Encouragement for the Journey 26 October 2014

Encouragement for the Journey


Greetings fellow traveller,

For the past week, I have been under attack from a flu virus. This was most unexpected, because I had the flu vaccination earlier this year. While reading the Stuff web site, I learnt that a rogue flu strain has surfaced in New Zealand and the flu vaccination does not ensure immunity from this rogue flu virus.

The technology around viruses and vaccine is beyond my understanding, however, I know the flu is quite debilitating, but it does offer moments for quiet reflecting and thought gathering. One such train of thought I had was around how I assumed because I had had the flu vaccination I was protected, alas, I was wrong. So in life, I may assume certain things will be predictable and go according to what I want. Alas, along comes something, which challenges that thinking, my life changes and I travel along another pathway.

We may apply this to the Christian faith journey in particular Church life and mission. I recall some years ago, someone once saying to me (not here at St Aidans), ‘Church life was once stable, predicable, it was under our control, now it is like life, always changing I don’t know were I stand.’ I can’t recall my response to such honesty, but I have often thought about those words.

If asked now, I would say something like: being Christ followers within the wideness and the spacious love of God does not ensure everything stays the same and we are guaranteed a stress free existence. Rather, we are given the gift of exercising our faith, to practice courage within the face of uncertainty and anxiety. I leave you with this prayer:


Patient God,

why are we in such a hurry to judge each other?

You do not rush to judgment.

You stay with us,

not distancing yourself because we are silly, irritable or incomplete.

Forgive us our haste and guide us patiently.


Honest God,

why do we deceive each other

with looks, with words, with touch?

You do not play those games with us,

but open your hands so we see the marks of your caring.

Forgive us our pretenses and teach us openness.


Gift-bearing God,

why are we so frightened to set our gifts free?

You have given them to us

and told us we are precious in your sight.

What more do we need, except courage.

Forgive us our fears and hesitations and push us into courage.

 Teach us what it means to be vulnerable to love

                                                      (Author Unknown)

Meanwhile Peace


October 31, 2014 in Ministry Team's Blog by

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Encouragement for the Journey 19th October 2014

Encouragement for the Journey

to love and be loved

Greetings Fellow Traveller,

Welcome to this sacred place called St Aidans, welcome to you who have not been here before, welcome to you who have not been here for awhile, welcome to you who regularly gather in this place.

To welcome another, is an act of gracious hospitality, an act of spacious love. Love is the theme of our Café Church today, and this was decided way back at our planning meeting in December 2013. So in the serendipitous mystery of life we are blessed to have a baptism as part of our service.

Baptism is an act of welcoming with love, children, young people and adults, into the worldwide family of God. Today we baptise Isla, acknowledging she is greatly loved by both her family and this community of faith, which is an expression of God’s love for us all.

Love is much more than images flashed on our TV and Cinema screens and sung in the lyrics of popular music. I am sure you have your own ideas, images and experiences of love. Later in our service you will have an opportunity to share them with us if you wish.

Love is more than a feeling it is an action. I recall reading of the last public gathering at which the late Prime Minister David Lange spoke. He was asked the question, what was perhaps the greatest moment in his ministerial career, was it when he won the Oxford Union Debate? (You may recall this debate 1 March 1985, were David uttered those well known words ‘I can smell the uranium on your breath,’ when he argued for the affirmative that Nuclear Weapons are Morally Indefensible). David replied to the question, “No, it is to love and be loved.” A few months later he died.

His response is a powerful reminder that ultimately it is love that truly matters, not what we may achieve materially or if we receive public accolades, but how we love extravagantly.

May your presence here this morning offer you encouragement ‘to love and be loved.’ This is what it means to be truly human and is at the heart of the Christian story. There are millions of quotes about love, this is a favourite of mine, and I offer it to you:

Someday, after mastering the winds, the waves, the tides and gravity, we shall harness for God the energies of love, and then, for a second time in the history of the world, human beings will have discovered fire.

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Meanwhile Peace


October 31, 2014 in Ministry Team's Blog by

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Encouragement for the Journey 12 October 2014

Encouragement for the Journey

Focus Forward Title

Greetings Fellow Traveller,

Today is a special day in the life of our Community. It is time to Focus Forward.

We take time to glance over our shoulder, to honour what has been achieved, to learn from our mistakes. So we may creatively respond to the challenges and opportunities of our present reality. While we prepare ourselves for our ever unfolding future.

There are a variety of ways we could have done this; our Renewal Team and Church Council have chosen an approach that seeks to harness the collective wisdom and creativity of our Community.

For this day to have an effective influence upon our communal life and mission, we need to hear what the Spirit may be saying to the Church, through one another. No one person has all the answers, or knows what direction or focus we should take. Rather, together in our sharing of our creative wisdom, we seek to discern a focus forward.

I want to remind you of a couple of things; firstly, each person has something valuable and creative to say. Age is not a barrier, for no matter what our age, or how long we have been part of this community, we each can make a very important and valuable contribution to our communal wisdom and creativity. Remember the ancient story of the young boy who only had five loaves and two small fish and the powerful influence his offering made in the lives of others.

Secondly, mistakes are welcomed here, for if we are not prepared to be wrong we’ll never come up with anything original or creative. Today, your crazy original creative ideas and dreams for this unique community of faith are welcomed in this place. Fasten your seat belt and enjoy the ride to Focus Forward.

Meanwhile Peace


October 31, 2014 in Ministry Team's Blog by

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Encouragement for the Journey 5th October 2014

Encouragement for the Journey


Greetings fellow traveller,

It is amazing how things you thought you had forgotten and lost within the swirling mists of time, suddenly reappear. Once such reappearance occurred this week. I was reflecting on the wonder and difficulty of communication when the following made its presence felt:

images-1 For communication to actually happen requires:

A sender – the person giving out the information;

A message – the information being communicated;

A medium – the format in which the information is being conveyed: i.e. written, oral or electronic;

A recipient – the person receiving the information.

However, the existence of these four factors does not automatically guarantee a successful communication. A communication has only succeeded when the information given by the sender has been received and understood by the recipient. With these dynamics in play, it is amazing that any real communication actually happens between us humans. But, it does….

I regularly reflect on how I communicate, in both verbal and written forms. I readily admit at times I fail to communicate, while at other moments I am surprised communication happens.

Within a community of faith, how we communicate is very important. Sometimes, we hear and understand, other times we hear, but don’t understand, while there are other times, we need clarification and fail to ask questions to help us to understand.

Next Sunday is our Focus Forward a time for communicating. I am curious, are you aware it is taking place? For your presence there is both important and welcomed. We will be gathering here at St Aidans at 9.0 am for a 9.30 am start, please see my letter and the Informer for more details. I look forward to seeing you here, hearing you and your ideas and thoughts for our Community of St Aidans.

Meanwhile peace in our communicating


October 5, 2014 in Ministry Team's Blog by

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