Wednesday, June 28, 2006

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.


Thursday, June 15, 2006

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 leaving it up to the youth worker or youth leader, or the too hard basket
· Young People are listened to on what the issues are for them, and that the Anglican church is known for its work with young people on addressing those issues in life giving and life changing ways:
· We have recognised the importance of young adults and constantly give them opportunities of meaningful formational, ministry and leadership – New Wine that Sarah talked about this morning
· Helping and encouraging young people to identify what they are passionate about and gifted in and finding ways of letting them live that out
· Built on a strong ministry among children and their families
· Church takes seriously ministry of church schools among young people who are their pupils, and schools take seriously that ongoing faith development and ministry relies on significant sense of belonging to and living and ministering in wider church, in this case the Anglican church
· Employment of trained Anglican youth workers with well resourced long term positions.
· We are confident that the three tikanga Anglican tradition has much to offer young people?
· Young people are resourced and allowed to reinterpret our tradition to this new millennium.
· Offer genuine community. ”People are open to spirituality but its in a void. Can we help them find new ways to live and be."
· Offering vision more compassionate and just vision of our wider society

What are we doing now that will help us get there:
Diocesan Youth Facilitators
Diocesan Youth Ministry Networks
National Anglican Youth Forum (tp)
Forum Exec
Work of Anglican Ministry Educators (AMEN) training clergy

· work at our tikanga rua and tikanga toru relationship TYE, T3 Youth Exec, Toru
· Anglican spirituality and theology
· OSS and workgroups on ministry under 35 in Christchurch and Waikato
· Youth Yeah! Providing a good platform on which to build
· TPMC identified Youth Ministry as the first priority for ministry training.
· Decisions of IDC to build on Youth Yeah
· Work of the Youth Covenant Commission
· Those of us in youth ministry often bring a unique way of looking at church and at ministry which needs to be heard if we as a church are to continue to minister effectively in our changing world.

What is preventing us getting there? (In outlining these things we want to invite us all to find ways to overcome them)
· Youth ministry is too often not one of the real priorities of the church in terms of people, finances, education, ministry and time. - too often given token time, resourcing and energy
· Parishioners and parishes feel they have nothing to offer young people
· Parishioners and parishes not wanting too are afraid engage with young people
· Significant numbers of clergy have had little or no training in ministry to those under 40 at St Johns and diocesan level and who therefore see it as a low priority and who feel unable to engage in it in any meaningful way
· Young people and clergy called to youth ministry and or to ordination too often are taken out of youth ministry and put into ministry among the aged as parish clergy
· Not providing just and supportive employment conditions for those employed as youth workers.
· Adults not passing the baton. They hold on to their own roles. Youth need to be mentored by these adults in taking on those roles" –new wine not mature
· Stuck with our present models of church and ministry

New Crumbs Publication - Culture Yeah Right

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 Youth Ministry practitioners in Aotearoa-New Zealand published. We now have four books published. The first was on Models of Youth Ministry, and the second on Short Term Mission Trips. The third was based on Rev. Michael Hughes thesis examining youth ministry in the Anglican Church in Aotearoa-New Zealand: tikanga Pakeha from the perspective of Liberation Theology
Ministry to those under 40 is increasingly seen as a priority for all parts of our church. You play a significant role in raising the profile of this ministry and enhancing its practice in our church. I hope this book will help you in your resourcing of this ministry.

Thursday, June 08, 2006


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 celebrate the resurrection. So it is not part of Lent. And yes, that means you can eat what you gave up for Lent on Sunday!
For the first five weeks each card contains a short introduction about St. Augustine and what he was trying to say in On the Trinity.
Each card also offers a short quote from St. Augustine’s On the Trinity. You are invited to read, reflect on and pray with this quote. The back cover of each card offers a way of doing this reading, reflecting and praying so that you might hear what God the Trinity is inviting you to this day.
It is hoped that through reading and praying with these quotes you are helped to celebrate Good Friday and Easter Sunday by exploring a bigger and deeper picture of salvation, and to be able to live out what you have discovered. For through knowing God we are able to truly know ourselves. As we know ourselves we are invited to live in the virtues of God, in truth, goodness and love, and so live a virtuous life.

A summary of the Way of Reading St. Augustine:
Read the quote from Augustine through three times. After each time you read it pause and ask one of the questions below
A. What word or phrase jumps out at you?
B. Where does this reading touch your life?
C. What does God the Trinity inviting you to today, or want you to be / do in light of this?

(see the back of each card for more details)

How and where to use this:
These cards are offered to be used by individuals either at a designated place in their church, or at home.
They can also be used by groups who meet daily for between 30 minutes to an hour depending on the size of the group.
If groups are using them then time needs to be given for people to welcome each other and to become still. Then after an opening prayer, the quote would be read out loud, and after some silence participants invited to offer their reflections as described on each card.
It is important that in response to the first reading only the word without any explanation is offered. An explanation can be offered after the second and third reading. Sometimes it is found that after the second reading people still want to answer the first question - but say why. This is fine. Some times it was in listening to others reflections that things became clearer.
If people wish to pass that is also acceptable.
After the third reading participants might want to pray for the person on their right based on what it is that God the Trinity is inviting them to that day.

A way of reading St. Augustine:
Listening for Christ the Word
1) Reading: read the passage, and listen for the word or phrase that is especially meaningful.
2) Silence for two minutes to hear and silently repeat a word or a phrase that has attracted you.
3) If in a group, sharing aloud each may make a single sentence statement of the word or phrase that has attracted them. No elaboration.
How Christ the Word speaks to me
4) Second Reading of the same passage (by another person).
5) Silence for two minutes reflecting on “How does the content of this reading touch my life today?”
6) If in a group, share aloud briefly, beginning “I hear...” or “I see...”
What Christ the Word is inviting me to do
7) Third Reading of same passage (by another person).
8) Silence for two minutes reflecting on “I believe that God wants me to be or do today.”
9) If in a group sharing aloud the result of each person’s reflection. Be especially aware of what is shared by the person on your right.
10) Pray. If in a group, after sharing in turn pray for the person on your right

Important note for groups. Anyone may say “pass” at any time. If instead of sharing with the group you prefer to pray silently, simply state this aloud and conclude your silent prayer with ‘Amen’

St. Augustine. On the Trinity. Introduction, translation and notes by Edmund Hill, O.P. New York: New City Press, 1991.

Thursday, June 01, 2006


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. No, we talk about forgiveness. (I had a very interesting conversation with a colleague who had run a gay couple, who were celibate, out of his parish, and told me his friend who through his adulteress actions had broken up two families and caused untold pain and damage to the young people in those families should be forgiven his indiscretion and called back to full time ministry! Do we tell people who pay their workers poor wages and offer poor working conditions that they need to repent and are not welcome at the communion table until they rectify things? (As some church do to unmarried couples living together) No, we put them on our church governing bodies! That seems strangely unbiblical and very homophobic to me. I have know people, good people, of evangelical faith who were called to ordained ministry who after being accepted, and after spending a long time struggling with the teaching of their faith and their own self understanding, "came out"! They were then told to leave theological college. Why, because they were gay. Not because they were involved with other men, they weren’t. They were celibate. Our fetish about being gay is appalling. The way the bible is reduced by married men to who and who can’t have sex is also appalling. Yes, let’s name the sins, but let’s name the whole gambit, and keep homosexuality in perspective!

Well, now that was a rant

O what a misty night!!!

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