25 September 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 2012

Can Jesus Heal Cancer

The signboard reads "Jesus heals Cancer" outside a church in Napier. The NZ Herald reports that a mother, whose small child is suffering from a [treatable] cancer, was told about it by her father who saw it posted on Twitter. She emailed the church with a complaint. There is actually no indication that she has seen the sign herself.

Nine complaints poured about the billboard, into the Advertising Standards Authority, who are trying to determine if claims made by a church billboard fall under its authority. The church later added to its bill board the tally [6] of the people they claim to have been healed. They did say that they are not advocating going off medication or anything which may put the person at risk.

It is fascinating that the matter seems to have stirred up the most unlikely responses from surprising areas. Everyone has their opinion.

The cynical say the church has put this up to get more people there and trade on the hope which vulnerable people grasp at when all else has failed. The church replies that the healings has happened and gives their tally to "prove" it.

Let's give thanks for those who are healed or even in remission, for all healing is from God, no matter who you are.

The people who have complained are sensitive to their own struggle with cancer and other illnesses. Lying underneath their complaints is the question which goes with a claim like this, "then why hasn't my cancer been cured?" .And the subsequent "Aren't my prayers good enough? Or my faith enough?"

I am disappointed that that church has not recognised these are valid questions and used the subsequent publicity as an opportunity to make some good replies which reach out to those who are suffering. After all, if becoming a Christian or attending a Christian church means that we are cured of all our illnesses, then the whole world would be Christian. The church concerned is being naÔve about what their sign conveys even if the answer to the question "can God heal cancer?" is yes.

But why all the fuss anyway? Sensible people would assume we make our own judgements and act accordingly. If this was the immigrant fortune tellers who set up at Hunter's corner a while ago and threatened people with curses or on receiving large sums of money [$1000.00 in one case] gave blessings, it would be ignored.

There are matters raised by this which are important. One is about how we can display our beliefs as a church, are we subject to the ADA, a commercially oriented agency?

People have been stimulated to talk about faith and healing openly and that gives us a chance to engage with others about our own faith and experience.

Jesus does heal, in many ways, its what happens in a community. The love of God in action brings healing, reconciliation and forgiveness and many of the people of this congregation can attest to knowing God's healing love in their lives.

At this time of Lent, as we approach Good Friday and Easter, we also know that the followers of Jesus are not spared pain, loss and death. After all the path that Jesus took was not a way of instant results, his humanity did not move into a superhero escape route from the cross, but went to the bitter end. Then, and only then, is the hope of Easter found. Life is not extinguished but raised to new life and we can live with real and lasting hope. There is more that we can ever know and more than can be placed on that rather inadequate billboard. Thanks be to God.

May God bring you healing, and joy as we travel toward Easter Day


Rev. Margaret Anne Low

 


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