I have heard many definitions of worship over the years – not all of them helpful, but Psalm 29:1-2 defines it very simply, namely giving God the honour he deserves. Rick Warren says: Anything you do that brings pleasure to God is an act of worship.[i] So, worship is not so much a “Bless me” exercise as a “Bless God” exercise. Continue reading
Recently the Government opened a public consultation process on the upcoming Zero Carbon Bill. They are requesting online submissions from individuals and organisations as to how and in what timeframe Aotearoa transitions to a net zero economy. Here’s why it’s worth taking the time to read the discussion document, and to consider making a submission as an individual, as a parish council, or to recommend it to your congregation. Continue reading
In late May or early June each year, the Pleiades – or Matariki as it is known by Maori – star cluster becomes visible in New Zealand. This signals the Maori New Year. In this article, the Rev Hone Te Rire shares the significance of Matariki.
Matariki is the Maori name for the cluster of stars also known as the Pleiades or the Seven Sisters in the Taurus constellation. Matariki is also associated with the winter solstice. Matariki translates to “Eyes of God” (mata – ariki) or ‘Little Eyes’ (mata – riki). This star cluster rises in the last days of May or early June. This heralds the Maori New Year.
Every year during the month of Matariki, whanau gather to commemorate loved ones passed, and to celebrate the birthdays of newer additions to the family. It is a time where whanau gathered together to celebrate unity, faith and hope through aroha. Celebratory feasts were held as whanau gathered around the table. Continue reading
The Bible Project is the brainchild of a couple of guys hailing from Portland, Oregon – Jon Collins and Tim Mackie. Collins has digital media and marketing flair (as well as a theology degree), and Mackie is a pastor and biblical scholar at Western seminary. This combination, of biblical scholarship and pastoral grounding in a contemporary form, gets a lot right. Continue reading
Roxy is the chaplain at St. Cuthbert’s college in central Auckland.
There are three things that have struck me deeply over the last ten years with regards to the teachings of Jesus and the way that we as church organise ourselves and live our faith and life journeys.
First of all, before my ordination training, I took classes in Church history (I had managed to avoid this entirely while studying for my theology degree back in the 90’s), and in one of the books I read, the author observed that even within the first 350 years of the Christian faith – before Constantine can be blamed for institutionalising us and aligning us with power and status – even before that, those who were perceived as heretical – doctrinally questionable or incorrect – were treated violently. Continue reading
Bruce Hamill has written a response to Moderator of the Presbyterian Church, Rt Rev Richard Dawson’s comments in the Autumn edition of Spanz about what is distinct and unique about the Presbyterian tradition.
Richard’s musings in the most recent edition of Spanz (Editor’s note: read the article here – pg 3) helpfully focused a discussion that has been brewing for some time among Presbyterians in a period of declining interest in denominational difference. Continue reading
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
Lisa Wells recently shared this story at the the Australian Association of Mission Studies Conference. The story is of a Hamilton church which is re-imagining its future, and making that future happen.
I presented the following paper at the Australian Association of Mission Studies Conference in July 2017. The conference theme was: “Imagining Home: Understanding, Reconciling and Engaging with God’s Stories Together” and my presentation was of a church PressGo had worked with and helped with funding and its missional journey.
When church is at its best it is a vital community of believers, called out by God, under the authority of Jesus Christ. When it is at its worst it is a social club or a historical preservation society. To paraphrase Longfellow’s poem “That Little Girl” – “when [church] is good it is very, very good, and when [it’s] bad it is horrid.” Sometimes we even make church in our own image…
Most of the churches I work with in my role of Mission Catalyst within the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand are somewhere between good and bad…
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Murray Rae is Professor of Theology at Otago University and a Presbyterian Minister. He was also an editor of Candour in the 1990s.
When we look back to the sixteenth century, to the time of the Reformation, we see a world vastly different from our own. The great Reformer, John Calvin, could hardly have imagined the world we now inhabit. He might have struggled to recognise as well the present reality of the church — its form, its daily life, its existence on the margins of society. The form of society itself is also very different now than it was in Calvin’s day, and so the church faces challenges in mission that Calvin is unlikely to have envisaged. It is curious then to look back at reformers like Calvin, to figure out what made them tick, and to try to understand the concerns of their own time. Continue reading
Here’s an adapted reflection from a sermon I preached at The Village Church, Christchurch on 25 June. The text was Matthew 10: 24–39. The context was new buildings coming ready, and some voices wanting to go back to what we once had
As I have thought my way into this week’s reflection I have had a few visitors.
The first was Kobi Yamada and his book What Do You Do With An Idea? I love the way the book evolves from black and white to full colour as the idea takes hold. Isn’t that how ideas work out? They turn up and try to speak into your already fixed view of things. They are looked at, prodded and poked, often ridiculed, slept on, and either forgotten or picked up. Continue reading