Showing posts from December, 2007

May you have time to breathe life afresh this Christmas


Was Jesus born
in this Bethlehem spot?
Not a nice stable at the back of an inn,
but the animal end
of an ordinary house-cave
among the dung and the feed?

Did Mary breathe deep,
hold and push
in this underground smoke darkened shrine?

Did Joseph stand helpless
among the men
safe away from the
blood, pain and tears
around a fire warmed
against the winter chill?

Did the whenua of God
lie on this
star shaped spot
where millions have prayed?
Is it here God inhaled that life giving breath,
and exhaled that first joyful cry?

I don’t know!
And none of it matters…
Unless Jesus is born in me
this Christmas
Unless I breathe life afresh
with God
Unless I leave the helpless men
at the safe end of my cave
and join the woman in the
messy hand dirtying work
of giving birth to God’s world today.

May you have time to breathe life afresh this Christmas

John Hebenton tssf
Anglican Youth Network Facilitator: Tikanga Pakeha
Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia
15 Farm Street, Mount Maunganui 31…

A conversation on “mission-shaped youth ministry”

The Big E 2008
A conversation on “mission-shaped youth ministry”
Vaughan Park, Long Bay, Auckland
9.30am on Tuesday 3rd to 4pm on Thursday 5th June 2008

Our world is changing. Young people are changing. The way we do youth ministry is changing. Or at least it needs to change. Don’t believe me? Here are some figures from the last census
• Between 2001 and 2006 the percentage of New Zealanders who called themselves Christian dropped from 60.6% to 55.6% of the population
• For nearly every age group under 40, between 40-50% answered “no religion” to the religious affiliation question.

We are increasingly living in a country where young people in particular have no idea what the Christian story is, or who Jesus Christ is.
It is time to ask some hard questions about what we are doing and why, find new ways forward, and redevelop some of our old ways. Some of the questions we need to address might include:
• What are the issues you face in youth ministry?
• What is Youth Ministry?
• What is the end p…

Thoughts on leadership

A couple of weeks ago I attended (and helped run) Raukura, a training event for run by Toru for the diocesan and regional youth staff in the Anglican church in Aotearoa-New Zealand within Tikanga Maori and Tikanga Pakeha. Each of those attending were asked to write a reflection on what leadership is for them based on the presentations (by Bishop Philip Richardson, and Rev Jemma Allen) and the discussions that ensued from these. This week I went to Fiji to run some of the Manu Rui module for the archdeaconry youth co-ordinators in Polynesia, and Don Tamihere was to run his biblical modules. Sadly, Don injured himself and was not able to go, and so to fill in the extra sessions (apart from sitting one out in Nadi airport when the flight was delayed for three hours) I reused some of the leadership material, and the draft reader that Don had prepared for Raukura. What is below is my reflection based on both these events, my earlier reflections on being a priest, and the course on Leadersh…


So, I did the ride. Seven hours, forty eight minutes. Bugger! I was hopoing for a lot faster than that. This was the first time I have done this ride confident I woudl do a good time, feeling fit and ready, and I did my second slowest time, but over an hour. I was gutted. But life is like that really. Some fo the things you feel most ready for, most prepared for just don;t work. And some of the things you feel least ready fro are the things that do work and come off.

The good thing was that next year it will be easier to beat that time.

One of the thing that really annoyed me was this women beat me as well. I guess that means there is hope for me yet.