Category Archives: bioethics

The Sacrament of Pregnancy

Why a ‘sacrament’? The church has long taught that there are certain special moments where God is particularly present in our world. The ritual of baptism, the sharing of a communion meal. Different church traditions have argued about how many there are, but that seems to me to be a nonsensical question. God is particularly […]

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Women in Ministry: The Church’s Missing Workforce

At the moment in my corner of the church world (I’m a Kiwi Baptist), the number of our 250-odd churches in New Zealand led by a woman (as the sole or senior pastor) is in single figures. Low single figures. It seems likely that by the end of the year there will be only two such churches […]

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101 Christian Women Speakers to Discover in New Zealand

At Christian conferences and leadership events I go to and speak at, women up the front are always – always – in a small minority. (It’s the same on all of the governance boards I’m on.) Very often, when I mention this to organisers, they say with regret that they just couldn’t find more women […]

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Matters of Life and Death: Euthanasia

‘It is a tragedy when the human spirit dies before the body. But the answer is not to kill the body too, but to revive the spirit.’  So said Prof Margaret Somerville at a conference on euthanasia held in Wellington a couple of years ago. On Sunday I tried to canvass the arguments on both sides of […]

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Matters of Life and Death: Dementia and Ageing

I read some of Sandy’s story on Sunday: I am 57 and was diagnosed in 2004 with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease. I was a bank manager and was very active in my community and church. One afternoon, I left work and did not know how to get home. This was the start of a “downhill no return” into the Alzheimer’s world. I am […]

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Matters of Life and Death: Disability

Some of you will know that I’m living with postnatal depression. It’s hard. What I said on Sunday about disability is stuff I believe both in my head and because of my own experience: We think life should be perfect and comfortable. But God comes to us in the imperfect and the uncomfortable. We think life is […]

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Matters of Life and Death: Facing an Unplanned Pregnancy

My sermon on Sunday and the accompanying blog post were mainly directed at the ‘neighbours’ of an unborn child: those who have the opportunity to support a little family in crisis.  What I also want to say loudly, and separately, is that if you have experienced a crisis pregnancy, for any reason, in any circumstances, […]

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Matters of Life and Death: Are You an Unborn Baby’s Neighbour?

This is a post about crisis pregnancy that is aimed mainly at those in a position to support an unborn baby and its family. If you are facing an unplanned pregnancy yourself, you may prefer to read this accompanying post dealing directly with such a situation.  Inspired by Germany In the United States it’s a […]

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Matters of Life and Death: Being Human

  What should a doctor do when a terminally ill patient asks her to ‘end it all’ with morphine? What are the implications of expectant parents having Down’s Syndrome screening for their unborn babies? How do we cope and make sense of the world when our ageing parents no longer recognise us? I’m filling in […]

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