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 – 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
November 2005

Advent - Saving the Earth Saving its Peoples

Dear People of St Johns and St Philips Parish
On the last Sunday in November we begin the Season of Advent – the time of preparation leading up to Christmas – the waiting time. We also focus on the church world wide and faith in action through our agency, with the other New Zealand denominations, of Christian World Service and the Christmas gift appeal.
This is OUR work, enabling practical work, with local partner churches and agencies in other countries, targetting where it is needed and makes a difference. Each year we contribute financially through the CWS envelopes given out and by giving the offerings of our Christmas Eve service. Note, that apart from our significant contribution from our church ministry budget to serving our community through our own St John’s community centre activities, Christian world service [along with our mission boxes] and Presbyterian Support Northern [which has a Support day in July] are our main channels for contributing to work locally and overseas which we cannot personally carry out.

This year the CWS theme is “Save the Earth: Save its Peoples” and the two are inextricably entwined.
Our biblical tradition, and that of the Presbyterian church, is strong in understanding that we are called to be nurturers, not plunderers of the earth. The earth is God’s and we are the stewards of it. To care for one another we also need to ensure that all peoples have clean air, water, and earth to grow food. Christ leads us in the way which brings life to people. “I come that you may have life in all its fullness” he says. This doesn’t mean just being happy and self contained. Life in all its fullness has hope, peace, love and joy, not just for us but for those around us. The word translated in the bible as salvation [from the Greek,] can also be translated as wholeness or healing, the Hebrew shalom, peace, has the same wider understanding.

One story from a CWS partner, to which we have contributed is from South India.
“ for years, CWS partner Neythal has been working with traditional fishing communities in Tamil Nadu, helping them fight mangrove clearance, commercial shrimp farming, and beach beautification schemes that have caused environmental damage to the coast and the fisheries , which communities rely on for their food, incomes and general living. When the Boxing day Tsunami hit the South Indian State, it was the areas that had preserved the mangroves that had some natural protection from the force of the water. Around the world local people are often best placed to understand the delicate balance of their ecosystems and can see beyond the quick economic gain that costs poor communities and future generations dearly.”

We enter the Season of Advent through scripture that challenges us to think wider, through prophets who told us that God does care and will show us the way to life.
We still have massive needs in our community, but we are assured that we are gifted with love, without a limit, for it is God’s own love. We do have room to offer those who work for wholeness of the earth and its peoples in the name of Christ, our love and practical support of finance, prayer and being open to listening to the voices of the very poor. And we are promised that in doing this we too will find life which spills over into our community and our families.
Yes, we will be vulnerable, yes, we may have to give up something else, yes it does take our time, and yes we might be challenged in how we think - but wait…a moment……….. isn’t that beginning to sound like following this Jesus?

O God enlarge my heart,
that it may be big enough to receive the greatness of your love.
Stretch my heart
That it may take into it all those who with me around the world
believe in Jesus Christ.
Stretch it
That it may take into it all those who do not know him,
but who are my responsibility because I know him.
And stretch it
That it may take in all those who are not lovely in my eyes
and whose hands I do not want to touch
Through Jesus Christ my Saviour. Amen [A Prayer of an African Christian]
May God walk with us all in the coming weeks in our daily lives.


Rev. Margaret Anne Low

 


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