CDG Taking the Scrooge out of Christmas

It is nearly showtime. Our latest Christmas play is taking shape after weeks of hard work by our wonderful drama group, CDG (Carrie’s Drama Group) and their awesome leaders. This year we have gone traditional with that favourite story by Dickens, A Christmas Carol. We have a great cast with a real mix of different ages and talents, and we feel sure you are in for a treat. Producing the show hasn't been without its challenges, however. Devising a rehearsal schedule... read more

Blessing of the Advent Wreaths

On Sunday we begin once again our Church's new year and the annual journey through the life, ministry, passion, death and resurrection of our Lord. We will follow the way to his ascension, to the gift of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost and the birthday of the Church, to the Queen of Festivals on Trinity Sunday, the feast when all is brought together in the wonderful dance of mutuality and love of Father, Son and Holy Spirit, the three persons in... read more

Christ the King

As it says on the front page of our pew sheet this week, this is the last Sunday of our liturgical year. It is Christ the King Sunday. Next week we will begin the Advent journey towards Bethlehem to seek out the Christ child. Perhaps there came a sense of bewilderment as you listened to the Gospel reading today. It is almost Christmas, why are we reading about the crucifixion of Jesus? Why does this day take us to the cross?... read more

The courage to stand up and be counted

Remembrance Sunday Micah 4.1-5; John 15.12-17 What a week this has been. Donald Trump is to be the next President of the United States, and leader of what we call the Free World. I don't think at this stage I need to add to the commentary that is abounding around the world and what this says about our moral compass, which seems to have been reversed and our values turned up on their heads. There is much to reflect on in... read more

Planting hope, one child at a time

As a teenager kicked out of home, Ugandan woman Lillian Nakabiri wanted to poison herself. Her family didn’t want her, life was characterised by loneliness and poverty and killing herself seemed the only answer. In despair, she started reading letters she’d received over the years as a sponsored child. “I wanted to die happy, reading them. They gave me joy,” she told hundreds of school students in a moving talk about her early years. The written words from her Australian sponsor... read more

The persistent widow and the unjust judge.

Luke 18.1-8 ‘Rejoice always, pray without ceasing. IN everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus’ Usually we read in the Gospels that Jesus tells a parable and then explains it to his disciples, often quizzing them as tits meaning. In this parable he is very clear, or at least the evangelist is so that the hearers are without a doubt about what the meaning of the parable. The reading begins ‘Jesus told them a parable... read more

Fair trade + faith = freedom

After five years of “living a life of heartbreak and hope”, Dan and Mai Lander have swapped the streets of Kolkata (formerly Calcutta) for a ministry closer to home. The couple and their two young boys, Bobby (almost 4) and Thom (2), recently returned to New Zealand from India, where they had been living with and helping some of the world’s poorest and oppressed people. Dan’s parents, John and Angela Lander, attend St Mary’s, and Dan was keen to return to... read more

The Women Who Minister

Mary and Ailsa. Two different women. One more famous than the other – but with parallels between the pair. The ordination to priesthood of Ailsa Claridge took place on Sunday August 14 in a 7pm service at the Interim Cathedral in the Peace Hall, New Plymouth. It coincided with the patronal festival, the Feast day of Mary, mother of Jesus. In his sermon, Dean Peter Beck noted a connection between the ordination of a woman on the day Mary’s significance to... read more

170th Anniversary of the first service in St Mary's New Plymouth

‘For all that has been, thanks. For all that will be ,yes!' Some years ago I was at a lecture given by Marc Pachter, the then Director of the National Portrait Gallery in Washington DC. It was most interesting and entertaining. The site of the NPG is at the centre of the grid which is Washington. The site was designated by Pierre Charles L'enfant who designed the city of Washington. What is interesting is that L'enfant saw that at the heart... read more

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