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 that 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

Be part of Interfaith Understanding & Action

In April 2019 our minister, Philo Kinera, wrote the following Letter to the Editor of “The Press”. Philo brings her personal experience of coming from a consciously multi-faith society – Singapore – and has strong pastoral connections with local refugee and migrant communities. Keep an eye out for more opportunities for increased inter-faith understanding and … Continued

A church without walls

Extracts from the Reflection by Rev Andrew Donaldson at the Induction of Rev’s Philomena (Philo) Kinera and Darryn Hickling into the Durham Street Methodist Church (7 February 2019) Today we are unusually in the position of inducting two presbyters to the same parish. Two appointments, two people who each offer diversity. A diversity that this faith … Continued

Steps on a bi-cultural journey

For Waitangi Day we share a blog from Jill Hawkey, that first appeared in the 5th Feb 2019 Weekly President’s Email of the NZ Methodist Church  First, let me tell you something about the Christchurch Methodist Mission (CMM) where I have been the Executive Director for the past 4 years. CMM provides a range of … Continued

Singing, Oxytocin and Ancient Urges

By Carol Barron Singing is one of our most ancient urges. It connects us to our tribal past and fills us with happiness. When we sing, our whole body is the instrument. Our ribcage vibrates, our airways hum, musical vibrations move through our body and alters our physical and emotional landscape and a light goes … Continued

What is Prayer?

Even though we may not all agree what prayer actually is, as a church community that doesn’t stop us from praying together – tolerant of each other’s understanding. Here is one person’s view, which also offers an interesting exploration of both the scientific and spiritual value of prayer and meditation. (And there are some fascinating … Continued

My Life on the Streets

Photo credit: The Press In 2018 Rob Ferguson reflected on his time as Durham Street Methodists’ inaugural chaplain to the StreeTs, using the three Bible readings set for that Sunday. There have been times in the last two and a bit years of walking Christchurch’s often-munted streets when I’ve wondered what I ever thought I … Continued

God Shows No Partiality

Based on the writings of Dave Barnhart ( What do Matthew, Mark, Luke, Paul, James and Peter all agree on? “If you were to ask most contemporary Christians, ‘What verse best sums up the message of the early church?”, they would have no problem telling you that it is John 3:16: “For God so loved … Continued

Does Tithing Exploit the Poor?

It’s a great feeling to be able to give – to make our contribution. And everyone should have the opportunity to give as they are able. But that is miles away from pressuring already-stretched people into giving or shaming people to go under or have to take out usurious loans just to survive. It is … Continued

Gay is OK – Because the Bible Tells Me So

Nathan Jennings used to be adamantly opposed to the ‘gay lifestyle’. He now considers himself LGBTQ-affirming, and an ally to the community. Why the change? Well, he blames Jesus. The more he studied the Bible and learned about Jesus and what it means to be truly human, the more he discovered that love is at … Continued

Church is Who We Are Together

Have you ever sat in church and drifted off when the announcements seemed to go on for ever, or wished we could get started on the real stuff? I want to suggest something radical — that the announcements (at their best) are us creating church together. They need not be an intermission or an ad-break … Continued

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