Be yourself – but not too much! – Silvia Purdie

Silvia Purdie reflects on the place of ‘self’ in ministry practice and finds herself in two spaces – in Christ and in Middle Earth!  Silvia ministers at Cashmere Presbyterian Church in Christchurch.

I’ve just finished my 3-yearly Ministry Development Review. In the interview I said to my reviewer that what matters most to me at this stage in my ministry is to be less driven by other people’s expectations and agendas and to be more fully and simply who I am. Continue reading

Review: Chronicles of Paki

Alison Mitchell of St Andrew’s Matamata has reviewed popular series of New Zealand children’s books, the Chronicles of Paki. 

Chronicles of Paki Te-Powhiri2-sml

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

Getting to the bottom of the nation’s housing problem – Lance Thomas

seller transfers key to the house in hands of buyer

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

Poet and Preacher: by Maurice Andrew

Maurice Andrew seems to be enjoying a long retirement in Dunedin.  He completed his outstanding academic career as Principal at Knox College a wee while ago now

The German poet Rainer Maria Rilke (1875-1926) held a high view of the poet’s calling. It is probably expressed most directly in his poem “O tell us, poet, what you do. – I praise.” (“O sage Dichter, was du tust. Ich rühme.” ‘Rühmen’ is not the only word for ‘praise’ in German, and there is a touch of the exultant about it.)

My translation of Rilke’s poem is below, and then my interpretation of it (“Homiletics”). My interpretation makes an application to the preacher rather than to the poet. In other words, Rilke’s poem set me thinking and writing about “what the preacher does”. Continue reading

Ministry & Recovery: Did Jesus get tired? by Silvia Purdie

Silvia ministers at Cashmere Presbyterian Church in Christchurch

Here’s a question which will throw your Christology into stark relief: ‘Did Jesus get tired?’. If your Christology is ‘low’ you’ll probably say ‘Duh, yes of course!’; he was fully human, and experienced all the pain and exhaustion that we humans do. You’ll remember that he slept (even in a storm on a lake!), and took himself off alone to recharge. Continue reading

Election Series: some musings – Martin Stewart

Martin is the editor of this blog

When you cannot be sure that you can observe the world in neutral enough ways, should you not say anything?

That’s the dilemma I face every election cycle when it comes to my pulpit ministry, and I tend to play it safe and avoid saying anything that can be interpreted as partisan politics. The pulpit, I figure, has to be shaped by greater things that the ideologies that I might find attractive and the whims of whatever mood I’m in.  I say that, and believe that, but suspect I am a spectacular failure! Continue reading

Election Series: Investing in the well-being of all children by Michael O’Brien

Michael O’Brien is the Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) spokesperson on social security. Mike is an Associate Professor at the School of Counselling, Human Services and Social Work at the University of Auckland, and has written extensively on poverty and social security issues.

The idea of social investment has been central to a range of government policies over the last few years. While it has had a number of different descriptions and uses, the central idea is that government financial resources should be targeted to those children and families at high risk of poor outcomes. Continue reading

Sara Miles visit

Along with Theology House, The Village Presbyterian Church in Christchurch is hosting Sara Miles for a day seminar.

Sara Miles

A Day with Sara Miles Bread of Heaven/ Daily Bread

WHEN: Wed 20th September 2017 10:00a.m.- 3.15p.m.

Cost: $60 (morning tea and lunch provided)

WHERE: The Village Church, Cnr Ilam / Aorangi Roads,
Register with Claire Bonner at admin@theologyhouse.ac.nz

am: Take this bread: worship & service

Midday Table Eucharist

Lunch Provided

pm: Jesus Freaks: outreach & service grounded in eucharist

Sara Miles is the author of : ‘Take This Bread: A Radical Conversion’ ‘Jesus Freak: Feeding, Healing, Raising the Dead.’ & ‘City of God: Faith in the Streets’

She is the founder and director of The Food Pantry and served as Director of Ministry at St. Gregory of Nyssa Episcopal Church in San Francisco for ten years.

Election Series: Inequality is a top election issue

Paul Barber is a Policy Advisor with the NZ Council of Christian Social Services (nzccss.org.nz) which is the national network of the social services of the Anglican, Baptist, Catholic, Methodist, Presbyterian and The Salvation Army churches. NZCCSS is one of the 37 groups in the Equality Network (equalitynetwork.org.nz) sharing a vision for a more equal country for everyone.  

Inequality and poverty, along with housing, are the top areas of concern for New Zealanders right now (see Roy Morgan poll http://nzccss.org.nz/news/2017/04/election-issues-2017-housing-inequality/ ). If churches remain silent on this issue, if we do not talk about these issues in our communities, then the church is simply declaring itself uninterested in the central problems in our community. Continue reading