ALWAYS IN NEED OF REFORM
DIOCESE OF CHRISTCHURCH
HOW DO WE TALK ABOUT THINGS THAT MATTER? DO YOU NOT KNOW? HAVE YOU NOT HEARD?
OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2017
CHURCH OF THE GOOD SHEPHERD
A PATTERN FOR REVIVAL UNLOCKING THE PAST
04. ALWAYS IN NEED OF REFORM
01. 02. 10: 12:
08. HOW DO WE TALK ABOUT THINGS THAT MATTER?
FROM THE BISHOP: Faithful Stewardship THE BRIEF ARTICLE: A Pattern for Revival ARTICLE: Unlocking the past
14. 15. 18. 20. 25.
16. CHURCH OF THE GOOD SHEPHERD
22. PASSING ON THE STORY
THEOLOGICAL THOUGHTS: Yesterday and today and forever ANTHEM WORKPLACE: Go deep CULTURE PERSPECTIVE: Do you not know? Have you not heard?
AnglicanLife is published bi-monthly by the Anglican Diocese of Christchurch. Interim Editor / Cathy Maslin / firstname.lastname@example.org, Assistant Editor / Sara Cornish Contributing Writers / The Rev’d Indrea Alexander, Jo Taylor-de Vocht, Contributors / +Victoria Matthews, +Brian Carrell, Jane Teal, Fiona Waghorn, Ross Seagar, Rev’d Stephanie Robson, Alexandra O’Brien, Christian History Magazine, Bev Bell, Editorial and Advertising Enquiries / Cathy Maslin / email@example.com, Design / www.baylymoore.com, Printed by / Toltech Print, Sustainability / AnglicanLife is printed on recycled paper using vegetable-based inks. ISSN 2253-1653 (print), ISSN 2537-849X (online) Cover image / © Cathy Maslin
The Transitional Cathedral, Latimer Square
Further details at www.christchurchcathedral.co.nz | firstname.lastname@example.org | (03) 3660046 BLESSING OF THE ANIMALS: SUNDAY 1 OCTOBER AT 2PM. WITH THE SPCA. ALL ANIMALS WELCOME! CLIMATE CHANGE LECTURE: WEDNESDAY 4 OCTOBER AT 6PM JULIANNE HICKEY, CARITAS NEW ZEALAND & KOFE HAVEA, CLIMATE CHANGE WITNESS THE ANTARCTIC SERVICE: SUNDAY 8 OCTOBER AT 10AM ~ ASKING GOD’S BLESSING ON THOSE HEADING SOUTH
THEOLOGIANS IN THE CATHEDRAL - A SERIES OF 5PM SUNDAY EVENSONG SERMONS AND DISCUSSIONS: SUNDAY 29 OCTOBER: MARK WILCOX, GM OF THE NZ ANGLICAN PENSIONS BOARD ADVENT CAROL SERVICE: SUNDAY 3 DECEMBER AT 7.00PM ~ THE CHOIR SINGS THE MUSIC OF ADVENT WITH LESSONS
FROM THE BISHOP
FAITHFUL STEWARDSHIP Words: Bishop Victoria Matthews Faithful Stewardship is one of the three priorities of the Diocese of Christchurch. Each type of stewardship is of immense importance. Amongst these is our call to be good stewards of the good news of Jesus Christ. Let’s think for a moment what that might look like on a day to day basis. This past week saw me in Auckland at the meeting of Te Kotahitanga, the Standing Commission on Education for our Church. First and foremost we are responsible for being good stewards of the Christian story and the Christian tradition. We do this by making sure the Christian principles of the faith are proclaimed and encouraged in the educational endeavours of our church. How do we pass on that which we first received? For families questions arise about what being a faithful steward looks like in the home setting. Does it mean teaching them to pray? Insisting the whole family attends church together? At this point I remember a friend saying about her teenagers, “I can’t successfully call the girls to the dinner table some nights, let alone calling them to faith in the Lord Jesus”. It is important that we do everything we can to pass on the gospel; to gossip the gospel and to be faithful teachers of the Gospel. However, I have to say that I believe what is most important is to live the good news
day in and day out. People will not always listen to us but they will unfailingly imitate us. By the time you read this Synod will have decided about the Cathedral building in the Square. It is an important decision to be sure but not as important as how we have gone about deciding. Did we listen to one another, seeing every person as a member of the body of Christ? Are we willing to accept defeat graciously and victory humbly? Through all the years of debate and no small amount of criticism, people have watched. I hope and pray that they have seen Jesus in us. If they haven’t, the Cathedral is only a building rather than a signpost for the story of salvation. This Spring I invite you to remember how you first came to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. In the following years, who helped you continue to grow in the faith; to be more generous and caring; more prayerful and diligent in the reading of Scripture? And don’t forget to ask yourself who you have introduced to Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit? Indeed, right now, who is it you are nurturing and encouraging to grow into a more mature discipleship? Let us commit to being faithful stewards of the Gospel of hope. +Victoria
THE ABBEY Words: Alexandra O’Brien “The Abbey” this year was a weekend full of inspiring speakers, copious amounts of Waikanae sunshine and the opportunity to mingle with fellow youth leaders from all over Aotearoa. The keynote speakers, Duane Major and Kirstin Cant, offered a fresh perspective and personal experiences relating to the theme of un-waivering hope. Their teaching was incredibly inspiring and provided encouragement, not only for the hard times that we might experience when we’re journeying with our young people, but also for our own walks with God. It was a bittersweet moment when Phil Trotter addressed us all as the Abbot for the last time. His message on sex was well delivered, which as youth leaders we know is not always an easy area to approach. This is especially so when speaking to people who are younger than ourselves! The rest of the weekend was filled with workshops, time out at the beach, numerous coffees and some great laughs provided by our MCs Chelsea Yeoman and Andy Spence. Our regional group of young leaders gives thanks to the organisers who put the weekend together; I have no doubt that everyone got something out of it.
Supplied by Anglican Taonga
SYNOD 2017 There is no doubt that Motion 3 regarding the Cathedral in the Square was at the forefront. Synod members were faced with three options: Restoration (A), New Build (B) or Gifting(C). Those present knew that a decision was required and that it would have significant consequences into the future. Many felt the weight of that responsibility, yet the undergirding of prayer from many sources was a huge support and there was an atmosphere of honesty and respect. Speakers were well informed and there was robust debate - the outcome a majority vote for restoration. The further business of Synod was conducted and dealt. This sat alongside lighter moments like the on-line quiz game, ‘Kahoot!’; surely a first for such a setting! The amalgamation of the Parishes of Belfast/Redwood and Bishopdale was affirmed and a summary of research findings on trends and perspectives in our Diocese presented. There was also a report by the Anglican Care Trust Board and the Motion 29 Working Group (who are focused on the issue of blessing same sex couples), with a special Synod scheduled for 10 February 2018, to further the latter.
JOHANNA LOHSE At this time of year Church Property Trustees advertise for applicants for the Johanna Lohse Scholarship. This scholarship, open to the daughters of licenced clergy throughout the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia, is the result of a generous bequest received in 1911. Johanna Lohse was born in Oldenburg, Germany in 1839 and trained for three years in Lausanne as a teacher. After a period teaching in England, Miss Lohse immigrated to New Zealand to set up a school for girls. She arrived in 1873 at the age of 36 and began taking pupils, first in private homes then, from 1880 at Oldenburg House in Armagh Street. Today we take for granted that girls as well as boys will have a full education and the opportunity to continue study at University. This was not so at the time Miss Lohse was encouraging the education of girls in other than the social graces. Kate Edgar had graduated in 1877 the first woman in New Zealand to gain a university degree and the first woman in the British Empire to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree. She was followed by Helen Connon, Canterbury College’s first female student who graduated with a BA in 1880 and became the
first woman in the British Empire to gain an honours degree in 1881. New Zealand’s first woman lawyer, Ethel Benjamin, graduated from the University of Otago in 1898. In 1884 Miss Lohse published a book, Mistaken Views on the Education of Girls. One reviewer wrote: “… the chief difficulty of education in the Colonies lies in the home training. Girls are allowed to run wild often until they are 12 years of age, and then parents expect that three or four years of schooling will turn them out educated women, fit to take a good place in society and at home […] She speaks feelingly of the valuable time wasted and classes disordered through the thoughtlessness of parents who keep a child at home for the most frivolous reasons … — ‘sometimes because she must try on a new dress; because there will be a party at home and she must help mama…’” At the 1911 Diocesan Synod £22,000 was received in trust from Miss Lohse’s will for what has become known as the Lohse Scholarship. The fund continues today and carries on the legacy of Miss Lohse with the encouragement of girls to attend University. Applications for the 2018 academic year close on 31st September 2017. Expressions of interest can be made to email@example.com.
Doors of Castle Church - Photo courtesy of Concordia Historical Institute, Saint Louis, Missouri
ALWAYS IN NEED OF REFORM 500 YEARS SINCE THE REFORMATION
Words: +Brian Carrell
A sturdy hammer, a handful of nails, and several sheets of finely inscribed parchment. Within minutes these were attached to the wooden doors of the Castle Church which served as a kind of community notice board for the German township of Wittenberg. The date was 31st October, 1517 — exactly 500 years ago. The hand wielding the hammer was that of a local and much respected Augustinian monk who was Professor of Biblical Studies at Wittenberg’s university, Martin Luther. The notices he nailed up were 95 theses or different concerns about current teaching and practices of the Church which he believed were corrupt and needed addressing. His motive was an exasperated desire to engage the wider public in debate about the sorry state of the Church. The immediate trigger was a vigorous campaign being conducted throughout the German States to sell indulgences as a way of raising money to pay for the completion of St Peter’s Church in Rome. Indulgences were virtual entry tickets to heaven (gold,
silver or bronze, depending on the price!), with the blessing of the Church guaranteeing the purchaser an accelerated passage through purgatory in the life beyond, with all its threatened pains. This played on the medieval mindset of the time. Church teaching and practice was fraught with fear and foreboding. Salvation had to be earned. The “peace of God that passes all understanding” (Philippians 4:7) seemed always just beyond reach. Assistance in receiving God’s mercy had to be invoked through prayer to the saints and the Blessed Virgin Mary. Martin Luther found all this to be a travesty of what he discovered in his study of the Bible. The Church needed to be reformed. But it was renovation he sought, not innovation. His hopes were to cleanse the Church, not destroy it. His actions that day in Wittenberg quickly found wide popular support and triggered a wave of interest and discussion that soon swept across Europe.
“THE IMMEDIATE TRIGGER WAS A VIGOROUS CAMPAIGN BEING CONDUCTED THROUGHOUT THE GERMAN STATES TO SELL INDULGENCES AS A WAY OF RAISING MONEY TO PAY FOR THE COMPLETION OF ST PETER’S CHURCH IN ROME.”
Luther’s was not the first effort to initiate reform in the Church, nor was Germany the only part of the Church in the West at that time to experience a call for reformation. As far back as the 14th century similar concerns had been promoted by John Wycliffe in England and John Hus in Bohemia. Contemporaneous with Luther the scholarly Erasmus in Holland was also drawing attention to abuses and pedantries of the Church. But it was Martin Luther who became the catalyst for universal change — a demand for reform that soon spread to the Low Countries, Scandinavia, France, Switzerland, Scotland, and England, each in the end producing its own reformation style and heroes. In England three Bishops were at the forefront of the reform movement — Cranmer, Ridley and Latimer — and each was martyred for their efforts. But under their influence the Church of England emerged, proudly still catholic yet proudly also reformed. And from that origin we today have our Anglican Church in this country. Our direct link as a Diocese to the English Reformation is most visible in the names allocated by the founders of the Canterbury settlement to the three principle Squares of the newly planned city of Christchurch — Cranmer, Latimer and Ridley (now Cathedral) Square. How did the Reformation change the Church in England? Throughout Europe (no less in England) the Reformation was primarily a rediscovery of the gospel of salvation by God’s grace — unmerited forgiveness and acceptance offered to us in Christ and received by faith, bringing peace of soul and assurance of heaven. No purgatory, no indulgences, no intermediaries, no masses for the dead, no fear and foreboding. For any church favouring reform this had implications demanding change in three aspects of its life; the shape of its worship, the importance of the Bible, and the role of the laity. In contrast with more radical reforms on the Continent which in effect created new churches in England the Reformation retained the best of the Church of the past while boldly introducing major changes to its life and liturgy. This took several decades to complete, but ultimately produced a Church that was both Catholic and Reformed, unchanged yet deeply changed.
“FOR ANY CHURCH FAVOURING REFORM THIS HAD IMPLICATIONS DEMANDING CHANGE IN THREE ASPECTS OF ITS LIFE; THE SHAPE OF ITS WORSHIP, THE IMPORTANCE OF THE BIBLE, AND THE ROLE OF THE LAITY.”
Wittenberg; Martin Luther Photo courtesy of Concordia Historical Institute, Saint Louis, Missouri
Worship The Book of Common Prayer was largely the work of Archbishop Cranmer. It encapsulated the spirit of the English Reformation. The clutter of services and ceremonies peculiar to the medieval church that too often confused and concealed the gospel of Christ were simplified. Regular reading of the Scriptures and teaching through sermons became features of new services of Morning and Evening Prayer. The Mass book of the priest was replaced by this Book of Common Prayer — Common because it was in the hands of the people, in the language of the nation, and in every church of the land. The sacrifice of the Mass became Holy Communion. God was presented as merciful and compassionate. Comfortable words assuring forgiveness and welcoming the repentant sinner replaced requirements of penance and threats of hell. Eternal life as the gift of Christ was proclaimed rather than need to earn God’s acceptance. Bible Martin Luther translated the Bible into German in 1522. Scholars such as William Tyndale and Miles Coverdale produced English translations that were placed in churches. Articles of Religion were agreed upon that declared the Old and New Testament Scriptures the ultimate arbiter of faith for the newly emerging Church of England.
Laity A Reformation tenet was the priesthood of all believers. This meant no special clerical caste stood as intermediaries between man and God. Thus greater congregational participation became part of the new worship services, along with the opportunity for the ordinary believer to possess a Bible to read for themselves. A Latin tag concerning the Church runs semper reformanda — always in need of reform. While the 16th century Reformation transformed much of the Church, it was not just a single historic event, it is a principle that has truth for all time. Here in New Zealand we have experienced this at work within our lifetime. The Book of Common Prayer has transmuted into A New Zealand Prayer Book still enshrining Reformation principles, in some ways even more clearly than the older book. Ministry of both word and sacrament, the reading of Scripture and preaching, emphasis on the grace of God in salvation, congregational participation, a recurring theme of thanksgiving. The likelihood of even further re-formation can be taken as a given.
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HOW DO WE TALK ABOUT THINGS THAT MATTER? Words: Rev’d Indrea Alexander It is courageous to open our hearts and entrust something we treasure to people who may reject or misunderstand it. When our deeply held beliefs or precious life experiences are pushed aside, it can feel like a rejection of ourselves. Yet as Christians with stewardship of the Christian story we are called to share our faith, and articulate how that faith shapes our understanding of the world. It can be daunting sharing with non-Christians, and perhaps even more daunting sharing with Christians who hold a different perspective, but we need to find a way. There is much to be learnt from the recent “Respectful Conversations About Same-Gender Relationships” offered across the Diocese in response to a request by Synod in 2016. Around 700 people took part in the sessions, which were designed to facilitate trusting conversations so people could hear and be heard on matters that were important, deeply personal and so often divisive. The process Each of the 25 “Respectful Conversations” was held jointly between two or more parishes, offering people the opportunity to share with a group wider than their usual circle. 8
In groups of three or four, each person was given a set time to respond uninterrupted to the following questions: 1. How did you first encounter people in same-gender sexual relationships, how did you respond? or Why have you come to participate today? 2. Could you say something about either the issues people in same-gender sexual relationships raise for you and/or the Church, or what beliefs are at the heart of this for you as a disciple of Christ? 3. What dilemmas do you find in your life and ministry because of your views on same-gender relationships? or How can the Church respond to people who hold different views? After each response everyone held silence before the next person’s turn to respond. After everyone had been given an opportunity to respond to a question, there was a time of open conversation in the small groups, allowing people to respond to each other and ask questions of clarification.
Response to the process One of the most frequent reservations about the process was the inclusion of two videoed respondents, who contributed as additional members of the small groups with the same time allowance, and the same silence offered afterward. Both videoed respondents were homosexual New Zealand Christians, one male, one female. In designing the process, it was expected that small groups would have a heterosexual member confident to express their views, but that few if any small groups would have a homosexual member confident to express their views. The videoed responses were prepared in an effort to ensure this latter voice was also able to be heard. Some participants didn’t see it this way. Written feedback said: • “If this was supposed to be an open and respectful discussion, why were there [video] presentations from only one side of the debate? It seems leadership is pushing an agenda.” • “Disappointment [that there was] no presentation from someone with same sex attraction who has chosen to be celibate.” Others appreciated the video voice: • “How good to have their view and their need to be authentic in their church lives.” • “Value in hearing directly from people in same-sex relationships via videos.” Future conversations Is the church going to engage in future conversations about deep matters of faith and conviction in a similar way? If so, the strength of reaction to the video voices invites thought about what authority an audio-visual is perceived to carry, and whether an audio-only recording would be a more equivalent group member. Wisdom is also required in determining how many additional voices to add, and what range of missing perspectives to include. Some of the participants in the Diocese’s first “Respectful Conversation” hope such meaningful conversations will continue: • “The formal structured process worked really well [and] created opportunity for equal sharing and listening.” • “Good to have opportunity to speak and listen without pressure and with honesty.” • “The process of talking about such issues is so important — listening, sharing, not shoving under the carpet — the opportunity is to be encouraged! Thank you.” 9
A PATTERN FOR REVIVAL AND IT STARTS WITH CLOTHING
Words: Fiona Waghorn from Mt Herbert Parish in Little River (part of the Revival team), Banks Peninsula
“OUR PASSION AS CHRISTIANS WAS THAT WE WANTED TO BE REAL AND RELEVANT TO THE COMMUNITY AROUND US.”
Our story began three years ago, with three women, a weekly prayer for revival, and a Tear Fund “Discovery Course”. From these beginnings Revival Clothing was birthed, situated in a church on a hill overlooking rural Little River. Little River is one of seven churches in the Mt Herbert Parish, which we are part of. Our passion as Christians was to be real and relevant to the community around us. With God’s leading we opened an Op Shop — for lack of a better word — with the aim of providing good, reasonably-priced second hand clothing for the whole family and generating funds for future projects that may develop. Starting with only one clothing drop-off box at the local service station, we worried we would not have enough clothes to sell. What we ended up with was a bin full of clothes weekly, and our local garage ringing us to come and clear the bin! We now faced the problem of what to do with all these clothes; the inflow of clothes is daunting, especially for an area with a population of just 1,200 people. Cue the arrival of Justine, new to the area and looking for a project to get her teeth into, with skills in art and design, sewing, and social services. We have now expanded to a team of four women, and view the clothes as a resource with potential. The original vision of selling second-hand clothes and providing a place for a cuppa and chat in our beautiful church has expanded to a wider view, including the three R’s — reduce, reuse, recycle — and more recently up-cycling. This broader vision has begun with sewing workshops to give people the opportunity to make new products and garments from old clothes, creating anything from hot water bottle covers to a dog basket made from old woollen school jerseys; from reusable supermarket bags made from tee shirts to beeswax fabric food wraps (an alternative to glad wrap).
The abundance of clothes we receive enables us to keep what we need, send the rest on to the City Mission, and supply our three local garages with old rags. We have all become much more aware of the ethics of the clothing industry, including fair trade and environmental concerns regarding the resources required to manufacture clothes. We held our second fashion show in September, at which school children and community members had the opportunity to model second hand clothes and talk about the clothing industry to our captive audience. At present our proceeds from clothing go into a local food bank (an identified area of need in our community), and we have frozen dinners available for those who for any reason require a meal. We have also supplied clothes to the community in Waiau after the Kaikoura earthquake, and to people in Fiji post-cyclone. Additionally, we provide financial support to a women’s project in India, where a family formerly from Little River are now working. The project is called “Common Good” and helps women into craft-trade and out of prostitution. A biblical view of stewardship emphasises how we use our money and natural resources, and while our clothing may be man-made, we are challenged to remember that “The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it” (Psalm 24:1). In our case that includes clothes (lots of them!), as well as being a tangible witness to the continuing story of God’s provision. Our focus is the task of being faithful stewards, and the exciting plans and opportunities ahead of us this year. The clothes are the means to share the love of Christ with those that come through our door, and to utilise God’s resources in a responsible way. And revival? Well, watch this space. Visit our Facebook page for more information about Revival Clothing (https://www.facebook.com/revivalclothingnz/).
Bible | Theology | Ministry | Counselling | Teaching | Leadership
Taken on the occassion of the first Church Service, Mt Pleasant, 4 December 1927
UNLOCKING THE PAST Words: Jane Teal Unlock the door, switch on the lights, and turn on the computer. What awaits me in my email inbox today? A request to find an ancestor buried in an unknown location? Church Property Trustees seeking plans so they can complete another repair? An Ordinand searching for evidence of their confirmation? A researcher working on a thesis or biography or academic paper? A day in the life of the Diocesan Archivist is never the same as the day before. Each request requires an answer and has been aided by the care and attention that has been given to keeping the records prior to their arrival in the archives. Finding one answer could be as straightforward and as quickly processed as providing a certified entry from a register on the shelves. Yet another 12
requires the accumulation of facts from a range of sources over several days. The Christchurch Anglican Diocesan Archives holds material from parishes and the various entities that make up The Anglican Centre, as well as committees, commissions and associated organisations. All the material that is housed in the archives is treated with care. Gradually it is being re-listed, placed in folders and re-boxed, following sojourns in various localities since the 2010â€“2011 earthquakes. In total there is about 1 km of archives. The recent acquisition of two more plans cabinets means that items can now be uncurled while a constant temperature and humidity is maintained. However, if everything was kept then there
would never be enough space to hold it all, and so there are of course policies regarding retention and disposal that are closely followed. This was not always the case in the past; historical rumours of a trip to the tip have proven to be true. Churches and Vicarages have also burnt down, taking records with them into the flames. The advent of Church Papers Online http://kinderlibrary. recollect.co.nz/ means that researchers can undertake their own investigations, from their living rooms, in the Diocesan Papers and General Synod Proceedings that have been digitized to date. There are additions planned as duplicate copies are made available for scanning. Delving into the Archives can provide personal surprises. I will never forget the day I turned over a photograph and stared into the face of one of my grandmothers, nor found the entry of my godmother’s funeral service listed in the wrong parish records! I’m not the only person to have experienced both delight and confusion when using the archives. Ancestors are not necessarily where you expect them to be. They may have sauntered off to the next door parish to worship, or taken their first-born child back to the family home to be baptised. They may even have decided to marry in the church of a different denomination because there was no minister appointed in their home parish at the time. To facilitate research on-site, space has been created where visitors can undertake their own research using published
All Saints Hokitika Picnic about 1895
records, and use the indexes which have been produced by volunteers over many years. The Christchurch Anglican Diocesan Archives are open to the public each Wednesday afternoon from 1.00−4.30pm. The website also indicates when there is a Saturday opening (http://anglicanlife.org.nz/archives/). It is important to make an appointment in advance, so that material can be ready for your arrival, and that there are enough seats and carparks available. Contact the archivist on (03) 365 9444 or email email@example.com
We care about your choices Variety is the spice of life! With our ever-changing social programmes, you can choose when to be involved and when to have quiet, private time. And, at meal times, enjoy a choice of two tasty, nutritious main dishes prepared fresh by our chefs. There’s also a choice of location with Fitzgerald in Linwood and Bishopspark in the city. Visit our website to ﬁnd out what else makes our two retirement villages and care homes so unique and special.
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YESTERDAY AND TODAY AND FOREVER Words: Rev’d Stephanie Robson Photo: Regan and Phoebe The first Bible verse I ever committed to memory was 2 Timothy 3:16, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness…” For some unknown reason I stopped there, but verse 17 completes the sentence with the words, “so that everyone who belongs to God may be proficient, equipped for every good work.” These verses make the point that Scripture is useful for the ongoing formation of Christian faith, and while it is true that neither the Nicene nor the Apostles Creed mention the Bible at all, Christians of every stripe take the Bible seriously. Orthodox forms of Christianity regard the biblical texts as having authority because they are regarded as inspired — akin to God’s exhaled breath. Sadly, many of the conflicts that rage across the Church concern the ways these ancient texts are interpreted and applied in our time. I started reading the Bible regularly after I converted to Christianity in my teens. It wasn’t easy. I soon realised that within the Scriptures there are poems, prayers, songs, proverbs, parables, letters, and a lot of historical narratives, 14
and that each different genre must be respected. Whether we are reading a card from a friend, a telephone directory, or a recipe for waffles, we are reading a literary genre of one kind or another. With each genre we instinctively operate out of certain assumptions and conventions. For example, we don’t expect a friendly personal greeting in a telephone directory, and most recipes provide a list of ingredients, the quantities required, and then follow up with step-by-step instructions. The biblical genres also have conventions associated with them, and that makes a big difference to our understanding of what we read. An appreciation of context is crucial to accurate understanding. So as we read the Bible we might ask: What form of communication is this? Who was the intended audience? What was going on at the time? What does this reveal about the work and the ways of God? But perhaps the hardest thing to do is to approach the scriptures with a teachable spirit and an openness to new discoveries, rather than seeking confirmation for what we already think. To that end it is helpful to remember that The Word of God is actually Christ himself — the Word become flesh, who still speaks.
AOTEAROA/ NEW ZEALAND NATIONAL ANTHEM E Ihowa Atua, (Oh Lord, God) O ngā iwi mātou rā, (Of nations and of us too) Āta whakarongona; (Listen to us) Me aroha noa (Cherish us) Kia hua ko te pai; (Let goodness) flourish, Kia tau tō atawhai; (May your blessings flow) Manaakitia mai (Defend) Aotearoa
appeal PAKISTAN, PAPUA NEW GUINEA, & TOGO, WEST AFRICA W W W. A N G M I S S I O N S . O R G . N Z
CHURCH OF THE GOOD SHEPHERD Â© Bev Bell; www.simplyinspired.co.nz
Lake Tekapo, Mackenzie District
GO DEEP JO TAYLOR-DE VOCHT SPEAKS TO THE RIGHT REVEREND ELEANOR (ELLIE) SANDERSON ABOUT HER NEW APPOINTMENT AS THE ASSISTANT BISHOP OF WELLINGTON AND HER VIEWS ON SHARING THE GOSPEL.
Hi Ellie, how is it going with the new job? “It’s a real joy to get to spend so much time with people I have much admiration for, to get to have deep engagement and prayer with such passionate committed people. Bishop Justin Duckworth and I work really hard to have a great partnership. In this first three months we are working alongside each other. After this he will be away on sabbatical for three months intentionally giving me space to see the whole of the Diocese at work; then we will prayerfully discern where our individual passions should be strategically invested going forward.” 18
As a younger female and a mother of young children, what is it like being a Bishop at this stage of life? “Being family is one of our core values and it has caused a culture change within the Diocese. So many of our key leaders in Wellington are also at this stage of life. We are all feeling the same tensions and the same opportunities. We are a real family, and there is a lovely culture of being open about the messiness of family life. Holly Walker wrote a great book about becoming a first time mum as an MP. I think it’s really important for all of us to talk about what works in our various
institutions and communities so that things can change for the better for all our families. We need to ask, ‘How do we raise our kids in a healthy church?’ “There are times when I notice the difference being a woman makes; for example when I recently undertook a Q&A session at one of our Anglican Girls’ Schools, I saw that me being a woman and a Bishop was a really significant thing for them. There is a lot to say about loving ourselves as women and that we too are made in the image of God.” This issue we are focusing on stewardship of the gospel story. What do you think it means to take care of the gospel and pass it on? “I didn’t grow up in a Christian family. It took someone to have the courage to share the gospel with me. It could have really helped me if I had heard it earlier. I went to church, communion would happen and I would sort of know I shouldn’t take it but not really know why, so I would just sit there. No one talked to me about that. I wouldn’t be part of the church if it weren’t for the people who invited me to go deeper. We have to ask as a church, ‘How do we make sure this gift isn’t locked in a box for ourselves?’” What has been changing in the Wellington Diocese? “There really is a culture of change. We are talking honestly about the decline in church attendance and what that means. We want the Kingdom of God to flourish, so we need to talk about what is healthy and unhealthy in our churches. It’s also about having a healthy attitude to power, both stepping up and letting go. I really feel we need to invest in and resource the next generation of leaders.”
You described your family as “family on mission,” what does that mean? “It’s that old idea about faith both at home and at the temple. We find kids pick up new culture really quickly. In our family we copy a simple prayer style. At the end of the day we talk and pray as a family about what we would like to thank God for and what we are sorry for. There are some days when it is silly and not taken seriously, but overall they really get it and it’s become an important part of what it means for us to be family. It’s a real witness to the wider family to hear our kids pray a genuine prayer of repentance. No pattern of prayer is going to work perfectly but it is the fuel of mission, so we pray, but we also engage in mission as a family. We want our children to witness faith in action first-hand and we have to be the ones that give that to them.” You talked earlier about equipping the next generation of leaders, what do you think younger people are looking for in the gospel? “Justin talks a lot about young people wanting something they can give their life for, and I agree. We see that they are looking for wholehearted commitment to the gospel. We need to show that you can give your whole life to Jesus and it will be okay. When you give yourself for others, you let your life get messier. We need to say, ‘give things a go and take a risk, it’s a bit windy out there but step out of the boat and keep your eyes on Jesus.’”
CHRISTIAN HISTORY MAGAZINE Words: Jennifer Woodruff Tait, Managing Editor of Christian History The Christian History Institute has published four magazine issues on the Reformation to mark the celebration in 2017 of the Reformation’s 500th anniversary. This series also serves as a companion to our DVD This Changed Everything, which celebrates the fruits of the Reformation while exploring difficult questions about the cost of division. We begin our journey with the story of Luther. Actually, we start before Luther: a number of people throughout the later Middle Ages began to feel that the church had somehow gotten off course and that it needed reform. But Luther’s movement caught fire and quickly resulted in something no previous reform effort had: large-scale division of the Western church. When I finished a class on Luther many years ago, I was able to reaffirm a bigger definition of we, one that includes all Christians. We all started together, 2,000 years ago at the foot of the cross and at the door of the empty tomb. Luther knew that, but we sometimes forget, and divisions that began 500 years ago run deep. No matter what part of the church you come from, I ask you to remember our common beginnings and our common faith as we take this four-part journey. In so doing, you’ll be better prepared to realize our bonds, both past and present, with all of our brothers and sisters in Christ. Christian History’s 2015–2017 four-part Reformation series is available as a fourpack. This set includes issue #115 Luther Leads the Way; issue #118 The People’s Reformation; issue #120 Calvin, Councils, and Confessions; and issue#122 The Catholic Reformation. Magazines are produced quarterly, the latest one Captive Faith is about prisons and prison ministries from the Bible to the present day. Copies are viewable for free online at https://www.christianhistoryinstitute.org; for hard copies please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. A donation of $50US is asked of overseas subscribers (to cover postage costs).
SAME KIND OF DIFFERENT AS ME Words: Cathy Maslin Published first as a book Same Kind of Different As Me is set to be released as a movie this month. It is the story of a friendship between Denver Moore, who spent 25 years living on the streets, and international art dealer Ron Hall. Both helped co-author the book. The storyline pulls no punches. It is a pithy, emotional and astounding account of two men whose personal character traits were less than desirable at the time they met. The glue that joined them together was Hall’s wife Debbie. While going through a marital crisis Debbie responded to God’s call to serve the homeless and was given a vision of what could be. How shattering circumstances can destroy lives is clearly communicated. So is how often the homeless are judged without their life circumstances being known. But ultimately this is a good news story, about two men who receive unconditional love and find salvation in the land of the living.
BUILD YOUR OWN PALLET COFFEE TABLE Words: Sara Cornish Pallet coffee tables are an ideal project for beginners, particularly for anyone with an interest in upcycling or otherwise keen to avoid forking out large amounts of money on a fun project. I purchased my pallets on Trade Me for $5 each. Casters and stain/polyurethane can increase the cost, so shop around, or see if you can scavenge from someoneâ€™s workshop! As a rather impractical person who is much more comfortable in a library than a garage, this project was always going to be a challenge for me. Fortunately I have a joiner for a husband, who gave me a lot of practical advice! I will assume the average reader has a greater degree of competence than myself. Materials: 2 pallets 4 caster wheels Wood plane Hand saw Sandpaper & sanding block/ electric sander Screw drill Screws Nails Polyurethane Stain Step 1: Most pallets have gaps between the top slats. For a solid table-top, fill these gaps by removing the bottom pieces from your top pallet, and cutting and planing them to fit. Step 2: Sand your pallets smooth. I gave mine a thorough sand with an electric sander to remove any dirt.
Step 3: I recommend using a finish - such as polyurethane, oil, or paint - to protect the wood. I applied two coats of stain using a rag, allowed it to dry for several days, and then finished it with three coats of water-based matte polyurethane. Note: It is much easier to apply the finish to the pallets separately before you attach them together.
Step 4: Screw your two pallets together. Place your table-top pallet face down then place your bottom pallet face down on top of it. Screw together at an angle, from the underside of your bottom pallet into the corner blocks of the top pallet.
Step 5: Screw caster wheels to the four corners of your bottom pallet. I was going for a battered industrial vibe for my table so before staining it I attacked it with a hammer and dropped a metal toolbox on it a few times. Iâ€™d have to say this was one of the most satisfying stages of the project! I also filled the nail holes and some of the larger gaps and dents in the wood with black wood-filler. Safety when upcycling pallets Choose a pallet that is safe to use, especially for indoor use. Avoid pallets that have spills or stains as pallets can be used to transport toxic substances. Only use pallets with an IPPC logo. Pallets marked HT (heat treated), KD (kiln dried), and DB (debarked) are safe to use. Do not use pallets marked MB (methyl bromide), or coloured pallets, which are treated with toxic substances.
PASSING ON THE STORY Words and Photos: Liz (formerly of Christchurch), Education Consultant Pakistan, Diocese of Hyderabad
Mohan using story telling during staff devotions on a summer internship placement
“SOME HAD NEVER HEARD A BIBLE STORY BEFORE … YET AS MUCH AS THEY REMEMBERED THEY REPEATED IT BACK. I WAS AMAZED!” The group asked, “Tell us another story,” so Mohan told more stories to his community. These weren’t just any stories, these were stories from the Bible, which Mohan memorised and prepared so that people could interact with them and find connections with their own lives. Mohan is 18 years old; his community is a small rural village in Sindh, Pakistan. The people of Mohan’s village do not own their own land, but work as labourers in the fields — children, women and men. It is a hard life and families tend to keep to themselves. Mohan and his brother are the only two from his village who have been to school. Mohan has been able to get an education thanks to the Diocesan provision of hostels, and is about to complete his 12th grade this year. Before the summer break Mohan was invited from the hostel to attend a storytelling workshop, learning to take the stories of Scripture and share them in a way that engages people. Mohan was happily surprised by the training. When later asked whether he thought story-telling methods are helpful he said, “What was good was that people weren’t just sitting quietly listening, everyone was taking part — everyone was involved so everyone paid attention.” He also saw that it made a difference in people’s lives. When he went to his village in the summer break and first offered to tell a story the community were keen, they liked the idea of hearing stories. Standing up with actions and expression, Mohan told the account of Elisha and the widow (2 Kings 4:1-7). He had selected this passage because it related to the villagers’ context. He got them to tell back as much as they could, and together they recalled the whole story. Mohan was impressed at how effective this was with the group, “Some had never heard a Bible story before … yet as much as they remembered they repeated it back. I was amazed!”
Mohan memorising a story
They then went through the story together, discussing choices people made, the consequences of those choices, and what they could see of God. The group noticed that the widow was able to go to other people for help, even though she didn’t have a husband. When he asked why they thought people helped her, giving her jars when she asked, the group thought it must be because of her character and behaviour. Without the neighbours’ help God’s provision would have had to look different. One conclusion the group drew was that if their behaviour and way of living is seen as good then people would be more willing to help them. Mohan was so encouraged when he returned to the village
later, as he noticed a big change in how people were interacting. People were helping one another, visiting their neighbours more and sharing. The atmosphere in his village had changed. The story had spoken into lives and made a difference. As these villagers interacted with the passage it spoke to them in their context. From engaging with the story for themselves, the message stuck with them and had a practical outworking. It is exciting to see young leaders like Mohan emerging, with skills and confidence to tell the story and help others grow in their walk with God. It makes me wonder what possibilities there would be for storytelling in our NZ context — the potential is great.
Simply the Story, the Bible study method Mohan learnt, helps people know the story of Scripture, to explore it and to allow it to touch their lives. A key part is the memorising and expressive telling of the story, then getting everyone to review the story, before it is explored through questions and discussion leading to community and personal application. It is an oral based inductive study method. Advantages of this method which Mohan noticed include: 1. It’s interesting! 2. You can share a memorised story anywhere, even if you don’t have a Bible with you. 3. People are often more interested to hear a story than if you offer to read something from Scripture. 4. People of other faiths happily listen to stories and can be touched by them. 5. Even if someone can’t read they can still memorise and tell stories, sharing God’s word with others. 6. It gets everyone involved.
Anglican Pacifist Fellowship of Aotearoa New Zealand Oct 13-14
From Just War to Just Peace: Auckland.
Nov 22-24 Rethinking Pacifism for Revolution, Security and Politics: National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, Otago University, Dunedin. Nov 24-25 Christian Pacifism Today: Dunedin. email@example.com
© Eric Isselee/123RF Stock Photo
DO YOU NOT KNOW? HAVE YOU NOT HEARD? Words: Cathy Maslin Do you ever have, ‘Oh right! Now I get it,’ moments? One such moment came for me when I was reading a passage in the bible about being a witness for Christ. Yes. God was speaking to me. I was to be a witness of who Christ is and what he has done. The meaning of the word witness, a first-hand accounting, stood out like black on white. It obviously isn’t a new concept in the wide sweep of Christian history but up until that moment I just hadn’t fully grasped it included me. In the Bible we learn God called the Israelites to be his witnesses, John the Baptist was sent to witness about who Jesus was and the disciples were sent out into the world as witnesses to his life, death and resurrection. I can recall times when I have seen answers to prayer beyond anything that coincidence can explain or orchestrate. And I have had personal encounters with Jesus. So regardless of the times in my life when I have doubted, got angry with God or had the faith of a gnat, I was still unable to deny who Jesus is. So what does being a witness look like from my shoes? Well initially I had to work up the courage to even say, “I went to church,” when work colleagues asked what I did in the weekend.
Eventually I graduated to sharing my own faith experiences. One day I found myself exhausted but with time to spend with a friend so I managed this prayer, ‘Well God if you want me to share with her right now you will have to get her to start the conversation as I just don’t have it in me.’ Despite the ‘yeah right’ response in my head the next moment my friend said, “I saw that movie The Passion of the Christ last week but I didn’t understand it. What does it actually mean?” You may have gathered by now I don’t consider myself a born evangelist and yet I have a passion for telling how I have come to know Jesus is real. Paul writes in 2 Timothy 1:12 “...I know whom I have believed....” I have come to know him as one who mends, heals and is re-creating me to be who I was made to be. Have you a story to tell about Jesus and passion enough to share it? “Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom” (Isaiah 40:28). 25
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