Encouragement for the Journey 3 January 2016

An inclusive Christian community in Auckland, New Zealand

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

Alf