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
March 2008

Practical Christian in the community.

The other day I was invited to a half hour prayer meeting in Clover Park, on behalf of St Johns and St Philips and also in my role as a Board member of Presbyterian Support Northern. The meeting was a response to the events which have occurred in the area. Nine local church leaders turned up. The interesting feature was that this disparate group all shared one common feature, they were actively engaged on the ground in Manukau City.

We, as a congregation support Presbyterian Support FamilyWorks through our giving and our practical gifts of food and items which they indicate they need. Recently, when dropping off the food parcels to the Manurewa branch of Family works [used to be called James Family] one of the social workers told me about a young girl, expecting the birth of a child, who had no one to support her and absolutely nothing for the child. From St Johns' response to the request, I was able to take to them a complete, mainly new and little used, complete wardrobe of clothes for a newborn to three months old, with a bassinet, bath and other necessary items for a baby. The social worker's delight and almost tears of joy, on being able to give such a practical and beautiful gift were moving and I wished the givers could see the way their gifts were received. Family works also has SWIS [social workers in schools] workers in a number of local schools from Clendon to Papatoetoe. Funding comes for the government, but this is minimal and our donations to Presbyterian Support are necessary for much of the preventative and intervention work they are doing. One of my main objectives when I became a Board member, seven years ago, was to help bring about a closer relationship between Presbyterian Support and the Presbyterian church. Social action and community initiatives by churches can easily gain a life of their own and they can forget the source of their reason for being and become just a government social agency. The Board are very definite that Presbyterian Support is a Christian body, carrying out the work they do following Jesus' example. They are our social agency and we need to realise that many people, when they see PSN at work, assume that this is the Presbyterian church in action.
The gift I took the other day and the food parcels we send are doing more than just helping Family works meet the needs of children and families. A group of people who work for Support are gradually realising that they have a connection to a specitic congregation in Papatoetoe who care about their work.
There is of course also the service to enable elderly people to have the choice of staying in their own homes if they wish - Enliven -and it is consolidating after PSN ran pilot programmes for the Government and District Health Boards. A new service for those younger people with disabilities is underway and developing also.
Along with the work in our community centre, which is gearing up for courses as the year begins, we continue to be a church where not only do the members reach out in their own work and spheres of influence to be the "salt of the earth" but also one where as a community we show we care about others in our local area.

I had travelled to attend the Clover Park meeting from the pools at Parakai where Angela had ably organised a fun afternoon for our lively and energetic young people and their families, and I reflected that how great it would be if the children who are at present growing up in our area with no sense of beauty, no feeling for what is good or bad, and no knowledge of God's love in Christ knowledge and parents who struggle, who have lost faith and given up hope, often turning to methods which dull out the world and other people, could experience the love and care which is so deeply present in our church.
Let us not take for granted or undervalue what God gives us as a community and let us remember that we are called to share that goodness and joy with others.

let us go into our work and into our relationships
Stimulated by hope, strengthened by faith, directed by love, to play our part in the liberation of all people in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen

[a prayer from the United Congregational church of South Africa]


Rev. Margaret Anne Low

 


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