Accusing Jesus – Stuart Vogel

VermeerOver recent years, I have had a fascination with the great Dutch painter, Johannes Vermeer (1632-1675). Vermeer had the rare artistic ability to capture a particular moment – and make it eternal.  A little like the gospel writer, Luke.

Recently at the Auckland Taiwanese Presbyterian Church I preached on the story in Luke 10, of Jesus in Mary and Martha’s home. In 1655, Vermeer painted the scene in his painting “Christ in the House of Mary and Martha”. 1655 was within the final years that the Netherlands controlled Formosa (Taiwan) as a colonial power. Continue reading

Youth worker vs youth minister – Gordon Fitch

Gordon Fitch is national youth manager with Presbyterian Youth Ministry. In this article he explores the difference between youth workers and youth ministers and encourages a focus on employing youth ministers.

Youth worker, youth leader, youth pastor, youth coordinator, youth director: there are a lot of titles given to a person who heads up a church’s ministry with young people.

No matter what the title is, I believe there are two types of positions, and I’m going to call them a youth worker and a youth minister. Continue reading

Looking to the future – Simon McLeay

Simon is Senior Minister at St Peters in the City in Tauranga

I’m convinced that God has a good future for his Church.  I see signs of life and health in many churches.  I also wonder whether it is time for us to move away from a “one size fits all’ mentality when it comes to ministry.  I’m currently doing some study leave and looking at the leadership styles required for different sized churches.  Continue reading

Prayers for praying

Hey there!
Who writes prayers for worship?

Would you be willing to submit some for Candour?

Contact me: martin(at)villagechurch.nz with your contributions!!

Robert Simpson, a retired minister in Christchurch has prepared these prayers to start us off:

LORD,
Triune God,
You are magnificent,
marvellous and almighty One.

You are creator.
You are holy.

Your love is constant.
Your words are true.

Your works are dependable.
Your plans are enduring.
Your purposes last eternally.

You are mysterious.
You protect me.
You save me.

I offer obedience, trust and praise,
and worship only You.

LORD,
I have so much to celebrate!
My world echoes to Your beauty.
Your great love surrounds me.
The friendship You offer me is returned.
The open-door hope that You bring,
shows me the outstanding future.
Thank You!

LORD,
rest our minds in thinking,
touch our lips in speaking,
hold our hands while working,
guide our feet in moving,
watch our bed while sleeping,
and shield our faith in serving.

LORD,
the horrors of war, famine,
death, injury or starvation
confront millions of people.
We don’t know how to pray for them,
or even what to pray about.
You said, “Pray for the least of my people,
and you have prayed for the world”.
That should be enough to go on!

LORD,
we hear from Your Word
loud and clear –
Forgiven! – Forgiven! – Forgiven!

May we act to others in the same way.

Women of the Burning Bush: Still Burning 25 Years On – Dr Vivienne Adair

This research came across my desk today, and I thought it would be of interest to Candour readers.

Women of the Burning Bush: Still Burning 25 Years On is a study of women in ministry within the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand. The research, led by Dr Vivienne Adair, follows research on the same topic commissioned by the Very Rev Margaret Reid Martin in 1990. Continue reading

Missional leadership on the road to Emmaus – Steve Taylor

Steve Taylor is the Principal of the PCANZ Knox Centre for Ministry & Leadership

Luke 10:1-12 is a favourite text in mission today. It presents mission as a journey.  Rather than “come to us” modes of attraction to church, mission is “playing away from home.” The disciples are sent by God to spend time in homes, amid the domestic life of local village communities.  They start by speaking the shalom of God to those they meet. Where that peace is welcomed, they stay, accepting the hospitality, respecting the culture and customs of the communities in which they minister. Continue reading

When the shit hits the fan – Silvia Purdie

A word of advice for newbies and old hands in ministry on dealing with stressful situations.
Silvia Purdie ministers at Cashmere in Christchurch.

Sooner or later in your ministry, things will get ugly. Shit happens. People get hurt. People get mad. And the underbelly of your coping strategies gets dragged out into the light. When that happens, how you respond as a church leader will make a huge impact on the outcomes. Continue reading

Ten tricks to create the best social media videos

Creating good quality video content for your parish’s social media channels will help you maximise the reach and impact of your message.

There are an estimated 2.3 million Kiwis using Facebook everyday, and of those New Zealanders who go online, 81% use YouTube, and 46% use Instagram (and that’s only a few of the more common social media platforms). That’s a lot of people with whom we can share the Good News… Continue reading

Fake News, Modernity, & Sin by Peter Matheson

Peter Matheson is an active thinker still building on his interesting ministry (among other ministries) as Professor of Church History at Knox College.

Bewildering, but hardly dull, living in our post-truth culture! The twittering never stops.  From the President of the USA down to inanities closer home the ether is dense with nonsense.  Often enough, too, it is dangerous nonsense. Continue reading

From Reform to Renewal: Scotland’s Kirk, Century by Century – Review by Kerry Enright

Reform to RenewalFinlay MacDonald’s book From Reform to Renewal: Scotland’s Kirk, Century by Century is a help to discerning what it’s worth holding on to, and what needs letting go in the Presbyterian Church.

It is a lively, fascinating and accessible account of the history of the Church of Scotland since the Protestant Reformation. Full of intriguing stories, it is eminently readable and maintains interest. It helped me understand more of how our Church gained its shape and identity. Experiences generations ago, often repeated, have nourished a wisdom that alerts us to practices that too easily harm people and compromise integrity.

The author, Finlay Macdonald, is a respected former principal clerk and Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland. He is a good storyteller.

New Zealand pragmatism, the attractiveness of secular gods and generational hubris can lead us to discount valuable inherited practices. Our Church deserves appreciative inquiry of our past, of how we came to value certain principles and practices. We will not understand them unless we know their history. We will not properly apply our Book of Order without appreciating the history behind it. Finlay Macdonald’s book is a good account of that history. It speaks of a broad Church seeking to be faithful to the way of Jesus Christ. It describes a sibling Church facing challenges like our own. I commend it wholeheartedly.

Macdonald, F, (2017) From Reform to Renewal: Scotland’s Kirk, Century by Century, Edinburgh, Scotland: Saint Andrew’s Press.

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