those who have been faithful in our lives and who have shared their faith in Jesus with us even maybe when they have not known it. May we at St Johns and St Philips be a community which is faithful in following Christ in all we do.


Rev. Margaret Anne Low

 


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