Encouragement for the Journey 24 January 2016

Encouragement for the Journey


Greetings fellow traveller,

 A person whose life and writings has been a strong influence on my ministry is Albert Schweitzer. On a boat trip on the river Ogoowe in Gabon in 1915 which was once French Equatorial Africa, while searching for a universal concept of ethics for our time. He came up with the phrase in German “Ehrfurcht vor dem Leben” meaning Reverence for Life (however it is more accurately translated as: “to be in awe of the mystery of life”).

 Since that moment of epiphany he based his life and medical practice on that simple yet profound concept on the reverence or awe of life. The following are some quotes from his writings for our reflection:

“Constant kindness can accomplish much.

 As the sun makes ice melt, kindness causes misunderstanding, mistrust and hostility to evaporate.”

 “A man is truly ethical only when he obeys the compulsion to help all life which he is able to assist, and shrinks from injuring anything that lives.”

 “Example is not the main thing in influencing others. It is the only thing.”

 “Until he extends the circle of his compassion to all living things, man will not himself find peace.”

The basis of Schweitzer’s philosophy of life was:

“Reverence for Life affords me my fundamental principle of morality, namely, that good consists in maintaining, assisting and enhancing life, and to destroy, to harm or to hinder life is evil.”

May his words be an encouragement along your journey of life, to have reverence for all life with acts of compassion and kindness.

Meanwhile Peace


January 30, 2016 in Ministry Team's Blog by

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Encouragement for the Journey 17 January 2016

Encouragement for the Journey


Greetings Fellow traveller,

Welcome today, to another combined service, with St Aidans and St Luke’s sharing together, in worship, Holy Communion and fellowship. May our service today offer you moments of insight, encouragement and grace on your journey of life.

Each week I receive an abundance of emails from various parts of our world, especially from the USA. They focus on various topics and subjects. During the third week of January a particular theme emerged, namely the life and influence of Martin Luther King Jr. The US celebrates Martin Luther King Day on the third Monday in January each year, around January 15th, which is his birthday.

Mention Martin Luther King Jr and a myriad of images and sounds will arrive into our awareness. From the ‘I have a Dream speech’, to the protest marches in Montgomery Alabama, or his preaching as a Baptist Pastor.

Fifty years ago this April, Martin Luther King, Jr. sat in a jail cell in Birmingham, Alabama and wrote a letter to moderate clergymen in white mainline churches. In it he expressed his disappointment in the church’s inability to be a people formed more by a vision of Jesus than by fear of cultural rejection. He wrote:

So often the contemporary church is a weak, ineffectual voice with an uncertain sound. So often it is an arch defender of the status quo. Far from being disturbed by the presence of the church, the power structure of the average community is consoled by the church’s silent–and often even vocal–sanction of things as they are.

But the judgment of God is upon the church as never before. If today’s church does not recapture the sacrificial spirit of the early church, it will lose its authenticity, forfeit the loyalty of millions, and be dismissed as an irrelevant social club with no meaning for the twentieth century. Every day I meet young people whose disappointment with the church has turned into outright disgust.

~Martin Luther King, Jr., Letter from a Birmingham Jail

This is a very prophetic piece of writing…… I am left questioning, maybe it is too late for our current model of church, and that something new is being born. Who knows, I hope so….

Meanwhile in hopeful anticipation and peace



January 30, 2016 in Ministry Team's Blog by

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Encouragement for the Journey 3 January 2016

Encouragement for the Journey

Greenstone Moebius Band

Greetings fellow Traveller,

In ancient Roman religion and mythology, Janus is the god of beginnings and transitions, doorways, endings and time. He is usually a two-faced god since he looks to the future and the past. The concepts of January and janitor are both based on aspects of Janus.

On this first Sunday of 2016, it is a wonder – filled opportunity to think about Janus for just a moment, about what he represents: Endings and Beginnings.   Looking Back – Looking Forward.

One way we may be helped in this is, is through music and in particular hymns. All the hymns we will sing this morning come from Shirley Erena Murray. Shirley was born 31 March 1931 in Invercargill, she earned a Master of Arts degree with honours in Classics and French from the University of Otago. She later worked as a teacher and researcher. After marrying Presbyterian minister John Murray in 1954, she eventually moved to Wellington where John was minister at St Andrew’s on the Terrace from 1975 to 1993. Her hymn writing started in the 1970s and she often used the congregation of St Andrew’s as a testing place for the hymns. Many different composers have put music to her hymn texts.

Her hymns have been translated into several European and Asian languages and are represented in more than 140 different hymnbook collections around the world.

May the words of Shirley’s hymns offer food for your reflecting and encouragement for your journey today and for the unfolding of your days this year

Meanwhile Peace on your journey into the unknown of another year


January 30, 2016 in Ministry Team's Blog by

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