“Face our disagreements and divisions not with fear… but [with] love and fellowship..”

Last Sunday we celebrated the coming of the Holy Spirit on the first group of Jesus’ followers and friends; as a comforter, as a uniter and to inspire their (and our) continuing mission. We concluded the service by ‘mapping’ the distinctive ways each of us enable others to find their own distinctive ways of following Jesus, and so it was wonderful, at prayers on Monday morning, to hear this from 1 Corinthians 12:4-6, from the Amplified Version: Now there are Read more…

Pentecost

“When the day of Pentecost had come…” This Sunday, 23rd May, is the day of Pentecost and like that early group of Jesus’ friends, we too, are invited to be, “all together in one place”. From 8am to 9:50am (when we’ll make our way into church) you are invited to gather in the Lounge for prayer, Bible reading and some meditative music. You’re welcome to arrive when you can and duck out when you need to (i.e. if you’re singing Read more…

I am thankful

I drove Aron to the airport very early this morning, and as I made my way back along Morshead Drive, the mist was rising from the Molongolo River, the trees were all the reds and yellows and golds of late autumn and the sky was pale gold with the sunrise. (Very like this image by ‘Kayakcameraman’ Paul Jurak) It was so beautiful it was all I could do to tear my eyes away and keep the car on the road! Read more…

God’s love. Everyone. Go live it.

It was a wonderful Sunday, wasn’t it! Wonderful to hear about the mission happening on Tuesday mornings at Kingston Kids, wonderful to reflect on how the Spirit continues to lead us in genuine mission and genuine relationship, ‘coming alongside’ others, and wonderful to welcome Josephine into our community here, and to hear her reflections on how the Spirit of God had led her to us and would continue to lead us onwards. My favourite bits from Caroline’s talk – apart Read more…

May Mission Month

Dear friends, It was wonderful to join in worship – from as far away as Scotland Island (sadly, not as far away as the Scottish Isles!) – last weekend and to hear James reflect on the examples of courage and sacrifice he had seen, as well as hear him interrogate a focus on the fallen that does not include our fallenness as human beings. It was a moving and challenging service. This Sunday we move into May Mission Month and Read more…

Holy Humour Sunday

Guess what! I found two more names for the second Sunday of Easter! Eastern Orthodox and Byzantine Rite Catholic Churches celebrate the week between Easter and the next Sunday as Bright Week and the week is marked by ‘days of joy and laughter’ and this has evolved, in some churches around the world, by celebrating the second Sunday, Bright Sunday, as Holy Humour Sunday. Holy Humour Sunday is a way of celebrating the resurrection (I am reminded of this wonderful Read more…

The other Easter Sunday

Happy 5th day of Easter! I have been reading up on the church calendar and, did you know, this Sunday coming, the 8th day of Easter, has at least different 8 names! In Western Christianity it is often referred to as Low Sunday and I can understand that! After all the excitement and special celebrations of Easter Day, most churches and ministers (and choir directors!) are happy to take things a little more quietly on the Sunday after Easter. Since Read more…

Easter giving

Christmas, we say, is the ‘season for giving’, but perhaps Easter is an even better season for giving! At Easter we reflect again on Jesus giving his life for us, not as an isolated event, but as the completion of a lifetime of giving himself to God’s vision of love and inclusion and justice and compassion – all the things that come together in the biblical concept of salvation. As we reflect and celebrate at Easter, we think about how Read more…

Building a house upon the rocks

What wild weather! I don’t think any of us will forget the sight of the poor couple in Taree’s house floating down the river. I found myself thinking about Matthew 7:24-27 this week – or the old song, “The wiseman built his house upon the rock…” – but having just preached on this passage for the World Day of Prayer, I am rethinking its sharp dualism and condemnatory tone. After all, we are all foolish people who build our lives Read more…

Creating safe communities

With the Womens March 4 Justice taking place on Monday, it was good to hear some good news yesterday about the Baptist response to this issue. Steve Barlett, Director of Ministries for the Association wrote:  The increasing groundswell of reporting of violence and abuse against women and girls in recent times, from allegations in our parliamentary environment to reports of sexual assault and abuse in schools to revelations of misconduct by leaders in Christian organisations, bring again into sharp focus Read more…