Showing posts from August, 2006

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 r

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

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, s

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,

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 d

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 sea

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: 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 th