22 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
September 2007

Travelling

Dear Everybody

Travelling is always an interesting time. If travel is by plane. all ones daily needs are put into a bag [or bags depending on your ability to sort]. There is a need to sort out what is essential and what is extra. Anything that can be smeared, sprayed or poured is placed in checked luggage and we place ourselves in the hands of unknown people who have designed and maintained the plane, checked the fuel direct its flight path, prepare the food and travel with strangers whom we hope, have the wish to arrive alive at the destination. I always assume that the crew and the pilots share that desire also. I also assume that the companies who run airlines also recognise that it is simply not profitable to lose planes or passengers enroute.

Trust is a large part of this process. Yet amazingly large numbers of people, some of whom will not trust their neighbour at home, are happy to go through the process of discovering their clothing has hidden metal and stripping off belts and shoes in front of sympathetic queues, squeezing into a seat designed for a mythical minimum person for maximum seating and sit without complaint for ridiculous length of time in order to get to a destination.

In a small plane its even more obvious. We travelled in a Piper Chieftain over Cape York Peninsula. Dawn was breaking as a small group of people gathered. The start was not good, obviously something was bothering the pilot. A pilot's worried face is not a good look for travellers who are putting their lives in his hands. We had to be weighed, and the fuel calculated so we didn't end up somewhere in the vast snake infested forests of Cape York - if you want remote this is it!

We flew low over the reefs and atolls of the Great Barrier Reef, the pilot pointing out the shapes where previous flights had failed. World War 2 has left many wrecks on the beaches and in the forest but also more recent disasters involving flights like ours. We were told we were going to land at Lockhart River, an old WW2 airfield. Our stop apparently could be for two hours or 15 minutes depending whether there was anyone around to refuel for us. I watched as the fuel gauge moved towards to red line.
Travel always brings surprises. We landed at a large tarmac runway, where one small petrol tank and a small cluster of huts stood waiting. Noone was around. The main access would have been by sea and plane and I think there would have been a few hundred kilometres of tough 4 wheel drive track [impassable in winter] if one really wanted to come overland.
Here, in this remote place there was a memorial, to the Americans who had lived and died, far from home, in this hot, tropical forest . From here planes had taken off to join in battles in the Solomons and Papua New Guinea and it was clear that many had not returned. Away from the noise of the plane. the strangers travelling together were able to talk, to share how they reacted, to tell stories and find where our lives interacted, we acknowledged the direct impact those who had been at war here had on our lives. The refueller appeared and we went on our way.
Travel changes perceptions. The jungles below, over which we flew, and dipped and turned, now had a fragile human history within it. Very small indigenous communities, and old airfields carved out of the forest and reclaimed back into its depths could be seen
We arrived at Bamaga.
Travel brings to light places and things we simply did not know about. The enormous airfield, built for the big bombers seemed superfluous for just us. Bamaga had been the centre of life for thousands in the final stages of the Pacific War. Men and women had lived and died, ordinary people had found depths of courage and prayed and lived though hell in this place.
Travel gives perspective. The unused end of the huge length of tarmac, the plane wrecks and the signs of occupation were disappearing fast under new growth, and down the road the future moved on and the Australian army had built a new township for the local indigenous people and a Torres Islander community flourished.

We left our walking shoes in the four wheel drive in Bamaga. No doubt they are going walkabout with someone who needs them. And we returned on the journey, refuelling on the way and trusting that the pilots wanted, like those young men of 1943, to return home.

Our faith journey walks side by side, interwoven with our physical and mental journeys. Living requires trust, and we are made to journey, to discover and to enter into new perspectives. It is not by accident that the Bible talks in terms of travelling with God. For when we journey with God we are then also equipped to journey with others. As a congregation we are called to travel together, to trust that God will bring us safely home. We are not left to travel alone, for Jesus is the pilot who travels with us, through life, through death and through life beyond death.


Rev. Margaret Anne Low

 


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