Rev Lance Thomas has been minister at Rotorua District Presbyterian Church (RDPC) until his recent retirement. RDPC has a range of one, two and three bedroom homes and offers these at affordable rentals, including some that are made available to people who would struggle to get rental accommodation.
Would you write an opinion piece on the housing crisis for the Candour election series? That sounds like fun – forget the facts it’s only an opinion piece, I think. I am reminded of the great line from the movie “Inside Out”, where one of the workers on the train of thought in the brain confesses that they have mixed up the boxes containing facts and opinions: “Don’t worry,” says the supervisor. “That happens all the time.”
If you want the facts, the Church Leaders’ Statement on Housing (May 2017) is worth a read. You could also try the New Zealand Herald, which occasionally lets an article with genuine facts sneak through. Continue reading
Late last month, a bill to facilitate assisted dying was introduced to Victorian parliament. Assisted suicide is currently illegal in all Australian states, as it is in New Zealand, but if the bill gains sufficient support to be enacted, terminally ill patients would be able to access assisted euthanasia.
Presbyterian minister, Rev Dr Jason Goroncy, has published an article in Pacifica (the journal of the University of Divinity, Australia) that offers a theological perspective on the important issue of assisted suicide – a matter that is also being grappled with by New Zealand legislators. Continue reading
Jose works with the Communication Department of the PCANZ
Go on, admit it. You’ve taken a peek at your phone during a service, haven’t you? If you can genuinely say “no” to this, then I suspect (though I have no hard proof) that you are among the minority.
Today our smartphones are always with us. We use them to talk to each other, purchase things, play games, take photos and even do our banking. Despite their increasingly ubiquitous use in other parts of our lives, smartphones remain largely invisible in church (surreptitious texting during services not withstanding). Continue reading
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.)
What better way to start the New Year than with wine? Continue reading
Thank you to all of our readers: 2016 is not quite finished yet, and we have already reached some great milestones here on the Candour blog:
- the blog reached more people,
- we have posted more stories,
- received more comments, and
- have more followers than in 2015.
These are all good signs – indicators that you are finding the Candour blog useful, so thanks for the endorsement of our work. Continue reading
This is an excerpt from a paper presented by the Rev Glynn Cardy to Auckland’s Aorangi Club in September 2015.
As far back as the English bishop John Robinson’s 1963 book Honest to God the idea of praying to “Our Father” was criticised for being seen as important in creating the impression in the popular imagination that the Christian God was essentially male. Continue reading
This post is authored by John Burton Hunt, and has been posted on his behalf by blog moderator, Jose Reader.
A harsh spirit
I was a Plunket baby. The nurse told my mother, “Feed baby every four hours, ten minutes on each side, and if he cries after three hours, don’t go to him. He will have you running to him all the time. It won’t hurt him to cry for an hour”. I cried – and so did my mother.
What is the underlying assumption? That a baby is a tyrant who needs discipline? What is the underlying belief? The doctrine of original sin. It was said, “Sin lurks at the door of the womb”. Continue reading
“Church for sale despite residents’ opposition”
“Tai chi group booted out by church”
I suspect most of us are secretly – or not so secretly – glad that it’s not us having to front controversial issues like these. There is a strong desire to ignore the media and hope that they’ll go away (which never happens). Continue reading