Are cellphones our newest worship tool? – Jose Reader

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

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:] (Thanks to Lisa Wells for sharing this article with me.)


Thank you for an amazing year: 2016 in review

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

An encounter that shaped my ministry: time with John O’Donohue

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

Taking up the Te Reo challenge

Kia ora. It’s Maori Language Week this week, so when you turn on the TV, listen to the radio, visit your local library, or do any number of other things in the community, you’ll see Kiwis giving Te Reo a go.

This year’s theme “Whāngaihia te reo Māori ki ngā mātua”: helping parents to pass Te Reo on to their children, is very close to my heart. By virtue of my husband’s heritage, our children are of Maori descent, but as neither Les or I speak Te Reo, the kids’ Maori language skills are limited to what they learn at school. In this sense, I guess we are not a lot different from many other Kiwi families. Continue reading

Hello World!

The Presbyterian Church has had many incarnations of publications for church leaders: For Ministers Only (1949 – 1957) if you can remember back that far! And then it was Forum which was published from circa 1958-1987, and most recently we have had Candour, which, since 1991, has been a printed (and more latterly online) magazine for Presbyterian ministers and church leaders. As of June 2015, we usher in a new era, with the new Candour blog! Continue reading