In Awe – some thoughts on those who call me. Martin Stewart

“…the congregation is topsoil – seething with energy and organisms that have incredible capacities for assimilating death and participating in resurrection.  The only biblical stance is awe.  When we see what is before us, really before us, pastors take off their shoes before the shekinah of congregation.”
Eugene Peterson [in Under the Unpredictable Plant 1992 p136]

I’m a minister in a church
A people call me
I think that God calls me as well
Together they coaxed me
(maybe I didn’t take much persuasion)
and continue to coax me Continue reading

Proud to be a Presbyterian – Simon Mcleay

Simon is senior minister at St Peter’s Tauranga

I often hear people complaining about ‘Assembly’, or about the way that Presbyterians ‘Debate’.  I want to stand up and be counted, I want to shout from the roof-tops that Presbyterian Style is best!  It is a style of democratic participation that harnesses the best of many people and balances the excesses of the few; we believe that the Holy Spirit speaks through the people discerning together.  Our system grew Continue reading

Big Little Bible

The “Big Little Bible” app from the New Zealand Bible Society is a great introduction to the Bible for young children and their families.  It’s also a novel approach for families who read their Bibles every day.  The app is easy to navigate and features people and stories from major events throughout the Old and New Testaments.  It’s written in the Contemporary English Version (CEV) so the text is fairly clear and easy to understand.  The illustrations are colourful, playful and beautifully assist with the telling of the story.

My eight-year-old son, Gabriel, had a look at it for me and gave me his feedback.  He really liked the format of having a circle to tap for each story.  He liked having the story on a screen and was fascinated by the sounds it made when clicking on the app.  Gabriel thought he’d still like to use his book Bible, but this would be handy to look at if he was out and about and had to wait for me.

I found the illustrations captivating and enjoyed the features such as the ability to highlight favourite passages.  Highlighted passages are then saved to a screen that’s accessible from the home page.  There is a really good introduction and I found it handy to have the bookmark and questions feature at the top of every page.

One thing both Gabriel and I missed was the ability to have the passage read aloud.  I know that this adds a whole new technical dimension, but it would expand the usefulness of the app.  As a matter of taste, the CEV is a bit more paraphrased than I prefer.  Also I would call this a “Storybook Bible” as opposed to a Bible since it is not the complete text.

Those little things aside, I think this is a wonderful tool to expose children to God’s word.  It would be best used on a tablet or iPad with a larger screen, but I found it quite handy on my phone.  Congratulations to the New Zealand Bible Society on catering for our youngest Bible readers!  This is an inspirational tool that will expand the reach of God’s word.

Kaila Pettigrove

Kids Friendly Part Time Coach

Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand