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A New Year

2020 is now behind us and many of us will be hoping that this new year, 2021, will be a lot different to last year. Perhaps the new year will be different but what about us?  Crowded House wrote a song called ‘“Weather with you’ which picks up on the idea that wherever we go we take ourselves and all the baggage we have accumulated over the years. So this year how different will we be?  What did we learn about ourselves last year that we need to leave there? What things did we le...

January 19, 2021

Christmas

Over the last few weeks we have been bombarded with the coming of Christmas. The shops are busy trying to sell us everything they can and the radio constantly plays Christmas carols.  And in a year where Covid has put a real dampener on things, people are looking forward to a time of celebration. Here in NZ we are fortunate to be able to gather together and to make the most of the festivities. But this week in England the Government there has now banned all Christmas gatherings saying the r...

December 23, 2020

Advent 4

Over the last three weeks my wife has been busy decorating the house for Christmas. As part of that we have  Christmas characters – shepherds, wisemen, Mary and Joseph and their donkey, spread around the house. Each day they move, all making their way to the manger where on Christmas day the Christ child will appear (much to the delight of our grandchildren).  This tradition is a reminder that Jesus didn’t just appear out of the blue one day, instead there was a time of waiting and...

December 15, 2020

Advent 3

Advent is a reminder that we are looking forward to the birth of Jesus, the Messiah - the one who came to show us what God is like. It’s a reminder that God reaches out to us, in our place and time, to show us how much we are loved. Unexpectedly it tells us that God reaches out to all people regardless of who they are or what they have done – which is why this is a such a story of great joy to all people everywhere. As we count down the days will we focus on this news of great joy or will ou...

December 8, 2020

Advent 2

Advent is a reminder that we are looking forward to the birth of Jesus, the Messiah - the one who came to show us what God is like. In Jesus we are reminded that we are called to show God's love to others and to the community in which we live.Over the last couple of months we as a church have been exploring how we can connect with and serve our community. One way we already do this is through Mainly Music (see details below) as we connect with mum’s and their young children for a fun time with...

December 1, 2020

Advent 1

This coming Sunday is the first Sunday of Advent – a reminder that we are now counting down to the celebration of Christmas. Advent is also a time of waiting.- waiting for our chance to celebrate of the birth of the Messiah. It’s a reminder that for hundreds of years the people of Israel had waited and looked forward to the arrival of a special child. And finally after such a long wait this Messiah appeared and most people missed it. Sure they were waiting and looking but they failed to reco...

November 24, 2020

Sorry seems to be the hardest word

Have you ever noticed how hard it is to say sorry or to admit that we were wrong. It seems that the word ‘sorry’ somehow gets stuck in our throat. We know we need to say it but it just won’t come. And we see it at all levels of society – politicians won’t admit they were in the wrong, spouses refuse to apologise to each other and even children struggle to say ‘sorry’.  We don’t like saying it but we all know how that little word can restore relationships, rebuild trust and ...

November 18, 2020

Worthy

A couple of weeks ago we watched the All Blacks crush the Wallabies at Eden Park in what was a very one-sided affair. The All Blacks were superb and a joy to watch. At the end of the game the crowd and commentators were effusive in their praise of them as a team. The crowd clapped and cheered and in that moment they worshiped the All Blacks – they declared their teams worth to all the world.  This was a team worth following, worth getting excited about, worth giving up an afternoon to wat...

November 10, 2020

New neighbours

Earlier this year we moved into a new house in a new neighbourhood. Doing so has allowed us to meet and engage with a whole new group of people. We are making some good friends. It reminds me that we can only really know each other when we chat over the fence, when we rub shoulders, when we share food. Our relocating has made us known to our neighbours and allowed us to know them. The Message version of the Bible uses these words to describe Jesus arrival here on earth ‘The Word became flesh a...

November 5, 2020

Songs of the people

Music has the power to let us travel in time and space. The opening beats of a piece of music can transport us back in time to a place of joy or sadness. It can reignite long lost memories and help to create new ones as well. The Book of Psalms in the Bible is a collection of songs used by the people of Israel to remember, to mourn and to celebrate. It became the public playlist that told the nations story. In the midst of all we have faced this year do our songs help us to see beyond the now an...

October 28, 2020

We need God

Over the last few weeks, we have been exploring the life of Jeremiah – a young man called by God to speak to his own people on behalf of God. For more than 60 years, he kept reminding them that God loved them but the people refused to listen. They had their own gods and didn’t need God, until they did, and by then it was almost too late. Yet when things looked the most desperate and it looked like God had given up on them – Jeremiah reminded them that God was still there for them. God had ...

October 20, 2020

How long?

How long? How long oh God?How long God must we put up with this Covid thing? How long must we wait till it disappears?How long God must we watch fear and hatred take control of our public discourse?How long before we as New Zealanders can live together with respect for each other’s differences?How long God before our children are safe in every home in NZ/Aotearoa?How long before every person is treated with dignity?How long before our world learns to say to no to war?How long God before we can...

October 13, 2020

Choices

We are currently in voting season and this year we are not being asked just to vote for politicians but also for two referenda – one on cannabis and one on euthanasia.  In order to help you make a decision the following resources have been provided by the Baptist Union of New Zealand. Feel free to check them out. Resource links Musselburgh Baptist Church in Dunedin shared these resources around the two referendums before us – ‘cannabis legalisation and control’ (click her...

October 7, 2020

Spring

Over the last couple of weeks I have watched the trees around town slowly begin to turn green and burst into bud. These signs of new life are the promise that spring is here. And spring is the promise that life goes on even in the midst of a pandemic. Soon we will be enjoying clear skies and warm days as the sun warms up the earth. Jeremiah lived in a time when his country was overrun by the Babylonians. A time when hope was in very short supply. In fact most people had given up, believing that...

September 22, 2020

Say Hi

In a recent survey of young people asking them ‘How has Covid19 affected you?’, one young women replied, “It has shown me the importance of physical gatherings.’ Last week we decided to postpone the planned church lunch due to ongoing Covid19 restrictions.  Like me you may have felt a bit frustrated that once again we are unable to gather together in a more socially friendly way.  Both those instances are reminders that as humans we are made for connection – we need other peo...

September 15, 2020

Tears of Compassion

Jeremiah was a prophet who was so disturbed and overwhelmed by what he saw going on in his own country that he became known as the weeping prophet because of his tears. Here is a person so saddened by what he saw that for 60 years he called his people to change their ways, to live differently.  His heart was broken by the way the people treated the most vulnerable in their communities – the stranger, the widows and the children – people who had no access to the powerbrokers of their tim...

September 8, 2020

Set free

This week I came across these words by John Newton, the writer of Amazing Grace. ‘I am not what I ought to be. I am not what I want to be. I am not what I hope to be. But still, I am not what I used to be. And by the grace of God, I am what I am.’ These words remind us that often we fail to live up to our own expectations but they also remind us that in Jesus we can be changed and renewed by God’s grace.  Newton the slavetrader discovered the power of God’s grace – a grace that al...

August 31, 2020

Learn more

For over 90 years Carey Baptist College has been training men and women for ministry in the local church. Rated by the Tertiary Education Commission as one of the top private training institutes in NZ, it seeks to help people make the connection between faith, the Bible and the world in which we live. If you are considering doing more in depth study or training then why not explore what they have to offer.   https://www.carey.ac.nz/ This Sunday we will take a short break from our serie...

August 26, 2020

Who will I trust?

Last week we were all going about our business as though Covid19 was a thing of the past. Tuesday evening everything changed and once again we must work together as a community to stamp it out. Perhaps like me you have felt a sense of dread at the thought of more lockdowns and a disruption to daily life. While what we face is life-changing, we are not the first to have faced times of hardship and disruption. And nor will we be the last to have our lives upended. History is very clear that life i...

August 18, 2020

What can I do?

This week our news has been dominated by the terrible explosion that happened in Lebanon and the thousands made homeless because of it. At the same time there has been major flooding in Nepal, Indian, and Bangladesh with little focus by our media.  Millions have been made homeless and a quarter of Bangladesh is under water.  So how do we, who have so much, repond to these two trajedies?  What resources do you have, that you can give, to help others who are suffering and in need? T...

August 11, 2020

Let's Pray

Prayer is something we think of as essential to the life of a church and yet it is often something that seems hard to do. At a recent elders meeting we talked about how we could encourage each other to be more active and focussed in our prayer as a church. So to help us prayer we invite you all to make August a month of focussed prayer around how we as a church can engage with our community. We would also invite you to pray for our community specifically  - schools, council, Kaibosh, Mainly...

August 4, 2020

New Series

This Sunday we are starting a new preaching series exploring the life of Jeremiah , one of the Old Testament prophets. Jeremiah is one of the most well-known of the Old Testament prophets and he lived in a difficult period of time. Kings who refused to accept God’s commands and religious leaders who pretended everything was okay when it obviously wasn’t. What was it like to be called by God and asked to share God’s message with your people? What was it like to speak the truth year in and y...

July 28, 2020

Welcome

Dave Dobbyn’s song ‘Welcome home’ resonates with many of us because it seems that we all want a place to belong, we all want to know that somewhere there are people who will miss us if we aren’t around.  The language of the song especially calls to us as kiwis with its imagery of our land and a woman who calls to us, to this place that we belong.  The biblical story is also a story of coming home – of discovering that there is a place, a homeland, and all of us are invited to...

July 21, 2020

Interruptions

The above quote by Henri Nouwen is a reminder that often the things we consider important may not be and the ‘interruptions’ to our lives may be the most important moments of all. Covid-19 was, without doubt, a huge interruption for all of us - our lives were jolted from their normal routines. And many of us discovered that what we had considered so important began to be replaced by other more significant elements. I wonder what this ‘interruption’ has taught you about the things you val...

July 14, 2020

Matariki

Next Monday is Matariki, the beginning of the Maori new year. Matariki is marked by the rising of a set of stars which many of us know as Pleiades. This was a marker for Maori that now was the time for preparing the ground in order to sow crops for the coming spring.  It was also a time to remember the year that had just been and remembering those who had died. Family was important and so was celebrating with food from the winter stores. It was a time of fun, food, tears and laughter. As y...

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