Showing posts from 2011

Advent in Samoa

Advent in Samoa (Written at the end of the Diocese of Polynesia Year of Youth Event in Samoa) Hot days Sun blazing Water dripping We wait Here I am Here we are In Samoa 3 candles lit All saints we gather We wait Listening for an infant’s cry Looking for glimmers of hope Here we are Send us Christ is being born among us Christ is being born in us And in the moana Do we just sing a carol Pray a prayer Or clap our hands? Or do we live this birth Leaving footprints sprinkled with good news? God waits In Samoa

The Plastic Virgin Mary

There has recently been a lot of news coverage about the billboard put up by St. Matthews in the City. I want to make two comments. The first is about the criminal who vandalised it. How dare Arthur Skinner and the Catholic Action Group portray Christianity in this light. How dare he deliberately vandalise other's property. Has Christianity now sunk to the level of agressively enforcing it views on others, as Arthur is suggesting. I have no problem with him protesting, although I suspect his theology is really dodgy, but to destroy others property because he disagrees with it is wrong. I wonder if he sees the irony that in his defence of a “traditional” understanding of the birth of the prince of peace he uses non peaceful vandalism as his medium. He has done more damage to an understanding of Christianity than this billboard ever has. I wonder what those who know little of Christmas and Christianity will now think of us who seek to follow the one whose coming we celebrate in

Handout summarising everything we said

As we face an uncertain future, we want to explore the place of St John’s in: ·       Supporting young people as leaders in mission, ·       Training leaders to help us into ongoing change ·       Placing of a high priority on mission among children, young people, young adults and families There’s a difference between St John’s College being relevant for the Church as it is and St John’s being relevant for the Church as it needs to become. We believe in and experience a God of mission. This is not a God who is overly concerned with the status quo or the survival of our churches. We believe that young people have a key role in helping us in our journey towards this future. -         This new world is the world they have grown up in. -         They are not as shaped by church as it has been up to this point -         They are able to imagine new ways of being missional, new ways of being church -         They are able to think creatively -         They ask

Our future leaders need to be equipped to lead through change.

Our future leaders need to be equipped to lead through change. And more than that: they need to lead our church into the ‘unknown’. Into places for which, at present, there are no road maps or text books, no papers or classes, no star-charts, no GPS, no ipod apps. And it’s not ‘unknown’ because we’re too lazy to sit down and figure out where we are headed. The world is changing and changing fast and we’re quickly being left far behind. There is an understanding in schools that 90% of the jobs for which students are being educated don’t yet exist and that in some degree programmes half of what you learn in your first year will be irrelevant by your third. At present we are equipping people for a mission field that no longer exists; for a ministry paradigm that is no longer working. We need resourceful leaders who can develop new ideas and inspire in new and creative ways; leaders who can take risks and think outside the box; leaders who are intuitive, who see opportunitie


Recently, well in June, there was a hui (Forum) to discuss the future of our theological college. Our Youth Commission was invited to be part of that. We worked hard to talk about where we saw the church going, and where youth ministry sat within that. I am going to put up the transcripts of the presentations we made. I look forward to some feedback. Some of my thoughts on this hui can be found here. 1.       HARD MISSIONAL EDGE Some might say that we too often train people for the church as it is, rather than the church it will become. This can be seen in that many of our congregations in this country are aging, struggling to engage with the wider community, and too often focused on survival rather than mission. The world we live in is vastly and quickly changing. We believe in and experience a God of mission. This is not a God who is overly concerned with the status quo or the survival of our churches. This is a God who passio