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 – 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
July 2005

Time of Winter

Dear People of St Johns

There are spring flowers in my garden, right on the shortest day their perfume drifts across the path, when the wind isn’t howling in from the west. “Its winter” says everyone. Well, its OUR version of winter. I have just come from winter in Hokkaido. It was Green day, a national holiday and the trees, apart from a few firs, were bare and the only green was where some cabbage like plants were trying hard to push their way up through the snowdrifts. But the people of Sapporo were out rejoicing - it was spring! [which might say a lot about the severity of their winter] I saw winter, they saw spring. But after a while, I too, noticed the cherry blossoms, starting to burst out on the trees. Maybe when the winter is hard the signs of spring are more precious. Now I see, at least for the present, through those Northern people’s eyes, and our winter looks different. Have you noticed there are flowers and citrus on the trees, colour and green and even warmth in the sun some days, right here where we are. My reference point for what is winter has changed from seeing a wider picture.
When we read the Bible stories we find that Jesus gives us a new perspective, removing the walls and barriers that we build between us and revealing a world where love has the final say and even the boundary of death changes to the beginning of a new journey. He takes us on a path where life comes from death and the last are first and the first are last, those thrown out are gathered in and love and laughter warms hearts as God’s love is shared. This journey changes us, it changes how we see other people and ourselves. We find there is more than we could formerly imagine and the fences we had assumed were fixed are simply not there..
So embrace the winter as part of our living, it does not go on forever and has its own gifts to give. It is a time when the earth rests and waits. Already hidden in the earth, seeds and bulbs are stirring. New life is preparing to burst out in the blossoms of spring..
The winters of grief and loss are part of our living, they are painful and leave us exposed, but there is a promise that surely spring will come and with it new life. Take time to stop and look, see the signs of hope around you, the perfume of a gentle gift, a gracious deed, signs of God’s own loving in our midst.
I leave you with a Celtic prayer .
Do not hurry
as you walk with grief;
it does not help the journey.

Walk slowly,
Pausing often:
do not hurry as you walk with grief.
Be not disturbed by memories that come unbidden.
Swiftly forgive;
and let Christ speak for you
unspoken words unfinished conversation
will be resolved in him.
Be not disturbed.
Be gentle with the one who walks with grief.
If it is you ,
be gentle with yourself.
Swiftly forgive;
walk slowly, pausing often.

Take time, be gentle
as you walk with grief.
May the gentle love of God, shown to us in Jesus be yours and warm you when the days are cold, and may you be as light for others when the nights are long.


Rev. Margaret Anne Low

 


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