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Showing posts from June, 2014

Last Week

Today was a day off. I went for a long bike ride and walked along the beach at Doctor's Point: down along the flat sand, carrying my camera and astonished at the beauty of the clear line between land and see and the patterns at the bottom of the translucent water and knowing that it was well beyond my ability as a photographer to capture it. I walked past the place where the terns nest on the rocks and through the cave with its wave weathered roof shining golden in the winter morning sunlight. This beach is one of my happy places: a small simple stretch of coast that looks different every time I go there. A place for remembering and for letting go. Last week was our annual ministry school, which was about letting go. We had a great programme, designed by Alec Clarke and Benjamin Brock Smith. I led some Bible studies and we had input from Chris Holmes and Kevin Ward. We had speakers from the 5:30 service at St. Matts and from Urban Vision, challenging us with a couple of differ


Yesterday I was at one of my very favourite places, St. Barnabas' Warrington. Even though there were a few people away the little church still looked and felt pleasantly full. It was Te Pouhere Sunday so I spoke about the early missions and the Treaty of Waitangi, but all the while I was thinking about something that had been preoccupying me for the past 24 hours. And that is transitions. In the course of any given day we encounter situations where the rules of engagement change; where the ways of doing things and the things we say and even the things we think radically change. Take the service at St. Barnabas' for instance. For an hour or so I wore clothing that was more or less unexceptional in the context of the church but would have been bizarre should I have worn it while strolling down George St. in Dunedin. Inside the church we used language and concepts which would have been incomprehensible outside and we did things (communal singing, all sitting in rows facing th


I read this chilling book at the recommendation of Mike Corkery, the warden at Selwyn College. It is a book which, because of its subject matter, was difficult to finish but which I am very glad I have read. Published in 2010, it describes the history of that part of Europe caught between the competing totalitarian Empires of Nazi Germany and The Soviet Union between 1933 and 1945. In that 12 year period, approximately 14 million non combatants were deliberately killed by these murderous regimes each under the sway of an ideologically driven dictator. The Bloodlands are the Ukraine, Poland, Belarus, parts of Russia, and the Baltic states. It was here that Stalin deliberately starved 3 million people to death; here that the overwhelming majority of the victims of the Holocaust met their ends; here that millions were murdered or transported in vast programmes of ethnic cleansing. Adolf Hitler had his objective of a racially pure Germany with enough living space in the East to esta