Category Archives: pastor

New Year’s Wishes for You and Yours

On New Year’s Eve, 2013, my little family made a pilgrimage to Cape Reinga, Te Rerenga Wairua, the northern tip of New Zealand, where the Pacific Ocean and the Tasman Sea ‘say hello’ as SBJ will tell you, with a dramatic clap of his hands. They clash with a set of white-topped breakers out in […]

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A Northern and Southern Christmas Treat

About a third of you, Gentle Readers, are based in the Northern Hemisphere, where the church calendar was born and raised: Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, Lent, Easter, and so on, until Advent begins another church year again. That means that your wintry Advent is naturally an expectant, waiting time that builds to the celebration of Christmas […]

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Hail O Favored One, 2007, Wayne Forte, used with kind permission.

Advent in Art 2013: Expectation

Advent in Art is a project of World Vision New Zealand for the spiritual nurture of staff. Mark Pierson and Alison Squires curate and produce beautiful sets of cards with reproductions of paintings, Scripture readings, questions for reflection and a ritual to perform. This year Advent in Art features the art of Wayne Forte, reproduced […]

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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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Advent in Art 2013: Shall We?

    Probably my favourite season of the church year is coming up soon. Advent, the four weeks before Christmas where we prepare ourselves for celebrating Jesus’ arrival in our world. There’s lots to like about Advent (even if you don’t have calendars filled with chocolate). It’s not often we engage deeply in old-fashioned anticipation, […]

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