What’s with our logo? After our fires this week it seems like a good time to figure out why a bush on fire is the symbol for our church.
You’ll remember the story – Moses was out with his sheep one day and he spotted a fire. He rushed to check it out, then realised that the bush was not blackening or burning out. The fire just stayed there and kept on burning. He came close and heard God speak to him out of the fire, and the conversation changed everything, for Moses and for his people. Continue reading
I have carried sadness within me this week.
I grew up in the Beckenham/Sydenham area of Christchurch, beneath the feet of the Port Hills. Their presence was always there. For as long as I can remember they have been part of my existence.
Many, if not nearly all my childhood memories have direct association with them.
Wednesday 15 February 2017 won’t be easily forgotten by the people of Cashmere. The fires had started on the summit of the Port Hills on Monday afternoon. By Wednesday morning the focus of fire-fighting was over the hill as the fires pushed down towards Governors Bay. Smoke billowed up and over the top, down over Cashmere. Our home is at the head of Bowenvale Avenue, and by lunchtime the valley was filled with smoke, and ash was drifting. You could hardly see the top of Sugarloaf. Continue reading
I wonder a lot about how we are going to get through this season of decline in the church.
We’ve been told for long enough that emerging generations of Christians do not relate to or own denominational distinctiveness – they relate to a community of living, kind and faithful people. In light of this, I think we have to loosen up and be more enabling of what these people are saying to us! I figure that a continuation of our regulatory approach to things will not help here. The Book of Order will not save us! Continue reading
A walk-through Christmas display is one of the many new ways St Paul’s is serving its community
Four years ago, St Paul’s was a church with a congregation of 25 in the rural town of Opunake in Taranaki (population 1360). They had no employed minister and no children or families attending their Sunday worship or connected with their church.
The leaders decided that if they were to survive they would need to focus on mission. But where should they start? Continue reading