Easter Saturday

Dear Friends I have long been fascinated with Easter Saturday.  It never feels like a typical Saturday.  It may be a day just to regather, recover or even do household chores.  But there is a subliminal sense, to me anyway, that this day is special.  It is a day that gives space to the deep reflecting of Easter; a somber day; a day of shock; a day too that is a connecting day between the bookends of Good Friday and Read more…

Easter Sunday

Dear Friends Two years ago, my family was in Paris and we saved our visit to Notre Dame for this morning – Easter Sunday. It was, in some ways, a mistake. The cathedral was packed and overflowing – with tourists and worshippers – and there were long queues, but it was also an incredible time to be there with people from all over the world, in a place where people have worshipped for around 850 years, as the priest greeted Read more…

Palm Sunday

Dear Friends Today is Palm Sunday (or Peace Sunday), which marks the beginning of Easter and the passion story of Jesus. Today we remember Jesus’s entry into Jerusalem which, unlike in the synoptics (Matthew, Mark and Luke), in John he has visited many times.  But this visit in John is different to the others.  According to John 12:12 there was a festival on and word had got around that Jesus was ‘in town’ so the revelers flocked to him and greeted him with palm leaves Read more…

Soul Feast

Dear Friends Years ago my parents went on a bus tour of parts of Eastern Europe and included in the cost was breakfast in the hotel each morning and, I think, some dinners, but they had to fend for themselves for lunch (though the tour operators always deposited them in the vicinity of a number of lovely – and pricey – lunch establishments.) So, being on a bit of a budget, they worked out that, as there were cold meats Read more…

Prayer

On Tuesday evening many in our church attended the events that were held, one in Garema Place and the other in Nara Park, to remember those killed in Christchurch last Friday. Our family went to Nara Park with hundreds of others to express our grief for the people of New Zealand, especially the Muslim community, and the Muslim community here. It was an opportunity to express all those things, but it was also an extraordinary experience of public prayer, in Read more…

Spiritual Reading

This week, in our journey of spirituality, we look at Spiritual Reading.  It is, as Thompson writes in her book ‘Soul Feast’, an opportunity to look at ‘The Dance of Lectio Divina’; meaning, using the Scriptures as a means to deepen our prayer and spirituality.  The practice of Scriptural meditation comes from the Benedictine traditions, but probably was common among the early reformers, and was anchored in the Judaistic tradition.  Thompson, for example, invites us to think about Psalm 139: Read more…

90th Church Anniversary

Today we gather to worship God – just as people have been gathering in this place for ninety years! Hallelujah! And throughout the week – as I have been thinking about why we gather for worship and why we have been doing it here in this place for ninety years – the little finger game we play with children has been coming into my mind, “Here is the church, here is the steeple, open and doors…here are the people!” Pictured Read more…

Spirituality

The word ‘spirituality’ is a relatively recent word used to describe prayerful piety; it probably gained prominence in the 17th and 18th centuries among English Protestant and French Catholic theologians.   It is obviously derived from the word ‘spirit’, and probably from the Latin spiritus to highlight the renewing touch of the Holy Spirit but there is no direct Greek equivalent in the New Testament. Paul insists that the Holy Spirit assists us in our prayers and in our Christian living.  Read more…

Hospitality

Today is the second in our Soul Feast series and because we are dovetailing (last Sunday, today and next Sunday) with our three church goals, we have jumped to the ‘Hospitality’ chapter to tie in with our second goal: Led by the Spirit, we will build inclusive, caring community.   This week as I’ve reflected on that goal and read some of the timeline contributions people have already started sending in (thankyou!), I was reminded of the story I told Read more…

Soul Feast

Today is the first Sunday in our series on Christian spirituality and the spiritual ‘disciplines’ which help us “attend to the work of grace in our lives and our times” using Marjorie Thompson’s book, Soul Feast (By the way, I still have four copies or you can buy one – in a variety of formats – online.)   In the new foreword of the new edition, Barbara Brown Taylor, writes that Marjorie is not a prescriptive spiritual guide, but one Read more…