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Showing posts from 2006

Christmas rush

Less than a week to christmas! In all the rush of dinners, prize givings, bike rides etc..., it is hard to remember that these weeks are a time of preparation to celebrate Christ's coming among us, and all that that might mean for us, for me. In this rush, where do I look for Christ? In religious places. in nice palces? Or on the margins, in the lepers, the poor, the insurgent? Where is Christ coming today? Not in one of our nice safe middle class churches, that is for sure.
Peace

riding

Yesterday I rode (for fun) 124km from my place, over the hill to lake Rotorua and then back again.
As I rode I was struck by how many big cars and big suvs are on the road and for sale. Heaps. What is our passion for big cars? A lot of the car sale yards just stock these big fuel guzzling planet killing monstors! We so need to change our car habits.

Having said that, these habits are changing. Bonnie and I are trying to buy a really economical (fuel wise) car, and not aonly are there not many about but they are expensive! It would be cheaper to buy a Previa or a big car. But we will keep looking.

And despite the rain, and the moron in a four wheel drive (why are people who drive these things such morons?) nearly hitting me as he was overtaking going the other way (I have never cursed anyone so badly before - I was shaking so much after he passed I had to get off my bike before I fell off) it was a great ride through some great country serenaded by some wonderful bird song.

now, if only my…

As it is in Heaven revisited

I received an excellent comment on this film from a Swedish Pastor. You can read it for yourself. But I think be missed my point. This love stuff is not new, or even new age. Athanasius centred his whole theology on the infinite and transforming love of God that is so clearly seen in the crucifixion. This was not described theologically as any kind of punishment until after 1000. It was God's loving action to remind us of our creation in the Image of God, so that we would be drawn back into that love, and be that image. St. Augustine too in De Trinities is much more focussed on God's action in the incarnation and crucifixion as an act of enormous love, that was to renew our minds, reminding us of our being created in the image of God. St. Francis of Assisi was overwhelmed by the infinite love of God revealed in God’s willingness to accept absolute poverty in becoming human, and dying naked and alone on the cross. This was an act of love, not punishment or anger.

That is what th…

Defeated by Youth Groups

I was at a meeting with a bunch of bishops about 2 months ago (where did those 2 months go) One of the bishops talked about hwo hard it is to get critical mass when working with small groups of young people. It made me realise again how often we are defeated we are by the models we use. If we see groups as the only way fo working with young people then yes, it is hard. But what about one on one. what about mentoring, having chats over coffee, encouraging and enabling the young people you have. Getting them excited about the faith! Yes groups are good. But they are not the only way, and even if you have them, you still need the one on one. so don't be defeated before you start. Find other ways. Be creative. Be bold. Ask the young people you have what they would want and go from there.

Young People are such villians!

The other day I read an article from the Christchurch Press. Basically it described the teenagers on the Christchurch strip at 4am on a Sunday morning. The point was to portray these young people, and by association, all young people as drunk, out of control, a nuisance or problem that needed fixing. I guess it was also a swipe at the politicians who did not allow the Bill to raise the drinking age to go back up. To read this article you would think only under 20's were out.

Yet in reality a large chunk of the punters would have been over 20, and just as boozed as the young people. In fact my limited experience of being out in Wellington at this time is that it is mainly over 20's, and some of them are way drunk, and not behaving well. Again, our media vilifies young people for ratings, and fails to describe the real issues.

On Monday night the Mount College had its Academic Prize Giving for Senior Students. Proud dad moment. Kate sang a Billy Joel song, and was magnificent! She…

drinking age

I applaud the defeat of the bill to raise the drinking age. I also applaud the governments decision to review the current act and in particular how those under 18 seem to have such free access to alcohol.
I opposed the Bill as it was based on a whole lot of myths. The first was that there is a crisis across all teenagers binge drinking and being out of control. It is just another saga on the ongoing vilification of young people. We see it all the time. It sells newspapers and TV programmes. It creates an adult population that is scared of young people. And it leads to bad legislation.
Binge drinking is a societal issue, not just a youth issue. Young people mirror what they see in the adult population to claim their own status as adults. When we see shocking things in young people we should first look to ourselves as adults and ask what it is they see in us they are mirroring back to us, and what do we need to change. Then we can look to them and address the issues as manifesting themsel…

The end is nigh!

I went to see "An Inconvenient Truth" on Sunday with my family. Global Warming has been on my mind since I went to England in August and discovered how dire it all is, and that it is not far off, but happening now.
What a great movie. It made me angry that The Republicans cheated their way to power at the cost of so many lives, and maybe our planet. The USA produces 1/4 of the CO2 and other greenhouse gases, and is doing very little to change that Federally.
Yet those same cheating Republicans also gave Al an opportunity to work globally to change what we are doing, and maybe stop the madness. Maybe.

As I drove (I confess) to work, I heard Jim Mora and a guy from Dunedin joking about how global warming really wasn't their number one issue. I know my house will be under water if even half the dire predictions come true. I wondered how much of Dunedin would go under? And scarily, the ice caps are melting now!! This is not a theory that might happen way in the future. It is ou…

leadership

Life has been way too busy, and will be for a while yet.
I had the Third Order Franciscan convocation two weeks ago now. My first chapter, and on show doing stuff all weekend.
a big theme was the need for us as Franciscans to grow up, and take our responsibility for living the Franciscan way here in this country more seriously, i.e. not leaving it up to the first order brothers.

Last weekend I attended the religious life advisory committee. Most of the time I wondered what the meeting was about and why I was there, although it was nice to meet other religious, and some others with an interest. Anyway, one of the discussions was around leadership models. I realized how I haven’t really thought about what kind of minister provincial I am called to be in the order, or what kind I want to be? In a way, I slipped into the guru up front role. Brother Kentigern SSF talked about how with four professed brothers it is silly to have a guardian, and that they could easily just work together. That …

compassion

I have been pondering the polarisation over the Progressive Lockout/Strike. Wayne Mapp's comments about why Steve Maharey should not help these "radical unionists". There was no sense of these being real people. And no compassion. We as church people are often just as lacking. Espeically with young people. We don;t see people, just youth, a group to work with. That is so NOT gospel. But we all do it. I do it.

I am doing a course on Celtic Christianity, and am trying to write an essay on three modern cletic poets, RS Thomas, Anjela Duval, and Nuala Ni Dhomhnaill. I am so enjoying this, reading great poetry, and ebing encouraged to write more myself. you saw some of my efforts. Sadly I really needed to be writting the assignment.

Peace
John

a poem

YELLOW MAN

Yellow man sits
alone with his mortality
an end too soon, too
painful to hope,
Deserted by both medical
science and a wife who
loves too much. Good bye
cannot be said now.
Yellow man sits in
this empty place, a verse
the only word. Bread
and wine speak eternity
crucified.
he waits in silence.

Paris Hilton Punked

through Steve taylors blog site I found my way to this. Excellent fun really, as I don;t have a ot of time for paris. I find her annoying really, and to be frank, not that beautiful. rich yes! but not much else.
so enjoy
Peace

sorry for tony balir

I was watching Tony Blair on the TV today, and I felt so sorry for him. He looks so tired and grey. His world is crashing down around him. No longer the golden boy of British politics. Iraq in the end will cost him his job and his legacy. As many predicted or at least hoped it would be. I think he genuinely thought he could control the Whitehouse. But he had not show. They are far too wedded to the Pentagon world view for any hope of that. Now he has people in Lebanon demanding he leave, and not seeing someone striving for peace, by a war monger and someone directly responsible for the deaths of 1,000 Lebanese. Now he has members of his own party actively working to remove him. How come John Howard is the only leader of a nation apart from the US that has not suffered?

As we remember the events of five years ago, it seems we have learnt so little. Terrorism will not be defeated by intelligence and violence, but by removing the causes of fear, anger and hate. When the Land of the free …

Ashamed to live in the Bay

I am ashamed to come from the Bay of Plenty today. My local MP, whom I voted for, has been busy bagging (bad phrase given his propensity to scratch himself in public) Maori, gays, Muslims in Burkes (they are all terrorists) and now the speaker of the house. Why did I vote for him again?

And now one of our other local MP's, Tony Ryall, again a member of the conservative National Party, is outraged that their is racially targeted health spending going on in this country. Maori men over 35 are being helped to join gyms. Why, because Maori men die at appalling rates and young ages from lack of exercise and poor diet. I suspect the Health Board is trying to do something about it. All, I repeat, all, the health research says that targeted expenditure is the best way to deal with health issues. And Maori health statistics show a crisis!! What does Tony want us to do? Nothing I think. He is being his own brand of politically correct that is not targeted funding. This is not based on any re…

the most important things

Last night I was at a Toru seminar (Anglican Centre for Youth Ministry Studies). The speaker was Annette Cater, the children’s ministry co-ordinator for the diocese of Wellington, and part time Strandz trainer. (See the website for more). She was speaking on Anglican Youth, a dying breed?
Annette has been involved in church in an active way nearly all her life. She remembers as a 10 year old being n a group that chose the music for Sunday services and organized and ran some of the Sunday services. She just thought that was normal. At 25 she is our youngest deacon, and will be our youngest priest at the end of the year. She is probably the youngest Archdeacon in the communion.

She talked about what the most important thing we do as church. I guess mostly we would say our sandy services. It is what we measure the success of a parish often. Yet young people and children are often excluded from that activity. We send them off to Sunday school. We run youth groups at another time. I wonder i…

Shopping for Jesus

Today I went to Sylvia Park, a huge new shopping centre in Auckland. It was packed with people browsing and even at times shopping, mostly I suspect for stuff they really didn't need. Yet it was exciting. I was excited being there. How sad!

Tomorrow we remember Monica, the mother of Saint Augustine of Hippo. She was excited for and passionate about faith. She really wanted her pagan and incredibly bright son to become a Christian, to know the life of Christ. She followed him around, praying for him and nagging him into faith. She challenges me to much less excited about shopping, and much more excited about faith.

Tomorrow my 14 year old son is going to use the sermon slot to tell us how we as a church can have Monica's passion for young people, and invite and include young people in the life of our community, that they might transfer their allegiance form shopping to Christ. Should be fun!

Peace.

church schools

I am currently at the Tikanga Pakeha Liturgy Working Group. We have just had an interesting discussion about "our church schools" and what a wonderful opportunity these schools offer.

I am not as enthusiastic about them as others, but I do see them as great opportunities.

It reminded me of a conversation I had at a synod recently with a school chaplain. In the course of that he asked what I would look for out of a school, and sadly I could not answer, which I am embarrassed about.
After watching a nooma cd (another posting) I knew.
I want schools to help young people to develop of sense of justice, of compassion, to be in tune with a God of justice, love and compassion.
I want school to gift young people the skills and resources they need to live a life of faith in which this sense of justice and compassion and life in God can grow and develop.
Finally if as part of that those young people can find a home in the Anglican Church that would be great. That depends on groups, school a…

Archbishop Shorn and Anointed in preparation for prayer and fasting

The Archbishop of York had his head shaved and anointed with oil during the Sunday morning act of worship at York Minster.
The acts of preparation came as the Most Revd Dr John Sentamu began a seven - day fast and prayer vigil for the Middle East.
After the service the Archbishop entered the tent which he has pitched in St. John's Chapel inside the Minster where he will be sleeping for the next seven nights as part of his vigil.
The acts of preparation came as the Archbishop announced his intention to forego his seven days' holiday to Salzburg in order to camp inside York Minster where he has asked people from all over the country to join him in heart and mind to pray every hour for peace in the conflict between Israel and Lebanon, and for good community relations in Britain.

Around my neck I wear a cross which bears the words of Archbishop Oscar
Romero: 'Peace will flower when love and justice pervade our environment.' The events of the past weeks show how far we are, as a…

Prayers for Peace

While I was away it occurred to me that as Franciscans we should be doing more to pray and work for peace in the Middle East, and Palestine/Israel in particular.
So this morning Bonnie and I searched the website for resources. WCC, CWS, Anglican Communion News Service had some good resources, or led us to good resources. We have now set up a place in our church where people can come and pray for peace: with letters from various people, including the Anglican Bishop of Jerusalem, Michael Green, CWS; prayers to pray; people to write letters to.

We are also inviting people to come to church on Tuesday at noon to pray together for peace. I don't know how long we will go, but it seems we will need to do this for a while. Maybe others would like to join in. Without prayer, there will be no need to the hatred and death that plagues that area. Without justice for all, Lebanese, Israeli Palestinian, non-Israeli Palestinian, Bedouin, Druze, Jew, there will be no peace, and the killing and des…

Flying home from London through LAX

I do believe that the hand of God was upon me this week.

I was due to fly home on Wednesday 10th August from London Heathrow via LAX. This was just a few hours before the security alert hit that route hard. Our plane was delayed for 3 hours due to a broken part in the air conditioning... and it took another hour to get away. But we got away with no hassle at all. In LAX we watched TV programmes about the new alert and how you were not allowed to take hand luggage on board. But again that did not affect us.

Even before we left however, I had a great stroke of luck. As I sat in economy (cattle) class thinking that there was not that much room really, but you survive, when the head steward came to my seat, asked who I was, and then invited me to go to premiere business class as they had a spare seat and as I was a Koru club member they would like to offer it to me. I was up there like a shot. And it was as good as the ads say. You get you own little area with seat and footstool. The seat c…

No Peace in the Middle East

I have just been sent this article by Benjamin Weir, a former Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) missionary and hostage in Lebanon. It adds some more information to what is going on there, and finishes with a call to pray.

I also discovered this site: http://terrorism-news.blogspot.com/
This does not offer such a neutral position, but does counter some of the propaganda put out by Israel and USA. For there to be peace we need to go beyond the propaganda and see the truth and work from there.

So find out what is happening, tell your friends, tell your politicians, and pray!!!!

May God's peace surround you and anchor you. May you work for God's peace

Israel and being Franciscan

I am in England. I have just been to the European General chapter for TSSF. It was entitled "Heralds of the Great King" and was centred around 5 themes: Racial Justice
Justice Peace and the Integrity of Creation
Sexual Orientation
Interfaith Matters
Mission and Evangelism.

Holding it all together was worship, adn enough time to sit and talk to people over meals and refreshment breaks.

I did JPIC as one of my two options. One session was spent on climate change, and another on Palestine/Israel. I struggled a bit with it as it seemed simplistic in its presentation, and almost anti-Israel. Don't get me wrong, I am horrorfied and angered by the actions of the present Isreali governemnt. But I don't think anything is served in taking sides, especially as christians, and especially as Franciscans. Surely we speek with more integrity while werving both sides, standign with the innocents on both sides, and calling for justice and peace for both sides.

I am heartend that the Anglica…

I Am

I am a servant
Of God Most Glorious
Source of all being
Eternal Word
And Holy Spirit
Who loved us into being
And in Love brings us into life
In Love God gave all
Became nothing
Poor naked helpless
Arms outstretched
Begging Mary’s breast
Blood soaked embrace
In this is love breathed

My God and my all
I am nothing
In the face of such love
A lesser brother
Rendered poor and naked
By one in whom there is only love
I am nothing
I am the object of that love
I am
In that love
I struggle to be

the middle east

I feel so helpless and angry about all this. I do nto support Hizzbolloh and their rocket attackes on Israeli's. I do not support the kidnapping of teenage soldiers. But nor do I support a state that uses terrorism to acheive its aims. I wonder who will pay for teh amazinf amount of destruction wrought on Gaza and Lebanon once this is all over? Will Israel? I doubt it! Then who?

There will be no peace until both sides talk and find just ways forward. Civilians will suffer the most in this war. And it is now a war.

What saddens me is that nations who cound bring pressure to bear only add to the madness. Is there any hope? what can I do?

The Episcopal Church in Jerusalem & the Middle East: Bishop Riah, the Anglican Bishop in Jerusalem, on the current crisis in the Middle East

Dear Friends,

For the past forty years we have been largely alone on this desert fighting a predator that not only has robbed us of all but a small piece of our historic homeland, but threatens the traditions and holy sites of Christianity. We are tired, weary, sick, and wounded. We need your help.

We have seen and we have been the recipients of the generosity of ourAmerican and British friends. We cherish the support of everyone throughout the world who stands with us in solidarity. Daily, I hear from many of them who express outrage at the arrogant and aggressive positions of President Bush, Secretary Rice, Senator Clinton, and Prime Minister Blair. I am saddened to realise just how much the deserved prestige of the United States and Britain has declined as a result of politicians who seem to devalue human life and suffering. And, I am disturbed that the Zionist Christian community is damaging America's image as never before.

Little more than a week ago, we were focused on the plig…

U2 r Coming

My life is complete
U2 have anounced their new date....November 24 in Auckland. It is probably 18 years since I last saw them. They have sung such sweet poetry that has resonated with my own musings. This will be a spiriutal experince.

Life is good! God is good!
Amen and amen

Israel and Hizballah

I can’t say how I feel any better than this great leader:

The Archbishop of Canterbury condemns the escalating violence in the Middle East

Writing to the Heads of Churches in the Lebanon, Dr Williams said

"I have been alarmed at the spiral of violence, the vicious circle of attack and retaliation, that has developed over the last few days. My prayers and sympathy are with the principal victims, the innocent civilians on both sides of the border, who now live in terror and are powerless to prevent the collective suffering at the hands of at the hands of Hizballah and the Israeli military.

"The distress felt at the destruction not only of life but also the infrastructure so painstakingly rebuilt after years of conflict will, I know, be acute and reinforce the sense of helplessness at being caught up in a wider regional struggle. My condemnation of this resort to violence is unequivocal."

The full text of the letter is below.

To Our beloved Brothers in the Lord
The Heads of Chu…

A simple (simplistic) way to keep the Anglican Communion Together

A Franciscan Collegue of mine sent me this in an email. In a way it is very simplistic. And yet, it is how Francis worked, and he was renouned as a peace maker. I wonder???


I'm reminded of the response that Francis gave when asked why his brothers did not carry books and keep libraries. He replied that the first and greatest commandment was to love God with all his heart, mind and strength. Since he hadn't even begun to accomplish that, he didn't concern himself with other more perplexing questions and debates about theological issues. We should use every opportunity to share with others in our community that we each have a far way to go in living out our Principles and Rule. That should be our primary goal and focus. Peace..........

As it is in Heaven

I went to see "As it is in Heaven" on Monday afternoon. It is a wonderful "foreign film" made in Sweden. It has some really interesting themes around the power of love.

It is about a famous conductor who for health reasons retires and returns to the village he grew up in till be was 9. No-one knows he was from there.

He wanted to remain a recluse, but is persuaded to help with the local church choir. In the process he learns about love, and his choir learn to love through music, with life changing consequences.

As I watched it I was reminded of the early theologians I read for my Masters course last semester. God as Love was one of the dominant images fro Athanasius, Augustine and Julian. In fact Julian said that in God there is only love. And I was then reminded of the statement from the Anglican Bishops of the Global South who, in response to the session the Archbishop of Canterbury led them in, came very close to rejecting as adequate God as love, and instead focus…

Why is there a lack of Anglicans wanting to be youth workers?

Ideas from a discussion of the Professional Diocesan youth Staff (PADYS) and others at forum 2006;
This is not a New Zealand problem. Michael’s observation is that it is a world wide cross denominational problem
UK and USA are all struggling to find people
What insight does Lloyd Martin's research published in “Real Work” offer in terms of working conditions and stress of the position of youth worker?
No one is being trained in Anglican youth ministry. So we have to steal from other churches
Also a question of what is happening to people who are going through our current youth ministries? Why do none of them want to work with young people?
Often the positions are not sustainable, so there is a high turn over. Because of the pay levels and the lack of role models of people doing it as a long term ministry it is not considered a career
As a consequence we do not have people who are trained or qualified or who have the experience or maturity
We do have school leavers applying for…

New site with resource material on it

I have set up a cheap and nasty site with several of my longer pieces on it. This includes the Lenten meditations I described in an earlier posting, and my essays on Julian of Norwich and Spiritual direction, human development theory and youth ministry, problematic faith development and counseling and spiritual direction, and my research assignment on the place and nature of spiritual direction and young people.

it is all there to be used.

enjoy
John

A dream of an Anglican Church filled with young people

At our General Synod this year the youth report was based around three questions:
What is our dream
what are we doign to help us get there
what is preventing us that we need to find ways to overcome.

So, here is our dream etc.... A Dream of the Anglican Church in 2014
· We are renowned in the wider community for our work among young people
· We are heading towards a flat line across the demographics in the 2016 census
· Anglican church in its words and actions places ministry to the under 40’s as it’s number one priority including:
o Funding
o People resources
o How it uses its buildings
o Education
o Ministry
· youth ministry and young people are not separated from the life of the whole church – it is not a Nippon clip on, but are seen as integral and vital to the health of the wider church – the reverse is also true
· That youth ministry is about ground root relationships and that all people are developing relationships with young people.
· Parishes take ownership of ministry among young people cf…

New Crumbs Publication - Culture Yeah Right

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The new Crumbs Publication is out. And it is great!

Culture Yeah Right, is a collection of essays written by the speakers at the Big E Youth Workers Training Event held in November 2004. It explores the nature of culture, and how we need to be working to allow our Anglican tradition to engage with the changing features of the cultural context that our young people live in. This book also comes with the DVD’s of the Big E sessions.

It has long been held by some of us who have been involved in youth ministry for a number of years that youth ministry practitioners in this country have a lot of experience and wisdom to offer both here in Aotearoa-New Zealand and the international youth ministry scene. Despite this little has been published from this part of the world, and clergy, youth workers and youth leaders in Aotearoa-New Zealand continue to look overseas for resources for doing youth ministry.

Over the last few years the Churches Youth Ministry Association has been working to get You…

finished

I have just finished my last assignment for the Pastoral Function of christian Doctrine. This was the practical one. So I did a series of lenten meditations based on St. Augustine of Hippo's On the Trinity. It came out well in the end.

Here in the intro and process so you can get a feel for how I did it:

Lent has traditionally been a time of fasting, reflection and prayer in preparation for the great story of Easter and the celebration of the salvation offered to all humanity through those events. This set of 40 cards is offered to be used over Lent as a tool to help in that work of preparation. They are tools for prayer and reflection. They are not the traditional Lenten study guides.
Through these cards you are invited to pray with St. Augustine of Hippo’s great work On the Trinity, in particular Books XII to XIV.
There is a card for each day of Lent, Monday to Saturday. There is no card for Sunday as Sunday is not a fast day. It is always a feast day because it is the day we celebr…

Sydney

A friend blogged about the Archbishop of Sydney (Anglican, just) sermon/speech in Christchurch. Some thoughts in response to Michael and Phil Jenson.
I am disturbed by the constant "evangelical" assumption that justice issues are somehow a side issue to real theology and the gospel. I have no idea what bible they read. But the one I read is all about justice. Any theology that does not place God's justice at the centre is of little use and is hardly biblical. So Phil, maybe if you got your theology right, then maybe a lot of the crap going on would stop and we could have some real conversations.

I have a lot of time for Michael's observations and thoughts. He and I are very similar. But the stuff about homosexuality intrigues me. Why, because it barely gets a mention in scripture. Heterosexuals misbehaving gets much more press. People using their power, position and money to oppress others, well now that is a real biggy. But do we get upset when adulterers are ordained…

O what a misty night!!!

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O how bizarre. the mist rolled in and you couldn';t even see the game. Played into the Crusaders hands, as they have some of the best kickers in the game, and the ball literally dissapered into the mist. But in the end they deserved to win. However, despite having all the ball and all the territory, they won by a solitary try. Well done the Canes!!!

What dissapointed me was we didin't teh backline tustle I was waiting for. When the Canes kept the ball and ran it they were dangerious. But it just didn't happen enough. Hei aha!!

We have showed though we now have the team to win this thing. Roll on 2007

O what a night!!!

I have been a Hurricanes (regional professional rugby team) supporter from the beginning. So often they have promised so much. And this year they are delivering. Not pretty rugby. Still that vaunted backline has not ripped opposition apart. And yet, winning rugby. Just over a week ago they beat the NSW team in Sydney to win a home semi final, they first in our history. Then on Friday night they won again!! Our first final. Most people have not expected that. Some had dared to hope. And now. i do not dare to hope. I have confidence. This is a winning hurricanes side. And even if they loose,which I am sure they will not, they have done us the supporter proud. My only sadness was I was not there on Friday night. If they had ended up with the home final, I would have done my best to get down and be there for that.

O what a night it was on Friday

O what a night it will be on Saturday.

Go the Canes!!!!!

International Anglican Youth Network

We had a conference call at 1pm New york time. I thougth that meant 6am here, but no, it was 5am. So I wsn';t even awake! Not a good way to start a conference call.
But things are moving on our gathering of youth officers and young adults next year. September 2-9 or there abouts. All we need is US$90,000. any ideas?

Our website should be up done too, adn the newsletter out, which will be great

Youth Yeah Collects

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Youth Yeah continues!!




Collects written by young people from across Aotearoa-New Zealand and Polynesia are still available at http://www.toru.org.nz/page.asp?PID=6

These are an excellent resource for use on sundays, and to pray in all sorts of settings, inclidng youth groups settings.

Comments on them are very welcome

Emerging church

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Emerging church stuff is slowly getting on the agenda of the Anglican Church here. slowly. people are talking about it. Some people are even doing study leave on it. People are wanting to do some new things. We just don't seem to know what to do. We need people from outside our square who have a toe or foot in our tradition who can be given permission and resources to do some new things and try new ways of mission and being church. The resources are the problem. so much energy and moeny is spent keeping what we have going. When we have an opporutnity to be freative we get sidetraccked into issues of amkign sure we all get our fair share. We don't think whole church, or even whole tikanga. We retreat into our own littel box!! it is so frustrating!!

Mostly I think we need good anglican youth workers to be liberated into soemthing new. One day soon it will happen.


anywho, here is a seminar that might jog us along a bit, or might not.

Tikanga Rua

In January we (the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia) held our three tikanga youth event in Gisborne. it was another huge learning curve for many of the Pakeha young people. It was a great event hosted and run by Tikanga Maori. I am grateful for the effort put in by te tangata whenua.

The meeting or hui did not end well. Tikanga Maori offered to co-host teh enxt tye with us, tikanga Pakeha. For a number of reasons, despite my wanting to do it, we were unable to accept this offer. Why am I writing this now?

Because this raised for me how important and yet so often unnoticed is the tikanga rua relationship between Maori and Pakeha. Somehow we have not paid this the attention we have needeed.

This is a big issue for our church, for those in youth ministry, and for our country.

Since TYE, this issue has kept on surfacing in nearly every other issue and meetign I have been at in our church. yet half the time it goes unnoticed. Soemhow we need withing tikagna pakeha to keep…

Gremio and 4 Eva!!!

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Gremio are football champions of South Brazil!!!

And tomorrow night, the hurricanes play for glory. Go the Canes!

General Synod

I have just spent the last week in Christchurch at our General Synod. This is like the parliament of the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia. You can find out more from a youth perspective on the above link,

The two big things for me was the role young people have played here, and the election of three primates (chief bishops).

The bishops decision is interesting. Some might see it as splitting our church further apart, and it might. But the hope is that the three will work closely together, and so remove the tension around who is the primate (from which Tikanga they come from) and allow us to get over some of those tensions and work closely together. And it is a recognition that it is very hard for a person from one Tikanga to offer appropriate leadership in the cultural settings of the other tikanga. So Archbishop Brown Turei (te Pihopa o Aotearoa) was able to speak to the reunion of the Maori Battalion in a way that no Pakeha could. And yet Archbishop Brown might s…

New Toru Website

Check out the new Toru website. Toru is the Anglican Centre for Youth Ministry Studies based at our Theological College here in auckland New Zealand.

Julain of Norwich - Great English Theologian

I have been doing a course on the pastoral function of christian doctrine this year, which has been fantastic. I have just finished an assignment on Julian of Norwich and how her theology applies to spiritual direction. Fascinating stuff.
strangely enough, I am now a great fan of Augustine of Hippo, and Athanasius is wonderful.

anyhow, here is a wee quote from Julian to encourage us as we head of to our General Synod.

“And in this she showed me something small, no bigger than a hazelnut, lying on the palm of my hand, as it seemed to me, and it was as round as a ball, I looked at it with the eye of my understanding and thought, “What can this be? I was amazed that it could last, for I thought that because of its littleness it would suddenly have fallen into nothing. And I was answered in my understanding: It lasts and always will, because God loves it; and thus everything has being through the love of God.”In this little thing I saw three properties. The first is that God made it; the sec…

ANZAC Day

Today I went to an ANZAC day remembrance service. I don't think I have been to an RSA one before. I only went because my daughter, as head girl of the local college was the guest speaker with the head boy.
War for me is largely senseless. Most wars we as New Zealanders have fought in have been stupid, and badly managed. Even Gallipoli which sparked the whole ANZAC thing and gave us the date was run by a bunch of largely incompetent generals who let their men die needlessly.

yet most of those who went did so believing the war was right. And they gave their all. So it is right to go and remember them, and what these wars cost them, and to give thanks I have never had to be in such a situation, and to pray and hope none of my children will ever have to go and fight in a war either.

As I write this I am reminded of those 18 year old Israeli soldiers guarding the checkpoints on the West bank, all the time knowing that a suicide bomber could come and kill them. The hard line attitudes and …

Some ransom thoughts for Easter

In Memory of God!
Three Questions for Easter
o What image comes to mind when I think of Easter?
o What image of God am I given in the Easter story
o Who am I in the Easter story?
* Introduction:
In western church often think that Easter is just about salvation
And for us that has come to mean having our sins forgiven through Jesus’ death on the cross and then rising again
In church of first thousand years, and eastern church today
salvation is process by which we are able to once again “cleave to God” -> Like child snuggles to a mother
We once knew, but we forget.
From this point of view
for us to really be able to cleave to God
Not only need our sins forgiven
need to be retaught about who is God, and about who we are
God does this re-teaching through birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, especially the death and resurrection – Easter.
purpose of Easter is much more than having our sins forgiven
the equally important purpose of Easter is teaching us about Go…

Life: a Radical Adventure

I was asked to preach in the Cathedral in Porto Alegre in Brazil to start their youth month on the theme Life: A Radical Adventure. It is one of the only sermons I have ever written out in full; I needed to so it could be translated properly into Portuguese. It was also written for the first Sunday in Lent. So as we come to the end of lent and the great feast of Good Friday and Easter, I offer these thoughts.
(It also seems a waste to not use all this work at least twice)

Introduction
We are here this morning to launch into a month with the theme, “Life, a radical adventure!”
So what is life?
What do we want out of our lives?
Deep down, if we were honest, if we could have anything at all, what would we want out of our lives?
Take a moment and answer that for yourself. Be honest. There are no right answers. If you want, talk to the person next to you about what it is you want.
So take a moment to honestly answer, what is it you want for your life?
If I spoke Portuguese, I might ask for some res…

Gremio and 4 Eva, and thanks

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I might have missed out on the three quarters naked woman dancing the samba, (which was probably no bad thing really) but I have seen some amazing samba floats on TV. And I have experienced the real Brazil. I have been to a soccer game. Gremio, champions of the world (once, long ago) playing Santa Cruz! What an amazing fun time. Singing, chanting, drumming, flags, fights, and outstanding good soccer. And the good ones don't even play here! Scary stuff.

Gremio for ever!! Gremio is the club Ronaldinho comes from in Brazil.
tomorrow I preach at the Cathedral on the theme of Life: a Radical Adventure. Somehow I get Francis onto there, surprise surprise! Tonight I met up with some of the local people struggling to form a Third Order area. I really enjoyed being this part of my family.

Our time is here is nearly over. It has been a great two weeks. I have experienced such hospitality, care and love. I have eaten amazingly yummy food lunch and dinner each day. I have enjoyed this whole eat…

IAYN

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The Steering Committee of the International Anglican Youth Network has just finished their meeting. We have worked hard on a whole raft of things including:

communication- getting a newsletter out- designing a logo- getting a website up and getting something on the ACC website.Events:We are planning to run a gathering for Provincial youth Staff and at least one young person from each Anglican Province in September 2007 in England. The agenda is to hear what is happening among young people and young adults around the world, to develop the network, and to prepare a workshop to be run with the bishops at the Lambeth Conference to be held in 2008. We have no money, but it is an exciting thing to aim at!! Any ideas on where we can find 100,000 pounds???New York and the UNWe are also needing to choose two reps (aged 18-30) from each region (Asia, Latin America, Africa, Europe including the Middle east and Oceania) to attend an Anglican young adults gathering at the UN in in New York in June …

some images

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famous hotel, now a cultural centre. very cool












city scenes from on top of the gassometer museum looking up from the river edge to where we are staying. River behind and city to the left
















the cathedral (anglican) and some of those who have looked after us so well










inside the wcc plenary hall











my downfall - chocolate pizza.
this one is choclate and coconut.
also had chocolate and icecream, chocolate and nuts, and white chocolate











IAYN at WCC




New Zealanders all one ethnicity?

I read that Gerry Brownlee is upset that we can;t just call ourselves "New Zealander" as an ethic origin. He says that we don't identify with Europe.
I guess, I worry about Gerry. Ethnic origin is very different to culture, which is what he is talking about. I am European by ethnicity, I am pakeha by culture. How could he not see the difference. And if he can't, how did he get to be deputy leader of one of our two main political parties.

I am also interested in what he understand a New Zealander to be, in the interests of being one people. I suspect he has a very white picture in his head. So, for us to be one people we have to be white or pretend we are white? Is that right Gerry?

And a day or two later the Race Relations Commissioner reports "Maori and Pacific people are still facing huge inequalities, despite some positive moves in 2005.
The annual review of race relations shows there is an unacceptably wide gap between Maori and Pacific people and the rest of th…

Sick

Well, all that overfine eating has caught up with me and I am laid up with the most sore stomach, ongoing diarrhea, and generally not feeling very well. I spent today in bed, while people brought me a whole range of drugs to take to help me be better. So far though, no luck. I fear I may miss the trip we are all doing tomorrow.

Yester day we went to the cathedral. It was a very small congregation with carnival. Then we had lunch at Dessordi's, and then walked around the Porto Alegre city centre, as well as catching a tour bus. There are 1.5 million people here, a quite small city, compared with Sao Paulo (18 million including surrounding town) or Rio de Janeiro. Built along side a river, it is very nice, with some very beautiful old buildings. One day I will post some photos.

I get to preach next Sunday, a worry. I need the sermon finished by Friday to be translated and copied!!!!

Let us hope tomorrow dawns with less pain and toilet going

Anglican Youth at WCC

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On Monday Lunchtime, a group of Anglican young people who were present at the WCC gathered to meet each other. The meeting had been organised by Kenneth Kearon, the ACC General Secretary. It was also a chance for us in the IAYN Steering Committee to talk about what we are about.

Two things emerged from this meeting. One was a desire to communicate. So a weblog has been set up (almost immediately)

The other is for more world wide gatherings for young people to meet and get to know each other and learn about and be inspired by what is happening around the world.

One of the really big issues is of course, language. Lots of the young people spoke Spanish and Portuguese. How can one blog or one website or one newsletter be used by people speaking different languages? A challenge! Exciting though. It helps you realise what being Anglican really is being about. Not the church of England any more. Something much bigger and world encompassing.

Today at our IAYN meeting we had reports. Stand out in…

march for peace

We marched for Peace the other night. It was the mid point of the WCC Decade to Overcome Violence. It was time to pass on the focus from Asia to Latin America. It was a good thing to do with 3-4,000 people gathered for the WCC General Assembly.

It was loud with lots of amazing Brazilian drums. Great chants. Stirring speeches. Symbolic actions, passing on the torch of this Decade to Overcome Violence from Asia to Latin America.

Part of me felt very cynical. What difference will this make? None really.

But Desmond Tutu spoke. Of how people marched and the Berlin Wall fell. And how people marched and apartheid fell. And now we marched, and violence will fall!!! He reminded us that (using a story of a crucifix with out arms) that we are Jesus arms. We are Jesus eyes, We are Jesus legs. Through us peace will reign. Through us violence will end.

Yes, in the face of it all, we are called to hope, and to cat on that hope. It seems so hard, yet that is the call.

as a little aside, the translator in…

why o why come?

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I videod some of one of the morning services the other day. I was watching it last night, and I caught two anglicans standing, stock still, hands clasped in front, mouths shut, while all around people clapped and joyfully sang in a languagge not english. And I wondered, if you are not going to enter into the whole range of worship expereinces avaiable here as part of this amazing cross-denominational occasion, why o why come? Why not let soemone who will actually enjoy and entire into it come?

Birthday

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Today (24th) is my birthday. I am 48 today. That feels old.

And here I am in Brazil, away from my family. But I have been well looked after with a birthday cake at lunch and being sung happy birthday in Portugese and English.

I just don't feel 48!!! It feels too close to 50, which feels too close to retirement! I wish!
tonight out to a Spanish feast of food and Flamingo dancing. Last night Arabic feast. They have this style fo restaurant where theye just keep bringing the food around and you eat till you drop. I felt so much pressure last night to make a wee dent in the food they brought out. In the end it was only a wee dent!

Onwards into another year, and carnival

This photo was when they sand happy brithday to me for the third time when either at lunch or dinner. I feel well looked after

Samba

Last night I went with a group to a Sambe School. Last rehearsals (they spend all year rehearsing) before the carnival.
It was just great. We thought we might learn to dance it. Huh! Thank goodness we just watched, which was exhausting enough.

The Samba is this wonderful, colourful all age affair with all sorts of layers of music, dance, and then minders around the edge. It is a great metaphor for our Post modern world really. The musicians include a band with quite a few singers. Then there is this large group of percussionists who almost drown out the music and give it all this really discordant feel.Among the dancers are the large matrons grooving away, young girls scantily dressed shaking their bits as vigorously as they can, the flag couples whirling and whirling, guys dressed in black and white with masks doing this dramatic thing, and other guys in red with tambourine type things doing tricks with them. All seemed to be doing their own thing and yet it all hangs together making t…

Palestinans and Brazil

I am at the WCC General Assmebly in Brazil. I am here for a meeting International Anglican Youth Network Steering Committee meeting. (Same thing I was in Israel for last year)
The member from Isreal is not coming, for mysterious reasons. I wonder if it is because of restrictions of travel for Palestinians, not that they have much anyway.

It made me realise that while the West is demanding that Hamas reonounce violence and recongise the state of Israel, Israel has not renoucned violence agianst palestinaians, and in fact has reconifrmed its commitment to commiting acts of violence. Nor ahs it recongised the Palestinian people's right to a state. A real state, not a collection of towns seperated by territory administered by the Israeli Defence Forces, who can then restrict travel between these towns.

Why is it that we in the west are so quick to condemn others violence, and yet so slow to see our own. Why is our media so quiet on this? Why is our church so slient on behalf of our Pales…

Hospitality

I have experienced some generous hospitality recently, and had opportunity to offer it. I realise how often we ask, how much will this cost me? How much should I charge? what is my fair share of the cost. Yet, really, what has moved me, si when I have been abel to say to soemone, look, just come, no worries. And when soemone has said to me, come, stay the night, no worries. I offer God's abundantly generous love, and I receive it. Is that what we as church should do, just offer living pictures of God's abundant compassionate love, and that means receiving as well as giving well. Maybe?

ARGH!!!

This is just a wee note to say that I just do not have enough hours in the day at the moment.

Since TYE I have been to parachute music festival, which is always interesting. We are trying to create an Anglican presence, and it was a good first time at it. We were a little invisible, but it was nice having a Eucharist every morning, running a contemplative midnight mass, and generally chilling with friends in the searing heat. Pity the air bed went down and the tent pole broke.

then one day at work and a wisdom tooth out! Ouch!!! and that was all that week. Amazing drugs that allow you to be awake and not remember a thing. Thank goodness. It was impacted and still hurts.

We had a great Waitangi day. A local iwi member who returned from Aussie was appalled at what little happened, and he organised a concert at the Mount Beach. Very nice to be there with a lot of Maori around. Not a regular happening I realised.

My real struggle is that I have so much to do, that I would have done during Jan…