25 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 2007

Change

Change never sleeps
Waits for its day, but will not be delayed
It can be ignored but will never move away
Cosmetics hide its patience
But cannot silence its voice
An unending rhyme of endings and beginnings
To be embraced as a friend
To be feared as the terror of the night
Change never sleeps. [from Auckland Presbytery paper on change in the church]


Change is necessary if growth is to happen, but we still seem to cling to the idea that it is preferable to stop the world and have things stay the same. When we feel vulnerable, the thought of change scares us, we get anxious and the "what ifs" start pouring out. We can be paralysed by fear of what might happen and forget to live in the moment we have and to act as people who have a future. Sometimes we make foolish decisions which are based on fearful imaginations and our perceptions of other people and the world get twisted when the "what ifs" take over.

Jesus says to his disciples as they worried about what was happening. [Little did they know what was to come at the time!] "Can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life? If you then are not able to do so small a thing as that, then why do you worry about the rest? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these."

Change creeps up on us. It doesn't mean that the old things were not good when we move to embrace the new, just that the times have changed. There are new challenges to meet, and new adventures to have.

The other day I asked a group, where I was taking devotions, to find a symbol of change in how we give the gospel message.in a new time .. One elderly woman picked up her cell phone [yes I know it might fry your brain but they do work] and said "not long ago we all had phones fixed in our houses. We could talk but we had to be in that place. Now I have a phone I can walk outside with, it is still a phone, it still has the same messages given on it but with it I am free to be in the garden, to travel and still be connected."

The old phone works, but the new phone allows freedom of movement. In the same way we still have the same good news of Jesus to give as before, but when we let go of the old customs that held us, we are free to tell the story in different cultures, new places.. The same news but now we are free to hear and speak it in new places.

Change is part of growth, and we are told to trust God and live in that trust. "My times are in your hands", sings the psalmist, in times of deep despair, facing huge uncertainties.
Let us be able to open our hands and hearts and let go of what is no longer the best tool for the new journey in our won lives and that of the church and allow God's spirit to flow and refresh us with new life and love. May each of us be able to recognise what to leave behind and what to pack for the journey.

I guess if we are going to travel light, it is the faithful, hoping, love of the spirit of Christ that travels with us and is lasting. We can share it and it multiplies, and changes the world. Maybe when we follow Jesus we are being asked to be agents of change in this world and we ourselves will be changed.
May God be with us in the hard places and the joyful times as we journey this month


Rev. Margaret Anne Low

 


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