Geoff New’s recent musings in Candour on the Holocaust got me thinking. Like Geoff, I sense that I have something I want to say, but I am unsure if I have the words to express it. I am not entirely sure what it is that I want to say. I fear I am wasting everyone’s time.
But let’s give it a go.
I have this image of Santa in my mind. It is not a Christmas card Santa in snow and with reindeer, nor is it of Santa on the final float of the Christmas parade with smiles and waving his hands. Continue reading
Alison Mitchell of St Andrew’s Matamata has reviewed popular series of New Zealand children’s books, the Chronicles of Paki.
The Chronicles of Paki series of children’s books tells of our early New Zealand Christian history as the Maori people interact with the arrival of missionaries and new settlers.
Delightfully written using A4-sized pages in a pictorial format, the stories have large illustrations, speech bubbles, captions and short passages of script telling the story.
Iconic kiwi, Paki, acts as a guide and explains meanings of words and phrases, translates Maori to English, and gives facts and dates. This makes the books easy to pick up and read or simply to look at the pictures and captions for detail. Continue reading
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