Rejuvenation Series: Finding ways that don’t work for church by Darryl Tempero

I worry sometimes that I am not failing enough. To discover new ways of being church we need to try new things, which means taking a risk that it might not work. Experimentation and failure are vital – with one major problem, it’s no fun to fail. Do I have the patience or courage to fail? Do we see ‘risk’ as a positive or negative word? Continue reading

Along the Routeburn Track

Along the Routeburn TrackI climbed the Routeburn track with two colleagues from school, early in December 2013, hoping the exertion and the open spaces would be an antidote for the stresses of the classroom.  We were 30 minutes into the climb from the Routeburn Shelter to the Routeburn Falls Hut when the freshness and the endless energy of this mountain stream and the gurgle of the water cascading over the rocks caught my imagination.  Why is it that the sight and sound of rushing water quiets the mind?  Bruce Dixon

Imag-ination

We Presbyterians are somewhat cerebral in inclination – we like a thoughtful sermon and a blog should be an article written in words eh!  However we are not as one-dimensional as that…our senses offer us wonderful insights into the majesty of God’s presence – taste and see what the Lord has done, listen if you have ears, ‘For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing.’

I have an interest in photography and find the landscapes of Aotearoa to be wonderful spaces where God ‘speaks’ into my life.  I wonder if any of you would consider submitting beautiful images to enhance and maybe balance the Candour blog?  I will exercise my rights as editor to maintain a certain standard, but I encourage you to email me images that in some small part capture an element of the wonder of God’s presence.

Attached is a starterLake Hayes at Dawn – last week at Lake Hayes in the Wakatipu Basin

Martin Stewart

martin@villagechurch.nz

Rejuvenation Series: Mission as the Catalyst for Rejuvenation by Lisa Wells

 

It seems so obvious doesn’t it?  A congregation takes their eyes off themselves and opens up to join God in mission in the community and then in this act of love, faith and sacrifice – finds itself transformed.  That’s a good thing, right?

So what stops many congregations from doing just that? I think it’s because it’s too difficult.  Too risky.  To uncertain.  Who know where it may lead?

We struggle to let go of the thought that once “everyone” was part of the church and we were the hub of the community.  We grew by natural reproduction – our members had babies and they “belonged” to the church.  Continue reading

Have our meetings lost their way – Andrew Norton

One of the core practices of being “Presbyterian” is our commitment to collective discernment. Our belief is that discernment requires listening to one another and to the spirit of God and the scriptures. The result of this has been meetings, meetings and more meetings. How many meetings does it take to run a church!

My observation is that our meetings are not working.

  1. Our meetings are not practicing spiritual discernment. They are the collective sharing of the opinions of the opinionated and then taking a vote. These meetings favour only those who speak.
  1. The wrong people are at the meetings. How can we expect to make decisions about our God given futures if the very people we want to reach have no voice? Where is the voice of the minority and the voiceless; does God not speak through them also?

Continue reading