Helping People to Meet God • Make Friends • Grow in Faith

Posts by Rusty

Church traditions

There’s a saying that in an Anglican Church something becomes a tradition if it has been done four times—and then it is nearly impossible to change. All churches have traditions, even those who maintain that they have free-flowing worship. Indeed, the structure in some “contemporary” churches is even more rigid, and the words even more repetitive, than those in many “traditional” churches.…

The letter to Diognetus

In my sermon last Sunday I mentioned the 2nd century letter to Diognetus. Only one copy of this letter survived among writings from Justin Martyr. The text was then more widely published in 1592. Unfortunately, the manuscript was destroyed during the Franco-Prussian War in 1870, so that experts can only refer to the published texts. The letter is a defence of the…

Haggai – one of the prophets

In recent weeks we have been looking at the Prophets in our Wednesday Bible Study. Generally these prophetic books contain warnings and messages of doom and gloom, but they also contain visions of hope. As we looked at their message, we could feel the frustration at human sin, stubbornness, and apathy. The prophets knew that there was a close link between human…

Heritage

On the 7th November St Paul’s will be open as part of the Christchurch Heritage Festival. The festival this year is an opportunity to share the stories of the past that explore and celebrate our historic journeys through arts, culture and identity. In preparation for that I have also met with representatives of the Papanui…

Spring

When we left Cambridge, Waikato, we were given some warm socks so that we could survive the cold South Island winters. Yudy and I had lived in Christchurch in the winter of 2013 in a fairly cold house with little money to run the heating. My Caribbean wife therefore remembered Christchurch winters with some trepidation. Because our current house is fairly big…

Watching a baby grow

Watching a baby grow is always fascinating. They develop so quickly! As we see our baby Sebastian do new things, we are constantly reminded of the times when his older sister and brother reached that milestone. When were they comfortable lying on their tummy? When did they turn over? When did they sit up? When…

Social Services Sunday

This Sunday is Social Services Sunday. It is a day to remember and pray for the many social service agencies of the Church. The care for the poor and vulnerable has been a characteristic of the people of God since Ancient Israel. The Church has always been called to respond to human need by loving service. But the development of social service…

St Paul

29 June—this Monday—is the Day of St Peter and St Paul. They are commemorated together because of their martyrdom in Rome during the Neronian persecution about 64CE. The two apostles also have their individual feast days (St Paul on 25 January; St Peter on 22 February). That means we could celebrate the patronal festival twice a year. Well, after the coronavirus experience…

Duty of Care

You will notice that in this newsletter there is also an announcement from the Abuse in Care Royal Commission of Inquiry. As a church we have to be aware that abuse of children often has not been addressed adequately in the past, that oversight was not satisfactory. Often the Church did not have due process in place or did not follow such…

Small groups

“Grow in Faith” is part of our mission statement. There are many ways in which growth in faith can be encouraged. Regular prayer and reading the Bible and other good literature can help. Coming together as church is also important. It is widely recognised that sharing in small groups helps us to grow in faith. We can explore the Bible and faith…