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 – 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
December 2011

LIGHT ON THE HILL

When we are familiar with a place we often don't notice what others see. Have you noticed that around Papatoetoe when you stop and look up often it is the St John's bell tower with the cross at the top which you can see on the horizon?. Despite the signs that crowd around the building close up, if you are, for example, out on the golf course on an early morning walk, look over to where the sun is rising and the distinctive tower is there. Our church is on the highest point of this part of Papatoetoe, placed there not only to be on firm ground [no liquefaction!] but also to be seen, so people can find their way to it.

It is surprising where our tower and its cross is visible from and who notices it. When the Council came to install the lighting for enhancing the church the then departmental head was very keen that the night lights showed the cross "which can be seen for a long way off" against the sky.. I hadn't thought that anyone else noticed!

Within the tower is the bell, doing what church bells have done for centuries, telling people that the church, a centre of care for the community is there. For centuries, in Christian villages around the world, the church bells have been rung rung to signify the time, to call people to worship or prayer, for special events such as weddings and funerals, or to sound a civil defence or fire alarm.

We rang the bell when we held the public silence and time for the victims of the huge tsunami in Indonesia. People who heard it came off the street to join us, they guessed this was what we were doing. We ring the bell for weddings, and of course every Sunday when there is a service even if those inside the church can't hear it very well. The tower is for being seen and the bell for being heard by those who are at a distance. It proclaims that our Christian church is at worship and our physical presence in the community and it is for the community.

As we approach Christmas - our festival of light- celebrating that the light of the world has come, we will be ringing the bell and also lighting the cross to draw people to the message we bring.

But our main visibility in our community and beyond is carried far further than our physical buildings by each of us in our daily lives. We are the living church, the bearers of the message of Jesus.

Jesus says to his disciples “You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven. [Matthew 5: 14 - 16]

The stories of the Christmas news of God-with-us are told in different ways. Stories of light shining which overcomes the darkness, where the light shines out from a manger and draws us into the welcome of God's divine love. There are hosts of singing angels and wise ones travelling and some sheep deserted by shepherds running to see for themselves. But they all tell of the good news of the Child of hope and peace which we and our community needs to hear over and over.

This Christmas and throughout the coming year, may we know that peace and be the bearers of that love through our words and actions.


Rev. Margaret Anne Low

 


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