Kia ora e te whānau,

Uncertainty brings out the worst in us sometimes. We are back at alert level 3 in Auckland, with a large cluster of people with COVID-19. I’m sure, like me, you’ve been alarmed at the spread of misinformation and prejudice over social media.

When we feel anxious, we look for someone to blame, to discharge our feelings. And whether that’s ‘that political party’ or ‘the government’ or ‘that group of people’ – it’s all the same, the dynamic of fear which separates and divides us. 

Jim Cunningham spoke about this last Sunday, the story of Jesus and the Samaritan woman. Jim pointed out that Jesus was able to be challenged by her, to have his mind changed and his eyes opened.

Hopefully we can have the same openness and spirit of receptivity.

David Whyte’s poem ‘Loaves and fishes’ captures something of what we as followers of the Way of Jesus are called to I think:

This is not
the age of information.

This is not
the age of information.

Forget the news,
and the radio,
and the blurred screen.

This is the time of loaves
and fishes.

People are hungry,
and one good word is bread
for a thousand.

From The House of Belonging: poems by David Whyte
(Many Rivers Press). Copyright © 1996 by David Whyte.

May our words, our actions, and our intentions bring bread to others. May we seek to sustain others by our comments, and bring ourselves as genuine keepers of peace.

One of the interesting aspects of being in a ministerial vacancy and following the Presbyterian Church pathway to finding a new minister is that we have more to do with the wider Presbytery than usual.

Lois Robertson is the person who represents us (along with our minister) at Presbytery Central – spanning the lower North Island. Two weeks ago we enjoyed worship led by Rev Reg Weeks, who is our Ministry Settlement Board chair. This coming Sunday Rev Peter McKenzie will be joining us. Peter is currently the executive secretary of the Presbytery.

Look forward to meeting him, and seeing you there!



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