Please adjust your expectations

I had never quite thought of the season of Advent like this before. As many of you know very well, I have an adult child with disabilities. He has two occasions he most looks forward to each year, and indeed measures the passage of time against – Christmas and his birthday, And yes, its for … Continued

Beyond the cute animals: the edgier side of St Francis

Many churches have recently celebrated the Feast of St Francis of Assisi (around the 4th October). Born in the 12thcentury, we probably know he is the Catholic Church’s patron saint of animals (and the environment). In fact, St Francis Sunday is a popular day in many churches for pets to be blessed. But beyond the cute, … Continued

I Don’t Want to Recover

Recovery after a major disruption can feel comforting. We just want to get back to the way things were – the warm blanket of the familiar and the easy, after all the stress, and change, and challenge. Mark Gibson, from New Brighton Union and Port Hills Uniting Churches reminds us, however: “Recovery is not a … Continued

Letting Go of the Idols of Certainty

There is something about a crisis that makes us want to cling onto certainty even tighter. I have heard it said that the two things that people need most in a crisis is certainty and connection. And during the Covid-19 lockdown that separates us (for very good reasons) into our own little bubbles, I guess … Continued

A Message from Philo on our response to COVID-19

Dear friends, You are all precious in God’s eyes and loved by the Aldersgate Community.  We have taken the advice of Health professions and the Methodist Connexion to suspend all services until further notice. Please take the necessary precautions to stay safe.  Reflections will be posted on our webpage and we will do all we … Continued

Are you a belieber?

No I don’t mean a follower of a certain male pop star. This thought provoking essay by Debie Thomas on one of the most famous verses in the Christian gospels, John 3:16, is a handy reminder that this universal, inclusive, love-expanding, self-giving explanation of the heart of Christianity has too often been weaponised, used to exclude, … Continued

Jesus, Salvation & Other Religions

Different religions: they can’t all be true? Or can you be a Methodist Buddhist? WARNING: The linked post by Roger Wolsey contains theology and may require you to engage your brain. I don’t think religious tolerance is good enough anymore. Certainly we need to move past intolerance and prejudice. In later life, my father embarrassedly … Continued

Facing our demons

Christians and mental illness is not a topic that is talked about a lot. In another church I once belonged to, an older friend told me one day that he suffered from depression. He also told me that the least helpful people for him were his fellow ‘brothers and sisters’ in the pews. They just … Continued

One church doing our bit for religious diversity

A colleague from the local council asked our Minister, Philo Kinera, to put something in writing about Durham Street Methodists and how we saw our role in promoting inter-faith understanding, this is what we offered as the beginning of an explanation. When terrorism hit our little city, on this small country on the edge of … Continued

A city reborn?

Who is Christchurch? What is the identity of our new city?  Reborn in the CBD’s flash, fresh metal-and-glass newness, whatever it is, it’s not the same as it used to be.  “Before the earthquakes, Christchurch certainly had a strong sense of identity – its uniting mission, a reason for existing.” So John McCrone begins an interesting … Continued

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