Writing

  • The Rev. Dr. Hilary Oxford Smith 10 April 2014

    Children, teenagers, adults are exposed on a daily basis, overtly and subliminally, to a diversity of sexual messages and behaviour on the internet, in printed media, film, television, in the lyrics and performance of popular music, in the fashion industry, in our exhibitionist celebrity culture. more»
    Solomon's Eden
  • The Rev. Gayanne Frater 14 March 2014

    Gurgles of delight bubbling upwards,
    held captive
    to keep faith with others on holy retreat.
    more»
    Look at me!
  • The Rev. Dr. Paul McKeown 27 February 2014

    I see her now,
    inched to the edge of her bed:
    duvet down,
    pink flanellette sheets
    giving up the ghost of her warmth. more»
  • The Rev. John Fairbrother 21 February 2014

    Can one hold a Christian Faith without a supernatural belief? To say 'no' confronts a prominent dimension of Christian orthodoxy. To say 'yes' engages growing numbers asking unconditional questions about Biblical interpretation in the light of current scientific, historical and philosophical research. more»
  • The Rev. John Fairbrother 10 February 2014

     You will not have to travel far to appreciate the multi-cultural character of Auckland and much else of New Zealand. The diversity of cultures is obvious at work places, parks, beaches, more»
    Spacious Spirituality
  • The Rev. Gayanne Frater 7 February 2014

    Here and now I hold my bread
    Alone at table,
    I gazed with delight at
    freshly baked bread. more»
    Breaking bread
  • The Rev. John Fairbrother 3 February 2014

    A spacecraft millions of kilometres from earth, ten years after launch, being brought out of induced hibernation by mission control. The signals took something like forty five minutes to travel the distance one way. more»
    The wake-up call to beat them all
  • The Rev. Dr. Hilary Oxford Smith 1 February 2014

    It's a warm day. A day to do nothing except think or not think. more»
    A Salty Reverie
  • The Rev. John Fairbrother 31 January 2014

    Invisibility is a challenge. The study of climate change has been a prophetic science. It has served to indicate destructive changes that simply had not been apparent. Prophets of disaster are rarely welcome. more»
  • The Rev. Dr. Paul McKeown 23 January 2014

    The day began without me;
    dozing 'til the prayer bell summoned us from sleep.
    more»
    Morning, Pluscarden
  • The Rev. John Fairbrother 21 January 2014

    Get ready for the triennial dose of popularist politicking, facile rhetoric and expedient policy pronouncements. General election year has come round again. more»
  • The Rev. John Fairbrother 14 January 2014

    Each Sunday, a living relic of an era now passed continues to exhibit life signs. Around the country there are gatherings of Christians of all sorts of theological persuasion. Such gatherings continue to fall under the public classification of Church.
    more»
  • The Rev. Sande Ramage 28 December 2013

    No-one seems too worried about whether Jesus was born in a stable or cave, Bethlehem or Nazareth, or whether he was born at all. Instead, good news abounds and the world is pregnant with possibility, without the need to theologically throttle that idea to death. more»
    Crumbling Christianity good news for Kiwis
  • The Rev. John Fairbrother 17 December 2013

    The myths that come from inherited memories are well worth holding with care. Care to serve the realities of lives deserving memorial and care to offer minds yet to come the scope to understand the complex depth of history's tradition on which we stand. more»
  • Margaret Lyall 15 December 2013

       Stress and distress, crisis on crisis,Mind, body and spirit can take no more.Utter exhaustion, energy finished,Pain and despair, darkness and silence. Then, piercing the more»
  • The Rev. Sande Ramage 13 December 2013

    Some of us were raped. Our clothing and quite reasonable bids for freedom had nothing to do with it, but they sure were included in the razor sharp guilt we internalized and proceeded to slice our potential to ribbons with. more»
    Rape Culture in need of a spirituality that grows us
  • The Rev. Dr. Hilary Oxford Smith 20 November 2013

    The hallowing of memory is restorative. It encourages us to bring to birth in our hearts and lives, goodness, justice and peace out of bloody holocausts. more»
    Armistice
  • The Rev. Dr. Hilary Oxford Smith 2 November 2013

    Who are the ones whose names, faces and stories live in your heart...who have loved you for you, stood alongside you, shaped you, nudged you into exploration and new understanding, challenged you to grow, shown you how to live in love? more»
    Memoria
  • The Rev. Dr. Hilary Oxford Smith 1 October 2013

    Isn't it time though to break up the holy huddles that can exist in our faiths and churches and cast aside the religious internal obsessions which have little or no relevance to the rest of society and the world? Only then do we have the hope of finding a way forward. more»
    Ruffling Feathers
  • The Rev. Sande Ramage 2 September 2013

    She sat beside the bed, tears brimming.
    'Mum's dying.'
    'Yes.'
    We sat in silence for a bit.
    'I've lost my faith.' more»
    Hospital chaplains too Christian for Nones?
  • The Rev. Dr. Hilary Oxford Smith 28 August 2013

    It is just before dawn as I begin to write. Outside my bedroom window, a yellow-eyed blackbird sings in the fading of the night. Another blackbird sings on the soundtrack of a song written by Paul McCartney, in response to the struggle of African American people for their civil rights, some 45 years ago, more»
    Blackbird Singing in the Dead of Night
  • The Rev. Dr. Hilary Oxford Smith 24 July 2013

    As we walk the earth for a short time of belonging, windswept and untamed environments bring us deeper, through imagination, into the mystery of why we are here and the memory of time. more»
    Encounters of embodiment
  • The Rev. Sande Ramage 23 June 2013

    We cannot pretend that Maori spirituality and the expression of that through karakia might be a one size fits all spiritual approach. more»
    Secular karakia slips through prayer blockade
  • The Rev. Dr. Hilary Oxford Smith 22 June 2013

    Redemption will come about when the spirituality of political, economic, religious and cultural institutions, their interests, pathologies and fears are confronted, so that the total entity is transformed.

    more»
    The heavens are telling the glory of God
  • The Rev. Dr. Hilary Oxford Smith 7 June 2013

    At a time in my life when I was deeply sorrowful, it was the ocean and the seashore, which became the places and source of my healing. A journey with Hilary, Columba and Maui along Cloudy Bay. more»
    Song of the sea
  • The Rev. Sande Ramage 24 May 2013

    Unless Pentecost and other Christian festivals become crowd pullers by speaking to what lies within each human person in ways we can all understand, the story of Jesus as a light to the world will fade away. more»
    Pentecost fails to ignite
  • The Rev. Dr. Hilary Oxford Smith 10 May 2013

    Forget angels! It's honeybees, around for at least 150 million years, that were sometimes thought of as the messengers between heaven and earth. more»
    The canticle of the bees
  • The Rev. John Fairbrother 2 May 2013

    Marriage equality provides the Anglican church with an advantageous place in public discourse as it is no longer burdened with being a moral guardian of difference based on gender. more»
    An advantageous place
  • The Rev. Dr. Hilary Oxford Smith 8 April 2013

    As dawn breaks on Easter Day, the clarion call of the cockerel on the Otago Peninsula will reconnect us to the heart of Being. more»
    Paradise
  • The Rev. Sande Ramage 31 March 2013

    Searching for Sugar Man is a strange story. On the face of it, a documentary about a musician famous in one country and completely unknown in his own. Within the layers it becomes an Easter tale. more»
    Searching for Sugar Man a prophetic Easter yarn
  • The Rev. Sande Ramage 17 March 2013

    Gay couples will soon be able to marry in New Zealand. This is good news for the church because it forces a rethink of our role. more»
    Marriage equality good for the church
  • The Rev. Dr. Hilary Oxford Smith 6 March 2013

    There was a dandelion clock in our garden on Sunday. Only one. A delicate timepiece. Hints of a dancing theology? more»
    The Gifting of Gossamer
  • The Rev. Sande Ramage 3 March 2013

    No matter how much my Mum tried to speak softly about the outrageous goings on in the Presbyterian Church with 'that man Geering', I could hear her telephone whisperings. more»
    The wonder of Benedict, Geering and my Mum
  • The Rev. Sande Ramage 23 February 2013

    The cross collides as a symbol of Roman oppression and Christian hope. Out of the debris of that wreck, the impenetrability of death is exposed as a fa├žade.

    more»
    Roadside crosses mark the growth spot
  • The Rev. Sande Ramage 17 February 2013

    Spirituality isn't that flash. It's often obvious when cleaning up folk who can't control their bowels, in wiping blood off the floor, in carting equipment, in attending to birthing and dying, and sometimes in arguments about budgets. more»
    The spirituality of blood on the floor
  • The Rev. Dr. Hilary Oxford Smith 15 February 2013

    Tender petals will open in The Vatican Gardens in April, heralding a new beginning at Easter. Resurrection flowers. more»
    A fragrant pilgrimage
  • The Rev. Sande Ramage 3 February 2013

    Amongst the debris on my desk sits a small skull. It's just big enough to remind me that I'm not long for this world. more»
    Living with my desk skull
  • The Rev. Dr. Hilary Oxford Smith 25 January 2013

    It was for the promise of a sixpence that I recited Burns' epic masterpiece, Tam O' Shanter. Hilary Smith celebrates the birthday of the bard. more»
    Whisky, haggis, love an' a' that
  • Hilary Smith 18 December 2012

    Tradition and ritual, a love that never dies, sharing food with friends, creative courage, a mother and her child and a freedom of the spirit. Magnificat moments. Christmas stories. more»
    Magnificat Moments
  • Sande Ramage 18 December 2012

    Angels, Mary, cows, ducks and all manner of beasts get a much better deal when kids get hold of the Christmas story. They pummel, poke and reshape it to fit their view of the world. more»
    Of course angels are real!
  • Sue Halapua 15 December 2012

    In the morning, Christmas morning, the frangipani tree with star shaped flowers blooms so brightly. It seems as if heaven's stars are caught in its branches. more»
    Christmas in Fiji
  • The Rev. John Fairbrother 11 December 2012

    Surging swell unrelenting
    Fisher's net cast from storm
    Colours fast in ceaseless shaping
    Shingle beach salvaged story's form
    more»
    Iona
  • John Fairbrother 8 December 2012

    On national television and before a live audience Clara van Wel stirred the gloss of competitive celebrity, revealing unnervingly simple questions about meaning, belonging, acceptance and love. more»
    Clara's got talent for waiting
  • The Rev. James M McPherson 4 December 2012

    The Moon
    assails
    the Sun;
    a chill
    deathly more»
  • Susan Smith 30 November 2012

    'I am with you always' doesn't mean Jesus will be with a particular church in Syria, France or New Zealand. Susan Smith suggests instead that the Spirit blows where she wills. Coming to grips with that new life can mean facing grim realities. more»
    New life out of death reveals grim realities
  • Hilary Oxford Smith 27 November 2012

    As Hilary begins to write Christmas cards she remembers that nothing in the garden is finished. Pathways and streams diverge and interconnect, no beginnings, no endings. Like the gospels, full of loose ends, unfinished business and unanswered questions. more»
    Gardening the loose ends of Advent
  • Sande Ramage 25 November 2012

    No women can change the church but the 44 bishops who voted yes to women bishops could by putting their power on the line. more»
    Resigning bishops a supreme sacrifice for women
  • John Fairbrother 25 November 2012

    I was ordained at the end of 1984. On reflection this seems to have been at the end of the male dominated Anglican Church in this country. For my ordained life the experience has been marked by a deepening feminisation of the Church. For a bloke this has not been without discomfort, even a sense of threat. more»
    Threatened but still in favour of women bishops
  • The Rev. James M McPherson 20 November 2012

    two wonders of
    acuity, a third
    surpassing both:
    in an instant judge more»
  • Sande Ramage 16 November 2012

    Rachel Mann is quite a package. An elegant wordsmith, poet, theologian, philosopher, metal-head musician and internet savvy Church of England priest tweeting as @metalvicar. But before all that cosmopolitan chic took hold she used to be a bloke. more»
    Gender bending priest dazzles
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