500 Years On #1: The most influential Reformer you’ve never heard of, by Peter Matheson

Peter Matheson leads off a series in Candour marking 500 years since the Reformation.  Peter served as Professor of Church History at Knox Theological Hall and still resides in the Dunedin area.

Everyone’s heard of Luther and Calvin. But the Reformation was a movement, not a one man gang, and a very varied movement at that. There were women Reformers, like Katherine Zell in Strassburg and the aristocratic Argula von Grumbach. And there were radical Reformers, who thought power had gone to Luther’s head and he was acting like a new Pope.

Thomas Müntzer was a lively, highly controversial Reformer. Continue reading

Why churches should partner with secular community groups – Jose Reader

Jose Reader is currently the Church’s associate communications manager, and has filled various roles within the Presbyterian Church’s communications team over the last 12 years.

This article from Christianity Today poses an interesting question: “How can we be light in the darkness when we only hang out with other candles?”. Author, Karl Vaters, explains how his Church used to partner exclusively with other Christian ministries, and now up to half the groups that they partner with for local community service are not Christian-based.

“No, we haven’t gone soft on our faithfulness to the gospel. And we have standards for those we will and will not partner with,” he says in the article.

His words resonated with me, because over the years I have worked in this role, I have heard many concerns about how we are in danger of watering down the gospel message to connect with people outside the church. One thing I took out of the article was that mission with the community and the sharing the gospel are not mutually exclusive; they can, and do, live side-by-side – certainly in Karl’s congregation, and no doubt in many of our Presbyterian and Uniting parishes around the country.

Read and be inspired by what this congregation is getting out of partnering with non-church groups: 8 reasons churches should partner with secular community groups – [link to: http://www.christianitytoday.com/karl-vaters/2017/march/8-reasons-churches-partner-secular-community-groups.html] (Thanks to Lisa Wells for sharing this article with me.)

 

Angles on Preaching III – Geoff New

Rev Dr Geoff New is Dean of Studies at the Knox Centre for Ministry & Leadership and is based in Dunedin.  He has a particular passion for preaching and has been a director in the Kiwi-Made Preaching organisation since 2012.

Preaching Stories “Our Way”

Over the past few years, I have had the extraordinary opportunity to travel into North East India to teach preaching. One region particularly challenged me: Nagaland. Space does not allow me to give all the back-story but I was struck by the similarities between their cultural protocols of welcoming and observance with that of Tangata Whenua in Aotearoa. Continue reading

Anzac Day Reflections

Editorial Introduction by Martin Stewart

Recently I purchased a collection of poems and photographs from World War One A Corner of a Foreign Field.  The Daily Mail collection of photographs are haunting, and the poems are from the frontline and the backline, including the perspective of the women in the munitions factories and the women barely married receiving the dreaded visit and letter.

I remember studying poems by Wilfred Owen, Rupert Brook, and Siegfried Sassoon at high school.  Continue reading

Angles of Preaching II – Geoff New

Rev Dr Geoff New is Dean of Studies at the Knox Centre for Ministry & Leadership and is based in Dunedin.  He has a particular passion for preaching and has been a director in the Kiwi-Made Preaching organisation since 2012.

“A voice of one calling in the wilderness”

I can’t remember where I read this quote but it has stayed with me for years since: “You’re not really preaching until people hear that Other Voice” (Billy Graham).

Sometime last year I was in church listening to the sermon. That’s not strictly true, Continue reading

Easter Seeing

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[Clouds over Mt Hay Station, Lake Tekapo – Martin Stewart]

I’m thinking about the John 20:1-18 text and the references to seeing and believing, along with the John 20:29 beatitude “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.”

We fall into the category of the beatitude.  We have not laid our eyes on him.  Yet…

There seems to be a lot of pressure on us these days to have to prove things. Continue reading

Ecclesiastical Memes – V

Darryl is the Mission Coach for Alpine Presbytery and Minister of Kiwi Church, a new-ish congregation in Christchurch.  This is the fifth and final part of his series on the names we call ourselves by.

We need new words to help us imagine the future church.  This episode continues from Memes IV, where I suggested we replace clergy with other words (like Player Coach), and I promised this blog would attend to the word ‘lay.’

It is really hard to come up with another word. Continue reading