28 May 2023
The Day of Pentecost
I fear this week I am to preach a most unlikely and unrealistic sermon. Although I may be in good company with the dancing flame, violent wind story of Pentecost, in fact with quite a few of the biblical stories. Pentecost we celebrate in red, yellow and orange swirling colour, with song and candle, rushing wind, tongues of fire, many and varied languages spoken and heard. Spirit outpouring upon the community gathered together in one place.
NOT JUST HEAVENLY MINDED
21 May 2023
Acts 1: 6-14
From last Thursday, Ascension Day, until next Sunday, Pentecost we in this part of the Anglican communion are invited to pray for Christian unity. It always seems a tall order when we have not got unity within the Anglican church let alone other Christian churches. Why unity – well I quote for the material provided for the Week Of Prayer for Christian Unity.
7 May 2023
1 Peter 2:2-10
“There are many rooms in my Father’s house” – this passage is one you might be familiar with from hearing it read at funerals. It is often chosen to reassure the mourners that Jesus has prepared a place for us in heaven. Well today is not my funeral, just my farewell, and it is the reading for the day. I did however choose not to have the reading from the book of Acts today which includes an account of the stoning of Stephen. Many rooms - Jesus paints a picture of life in God (not necessarily life after death) as an expansive place, with room for all.
Bishop Ross Bay
30 April 2023
A visit long planned for these confirmations has ended up falling providentially just before Helen concludes her ministry as your Vicar. So I wish to take this opportunity to extend my personal thanks to you, Helen, for your work these past nine years. I’m not too sure where that time has run away to as it seems like no time since we were welcoming you. I am very grateful for all you have done during this time, and I wish you and Stephen God’s blessing as you prepare for new adventures, some of which are very joyous and exciting for you as a family.
23 April 2023
Acts 2:14a, 36-41
The story of the disciples on the road to Emmaus is, I think, my favourite Bible passage. I love to wonder about Cleopas and his unnamed companion – women tend not to be named in the Bible so maybe she is Cleopas’ wife or daughter. I love to imagine their conversation, a mixture of grief and also hope as they talk about the strange tale of the women and angels and Jesus being alive. I love the mystery of the stranger who appears and walks with them, listening, and then explaining the scriptures to them.
9 April 2023
Here we are, Easter day has dawned, new light of a new day, new light of Christ life with us. With great joy and much acclamation we greet this day. Yet I find I want to be quiet, still. Have you not had enough of that in Lent, you might enquire? Reflecting on this event of Easter, the enacted rituals, the traditions we follow to remind us and return us to this foundational event, greatest festival in our faith calendar, it occurred to me that they are in large part rituals of grieving and letting go. Today, you say, today is different.
26 March 2023
Spirit, water, living water, sight/insight, death and life. A few of the multiple themes we have found in our Lenten readings from John’s gospel. Bishop Michael Curry, the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church in the USA said in a sermon recently “John is a crafty writer and wily with words; he lays down clues like breadcrumbs in the Hansel and Gretel story, helping us find our way home.” We get to follow the trail, and every time we come back to these passages we find something new or different.
TO REALLY SEE
19 March 2023
1 Samuel 16:1-13
Two weeks ago we heard of the death of Georgina Beyer after a period of illness. Georgina was the first elected transgender mayor in New Zealand and the first openly transgender Member of Parliament in the world. She had previously been an entertainer and sex worker in Wellington, before moving to the Wairarapa and the town of Carterton.
JESUS AND THE SAMARITAN WOMAN
12 March 2023
We continue our journey with the gospel of John through Lent. He’s leading us on a merry dance, providing us with gospel accounts populated by characters that, each week, stand in stark contrast to the other. Last week we met Nicodemus. Nicodemus came to speak to Jesus at night; a man with power, educated, a Pharisee, a religious leader and teacher, an insider in the Jewish world. He doesn’t understand what Jesus is saying, trying to teach him.
5 March 2023
Here we are the second Sunday in our Lenten traverse to Easter, journeying in the company of one another, attentive to those among us preparing for confirmation and/or baptism. Lent’s season has its own culture and intention, as Diana said last week Lent’s three actions include Whakawhirinaki, drawing closer to God in prayer, Whakamārie drawing closer to our neighbour through almsgiving and Whakapūmau drawing closer to ourselves in fasting. All three deeply rooted in the idea of love.
26 February 2023
Genesis 2:15-17, 3:1-7
We continue to live with the impact of the extreme weather events, the terrible impact of floods and cyclones, and I acknowledge those here today and watching on line whose lives have changed forever. The impact is huge - and what we can do to support people now - and how we can avoid it happening again is so complex.
19 February 2023
Leviticus 19:1-2, 9-18
“God makes the sun rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.” (Mt 5:45) Too much rain, way too much rain. I think we are all still in a state of shock after the floods at the end of January, and now the devastation of cyclone Gabrielle. The photos coming out of the Hawke’s Bay and Tairawhiti and areas of Auckland and north defy belief.
TODAY I'VE SET BEFORE YOU LIFE AND DEATH
12 February 2023
Today I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Choose life so that you and your descendants may live, loving, obeying, holding fast to God. Choices and laws and how to live echo through today’s readings. Choices have repercussions that are expressed in us and in our world.
MANA IN THE BEATITUDES
29 January 2023
COME AND SEE
15 January 2023
When the disciples of John the Baptist, seek Jesus out, he does not give them a sermon or even a proclamation. He asks a question. What are you looking for? If we go back to the original Greek it could just as easily be translated as What are you seeking? What are you hoping to find? As we return to work and routine at the beginning of a new year it is a good time to take stock and to think about those questions and invitation and our response to them.