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
August 2005

Responding to Terror

Dear People of St Johns
After the London bombings it is easy for any politicians to stir up suspicion about possible “enemies in our midst” . This is a phrase which raises fear and causes separation and finally hatred building up between peoples. As we approach elections in New Zealand we need to be aware that one cheap electioneering strategy is to raise fear in people then show the solution is to vote for that politician or party.
In the parable of the wheat and the weeds [Matthew 13:24- 30,36- 43] which we looked at recently, we find uprooting evii in our midst is a perilous business. As the landowner in the story points out, it is very easy to find you have destroyed not only the evil, but the good as well. Muslim communities in New Zealand have already reacted with anxiety that in the rush to uproot dangerous fundamentalism perfectly innocent Muslims will be targets for hate crimes. And in this way far more damage is done than the original acts of terror as suspicion increases between communities.

What is a Christian response? One of our basic tasks in our own communities is to be peacemakers [the real costly stuff not just smoothing things over] and to make it possible for barriers between peoples to be broken down.
One underreported but significant immediate response to the London bombings was for the Archbishop of Canterbury to gather religious leaders of all faiths together including Muslim and Jews.
Senior religious leaders joined the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, at Lambeth Palace, to issue a joint statement following the terrorist attacks in London.
This was in the context of the commemoration of 60th anniversary of the end of World War 2.
The leaders were the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, the Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, the Free Churches Moderator, Revd David Coffey, the Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth, Sir Jonathan Sacks, and the Chair of the Council of Mosques & Imams, Sheikh Dr Zaki Badawi.

The full statement is below. They expressed the hope that other faith leaders and communities would feel free to associate themselves with the joint statement.
“As religious leaders from several different faiths we came together this morning to pay tribute to the courage, commitment and sacrifice by which the evil of Nazism was resisted and ultimately overcome sixty years ago.

We stand together now for a further purpose: to express our shared commitment to resisting and overcoming the evil of terrorism, which the events of recent days here in London have brought home to us afresh and with such devastating clarity. It is an evil that cannot be justified and that we utterly condemn and reject.

Our hearts go out to those who grieve, those who mourn, and those who wait. We pray for them and with them. We remember the dead, the injured and the missing, as well as all those working to save life and restore health.

We want to signal the common ground on which we stand as faith leaders, and to reaffirm the values we uphold at this time of sorrow and pain. It is vital, when many will be feeling anger, bewilderment and loss, to strengthen those things we hold in common and to resist all that seeks to drive us apart. Central to what we share as people of faith is a belief in God's compassionate love for us. It is a love that compels us to cherish not to disfigure our common humanity.

We commend and embrace the continuing efforts to build a Britain in which different communities—including faith communities—can flourish side by side on the basis of mutual respect and understanding. We pledge ourselves to remain true to this goal in word and deed and to work together to make of it an enduring reality. As we do so, we draw hope and comfort from the certainty that in seeking to overcome our own brokenness we will be working with the pattern of God's design for all his children and for the whole human family.”


This is not a watering down of the Christian faith as so many seem to fear when we engage with those of other faiths, but a working out of God’s purposes for God’s world. When you are in the supermarket, or down the street and casual remarks about other faith groups are made or cheap political points are being scored at the expense of any one group of people. Stop! think, before you go along with it and question whether that is really true? In the parable the “enemy” didn’t need to do anything, it would have been the landowner who would have done all the damage to his own crop.
Those religious leaders invited any who could to associate themselves with their statement – Maybe this is something that we can think about as we go about our business here in Papatoetoe.
May God Bless and keep us in God’s love.


Rev. Margaret Anne Low

 


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